Matthew R. Ballard, MLS
ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1439-8235
34 East Park Street 
Albion, New York 
Phone: (585) 589-4174
Cell: (585) 690-6570

M.A. American History, anticipated 2019 - SUNY College at Brockport, Brockport NY

M.L.S. Academic Librarianship, 2012 - SUNY University at Buffalo, Buffalo NY

B.S. History, 2010 - SUNY College at Brockport, Brockport NY

A local native, Matthew graduated from Albion High School in 2006 where he enrolled at The College at Brockport, SUNY soon after. Focusing his studies in American History during the era of National Expansion and Reform (1815-1880), he has studied a broad range of local subjects including Cobblestone Masonry and Polish Immigration; completing his B.S. in History in 2010. In 2012, he earned his Master of Library Studies (M.L.S.) from the University at Buffalo where he studied academic librarianship and special collections management. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in American History from The College at Brockport, SUNY.

Ballard has over ten years of experience with local history and preservation efforts. Currently he serves as treasurer of the Orleans County Genealogical Society and in the past has served as president of the Cobblestone Society and Museum and chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission in Albion. He also hosts the Albion Polonia website, which serves as a historical and genealogical resource for area researchers interested in the Polish communities of Albion and Medina. Matthew received the Orleans County Heritage Hero Award in 2014 as part of the inaugural class of inductees for his work in preserving the history of St. Mary's Assumption Church in Albion. In 2017 he received the SUNY College at Brockport Recent Alumnus Award for professional achievement and dedication to community service. He is also the Director of Library Services at Roberts Wesleyan College and the faculty liaison to the School of Arts & Humanities.                       

Hours (Starting January 2, 2018):
Monday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am - 12:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am - 11:00am
Appointments are also available, please e-mail or call.

Closed on all major holidays.

Please call or e-mail in advance to notify the historian of your intended visit.


Genealogy Requests
*Please Read*

The New York State Arts and Cultural Affairs Law does not require that local historians conduct individual, on-demand genealogical research unless they so choose. Due to limited time, research requests on families located outside of Orleans County cannot be responded to. It is understood that the Historian will retain information pertinent to families within the county as they relate to larger historical events. Information can be provided to researchers however, the Historian cannot conduct further research beyond what is retained within the department’s files. Research requests will be forwarded to the Orleans County Genealogical Society.

Please feel free to check the list of available family files.

The Pioneer Record - Dept. of History Publication

The Pioneer Record pays homage to the pioneer settlers who ventured into the wilderness that was Orleans County. The earliest settler arrived in 1803 and many traveled along the southern shore of Lake Ontario or along the historic Ridge Road. Often call the “Black North,” the region was covered with forests so dense that light could not penetrate the tree tops. Men, women, and children toiled in the vast wilderness, clearing the land and preparing a life and future for themselves.

Founded in 1859, Article VIII of the Pioneer Association Constitution stated, “The Secretary shall keep a book, to be called the “Pioneer Record,” in which he shall enter this constitution and the proceedings of each meeting of the association, and he shall also keep a register of the names of the several members, the place of their birth, the year they became residents of Western New York, and the time and place of the decease of each member…”

It is in this spirit that the Department of History shall resurrect The Pioneer Record as a way to preserve the continued development and progress of the history of Orleans County.

The Pioneer Record is a publication that provides entertaining and informative articles about the history of Orleans County and the surrounding region.


For questions about the publication or the submission process, please contact the Historian.

Past Orleans County Historians

Katherine Rowley: 1934-1938
Theta Hakes Brown: 1938-1944
Joseph B. Achilles: 1944-1957
Cary Harling Lattin: 1958-1974
Arden McAllister: 1975-1978
Cary Wilson "Bill" Lattin: 1979-2014