Fitch Gazetteer of Washington County, New York, Volume 3


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including family records, unrecorded deeds, wills, cemetery records, early court proceedings and newspapers, and unpublished manuscripts, most of these prior to 1850.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 Three contains the following special features: two Civil War diaries, Company H, 123rd New York Infantry, 1863-65 and Company K, 16th New York Heavy Artillery, 1864; accounts of Washington County units in the battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, 2nd Bull Run, the Wilderness, Cassville and Dallas, Georgia; sieges of Atlanta, Petersburg and Richmond; assault of Fort Fisher, North Carolina; garrison life in the enlistment site at Elmira, New York, and at Forts Munroe and Yorktown, Virginia; and 1863 draft riot in Troy, New York; notices of Civil War units from New York, Vermont, Illinois, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Maryland; the Chicago fire and fires in the northwestern forests of Wisconsin and Michigan; county court records 1815-21, 1832; ecclesiastical court minutes, 1815-26, 1828, 1830-38; US immigration 1865; Pennsylvania Insurgency, 1790s-1800s; history of Presbyterian sects; Civil War Prisoners; and printers, 1794-96 and 1803-24.

Kenneth A. Perry

1999, 5½x8½, paper, alphabetical, 592 pp.

ISBN: 9780788411434