Some years ago, when I was very new to the internet, I could not find out what faq meant. For those in that situation, the acronym translates as
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
EARLY SETTLERS is only a convenient name we gave to a list of early settlers found in one of the Jefferson County Histories. We posted that list back in 1996 in an effort to get something on the site as quickly as possible. The list has since been augmented by the good people who have sent in family group sheets of their ancestors who were heads of families in the county before 1850. These family group sheets we arbitrarily named JEFFERSON COUNTY PIONEERS and they are our signature feature. We chose 1850 because in 1850 and after, the federal and state census gives the name of every family member.
Although we still have a backlog, we welcome all Jefferson County Pioneers home to this site. Because of that backlog, and because of the popularity of the Jefferson County Pioneers, we don't add any more Early Settlers. Some day we hope to have them all as Pioneers. To that end we accept Pioneers, but not Early Settlers.
Sometimes this question appears in my email daily. EARLY SETTLERS is merely a name given to a list of Jefferson County inhabitants appearing in the Jefferson County History tired enough to lie flat on the desk while I copied out the names, back in 1996. The history gave no particulars about these men (nearly always men) except that they had appeared on some early list or other. It's up to you, the viewers, to give these names flesh and blood! Answer: I have no further information to give you, other than the name. Try putting the name in the search engine if you haven't done so already. He may turn up as a Rev Vet, or in some other list, which may give you a tad more information.
Since we have received this question by email, we assume you have access to the internet. There are several really good sites out there for beginners. We recommend (only because these are ones we have visited and liked) the one at MACOUPIN COUNTY, ILLINOIS and ROOTSWEB'S INTRODUCTION TO GENEALOGY. In addition to on line courses, any library will have some books on how to start your family history. If by some remote chance your library has no how-to books, it can order one for you through inter library loan.
You've taken a good first step by looking at these faqs. This is a large site. Large, to me, is often confusing. Therefore we have a page on HINTS ON USING THE JEFFERSON COUNTY WEBSITE. Although it has been on the site for a couple of years, the email we receive indicates that many people don't know it exists. It's our effort to make sense out of the many pages we have on the site. Take the time to skim it, at least, before asking your question. It may be answered here, or it may help you sharpen the focus of your question before asking it.
Again, we have a page devoted to answering these questions: SEARCHING YOUR FAMILY'S PAST IN JEFFERSON COUNTY. This is an attempt to integrate standard genealogical research practices with our website.
There were NO vital records kept in NEW YORK STATE (that means nowhere in the state at all) until the 1880s, and then they were sporadic until about 1900. You can't find birth, marriage, or death certificates in Jefferson county before 1880, because there were none until the end of the 1800s. None were kept. You have to look at alternative sources such as
Vital records from 1847-1849, an experiment covering only those three years. Other places to look are:
Gravestones (see Bartlett's Cemetery Records for a starter)
For a fuller treatment of this pesky topic, see JCNYGS's Informer for September 2001, pp12-14.
Where is Grampshometown? How can I find it?First, try the Search Engine at the top of the front page. If it does not appear, perhaps you have not spelled the name correctly. Next try Jefferson County Places, with names past and present. Perhaps Grampa wasn't born in Jefferson County at all. In that case you might try New York State Places. The USGS has a site for the entire United States at GNIS
Where can I find the address for...?
Although we have as complete a list of addresses as we can find, still people are emailing us to find out where to write. Click on ADDRESSES before you write us to see if the one you want is listed. If Jefferson County has such a facility, and the address is not on the website, we will definitely want to include it.
I am not really computer literate, but a volunteer offers these suggestions: "I had trouble printing the maps from within the internet also. However, I do not think that people should try to print the maps while on the internet. They should first save the file to disk and then manipulate it with an appropriate graphics program such as Photo Shop or Corel. That is my thought."
Another elaborated: "I now know how to save your 1864 Jefferson Co. maps to hard disk, at least with Windows 95. Open up the map of your choice, then right click your mouse on the map and choose "save as" and save the file as a .jpg or whatever format, in the folder of choice. It's so simple I can't believe I just found it." Your coordinator has no experience to offer, and these suggestions are her best effort.
You have three choices. Lyme Heritage offers a reproduction of the 1864 atlas of Jefferson County. This book contains every township. Elegant single maps, in watercolor, suitable for framing, copied from both the original 1864 atlas and the original 1887 atlas, may be obtained from Jefferson County Historical Society at 228 Washington St, Watertown 13601. They might also have a supply of black and white maps at more moderate cost. Their phone is 782-3491. The Historical Association of South Jefferson has black and white reproductions of individual townships from the 1864 atlas at a moderate cost, and are very legible and useful. They also have some individual maps of various villages and hamlets.
This is the warning sign of the beginning family historian. NEVER ask a person for "everything" on any family, especially such a common name as Brown, Greene, Davis, Williams, etc. Which branch of the family are you working on? What time period? Where in the world were they located? You have no idea how much material this person has accumulated. Many of us are not willing to simply hand over sixty years' research to a stranger.
On another level, the County Coordinators of the GenWebSystem are just that: coordinators. We dedicate a large proportion of our time to maintaining the sites, and have neither time nor inclination to do another's research. Many of us are neglecting our own fascinating research to provide material of general interest to our viewers. We are not a research facility, nor do we have the entire county at our fingertips. For this Jefferson County, we have tried to point you in the right direction to find your material, but we cannot supply you with names and dates.
This is not a commercial site, and we can accept no advertisements. We can, however, provide you with links to the THOUSAND ISLANDS site and to the WATERTOWN site. Remember, we do not give recommendations!
Copyright 2016 Jefferson County NYGenWeb — a member of the NYGenWeb Project
If you have any questions or comments about this page, please contact,
County Co-Coordinator Nancy Dixon or
Co-Coordinator Bruce Coyne.
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