Site News Archive 2009

Current News | January - June 2008 | July - December 2008

December 20, 2009
Initial review of gravestone photos taken during the latter half of November continues and the cemeteries listed below have been updated based on that review. We are also reviewing all of the photos we've taken of the smaller cemeteries to identify stones we may have overlooked or misread.  Additionally footstones that can't be tied to either a headstone or monument are being added to reflect a more accurate inventory of the burials located in each cemetery. Consequently there are now burials listed with just initials or a given name with the surname listed as unknown. As we finish up the photo review, we're concurrently working on marriages and deaths. Updates to those two collections will be posted after the first of the year.

Based on the ongoing review of gravestone photos, the following cemeteries have been updated:
Brookside Cemetery, Town of Watertown, Jefferson County
Depauville Cemetery, Town of Clayton, Jefferson County
North Cemetery, Town of Henderson, Jefferson County
North Watertown Cemetery, City of Watertown, Jefferson County
Putnam Cemetery, Town of Lyme, Jefferson County
Riverside Cemetery, Town of Cape Vincent, Jefferson County
Saint Cyril's Cemetery, Town of Alexandria, Jefferson County
Stone Mills Cemetery, Town of Orleans, Jefferson County

Looking forward, the next major update/upgrade to the site is currently planned for the first week in January. In addition to updates to burials, a fairly significant upgrade to the site is also planned. This upgrade ideally will simplify requesting gravestone photos and will display pending and completed photos requests under burial details.  The Civil War collection is being totally rewritten to reflect the initial results of an ongoing research project.

November 8, 2009
Work continues on fixing some formatting issues and a few occurrences where not all the records were being displayed in several of the searches. Based on a user suggestion, it's now possible to view burials directly from the Cemetery listing. As always, please let us know if we've broken anything.

Burials have been updated in the following cemeteries:
Black Creek Cemetery, Town of Wilna: initial visit with approximately 20% of the cemetery inventoried
Black River Cemetery, Town of Rutland: minor updates/corrections
Brookside Cemetery, Town of Watertown: corrections/additions to both burials and Section information
North Watertown Cemetery, City of Watertown: additions and corrections
Oakwood Cemetery, Town of Theresa: minor updates
Putnam Cemetery, Town of Lyme: minor updates

October 13, 2009
We're in the process of cleaning up a lot of the pages to resolve some formatting issues. Ideally we won't break anything; however, if you experience issues with things not working properly, please let us know using the contact page so we can resolve the issues.

October 10, 2009
Most of the burials have been reloaded to reflect the correct photo numbers as well as numerous corrections to the information presented. Additionally photos take in the following cemeteries have been reviewed and updates posted. With this update, we now have over 117,000 burials online supported by well over 50,000 gravestone photographs.

Brookside Cemetery, Town of Watertown: full inventory of Sections 1883F, O, and P.
Calvary Cemetery, Town of Watertown: most of Sections 1 and 2 photographed.
Degel Israel Old, Town of Watertown: fully inventoried, however some stones need to be cleaned to obtain a full transcription.
Old Theresa Cemetery, Town of Theresa: continuation of on-going inventory.

September 20, 2009
We continue to visit cemeteries in order to fulfill requests for gravestone photos and to finalize several ongoing full inventories. Unfortunately because of the rains in June and July, it's unlikely that we'll be able to provide nearly as many photographs as we had hoped. The rains also impacted our ability to do any work in Lewis County.

We're indebted to Ann Sewert for providing photos of the gravestones located in Kepler Cemetery, Town of Alexandria. Ann and her family have been maintaining this cemetery, which is located on private property, and graciously made the photos available.

