Sunday, September 14, 2008

Military Tract

I'm getting excited now, since I will be leaving Tuesday for Albany. I mentioned in an earlier posting that I was successful in writing a grant application for the Larry Hackman Local Historian Grant. This includes my expenses to stay in Albany, one-on-one assistance at the NYS Archives and money for copying or scanning some records there. Mostly, I plan to look at some of the earliest records I know of for Scipio, the tax and assessment rolls for 1799 - 1804.

Scipio is one of the original Military Tract Towns in NY - number 12. Congress in 1776 required New York to come up with four battalions of men. The 12 other colonies were asked to provide from 1 to 15 battalions. Congress also made provision for soldiers in each state to receive land as bounty for enlisting.

The Military Tract was established to make it so by a treaty made with the Onondagas in 1788. After more congressional action and some decisions about what amount of land a man might receive, the lands were surveyed and townships were divided into 100 lots, as nearly square as possible; each lot had 600 acres.

Scipio was originally a part of Onondaga County, which had been set off from Herkimer County in 1794. The other 10 towns of Onondaga County were Homer, Pompey, Manlius, Lysander, Marcellus, Ovid, Ulysses, Milton, Aurelius and Romulus.

Scipio was set off in 1799 into Cayuga County; Cortland County was set off from Onondaga in 1808, and Oswego County in 1816 - leaving us with the present-day Onondaga County.

The NYS Archives have some early Revolutionary War and Military Tract records and I hope to find some great new information to share!


Harriet said...

I hope you have good luck searching in the archives, and will post your findings. I'd be interested in the process as well as the results. One of these days I hope to track down some early Scipio, Springwater, and Philips Patent info there.

Sandie Stoker Gilliland said...

Oh boy, Harriet, did I ever find information! I was so pleased - I found Civil War and Revolutionary War info; Military and Land grant info; school trustee reports from 1814, and so on. I think I spent every penny of the allotment for copies, plus I was able to take digital photos of some items. Much of that will be shared here over the next few months. I will also be putting together a display for the Town Offices and our History Corner.
I am not familiar with what Springwater is, but I can say the Archives has much information on early land patents.
While I was there, a family at another table was looking at an original deed and some related correspondence from a Patent that an ancestor of theirs was affiliated with. They were positively elated over that find!
Well worth the trip to Albany, for anyone with an interest in NYS.

Harriet said...

Springwater is in Livingston county. Starting with Phillips Patent in 1754, then Saratoga, then Scipio for almost 20 years, my Willis family stopped (finally) in Springwater - for almost 100 years. :) Then it was on to Rochester, South Dakota, Arizona, and I'm in New Orleans. If you come across anything about any Willis, I'd love to hear about it.