Hi Carol-


Jim suggested path master and poundmaster.  However, I now believe you are correct that it is poormaster.  Someone else had suggested  that as well.  I’m guessing since it’s from 1809 that the “p” could look like an “f” if the loop were a little large and someone could have spelled poor as “pore.”  It seems there were poormasters in later years in the area.


Thanks so much for the info. If I hear otherwise, I will let you know. 


Wanda Parker



From: A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Carol Kammen
Sent: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 11:21 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [NYHIST-L] Dickinson Center NY




            I have never heard of a foremaster but it might be listed and described in the New York State 1777 Town Law. If you discover what this person was supposed to do it would be interesting to know about it.


            The other person to contact to Jim Folts at the NY State Archive.  Jim knows everything and is very helpful.


            Best of luck



On Aug 10, 2010, at 10:35 AM, The HealthField Alliance wrote:



I am contacting you at the suggestion of Robert Weible, State Historian and Chief Curator New York State Museum.


My mother, Dorothy Jandrew, was town historian for Dickinson Center, New York, for many years.  I am helping her do research for a book on the history of Dickinson Center.


Records show Town Supervisors, Assessors, etc.  However, there is an 1809 listing for an official entitled "Foremaster."  I cannot find a reference to this anywhere and was wondering if you can tell me what the duties of a town Foremaster were?


Also, I would like to obtain a "job description" (of sorts) or list of duties of a Town Supervisor during the 1800's.  Do you know of any resources for me?


In fact, any information regarding Dickinson Center would be most welcome.




Wanda Parker