Based on recent visits, initial photo review and photos proved by Ann, burials in the following cemeteries in Jefferson County have been updated:

Barnes Settlement Cemetery, Town of Alexandria
Brownville Cemetery, Town of Brownville
Dexter Cemetery, Town of Brownville
Ellisburg Cemetery, Town of Ellisburg
Foster Cemetery, Town of Henderson
Kepler Cemetery, Town of Alexandria
North Watertown Cemetery, City of Watertown
Oxbow Cemetery (Oxbow Old Cemetery), Town of Antwerp
Oxbow New Cemetery, Town of Antwerp
Redwood Cemetery, Town of Alexandria
Rural Cemetery (Adams Rural Cemetery), Town of Adams
Saint John's Cemetery, Town of Orleans
Saint Xavier Cemetery, Town of Alexandria
Sanford Corners Cemetery, Town of Leray
Woodville Cemetery, Town of Ellisburg

August 29, 2009
We've been attempting to take advantage of the much improved weather by visiting cemeteries in the western portion of Jefferson County. These recent visits were mostly aimed at satisfying requests. Along with those, we continue to work on three major inventory projects. One problem complicating our recent inventorying of cemeteries is the height of grass as a direct result of the extremely rainy summer. while we're continuing to visit cemeteries, how successful we'll be is greatly dependent on how recently they have been mowed.

Burials in the following cemeteries have been updated:
Barnes Settlement Cemetery, Town of Alexandria - the inventory of this cemetery is about 40% complete.
Brownville Cemetery, Town of Brownville - limited photos taken in response to requests.
Cedar Grove, Town of Lyme - review of previously taken photos identified additional burials.
Dexter Cemetery, Town of Brownville - with this recent visit the inventory is  now about 80% complete.
Foster Cemetery, Town of Henderson - a revisit to verify the actual number of burials. This cemetery is now complete.
Hillside, Town of Antwerp - a small portion photographed in support of user requests.
Hillside-Champion, Town of Champion - review of previously taken photos resulted in additional stones verified.
Lakeside Cemetery, Town of Hounsfield - inventory is essentially complete and work has commenced on identifying lots.
Market Street Cemetery, Town of Cape Vincent - the inventory of this cemetery is approximately 86% complete.
St. John's Cemetery, Town of Cape Vincent - inventory is 85% complete.
St. Vincent de Paul Cemetery, Village of Cape Vincent, Town of Cape Vincent - roughly 50% complete.

These recent updates resulted in the total number of burials online to approximately 116, 600 and the total number of photos available is slightly over 46,500.

August 9, 2009
With an improvement in the weather, we've been able to get back into cemeteries on a regular basis. In addition to to visiting cemeteries to complete inventories and to answer user requests, we continue to search for cemeteries that we have not previously visited. We were extremely fortunate in being able to visit two cemeteries that we hadn't previously visited. One appears to have never been read/inventoried and the other appears to have only been visited once in 1982.

Foster Family Cemetery, Town of Henderson: This cemetery was visited on August 3rd and we can find no records indicating that this cemetery has been inventoried. We're currently calling this the Foster Family Cemetery based solely on the fact that the only two discernable stones contain the Foster surname. Consequently its possible that it may have gone by another name. The location has not been published at the request of the land owner. With the exception of two probable fieldstone headstones, all of the gravestones in this cemetery are either broken or buried. There appears to be at least 5 burials with as many as 8. Only sufficient fragments were found to firmly identify the burial of Charlotte Foster, wife of John Foster, died Aug. 31, 1839 age 53y. A complete footstone was found with the initials J F which could be associated with the gravestone that was missing the top and right portions and remaining inscription listed a date of death as July 22, 18?? at age 68y5m. The inventory for this cemetery is preliminary and is subject to change as we review our notes and photos.

Paul's Corners Cemetery, Town of Adams: This cemetery was visited on August 6th and we were able to locate one previous reading in 1982. Available information indicates that this cemetery may also have been known as the Thomas Settlement Cemetery given it's proximity to Thomas Settlement. Most of the stones are either broken into small fragments or are buried; however, three stones were fairly intact and readable. Those stones were for Sally Willard (Died: June 23, 1834 Age 23y), Hannah Thomas (wife of Wesson Thomas Died July 21, 1838 Age 68y), and Hill (there was no indication if this was the surname or given name Died Jan. 22, 1839 Age 3y8m). A fourth stone is missing the top portion; however, it appears to be that of Wesson Thomas based on adjacent stone fragments. Analysis of the stone fragments scattered throughout the area suggest that the cemetery contains approximately 10 burials ranging from 1834 through 1839. The inventory for this cemetery is preliminary and is subject to change as we review our notes and photos.

