Great Genesee Road

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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[United States Migration Internal|Migration]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[US Migration Trails and Roads|Trails and Roads]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[New York|New York]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Great_Genesee_Road|Great Genesee Road]]''  
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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png|go to]] [[United States Migration Internal|Migration]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png|go to]] [[US Migration Trails and Roads|Trails and Roads]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png|go to]] [[New York|New York]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png|go to]] [[Great_Genesee_Road|Great Genesee Road]]''  
  
The '''Great Genesee Road''', also known as Mohawk Trail, Iroquois Trail, Great Indian Trail, and Seneca Turnpike, was built starting in 1794 by New York State to connect [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Schuyler Fort Schuyler] (now [[Utica, New York]]) on the [[Mohawk Trail]] and Mohawk River with Canawaugus (now Caledonia), [[Livingston County, New York]] on the Genesee River. In 1798 the legislature authorized a road extension to [[Buffalo, New York]] on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Erie Lake Erie]. Another fork also went to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara Fort Niagara] on the border with [[Canada]].<ref name="Rte5">Wikipedia contributors, "New York State Route 5" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_5 (accessed 28 June 2011).</ref> [[Image:Great Genesee Road.png|border|right|400px]] Each end of the Great Genesee Road connected to other important migration pathways. The length of the road from Utica to Buffalo was 205 miles (330 km).<br><br>  
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The '''Great Genesee Road''', also known as Mohawk Trail, Iroquois Trail, Great Indian Trail, and Seneca Turnpike, was built starting in 1794 by New York State to connect [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Schuyler Fort Schuyler] (now [[Utica, New York]]) on the [[Mohawk Trail]] and Mohawk River with Canawaugus (now Caledonia), [[Livingston County, New York]] on the Genesee River. In 1798 the legislature authorized a road extension to [[Buffalo, New York]] on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Erie Lake Erie]. The original Indian path also went to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara Fort Niagara] on the border with [[Canada]].<ref name="Rte5">Wikipedia contributors, "New York State Route 5" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_5 (accessed 28 June 2011).</ref> [[Image:Great Genesee Road.png|border|right|400px|Great Genesee Road.png]] Each end of the Great Genesee Road connected to other important migration pathways. The length of the road from Utica to Buffalo was 205 miles (330 km).<br><br>  
  
 
=== Historical Background  ===
 
=== Historical Background  ===
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As westward expansion began after the American Revolution, the only central New York pathways west of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Schuyler Fort Schuyler] ([[Utica, New York]]) were rivers and a footpath which was a western fork of the [[Mohawk Trail]] or Iroquois Trail that went to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara Fort Niagara]. The land companies which began developing large tracts of land for settlement started clamoring for the state to make better roads for their customers.<ref name="Rte5" />  
 
As westward expansion began after the American Revolution, the only central New York pathways west of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Schuyler Fort Schuyler] ([[Utica, New York]]) were rivers and a footpath which was a western fork of the [[Mohawk Trail]] or Iroquois Trail that went to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara Fort Niagara]. The land companies which began developing large tracts of land for settlement started clamoring for the state to make better roads for their customers.<ref name="Rte5" />  
  
In 1794 the state legislature authorized the Great Genesee Road from Fort Schuyler to Canawaugus to help settlers reach the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Military_Tract New Military Tract]. This eight county tract was set aside to allow 500 acres of bounty land to pay each New York Revolutionary War veteran for his service. The new state road followed the route of a fork of the old Mohawk Trail. In 1797 a weekly stagecoach began service between Utica and Gevena on the Seneca/Ontario county line. Each leg of the trip took three days.<ref>"The Way West Through Northern Seneca County," http://www.co.seneca.ny.us/history/The%20Way%20West%20Through%20Northern%20Seneca%20County.pdf (accessed 29 June 2011).</ref> A state road extension to Buffalo was authorized four years later.<ref name="Rte5" />  
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In 1794 the state legislature authorized the Great Genesee Road from Fort Schuyler to Canawaugus to help settlers reach the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Military_Tract New Military Tract]. This eight county tract was set aside to allow 500 acres of bounty land to pay each New York Revolutionary War veteran for his service. The new state road followed the route of a fork of the old Mohawk Trail part of the way. In 1797 a weekly stagecoach began service between Utica and Geneva on the Seneca/Ontario county line. Each leg of the round trip took three days.<ref>"The Way West Through Northern Seneca County," http://www.co.seneca.ny.us/history/The%20Way%20West%20Through%20Northern%20Seneca%20County.pdf (accessed 29 June 2011).</ref> A state road extension to Buffalo was authorized in 1798.<ref name="Rte5" />  
  
