Travel Tuesday: The Old Steuben County Courthouse (and a Genealogy Wishlist)

The Steuben County Court House, Corning, N. Y.

Postcard by I T Goodridge & Co.
Date postmarked unclear–1906?

I picked up this great postcard in an antique store only 900 miles or so from its subject. A modern-day DMV office,the courthouse in Corning was built in 1903.

Steuben county NY is a key location to my family history and research. There are fantastic online resources for this county, and it’s a good thing, because two attempts to do on-site research have failed.

Attempt # 1: This was the same trip when I wandered into the Potter County Historical Society, as you may recall. I had a list as long as my arm and limited time, and the present courthouse is in Bath NY, far out of the way of the circuit I had planned.

Attempt # 2: Almost two years ago I took a madcap trip, not about genealogy at all actually, but I had some down time and I would have taken it to make the drive to Bath, except that it was snowing. Not enough that seasoned upstate drivers would change their plans, mind you, but I’m a Georgia girl and the little driving I did was terrifying enough. No trip to Bath for me.

Too bad the courthouse wasn’t still in Corning, or I could have probably managed it on one of the two trips.

A Genealogy Wishlist

When I eventually do make the trip to Bath, I’ll be toting a wishlist of records to find, including (but not limited to!)

  • Nellie Cornell and John C Smith married in about 1912, but the 1908-1935 New York marriage database is bereft of Steuben marriage licenses. I want to find theirs!
  • Myra Smith died intestate in 1900, before the census was taken in June. The Whitesville newspaper didn’t run an obituary or death notice–I know because I browsed six months worth of images at She was only twenty-one–so how did she die?
  • William R Loop married Eliza Clark in about 1880–but which Eliza Clark? A Steuben marriage record would go a long way toward proving she was the one who lived in Lindley.
  • Another thing about Eliza Clark Loop–in 1910, she was head of a very unwieldy household of teens and adult children, married and not, plus grandkids. I know her husband outlived her by ten years, but where on earth was he? (Prison is not outside the realm of possibility…)
  • Ruby Allen Taggart was her husband’s connection into the family-only Allen Cemetery–but his grave is marked and hers isn’t. When did she pass on? Is there a record?
  • And speaking of the Allen Cemetery–I’ve already blogged about who Anna Stiles wasn’t–but is there a will or a deed that might offer a clue about who she was?

Whew! So now you know the Steuben stones I’ll be looking to turn on my next visit, but what about you?

Question for You

Is there anywhere you’re longing to travel for your genealogical research? Where to? And what do you hope to find there?

(PS– Speaking of research trips, I’m trying to talk hubby into taking me to Los Angeles and Hollywood to research the new novel! So far he’s not buying it…)

4 thoughts on “Travel Tuesday: The Old Steuben County Courthouse (and a Genealogy Wishlist)

  1. I have so many places I want to go for genealogy research that the list would be very long. The one place I did go to was Potter County. The historical society there was super helpful. By the way my family lines there are Moore and Peterson. I enjoy your blog very much.


    • Aww… Thanks!!

      Let’s see, Moore and Peterson… I’m not familiar with those family groups in the area, but I bet I’ll start noticing those names now! And yes, I’d really like to go back to the Potter Historical Society–only next time, I’ll be prepared and know in advance what I want to look at. Did you happen to see the Bartoo miniature carnival in the back of the house while you were there? Hundreds of carved wooden figures and moving mechanized rides! The one who made it, Herbert Bartoo, would be a great-(X?)-uncle to me.


  2. Goodness, surprised a “Georgia girl” such as yourself would be so familiar with my area. Likewise, that I’d stumble upon your blogpost while searching for records of my best friend who unfortunately, saw fit to remove himself from this world, long before the rest of us were prepared to let him go. I am impressed with your knowledge of the Corning/Steuben county area. The DMV/Courthouse you spoke of was my home for more that 100 hrs of grounds keepers duty before work everyday. (Dont ask) Community service always sounds better when it’s your own idea. Needless to say, I am more than familiar with nearly every inch of that building… Even the hard to reach ones.

    Anyways, assuming you read this… I know a whole lot of people from around here. In fact, most of them. In One way or another, for better or worse.

    I know many “A” Smith, most unrelated to each other, I’m sure not too surprising considering. One dear friend of mine, Tasha Smith, married and had children by my friend/brother Quinn. The name Clark… Ive known at least a few. Including Ricky and his sister… Also named “Tasha”, who has also married and had kids by another friend/brother of mine, Dave. (which you may have noticed is my first name as well)

    In high school, at Corning East High… I was aquainted with more or less, most everyone within a 30 mile radius… give or take a decade or two… Regardless what school mascot and colors they were routing for.

    Not least of which, two very interesting inseperable and lively blonde vixons I ran with in highschool. First there was “The beyond classicly beautiful Anne Taggart”, who’s presence spawned a unique species of butterfly in the belly of all us men possesing an honest memory. The there was the equally bold and memorable Amanda Burdick. Who’s mother Tolly I worked with years later, at the local Bob Evans once my daughter was born, and I first left college in search of a steady income.

    My long winded, over sold, point? I know the feeling searching endlessly for something that’s not on the map. So should you be interested, I’d be willing to put you in touch with, or aim you in the direction of, such people. Not something I’d normally offer do, but your interest and passion are clear/seem pure. I can relate. If you and your husband are interested then email me. Eitherway, happy hunting.


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