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including family records, unrecorded deeds, wills, cemetery records, early court proceedings and newspapers, and unpublished manuscripts, most of these prior to 1850.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.
Volume Two contains the following: the Burgoyne Campaign; the War of 1812 (both continued from Volume 1); counterfeiting 1772; elections 1777-1815, 1852-54; the epidemics of 1812 and 1832; forfeitures; Revolutionary War pensioners; Washington County publications 1799-1825; accounts of the assaults on Quebec and St Johns 1775; weather descriptions 1777-1860; committees of correspondence; Charlotte County courts 1773-1786; coroner’s inquests 1787-1810; criminal offenders 1772-1825; Shay’s Rebellion; songs of the Revolutionary War; early Washington County recruits and participants in the Civil War; and the 1861 journal of Lambert Martin of Company C, 14th Iowa.
Kenneth A. Perry
(1999), 2007, 5½x8½, paper, alphabetical, 534 pp.