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July 1998


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Dave and Karen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Fri, 24 Jul 1998 16:03:59 -0400
text/plain (101 lines)
I am a member of Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County.  HH is the
coordinator of the Saratoga NYGENWEB site, part of the USGENWEB Project.
We have recently been asked to review what was written on our home page as
the "Location and History" section, particularly the origin of the name,

Here is most of what our page says( you can view the entire page at
www.rootsweb.com/~nysarato/   :

 In 1791, Saratoga was taken from Albany County which had been established
as one of the original New York counties in 1683. As described by
Sylvester1: "In the angle formed by the junction of the Mohawk and Hudson
rivers, lies the territory now known and distinguished on the map of New
York State as the county of Saratoga."

Among the several opinions concerning the origin of the name "saratoga",
that presented in Saratoga County Heritage2 seems acceptable, "The fruitful
hunting ground of the Iroquois Indians was called Sarach-togue, 'hillside
of a great river; 'place of the swift water' until February 7, 1791 when it
became Saratoga County."

Geographically situated at the junction of the two great valleys, one
stretching north to the St. Lawrence River, the other west to the Great
Lakes and beyond, Saratoga has a rich and varied history. Henry Hudson and
his crew may have been the first white men to see this area in 1609 when
they ventured as far as the rapids near the junction of the Hudson and
Mohawk Rivers. The site of numerous early colonial settlements, the pivotal
Revolutionary War Battle of Saratoga in 1777, and a gateway for the
westward migration of many local as well as New England settlers, were all
important early roles played by Saratoga.

1 History of Saratoga County, New York, Nathaniel B. Sylvester, (1878),
2 Saratoga County Heritage, Violet B. Dunn, Ed., 1974.
> Subject: Comments

And, here are the comments made in regards to our narrative:
> Date: Sunday, July 05, 1998 2:02 AM
> While Sylvester is a great reference work it is notorious for its
> inaccuracy.The work by Violet Dunn only perpetuates these errors because
> most of the information provided comes directly from Sylvester.
>  The information you are providing as to the origin of the meaning of the
> name Sarach-toque has no basis in fact.Saratoga is the name given to the
> County when it broke from Albany County.As you know the name Saratoga is
> associated with the Village Of Schyulerville NY.It is for this reason
> the Patent issued in 1683 which included the Village was given the name
> Saratoga Patent.The earliest settlement in the patent prior to the
> Survey of 1750 existed in three areas which were the only parts divided
> 1683.These were the Village of Stillwater,Mechanicville and the Village
> Schylerville or Saratoga.Old Saratoga being the largest and its
> with the Schyuler family were the reasons the the area became known as
> Saratoga District and the name Saratoga was applied to the County.
> There has never been any linguistic scholar who has presented evidence as
> the origin of the name Sarach-toque.This is for two reasons.The first is
> that there is no expert in the Iroquois lanquage.The second is that
> Sarach-toque is NOT a Iroquois word.It IS Mohican.Furthermore the area
> around Sarach-toque and most of the adjoining County was never Iroquois
> hunting land.This was Mohican land as was the majority of the County and
> part of Montgomery County.The nearest Mohawk Village was on the Duffel
> where the Schoharie Creek enters the Mohawk.
> The Mohawks defeated the Mohicans circa 1660 and through the rights of
> conquest gained control of the area.The first thing that they did was
> it to the white men.Halfmoon 1668,Saratoga Patent 1683,Kayderoseross 1701
> and Clifton Park 1703.The Mohicans maintained a presence in the area of
> Village of Stillwater as late as 1755 where they were induced to settle
> Governor Andross as pawns to try to control trade between Albany and
> Montreal.
> Minimal research will confirm the facts I have presented.The New
> Project has brought forth a wealth of new information to examine.There is
> work by Dr Sue Bender of Skidmore College such as the reclassification of
> local Archaeological sites (Grangerville) from Iroquois to Mohican.Steve
> Comer is a Mohican living in this area with expertise in the Mohican
> lanquage.Historical research is an ever evolving process which is always
> updated as new information is discovered.
> Thank You
> <submitter's name removed>

Any comments or suggestions for other resources and verification of what we
should be saying,  opinions about the resources we used?   would be greatly

thank you in advance for all your help.   kc.