Saturday, June 7, 2014

CENTRAL NY ONLINE GENEALOGY RESOURCES: Hamilton College

Today, I am starting a five-part series on online genealogical resources for Central New York.  Many people passed through this locale on their way from New England to the Midwest. The famous Erie Canal, a means to migration, runs right through Central New York.  Sometimes people resided for a few years in New York and then moved on. Some made it their home.

We all look at census records, church records, immigration documents and vital documents, but after a while we can hit a brick wall.  It seems as if there is nowhere else to look.  We often forget about university and college collections. It isn’t always feasible to go to the institution and do research on site.  Therefore, I am presenting you with what I have found online for the stay-at-home genealogist. 

I started with a simple Google search “colleges and universities in Central New York,” but you can substitute your location of interest. Please note that college and university libraries often carry information about places and people around the country, not just where they are located.

This week I will be discussing Hamilton College, a beautiful college located in Clinton, Oneida County, New York.  For those of you old enough to remember the movie “The Sterile Cuckoo,” scenes from that movie were shot on the Hamilton campus. 

Hamilton College
Clinton, New York

Hamilton College has an exceptional Digital Collections page.   Items I found of interest were:
  • Communal Societies Collections. Here you will find links to several communal societies including the Shakers, the Israelite House of David, the Ruskin Commongood Society, the Snowhill Cloister and more. Unfortunately, I have not found any ancestors who lived in communal societies.
  • Civil War Collection.  In this collection I found information on the 97th, 116th, 117th, 123rd, 126th and other Regiments.  You will find images of letters, diaries, enlistment forms, ribbons and documents. In the 117th New York Infantry Regiment section, I discovered the enlistment form for Ira E. Miller, my 1st cousin 4x removed.  I learned that he was born in Westmoreland, New York, was 23 years when he enlisted, had black eyes, black hair, was 5’6”, was a carpenter, volunteered on 4 Aug 1862 and was sworn in at Rome, New York. (1) Unfortunately, Ira died in the Civil War on 27 Oct 1864. (2)


  • Samuel Kirkland Collection.  This collection contains letters and legal documents regarding Samuel Kirkland, the founder of the Hamilton-Oneida Academy, which later became Hamilton College. There are drop-down menus with names of correspondents, names of organizations, surnames and place names. You can also do a full-text search.  In this collection I found an Indenture between Ezra Dewey and Shubel Griffin. (3) My Dewey line migrated to Central New York from New England. I now want to research Ezra Dewey to see if he is connected to my line.  The old handwriting on the Indenture will also be a wonderful transcription exercise.
  • Record of Burials, Clinton, New York, 1802-1839 This 44-page book created by Asahel Strong Norton contains handwritten entries of burials.  The wonderful thing about this collection is that it covers a time period before civil death registration was required.  Many of the entries read “A child of XYZ,” “A Son of XYZ,” “The Wife of XYZ” or “The Widow of XYZ.” The date of burial is listed and sometimes the person’s age.  I recognized many of the early Central New York surnames, such as Loomis, Carpenter, Clark, Wilcox and Chapin.(4)
  • Record of marriages, Clinton, New York, 1801-1848 This 48-page book created by Asahel Strong Norton contains handwritten entries of marriages. The handwriting is surprisingly easy to decipher. Again, I recognized many names—Tuttle, Stillman, Wheeler, Niles, Bushnell and Stanton. (5) Some of the pages contain detailed information about the wedding couple’s occupations and ages. Sometimes witness names are listed. I was amazed that the brides’ occupations were mentioned.  Many women had jobs outside the home. This is valuable information that you may never find elsewhere.
  • Lucinda Dean Correspondence. This collection contains 160 letters regarding Lucinda (Morrison) Dean.  Numerous other names are mentioned. I noticed many letters that were sent from the Nebraska Territory, the Kansas Territory, Iowa, Illinois, the Colorado Territory as well as places in New York. (7)