Cemeteries / Burials
Updates have been posted to burials in the following cemeteries:

Brookside Cemetery, Town of Watertown, Jefferson County
Evans Mills (New), Town of Leray, Jefferson County
Hillside Cemetery, Village of Antwerp, Town of Antwerp, Jefferson County
Lakeside Cemetery, Village of Sackets Harbor, Town of Hounsfield, Jefferson County
Old Town Cemetery, Village of Antwerp, Town of Antwerp, Jefferson County
Sheepfold Cemetery, Town of Leray, Jefferson County

Site Enhancements
Burials: Comments are now displaying below the stone readings. These comments provide information regarding the individual that is not reflected on the gravestone. Many of these comments have been provided by visitors to the site and, while we do display the first name of the person providing the information, we do not display the email address. Currently few of the burials have comments attached as it is a rather lengthy process to get all of the comments converted. The current plan is to add updates to the comments on a weekly basis until we have all the comments converted.

Cemetery Descriptions: The Tax ID Number has been added to the description. Currently the Tax ID number is only available for Jefferson County and mainly for municipality owned cemeteries. The Tax ID number will not be displayed for those cemeteries on private property where the property owner has requested that the location not be disclosed. Hopefully the inclusion of the Tax ID number will assist in both locating the cemetery and in researching its history.

July 25, 2009
Although the weather has not been conducive to visiting cemeteries, we have been able to do some photography on those days that it hasn't been raining. We are working to satisfy all the requests for photos.

Status update on putting gravestone photos online. Our original intent was to have the photos available online; however, a review of bandwidth and space costs does not make that feasible. While most visitors only request 4-5 photos, we are experiencing too many requests for large numbers of photos, with one individual requesting over 100 photos. The intent of the site continues to be the support of individuals researching their family histories and as such will remain free. Photos will continued to be provided by email. We sincerely regret any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any questions regarding this change, please contact us using the Contact Form.

Based on recent visits, the following cemeteries have been updated:

Beech Ridge Cemetery (aka Smith Cemetery), Town of Orleans
A full inventory was conducted in conjunction with a partial cemetery cleanup by descendants of the Smith family. The uncovering of several headstones and footstones resulted in more complete transcriptions.

Brookside Cemetery, Town of Watertown
Work continues on the Old Grounds. Additionally several other sections were partially inventoried in response to user requests.

St. Mary's Cemetery, Town of Clayton
Portions of the "old" area was inventoried. The description for this cemetery has been update to reflect the correct location of the "old" area.

St. Vincent de Paul Cemetery, Hamlet of Rosiere, Town of Cape Vincent
Approximately 80% of the cemetery was inventoried.

Union Cemetery (aka Adams Union), Village of Adams Center, Town of Adams
Most of Sections A and B were inventoried also with portions of other sections in response to user requests.

June 22, 2009
The details on burials has been modified to better reflect veteran status. Previously it was showing either a yes or no; however, this was misleading as the 'no' was being interpreted as meaning the individual was not a veteran. A 'no' entry was actually intended to mean that we didn't have any information on the veteran status of of the individual. With this update it will only show a 'Yes' when we have information on the individual's veteran status. Otherwise the entry will be blank. Hopefully this will resolve the confusion.

June 17, 2009
With the break in the weather and vacation out of the way, we've finally been able to get back into cemeteries. The following burials in the following cemeteries have been updated on recent visits. We also are reloading many of the cemeteries to reflect a different numbering system as well as updates from ongoing photo review.

Woodside Cemetery (Woodside-Mixer Cemetery, Rural Hill Cemetery), Town of Ellisburg, Jefferson County
Approximately 400 photos were taken of the oldest portion of the cemetery. Updates have been posted.

Evergreen Cemetery (Roberts Corners Cemetery), Town of Henderson, Jefferson County
All of Section I and half of Section II were photographed. Updates have been posted.

