Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sherwod Select School

Sherwood Select School

Strange as it seems, the graduating class of one person in 1910 beat the class of 1911 - there was no one to graduate in 1911!

In 1912, two folks graduated: Jennie Conaughty, who I believe went on to become a teacher at Sherwood, and George Mosher.

1913 was a busy year, with 9 graduates:

Archibald Bradley
Lyman Cook
Henrietta Bly Lehrbach
Esther Haines Giles
Phebe King
Patrick Purcell
Maude Seccomb Alvord
Emily Slocum Wilbur
Harry Smith Cook

Sherwood Select School

In 1970, my graduating class from Southern Cayuga Central School, a combination of the former Sherwood, Genoa and King Ferry Schools, consisted of 96 people. I thought that was a lot until I met my husband, who tells me his Class of 1972 in Bayonne NJ had about 900!
Small town living is indeed small. In 1910, Sherwood School had one graduate, Claude Chase. Aurora may remember Claude as their friendly mail carrier for many years. Some of his family remains in Cayuga County today, and maybe we can get them to share the tale of Claude's whaling captain ancestor from Nantucket.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sherwood Select School

The Historian for a neighboring town, Phyllis Stanton, was kind enough to drop off a copy of graduates of Sherwood Select School 1910 - 1926 as found in "Historical Sketch of Sherwood School" by Phoebe King. She knows we are trying to identify the students in a school photo of 1923 - 1924. Stop by the Scipio offices and take a gander, maybe someone you know is in the photo!
Those who graduated in 1923 were Paul Cotter, Alton Groom,Lois Venable Wightman, Charles Howland and Mildred Ward Howes. In 1924, the graduates were Margaret Kanalley (who went on to teach sixth grade at Sherwood), Volney Mosher and Homer White.
Underclassmen who may be in the photo include the graduates of 1925: Elizabeth Hitchcock Bergerstock (wife to LeRoy Bergerstock of Moravia, my mother's sister Betty was a nurse and also worked several years at Jennings Department Store in Moravia), Beulah Howland Stephenson, Margaret McCormack Youngs, Evelyn Venable and Paul Wagner.
The graduating class of 1926 consisted of Elizabeth Cotter Bokal, Carl King,William Maroney, Mary Mitchell White,Rena Powers Brogan, Virginia Watkins Swayze (Sherwood School nurse for many years and co-owner of a maple syrup operation with her husband), Gertrude Whalen Passamonte and Clifford White.
Stop over and put a name with a face!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Scipio and the Military Tract

Here are the final 25 names, as published in Tree Talks, of those Revolutionary War veterans who drew land in Township #12 (Scipio). Do you recognize any of them? I have added here a few of the comments found in Tree Talks, as copied from the Balloting Book:

Petria Rutan, Lieutenant ----------------------Deranged
Henry Tiebout, Captain
Evans Jones
George Seeds
Benjamin Preston
John Barnhart
William Barrett
Philip Conline (Conine), Lieutenant
Lewis Piper
Joseph Thomas, Captain
Stephen Mix
Elias Balis
Jonas Addoms, Lieutenant
Hunlock Woodruff, Surgeon ---------------------Deranged
Ebenezer Wood
John Kitchum (Catchem)
William Burnham
James Barrett
Frederick Dalton
Richard Morrison
John Alport
Henry Pawling, Captain
Nathan Strong, Captain -------------------------Deranged

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Decoration Day

Decoration Day is coming up next week, or as we now call it Memorial Day. Our town and indeed county are rich in military history, in fact Scipio is part of the Military Tract in NYS.
I continue here to list more of the Revolutionary War veteran's names drawn for Township #12, Scipio, as shown in Tree Talks:

Farrell Summers
William Leaycraft
Robert Cochran
Jeromus Hogelandt
George Leaycraft
Christopher Closer
David Miller
Richard Coteree
William Brumley
Alexander M'Master
Elisha Miller
John Buggarow
Henry Godwin
Samuel Jones
Richard Platt
Ebenezer Parker
John Marsh
David Ogden
Adam Wendell
John M'Cormick
John Osmun
Thomas Grill
Jacob Wright
Jacob Wendell
Patrick Symott (Synot?)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Military Tract and Scipio

