Research Resources

Digitized Catalog

Research Center Hours:
Monday through 
Saturday
10 AM to 4 PM.  
(716) 664-6256 
With the support of a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Fenton History Center Library is making its 7000+ volume card catalog available to the world via the Internet. The digitized catalog is being expanded every week. IMLS logo
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Reference Library

The research center’s library is fully self-accessible and is organized by card catalog.  The entire collection is non-circulating, meaning all cards, files and publications must remain in house.  Some of its highlights include:

Card File

  • Clayburne and Sampson: Mid-County Genealogy Cards (6,000 cards)
  • Jamestown High School Alumni Military Cards (3,000 cards)
  • Marriages and Deaths in Chautauqua County (Extracted from 19th century newspapers)

Daughters of the Revolution: Local Records

  • Grandparent Forms (6 volumes with index; local families)

Daughters of the Revolution: National & New York State Records

  • Patriot Index (centennial edition)
  • DAR Magazine Genealogical Guide Master Index (volumes 1-84; 1892-1950)
  • DAR Magazine Genealogical Guide Master Index (volumes 85-89; 1950-1955)
  • Master Index to New York State DAR Records (1 volume contains index to 600 volumes; records located in Albany, New York and Washington D.C.

Digital Work Stations

Each in-house digital work station is equipped with:

  • Access to the following paid subscriptions: Ancestry Library Edition, Arkiv Digital, New England Historic Genealogical Society Database
  • Genealogy software (installed programming)
  • High-speed internet access
  • Shortcuts to useful websites

Digital Work Stations: Swedish References

The following installed programming is available in-house:

  • Emibas
  • Emigranten Popular 2006
  • 1890 Swedish Census
  • 1900 Swedish Census
  • 1970 Swedish Census
  • 1980 Swedish Census
  • Swedish Burials
  • Swedish Death Index 1901-2009

Funeral Home Records

  • Boyd Funeral Home records 1912 –1961 (10 volumes, # 9 missing)
  • Henderson and Lincoln Funeral Home scrap books 1915-1967 (and yearly indexes) These are newspaper obituaries.
  • Schoonover Funeral Home (Sugar Grove, Pa.)

Historic/Genealogical References

  • Cemetery Inscriptions/Plot Location Records (Primarily Chautauqua County)
  • City of Jamestown Directories (1875 to 2000)
  • Historical Publications: Buildings, Businesses, Celebrations, Events and Residents (Jamestown, New York; Townships in Chautauqua County, New York; Chautauqua County, New York; New York State; Northeastern United States)
  • Italian Family Tree Collection
  • Jamestown High School Student Records (Jamestown, New York)
  • Pre-Compiled Complete Family Genealogies (Jamestown, New York; Chautauqua County, New York; New York State; Northeastern United States)
  • New England Historical and Genealogical Register
  • Orphanage Records (Chautauqua County, New York)
  • United States Enlistment Records (Mainly Chautauqua County, New York)
  • Various Immigration References
  • Various Heritage References
  • Veteran Records (Mainly Chautauqua County)
  • Waterboro History (Waterboro, New York)
  • Yearbooks (Chautauqua County, New York)

Microfilm

  • Barbour Collection – Connecticut
  • Carroll Assess 1826-1868
  • Carroll Justice Records 1831-1868
  • Carroll Misc. Records 1870-1898
  • Chautauqua County New York State Census 1825-1925
  • Corbin Collection – Massachusetts
  • Federal and County Census 1850, 1860 and 1870 (Chautauqua County, New York)
  • Federal Census 1810-1930 (Chautauqua County, New York; Cattaraugus County, New York; Warren County, Pennsylvania)
  • Jamestown Assess Books 1864-1883
  • Jamestown Directories 1875-1900
  • Jamestown Journal (1826-1862), (1865-1875), (partial 1891)
  • Mayville (1834-1843), (1845-1866)
  • New York State Census (1825, 1835, 1845, 1855, 1865, 1875, 1892, 1905, 1915, 1925)
  • Prendergast Journals/Ledgers 1766-1848
  • Pynchon Acct. Book – Massachusetts
  • Sprague Collection – Massachusetts
  • St Luke’s Episcopal Records
  • Swedish Newspapers 1874-1934 (partial 1876)
  • Town Clerk Registers – Civil War

