Genealogy and Local History

The Lewiston Public Library is a valuable resource for the local community and for those at large interested in researching family history and local Niagara County history.  Visitors are welcome to view materials located within our Jon F. Popkey Genealogy Room and our Frieda C. Bourgon Local History Room during normal business hours.  Check for class offerings in our monthly adult calendar.

Check for local area records and history (including birth, marriage and death records) at our genealogy blog:

Hours of Operation

Patrons may access the Genealogy Room and the Local History Room during regular library hours.  For special assistance please make an appointment at 754-4720 or email Michelle Kratts at

The Dead Beats Society

The Dead Beats Society was founded in 2008 as a group of genealogy volunteers at the Lewiston Public Library.  Volunteers have worked on various local project including digitizing local Niagara area obituaries.  The Dead Beats usually meet each month.

Affiliate Library

FamilySearch has discontinued their microfilm lending program as they are focusing now on digitizing their microfilm records. The Lewiston Public Library is an affiliate library of FamilySearch. Various FamilySearch generated local microfilms are contained in the library’s permanent collection.

Lewiston Library Expands Genealogy Resources

free vintage printable image ephemera

Jon F. Popkey Genealogy Room

The Jon F. Popkey Genealogy Room contains many items of value to the local researcher.  Please contact the library if you would like to view these items in person, or if you would like for us to browse through a particular collection for you.

Our collection also includes both circulating and non-circulating books.  Topics cover specialty areas of research such as:  geographical, cemetery research, courthouse research, computer resources, naturalization records, vital records, Family History Guides by the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and much, much more.  Periodicals include back issues of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register and more.

Special Records in the Genealogy Room

Death, Cemetery and Burial Records

Family Name Files

Local City Directories

Yearbooks and Alumni Directories in the Jon F

Publications from Niagara area Companies

Local Cookbooks

Knights of Columbus

Genealogy and Subject Files:

Subject Files Drawer #1 War of 1812 and International Institute

Subject Files Drawer #2 Assorted


Subject Files Drawer #3

Genealogy Reference Materials

Area Environmental History


Archives of the Monday Club

Niagara Men in the Civil War compiled by Richard Reed (Volumes 1-3)

Civil War Veterans, Oakwood Cemetery, Niagara Falls

The Irish in Niagara Falls (scrapbook)

Private Letters of Roger Millar and Blanche Raymond

Reports of Elizabeth Howe, International Institute, Niagara Falls, New York, 1919-1920

Record books of the  Independent Order of the Odd Fellows (IOOF) Lewiston, New York, as well as various Niagara lodges including: Fort Niagara, Niagara Falls, LaSalle and Wilson (1846-1935).

Tryon Family Papers 


Helpful Hints for Local Research

Death Records

Death and Burial Records

Death Certificates in Niagara Falls

Websites to Check for Death and Burial Records

Marriage Records

Finding birth records

The Ethnic Communities of the East Side, Niagara Falls, NY

From Niagara County Genealogical Society website:

Saturday May 30, 2015 at 1pm

The Niagara County Genealogical Society hosted the program, “Ethnic Communities of the East Side of Niagara Falls.” According to an informal housing survey conducted by Elsie Vorhees Jones, at least fourteen non-English speaking nationalities resided in the city of Niagara Falls in June of 1919. Michelle Kratts, librarian at the Lewiston Public Library spoke about how these immigrants settled on the East Side in what became known as “Tunnel Town” and through their customs and traditions contributed to the unique and rich cultural history of the city of Niagara Falls. She explored the stories of these people as well as the historical and genealogical records that may be searched to find clues to their origins.

Genealogy Tips for Researching the Ethnic Communities of the East Side

Italian Research

Italian Pathfinder_1

Italian Pathfinder_2

Italian Pathfinder_3

German Research

German Genealogy Sources at the Lewiston Public Library

Common German Words for Genealogy from About

Characters For German Transcriptions

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Germans trifoldGermans trifold inside

Becoming a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution

How to Find Your Revolutionary War Ancestors (PowerPoint)

Genealogy Worksheet

Documenting Recent Generations

DAR Long form

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Online Collections

Genealogy and local history blog:

The Lewiston Public Library has  a collection, The Early Records of Sacarissa Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF),  for the NY Heritage website:

Bob & Rita Giannetti Southern Family History Collection

This special collection contains materials pertinent to the researcher with interests in the southern states prior to the Civil War.

Southern Family History Collection

Frieda C. Bourgon Local History Room

The Frieda C. Bourgon Local History Room contains mostly books and histories of value to the local history researcher, including local histories and genealogies, maps, biographical encyclopedias, New York gazetteers, antiquarian Niagara Falls guide books, Clarence O. Lewis articles, various historic Buffalo area newspapers, the archives of the Lewiston Public Library and original copies of the Army’s,  Stars and Stripes, London edition, from the 1940’s.

The Frieda C. Bourgon Local History Room is also home to the library’s special database which includes:  Niagara Gazette Obituaries (various 1854-present), The People of Lewiston (family database of all Lewiston censuses until 1940), and applications from various Niagara County Independent Order of Odd Fellows (early lodges).

Local area microfilm is also available as well as the New York Times (1854-1995).


Lookup Policy

Staff will be happy to search through onsite materials.  Please include complete names, dates, and locations with your requests. You may email requests to Michelle Kratts at or mail to:

Lewiston Public Library
305 South Eighth Street
Lewiston, New York 14092

Gifts and Donations are gratefully accepted!

Helpful Genealogy & Local History Links

Lewiston and Niagara History

Tuscarora Genealogy

Niagara County Genealogy

New York Newspapers

Niagara Area Churches



 New England