However, the road construction was spotty and in places incomplete. In 1800 the legislature chartered the Seneca Road Company to charge tolls (six cents per mile) for improving the road. The road was [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macadam macadamized] to reduce pot holes. High-quality, privately-maintained, toll roads were called turnpikes. This one was completed in 1808<ref name="SenTur">"Seneca Turnpike" in ''Clinton Historical Society'' at http://www.clintonhistory.org/A011.html (accessed 29 June 2011).</ref> and was called the "Seneca Turnpike," 157 miles (253 km) from Utica to Canandaigua, longest such road in New York. In 1805 the western extension to Buffalo was changed from a public road to a private turnpike. This "Ontario and Genesee Turnpike" was completed in 1813.<ref name="SenTur" /> In 1806 the Seneca Road Company began developing a more northerly alternate route to the Seneca Turnpike (Great Genesee Road) through Syracuse. In time this became the more popular route west.<ref name="Rte5" />  
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However, the road construction was spotty and in places incomplete. In 1800 the legislature chartered the Seneca Road Company to charge tolls (originally six cents per mile) for improving the road. The road was [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macadam macadamized] to reduce pot holes. High-quality, privately-maintained, toll roads were called turnpikes. This one was completed in 1808<ref name="SenTur">"Seneca Turnpike" in ''Clinton Historical Society'' at http://www.clintonhistory.org/A011.html (accessed 29 June 2011).</ref> and was called the "Seneca Turnpike," 157 miles (253 km) from Utica to Canandaigua, longest such road in New York. In 1805 the western extension to Buffalo was changed from a public road to a private turnpike. This "Ontario and Genesee Turnpike" was completed in 1813.<ref name="SenTur" /> In 1806 the Seneca Road Company began developing a more northerly alternate route to the Seneca Turnpike (Great Genesee Road) through Syracuse. In time this became the more popular route west.<ref name="Rte5" />  
  
 
The completion of the [[Erie Canal]] in 1825 reduced traffic on the turnpikes. Also, in the 1840s railroads began to compete for traffic. Reduced revenue on the turnpikes made the road companies unprofitable. By 1852 the Seneca Road Company was dissolved and the company's turnpikes became public roads again.<ref name="Rte5" />  
 
The completion of the [[Erie Canal]] in 1825 reduced traffic on the turnpikes. Also, in the 1840s railroads began to compete for traffic. Reduced revenue on the turnpikes made the road companies unprofitable. By 1852 the Seneca Road Company was dissolved and the company's turnpikes became public roads again.<ref name="Rte5" />  
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=== Route  ===
 
=== Route  ===
  
The counties along this migration route (east to west) were as follows:<ref>Compare the more northerly route to Fort Niagara in ''Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.'' (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 849, [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/50140092 WorldCat entry], {{FHL|1049485|item|disp=FHL Book 973 D27e 2002}} with the more southerly route to Buffalo described in Wikipedia contributors, "New York State Route 5" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_5 (accessed 28 June 2011).</ref>  
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The counties along Great Genesee Road (east to west) were as follows:<ref name="Rte5" />  
  
 
:*[[Oneida County, New York|Oneida County]]  
 
:*[[Oneida County, New York|Oneida County]]  
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:*[[Genesee County, New York|Genesee County]]  
 
:*[[Genesee County, New York|Genesee County]]  
 
:*[[Erie County, New York|Erie County]]
 
