"Few freely available census transcriptions are online for Niagara County."I have been able to find some family data from the 1880 Federal Census for one branch from my father's side (via the LDS FamilySearch.org website), but other branches don't have any online records from the same source, meaning they haven't been uploaded, or, for whatever reason, the family members weren't counted.
Another reality about online genealogy research is that many records from individual families or from cemetery transcriptions exist on personal websites. These can be useful but there is always the danger that they will disappear when the hosting company shuts down a page that hasn't been updated in years, or the owner decides to pull the plug. For that reason, I am saving any such pages that look remotely connected to my research, so at least I'll have them on my hard drive for future reference.