Sulphur Springs Cemetery, Town of Hounsfield, Jefferson County
The photographic inventory is now essentially complete. Of the estimated 1,073 burials/individual inscriptions associated with this cemetery, 1044 have been photographically confirmed. We are currently attempting to resolve the remaining 29 as well as mapping inscriptions to specific cemetery lots. Currently there are some errors in the Section information and we hope to have that resolved by month's end. Review of photos is complete and updates posted.

Brookside Cemetery, Town of Watertown, Jefferson County
Most of Section E was inventoried along with portions of Sections 6, 1883B, 1883G, and the Old Ground.

North Watertown Cemetery, City of Watertown, Jefferson County
Portions of Sections NA and NB of the new area were photographed.

Evans Mills Old Cemetery, Town of Leray, Jefferson County
This is an ongoing effort and is now about 60% complete.

With this update the Burial Collection now contains 115,620 records of which 43,407 are supported by gravestone photos.

May 11, 2009
Burials in the following cemeteries have been update based on the review of gravestone photographs:
- Adams State Road Cemetery, Town of Adams, Jefferson County
- Barnes Cemetery (aka. Barnes Settlement Cemetery), Town of Alexandria, Jefferson County
- Bates Cemetery, Town of Cape Vincent, Jefferson County
- Grove Cemetery, Town of Orleans, Jefferson County
- North Watertown Cemetery, City of Watertown, Jefferson County

May 3, 2009
The Links and Resources page has been updated with the addition of Mark Wentling's Jefferson County website on ALHN. Mark provides and excellent entry point for many of the sites associated with Northern New York.

One question we frequently receive is when will the photos be put online. Quite frankly we don't know. The problem is that we have to convert over 120,000 photos and ensure that the correct photo is reflected for the burial. This latter problem, although seemingly easy, is actually the most difficult. To properly put the photo and inscription in context may require as many as 10 photos; however, the initial design of our system only permitted one photo number per burial. Getting those additional photos tied to each of the burials represented on a monument is what is taking the longest to accomplish. Our intent is to have them available online. Unfortunately we are currently unable provide a timeframe. Until we are able to resolve those issues, we will continue to provide the photos via email.

Burials in approximately half of the cemeteries have been updated. Most of these updates represent corrections to previously posted information as we relook at photos on a cemetery by cemetery basis in preparation of putting the photos on line. Also we discovered that we had about 700 burials with gravestone photos available that were not reflected correctly on the site. Most of that has been resolved; however, there are still about 162 burials in 30 cemeteries on the site that still do not reflect the availability of a photo. Those cemeteries will be reloaded over the next week.

The site has gone under a minor revision to improve readability and to correct several pages that were not working correctly. The 1863 Watertown Business Directory was not paging correctly and we believe the issue is resolved.

April 18, 2009
Tifft Cemetery, Town of Lorraine, Jefferson County was visited and a full inventory was conducted. Of the 22 reported burials, 17 were identified and photographed. This cemetery is in terrible condition with virtually every gravestone either down or broken. Burials for this cemetery has been added to the Burials Collection.

The following cemeteries were updated in the Burials Collection:
- Evans Mills Old Cemetery, Town of Leray, Jefferson County
- Sunny Side Cemetery, Town of Croghan, Lewis County
- Sanford Corners Cemetery (aka Calcium Cemetery), Town of Leray, Jefferson County
- Fairview Cemetery (aka St Mary's Cemetery), Copenhagen, Town of Denmark, Lewis County
- North Watertown Cemetery, City of Watertown, Jefferson County
- Sulphur Springs Cemetery, Town of Hounsfield, Jefferson County

April 12, 2009
Four cemeteries added to both the Cemetery and Burial Collections:
- Hawkins Cemetery (Grant Road), Town of Henderson - fully inventoried and burials added.
- Shepard Cemetery, Town of Henderson - fully inventoried and burials added.
- Alexandria Road Cemetery, Fort Drum, Town of Wilna - fully inventoried and added.
- LeRay Mansion Cemetery, Fort Drum, Town of Leray - single grave added to burials.

