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Volume 5 Issue 12                                                   December 2000




Thanks so much for your support of the Wiser Newsletter during the past five years.  I believe we will be even more successful in our genealogical research during the next five years based on the amazing amount of information now being made available through the internet and other technological advances.



This information is provided from the excellent website, compiled by Daniel H. Weiskotten and used here by his permission.  I express my appreciation to him for allowing me to use this in our newsletter. 


The following is taken from an E-mail message from Daniel H. Weiskotten to me:


“I made a quick search of some stuff handy in my office and see that Benjamin Wiser bought the north 1/2 of Lot 66 of the Road Township in 1805. This would be located about a mile east of New Woodstock on the south side of the present Damon Road.


If you go to the map of the Road Township that I have on-line you will see where Lot 66 is:


The north half of the lot, as you can see on this image, lies mostly on the north side of Damon Road and the little black dot is a farm house that still stands.  I'm not sure of its age, but it is from the 19th century.  If I am not mistaken it is still an active farm with large barns and surrounded by open fields.


In looking at some other records I am working with, I see that Noah Taylor had purchased the whole 150 acres of Lot 66 in 1794 (his child was the first born in the town).  In 1797, Taylor's cabin or house was located on

the present Smith Road, and there is another house standing there today. It seems that Taylor lost the property back to John Lincklaen (agent for the Holland Land Co.) by 1799.  In 1803 Jonathan Ferry purchased the south half (75 acres) of the lot and in 1805 Benjamin Wiser bought the north half (75 acres).  Ferry sold his land back to Lincklaen in 1810.


It is interesting to note that in 1811, John Lincklaen made a new agreement for the north half of Lot 66.  It was in the name of Benjamin Wiser, but through Josiah Wiser, "his attorney".  I wonder if this means that Benjamin was incapable of handling his own affairs by 1811?  I have no later land records.


From what I can determine from census records Benjamin Wiser was on that spot in 1810 but I cannot identify who may have been here in 1820 or 1830. Oran P. Damon was at this location in 1840 and he and his family was there from then on.


In looking at later historic maps and some directories, I see that the farm house I mentioned on the north half of Lot 66 was occupied by Putnam Damon in 1853, O.P. Damon in 1859, Oran P. Damon in 1868, O.F. Damon in 1875, Frank Damon in 1920, and in 1937 it was F.L. & L.A. Damon.  Today (or at least a few years ago) it was owned by P.T. Church.             


In 1797 a road was opened that ran north-south through Lot 66 and passed about where the present house and farm is today, perhaps just to the east. Most of this road was closed within a few years but the segment running

north from Damon Road to Thurber Road was open as late as 1899.


As for where Benjamin would be buried, I haven't a clue.  I have no Wisers at all in my cemetery records.  They may have ended up in New Woodstock, but they were here at a date before any local cemeteries were formally

established and he may have ended up like many of his contemporaries and was planted on his own land.  If that is the case it is now unknown.  Many people who died in the first few decades of settlement are unaccounted for

and probably lie in unmarked graves in spots now cultivated, returned to forest, or built upon.  If he died in 1819 he would have ended up in the New Woodstock Cemetery, but if he died before about 1815 or so that

cemetery was not yet established.  He may also have packed up and moved on and died elsewhere.”


The following is from the website: 


Wiser, Benjamin (Benjamin Wiser), purchased 75 acres of Road Township, Lot 66 for $5.00 per acre on 10/10/1805 for a total price of $375.00; paid in full in 1811 (3:280).


The history of land transactions of Lot 66 are as follows:

150 acres, to Noah Taylor, 1794 (3:66).

75 acres, to Jonathan Ferre, 1803, (from Lands Repurchased) (3:280).
75 acres, to Benjamin Wiser, 1805, (from Lands Repurchased) (3:280).

The next part of this is from an index of the Road District Descriptions, Town of Cazenovia Road Book, 1804-1832, Madison County, New York. 