:*[[Erie County, New York|Erie County]]
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<div style="float: left; width: 147%">
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Farther west the original Fort Niagara fork of the [[Mohawk Trail]] footpath apparently followed a more northerly line toward Fort Niagara:<ref>"Great Genesee Road" in ''Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.'' (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 849. [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/50140092 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|1049485|item|disp=FHL Book 973 D27e 2002}}.</ref>
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:*[[Wayne County, New York|Wayne County]]
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:*[[Monroe County, New York|Monroe County]]
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:*Genesee County
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:*[[Niagara County, New York|Niagara County]]
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'''Connecting trails.''' The Great Genesee Road linked to other trails at each end.<ref>''Handybook'', 847-54.</ref>
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The migration pathways connected at the east end in [[Utica, New York|Utica]] included:
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:*[[Mohawk Trail]] (or Iroquois Trail) a pre-historic footpath that connected [[Albany, New York|Albany]] to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Oswego Fort Oswego]
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:*[[Great_Genesee_Road|Great Genesee Road]] 1794 from [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [[Caledonia, New York|Caledonia]] and later [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]]
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:*[[Erie Canal]] 1825 from [[Albany, New York|Albany]] to [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]]
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The migration pathways connected at the west end in [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]] included:
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:*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Erie Lake Erie]
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:*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niagara_River Niagara River]
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:*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Ontario Lake Ontario]
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:*[[Great_Genesee_Road|Great Genesee Road]] 1794 from [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [[Caledonia, New York|Caledonia]] and later [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]]
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:*[[Erie Canal]] 1825 from [[Albany, New York|Albany]] to [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]]
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:*[[Shore Line Path]] from [[Buffalo, New York]] to [[Cleveland, Ohio]]
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:*pathways into [[Ontario]], Canada
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'''Modern parallels.''' The modern road that roughly matches the Great Genesee Road and its extension to Buffalo is [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_5 New York State Route 5] from [[Utica, New York|Utica]] to [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]].
  
 
=== Settlers and Records  ===
 
=== Settlers and Records  ===
  
a  
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Early settlers in central New York most likely traveled there via [[Albany, New York|Albany]]. Albany was a hub of pathways from [[New York City, New York|New York City]], [[Vermont]], [[Connecticut]], [[Massachusetts]], [[Pennsylvania]], and [[Quebec]]. Probably the largest group to settle were New Englanders, many from Vermont. But people from almost every part of the eastern seaboard and Europe also were common in the area.
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No complete list of settlers who used the '''Great Genesee Road''' is known to exist. Nevertheless, local and county histories along that trail may reveal pioneer settlers who arrived 1794 to 1850, and therefore who were the most likely candidates to have traveled the Great Genesee Road or Seneca Turnpike.
 +
 
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For partial lists of early settlers who may have used the Great Genesee Road, see histories like:
 +
 
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'''''Cayuga County'''''
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*Elliot G. Storke, and James. H. Smith, ''History of Cayuga County, New York, 1789-1879&nbsp;: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers'' (Syracuse, New York&nbsp;: D. Mason, 1879). [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/7094856 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|289629|item|disp=FHL Book 974.768 H2s}}.
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'''''Cortland County'''''
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*H. C. Goodwin, ''Pioneer history, or, Cortland County and the border wars of New York&nbsp;: from the earliest period to the present time'' (Photocopy of original published: New York&nbsp;: A.B. Burdick, 1859). [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/38851880 WorldCat entry]. {{FHL|599870|item|disp=FHL Book 974.772 H2g; Film 844645; Fiche 6061857 (5 fiche)}}.
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'''''Onondaga County'''''
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*W. Woodford Clayton, ''History of Onondaga County, New York: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of the prominent men and pioneers'' (Syracuse, N. Y.&nbsp;: D Mason, 1878). {{FSbook|96603}}.
  
 
=== External Links  ===
 
=== External Links  ===
  
*
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_5 New York State Route 5] Wikipedia route details and good history of roads in the area.
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*[http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tqpeiffer/Documents/Ancestral%20Migration%20Archives/Migration%20Webpage%20Folder/%281%29%20NORTHEASTERN%20US%20ROUTES/Great%20Genesee%20Road.htm The Great Genesee Road] RootsWeb brief history and maps.
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*[http://www.co.seneca.ny.us/history/The%20Way%20West%20Through%20Northern%20Seneca%20County.pdf The Way West Through Northern Seneca County] good history of roads, canals, and railroads in Seneca County.
  
 
=== References  ===
 
=== References  ===
  
 
{{reflist}}  
 
{{reflist}}  
 
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{{New York|New York}} {{-}}</div>
{{New York|New York}}  
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[[Category:Migration_Routes]] [[Category:US_Migration_Trails_and_Roads]] [[Category:New_York]] [[Category:Oneida_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Madison_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Onondaga_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Cayuga_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Seneca_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Ontario_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Livingston_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Genesee_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Erie_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Niagara_County,_New_York]]
 
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[[Category:Migration_Routes]] [[Category:US_Migration_Trails_and_Roads]] [[Category:New_York]] [[Category:Oneida_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Madison_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Onondaga_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Cayuga_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Seneca_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Ontario_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Livingston_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Genesee_County,_New_York]] [[Category:Erie_County,_New_York]]
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Revision as of 21:46, 24 October 2012

United States go to Migration go to Trails and Roads go to New York go to Great Genesee Road

The Great Genesee Road, also known as Mohawk Trail, Iroquois Trail, Great Indian Trail, and Seneca Turnpike, was built starting in 1794 by New York State to connect Fort Schuyler (now Utica, New York) on the Mohawk Trail and Mohawk River with Canawaugus (now Caledonia), Livingston County, New York on the Genesee River. In 1798 the legislature authorized a road extension to Buffalo, New York on Lake Erie. The original Indian path also went to Fort Niagara on the border with Canada.[1]
Great Genesee Road.png
Each end of the Great Genesee Road connected to other important migration pathways. The length of the road from Utica to Buffalo was 205 miles (330 km).