In addition to the four new additions to the Cemetery Collection, the following cemeteries were updated in the Burials Collection:
- Adams State Road Cemetery, Town of Adams
- Chaufty Cemetery, Town of Theresa

March 27, 2009
An issue with the 1863 Watertown Business Directory was fixed. A previous update resulted in only those surnames beginning with the letter A were being displayed. All surnames should now be displayed correctly.

March 15, 2009
The update to the site was delayed because of a major redesign of the Cemeteries Page. The cemetery listing can now be tailored to a specific county, town, or by searching for a partial cemetery name. Also those cemeteries in Jefferson County that we have not visited have been included. There are still one or two small items that needs to be fixed to enhance usability. Hopefully those will be implemented with the next update.

The Union Academy at Belleville collection now contains the names of faculty and students for the 1830 school year. We are still searching for pre-1850 class rosters; however, they are extremely difficult to locate.

Burials, deaths, baptisms, and marriages have been updated.
Burials:  Updated based on photos taken in Sections A, I, and Old Ground of North Watertown Cemetery
Deaths: Additional death notices added mainly from the pre-1890 timeframe
Baptisms: The number of baptisms available is significantly increased with information from the pre-1840s
Marriages: New records added along with additional source information

February 28, 2009
Significant changes have been made to the Cemetery Description page. An error was corrected that prevented approximately 10 cemeteries from displaying. A total of 205 cemetery descriptions are now available. In conjunction with the error fix, Yahoo maps have been integrated with the descriptions. Currently maps for cemeteries located on Fort Drum are not being displayed. We hope to have that corrected by the next update. Also for those cemeteries located on private property where the land owner requested that the location not be presented, the marker is randomly placed on the land owner's property and is as much as 1/4 mile from the actual location.

Links and Resources page has been updated with the addition of municipal offices for Lewis County. Additionally links have been added for the Shew family history and for Henry Shew, a participant in the Patriot War of 1837.

Burials, Deaths, and Marriages were updated. Most were minor additions / fixes. Sunnyside Cemetery (aka: F W Woolworth Memorial Cemetery) was completely updated to reflect the new photo numbering system and additional photo review.

February 15, 2009
Baptism Collection: Updated - most of the new entries are pre-1825 in the Town of Watertown.

Sandy Lawn Cemetery: The burials recorded in this cemetery have been updated based on a complete review of photos taken during two visits. While all stones have been photographed, we intend to revisit this cemetery in order to locate 25 of the 160 burials that have been reported but not identified. One of the issues with this cemetery is that numerous stones are buried in clumps of lilac bushes which are nearly impenetrable once they are leafed out.

The Cemetery Collection details page has been modified to display the owner of the cemetery. Previously it was only displaying the address if it was owned by a cemetery association. Now it will also display the municipality that owns the cemetery, as well as, a proper indication of privately owned cemeteries. If ownership is in question, it will display unknown.

February 4, 2009
The initial review of photos taken last summer is nearing completion. Updates have been posted to the Burial Collection and encompasses cemeteries throughout the county, with the majority related to cemeteries in the Towns of Hounsfield, Henderson, Lyme, Orleans, and Rutland. In conjunction with reading gravestones, work continues on renumbering the gravestone photographs as a step towards being able to post the photos online.

The Municipality Resource page has been update. The address for the Town of Hounsfield was inadvertently omitted.

The overall appearance of the site has been updated to make it easier to read and navigate. Along with the appearance, most of the search functions have been revised to correct errors and to add more consistent functionality to search options.

January 25, 2009 - Happy New Year!
Numerous updates have been posted to the Burials Collection. Most of these consist of corrections or additions to existing burial records. The Marriage Collection has been expanded with both new additions and the inclusion of additional source information. All of the additions to the Marriage Collection are from the pre-1900s. The Site Status page has also been modified to reflect the correct number of marriages in the Marriage Collection.

The site has been relocated to a new server, which was part of the reason for the delay in getting some of the changes posted. Ideally it is more stable and hopefully faster. This move will also permit us to expand some of our collections and is one more step that will enable us to provide gravestones online. One of the issues we face is having sufficient space to put over 100,000 gravestone photos online.