This is an ongoing project. Included here are biographical sketches, and other "bits and pieces" that I have come across in doing lookups for people or, most importantly, that visitors to the Seneca Co. NYGenWeb site have shared. Please share your bits and pieces of information also. Please contact Diane Lerch Kurtz to contribute to this or any other part of the Seneca Co. site.
Please note: this page is in its infancy and the organization is still rough. Either browse through the information or use the "find" feature on your browser to look for a specific name, town, etc.
Biographical Sketches - Seneca County
Information previously found here is now available in the Biographies
Seneca Falls: "The Auburn Citizen," Monday, January 11, 1926, pg. 8
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph M. GIFFORD of 60 Troy St. today celebrated theur 66th
wedding anniversary. They are the oldest married couple living together in
Seneca County and so far as is known in Central N.Y.
Arrangements for a small anniverssary celebration were made by their daughter-in-law, Mrs. Fred Gifford. Only the family attended. Mr. & Mrs. Gifford were married in Medon, near Rochester, and for 54 years have made their home in Seneca Falls. Mrs. Gifford said that there is not a person living who attended their wedding. Mr. Gifford is in his 90th year, being born in Bern, Albany County April 12, 1836. Mrs. Gifford is in her 87th year. She was born in Medon, Monroe County July 17, 1839.
Mr. Gifford for more than 30 years was employed in the old Ovid St. plant of the Goulds Manufacturing Co., and is retired on a pension by that company. Mrs. Gifford was formerly Miss Mary IRVING.
Despite theri advanced age, both are in good health and both have retained all their faculties with the exception of hearing. When the weather permits Mrs. Gifford makes one to two trips downtown each day. Mr. Gifford walked to work more than a mile away, he walked that trip Friday. Mrs. and Mrs. Gifford are both members of the First Presbyterian Church of which Mr. Gifford was Sexton for many years after leaving the plant of the Goulds Co.
They have one son, Fred Gifford of Seneca Falls, two grandchildren, Vernon Wheat of Seneca Falls and Milton Wheat of Buffalo and one grandson Ellsworth Wheat of this place. [note from transcriber: Am not sure perhaps this meant a great grandson of Seneca Falls or does it mean Auburn?]
submitted by Mary Gilmore, at the History Room of Seymour Library, Auburn,
THE YEAR OF NO SUMMER
"Old accounts describe the cold year, 1816. January was very mild, many people allowed their fires to go out. February was also mild. March from the first to the sixth, was windy, but the rest of the month was lamb-like. April came in warm, but became colder, and by the first of May, the temperature was like that of winter, with plenty of snow and ice. In May the young buds were frozen dead; it formed an inch thick on ponds and streams, and it became too late to raise crops.
June was a very cold month. Frost and ice were common. Almost every green thing was killed, all fruit destroyed. Snow fell 10 inches deep in Vermont, with a three inch fall in the interior of NEW YORK STATE. All summer long the wind blew steadily from the North in blasts laden with ice.
July came in with ice and snow. On July fourth ice as thick as window glass formed throughout New England, NEW YORK, and some parts of Pennsylvania.
August proved the worst of all. There was great privation, and thousands of persons would have perished in this country had it not been for the abundance of fish and game.
In this vicinity, provisions could not be bought. Even that which had been intended for seed was used. Potatoes were peeled so as to leave the eyes in the peeling to save for planting. Many families had no wheat flour for months. Molasses was made from pumpkins , and every known substitute for food was used.
People could not get money , and they dared not fall in debt. The person of a debtor at that time, could be taken and confined in jail, according to a law repealed in 1821 "
Note: What was the reason for this change? A volcano in Indonesia, (Tambora) erupted in 1815 sending spews of ash into the air for three months. It created a band of dust that cirled the globe for one year, closing off the ultrviolet rays of the sun, so necessay for plant growth. The people did not know...or for that matter understand wind, weather or volcanic action can cause global disturbances. Now we know better. 80,000 people died of starvation as the result of the Tambora eruption. It is the WORST RECORDED eruption to cause death in history.
Contributed by Laurel Auchampaugh, Owasco Historian. From A history of the Village of Waterloo....page 72