Military Compilations

  • Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors(17 volumes)
  • New York State Civil War Muster Rolls (8 volumes)
  • Roll of Honor(1994-96 reprint, 27 original volumes in 11 volumes)
  • New York in the War of the Rebellion(five volumes plus index volume)
  • New York Soldiers in the Civil War(2 volume 1999 index to 43 volumes 1894-1906)

Periodicals

  • New England Historical Genealogical Register and Nexus and Ancestors full run (from 1847; complete collection and indexes in book form)
  • National Genealogical Society Quarterly and News magazine, 1970 to present; NGS News magazine
  • Swedish American Genealogist (started 1981; complete collection)
  • Western New York Genealogical Society(quarterly issues 1974 to June 2001)
  • Tree Talks  (complete collection; started 1961)
  • Everton’s Family History (formerly Genealogical Helper: 1984)
  • Branches & Twigs/ Vermont Genealogy (ends 2000)
  • Second Boat and The Dinghy 1990’s
  • Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society (quarterly 1977-2003)
  • The Owl (Wing Family Magazine 1903-1981)

Museum Gift Shop

Discover various texts that can be utilized as references available for sale in-house Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM at 67 Washington Street, Jamestown, New York in the historic Fenton Mansion and through our online gift shop.

Special Collections

The following items can be viewed by appointment only:

Archives

The Fenton History Center’s archive collection includes: original documents, scrapbooks, account books, diaries, letters, school records and other items pertaining to Jamestown, Chautauqua County, Western New York and the Northeastern United States.

These items apply to families, businesses and events in the mentioned areas.  Items from this collection can be viewed by our members and the public upon request.  Inquiries must be made in advance to supply the collections department with substantial notice and in order to determine if the specific subject of interest is available.

Please call (716) 664-6256  Monday through Friday to make an inquiry in regard to the Fenton History Center’s Archives.

Photographs

The photograph collection includes local landscapes, businesses, residences, transportation, etc.- and residents and civic groups in Jamestown, New York and Chautauqua County.  Non-watermarked copies are available for sale for a fee of $10.  Inquiries must be made in advance to determine the availability of the desired subject matter.

Please call (716) 664-6256 Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM to make inquiries in regard to the Fenton History Center’s photograph collection.

Postcards

This collection includes postcards of local scenes from Jamestown and Chautauqua County, New York that cover the past 100 years.  Items from this collection can be viewed by our members and the public upon request.

Inquiries must be made in advance to supply the collections department with substantial notice and in order to determine if the specific subject of interest is available. Please call(716) 664-6256 Monday through Friday to make an inquiry in regard to the Fenton History Center’s Postcard Collection.

The Fenton History Center’s research center, located at 73 Forest Avenue in Jamestown, New York in the historic Hall House, is a fully functioning, handicap accessible reference library that supports local historical and genealogical research.  

It is open to its members and the public Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM.  Please call ahead to schedule an appointment with a research assistant  for detailed studies  (716) 664-6256.  

Live outside of the area? Visitors from outside of area are encouraged to call ahead.  Providing family names and topics of interest will allow our researchers to pull helpful references from our collection in advance.  

In addition to assisting members and the public in-house. our knowledgeable and friendly staff regularly processes Genealogy Requests and Research Requests that are submitted by mail and email. Select the highlighted text to learn how to file the appropriate inquiry. 

Admission vs. Fenton History Center Membership

Paying an admission fee grants one day’s access to the museum and research center. The museum and research center are housed in different locations.  The two locations are connected by a private driveway and a shaded walkway. 

Individuals who plan to make multiple visits to the research center are encouraged to purchase a Fenton History Center Membership, as our members enjoy unlimited access to the research center and museum during operational hours.   

Members also receive a weekly newsletter, invitations to upcoming events and exhibit reveals, the option to join the Fenton Genealogy Support Group and discounted ticket rates to certain events held by the Fenton History Center.  

Interested in historical and genealogical research?  So are we.  Follow the highlighted link to learn more about the Fenton Genealogy Support Group and all it has to offer.

Historic Hall House

The large white, four-pillared, Greek revival home was originally constructed for William Hall in 1846.  Hall was a businessman and proprietor.  His initial focus was in the lumber industry, but Hall quickly changed his course to the textile industry.  At one point in his career, he partnered with William Broadhead and Joseph Turner to create Hall, Broadhead, & Turner Textile Mills.

The company later changed ownership to Hall & Company, and later was known as, the Jamestown Worsted Mills.  In 2013, the Hall House made its formal debut to the public as the Fenton History Center Research Center.


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