Steuben County was named in honor of Baron Frederick William de Steuben, celebrated major general and confidant of George Washington. Taken from Ontario County in 1796, Steuben is surrounded by 6 New York State counties, it's southern boundary facing Pennsylvania. Not surprisingly, some of the earliest settlers came up from Wyoming, Pennsylvania. All of Steuben was part of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase, passing to Robert Morris, later developers being Sir William Pulteney and his agent Capt. Charles Williamson, who founded Bath with a group of settlers from Scotland and Germany. Currently Steuben is composed of 32 individual towns. Some of the more well-known villages and cities are Bath (home to a large Veterans Administration Hospital), Painted Post, Corning (home of the famous Corning Glass company) and Dansville.
Steuben County GenWeb's coordinator is Judy Allen Cwiklinski, who originally had a personal home page dedicated to the county's history. When I told Judy that Steuben had been selected as May feature I also mentioned that for once I was at a loss for words in attempting to describe what she had achieved, the site being a "biggie", as is the county!
"Well, I can tell you pretty much that in Steuben Co. the county seat is Bath, there are over 350 cemeteries. It is the 7th largest county - landmass - encompasses 1,397 square miles of land area - Steuben Co. has 348 more square miles of land area than the State of Rhode Island. Was formed from Ontario Co. March 18, 1796 by act of legislature. The county's population right now is just under 100,000 people."
"Up on line I have census, Civil War people by towns, Revolutionary War veterans, vital records from newspapers in and out of Steuben Co., brief town histories for each of the towns, over half of the cemeteries are now on line - including the National Cemetery which may have veterans from all over NY State & other states. Minister's marriage records, early wolf bounty, military taxes, War of 1812 information. Diaries, GenConnect suite with Deeds, Wills, Bible Records, Obituaries, Pensions - etc. Pretty much went over the highlights - but every town has the cemeteries that are in the town on the town pages at the bottom - and I've cross-indexed other town items so they can be found."
Thank you, Judy! You took the words right out of my mouth. Going into a little more detail - Steuben County NYGenWeb is composed of over 500 well-organized files, including the 9,012 name Bath National Veterans Cemetery (kudos to John Mosher and Shirley Patterson Allen), the 3,700 name Grove Cemetery in Bath, and an excellent help page. Judy's efforts in bringing newspaper items on line as a major genealogical resource have long been acknowledged - included are Laurene Matthews Grimes' Steuben Farmer's Advocate gleanings, James Hope's Steuben Messenger vital abstracts, Judy's own extensive abstracts from the Allegany County Reporter, and other newspaper items making for interesting reading whether your ancestors resided here or not.
The site's plethora of other offerings are credited to a dedicated and generous group including Tom Skrentny, George E. Sawyer, Francine Smith, Doris Chretin, and Kelly Taft Krause (census transcription), Marion Springer (scrapbook contribution), Steuben County Historian
Richard "Dick" Sherer, Annette Campbell (cemetery typing) & Jean Morse for loaning the cemeteries, and many other volunteers and contributors who Judy graciously acknowledges. This reviewer would like to take the opportunity to personally thank Kelly Taft Krause, NYGenWeb volunteer extraordinaire, for her untiring regional work, and John Mosher, who has done so much here and elsewhere in NYGenWeb to make New York State's Civil War offerings the best.
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This page was last updated on: 11 Mar 2015