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The Montgomery County town of Charleston holds a high place on our queries popularity list. If you've researched Charleston ancestors in Montgomery County, and we know a lot of you have, we'd love to post some of the treasures you brought home - old newspaper articles, family obits or other items about Charleston pioneers and their descendants, Bible pages, Civil War letters, etc. If it's a matter of typing, talk to me about having another volunteer do it for you. Do you live in or near Charleston, or plan to travel to or through there? Would you share some of your doubles of photos of older churches, cemeteries, monuments, scenic views, ancestral houses, downtowns, etc.? I promise to return them! Pul-leeze email the Coordinators if you have a few small items of historical interest about this township, its small settlements, or former residents that others would enjoy seeing.

Fulton/Montgomery Farm Directory 1939

Charleston's Pioneers, and Centers of Business and Population: selections from "The History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, N.Y." by F.W. Beers & Co., 1878
Marriages Performed by Rev. Elijah Herrick 1796-1844
Marriages Performed by Rev. Calvin Herrick 1834-1876

1810 Census of Charleston
1855 NYS Census Index, Town of Charleston, First Election District - link to another website
1855 NYS Census Index, Town of Charleston, Second Election District - link to another website

The Ancestry of Judah Burton of Charleston
Biography of Elias Cady
Birdsa & Emily Rider Dunlap Family
Will of Simon Pieterse Van Antwerp of Charleston
Rescued Personal Letters
A Line of the Lewis Family

Charleston Baptist Church Cemetery
Charleston Christian Church, partial reading
Jamison & Hughes Graveyard
Some Small Family Cemeteries: four small cemeteries in the area of Burtonsville: Wells, Butler and Conover Graveyards and unnamed cemetery in Careytown
More Small Family Cemeteries: Old Robert Baird Farm Graveyard, Abram Davis Farm Graveyard, Un-named (Davis) Cemetery, Gordon Farm Cemetery, Frances Vunk Graveyard, Clayton Graveyard, Herrick-Vosseler Cemetery, Kimball a.k.a. Fero-Smith Cemetery, Old Union Church Cemetery
Even More Small Family Cemeteries: Quaker, Rockwell Farm, Old Bell and unnamed (Staley) Graveyards - update for Old Bell, and current readings of Shibley and Hillman Family Cemeteries

1890 Surviving Civil War Veterans and Widows of the Town of Charleston

from the Gazetteer and Business Directory of Montgomery County, N.Y. 1869-70

CHARLESTON was formed from the old town of Mohawk, March 12, 1793. The remaining part of Mohawk was organized as Florida, and the original town abolished. Glen and a part of Root were taken off in 1823. It lies upon the south border of the County and is the only town that does not border on the Mohawk. It occupies a portion of the high plateau region immediately west of Schoharie Creek, and the greater part of the surface is an undulating upland. On the east it descends in steep declivities to the valley of the creek, at this place, a narrow ravine. The streams are small. The soil is a fertile loam, mixed with clay, and is especially adapted to spring grains and dairying. The town has some manufactures consisting chiefly of sash and blinds, woolen goods and flour.

(Note: the red lettering is for emphasis in place of italics in the original text, and not links to further information)

Burtonville, (p.v.) in the south part of the town, on Schoharie Creek, contains two churches, two hotels, two stores, a woolen factory, a grist mill, a saw mill, a sash and blind factory, two carriage shops, three blacksmith shops and 36 dwellings.

The Woolen Mill of A. G. Randall runs one set of cards and 240 spindles.

The Flouring Mill of C. M. Satterly contains five runs of stones and grinds about 50,000 bushels annually.

The Christian Church at Burtonville was organized December 23, 1865, with 18 members, and now numbers 60.

The Methodist Church was organized in 1857 and now numbers 90 members.

The village received its name from Judah Brown, the first settler.

Charleston Four Corners, (p.v.) in the south-west part of the town, contains a church, a hotel, a store, a cabinet shop, a blacksmith shop, a carriage shop, a cooper shop, two hay hoop manufactories and twenty-nine dwellings.

