The Town of Jefferson was settled in 1794, mainly by pioneers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and other communities east of the Hudson River. Many of the early settlers belonged to leading families of early times. It is said that Jefferson was more largely of such people than most towns in Schoharie County. The records of a number of the former and present families in the town have been traced back for three hundred years or more, and there are probably many others either known to their members or that can be found.
The New York State Historical Society urges the preservation of all local history that is still known. Much of interest that could have been told is lost, but there are still living some whose lives have covered more than half the years since 1794. Among printed sources of information are New York State Gazetteers, Roscoe's History of Schoharie County, State and County records, Dr. Richtmeyer Hubbell's articles and addresses, Jefferson and neighboring newspapers. The official town records, church records, tombstone inscriptions remain. And there are no doubt many old papers relating to property and families that contain interesting items. There is a map of Jefferson published in 1856 showing the names and locations of the residents of the town and one like it published in 1866. Several members of Jefferson families now living in other places have given or are preparing accounts of their families.
It is proposed to gather and arrange as much of this material as possible. If it can be published, that will put Jefferson in the company of many towns and communities whose histories are in public libraries. There is a pretty good account of Harpersfield in Delaware County histories, and a history of Stamford is being prepared. If the Jefferson material can not be published, it is hoped that it can be kept in some safe place, preferably in the Town Clerk's Office, for such reference as may be desired, and for some later writer or writers to complete what is still needed.
All families or persons in, or interested in Jefferson, are asked to help in doing this work in such ways as each can. If each family will write out its history, with as full records and dates of births, marriages, deaths, places of residence and burial, occupations and positions held as it has or can get, with traditions of things not certainly known, the undersigned will use such strength and time as he can spare to put them in order and trace them back to earlier records. No one should hesitate to give these facts from any idea that they are not worth telling or assumed lack of skill in writing. Some little item of what seems small importance may be of great interest or importance to some one now or a hundred years from now. The information is first, the way it is told is second. Records of soldiers of all wars and of town militia companies are needed.Eugene Bouton 53 Warren Street Bloomfield, N.J.
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