Sandy Creek, NY Town Hall

Sandy Creek Town Historian

The History Center is open every Friday 10am to 2pm. Many new displays have been added. Special history themed events can be scheduled by appointment any day, as well as individual or family visits. Contact the Historian, Peggy Rice, at 315-387-5456 Ext. 7 or email:


Recently Completed Projects:

A Farm book has been published documenting farms in Sandy Creek and Boylston.

A complete list of ALL our veterans buried in Sandy Creek has been completed!

The third and last historic marker has been installed on the location of the Salisbury House. The first marker "The Big Cheese" and the second documented the "Lacona Depot."

Research Materials Available:

• Family genealogies
• Cemetery records
• Newspaper files (birth, death, marriages)
• Scrapbooks
• Maps (including Sanborn Maps)
• Pierrepont Papers
• Census Records
• Many photographs
• Local histories
• "Sketches"
• Assessment Records
• House histories for the Villages
• Hadley Marriage Records
• Newspapers
• Fire Department Histories

The First Settlers

The first settlers came to Sandy Creek in April 1803 from Augusta, Oneida County, NY.

William Skinner and Stephen Lindsey came with their families and household goods loaded upon ox-sleds, making their way along the scarcely-opened State Road through Redfield and Boylston to Sandy Creek.

Nathan Noyes and his family settled on the Ridge Road in that same year.

In the spring of 1804 Joseph Hurd and Elias Howe came and settled on Sandy Creek.

The Village of Sandy Creek

The Incorporation of the Village of Sandy Creek-September 4, 1878! We celebrate 130 years in 2008.

The men who formed the Committee to Incorporate the Village of Sandy Creek were:

Oren R. Earl who was involved with the development of the Town and Village since 1837;

Pitt M. Newton who was a progressive businessman who was born in the Town of Sandy Creek;

Julius S. Robbins, came with his parents to Sandy Creek in 1818 and was a successful merchant;

Matthew M. Earl, a nephew of Oren R. Earl and was engaged in farming and later a cashier of the Oren R. Earl Bank;

Danforth E. Ainsworth who came to Sandy Creek with his parents from Clayton, NY and became a distinguished attorney, a member of the NYS Assembly and gave the gift of the Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library to this town.

How did the people vote on September 4, 1878? Four hundred and five went to the Town Hall and voted. Of this total, 247 said yes and 158 said no. Majority in favor of incorporation, 69.

Family Research 101

I edit a genealogy newsletter and have done workshops for a while now and find people have many questions about family research or maybe just need a little refresher course. This page is for you!

Genealogy 101: Oral History - Every researcher should begin documenting their family history by interviewing parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends of the family. When I began my research years ago I interviewed family members and closest friends with a list of questions much like the following. Full name? When and where were you born, married? Where did you live? Why did you choose to live where you did? What did you do for a living? Did you or your parents come to the United States from another country and when and why? What are their earliest childhood memories? What are your religious and church affiliations? School memories? What do you think of the modern world? (morality, education, transportation, etc.) What memories would you like to share with future generations? Did any war affect you personally? Were there any cataclysmic weather events in your lifetime? Comments on Presidents or political figures in your lifetime? What were your happiest/saddest moments in your life? Give this or a similar list to them ahead of time. This will give them time to think and find materials of interest like letters and photographs to share.

This "Oral History" will yield interesting stories and add insight into the lives of your loved ones. I began my research after my grandparents died, too late to ask them important questions about their lives. My "Oral History" began with relatives. I knew my grandmother had a child that died at a year old. The interviews I did with immediate relatives matched the stories I had heard. My last interview was with a close friend of my grandmothers and the story changed dramatically. Hers was the only correct account of his death and could be proven with the death certificate.

Many family charts are available for researchers to use. These enable you and others to follow your ancestry backwards. Pick a pedigree chart that has spaces for these facts: date born; when and where; married; when and where; death date; when and where. These facts are the skeleton upon which we attempt to form the 'whole life' picture of an ancestor. Remember to document EVERY source.

Pedigree/Family Charts are necessary to keep family research organized. Organization is the key to success. Computer programs such as Family Tree Maker and the PDA (personal digital assistant or hand held computer) are wonderful but I like charts. There are charts for every aspect of your search. Some of these charts include generation and fan charts, family heritage charts and family group sheets that include children and their spouses. Deed search and last will and testament forms are available for researching and abstracting deeds. Census forms for all census years making reading the title of columns easier to read and many, many more.

