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Alexandria Township New York History and Genealogy

Alexandria Township New York History and Genealogy
1864 Map of Alexandria Township New York

1864 Map of Alexandria Township New York

The first improvement in this town was made about 1811 by Le Ray, who caused a clearing to be made at Alexandria Center, to afford facilities to the first settlers, by supplying them with grain until it could be raised by themselves. He paid twelve dollars per acre with the ashes and half the first crop for these jobs, and built a log barn. In 1811 the proprietors made the Morris and Hammond road, extending from Hammond village to the Red tavern, near Theresa, where it intersected another road from the river to Philadelphia. The former was cleared four rods wide, bridged and seeded with grass, but had become nearly closed up, when it was reopened as a part of the Military Road in 1820-23. The surface of the town is generally rough and rocky, but that portion under-laid by sandstone is level, with a thin clayey and sandy soil. It may be pertinent here to add that the Potsdam sandstone substratum generally prevents a level surface, but more liable to upheavals, and is covered with soil entirely brought from other formations, and various in quality with the sources from which it has been derived. Where not covered with drift, as occurs near Plessis (formerly called Flat Rook from this circumstance), it is a barren rock, which, although exposed from time immemorial to the action of the elements, still preserves the traces of deluvial abrasion. This rock never presents a fertile slope into the valleys, but is bordered with abrupt precipices, at the foot of which oftentimes are piled huge masses that have tumbled from the face of the ledge. On the other hand, where the surface is under-laid with a stratum of gneiss, as occurs in various parts of the town, the surface is almost invariably rough, with outcroppings of rocky formations.

After the cessation of hostilities between the British and Americans in the War of 1812, and tranquillity had become in a measure restored, the lands now embraced were put upon the market, and permanent settlers began to come in. The first contracts were made payable in seven years, and required the settlers within one year to build a house equal to a log house 18 feet square, and to clear one-twenty-fifth part of the land contracted in a farmer-like manner. Prices began at three dollars per acre and after 1829 mineral reservations were inserted in contracts and deeds. Among the early purchasers and settlers were James Carnagie, Samuel Young, William Martin, Moses George, Leicester Hoadly, Elijah Root, John W. Fuller, Jerry Carrier, and others.

Among other early settlers might be mentioned the following (see also in the sketches of the villages): Charles Rundlet, the oldest living pioneer in the town, in point of settlement, at least, came in from Vermont in 1817, and settled near Clear Lake. He afterwards moved to his present farm, near Plessis.

John Spaulsbury, father of Francis, William, and John Spaulsbury, and other members of the family came from Sandy Creek, Oswego county, in 1819, and settled on the place upon which Francis and his son reside.

Austin Martin, Nathaniel Goodell, Martin T. Morseman, George Patterson, Reuben Hinman, Alexander McAllister, Horatio Hubbard, Jabez, Charles, and John Birdsley, Ephraim Marvel, Jabez Peoples, Silas Morse, Samuel Morse, Joseph Huntington, Thomas Stickney, David and Clark Briggs, Solomon Makepeace, Elder Stowe, Jason Clark, John D. Davidson, Abraham Newman (father of A. D. Newman), William Carter, Daniel Wherry, Peter Lutz, Patten, Ephraim Hogert, George Rappole. The last seven named were soldiers in the War of 1776.

Abraham Newman, the only one of the old Revolutionary patriots who has any direct descendant residing in the town, was born in Stafford, Connecticut. He entered the American army in 1776, and served three years. He settled in Otsego county. New York, in 1789; came to Alexandria, Jefferson County, in 1820, where he died June 19, 1841, aged eighty-two.

Dr. Demton (Denton ?) located at Plessis as early as 1830. He studied with old Dr. Smith, of Evans’ Mills. Dr. E. S. Carlisle, a member of the Jefferson County Medical Society, is the resident physician at Plessis now. At Alexandria Bay, Drs. Charles Walton, Marvin J. Hutchins, and A. O. Blair have practiced; the latter from 1832 to 1838, when he removed elsewhere. Don A. Walton, M.D., is the resident physician there now. 1)Durant, Samuel W; Peirce, H. B. (Henry B.) History of Jefferson County, New York. Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & co. 1878.

