Land and Property Resources for Erie County and New York State


  • Real Property Database, Erie County, New York – Many local governments across the U.S. provide access to property databases and Erie County is one of them.  Search for property by address or property owner name.  The record may list the year the building was built and clicking on the ‘History’ link will provide a list of previous owners, possibly as far back as the 1940s.
  • Erie County Hall, 95 Franklin Street, Buffalo, New York – Deed and Mortgage (by mortgagor only) books are kept in the basement where staff can direct researchers to collections of materials.
  • City of Buffalo Inactive Records Center – Tax and Assessment Roll Books for the City of Buffalo from 1815-1997.  Very early books (early 1800s) are alphabetical by property owner name, but after that time period, you will need to know what ward the address is in.
  • Town Clerk’s Offices – Check with individual town clerk’s offices for holdings of city/town property tax records.
  • City Directories – If you want to see who lived in a certain property (or what business was on a certain property), check city directories.  Most directories by the 1920s or 1930s include an address lookup which will show this detail.  Directories usually show whether or not a person residing at a property owned or rented the property.  The Grosvenor Room carries a complete set of Buffalo city directories, as well as directories for other Erie County cities and towns and even for other New York counties and states.  A listing of our holdings is available by clicking here.  Many online Buffalo and Western New York directories are available on the Buffalo Research website.
  • Atlases – Historic atlases often show property owner names and/or property details.  The Grosvenor Room has many maps for Erie County as well as select atlases for other New York Counties.  For more information, click here to see our Atlas guide.
  • Looking for military bounty lands?  Try this book in the Grosvenor Room:  The Balloting Book and Other Documents Relating to Military Bounty Lands in the State of New YorkGRO Ref. *E263 .N6 B35 1991
  • Early New York State Land Records are abstracted in the following book available in the Grosvenor Room: Calendar of N.Y. colonial manuscripts, indorsed land papers; in the office of the secretary of state of New York. 1643-1803 – GRO CD3406 .S8 1864
  • Did you know that the registering of deeds in New York State was not mandatory until 1840?
  • For more tips on researching land and property please see our How to Research Buffalo Buildings and Miscellaneous Genealogical Records guides.
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