Friday, March 14, 2008


I am not sure who should get credit for the above photo.

West Mountain Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery

The earliest stone in the West Mountain Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery is dated 1816. The M. E. Church florished during the second half of the 19th century. Apparently not used after 1900. Now the abandoned cemetery is owned and annually maintained by the Town of Berne. Records in the Berne Town Hall.


William Hooker, 1827

  • Now that I already know the answer, that Union Street south of Berne on many mid 19th C. maps of New York State is an error and was really Knoxville (hamlet of Knox) to the north of Berne, I was able to do a better Google search to confirm that answer. I found four references:

A History and New Gazetteer: Or Geographical Dictionary, of North America ... - Page 374

by Bishop Davenport - United States - 1843 - 592 pages

The Annals of Albany - Page 269

by Joel Munsell - Albany County (N.Y.) - 1854

Historical Collections of the State of New York: Containing a General ... - Page 51

by John Warner Barber, Henry Howe - New York (State) - 1842 - 608 pages

Gazetteer of the State of New York: Embracing a Comprehensive View of the ... - Page 164

by Frank Place - New York (State) - 1860 - 739 pages

  • Here is a 1917 post card of East Berne that I have not seen before. It is available on eBay.

The second building from the right is what is now Maple Inn. Originally built as Overlook House, it later became Dyer Inn. There are more early post cards showing the inn on the Warners Lake Association site. One of them even shows this same scene but in a different year.
  • Roberta (Overbaugh) Mattimore contacted me the other day offering to exchange information on her Overbaugh ancestors. I replied in part:
    I am an Overbaugh descendant, but I do not study all Overbaughs - only ancestors and descendants of folks who settled in Berne. That said, there are a lot them that I am interested in. That includes you and your ancestors.

    I have just produced a report of your Berne area ancestors on your father's side. It has 54 pages with 1322 people. I don't always all all siblings in each generation as it is just too many people.

    You are descended from Johann Peter Oberbach through his son George. (Was George's wife Catrina Spawn or Catrina Schmidt or both?) I am descended from Peter [brother of Johann Peter] via his daughter Anna Maria who md. Johannes Dietz who both massacred by the Indians in 1781.
  • Had an email from:
    Susan Ward Merk
    Ward-Spittler-Metz-Lyon Family Heritage Center
    I am descended from William Ransier who fled to Canada from NY and had a daughter Catherine who married my g-g-grandfather Seth Lyon. See my family website at"
  • Had a very nice exchange of emails with Judy North and Linda Borst Hogan who are researching Linda's Fetterly / Fetterle family. Linda is descended from John Fetterly b. 1751 who md. (Anna) Maria Paabst. I had not known that they were Loyalists and after the Revolution had moved to Ontario, Canada, as had Anna Maria's parents and siblings. (Along with a great many other families from the Berne / Knox area.) In doing further research on this family I found that a number of early records misspelled the family name as Vedder.
It is my opinion that Fetter and Vedder were pronounced very similarly in German. Featherly, Fetterly, and Fetterle are Americanized forms of the German name Federle. (Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4.) Federle is a diminutive of the name Feder, which means Feather. (There is also the Dutch family Vedder in the area, but that is a different family entirely.)

Continuing my research I found that Johan Adam Papst, father of Maria Papst, served in Butler's Rangers and was awarded land in the eastern part of Upper Canada according to George Cloakey. John Papst, b. 1777, youngest brother of Maria Papst, died in 1869 in Osnabruck, Ontario. Maria's sister Elisabeth, married Gotlieb Otto, a distant cousin of mine, and they too moved to Osnabrouck (spelling?). Another brother, Rudoph Papst moved to Upper Canada.

  • My brother, Ralph, Town Historian, wrote me that he believes the article in the Berne Historical Project site on Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. Bradley may have been written by our distant cousin Marty Milner for something the they were doing in the late 90's or early 00's.


    ... is on Hunters Land Road (County Rte. 10), 1/10 mile east of the junction with Rapp Road (County Rte. 12). 105 yards on trail behind large sugar maple just beyond steep hill sign (next 1 1/2 miles). The small, abandoned, Clyne Family Burying Ground, the family of Peter Clyne (1804-1860) has a handful of graves surrounded by a stone wall perched above a shale pit. There are two children´s unmarked graves, each encircled by a ring of field stones, probably dating from the 1820's or 30's. We need someone to give us GPS coordinates.