  • Finding Aids There are also many finding aids with titles such as Campbell Coventry Graham Papers, Holgate Family Papers, Charles Edwin Wilbour family papers,  Edward Robinson Collection and Jethro Wood papers. Finding aids will give you detailed information about a particular collection. I noticed a number of them contained genealogical information. (8)
  • Hamilton College Archives - Alumni Review Index. If you have an ancestor who attended Hamilton College, you can search for their name in this database. I searched for Scripture and found two of my ancestors—Arthur M. Scripture and Parker F. Scripture. (9) You can also search for and order articles that have appeared in the Alumni Review. 
  • Complete Alumni Register, 1812-1932. Here I found my great grand uncle Arthur Marquis Scripture listed as an honorary graduate in 1888 and living in New Hartford in 1922. (10)
There’s much more!

If you find information on Hamilton's website that is potentially useful, you may want to contact Hamilton at http://www.hamilton.edu/library/askalibrarian.

Thank you, Hamilton College, for having so much valuable information available online!



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Civil War Illustrations, 2003.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Victorian Goods and Merchandise, 2006.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) Enlistment Form of Ira E. Miller, Civil War Collection, 117th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Enlistment Forms of the 117th New York State Infantry Regiment, Hamilton College Library Digital Collections, Hamilton College, Burke Library, Clinton, New York. (http://elib.hamilton.edu/117th-forms: accessed 1 Jun 2014).

(2) Entry for Ira E. Miller, Find A Grave, Memorial #9045967 created by David M. Habben, Record added 5 Jul 2004 (www.findagrave.com: accessed 1 Jun 2014)

(3) Indenture between Ezra Dewey and Shubel Griffin, 8 Apr 1803, Samuel Kirkland Collection, Hamilton College Library Digital Collections, Hamilton College, Burke Library, Clinton, New York (http://elib.hamilton.edu/kirkland: accessed 1 Jun 2014).

(4) Records of burials, Clinton, New York, 1802-1839 by Asahel Strong Norton, Hamilton College Library Digital Collections, Hamilton College, Burke Library, Clinton, New York (http://contentdm6.hamilton.edu/cdm/ref/collection/spe-man/id/71: accessed 1 Jun 2014).

(5) Records of marriages, Clinton, New York, 1801-1848 by Asahel Strong Norton, Hamilton College Library Digital Collections, Hamilton College Library Digital Collections, Hamilton College, Burke Library, Clinton, New York (http://contentdm6.hamilton.edu/cdm/ref/collection/spe-man/id/120: accessed 1 Jun 2014)

(6) Suzy Clemens Collection of Letters, Hamilton College Library Digital Collections, Hamilton College, Burke Library, Clinton, New York (http://elib.hamilton.edu/clemens: accessed 6 Jun 2014).

(7) Lucinda Dean Collection, a subcollection of letters from the Dean-Judson Family Papers held by the College Archives, Hamilton College Library Digital Collections, Hamilton College, Burke Library, Clinton, New York (http://elib.hamilton.edu/dean: accessed 6 Jun 2014).

(8) Finding Aids, Hamilton College Library Digital Collections, Hamilton College, Burke Library, Clinton, New York (http://elib.hamilton.edu/rbr-finding-aids: accessed 1 Jun 2014).

(9) Hamilton College Archives – Alumni Review Index, Copyright 2004, The Trustees of Hamilton College, Hamilton College Library, Special Collections & Archives, Hamilton College, Burke Library, Clinton, New York (http://www.hamilton.edu/library/collections/collegearchives/alumnireviewindex: accessed 1 Jun 2014).

(10) Entry for Scripture, Arthur Marquis, Complete Alumni Register, 1812-1932, p. 147, Hamilton College Library Digital Collections, Hamilton College, Burke Library, Clinton, New York (http://contentdm6.hamilton.edu/cdm/ref/collection/arc-pub/id/2285)


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