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 and give you leads as to where to search for records or descendants. Several of the 1824 townships are now in Fulton County. The section below, prepared by Olga Sprague, covers the former Montgomery Towns of Johnstown, Stratford and Mayfield, which all became part of Fulton County to the north.

From the 1824 Gazetteer of the State of New York, by Horatio Gates Spafford

JOHNSTOWN, a Post-Township, the capital of Montgomery County, 40 miles NW. of Albany; bounded N. by Hamilton County, E. by Mayfield and Amsterdam, S. by Charleston or the Mohawk river, W. by Palatine and Stratford. Its extent N. and S., is about 22 miles, and 10 miles E. and West. The surface is but moderately uneven, except in the N. part and on the W. border, through which a high ridge or hill extends, called the Klipse, from NE. to SW. The soil is pretty uniformly a stiff argillaceous loam, or brownish grit mold, variously combined with vegetable remains, and in some parts running into black muck. There are tracts also, of sandy alluvion. The principal mill stream is the Cayadutta, or Canada Creek, which rises in the N. and W. boundaries of the Village of Johnstown, runs S. to and enters the Mohawk River just above Caughnawaga. It is an opulent, rich township of land, agreeably undulated, and in many respects its early history has an interesting connection with our 'olden times.' The present inhabitants are a mixture, rather than a compound, of Yankees, Scotch, Dutch, German, and other immigrants and their descendants, remarkably sociable and polite in their manners, and seem to be very industrious and intent on keeping pace, in every improvement, with the progress of things around them. There are 9 houses of worship, belonging to various denominations of Christians, and 33 school-houses. Population, 6527; taxable property, $912572; electors, 1202; 35776 acres of improved land, 5829 cattle, 2674 horses, 9273 sheep; 48952 yards of cloth made in families: 16 grist mills, 26 saw mills, 1 oil mill, 4 fulling mills, 4 carding machines, 1 iron works, 1 trip hammer, 2 distilleries, 2 asheries. The Village of Johnstown, where is the Post Office of that name, is situated about 4 miles N. of the Mohawk, nearly central in the township, 40 miles NW. of Albany. It is an incorporated Village, or Borough, situated on a handsome plain, skirted on the N. and W. by Cayadutta creek, and on the S. by a hill of moderate elevation and a gentle acclivity. The streets are in right lines and angles, 5 running N. and S., and 4 E. and W. Besides the Court House, Jail, a fire-proof Clerk's Office, County buildings, there are 140 dwelling houses, 50 stores and shops, 2 printing offices, 10 law offices, an Episcopal, a Lutheran, and a Presbyterian church, and an Academy, in which also is kept a Lancaster school. The whole population is estimated at 1000, and I wish my Correspondents had noted the mechanical establishments. (original long paragraph being broken up here.)

Cahnawaga, or Caughnawaga, a Post-Village of this Town, in the S. part, near the Mohawk, has 35 to 40 houses and stores, a Dutch Reformed church, the Post-office, and a school house. It is on the Mohawk turnpike, 39 miles from Albany, and was once the residence of the Mohawk Indians. At Kingsborough, 4 miles N. of Johnstown Village, there are 2 meeting houses, 1 for Methodists, and 1 for Presbyterians, and extensive manufactories of tin ware, and leather gloves and mittens; of the latter, in 1821, there were made here 4000 dozen pair. Tripe's Hill (sp), is a local name given to the river-hill in the SE. corner; as is Albany Bush, and the Sand Flats, to tracts in the S. part, 2 or 3 miles from the river. The 'Hall ' erected by Sir Wm. Johnson in 1773, and in which he resided to the time of his death, is beautifully situated on a fine rise of ground, three quarters of a mile NW. of the Village of Johnstown, commanding a charming view of the Village and the surrounding country. The Battle of Johnstown, which has been singularly overlooked on our historic notices, was fought on the 'Hall Farm,' Oct.25, 1781, in which the British and Indians were defeated.- Their force was about 600, including Indians, which was reduced to 220 on their return to Canada. Col. Marinus Willett, was the commanding officer of the Republican forces, and has under his command about 400 levies and militia, and 60 Oneida Indians. Johnstown has been settled about 70 years, and its early inhabitants suffered very severely during the wars of those times. It received its name from Sir. Wm. Johnson. For some other notices, see the 1st edition of this Work. The Court house, Jail and the Episcopal church, in this Village, were built by Sir Wm. Johnson, whose remains repose in the church. The C.H. is of brick, and the other 2 of stone, brought from Tripe's Hill. In those days, the will of Sir William was law. He assessed the inhabitants in a certain number of loads of stone, and the people paid the tax without difficulty! It was fortunate for this country that the Johnson family adhered to the British during the Revolutionary contest, by which their immense possessions were forfeited, confiscated and became public property, now allodial freehold, owned by its occupants, real freeholders.

