Jefferson County, New York

Ellisburg in 1824

From http://jove.prohosting.com/~lectrich: "On June 22, 1791, Governor Clinton and the Board of Land Commissioners began to plan on getting Northern NY settled. Alexander Macomb purchased all land in what is now Jefferson County; except Penet Square, most of Franklin county and St. Lawrence, all of Lewis County, and part of Oswego. This was called, appropriately enough, Macomb's Purchase. Macomb purchased the land on behalf of himself, William Constable, and Daniel McCormick. After the purchase, the land was divided into "Eleven Towns".

Ellisburg was purchased by Marvel Ellis in March 1797 but reverted to Constable. And in 1798 the NY state Legislature rescinded the regulation allowing French
citizens to hold property in the state of N.Y. Governeur Morris (who in 1782 came up with the idea of decimal coinage [and invented the word "cent"] which later
became the basis of the nation's currency) put Richard Coxe, another brother-in-law of Le Ray, in charge of the inspection of the Castorland settlement. In 1804 he
found the company holdings in chaos, almost all of the settlers gone, and Long Falls almost deserted. The company had left in debt with only eighty-two acres of land
cleared, eighteen log cabins, a sawmill, and some unusable roads.

Around this time the French government pardoned the French settlers who had lived in the area and they headed back home to France. Watertown at this time in
history only had four official streets - Washington, State, Arsenal, and Court.

But more settlers continued to come in. Early settlers during this time were mostly from Connecticut and Vermont, with a smattering of people from other areas.

Jefferson County was formed, 28 March 1805, from Oneida County. Oneida, in turn, came 15 Mar 1798 from Herkimer and included all of present day Jefferson
and Lewis County, along with parts of Clinton, Madison, and Oswego. Herkimer came out of Montgomery. Montgomery, under its first name, Tryon, was formed
from Albany County, one of the original counties of New York Province.

Jefferson County was named in honor of our third president, Thomas Jefferson. It occupies that corner of New York State where the St. Lawrence River empties
out of Lake Ontario, and thus has a Canadian border. The nearness of Canada and these waterways have been important to Jefferson County both historically and
genealogically. It is bounded on the northeast by St. Lawrence County, on the east by Lewis County, and on the south by Oswego County.

When Jefferson County was created in 1805, it included parts of eight Oneida towns: Champion and Watertown came from Mexico 14 March 1800; Adams was
formed from Mexico 1 April 1802, and at the same time Brownville from Leyden; Ellisburg from Mexico 22 February 1803; Lorraine, originally Malta, from Mexico
24 March 1804; Rodman, then called Harrison, from Adams 24 March 1804; Rutland from Watertown 1 Apr 1802. Watertown is the county seat, containing the
usual county offices. Notable features of Jefferson County include the Thousand Islands, the international Thousand Island Bridge, a continuation of Federal
Interstate Highway 81 right into Canada, and Fort Drum. The military reservation of Fort Drum has preempted a large area of western Jefferson County, obliterating
many landmarks and making small cemeteries very difficult to access. Large areas of the Towns of Le Ray and Philadelphia, nearly half of the Town of Antwerp, and
most of the Town of Wilna are included in the Fort Drum boundaries."