    • For some time now I have been wondering why many maps of New York State dating from 1828 to 1850 show a hamlet called Union Street between the hamlet of Berne and Rensselaerville to the the south.

    portion of map by Young, James Hamilton, 1830

    Thinking that Union Street might be an alternative name for Union Church in New Salem, I Googled "Union Street" "New Salem" Albany"as a search. The second result was page 51 of Historical Collections of the State of New York; containing a general collection of the most interesting facts, traditions, biographical sketches, anecdotes, etc. relating to its History and Antiquities, with geographical descriptions of every township in the state, by John W. Barber and Henry Howe, published 1842. It says that Union Street was another name for Knoxville (present day hamlet of Knox).

    In taking another look at the maps I see that William Hooker, in 1827, made an error on his map (perhaps he copied an earlier map) and for the next few years other map makers just copied his error. Hooker's map had Berne where Knoxville / Union Street was located, and Union Street where Berne was located.

    Mystery solved!

    • Tom Tryniski, who is the webmaster of the Old Fulton NY Postcards site, has volunteered to scan and post early editions of the Altamont Enterprise if we can lend him microfilms. He will even make a CD of the newspapers and give it to the library that loans him the microfilm. I know that some library's have them available, but unfortunately Berne is not one of them. What can I do?


    • I am trying to identify the Tillie Zimmer b. 1856 who md. David Cook b. 1850 Town of Wright. In various census' she is called Tinna and Tina L. but according in the obituary of her son she Neil J. Cook she was identified as Tillie Zimmer.

    • A DAR Registrar from Cedar Rapids has contacted me on behalf of a woman who has asked for her help in joining the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) through her Patriot ancestor Andrew Secor b. 1758 in Rockland County. He was was a Private in the Revolution and about 1791 settled near Thompsons Lake. The woman is descended from Francis Secor b. ca. 1826 who died during the Civil War in 1864 in the Battle of the Wilderness. He married 1855 in Camden, Oneida County, NY. In the Berne Families Genealogy I have Francis as the son of Simon Secor b. 1788 of Berne, but have no evidence to support this. In fact, Francis may well have been the son of Simon's brother Andrew Jr. b. 1776 who was living in Knox in 1830 but by 1840 was in Camden. Who knows?

    • From Mark Brown:
      the Genealogical History of the Gallup Family in America" notes Almerin Gallup [1810-1888]- s/o Nathan - and a daughter ( not named but her first name is Minnie or Mary) Mrs. Henry Brown of Schoharie. As you see by my name - I'm a Brown and Henry Brown is related to my Brown's. I'm trying to find out where Henry's wife - son and daughter went to after his death. I have Henry's will - but I can't put my hands on it right now - BUT - he died about - between 1894 and 1900 I think. Henry is buried in St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery in Schoharie.
    Unfortunately, I was unable to help him.

    • This week, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) announced that it has made available for the first time online more than 5.2 million records of some passengers who arrived during the last half of the 19th century at the ports of Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia. The records can be accessed through NARA's online Access to Archival Databases (AAD).

    • Terry Wagner, a Warner descendant, wrote me about her interest in joining the DAR. I replied:
      I don't think you will be able to join the DAR using your Warner ancestors, although your fifth great-grandfather, Christopher Warner, was a private in the 15th NY Regiment. Unfortunately, according to the New York Commission for detecting Conspiracies, in 1780 Christopher Warner with thirteen other were apprehended "on the way to the enemy." He was sent to Albany by the Schenectady Committee. Examined July 23 and released Aug 4 on bail of 100 lbs. furnished by Henry Warner of Beaver Dam [his father-in-law].

    The good news is that Terry should be able to join the DAR through anther fifth great-grandfather, Daniel Secor. Daniel was b. 1756 in Haverstraw, Orange Co. and served in the Revolution. He moved to Thompsons Lake about the same time as Andrew Secor. They were undoubtedly related, perhaps cousins. Although some Secor descendants say they were brothers, I have not seen evidence to support this.