As a longtime history buff, Chautauqua County Clerk candidate Larry Barmore is alerting residents to the important role the County Clerk's office plays in historical and genealogical research.
"The County Clerk's office is the keeper of the records. We trust that our most valuable, historical documents are safe there so we don't even think about just how important that job is," Barmore said. "When Sandy Sopak took office, records were stuffed in cardboard boxes in the courthouse dome and anywhere they would fit. She began the mission nearly 20 years ago to preserve those records and make them accessible to the public. As a historian myself, I fully understand the value of these records and will continue that preservation effort."
The County Clerk's office is instrumental in genealogical research with visitors coming in from all over the world to research their family's history. The earliest deeds and court records dating back to 1811 are in the clerk's office, preserved for future generations, along with census records from the 1800s, naturalization records, a small amount of marriage records from 1908 to 1935 and approximately 80 years worth of tax assessment records dating back to the mid 1800s.
Larry Barmore in the research area of the Chautauqua County Clerk’s office.
"When people think of tourism, they don't realize genealogical research is a large tourism segment. People travel to pour through their family history to put the pieces of their ancestry together and the County Clerk's office is responsible for making sure those documents are preserved and accessible," Barmore said. "Whether someone is coming in to do genealogy research or they just want to know when their grandparents bought the family farm and for how much, those documents need to be properly cared for so people can get the answers they're looking for. As County Clerk, I will continue the preservation effort of not only the 200-year-old records, but the ones filed today that will be a piece of our family history one day."
Barmore has been either the president or vice president of the Valley Historical Society for 20 years and has served as chairman of the Sinclairville History Fair for 15 years. He is also a member of the Barker Museum in Fredonia, the Fenton History Center in Jamestown, and has more than 40 years of experience as a manager, business owner and community leader. More information can be found on Facebook at Larry Barmore for County Clerk.