Document every source and know the difference between primary evidence and secondary evidence. Primary Evidence is sometimes called "best evidence." It is the best evidence available to prove the fact in question, usually in an original document or record. The so-called "best evidence rule" says that the highest possible degree of proof must be produced. Secondary Evidence is harder to define. It is all that evidence which is inferior in its origin to primary evidence, i.e., not the best evidence. That does not mean the evidence is always in error, but there is a greater chance of error. A copy of an original record provides secondary evidence, as does oral testimony of the records contents. Published genealogies and family histories provide secondary evidence. In some cases secondary evidence might be of even greater worth than primary evidence if the creator has carefully collected information from many sources (actually working with the primary evidence) into one place, such as a good family history.

Classifying Evidence as either primary or secondary does not tell us anything about its accuracy or its ultimate value. This is especially true of secondary evidence. Ask yourself the following questions: How far from the original is it (when is it a copy)? What was the reason for the creation of the source containing this evidence? Who was responsible for creating this secondary evidence and what interest did he have in its accuracy?

Is a death certificate primary or secondary evidence? It is confusing to classify it as primary evidence, as is usually done, because this one document contains both types of evidence. It has the primary evidence of the individuals death, but secondary evidence of birth and parentage. The information could be either primary or secondary evidence, depending on the decedents age and the relationship between him and the informant.

The written word is only as accurate as the person who wrote it; so use the Internet, Church of Latter-day Saints records, genealogies and histories with care.


November 11 is Veterans Day. We remember these brave soldiers who fought to keep us free.

Revolutionary War Veterans known to have lived in Sandy Creek were: John Baldwin, Thomas Baker, Peter Bargy, James Campbell, William Dunlap, Jonathan Herriman, Isaac Harmon, Ebenezer Howe II, Nathaniel Jacobs, Ephraim Kimble, Stephen Lindsay, Isaac Meacham, Robert Muzzy, Jonathan Thrasher, and Nicholas Winters.

ar of 1812 soldiers were: Charles Alton, Andrew Baker, John Baldwin, Daniel Bealls, Fred Canough, Asa Carpenter, Erastus Chappell, Peter Coon, B. Or L. Covey, William Cunningham, John and Smith Dunlap, Harmonius Ehle, Sam Goodrich Jr., Nicholas Gurley, Samuel Hadley, Isaac Harvey, Philip Helmer, Eben, Elias and Newell Howe, Oliver Hunter, Phineas Lilley, Isaac Mosier, Moses Morey, James T. Murphy, Pliny Nash, Nathan Noyes, Seth Porter Remington, Reuben Salisbury, Jonathan Snyder, Joseph Tucker, John Tuttle, James Upton, Benjamin and Isaac Weser and Christopher Wodell.

During the Civil War, the Town of Sandy Creek, which in the census of 1860 reported a population of only 2,431, furnished over 220 men for the Union Army. Few indeed were the homes that were not anxiously awaiting news of a son, brother, husband or other relative at the front with his regiment during the years of 1861-1865. There was great rejoicing when news of the long conflict reached Sandy Creek. It is said that on April 9, 1865, the date of Lees surrender, the old town bell whose tolling had all too often brought tidings of the death of a loved one was rung for six hours, the welcome story that it proclaimed bringing joy and thanksgiving to all. The names of these brave men are too numerous to list here but deserve our undying gratitude and special remembrance on this day.

The Spanish-American War-1898-Clayton Allard, Harry Chapman, Carl E. and Clayton D. Crandall, Harrison Dewey, Charles H. Porter, Art Salisbury and Seymour Smith.

The Boxer Rebellion-1903-1905-Isaac Bentley, Howard DeLong and Myron Ridgeway.

World War I and II -These brave men of Sandy Creek are too numerous to mention. However, three of our men died in WWI: Erie Dana, Chadwick Gerow and Rex Hadley. These men died in WWII: John H. Alexander, Glen H. Crast, Elmer I. Guy, Walter J. And Warren E. Ridgeway, Donald C. Zahler and Rex Zufelt.

In the Korean War we lost Austin Caufield and Ralph A. Howard. These men are listed in our history files. If you know of anyone I have left out, please contact me.

Thank you to the town road crew who cleaned up the Pioneer Cemetery (Goodnough District) before the Lindsey and Woolaver families came to visit. It was so overgrown that it was an impossible task without them. There is much work left to be done in this abandoned cemetery and the other five within the town limits. I need volunteers to rake, probe for the fallen stones, help with standing stones and donations of spring flowers to be planted. Can you help?

Stephen Lindsey (1760-1841) a Revolutionary War Soldier and first pioneer to this town and his wife, Sally McNitt are buried here. Jonathan Thrasher, another Revolutionary War soldier is also buried in this Pioneer Cemetery.

A Memorial Day, May 31, program will honor both veterans. Mike Kastler and crew have installed a cemetery sign and the veterans gravestones. We thank them for their continued support. Other family names include Sprague, Potter, and Woolaver.

