Fitch Gazetteer of Washington County, New York, Volume 1


Over three decades, from 1847 to 1878, Dr. Asa Fitch of New York state collected a series of articles towards a history and genealogy of Washington County and the surrounding region, intended to discern "the date of the first settlement of the towns and from whence the settlers came." This manuscript, part of the collection of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, has previously been available only on microfilm, but its contents have now been indexed and compiled here into an annotated, alphabetical list by subject, using the chronological form of the original manuscript. In collecting his data, Dr. Fitch combined personal interviews with the oldest settlers of the region and their descendants with primary source material including family records, unrecorded deeds, wills, cemetery records, early court proceedings and newspapers, and unpublished manuscripts, most of these prior to 1850. His initial articles represent some of the earliest ethnographic documentation of events relating to the first settlement of this region by the Scots-Irish and settlers from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Included in these personal interviews were eyewitness accounts from individuals who were the participants, or descendants of participants, in the border disputes with the Hampshire grant lands that became the state of Vermont, and the pivotal events of the Burgoyne Campaign during the Revolutionary War. The numerous genealogical entries and family records featured in this manuscript trace the growth of the original families who arrived in the 1760s and the New England settlers who arrived just prior to the Revolutionary War, attempting to locate their places of origin, and carrying their descent into the 3rd, 4th and sometimes 5th generations. The complete contents of Dr. Fitch's manuscript are currently available only on microfilm, with a separate name index.

Just short of a complete transcription of its contents, Kenneth Perry's The Fitch Gazetteer organizes the manuscript's contents by surnames, topics and geographic location, in alphabetical order. Entries are annotated, citing the original location of the article in the manuscript, frequently paired with direct quotes from the original. Entries are also cross-referenced to related topics. Dr. Fitch's original manuscript was divided into seven volumes, which Kenneth Perry's indexing has compiled into four.

This Volume One contains the following: Champlain's discovery; incidents of the French and Indian wars; early Dutch settlers; the system of granting land patents; border disputes with the Hampshire grants; the massacres of Jane McCrea and the Allen family during the Burgoyne campaign; the great Burning of 1780; bestsellers in 1798; Dr. Clark's colony from Northern Ireland; Laughlin Campbell's colony from Scotland; colonial and Revolutionary War forts; the battles of Hubbardton, Bennington and Saratoga; Tory and Whig guerrilla activities; Revolutionary War prisoners, both soldiers and civilians; ferries across the Hudson river, German mercenaries; militia activities; Millerism; records of the Royal and Revolutionary War courts, 1773-1784; sheep raising during the early 1800s; Capt. Schuyler's journal, 1690; criminal offenders, 1798-1811; the War of 1812; and the Battle of Plattsburgh. Many of these subjects will overlap into Volume Two. The appendix is a chronological table of events, in or connected with Washington County, New York, from July 2, 1608, through March 12, 1813.

Kenneth A. Perry

(1999), 2007, 5½x8½, paper, alphabetical, 638 pp.

ISBN: 9780788410901