The Laws That Guide Us
Historian's Laws of NYS



"Historians in Pursuit of Excellence - Building a Legacy"



January 2018

Dear Fellow Historians,

          Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a successful and rewarding year as a municipal historian.  As I look out at the deep snow and plunging thermometer, I am reminded that this is a perfect opportunity to work on my annual report!  With the wonderful examples provided at our fall meeting, my goal is to make my report better than last year’s.  I hope you will do the same.

          The GAHWNY Executive Council has begun planning the annual meeting, and although final arrangements are not complete, please hold the date of Saturday, September 22.  Details will be posted on the GAHWNY website as plans are finalized.  We are very excited about the program and look forward to sharing details with you soon!

          Speaking of the website, we have not had many new publication notifications from our members to add to the site’s book section.  If you have been published recently, or know of another historian who has, please consider sending the information to us so that we can help showcase the great research being done in Western New York.

          A mailing is going out soon and enclosed you will find the 2018 membership dues form, the Julia Reinstein Career Achievement Award nomination, and the 2018 student history award application.  The student history award has been expanded – help spread the word! 

          We appreciate your continued support and welcome new members.  Please continue to check out our website, and encourage new historians to utilize the numerous resources that are posted there.  I look forward to seeing you in 2018!

Michelle Henry
GAHWNYChair                                                                           Chautauqua County Historian



Local Government Historian's Annual Report Online Form Now Available

As per § 57.09 of the NYS Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, all appointed Local Government Historians "shall make an annual report, in the month of January, to the local appointing officer or officers and to the state historian of the work which has been accomplished during the preceding year."

In an attempt to make this process easier, the State Historian has created an online form to allow historians to input their information directly. Submitting the form will automatically generate an email both to the State Historian and to the submitting historian with the submitted information enclosed. The data will be automatically stored and enable the State Historian to compile a useful statistical abstract of the field, which will be shared annually. A downloadable version of the form will be made available on the website as well for those who wish to print it, fill it out separately, and mail it to the State Historian.

2018 NYS History Day Regional Contests Held in March
Final dates are being set for the NYS History Day Regional Contests. Please check the NY History Day website at for regional information including date, location, and regional coordinator contact info. The 2018 National History Day theme is Conflict and Compromise in History.


Thank you to all who attended our 2017 Fall meeting in Batavia on Saturday, October 14th!

Dr. Shannon Risk, Niagara University talks about the evolution of the woman suffrage movement in the Buffalo area.

Q & A with State Historian, Devin Lander addressed a wide range of issues and challenges facing local historians.

More than 20 baskets and individual items were donated by historians for our Silent Auction.  Several hundred dollars was raised to support our Student History Award!

Town of Aurora and Village of East Aurora Historian, Robert Lowell Goller, gave an excellent overview on how to put together a captivating and historically relevant annual report.

Congratulations to the 2017
Award Winners!

Joshua DeBell of Geneseo was the 2017 recipient of the GAHWNY Student History Award of $1000!
Josh is majoring in history at SUNY Geneseo. 

Town of Brighton Historian, Mary Jo Lanphear is the 2017 recipient of the Julia Reinstein Career Achievement Award for excellence in her field! 

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


Are you a new historian? Moved?
Don't let the winter pass by without letting GAHWNY know about new 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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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

SAVE the DATE for the 2018 GAHWNY Meeting! 

to be held in Cattaraugus County

We are planning an exciting agenda - watch here for details in the New Year! 

Are you a new historian or do you have a change of address?

Contact us at:

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


Click here to read the revised GAHWNY By laws  (approved 10/14/2017) 


The GAHWNY STUDENT HISTORY AWARD HAS BEEN EXPANDED! Check out the details on the Student History award page!


Useful Websites

National Council on Public History

American Association for State and Local History

Office of New York State Historian

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

Library of Congress



- Allegany County
- Cattaraugus County
- Chautauqua County
- Erie County
- Genesee County
- Livingston County
- Monroe County
- Niagara County
- Ontario County
- Orleans County
- Wyoming County

- Officers
- By-Laws (pdf)
- Code of Ethics (pdf)
- GAHWNY Membership Form (pdf)
- Minutes & Treasurer's Reports

- Allegany Co. Books
- Cattaraugus Co. Books
- Chautauqua Co. Books
- Erie Co. Books
- Genesee Co. Books
- Livingston Co. Books
- Monroe Co. Books
- Niagara Co. Books
- Ontario Co. Books
- Orleans County Books
- Wyoming Co. Books
- Book Form





- Background & College Links
- Application (pdf)


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