Jefferson County, NY Pioneers



1. AUGUSTUS SOPER was born to Joel Soper and Rachel Hills in 1774 in Connecticut. Augustus and his brother Philo were among the earliest settlers on the Oneida Reservation land, near what later became Vernon Center, New York. In the 1800 Federal Census, Augustus and his wife Polly were found residing in the village of Bridgewater, in Oneida County. In 1819, Augustus and family arrived in the Town of Theresa, coming from Augusta, Oneida County. From a published history of the time is quoted, “He (Augustus Soper) settled on the road to West Theresa, two miles west of the river, on land later owned by Abselom Zellar.” In February 1850, Polly passed away at the age of 77 years, 8 months, 14 days. She is buried in the Old Theresa Cemetery. The latest official reference found for Augustus is the 1850 Federal Census. Still a resident of Theresa, he was then about 76 years old, and although previously reported to have been engaged in agriculture, he gave at this time his employment as that of “toll gate keeper.” The particulars of his death and burial are as of yet unknown.

Children of Augustus and Polly Soper:

2. i Palmer Laurens Soper

3 ii Lauren L. Soper

4 iii Schuyler H. Soper

5 iv Henry H. Soper

6 v Maria Soper

7 vi Harriett Soper

2. PALMER LAURENS SOPER was born 1795, and married Eliza F. Strong in Pompey, Onondaga County, New York. Palmer was a War of 1812 veteran and recipient of land grants totalling 160 acres. Palmer’s occupation was given as “blacksmith.” He and his wife had six children and, sometime after the 1840 Federal Census, relocated to Janesville, Rock County, Wisconsin, where he died on March 8, 1871. Eliza died February 7, 1896, in Galesburg, Kalamazoo County, Michigan.

3. LAUREN L. SOPER was born April 9, 1797, and married Abigail Grace Pease in Wilbraham, Hampden County, Massachusetts. Lauren had also served in the War of 1812, enlisting in Augusta, New York, and deployed to Sackets Harbor in 1813. For his service, he later received land grants totalling 160 acres. Lauren was a gunsmith, operating a shop in Watertown, New York, and later, in the village of Theresa, New York. Lauren and Abigail had nine children and resided in Theresa from about 1847. Lauren died in 1880, and Abigail followed ten years later. Both are buried in the Old Theresa Cemetery.

4. MARIA SOPER was born in 1800, and married Isaac H. Parker. They had a daughter, and relocated to Janesville, Rock County, Wisconsin.

5. HARRIET SOPER was born about 1800, and married Israel Thompkins. They had three children.

6. SCHUYLER H. SOPER was born in 1802, and married Maryette Woodward. Schuyler was engaged in agriculture, and with Maryette, had seven children. He died in 1880, and was follow by Maryette in 1885.

7. HENRY H. SOPER was born in 1808, and married Rachel Persell in Oswegatchie, New York. Henry was engaged in farming, and had seven children. Henry died in 1895, with Rachel following one year later.


1. Bartlett Cemetery Inscriptions, Jefferson Co., N.Y.; A.E. Bartlett, Ellen Bartlett, and John Bartlett, 1994

2. Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon) Family History Library, film reels: various

3. Correspondence with Jack and Nancy Soper, South Lyon, Michigan, various dates.

4. “Our County and Its People, A Descriptive Work on Oneida County, New York, Daniel E. Wager, editor; Boston History Publishers, 1896, as cited from the Oneida County NY Gen Web pages.

5. “The New Soper Compendium, Earl F. Soper, Berne, New York, 1989

6. Soper Family Bibles, various.

7. “Theresa, History of the Town , from Hamilton Child’s Gazeteer of Jefferson County, NY.”, 1890, as cited from the Jefferson County NY GebWeb pages.

8. “Tree Talks,” Volume 4, No. 3, September 1964, New York Genealogical Society.

9. U.S. Federal Census for 1800, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850

10. War of 1812 Land Grant & Pension File re: Palmer L. Soper, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

11. War of 1812 Land Grant & Pension File re: Lauren L. Soper, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

12. Watertown (New York) Directory of 1840, compiled by J.P. Fitch. Knowlton & Rice, printers.

13. Watertown City Directory for 1855, Published by J.D. Huntington.

For further information, contact:
Mark Wesley

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