On March 23, 1798, a law was passed in NY that stated lots needed to be set aside to provide for the support of the gospel and schools, and the promotion of literature.
An Act relative to lot number One, in the town of Scipio was passed March 29, 1809 which stated that the supervisor of Scipio along with appointed commissioners, in pursuance of the above law of 1798, was to execute a durable lease or leases to anyone including their heirs and assigns forever, for lot number one.
Heady stuff, but it appears that the intent of the law was to assure that any soldier on a lot that was to be set aside instead for gospel, school or library, was fairly compensated.
This information is also taken from Tree Talks of December 1969. And here are the next 25 names of Revolutionary War Soldiers who drew lots in Scipio, starting with Lot # 26:

Thomas Miller
Daniel Owens
Robert Cochran
Arthur Lamb
Edward Kizor
John Sandford
Juhn Utter
Theodore Bliss
Peter Van Buscoten
James Slack
Samuel Mitchell
Salter Pulman
Cornelius Swarthout
Henry Ennis
George Clinton
Abner French
James Stewart
John M'Lane
Alexander M'Dougall (yes, in addition to Lot #24)
George St. Clair
John Stump
Frederick Weissenfels
Joseph Concklin
Richard Platt
Henry Post

Devine Cemetery

Another old cemetery that has become overgrown and needs some tender loving care is the Devine Cemetery on Wyckoff Road in Scipio.
When I was a child, I remember having some foggy notion that it was so-named due to the connection with Heaven. Not so - there was once a family by the name of Devine that it is named for. I still like my theory better.
The Devine Cemetery is about 1/4 to 1/2 of an acre of land on the east side of Wyckoff Road, about 1 mile from Wyckoff Station. It is a lovely and private spot next to a small stream. Children used to decorate the gravesites with violets and lilac branches, and pass along the stories of its inhabitants, including the "unknown German" written about by Ward O'Hara. Some years, cows passed by or through the cemetery on their way to and from the barn every day.
I have found no record of anyone in the Devine family being in this cemetery. There are, however, at least 3 Revolutionary War soldiers here: Robert Knox, Abijah Rude and Timothy Smith.

Revolutionary Scipioites

It has been a busy week here in Scipio. The lilacs are in bloom, the trees are leafing out, and the dairy farmers are disposing of the winter's accumulation by spreading it on the fields and then planting. Ah, Spring!
Scipio has some of the best farmland in NY, and has always attracted farmers of all kinds. Our Revolutionary War veterans who drew lots in Scipio, Township # 12 in the Military Tract, and actually came and settled here discovered that despite the hard work of clearing the then- forested land and planting their crops, they could prosper due to the rich and fertile soil.
Many veterans sold or traded their land sight unseen, and never discovered what a good area they missed out on. I have a copy of a list of 100 Revolutionary War Soldiers who drew lots that was published in Tree Talks in 1969, contributed by Mrs. Laurence Tanner of Scipio. Tree Talks is a publication of the central NY Genealogy Society, based in Syracuse. You can visit their website at Many of these names do not appear in our 1800 census, nor are they in the Town Meeting book.
I thought that I would post these names 25 at a time. Tree Talks shows, in addition to the names, their rank, Regiment and Company. A few have additional comments.
These are by Lot #, beginning with Lot #1:

John Ralja
Joseph Hunt
Joshua Philips
Charles Van Note
Andreas Christopher
Ebenezer Stevens
Jacob Spelsbury
Timothy Campfield
Thomas Pemberton
Finch Guildersleeve
John Pearce (Pierce)
George Flemming
Joshua Kethcum
Nathaniel Higgins
Thomas Smith
Elbert Crouse
Peter Fuller
Johnathan Russell, 2nd
John Smith
Alexander M'Dougall
Samuel Pribble