Biographies of Alexandria New York

Cemeteries of Alexandria New York

Census Records of Alexandria New York

Federal Census Records

The first United States census specific to Adams New York occurred in 1810. From 1810-1840 only the heads of household were indexed by name, along with the number of other members of the household, their sex and a range of ages which varied between each census. From 1850 onward you are able to find all members of a family listed along with their age given at the time of the census. To get a better idea on what is available for each census see the Census Guide at AccessGenealogy.

There are no transcribed census records specific to Alexandria New York, so you’ll need to search the larger databases of free images:

State Census Records

The State Census of New York were taken every ten years from 1825 to 1875, in 1892, and again in 1905, 1915, and 1925; pre-1825 state censuses and state copies of those for 1855 to 1905 were destroyed in the 1911 state library fire. Most of the censuses that have survived can be found with the county clerk, although some are with the county historian or in other locations. For a list of the whereabouts of these censuses, consult Marilyn Douglas and Melinda Yates, comps., New York State Census Records, 1790–1925, Bibliography Bulletin 88 of the New York State Library (Albany, N.Y.: 1981), which has some errors and omissions. 2)Roger D. Joslyn, CG, FUGA, FGBS, FASG. Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

Family Search has placed some of these state census online. Currently they have from 1855-1905 as searchable images. However the 1915 and 1925 census are only searchable… the actual images are located at Ancestry and require a subscription in order for you to access them there.

Church Records of Alexandria New York

The following items are available at the Flowers Memorial Library in Watertown New York.

  • Church of the St. Lawrence
    • membership roll 1905—1926
    • list of baptisms 1889—1957
    • list of confirmations 1891—1955
    • list of marriages 1893—1928
    • list of burials 1893—1957
  • Methodist Episcopal Church of Alexandria Bay
    • list of Pastors1876—1959
    • list of baptisms 1878—1894 (not indexed).
  • Plessis Methodist Church
    • alphabetical membership roll 1856—1887, includes some baptisms & deaths
    • list of marriages 1872—1891 (not indexed)
  • Reformed Church of the Thousand Islands
    • alphabetical membership roll 1851—1890, includes baptisms, deaths, and some marriages
    • list of  burials 1851—1889
    • list of marriages 1851—1890; (all records indexed together)
  • St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church of Redwood
    • baptismal records 1839—1915, including birth dates, & names of parents & sponsors, (indexed)
    • marriage records 1850—1915 (indexed)
    • death records 1900—1915 (indexed)
    • baptismal records from St. Theresa Catholic Church, Theresa 1898—1915 (indexed)
  • St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Redwood
    • membership roll 1884—1894, includes some deaths
    • family records; birth records 1860—1899, 1916—1949, includes parents’ names, baptismal dates & sponsors
    • adult baptisms 1911—1925
    • death records 1861—1900, 1916—1951
    • marriage records 1860—1899, 1916—1951
  • St. Peter’s Episcopal Church of Redwood
    • alphabetical membership roll 1850—1901, including baptisms, births, & deaths
    • list of marriages 1851—1874 (not indexed)
    • list of deaths 1851—1893 (not indexed)

History of Alexandria New York

History of the Redwood Glass Company

Maps and Gazetteers for Alexandria New York

Old Houses of the North Country

Articles written by David F. Lane about the old homes and the families who built and lived in them; published in the Watertown (NY) Daily Times, 1941-1956 in a series titled Old Mansions of the North Country (No. 1-87), Old Homes of the North Country (No. 91-99, 103), and Old Houses of the North Country. Placed online by the Genealogy Department of Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, Watertown, NY.

Footnotes:   [ + ]

1.Durant, Samuel W; Peirce, H. B. (Henry B.) History of Jefferson County, New York. Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & co. 1878.
2.Roger D. Joslyn, CG, FUGA, FGBS, FASG. Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

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