Sandy Creek rural cemeteries:

• Barnard Cemetery (North Street Road) west side of County Route 62 in the south central part of town.
• Noyes (Seeley) Cemetery is located on the east of the south Ridge Road, County Route 48, near the Richland town line.
• Pioneer Cemetery is in the north west part of the town near the Jefferson County line known as the Goodenough District.
• Scripture District Cemetery is south of Sandy Creek village, just west of U. S. Route 11 on the Fraser Road.
• Stevens District Cemetery is located on the Orwell Road (County Route 22) on a hilltop.
• Morey Family Cemetery was moved, late in the 19th century, from the vicinity of the Harmon Lindsey farm on Route 15 to Woodlawn Cemetery as was an even earlier cemetery located about where Harwood Drive meets the Ridge Road.
• Rice Family burying ground is located south of the Hadley Road.
• Other pioneer grave sites, never marked, have disappeared into the soil of the homesteads which their occupants cleared.
• Woodlawn Cemetery...the original purchase of land for burial purposes was bought in 1820 and is what is now known as the "old part" of the cemetery which is located on Lake Street in Sandy Creek. In 1866 Union Cemetery Association was formed to maintain the cemetery. Around the turn of the 20th century more land was added and again in 1965 a small tract was purchased.
• Wesleyan/Boylston/Sandy Creek Cemetery...the small cemetery located on County Route 15 about two miles east of Lacona.
• An abandoned cemetery book series is being researched and written for 2006. The series will begin with Pioneer Cemetery and all cemetery books will feature pictures of the stones and a family genealogy as it pertains to Sandy Creek history.

For more information contact Peggy Rice 315-387-5456 x 7

On Earth Day, April 27, 2003 a few hearty souls and myself met at Noyes Cemetery and worked on raking, mowing and planting. It was a beautiful day and half of the cemetery was completed. Thank you to Phyllis LeBeau, Rachel and Pat McConnell, Donna and Gary Coe and Margaret Kastler. Weather permitting, I will begin probing for buried stones as we have a listing of who is buried there and some stones are missing. Among the burials is that of Thomas Baker, a Revolutionary War Soldier, Robert DeLapp, 94th NY Infantry Civil War Soldier and Devereaux A. Samson, Co. E NY Heavy Artillery Civil War Soldier. Other surnames include Stewart, Russell, Rogers, Roberts, Porter, Plumley, Noyes, McLean, McGuire, Look, Lester, Johnson, Howlett, Hibbard, Gray, Button, Barlow, and Allen. This cemetery is located on the Ridge Road, County Route 48. The Noyes family located on the Ridge Road and was one of the pioneer families to settle in Sandy Creek.

Burials in Stevens Cemetery are Ackler, Ames, Babcock, Bartlett, Blodgett, Burch, Cole, Covey, Doneburg, Goff, Hedger, Hurd, Kipp, Lester, Mareness, Panghorn, Porter, Parish, Salisbury, Priest, Rice, Rich, Rawson,, Shetrau, Stacy, Stevens, Tracy, Vanderhoof, Wart, Weston, White, Wood and Williams.

Barnard (North Road) Cemetery is located on North Road just out of Pulaski, toward Sandy Creek, is in need of a lot of work. The cemetery census was done in 1952 by Mrs. Claude Taplin, Miss Nannette Hamer, Mrs. Philip Coble, Miss Nancy Taplin and was compiled by Mrs. Anna Herriman. The records show 25 burials at Barnard Cemetery. Only a few stones are visible. The family names are Alexander, Champney, Chapin, Clark, Empie, Greenwood, Herriman, Meacham, Meigs, Muzzy, Samson and Walworth. The earliest burial is L. Meigs who died September 14, 1809.

Pioneer Cemetery is where the Lindsey Family first located as early as 1803 and they are buried here! Pioneer Cemetery is located in the northwestern part of Sandy Creek, the Goodnough District. Family names are Sprague, Lindsey, Potter, Woolaver. Eunice Lindsey, daughter of Stephen and Sally McNitt Lindsey died in the summer of 1803 at the age of 12 or 13 and is said to be the first death in the Town of Sandy Creek.

Chris Vallejo did his Eagle Scout Project on the Scripture Cemetery in 2002 to honor those buried there. Chris did a great job. Flowers were planted and many of us are anxious for spring to see the results of his hard work. Chris created posters and a book with the progress of the work and the names of the people buried there. Thankfully all stones were found and accounted for. Seventy people are buried there. (There may be 5 unmarked graves that have not been recorded.) The earliest burial was that of Joel Morey, son of Moses and Philottee Morey who was drowned on April 24, 1819 at the age of 16 years, 4 months and 19 days.

Elizabeth Bargy (1764-1853) was the wife of Peter Bargy (1753-1845) a Revolutionary War soldier. Both Peter and Elizabeth Bargy are buried in Scripture Cemetery. Peter died at the age of 92 and Elizabeth at the age of 89 years.

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