Wednesday, March 19, 2008


The Huntersland Christian Cemetery is a long established and well-maintained cemetery. As does the Huntersland community, the cemetery also straddles the line between the Town of Berne, Albany County, and the Town of Middleburgh, Schoharie County. Earliest burial 1844. Per a meeting on September 25, 1893 the official name is The Union Cemetery Association of Huntersland. Transcriptions of the tombstones posted on the Berne Historical Project site are courtesy of Steve and Anne LaMont, keepers of the history of Huntersland.

photograph by Barbara Bolster-Barrett

  • Many months ago I started editing the Berne, New York site on Wikipida to make it more meaningful. One of the sections I added is labled Prominent Residents. Today I added Daniel Simmons who had an axe factory in Berne.
Recently I went to Cornell University's ¨Making of America,¨ a digital online archive of journals and books on American social history. Searching on "Berne, Albany" I found a mention in the book History of Cohoes, Arthur H. Masten, 1877 of Daniel Simmons, a prominent former resident that I had not yet added to Wikipida.

"Daniel Simmons began life as a blacksmith and had a forge in the lower part of the city of Albany. Here he commenced making axes by hand for an occasional customer, using for the cutting edges German or blister steel, which was then supposed to be the only kind that could be successfully welded to iron. About 1825 it was found that by the use of refined borax as a flux, cast steel could be made to answer the purpose, and Mr. Simmons promptly took advantage of the discovery, being one of the first to put it to practical use. His axes soon became favorably known, and the demand for them was so increased that greater facilities for production became necessary. Accordingly in 1826, he removed to Berne, Albany County, where he secured a small water power, erected rude buildings, and put up trip hammers and other machinery. In time these accommodations proved insufficient, and Mr. Simmons went to Cohoes, where he founded an establishment, which under years of successful management, made the Simmons Axe familiar in all parts of the globe. This became the foundation of the establishment of the Cohoes Manufacturing Company." [from THE HISTORY OF COHOES]
  • I recently had an email from Rick Plue so I ran an ancestor report for him that had 560 people. Then I did a few hours of research and ran an update that had 35 pages with 836 peope. We are 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th cousins 1, 2 or 3 times removed through at least 9 sets of shared great-grandparents. But then I am cousins with most everyone who has Berne ancestors.
  • Got an email from my good friend and fellow researcher Russ Tallman who researches his Tallman ancestors and related Helderberg area families. With the inspiration of this site he has started a Tallman blog.