The Laws That Guide Us
Historian's Laws of NYS



"Historians in Pursuit of Excellence - Building a Legacy"



A message from Michelle Henry, GAHWNY Executive Chair

January 2017

Dear Historians and Friends,
          Happy New Year!  I am grateful for the opportunity to work with all of you in 2017, especially as we approach some very exciting state and national anniversaries.   There will be some great opportunities to work together as we commemorate Women’s Suffrage in New York and the start of World War I.  The role of local historian is critical in helping to promote an understanding of how these events impacted our communities, and how our residents contributed to these efforts.
          The GAHWNY Executive Council met in October and discussed changes to the organization’s by-laws.  We believe the changes are necessary as the organization continues to evolve.  The proposed revisions will be included in a mailing for your review soon and will be voted on at the program meeting to be held in the fall.  If you have any questions about the proposed changes, please feel free to contact me or any of the Executive Council members.
          There will not be a program held this spring, when we typically offered “basic training” sessions.  Instead, we are planning a great fall program that will include the annual business meeting, the Julia Reinstein Lifetime Achievement Award, 30-year recognitions, and the Student History Award.  You will receive a registration packet for the meeting at a later date.  We look forward to seeing you there!
          The 2017 membership dues form is now available for download on this site and will also be included in the upcoming mailing.  Please note the change of address for the organization.  We appreciate your continued support and welcome new members.  Please keep checking our website for updates and encourage new historians to utilize the numerous resources that are posted here. 
Michelle Henry, Chautauqua County Historian

Our aim is to provide up to date information on our organization and current contact information on Government Appointed Historians of Western New York.

Please take time to look over our website and let us know what you think! 


Executive Council Chair - Michelle Henry,
Chautauqua County Historian
Executive Council Vice Chair - Candace Broughton, Otto Town Historian
Secretary - Pamela Brown,
Town of Harmony & Village of Panama Historian
Treasurer - Robert Lowell Goller,
Town of Aurora & Village of East Aurora Historian


Historians!  It's that time of year! Please let us know any new historian positions or change of contact information. 

Send information by email to:
Pamela Brown, GAHWNY Secretary     

Support local history - click here to become a GAHWNY member today!


The Government Appointed Historians of Western New York (founded in 2008) is dedicated to the promotion, research, interpretation and preservation of history relating to the western portion of the State of New York.
The purpose of this organization is to provide assistance and support to its membership which consist of all officially appointed local government historians: City, County, Town and Village Historians; all duly appointed Deputies/Assistants of the same and Representatives appointed by the Seneca, Tonawanda or Tuscarora Nations within Western New York comprised of the counties within the Niagara, Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Regions of New York State.
The goal of this organization is to provide an administrative service that produces a website and two annual meetings / programs that encourage the betterment of historians within Western New York through education and training.

Our Fall meeting held Saturday, September 24, 2016 in Geneseo, Livingston County went off without a hitch and attracted more than 70 historians and students for a series of informative programs, a delicious pork roast dinner, and a day of essential networking!

Pamela Brown, Town of Harmony and Village of Panama, Chautauqua County was awarded the Julia Reinstein Career Achievement award for 2016! Left to right: Amie Alden, GAHWNY Exec Chair, Pam Brown, and Devin Lander, NYS Historian. Thomas Roffe, Leicester Historian, Livingston County also received the award posthumously.



Spring 2016 meeting in Batavia featured Joscelyn Godwin discussing research for his new book on masonic history entitled Symbols in the Wilderness.



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Important GAHWNY Board News:
As of January 1, 2017:

We have a new address.
Please update your files!

c/o Pamela Brown
PO Box 204
Panama, NY 14767

Click here to view proposed GAHWNY By laws revisions.

Annual Reports for 2016 are due!

Be sure to submit a copy to your supervising officer and to the State Historian (see message below).


December 2016 news:

Hello Historians,
As we rapidly near the end of the year I would like to remind local government historians to send me a copy of your annual reports, which I will be reading and responding to.  They can be sent via mail to the address below or via email to the email address below.  Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Devin R. Lander
New York State Historian
Office of State History
New York State Museum
3025 Cultural Education Center
Albany, New York 12230
(518) 474-0206

November 2016 news:

The New York State Women's Suffrage Commission needs your help in commemorating the upcoming 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in our state!

Was there a suffrage leader in your community? Please join in the upcoming commemoration of women's suffrage in New York State! On behalf of the Women's Suffrage Commission, State Historian Devin Lander has offered to compile information on New York suffragists who played a significant role in the Suffrage Movement statewide or nationally.

To submit a name for inclusion to highlight a peron on the commission's website please send to with a short bio (4 or 5 sentences about why the person is significant), a photo image if available, and a link to a website that has more information on the person.

For a list of the commission members check out this link:
Governor Cuomo Announces Launch of New York State Women's Suffrage Commission:


October news:

I am pleased to announce the creation of a brand new Office of State History website found at: http://www.nysm.nysed

This is a content driven site about the history of New York State and those who are working in the field.  Please consider sending in proposals for articles on NYS history, history events, exhibits, relevant history news, Artifact|NY items, “Meet the Historian” nominations, etc.  The idea for the site is to share as much information as possible on New York’s history and those work going on in the field.  It will only be as strong as the content we all generate together.  All submissions can be sent to:
Thank you
Devin R. Lander
New York State Historian

Fill out the Historian's Survey and send to the State Historian
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Useful Websites

National Council on Public History

American Association for State and Local History

Office of New York State Historian

2016 Call for New York History Writers

New York State Archives Research Topics

New York State Military Musuem and Veteran's Research Center

William G. Pomeroy Foundation

New York Heritage Digital Collections

Census of Agriculture

Census Reporter: See how your town stacks up




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