Half-Shire Historical Society
October 5, 2007
The Society will hold a research open house on Saturday afternoon October 6 from noon until 4 pm at our Richland headquarters. The public is encouraged and welcome to attend. Our next scheduled meeting is Saturday October 20 at noon.
Work continues on our current round of building renovations headed up by Sancona Lumber Company of Sandy Creek. Our ladies restroom is currently undergoing a complete overhaul. This work is expected to be completed mid-month and is reimbursable through a grant obtained by Assemblyman Barclay in 2005. Also included in this work was a complete overhaul of the front roof and work to the main roof.
Research into the Revolutionary War veterans who settled our region continues on several fronts. In Boylston, our trustee Rita Rombach is seeking information on the family of Amos Ormsby. Ormsby was born November 5, 1749 the son of Samuel and Diana (Fisher) Ormsby in Windham, Connecticut. He was married May 25, 1775 in Canaan, Connecticut to the former Lucy Franklin. Ormsby served as a private in the Connecticut line through the war.
A few years after the war was over, Ormsby, his wife and son Almon moved to Montgomery County, New York where they lived several years. Lucy Ormsby died in Little Falls, New York on October 31, 1826 and was buried there. Amos and son Almon later moved to Boylston Township where some other relations had earlier located.
Amos Ormsby died there on July 9, 1845 according to his pension records. His grave has not been located as of this writing, and information is sought by Rita and Half-Shire.
In Richland Township, Shawn Doyle and George Widrig have been working hard on the families of the 35 known veterans who lived or died in that jurisdiction. Last month we reported the discovery that Jedediah Durfey who is buried in Ferguson Cemetery on the Schoeller Paper Company property east of Richland had served in the Revolutionary War. Intensive research on Durfey in Vermont, New York and southern Ontario Province has yielded an amazing amount of information on the man. Uncovered documentation has proven that Durfey first enlisted in the Connecticut Militia following the Lexington alarm in 1775. He worked his way up to the rank of Sergeant before he moved to Vermont in 1778, where he continued to serve conspicuously throughout the war until 1782.
One of the most interesting discoveries on Jedediah Durfey was found recently among the 52-page pension record of Sandy Creek settler Stephen Lindsey, who served under Durfey in Connecticut from 1777-78. In August 1828 Durfey swore out an affidavit in the Pulaski Court House attesting to Lindsey’s service, aiding him in his pension application. This occurred only three weeks before Durfey’s death. The Lindsey pension record, along with statements found in a Mr. Richardson’s pension from Ellisburg, proved to us that Sergeant Jedediah Durfey of Cornwell, Vermont was the same man buried in Ferguson Cemetery.
Further work among the papers of the Bennington Library in Vermont has also brought forth the information hat Jedediah Durfey was one of the founders of Lincoln, Vermont and served as a state representative for that district in 1801. Durfey was succeeded by his brother Ebenezer who served 13 terms in the position. Durfey left Vermont to settle the Canadian wilderness near North Crosby, Leeds County Ontario about 1807. He later returned to the United States living in Ellisburg and Richland before his death. Information about the thirteen children born to Jedediah Durfey and his two wives add more color to the biography, one son, Royal Durfey, followed Joseph Smith and Brigham Young west with the Mormon movement.
What is amazing to us is that this fascinating life history has been unknown to us for all these years. Contacts made among Durfey descendants and Vermont researchers are also pleased to finally know where this missing ancestor and Vermont Republic patriot is buried.
Half-Shire Historical Society is located at 1100 County Rte. 48 in Richland. We can be reached by mail at P.O. Box 73, Richland, NY 13144 or on the web at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a blog also at halfshire.blogspot.com/