Genealogical & Family History of Northern, NY
Introduction

William Richard Cutter, A. M.
Editorial Supervisor

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam

 

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INTRODUCTION

The present work, "Genealogical and Family History of Northern New York," presents in the aggregate an amount and variety of genealogical and personal information and portraiture unequalled by any kindred publication. Indeed, no similar work concerning the families of this region has ever before been presented. It contains a vast amount of ancestral history never before printed. The object clearly defined and well digested was threefold:

First. To present in concise form the history of Northern New York Families of the Colonial Days.

Second. To preserve a record of the prominent present-day people of the region.

Third. To present through personal sketches the relation of its prominent families of all times to the growth, singular prosperity and widespread influence of this portion of the Empire State.

There are numerous voluminous histories of the State, making it unnecessary in this work to even outline its annals. What has been published, however, relates principally to civic life. The amplification necessary to complete the picture of the section, old and nowadays, is what is supplied in large measure by these Genealogical and Family Memoirs. In other words, while others have written of the "the times," the province of this work is to be a chronicle of the people who have made Northern New York what it is.

Unique in conception and treatment, this work will constitute one of the most original and permanently valuable contributions ever made to the social history of an American commonwealth. In it are arrayed ina lucid and dignified manner all the important facts regarding the ancestry, per

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sonal careers and matrimonial alliances of many who, in each succeeding generation, have been accorded leading positions in the social, professional and business life of the State. Nor has it been based upon, neither does it minister to, aristocratic prejudices and assumptions. On the contrary, its fundamental ideas are thoroughly American and democratic. The work everywhere conveys the lesson that distinction has been gained only by honorable public service, or by usefulness in private station, and that the development and prosperity of the region of which it treats has been dependent upon the character of its citizens, and in the stimulus which they have given to commerce, to industry, to the arts and sciences, to education and religion--to all that is comprised in the highest civilization of the present day--through a continual progressive development.

The inspiration underlying the present work is a fervent appreciation of the truth so well expressed by Sir Walter Scott, that "there is no heroic poem in the world but is at the bottom the life of a man." And with this goes a kindred truth, that to know a man, and rightly measure his character, and weigh his achievements, we must know whence he came, from what forbears he sprang. Truly a heroic poems have been written inhuman lives in the paths of peace as in the scarred roads of war. Such examples, in whatever line of endeavor, are of much worth as an incentive to those who came afterward, and as such were never so needful to be written of as in the present day, when pessimism, forgetful of the splendid lesions of the past, withholds its effort in the present, and views the future only with alarm.

Every community with such ample history as this, should see that it be worthily supplemented by Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of its leading families and prominent citizens. Such a work is that which is now presented. And it should be admitted, the undertaking possesses value of the highest importance --in its historic utility a memorial of the development and progress of the community from its very founding, and in the personal interest which attaches to the record made by the individual. On both these accounts it will prove a highly useful contribution to literature, and a valuable legacy to future generations. One of these considerations the authors and publishers have received the

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encouragement and approval of authorities of the highest standing as genealogists, historian and litterateurs. In the production of this work, no pains have been spared to ensure absolute truth--that quality upon which its value in every feature depends. The material comprising the genealogical and personal records of the active living, as well as of the honored dead, was gathered by men and women experienced in such work and acquainted with local history and ancestral families. These have appealed to the custodians of family records concerning the useful men of preceding generations, and of their descendants who have lived useful and honorable lives. Such custodians, who have availed themselves of this opportunity of having this knowledge placed in preservable and accessible form, have performed a public service in rendering honor to whom honor is due, in preserving the distinction which rightfully belongs to the Colonial Families, and which distinguishes them from later immigrations; and in inculcating the most valuable and enduring lessons of patriotism and good citizenship.

There is probably no section of the United States in which are so well preserved the ideas and characteristics of the original New England immigrants, as in Northern New York. At the time when most of the pioneer settlers located in this region, the war for American Independence has just closed, and many of them were fresh from the struggle, imbued with the highest principles of patriotism, and all brought to their new homes and instilled in their children the practice of the simple virtues, the industry and enterprise which have made the sons of New England pre-eminent in every walk of life throughout the nation. Another important element in the settlement of this section was

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made up of descendants of the early Dutch settlers who came to New Amsterdam (New York) before the adoption of surnames among them.

Than this region no other offered a more peculiarly interesting field for research. Its sons--"native here, and to the manner born," and of splendid ancestry--have attained distinction of every field of human effort. An additional interest attaches to the present undertaking in the fact that, while dealing primarily with the history of native New England and New York, this work approaches the dignity of a national epitome of genealogy and biography. Owing to the wide dispersion throughout the county of the old families of the State, the authentic account here presented past and present of the constituent elements of her social life, is of far more than merely local value. In its special field it is in an appreciable degree, a reflection of the development of the country at large, since hence went out representatives of historical families, in various generations, who in far remote places--beyond the Mississippi and in the Far West--were with the vanguard of civilization, building up communities, creating new commonwealths, planting, wherever they went, the church, the schoolhouse and the printing press, leading into channels of thrift and enterprise all who gathered about the, and proving a power of ideal citizenship and good government.

It was the consensus of opinion of gentlemen well informed and loyal to the memories of the past and the needs of the present and future, that the editorial supervision of William Richard Cutter, A. M., would ensure the best results attainable in the preparation of material for the proposed work. For more than a generation past he has given his leisure to historical and genealogical research and authorship. He was the author, with his father, of "History of the cutter Family of New England," 1871-1875; and "History of Arlington, Massachusetts," 1880; and edited Lieutenant Samuel Thompson's "Dairy While Serving in the French and Indian War, 1758," 1896. He also prepared a monograph entitled "Journal of a Forton Prison, England;"

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sketches of Arlington and Woburn, Massachusetts, and many articles on subjects connected with local historical and genealogical matters in periodical literature. He prepared a "Biography of Woburn," and he has been since editor of various historical works outside of his own city.

Others to whom the publishers desire to make grateful acknowledgment of services rendered in various ways--as writers, or in an advisory way in pointing to channels of valuable information, are: Frank N. Hagar, A. B., LL. B., author of "The American Family," etc., Plattsburgh; George J. Whipple, clerk Board of Education, Librarian Free Library, Malone; Milton Durand Packard, Antiquarian, Canton; William Hannibal Smith, editor "Daily Standard," Watertown; Henry Clay Northam, author, "Northam's Civil Government," etc., Lowville; Arthur Tappan Smith, editor "Herkimer Citizen," secretary Herkimer County Historical Society, Herkimer.

In order to insure greatest possible accuracy, all matter for this work was submitted in typewritten manuscript to the persons most interest, for correction. If, in any case, a sketch is incomplete or faulty, the shortcoming it, save in exceptional cases, ascribable to the paucity of data obtainable, many families being without exact records in their family line; while, in some cases, representatives of a given family are at disagreement as to names of some of their forbears, important dates, etc.

It is believed that the present work, in spite of the occasional fault which attaches to such undertakings, will prove a real addition to the mass of annals concerning the historic families of Northern New York, and that, without it, much valuable information would be inaccessible to the general reader, or irretrievably lost, owing to the passing away of custodians of family records, and the consequent disappearance of material in their possession.

THE PUBLISHERS

 

Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1910

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Debbie Axtman

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