Posts Tagged ‘Rensselaer Co NY’

I think I figured out the Groton, MA problem

16 February 2012 Leave a comment

In an earlier post, I expressed confusion as to why land that was disputed between Massachusetts and New York was referred to as belonging to the proprietors of Groton, MA–I couldn’t find a nearby Groton that would logically fit.  Today I think I figured it out.

The proprietors of the town of Groton, MA were granted land in 1771 as compensation for land lost when the line was ran between Massachusetts and New Hampshire (of Groton gore).  These proprietors then sold the land to the various people mentioned in the petition.  When the line between Massachusetts and New York was surveyed and “ran,” it was discovered that these lands were not a part of Massachusetts, so the petitioners were granted the land in Maine.

The land that was lost was not called Groton, it was just land that was granted to the proprietors of Groton in a similar equivalent lands deal.

I did get a copy of the map of the grant from Massachusetts Archive.  It was bounded in the southeast corner by Williamstown, MA.  One part of the grant was bordered by “Capt Gardner,” but I’m not sure which Gardner that is referring to.  It seems to include what is today Petersburg, NY.


Clues to Benjamin Nichols Dyer

22 July 2011 Leave a comment

Part of the problem with tracing Benjamin Nichols Dyer is that him and his family seemed to move around quite a lot.  Not only that, but the borders between states were frequently disputed during his and his parents’ life times.

I don’t know too much about his parents.  George Dyre and Ann Nichols were married in West Greenwich, RI on 25 Dec 1760.  There exist birth records for 10 children in Rhode Island.  However, according to the Gardner history and genealogy By Lillian May Stickney Gardner, the family had moved to Hancock, MA, next to Ann Nichols’ sister, Hannah Nichols Gardner.

Ann is listed in as having died in 1780 during the birth of her 11th child.  This is listed in Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Rutland County, Vermont (1899) and Genealogical and family history of the state of Vermont by Hiram Carleton (1903).  Carleton’s information is lifted word for word from Biographical Sketches.

I’m not entirely convinced this is true.  George Dyer did marry an Amy (she is listed as “Consort of George Dyer, Esq., in 75th y” on her gravestone in Claredon Flats), but I have seen in many peoples’ notes where they confuse his marriage to Amy ___ with Waite/Waity Gardner.  A Waite/Waity Gardner married a George Dyer in Hancock, MA on 7 Apr 1797.  This was most likely George Dyer, Jr.  Benjamin Nichols Dyer was living in Stephentown, NY (only a short distance form Hancock) in the 1790 and 1800 censuses.

In 1792, Palmer Gardner of Hancock, MA lost land in the survey of the border between Massachusetts and New York.  He and others were granted land in what is now Maine as equivalent land.

The elusive Benjamin Nichols Dyer

18 February 2011 2 comments

I am trying to look into the Dyer family who lived in what was Stephentown, but I don’t believe any of them lived within the current Stephentown limits.  I’ve done pretty much all the research I can do remotely, and I’m not sure what sort of records exist for early Stephentown/Petersburg/Rensselaer County.  Ideally, I would like to see some land or court records, wills, births, any documents, really.  I’m looking for proof of the relationship between who I believe are son, father, and grandfather.

I’m looking for information regarding George Dyer (if he ever resided in Stephentown) and any sons who lived in Stephentown (Benjamin Nichols Dyer and any others).  I’m looking for the name of Benjamin Nichols Dyer’ wife (and any other information about her), and for proof that Benjamin Nichols Dyer was the father of Benjamin Wood Dyer and Burton Hammond Dyer.  There was a lot of moving around, so I want to outline all of it so hopefully it helps with where to start.

George Dyer married Anne Nichols on 25 Dec 1760 in West Greenwich, RI.  They had at least 7 sons and 3 daughters in RI.  One of the sons was named Benjamin Nichols Dyer, who was born 3 Sept 1762, according to FHL film 925978 (record has “Benjamin Nichols Dyre” as name, so middle name is confirmed).  Another son was George (jr), born 4 Mar 1769.  After 1790, after the death of his wife, George Dyer Sr left RI and settled in Rutland County, VT.  George was still in West Greenwich with 2 females at 1790 US Census.

In regards to North Petersburg, this might be him: (

David Russell of Salem built the old grist mill which originally was conducted by Nathan Hakes, and which was abandoned about 1825. Among the first tavern-keepers of the village were men named Lewis and Dyer.

There was a Benj N Dyer was living in Stephentown in 1790, near Nathan Hakes.
There was a Benjn N Dyer was living in Stephentown in 1800 census
There was a Benjamin Dyer living in Windham, Windham, CT in 1810 census
There was a Benjn Dyer living in Onondaga, NY in 1810 census

In 1798, a Benjamin N Dyer was a member of the military from Rensselaer County:

A Benjamin Dyer is buried in the Old Congregational Cemetery in Pittsford, VT.  His gravestone inscription says he died July 11, 1819, in his 57th year, which would match up to the RI birth record.
There are also Benjamin Dyers from the time period buried in Wiswell Cemetery, West Townshend, Windham, VT (no data on inscription) and a Capt Benjamin Dyer who died 19 Jan 1856 a 77y, buried in the Shaftsbury Center cemetery, near Baptist church, Shaftsbury, Bennington, VT.

