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. The section below, prepared by Sandi Burns and Martha Magill, covers Broadalbin and Canajoharie.
From the 1824 Gazetteer of the State of New York, by Horatio Gates Spafford
Canajoharie, a Post-Township of Montgomery Co., on the South side of the Mohawk River, 39 miles Northwest of Albany, and 15 Southwest of Johnstown; bounded North by the Mohawk, or Palatine, East by Charleston, Southerly by Schoharie and Otsego Counties, West by Minden. The surface is considerably uneven, but the hills are generally arable and have a strong soil. Wheat is the chief product for market, and too exclusively the principal object with the inhabitants. It has Canajoharie Creek, with fine mill seats, and some on other streams, as Plattekill, from Schohrie County, and the Northwest corner extends to Otsquaga Creek. It has numerous roads, besides turnpikes. The early inhabitants were Germans, and their descendants still form the great mass of the population, and retain too much of their partiality for raising grain, or seed crops, and cultivating with horses. The agriculture, however, is respectable and improving. There are two Post-Offices, one at Canajoharie Village, and one at Bowman's Creek. Canajoharie Village, in the North part, opposite Palatine Bridge V., has a Post-Office, 27 dwellings, the Erie Canal, 4 stores, and some other buildings. Bowman's Creek Village, in the South part, has the other Post-Office, and 29 dwellings, 2 stores, &c. Frey's Bush, is a local name given to a hamlet in the Northwest corner, as is Mapletown in the centre, and New Niskayuna in the Southeast corner. Population, 4677; taxable property, $667764; electors,673; 24958 acres of improved land, 2976 neat cattle, 1246 horses, 6427 sheep: 25997 yards of cloth made in families, 5 grist mills, 13 saw mills, 1 oil mill, 6 fulling mills, 5 carding machines, 1 distillery, and 8 asheries. The public buildings are, 4 Dutch Reformed Churches, 1 for Baptists and 1 for Lutherans, and 17 school houses. The Erie Canal lies along the South side of the Mohawk, and will probably produce a great increase of business. (Note: original long passage being divided up.)
There are some pretty rugged cliffs along the river hills, in this Town, formed of masses of calcareous or siliceous sand-stone, the largest of which is that called the Nose. This rocky cliff it has long been known there were some natural caverns. In July 1821, a large cave was explored by a puffing and blowing party of gentlemen, and a pompous account was published, which has given to a great hole in the Nose, the name of "Mitchill's Cave,' in honor of our distinguished fellow-citizen, Dr. Mitchill, of New York. The account of this exploration says, that the party at first decended by ropes, 16 feet, to an opening of 11 feet by 30, 13 feet high, and then through another passage of about 20 feet to another room, 'and so on, and so on,' "till they reached in regular succession the tenth apartment, having also discovered several other smaller lateral rooms besides the ones above mentioned; making in all 13 or 14 different apartments." "The whole depth they decended, they supposed to be 500 feet," by guess, and most likely they were Yankees. They found this Cave damp and dirty, and they say they have found stalactities, but with all their parade about scientific qualifications, the public gets little evidence of them, from their published account of the exploration. Since the above was written, a Correspondent writes me that near Col. Frey's, in this town, the impressions of the feet of men and horses can be distinctly seen on some rocks, but he omits to say of what kind the rocks are or to point out any other particulars. The Falls of Plattekill, or Flat Creek, about 1 mile from the Mohawk, merit notice as a curiosity, as the descent is about 80 feet in 10 rods, including a perpendicular fall of about 50. There is a vein of lead ore in the bottom of this creek, about 3 quarters of a mile above the Falls, perfectly straight, that may be traced 30 rods. It was discovered it 1811, and has been partially worked by an incorporated Company. A Correspondent says it is imbedded in a kind of slate-stone.
