Sunday, October 23, 2016

County Historical Societies-A Source of Different Information

When I head back East (Eastern Long Island-Suffolk County) to visit family I usually try to squeeze in some research time.  My paternal side of the family has lived in the area since the late 1600s so there are always new records to find.  There are Town Clerk Records, County Land Records or Probate Records that I ‘need’ to search for.  I like going to physical locations because there are still records that aren’t available online and I learn some interesting things by….talking to people that deal with local records.

I have been to the Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead, New York before and have found some great info.  I know that they have original copies of the local newspapers.  While many of the local newspapers are online through Live-brary I have found some gaps.  I was looking for some obituaries that I was not able to find online so I decided in July while back there to go to the Suffolk County Historical Society to look for them. 

I was very fortunate to find Wendy Polhemus-Annibell working on the day I went.  Wendy was a tremendous find!  Many times when we go looking for records we don’t know what to look for because we don’t know what is available.  Wendy was able to tell me about a variety of different types of records or files that they possess.  I was able to find the obituary records I was looking for and I found a lot more. 

Wendy told me about a man named Ackerly who, long before the County began keeping land records, etc. took it upon himself to travel around the County to individual homes and copy land records into ledgers.  I am amazed and so very grateful to this gentleman (need to find out more about who he was) for taking it upon himself to record all the deeds of the times so that I, and other family historians can find records back in the early 1800s.  One of the documents I found in the Ackerly Records (as they are referred to) Book 12 pages 191-192 was a record of the land purchase (1841) by my paternal great-great grandfather Daniel Warner III.

Warner Daniel III land deed 1841 1
Warner Daniel III land deed 1841 2

This is the transcription of the land deed:

This Indenture made the sixteenth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty one between Daniel Warner and Jemima his wife of the town of Riverhead in the County of Suffolk and State of New York of the first part and Daniel Warner 3rd of the Town County and State aforesaid of the second part Witnesseth that the party of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of twenty dollars to them in hand said by the said party of the second part the receipt where of is hereby acknowledged have granted bargained and sold and by these presents do grant bargain sell remise release alien convey and confirm unto the said party of the second part and to his heirs and assigns forever all of a certain piece or parcel of land situate lying and being in the town of Riverhead and bounded Easterly by the land of Jacob Benjamin Southerly by the North road (so called) and Westerly and Northerly by the land of Daniel Warner, it being fifteen rods in length along the road and eight rods in width, containing three fourth of an aker (acre). Together with all and singular the hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining and the reversion and reversions remainder and remainders rents issues and profits thereof and all the estate right title interest claim or demand whatsoever of the said party of the first part either in law or equity of in and to the above bargained premises with the said hereditaments (estate) and appurtenances (things that go with it) . To have and to hold the above particularly described premises to the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns, to the sole and only proper use benefit and behalf of the said party of the second part and his heirs and assigns forever. And the said party of the first part for themselves their heirs executes and administrators do covenant grant promise and agree to and with the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns against all and every person lawfully or equitably claiming or to claim the whole or any part thereof will forever warrant and defend. In witness whereof the party of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals on the day and year first above written.
Sealed signed and Delivered Daniel Warner L.S.
In the presence of:
Israel Wells
Jonathon Horton
State of New York Suffolk County SS. On the 15th Day of May 1842 before me came Daniel Warner a person well known to me in and who Executed the written instrument and he acknowledged to me that he executed the same for the purposes therein contained.
David Edwards Justice of the Peace

Ackerly Book 12 Pages 191-192

Suffolk County Historical Society

Riverhead, Suffolk, New York

I think it’s interesting to see that Daniel bought the land from his father and mother, Daniel Warner II and Jeminia Benjamin Warner.  Daniel bought the land in December and 10 months later on October 19, 1841 Daniel Warner III married Eleanor Howell.  This past Wednesday would have been their 175th Anniversary.  I wonder, was Daniel a young man of 22 already thinking of marriage when he purchased the land or just a young man ready to be a land owner?  Daniel and Jemina had a total of 3 sons, including Daniel III, who all are listed as land owners on a local map.  Think I’ll need to see when the other brothers Lewis and Goldsmith purchased their land, from whom and at what cost also.  Check out my post entitled Using Tax Records and Maps-Warner Family for a map of where the property most likely was and another find from the Suffolk County Historical Society.

So the lesson I learned that day was that the local Historical Society held some really interesting information I wouldn’t have been able to find online.  In future posts I’ll show some additional finds.  I also recommend you join a local Historical Society so they can continue to manage these great, unusual records that are housed there.  You never know what you may find.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.


Enjoy the journey,


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