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Early School Teachers

I was sorry to miss last week's presentation by Judy Furness, Historian for Ledyard, on our one-room schools. I have been compiling information too, and the Scipio Offices has a nice display of photos from early schools. A recent trip to the NYS Archives in Albany yielded some information on education of the teachers, and I hope to share some of that soon.
On one of my visits to the Cayuga County Historian's Office, I found school information in a "Scipio" folder. It was taken from a "Historical Sketch of Scipio Number One, Scipioville and Levanna Communities" by Ernest Jo Young in 1938.
For the Town of Ledyard, Mr. Young wrote about School # 2 or Cooney Corners School, named after an early inhabitant. He also wrote of Ingleside, a preparatory school conducted by Professor Dickinson. Washington Irving, a relative of William Grinnell, did some of his writing here.
George Swayze began his teaching career at School #3, with as many as 40 pupils at one time.
There were many people who were teachers in these one-room schools. At School #5 or Barbers Corners School, teachers included the following folks:
Fannie Taylor, Susan Brown, Matilda Jacobs, Adolphus Searing, George Swayze, Fred Bowen, Frank Kent, William Otis, Mrs. Hoag, Oscar B. Swayze, Sarah Howland, Nelson Stevens, Mary Tompkins, Fanchia Groom, Augusta Phelps, Martha Bancroft, Lucy Anthony, Mrs. Carr and Miss Post. I wonder which Miss Post?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cemeteries in Scipio

It seems like the time of year when I always do some cemetery walking. So many of our little rural cemeteries get overgrown with brush during the summer months and this time of year it is easiest to find fallen markers and do a little weed pulling. To find a cemetery, click on the link below to the Cayuga County Rootsweb site.
I think my favorite find was my third great-grandparents, Abiel and Mehitable (Smith) Mosher. After finally learning the location, my cousin and I obtained permission from the farmer to enter their property. Scrambling over a low stone wall that marked off the burial ground and ducking a few tree branches, we found a large stone clearly marked and easily photographed. What a great discovery! But had we waited until July or August, I doubt we could have entered the area or seen the stone so easily.
I've been looking at the records for the Cornwell or Cornwall Cemetery recently. There are probably 8 Revolutionary War veterans in that cemetery, and we would like to ensure they all have markers.
The records I saw that were gathered by Louise Coulson stated that the earliest burial here was in 1799, when the infant son of Joel and Huldah (Horton) Coe was buried. Sadly, Huldah joined him there in 1803.
Joel was one of Scipio's earlier settlers. He purchased property here in September of 1790 from General George Fleming. In the early spring of 1796, Joel and a few other men, including his brother-in-law Benjamin Fordyce, came to Scipio. They built log homes, cleared land and planted corn, then returned to New Jersey. In the fall, they returned with their families to settle in Scipio and harvest their first crops.
The Revolutionary War veterans known to be buried here are Ebenezer Cheever, Joel Coe, Elias Manchester, Samuel Hoskins, Frederick Van Liew, Caleb Wadams, Israel Ward, and Benjamin Fordyce who is in the Fordyce burial ground nearby.

Weavers in the Census

After my recent post on the Strong family, there is a nice commentary you should read, giving more details about this industrious family. One of those details is the fact that Rhoda Strong, a daughter of Epaphroditis Strong, married a weaver by the name of Henry Johnson in 1829, moving to Genesee County by 1840.
This may seem like a strange occupation for a man, but the truth is that in those mid-1800's, many men were weavers.
Scipio has a jacquard coverlet woven in 1834 on display at the Scipio offices, and in an effort to learn about these and the weaving process I visited the Alling Coverlet Museum in Palmyra, NY a few years ago. It is well worth the time. They have on display at least 50 different coverlets, and an enormous amount of information on weavers.
The museum has one of the looms used to weave in this style on display. The weaver could use a series of cards to create different design elements, creating a reverse design on the other side.
Often, these men were itinerant, with weaving as a part-time job when not busy with farming or other business. They would travel to a town and advertise their coverlets as custom-made. Scipio's coverlet was identified as most likely created by a man from Groton, a nearby town.