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Seneca County New York Genealogy and History

County seat: Ovid, Waterloo

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Seneca County, New York genealogy and family history page is a place where you can come in and research your genealogy and family history. We also do our best to provide a history of the area, to provide you with an overview of the time in which your ancestors lived.

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Seneca County New York History

In 1804, Seneca County was formed by the splitting of Cayuga County.

In 1817, Seneca County was reduced in size by combining portions of Seneca and the remainder of Cayuga County to form Tompkins County. Part of this territory, the current towns of Covert and Lodi, were returned to Seneca County in 1819.

The original county seat of Seneca County was located in Ovid, where a court house was constructed in 1806. After southern portions of the county were removed in 1817 to become part of Tompkins County, the seat was moved to Waterloo as the village was more geographically centered at the time. In 1823, northern portions of the county were removed to form part of Wayne County. This put Waterloo in the same situation as Ovid with being on one end of Seneca County. A compromise was made to use both locations as county seats, becoming a two-shire county. It included the constitution of two county courts and jury districts under Chapter 137 of the New York State Laws of 1822. In 1895, the Seneca County Board of Supervisors voted to abolish the setup of two jury districts. It later voted to remove the two-shire county system in 1921, making Waterloo the only county seat, but was reinstated two years later. At least once a year, the County Board of Supervisors holds its monthly meeting in Ovid to maintain the two-shire status.

In 1823, Seneca County was reduced in size by combining portions of Seneca and Ontario County to form Wayne County.

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Genealogy Research in Seneca County, New York

Seneca County Clerk
Seneca County Office Building, 1 DiPronio Drive
Waterloo, NY 13165
Phone: (315) 539-1771

Seneca County Genealogical and Historical Societies

Finger Lakes Genealogical Society
PO Box 47
Seneca Falls, New York 13148

Adjacent counties

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