Steele Memorial Library in Elmira New York Genealogy News

Yesterday’s post about the Broome County Library Vital Records Index caught the eye of Phyllis Rogan, a reference librarian at Steele and she wrote to say that they have the Vital Records Index also.


So then she sent me an announcement about some happenings at Steele and I am very happy to pass this information on to our readers.

It is with great pleasure that the Genealogy Department of Steele Memorial Library announces the acquisition of local early Catholic Church Records on microfilm. Beginning in 1848 to1910, most film consists of Chemung County Churches but also includes churches in Addison, Waverly, Trumansburg, and Watkins Glen. The records are available for immediate use and can be found on the second floor of Steele Library in the microfilm department.  This provides researchers with early records previously unavailable.


Hi Everyone!
Sherry Nichols and I will conduct a free workshop, Beginning Genealogy, at the Hornell Library on Tuesday October 26, 2010  from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. We will discuss what you can find  in your central library’s (Chemung County Library District) website, on the web, and in the two databases that Steele and Hornell subscribe to – and This is open to all interested.

Phyllis Ryan Rogan
Reference Librarian
Head, Genealogy Dept.
Steele Memorial Library
101 E Church St., Elmira, NY


On an additional matter about Steele, and I probably wrote about this several years ago on this blog, but it bears repeating. Back in the 1980′s I used to go to Steele on a frequent basis as they were the only place in Upstate New York, or at least closest to Syracuse, that one could find “ALL” of the U.S. Federal census on microfilm through 1880, and for NY State and Pennsylvania, through 1930.

This was a goldmine of data available all in one spot and I did not have to drive to Washington, DC or Salt lake City to access these films. I asked once why they happened to have such a huge collection and was told that after they suffered enormous damage to their collection in the Corning – Elmira Flood  of 1972, they were in the process of rebuilding their collection and a local citizen came in and asked, “What would you like to have for your library?”

The librarian’s response was something like, “Well we could always use some more federal census microfilm”. So this anonymous donor purchased the complete collection for them from the National Archives. Amazing!

In these days of automated digitization of the census film and being online at places like Ancestry, HeritageQuest, Footnote, FamilySearch and other locations, I might just add that it still pays to go and take a look at the actual microfilm yourself. You might just pick out some little hidden fact or clue that the super duper electronic digital gadget missed. There is no technology quite as good as an analog set of eyeballs!

One Response to “Steele Memorial Library in Elmira New York Genealogy News”

  • Another Area in Upstate New York Now Has the NYS Vital Records Index | UNYG Blog:

    [...] Home « Your Ancestors Are Being Released from Hostage on Saturdays Steele Memorial Library in Elmira New York Genealogy News [...]

Leave a Reply

Subscribe via RSS
Follow Me On Twitter
Donations Greatly Appreciated:
Pay on WePay
MyHeritage Top 100 Websites
Top genealogy site awards