STRATFORD a Township in the NW. corner of Montgomery County, 15 miles NW. of Johnstown; bounded N. by the proposed County of Hamilton, E. by Johnstown, S. by Palatine and Oppenheim, and W. by the town of Salisbury of Herkimer County. Its extent N. and S. about 10 miles, E. and W. 9. It is a wild tract of barren country, marshy, and hilly, and clad in evergreens, of very little value, though there is some tolerably good grazing land. Population, 407; taxable property, $97817; electors,75; acres improved land, 1374; cattle, 355; horses 56; sheep, 486; 4354 yards of cloth made in families; 1 grist mill, 3 saw mills.

MAYFIELD a Post-Township of Montgomery County, 8 miles NE. of Johnstown, and 40 miles NW. of Albany; bounded N. by Hope, E. by Northampton, and Broadalbin, S. by Amsterdam, W. by Johnstown. It is about 4 1/2 miles wide, and 10 long N. and south. In 1805, Wells was erected from the N. end of Mayfield and Northampton. The soil is productive, and well adapted for grain or grass; and it has an agreeable diversity of surface, except in the northern part, which is mountainous. The mill-streams are Cranberry Creek, and Mayfield and Fonda's Creeks, waters of the Sacandaga. There are 2 Post Offices, Mayfield, near the centre, and Cranberry Creek, at a small hamlet in the NE. part of the town. The public houses are, 2 Dutch Reformed, and 1 Friends' Meeting House, and 12 school houses. Population, 2025; taxable property, $178325; electors,416; 9691 acres of improved land, 1857 cattle, 561 horses, 3533 sheep; 17243 yds. of cloth made in families; 6 grist mills, 8 saw mills, 3 fulling mills, 3 carding machines, 1 trip hammer, 1 small furnace, 1 rake manufactory, and 2 asheries. Mayfield Mountain, as it is here called, extends in a continuous ridge to the Mohawk, but with a moderate elevation, and seems to be connected with the Klipse.- Cranberry Creek P.O., is 14 miles NE. of Johnstown, 5 from the Fish House.

These three profiles were typed by Olga Sprague. Olga also prepared the 1824 county profile and other township profiles.

"My husband Tage and I have purchased a tumble down farm/homestead on Sanders Rd. Town of Minden. It is our hope to restore the home and convert the clusters of barns to photography and sculpting studios, (of course a token horse or cow maybe even a pig will grace the seven acres.) The property is south of Rte. 5s on the same side of the airport; in fact one can see the rooftops through the hedgerow when turning off of 5s. Our soon to be neighbors claim the spring-fed pond on the property was a watering hole for the native tribes of Fort Plain and the original section of the house is suspiciously similar to a one room school house... needless to say I would be thrilled and very grateful to receive any information regarding this homestead and Sanders Rd. In 1902 the farm owner was Burton Moyer.- olga sprague"

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Last Updated: 2/15/98
Revised: 2/23/04
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