Benjamin Wiser, 1808 #26,36, 1809, #26,34, 1810, #26,34, 1811, #26,34, 1812, #26,34, 1813, #26, 1814, #26, 1815, #26, 1816, #26, 1817, #27, 33, 1818, #27,33, 1819, #27, 33.  Josiah Wiser, 1811, #26.


1808, #26, Beginning at the corner near Isaac Warren’s house Thence east by Benjamin Wiser’s to the Town line  Also the road from the north line of Levi Burgess’ land to the north line of Lot 62 (Road Township), Eli Bugbee, path master  #36, Beginning at the corner near Ashbel Webster’s   Thence south until it intersects the east and west road near Benjamin Wiser’s Justin Chapin, path master. 


The Road District Descriptions are explained in more detail by Daniel H. Weiskotten:


“One of the more important sets of records in Cazenovia's historical resources are what are called the Town Road Books. These are really the early Town Minute Books, begun n 1804, but because laying out and maintaining roads were the primary duties of the town fathers, the books were from the start called the Town Road Books. There are two concurrently kept books, with one volume consisting of the minutes of the Town meetings with appointments, resolutions, disbursements, school and road district descriptions, etc., and the other book consisting of hundreds of pages of detailed surveys of each road and records of when they were surveyed, opened, and in some cases abandoned.

While the existing "Town Road Books" were begun in 1804 it is clear that there were an earlier set of books from which some information, primarily road surveys, were transcribed, and then they were destroyed. The descriptions of the Road Districts, transcribed here, begin in 1804, while the road surveys date back almost a decade to 1795 when the community was first being settled (1793). It is clear that earlier records were kept from 1798 when the Town of Cazenovia was formed., but the records were reorganized in 1804 and those records deemed important were copied into the present books and the rest discarded. Thus we do not know who the first Town Officers were nor what Road Districts were defined.

The Town Road Books also include wonderful records of what concerns and interests the community fathers had, and there are records of the local animal pound, the organization of school districts (as well as description of the districts and notation of any changes).

This transcript is intended to include only that information pertaining to roads and the people who were assigned to maintain them. The town officials organized the various highways of the Town into manageable districts which were maintained by an appointed individual who lived along the roads of the district. Generally the districts include short segments of roads, with a beginning and end point being noted, and often segments of nearby and adjoining roads are included. Landmarks used to describe the location of the roads include names of residents (from the corner near Jabez Abell's) or other landmarks (to the center of the long causeway at the head of the lake) Each of these entries is helpful, especially so when used in conjunction to maps and deeds, to determine where these roads are and where people lived. The descriptions change very little from year to year, but subtle changes in the wording, changes in landmarks and references, and other differences are helpful in seeing the evolution of the community's roads. I have transcribed each year from 1804 up to 1832. The records continue for many years following, and I may eventually get to those later records.

I have not yet conducted the research necessary to determine which roads are being described, but having worked with the Town Road Books, deeds, maps, and other sources for many years (I conducted most of this transcription in 1985) I am fairly well versed in which roads are being described and where many of the people mentioned resided. “


Other land transactions involving Josiah Wiser in Madison County, New York are as follows:


Deed, 16 Sep 1817, Josiah and Phylene Wiser to Jonathan Ferry, part of Lot 66, five acres one quarter and twelve rods, for $106.88, Book Q, p.371, recorded 17 Oct 1820.


Deed, 1 Feb 1817, John Lincklaen, et al, to Josiah Wiser, part of Lot 66, 25 acres, for $342.82, Book M, p. 456, recorded 1 Apr 1817.


Deed, 1 Apr 1817, Josiah and Philena Wiser, to Arsenal Webber, part of Lot 66, 75 acres, for $1300.00, Book M, p. 464, recorded 4 Apr 1817.


Mortgage, 1 Apr 1817, Arcenal Webber, mortgagor, Josiah Wiser, mortgagee, Lot 66, 75 acres, Book C, p. 374, recorded 26 Sep 1817.





Thanks for your interest in the newsletter.  You may contact me at or at my home address of 6 Baton Rouge, Roswell, NM  88201, (505) 623-2534.