The profile of Canajoharie was typed by Sandi Burns, Contributing Editor of the Montgomery County half of this site. Sandi's Lotts of Charleston family info is all over this site, well-detailed at the end of every section she's prepared for us. More detailed research is on her own Lott Family Genealogy site.
Broadalbin, a Post-Township of Montgomery County, bounded N. by Northampton, E. by Galway and Providence in the County of Saratoga, S. by Amsterdam, W. by Mayfield. It lies about 6 miles N. of the Mohawk, and is 10 miles long N. and S., and 5 wide. The soil is mostly a strong loam, and very productive of wheat, rye, maize barley, oats, flax, and grass; and the surface is but gently and agreeably undulated. The first settlement was made in 1776, by Daniel M'Intyre, father of the late Comptroller, and a few other immigrants from Scotland. Subsequently to this, the Yankees and Scotch formed the principal population, but the settlement was entirely broken up during the revolutionary war. The household manufactures are sufficient for clothing of the inhabitants, and a fine spirit of improvement prevails among the farmers. The land is principally held in fee simple, though some few have durable leases, and the public highways and bridges are in excellent order. Though it has none but small streams, this Town is well suplied with mill-seats and mills. It has the Chuctenunda Creek, in the SE., Fonda's Creek nearly through the centre, Frenchman's Creek in the N., and Hans Creek in the NE. corner, all of which, except Chuctenunda, and a branch of it, have their origin in Providence. There are 6 grist mills, 17 saw mills, 2 oil mills, 2 carding machines, 4 fulling mills, 2 flax mills, 1 trip hammer, 1 paper mill; 2 asheries, and 1 woolen manufactory. The public buildings are, 1 Methodist, 1 Baptist, and 2 Presbyterian churches, and 12 school-houses. The school inspectors are paid a reasonable compensation by the Town, for the time necessarily spent in inspecting the schools. The native forest trees partook of a great variety, such as sugar maple, beech, black birch, basswood, elm, white and black ash, with some chesnut (sp) on the ridges, and a sprinkling, every where, of hemlock, with some tracts of pine in the N., and some spruce and tamarack. Population, 2428; taxable property, $234184; electors, 482; 12962 acres of improved land, 2310 cattle, 554 horses, 4641 sheep; 27452 yards of cloth made in families. The inhabitants are a very civil, sober, laborious people, and their rural economy improves with the times.
The principal Village is on the W. line of this Town, in a quarter called Fonda's Bush, where is the Broadalbin Post-Office, 10 miles from Johnstown. It is situated on both sides of Fonda's Creek, on the main road from Johnstown to Glen's Falls, and contains 1 church, 27 dwellings, 14 mechanics' shops, 4 stores, 2 tanneries, 1 paper mill, a school-house, 2 taverns, and an ashery. This has always been called Fonda's Bush, but by a late act of incorporation, its cognomen is changed, as a lawyer would say, to Rawsonsville, though the people still adhere to the old name, and probably always will. There are several other places which have received local names, as West Galway Village, (where there is now a Post-Office) more generally known by the name of 'Top-Notch', and Kennedy's Corners. The first is a mere hamlet, on the line between Broadalbin and Galway, at the junction of several roads, and contains about a dozen houses, a church and school-house. The other is in the SW. part of the Town, on the road from the Springs to Johnstown.
The profile of Broadalbin was typed by myself, Martha Magill, Coordinator of this site. I'm researching the family of my gggg-gf James Stevenson: 1810 Charleston> 1820 Butternuts, Otsego Co.> 1830 Junius, Seneca Co. I am also "desperate" for any detailed information about the life and origins of James Stevenson, who was minister of the Dutch Reformed Church of Florida for a long tenure, and his wife Gertrude Hubbard. And of course, any information about the Irish Catholic (not Protestant) Woods and Magill families of Little Falls, Father James Callan, priest at St. Mary's Church and School in Little Falls in the 1870s, and the family of Bernard McCaul of the Newport Irish Settlement would be greatly appreciated.
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