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WISER NEWSLETTER

Volume 6 Issue 7                                                                July 2001

RESEARCH FINDINGS

I have returned from my trip to upstate New York.  I had the opportunity of meeting new relatives and conducting extensive research on the descendants of Benjamin Wiser, especially those of Benjamin’s daughter, Alathea Wiser Morse.  I appreciate the hospitality shown me while traveling, and especially the research help of Hilarie Albro. This newsletter will summarize a few new items found on the trip. 

I was able to contact a few members of the Lewis and Elizabeth Albro Smith family.  Elizabeth was a granddaughter of Alithea Wiser Morse, her mother and father were James and Sabra S. (Morse) Albro.  Murray Aldrich and Dorothy Jenkins are two members of this family with which I was able to visit while in New York.  Murray’s mother, Frances Elizabeth Smith was a granddaughter of Elizabeth Albro.  She was born July 17, 1902 and passed away December 21, 1999, at the age of 97.  Her parents were Albert A. and Mary Rodgers Jones Smith.  Murray’s mother told Murray on several occasions that Elizabeth Albro’s mother [Sabra S. Morse] was “full-blooded Indian”.  Of course, we now know that the Wisers were Native American. 

Dorothy Jenkins related how her family told of how Elizabeth Albro Smith used to smoke a “corncob pipe” in her later years.  Elizabeth was born January 13, 1830 and passed away August 26, 1921 at her home in the Otisco Valley, New York.  Dorothy is the daughter of Holley and Edna (Pease) Smith.  Holley was the son of Albert A. and Nellie (Case) Smith, and a half-brother of Frances Elizabeth Smith Aldrich.  I have sent you a picture of Lewis and Elizabeth (Albro) Smith in their later years as a separate E-mail. 

I also visited the Lorenzo, a New York state historic site which was John Lincklaen’s home. They have a large amount of original records that date back to the late 1700s and early 1800s.  Unfortunately, the genealogy data they contain is somewhat limited as they are primarily land and store records. John Lincklaen was “a young Dutch naval officer, who worked under the agency of a group of Dutch investment bankers, who had established a Holland Land Company office on the shore of what is now Cazenovia Lake.  Lincklaen worked to open roads, erect mills, and attract merchants and artisans who would, in turn, attract more settlers.  His efforts successfully stimulated the growth of the new village of Cazenovia, which prospered as the economic crossroads of the region” (from the website, www.cazenovia.com/lorenzo/). Samuel S. Forman, born in 1763, came with John Lincklaen as a merchant, and ran several stores in the area. There are a number of references to our Wiser family in the Samuel Forman store accounts.  There are also references to the Wiser family in the John Ledyard and Ledyard Lincklaen’s records.  They were heirs of John Lincklaen.

As mentioned in previous newsletters, Benjamin Wiser owned part of Lot #66, Road Township. Road Township no longer exists, but is now part of New Woodstock, New York.  New Woodstock is in Cazenovia Township. Benjamin’s land was about a mile east of New Woodstock on New York State Highway 52.  New Woodstock presently has a population of about 800 people and is some seven miles from Cazenoiva. 

On 10 Nov 1794, the Holland Land Company sold Noah Taylor Lot No. 66 “containing 150 acres at $3 per acre payable within 10 years with interest at 7 cents per annum conditioned to clear and sow 4 acres within 12 months and pay 10 dollars down as per article of agreement dated November 10th, 1794”. 

Subsequently, Lot No. 66 was sold to Benjamin Wiser and Jonathan Ferre (Ferry). Benjamin Wiser purchased 75 acres of Lot 66 for $5.00 per acre on October 10, 1805 for a total price of $375.00, down payment of $93.75, paid in full in 1811. Jonathan Ferre purchased 75 acres of Lot 66 for $4.18 per acre on 21 Apr 1803 for a total price of $313.625, paid in full in 1810.   Josiah Wiser, son of Benjamin, acted as his attorney in this land transaction.

At this time, Benjamin was probably 62 years old, if we assume he was born in 1743, as other records have indicated.  When Benjamin passed away, probably in 1818, he would have been 75, a grand age for that time.  He would have led an amazing life, from being born in Natick, Massachusetts in a Christian Indian Village, living in Haverhill, New Hamsphire, serving in the Revolutionary War to finally settling in New Woodstock, New York.

For next month’s newsletter, I will summarize the remaining references to the Wiser family in these records.  Two of the most interesting items will be the sale of potash by Benjamin Wiser and a contract to grow crops.  The newsletter will include a discussion of how potash was produced and traded in Colonial America, and how Benjamin Wiser and his family were part of this.

Last month, I promised to summarize references to James Rumneymarsh Quanapohkit Wiser found in the book, The Indians of the Nipmuck Country in Southern New England, 1630-1750, An Historical Geography, by Dennis A. Connole.  This will probably need to wait until September’s newsletter.

OBITUARY

Cortland paper; Donald H. Smith [Fay D. Smith, Albert A. Smith, Elizabeth M. Albro, Sabra S. Morse, Alithea Wiser, Benjamin Wiser], 81, of 41 Clayton Avenue, Cortland, NY, died July 20, 2001 at his residence.  He was born on Nov. 4, 1919 in Pompey, NY, and was the son of the late Fay and Ruth Hodges Smith.  He served his country in the United States Army from April 28, 1942 to Jan. 4, 1946, when he was honorably discharged.  He was employed as a salesman for Prudential Insurance Company.  He was a member of The Cortland Country Club, VFW Post 2354 and had served as chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the City of Cortland.  Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, Beatrice (nee Fabrizio) Smith of Cortland; a son, Stewart (Bruchelle) Smith of Williamsville; two daughters, Cynthia (Rick) Monroe of Solon, and Susan (Kent) Edwards of Cortlandville; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  Services and calling hours will be private.  Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Cortland on Monday.  Contributions in memory of Mr. Smith may be directed to The Caring Community Hospice, 11 Kennedy Parkway, Cortland, NY  13045.  Arrangements are under the direction of the Lansing Funeral Home, Inc., 32 Auburn Road, Lansing.  (www.lansingfuneralhome.com)

POSTSCRIPT

Please let me know if you find any new information in your research.  I appreciate any thing you can add to our research efforts.

Once again, thanks for your contributions to our family newsletter.  You may contact me at or 6 Baton Rouge, Roswell, NM  88201, or (505) 623-2534.