Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pratt Stories - The Bartram Family XII

I am fascinated by the journeys that our various ancestors undertook over the years to get from New England to Michigan.
The first leg of the Bartram migration was from Connecticut to New York State. According to a quote in "Back Rock--Seaport of Old Fairfield Connecticut" by Cornelia  Lathrop  "...4 Sept 1818 Ebenezer Bartram & family started from Black Rock for Westmoreland, New York, a journey of 260 miles by water". The 1820 Census shows him in Paris, New York, as does an 1827 deed. So apparently he either didn't settle down in Westmoreland or moved to Paris later. Paris is a few miles south and a little east of Westmoreland.
A little map study shows that it would have been possible to go from Black Rock to Westmoreland by water but the last few miles would have been up some pretty small creeks. Of course, the streams would have been carrying much more water in those days before the water tables were lowered by deforestation and agricultural drainage. I could speculate as to the various types of watercraft on which they traveled but I have no clues so I'll leave it alone.
If you want to follow the Bartrams' 1818 trek, go to Google Maps and punch in Fairfield, Connecticut. Then click on the Terrain block (Terrain shows the rivers and streams). Then using the directional arrows or dragging the little fist follow Long Island Sound west from Black Rock Harbor to the East River, then south around the tip of Manhattan Island and up the Hudson River past Albany and Watervliet to the mouth of the Mohawk River.Then go westerly up the Mohawk to Utica and Oriskany. Oriskany Creek and Deans Creek lead to Westmoreland. The Bartram's might also have disembarked at Utica from whatever vessel they were traveling on and finished the trip by land. A few years later the trip up the Mohawk was made easy by the opening of the Erie Canal.
I wonder how they made their living in New York? In Connecticut Ebenezer was a mariner. His son Henry became a builder as we will see next.  A Google and Wikipedia search turns up nothing as to what was goning on in or around Paris in Ebenezer (III)'s time. Not far away the construction of the Erie Canal and the susequent transportation and population boom was in progress but no hint that Ebenezer or Henry was involved.
I don't know when or where either Ebenezer (III) or Abigail died or where they are buried.

Emailed Oct. 5

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