Suzanne Simon Dietz, Town Historian

Historic Porter, New York
Suzanne Simon Dietz
Town Historian




Census Data

During the twentieth century, the town experienced steady growth until the completion of the Power Project. The construction of the Power Project and a new Lewiston-Queenston Bridge brought jobs, new homes, and classrooms in trailers to accommodate the influx of students into the Lewiston-Porter Central School District.

1814   148
1820   850
1825   925
1830   1,490
1835   1,838
1840   2,177
1845   2,303
1850   2,455
1855   2,643
1860   2,353
1865   2,366
1870   2,042
1875   2,102
1880   2,278
1885   2,700
1890   2,104
1930   2,954
1940   3,361
1950   4,276
1957   5,612
1960   7,309
1967   6,631
1970   7,429
1980   7,251
1990   7,100
2000   6,920
2010   6,771




• The Town of Porter was named for the Hon. Augustus Porter, the first judge of Niagara County. Judge Porter owned land in the town, but did not reside in Porter.
• The town was formed from the Town of Cambria on June 1, 1812, by an act of the New York State Legislature.
• Settlement of the town’s 19, 870 acres evolved from its strategic location bounded on the west by the Niagara River and Lake Ontario on the north, and Old Fort Niagara.
• Earliest records of minutes from a town meeting were dated April 11, 1815.
• The Village of Youngstown was named for John Young, a Canadian, who operated the first store in the village. The village was incorporated on April 18, 1854.
• The Hamlet of Ransomville was named for the prominent Ransom family. The first settler to arrive in Ransomville was Gideon Curtiss in 1817, followed by his brother Gilbert.

Historical events in a town impact the growth or decline of its citizenry. A number of books in the Museum offer clues to the data.

Sources: Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, Facts about Niagara County, May 1967
Niagara County Historian’s Office, Town populations 1800s.

Town Genealogy

Are you looking for your ancestors from the Town of Porter? Some resources to begin your search:

Town of Porter Historical Society Museum
240 Lockport St.
Youngstown, NY 14174
Hours: Wednesday, Thursday; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Some of the records available at the museum include:

1820 Town of Cambria census
1820 Town of Niagara census
1820 Federal Census Index for the Town of Porter
1820 Town of Wilson census
1830 Federal Census Town of Porter
1840 Federal Census Town of Porter
1850 Census Town of Porter
1860 Census Town of Porter
1865 Census Town of Porter
1875 Town of Porter census including Youngstown
1880 Youngstown census
1910 Town of Porter Census
Oakland Rural Cemetery records
Skinner Family Cemetery records
St. Bernard’s Roman Catholic Cemetery records
Fillmore-Halstead Cemetery records
Modern Post Cemetery records
Fort Niagara 1812 Cemetery records
St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery records
Universal Cemetery records
Family Tree Maker, family files, newspaper clippings, modern obituaries, maps, books and articles on the history of the town and village, and more.

Ransomville Historical Room
Behind Ransomville Free Library
3733 Ransomville Rd.
Ransomville, NY 14131
Contact Library for museum hours  (716) 791-4073

Niagara County Genealogical Society
215 Niagara St.
Lockport, NY 14094
(716) 433-1033 call first before visiting
Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Niagara County Historian’s Office
139 Niagara St.
Lockport, NY 14094
Hours: Wednesday – Friday; 8:30 – 12:30; 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Public Library
Local History Department
1425 Main St.
Niagara Falls, NY
Hours: Monday – Friday; 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Niagara Gazette and other newspapers on microfilm

Niagara County Genealogical Society

Niagara County Historian’s Office

Niagara Falls Public Library