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September 2002


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"A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
"Harold H. Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 28 Sep 2002 10:30:13 -0600
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"Harold H. Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: DANIEL BORNT [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Friday, July 19, 2002 2:18 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Colonial roads/maps
> As webmaster/researcher for the Church Family of Petersburgh, NY website,
> http://churchtree.tripod.com <http://churchtree.tripod.com>
> I am seeking an online map that may show the primitive road network extant
> in 1780 in CT, MA, and eastern Rensselaer County in eastern New York
> My goal is trace the probable route taken by the Church & Stewart families
> in their 1780 migration from Stonington, CT to the Little Hoosic Valley in
> NY, where they became leaseholders on the Stephen Van Rensselaer manor.
> In particular, is the 1779 map by Claude Sauthier available for online
> viewing in its entirety?
> Thank you for your assistance.
> - Daniel J. Bornt
> e-mail: [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Ray W. Denison recently sent me a copyrighted ms. he is working on which is
a novelized story of how in 1793 his Denison ancestors moved from
Stonington, CT to the Van Rensselaer manor. He based it on all of the facts
that he could find and filled in around them. In order to avoid the
difficult and treacherous roads, "a caravan of Denisons walked behind their
wagons down to Stonington harbor, where they loaded their possessions,
including the disassembled wagons, aboard a packet ship set to sail for New
York, the Hudson River and the Rensselaer country near Albany." They came
with other families making the same trek.
"There had been consideration given to going by land, across country, about
180 miles, to Rensselaer Country.  Adults on horseback could cover the
distance in a few days. But to take loaded wagons over rutty trails and ford
rivers and streams with women and children afoot was too risky. He had heard
the stories of broken wagons, drowned cattle and lost children.  That was
enough for Robert and the others to elect passage by boat, despite its much
higher cost."

Harold Miller
Berne Historical Project www.bernehistory.org

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