Dave Bixby's Cemetery Transcription Project


I first started this record in 1993 when, in a casual conversation, I was told that nobody knew who was buried in any of the cemeteries in the town of Providence except for the large cemetery in Barkersville which is still used. It seems the other cemeteries are all abandoned and unused, and I could find no records of who might be buried in any of them. Nobody even knew where they all were!

So since I do videotaping for a hobby I decided to videotape the cemeteries in town and enter the names in an old computer which a friend had given me in 1991. (You can guess how slow this is!) I'd print out the information and give it to the town clerk or historian. My guess was that I'd spend a couple weeks on it. Thirteen cemeteries and nearly a thousand names later I finished Providence! That's not as bad as it seems, as three of the cemeteries only had a single stone each.

My son is buried in Foster Hill Cemetery in Galway. I also knew that the Sowle and Trevett Families are buried in other towns. So since I had done Providence, "maybe I'll just do a few of the nearby cemeteries - just for a couple more weeks.". That was over 5 years ago.

The work continues. Hopefully I can also extend my work. I've been asked "when do you plan to stop?" I guess that as long as there's one more cemetery around the bend of the road I'll keep going.

I also videotape the monthly meetings of the Adirondack Fiddlers Club. One day one of the ladies of the Fiddlers called my home to ask a question about the next meeting. My wife took the call as I was out videotaping. The voice on the phone asked "Is Dave there?" My wife answered "No, he's in the cemetery." The voice said "Oh! I'm sorry to hear that." And she hung up. I never did find out who made the call.

As of 1/10/2000, this list includes 51,180 names from 182 cemeteries, at least 11 of which are no longer in existence for various reasons, and 45 of which were not taped, but were recorded from historic records. The cemeteries are or were located in Day, Charlton, Edinburg, Broadalbin, Providence, Northampton, Galway, Greenfield, Hadley, Mayfield, Perth, Corinth, and Milton; and this report uses historical information from W. Bronson Taylor's book Stories and Pictures of Providence, Saratoga County, New York; Trevett family history provided by Dorothy Trevett Johnson and Nadine Linell; Illustrated History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, NY by F. W. Beers & Co. dated 1878; Stories and Pictures of Galway printed in 1966 by W. Bronson Taylor; excerpts from Sylvester's History of Saratoga County published in 1878; obituaries and notices from the "Morning Herald" newspaper of the early 1900's (courtesy of Gordon Cornell); Broadalbin - Then and Now by Kenneth Shaw dated 1973; Bleeker, Mayfield, Perth by Kenneth shaw dated 1974; Northampton, Then and Now by Kenneth Shaw dated 1975; The Sacandaga Story written by Larry Hart in 1967; the book King of the Mountain by Ron Feulner dated December 1995; Fishhouse Through The Years by Kathryn Sleezer dated 1975; the book Glass Factory Mountain by Mildred Hathaway; the book What's Cookin' in Fulton County co-ordinated by Lou Decker of Fulton County in 1976; the book 1871 Directory of Saratoga County and Town of Queensbury; and History of Fulton County by Frothingham dated 1892. In addition Mr. & Mrs Jack Winney contributed much information from the Cook Family Genealogy; Mr. & Mrs. Buchner of Galway Lake offered information on the Crannell, Matteson, and Rockwell families compiled by Mrs. Gail Breen of Schoharie; Mrs. Thelma Kilmer offered information on the Kilmer Family; Mrs. Betty Meers provided much information on the Lewis Family and its branches, and Mrs. Gladys Buchner filled in missing spaces on the Matteson and Rockwell families.. Information was also provided in the form of a record of Vails Mills Cemetery stones made (probably) in the 1950's, and from Fulton County cemetery records from the 1930's, originally recorded by Caroline Fenton, DAR historian. The Hudson River Regulating District (HRRD) also made available a listing of the remains removed from all 24 cemeteries which were to be covered by the Sacandaga when flooded in 1930, and where the remains were moved to.

In 1879 Cornelius Emerson Durkee of Saratoga Springs recorded the epitaphs in all the known cemeteries in Saratoga County and some nearby areas. This information is now on microfilm in the Saratoga Library [and other repositories]. In the 118 years since then some of the stones have crumbled and are now unreadable. In those cases, Durkee's information is recorded herein, with the notation "not taped" and with credit to him. Also the names of some of the cemeteries have changed, and the old names are noted in this list. Some cemeteries were removed when the Sacandaga Reservoir was created, and their bodies moved to other cemeteries. For instance, the Beecher Hollow Cemetery originally was located near the Presbyterian Church on the north side of the road leading to the Batchellerville bridge (North Shore road, now under water). The Cold Brook Cemetery was located "on the east side of the river road leading from Beecher Hollow to the town of Day, about two miles distant from the former named place".

All name and place spellings were taken directly from the gravestones. for example, "Abigail" was found to be spelled at least 3 different ways - "Taber" 2 ways, etc. Some names and/or dates were in doubt, and these are given as the nearest guess with a question mark.

The total number of stones indicated include those stones still capable of being read to some degree by one of several means. The cemeteries have many stones either eroded and unreadable, or even in some cases just a blank space with a depression in the ground indicating a grave. No identification of these could be made, and therefore they are not included. The Galway town Historian, Phyllis Keeler, provided the cameraman with a 1952 Schenectady Gazette clipping giving some names and figures on 3 cemeteries on the West Milton Atomic Project Site. Some of these names are names only since some of their accompanying stones could not be located by this videographer. Some information has been provided from cemetery records, obituaries, etc, and in these cases the notation has been added - "Not Taped".

In addition to the above information, many names have come from history books, family records and other sources with some information, such as sometimes buried in a distant city, or no record of where buried, or even sometimes whether deceased at this time. These are entered in the computer in a separate file with the cemetery listed by name if out of the area and if known, or by "unknown" in all other cases.

The gravestones were recorded on video tapes in 1994 - 1999 with the exceptions noted above.

In spite of the cameraman's best efforts, errors will be made. The cameraman would appreciate being informed of any such errors so that corrections may be made in the record.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXDave Bixby

Found on a monument in the North Milton Cemetery -

XXXXXIf by a gentle stream you should pass -
A lake so calm and clear,
A river that flows through life,
Pause and take a glance, for I have been there.
XXXXXIf a deer you should see in a meadow grazing,
A flock of geese overhead,
XXXXXPause and remember.
I have been there.
XXXXXIf while traveling down life's highway
You should notice all its natural beauty,
XXXXXPause and remember me,
For I have been there.

   

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Last updated Tuesday, 13-May-2008 13:17:09 PDT