Benjamin Nichols Dyer is rumored to have married his wife in Hancock, Berkshire, MA before their first child was born in 1790.

A George Dyer (probably George Jr) married a Wait Gardner in Hancock, Berkshire, MA on 7 Apr 1796.  Waity Dyer died in 1843 in Rutland, VT.  In 1810 census, both George Sr & Jr lived in Rutland.  In 1817, George Sr died in Clarendon, Rutland, VT.  On 20 Jul 1843, George Jr died in Rutland, VT.  George Jr had a son Alanson, b 1800.  Alanson is listed in an 1861 Vermont Supreme Court case as the father of a Benjamin N Dyer.

Benjamin Nichols Dyer’s sons I believe include Benjamin Wood Dyer and Burton Hammond Dyer.  I believe Benjamin Wood to be born in Petersburg on 1 Sep 1797, but I’m not sure if Burton Hammond Dyer was born in New York or Vermont.  Benjamin Wood and Burton Hammond Dyer moved to Madison County, NY.

I looked in the publication “Records of Stephentown Baptist Church, 1795-1816” but it did not have any Dyers.  On April 9, 1820, the Wampsville Presbyterian Church society was formed, and Burton and Benjamin Dyer were supporters at that time.

Benjamin Wood Dyer married Mahala Barnard maybe in 1833.  She was the daughter of Pardon & Mahala/Polly/Dolly (Cadwell) Barnard, who resided in Madison County, NY from 1807-1840.  Benjamin Wood died 17 Feb 1888 and buried in Lenox, Madison, NY.  Benjamin Wood has a son, Benjamin Nicholas Dyer (born about 1836).  Benjamin Nicholas Dyer has a son Benjamin N Dyer (b about 1877)

Burton Hammond Dyer married Rebecca Walker Johnson of Sangerfield, NY on 15 May 1835.  He lived in Oneida at that time.  He died 23 Apr 1892 in Oneida.

Records of Stephentown Baptist Church, 1795-1816

15 February 2011 Leave a comment

A few months ago, I had checked out the book Records, Stephentown Baptist Church, 1795-1816 : Stephentown, Rensselaer County, New York / transcription by Susan A. Niles ; subject index by Susan A. Niles ; index of personal names by Dorothy Keen. Published Springfield, Mo. : Richard D. and Anne G. Niles, 1995.

The book has been cataloged under a few names and authors.  It has no ISBN, so it isn’t straightforward to search for on WorldCat.  I would recommend searching for the Subject Church Records and registers–New York (state)–Stephentown so that you can find the multiple entries for the book and find a copy near you.  I copied this from the Library of Congress.

The records didn’t contain what I was looking for, but it might include what you are.

View the Subject Index and Name Index of the records

To Do List: 15 Feb 2011

15 February 2011 1 comment
  • Almira Larkin White seemed to rely heavily on Lyman Willard Densmore’s Hand-book of Hartwell genealogy, 1636-1887.  Double check on differences.
  • Input data from Neff books:
    • Smith, Hilda Neff. From the Alps to the Appalachians. Arlington, VA: R.W. Beatty Ltd, 1967. Call number CS71 .N383 1967
    • Neff, William Alfred.  The Neff-Näf Family: A history of the descendants of Henry Neff, Manor Township, Lancaster County, PA, Who immigrated from his native Switzerland to the Colony of Pennsylvania settling at Penn’s Conestoga Manor, Chester [Lancaster] County.  Princton Junction, NJ: Neff & Associates, 1991. Call number CS71 .N383 1991.
    • Bell, Raymond Martin and Brendan R. Wehrung.  Ensimger of Alsace and Pennsylvania.  Washington, PA: 1994.  Have entered direct ancestors. Call number CS71 .E6 1994
    • Wesner, Doris.  Alsatian Connections, Volume 1: Family genealogies of Alsatian emigrants to America from the villages of Butten, Dehlingen, Diemeringen, Ratzwiller, and Waldhambach. Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1995.  Call number E184 .A4 W47 1995.
  • Input data from White (& Densmore) publications (Rebecca W Johnson and Burton H Dyer being closest relatives mentioned)
  • Download & add rev war pension files for William Porter (b. about 1750, d. 10 Feb 1843)
  • finish entering data and citing from The Dana family in America.
    1/14: finished page 341
    Need to do: Francis DANA (1737 – 1813) and ancestors
    Finish Samuel DANA’s (1799 – 1888) descendents
  • Enter data from the article “Captain Edward Johnson, of Woburn, Mass., and some of his descendants” by Hon. Edward Francis Johnson (The New England historical and genealogical register, Volume 59)
  • To research: a Dyer who is buried in Stephentown, NY:
  • Upload PDF of index for Stephentown Baptist Church records

Overall goals:

  • Fill out all data that I have for generations 3-5

To work on later:

  • Expanding/making sense of Phillippi line
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