Charleston (p.v.) contains a church, a hotel, a store, a tannery, a blacksmith shop, two shoe shops and nine dwellings.

Oak Ridge contains about a dozen dwellings.

The Christian Church of Charleston Four Corners was organized in 1813, with twelve members, and now has over 200.

The Cheese Factory at the same place uses the milk of 350 cows and makes about 100,000 pounds of cheese annually.

The Baptist Church at Charleston was organized in 1793, and now has 80 members. Eliijah Herrick was the first pastor.

A portion of this town was included in Corry's Patent, a tract of 25,000 acres granted to William Corry and others in 1637; and other parts were included in the Stone Heap Patent, granted to John Bowen and others in 1770; and Thomas Machin's Patent of 1787.

The first settlements were made previous to the Revolution. Among the early settlers were Robert Winchell, Nathan Tracy, Aden Brownley, Abia Beaman, Henry Mapes, Abner Throop, David and Nathan Kimball, Thomas Machin, Captain John Stanton, John Eddy and Ezekiel Tracy.

The population of the town in 1865 was 1,687, and its area 26,326 acres.


Mrs Polly Ship Suspended 25 Oct 1821

Polly Ship appeared before the session of the 1st Presbyterian Church asking their advice, saying that she was now living with Mr. Ship but her former husband was still living and had lately visited her! At age 17, she was married in Charleston, Montgomery Co. to Philip Grovenbach, then aged 18, by whom she had two children. After her marriage she lived with her husband until after the birth of her first child. The young couple eventually moved to Rome, Oneida Co. Soon after in March, her husband returned to their former place of residence for a load of goods, but did not come back as soon as was expected. The people of Rome, thinking that he had abandoned her, advised her to return to her father and told her if she did not go the constable would take her there. In May she left Rome and returned to her father's. In the fall of that year, she met with her husband who wished to reunite with her, but she would not consent. Mr. Grovenbach remained in the neighborhood for a year.

Afterwards her sister, Mrs. Everson of Deerfield, Oneida Co., invited her to come there for a visit. From Deerfield she accompanied her sister's family to Canada, where they all remained 3 years. After Mrs. Ship returned from Canada, she went to her father's and found that her husband had gone to Baltimore. Her mother advised her to marry again as it was reported and believed that her husband had married another woman. At her brother's she met Mr. Ship and married him about 11 years ago. By Mr. Ship she has had 8 children, 5 of whom are now living. She stated that she had not seen her first husband Mr. Grovenbach (although she always had reason to think he was living) from the time last mentioned until the past summer, when he came to her house repeatedly ***at Mr. Ship's request***, and had eaten and slept there. Her first husband has repeatedly asked her to live with him again. He told her that he has only been married once, but had lived unhappily with another woman, now in Schenectady, who has had 3 or 4 children by him. Mrs. Ship supposes her husband "does not intend to return to Schenectady to this woman, and believes he has made arrangements to dispose of his children there." Mrs Ship stated that within the past year, she has become very unhappy because she had come to think that she was living in adultery with Mr. Ship. She recently told Mr. Ship about this and proposed a separation, which he will agree to if she wishes. A mutually satisfactory arrangement for disposing of the children had also been proposed.

The session unanimously found her guilty of adultery and suspended her and she was advised to leave Mr. Ship immediately and rejoin Mr. Grovenbach, her husband. A committee was appointed to find any reasons Mrs. Grovenbach should not be restored to the Communion of the church. After a favorable report, she was restored on 14 Mar 1822.

Baptisms at the 1st Presbyterian Church, July 12, 1819:
Children of Mr. & Mrs. Ship:
Almon Sealy
Henry Rightmyer

The above tell-all tidbit, showing the genealogical usefulness of exploring church minutes, was sent to us by the Anonymous Angel, a frequent contributor to this site.

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Created: 7/1/97
Last Updated: 8/26/12
Copyright ©1997 - 2016 M. Magill
Steel engraving of Residence of Elder John Ross from:
"The History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties"
Digitally-colored interpretation of John Ross Residence © 1997 - 2016 M. Magill
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