The Spafford's 1824 Gazetteer typing project is one of the first of several valuable group projects we have planned for 1998. In 1824 the boundaries of the counties of Herkimer and Montgomery were quite different than they are today. Familiarizing yourself with some of the place names mentioned in the old township profiles can help you better pinpoint the whereabouts of your earliest area ancestors. Some of the 1824 townships are now in neighboring counties. The section below, prepared by Sandi Burn, Contributing Editor of the Montgomery half of this site, covers the Towns of Minden, Northampton and Oppenheim. Northampton and Oppenheim are now part of Fulton County.
From the 1824 Gazetteer of the State of New York, by Horatio Gates Spafford
MINDEN, a Post-Township in the SW. corner of Montgomery County, South of the Mohawk, 15 miles West of Johnstown, and 58 West Northwest of Albany. It is of a long triangular form, bounded North by the Mohawk, East by Canajoharie, the South touching on Otsego County, and West by Danube, of Herkimer County. This town was divided in 1817, and the greatest half erected into Danube and annexed to Herkimer County. The surface is agreeably undulated with ridges and hills of a moderate height, and pleasant and fertile vallies. The soil is an argillaceous loam, or mold, variously intermixed with vegetable remains, resting on a substratum of argillaceous grit, or stiff clay. Minden has an extent of 8 miles along the Mohawk, where are fine tracts of alluvion, and also along the Otsquaga Creek, which runs Northeast to the river, and is an excellant mill stream. It is an excellant Township for wheat, and rich and exuberant in native fertility. Fort Plain was in this town, on the bank of the river, and it's sight still retains the name, where is a small hamlet, and Fort Plain Post-Office. Minden Post-Office is in the Northwest part of town. There are 2 Dutch Reformed Churches; one at Fort Plain, and one at the Geisenberg, near the centre, and there are 8 school houses. This town was settled at an early period of our history, by Germans, and the early inhabitants suffered severely during the wars of those times. It is well cut up by local names; Dutch Town, or the Dorf, in the North, Fort Plain in the Northeast, Geisenberg, in the centre, and Ford's Bush in the West, besides a large tract in the South part, known by the name of The Bush. The inhabitants are mostly of German orgin, and that language is principally spoken, though most of them can speak English. Population, 1954; taxable property, $257185; electors, 365; acres of improved land, 12440; 1916 cattle, 1002 horses, 3262 sheep, yards of cloth made in families, 12482: 5 grist mills, 7 saw mills, 1 fulling mill, 1 distillery, and 2 asheries.
NORTHAMPTON, a Post-Township of Montgomery County, 17 miles Northeast of Johnstown, 42 North Northwest of Albany, and 22 Northwest of Ballston Spa; bounded North by Hope, of the proposed county of Hamilton, East by Saratoga County, South by Broadalbin, and West by Mayfield. It is about 8 miles in length north and south, and 4 wide. The Sacandaga River runs diagonally from the Northwest to the Southeast corner, where it makes a short turn to the Northeast, and holds it to the Hudson. There are 3 small mill streams. The surface is level, and the land is called good, and well watered. A road has been laid out from here to the County of St. Lawrence, and is so far completed that some few have gone through on horseback, in summer, but it's route is through a wild waste, that it is doubtful if ever would be inhabited, or the road completed, without special encouragement from the State. About 10,000 acres of the great Fly, (or Vlaie, Dutch) a marsh of 5,000 acres, are in this town, which in spring affords extensive ranges for cattle and hogs. There are 4 houses for public worship; one belonging to the Methodists, one to the Friends, one to the Baptist, and one to the Presbyterians; and 11 school houses. Population, 1291; electors, 267; taxable property, $106355; acres of improved land, 7,480; 1404 cattle, 304 horses, 2787 sheep: yards of cloth made in families, 15085: 3 grist mills, 7 saw mills, 1 fulling mill, 2 asheries. At the place called the Fish-House, formerly a summer retreat of Sir William Johnson, and from whom it received it's name, there is now a hamlet of 20 families. It is pleasantly situated on the South bank of the Sacandaga River, just at the bend, where the Northampton Post-Office, and an elegant Bridge, of 3 arches, of 120 feet each, and 2 side-walks.
OPPENHEIM, a Post-Township of Montgomery County, 15 miles West of Johnstown, 56 from Albany; bounded North by Stratford, East by Palatine, South by the Mohawk River, West by Manheim or East Canada Creek. It was erected from the East part of Palatine in 1808, and first settled in 1724. It is, in general, a good township, though some part, in the North, is very indifferent land. The inhabitants are principally farmers, of German orgin, characterized by habits of hardy industry and frugality. The surface is moderately uneven, the soil a stong loam, or grit, abundantly watered with small springs and brooks, and well supplied with mill-seats. It has the Mohawk turnpike along the river, The Black River State road runs northwesterly through about the centre, and the other roads are very numerous. The Oppenheim Post-Office is on the Black River road, in the North part of town; and the St. Johnsville Post-Office, on the Mohawk turnpike, in the South part. There are two churches, one for the German Calvinists or Lutherans, and one for the Baptist; and 15 school houses. Population, 3045; taxable property, $338838; electors, 609; acres of improved land, 13005; 2666 cattle; 1050 horses; 4563 sheep; yards of cloth made in families, 22251; 4 grist mills; 19 saw mills; 2 oil mills; 3 fulling mills; 3 carding machines; and 1 ashery. In common with the other early inhabitants of this region, those of this town suffered much, during the Revolutionary war. Oppenheim was named after a town in Germany.
These three 1824 Montgomery County profiles were prepared by Contributing Editor Sandi Burns. Sandi has a lott going on genealogically, as in the LOTT family, and is busy developing three new sites: Sandi Burn's Genealogy Page, with all her lines, Sandi Burn's Lott Genealogy Page, which will cover many lines of LOTTs, and Sandi Burn's Direct Line Lott Genealogy Page. Her local interests are in her paternal line, the Lott family of Charleston, Montgomery Co., who were among the early patent holders. Currently Sandi is researching the extended family's (who included large landholders) earlier history in the greater New York City and Long Island area, as well as her own later Lotts who moved west from Montgomery County into Orleans County in the late 1820s.
More 1824 Gazetteer sections will be posted as they come back typed and are then coded.
Back to Herkimer/Montgomery Counties GenWeb
Back to New York State GenWeb