Montgomery County's Department of History and Archives,|
at the Old County Courthouse in Fonda, NY.
Proposed Budget slashes funding for State Parks and Historic Sites! Click HERE for more information.
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Montgomery County, first named as Tryon County in 1772, in its original formation had its boundaries extending as
far north as the St. Lawrence River, as far south as the Pennsylvania border, and as far west as the territories
of the Six Nations.
Prior to the settlement of the Europeans, Native Americans inhabited the lands throughout the valley named for the
Mohawks, one of the six Iroquois tribes. Native Americans were the principal inhabitants in the area until attempts
were made to civilize them. Early settlers to this area included the Dutch, in search of trapping and the fur trade,
and the Palatine Germans, in search of religious freedom.
The Revolutionary War had significant impact upon the residents of Montgomery County. Four regiments, consisting of
enlisted men throughout the valley, made up the Tryon County militia. Blood was shed on the lands within the county
during this time. The battles that took place at Klock’s Field and Stone Arabia, not to mention the horrendous
incursions by Johnson’s raiders, wreaked havoc. Lives and homes of area residents were ravaged and terrorized by
groups that included their former neighbors.
The Erie Canal was constructed through Montgomery County. The development of a number of its towns can be attributed
to "Clinton’s Ditch." In fact, the proximity of the Erie Canal was one of the factors supporting the move of the
county seat from Johnstown to Fonda.
Principal farming products in the Mohawk Valley during the colonial period and immediately after the Revolutionary War
centered around grains. Evidence of this type of farming was visible in the construction of the numerous Dutch barns.
However, with the advent of the Erie Canal, farming changed from production of grains to dairy farming since the grains
could now be transported from farms in the west. With the railroad, agriculture changed once again. As milk was not
yet transportable in the rail cars, production turned to cheese.
The Montgomery County Department of History & Archives was formed in 1934 by resolution of the Board of
Supervisors. Housed in the 1836 Old Courthouse, seen above, the department currently has 2 full-time and 1 part-time
staff. The genealogical and historical research library contains a voluminous amount of records that are accessible
to the public.
Not a lending library, the Dept. of History & Archives welcomes visitors from all over the country in search of
New York State Counties plus many villages and localities in the original Tryon County.
Individuals of local interest. Most of the histories are indexed for biographical information.
New York State Counties plus many villages, cities and townships of the area.
Over 400 bound genealogies indexed. Family files contain summary information on over 500 surnames.
1772-1788 Tryon/Montgomery County. Other deeds held at County Clerk’s Office.
DIRECTORIES AND GAZETTEERS:
1869 Fulton & Montgomery, other counties plus Amsterdam Directories and Board of Trade 1889+.
Some births, marriages & deaths extracted from various sources.
NOTE: Birth, marriage, & death certificates available
only at state level and town/city clerk’s offices where event took place.
Colonial Period through 1950, sundry areas & denominations. Other
counties in addition to Montgomery County.
Indexed 1790 through 1870 for New York State. Only 1850 & 1860 census
for other counties in the State. (Several earlier assessment rolls in
Historical Files). Slave count -- Towns of Florida & Palatine.
Transcribed Town Supervisors' Minutes from 1793 to the present. Highway
records, school district meeting minutes, etc.
Pre-Revolution to Korean War. Some original muster rolls. Most lineage
volumes for D.A.R. Journals of soldiers.
Miscellaneous documents, histories of local people, places, and events.
Original records from early 1700's through 1900's. Repository of historical
documents, journals, diaries, family papers, etc.
Extensive holdings of mid-1800s periodicals.
Miscellaneous topics, dating to 1800s.
Research: $20.00 per hour – 1 hour minimum
Photocopies: $0.25 each – 8 ½” x 11” (Letter size) and
8 ½” x 14” (Legal size)
$0.50 each – 11” x 17”
Microfilm Copies: $0.25 each
Digital / Scanned Copies:
Color prints: $2.00 each on regular copy paper
$2.50 each on photo paper
Digital copies of newspapers: $10.00 base fee (includes estimate of ½ hr. look-
up time) + $0.50 each page (1-4 articles)
$10.00 base fee + $0.50 each page + $5.00 for
every half hour beyond 1st half hour (5 or
Downloadable Research-Request Form (PDF)
Heritage & Genealogical Society of Montgomery County
The Heritage & Genealogical Society of Montgomery County was organized
in 1976, as a not-for-profit group, to act as a support group for the
Department of History & Archives. Funds raised through membership and
events are used to purchase and/or bind materials for the Dept. of History
& Archives library.
Meetings are held at 7:30pm on the first Thursday of each month, from
September to June (except December & January) in the Old Courthouse in Fonda.
Members receive a quarterly newsletter, compiled by the Montgomery County
Historian/RMO. Articles and genealogical queries are always welcome to be
submitted for the newsletter. Dues have not been raised since the organization’s
Downloadable Membership Form (PDF)
Publications For Sale
F.W. Beers & Co. History of Montgomery & Fulton Counties, 1878
A reprint of the work that outlined the history of each township in Montgomery & Fulton counties
“Muskets to Microwaves”, 2 vols.
Get into some history while cooking favorite recipes from the area put
together for your cooking enjoyment.
“Montgomery County” Arcadia Publishing: Images of America series
Photographic history of Montgomery County. limited supply
“Amsterdam” Arcadia Publishing: Images of America series
Photographic history of the city and town of Amsterdam in Montgomery County. limited supply
- “Catalogue of Historical & Genealogical Material”
Compilation of the department holdings
Old Courthouse Wooden collectible
“Steeple Chase”: A History of the Churches in the Town of Minden, Montgomery
“Steeple Chase”: A History of Churches in the Town of Canajoharie, Montgomery
Compilations of histories, lists of ministers, and locations of records
for each the churches that existed in these townships. These 40+ page booklets
also contain photographs and color maps indicating location of churches within
the towns and their villages
Index to Simms’ Frontiersmen of New York
Old Courthouse Notepaper
1986 Commemorative Coin
In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the building of the Old Courthouse
Old Courthouse Buttons
1853, 1868, & 1905 Maps available for each Montgomery County township
** Please note: price of "Catalog of Historical & Genealogical Material" is now $12.95
Please make necessary adjustment on the order form for the new price
Downloadable Order Form (PDF)