Monday, December 12, 2005

Town Clerk Returns 1865 - Bill Hecht - Cayuga Co. GenWeb (the best) - CUSHMAN family (OCD)

I have written before in a previous blog, and also on the website, about the “Return of the Town Clerks – 1865" – which are registers of information on Civil War men from each town that were required by law to be filled in by the Town Clerks.

They do not all survive, unfortunately, and more unfortunately of those that do exist, many of the details are not all filled in properly.


If you are lucky enough to locate the one for your town of interest, and if the clerk did fill in all of the details, (most did not,) then you might be rewarded with many unknown facts, such as date and place of birth, the parent’s names including the mother’s maiden name if known!

As I have said before the New York State Archives in Albany has collected as many of these that they can locate and have put them on microfilm arranged first by county and then by town.

Our friend Bill Hecht, who is one of the most prolific posters of data, photos, maps, documents, etc., etc. on the Internet, has advised me that he scanned one of these registers for the Town of Springport, Cayuga Co., NY., several years ago and the complete scanned book is available on a website at .

Take a look at it and you will see the wonderful amount of detailed information you “might” be able to locate on your ancestor!

Bill also posts hundreds and hundreds of his excellent scans on the NYFingerLakes mailing list, which you can subscribe to by sending an email to: , and put the single word “subscribe” (without the quotes,) in both the subject line and the body of the message. It is very important to have no other text in the message, such as an automatic signature or advertising line.

He also posts a lot on the Central New York Mailing list as well. Subscribe using the same methods as described above. .

A warning, these files are very large. If you have a dial-up ISP it would take forever to open them. Bill believes in scanning at very high resolution and also posting very high quality images. He does this stuff all on his own buck folks, so we all owe him a big thank you!

You can see many other things that he has posted on the Cayuga County GenWeb site at . (My vote for the very “BEST” GenWeb site in the U.S.)

Bill has been posting a huge amount of modern day aerial photographs of Central New York locations. These will give you a very nice picture of the lands of your ancestors. Incidentally, I’m sure he pays for all of the flight time as well as the excellent photography.

One of our newest subscribers to the Newsletter is Charles Wadhams of California who I remember meeting back in 1992 at the Syracuse Library. We shared some CUSHMAN family information from the Old Cambridge District (OCD) and he has since published an article in the NEHGR straightening out a couple of previously published CUSHMAN genealogies.

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