Contents

Historical Background

As westward expansion began after the American Revolution, the only central New York pathways west of Fort Schuyler (Utica, New York) were rivers and a footpath which was a western fork of the Mohawk Trail or Iroquois Trail that went to Fort Niagara. The land companies which began developing large tracts of land for settlement started clamoring for the state to make better roads for their customers.[1]

In 1794 the state legislature authorized the Great Genesee Road from Fort Schuyler to Canawaugus to help settlers reach the New Military Tract. This eight county tract was set aside to allow 500 acres of bounty land to pay each New York Revolutionary War veteran for his service. The new state road followed the route of a fork of the old Mohawk Trail part of the way. In 1797 a weekly stagecoach began service between Utica and Geneva on the Seneca/Ontario county line. Each leg of the round trip took three days.[2] A state road extension to Buffalo was authorized in 1798.[1]

However, the road construction was spotty and in places incomplete. In 1800 the legislature chartered the Seneca Road Company to charge tolls (originally six cents per mile) for improving the road. The road was macadamized to reduce pot holes. High-quality, privately-maintained, toll roads were called turnpikes. This one was completed in 1808[3] and was called the "Seneca Turnpike," 157 miles (253 km) from Utica to Canandaigua, longest such road in New York. In 1805 the western extension to Buffalo was changed from a public road to a private turnpike. This "Ontario and Genesee Turnpike" was completed in 1813.[3] In 1806 the Seneca Road Company began developing a more northerly alternate route to the Seneca Turnpike (Great Genesee Road) through Syracuse. In time this became the more popular route west.[1]

The completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 reduced traffic on the turnpikes. Also, in the 1840s railroads began to compete for traffic. Reduced revenue on the turnpikes made the road companies unprofitable. By 1852 the Seneca Road Company was dissolved and the company's turnpikes became public roads again.[1]

Route

The counties along Great Genesee Road (east to west) were as follows:[1]

Farther west the original Fort Niagara fork of the Mohawk Trail footpath apparently followed a more northerly line toward Fort Niagara:[4]

Connecting trails. The Great Genesee Road linked to other trails at each end.[5]

The migration pathways connected at the east end in Utica included:

The migration pathways connected at the west end in Buffalo included:

Modern parallels. The modern road that roughly matches the Great Genesee Road and its extension to Buffalo is New York State Route 5 from Utica to Buffalo.

Settlers and Records

Early settlers in central New York most likely traveled there via Albany. Albany was a hub of pathways from New York City, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Quebec. Probably the largest group to settle were New Englanders, many from Vermont. But people from almost every part of the eastern seaboard and Europe also were common in the area.

No complete list of settlers who used the Great Genesee Road is known to exist. Nevertheless, local and county histories along that trail may reveal pioneer settlers who arrived 1794 to 1850, and therefore who were the most likely candidates to have traveled the Great Genesee Road or Seneca Turnpike.

For partial lists of early settlers who may have used the Great Genesee Road, see histories like:

Cayuga County

  • Elliot G. Storke, and James. H. Smith, History of Cayuga County, New York, 1789-1879 : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers (Syracuse, New York : D. Mason, 1879). WorldCat entry. FHL Book 974.768 H2s.

Cortland County

Onondaga County

  • W. Woodford Clayton, History of Onondaga County, New York: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of the prominent men and pioneers (Syracuse, N. Y. : D Mason, 1878). FamilySearch Books Online.

External Links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Wikipedia contributors, "New York State Route 5" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_5 (accessed 28 June 2011).
  2. "The Way West Through Northern Seneca County," http://www.co.seneca.ny.us/history/The%20Way%20West%20Through%20Northern%20Seneca%20County.pdf (accessed 29 June 2011).
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Seneca Turnpike" in Clinton Historical Society at http://www.clintonhistory.org/A011.html (accessed 29 June 2011).
  4. "Great Genesee Road" in Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 849. WorldCat entry. FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Handybook, 847-54.