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INTRODUCTION to Index Three

(Town of Brookfield)


Through-out the first half of the present century, numerous persons have
attempted to copy all the inscriptions from all the abandoned cemeteries
of Madison County, New York, but always they were working alone.

Anyone familiar with this sort of activity will readily understand that
one person, in his or her lifetime could hardly hope to accomplish such
a task. And, however a heroic work these persons did accomplish, the
task was still unfinished.

In the early 1950's Mrs. Meyer, one of the compilers of this work set the
same task for herself. After a short time, she became aware of the efforts
of those who had preceded her and started to track down existing copies of
their work. It was a slow process as some of the earlier copyists had died
and their records had scattered to the four winds. Some were found in lib-
raries, some in private collections, and still others were found in attics,
cellars, and out of the way places gathering mold.

In 1958 Mrs. Scott became interested in the project and the compilers started
an ambitious task of copying all existing records and trying to verify these
records by checking them against the cemetery stones. The first volume of
the Towns of Fenner and Nelson made them very aware that this would not be a
task they would be able to complete as they had hoped. In 1959 Mrs. Meyer
moved to Maryland and in 1962 Mrs. Scott moved to Germany. However, both of
the compilers had determined they would make their collection of Madison
County records available to others with the understanding they were not
verified for the most part and it has not been determined the entire cemetery
has been copied, or that all the cemeteries have been located for that town.

Much credit is due the following persons for their efforts and recognition
is hereby tendered to:

Mrs. Delia Fairchild, deceased.  She and a group of friends spent several
years copying inscriptions in the southeast portion of the county.  We
would also like to tender our thanks to Mrs. Fairchild's daughter for her
whole-hearted approval and support of this project.

Mr. Donald Keith, Supervisor of Roads and former Historian of the town of
Brookfield, N.Y. for his help in locating many of those cemeteries and
helping to check inscriptions.

Mr. Robert Moyer, Jamesville, N.Y. Editor of Tree Talks and Past-President of
The Central New York Genealogical Society for his valuable assistance in
copying and verifying many of the cemeteries included in this volume.  His
encouragement has been one of the determining factors in publication for we
were loathe to make the records available without our thorough verification.

Mrs. Gertrude Smith, deceased.  Mrs. Smith was an enthusiastic record collec-
tor and inspired both compilers to try and accumulate for Madison County the
records she had found for Chenango County.

The Town of Brookfield was formed from the town of Paris, Herkimer County
in 1795.  In 1798 it was set off to Chenango County and included in the
17th, 18th and 19th townships of the "Chenango Twenty Towns". In 1805
a portion (township no. 17 of the Chenango Twenty Towns) was taken off to
form the town of Columbus, Chenango County and in 1806, Brookfield as it
is today was transferred to the jurisdiction of Madison County.

Brookfield lies in the southeast corner of the county and is bounded by
Hamilton and Madison on the west, on the north by Sangerfield and Bridgewater,
Oneida County, and south by Columbus, Chenango County. The Unadilla River
forms part of its boundary on the east and south. The east branch of the
Chenango River transverses Brookfield.

The first settlers came in 1791 from Rhode Island followed by people
for the most part from Mass. and Conn. Agriculture and dairy farming
were then as now the main occupation. Hop growing was for many years one
of the large industries.

A strong Quaker element were among the early settlers. They erected a
meeting house about 1820.But, due to children "marrying out of meeting"
and lack of converts, the Society died out as did the one in the town of
Madison.

There were three Seventh Day Baptist Churches in the town. The first one
was organized in Leonardsville in 1797. The other two, outgrowths of the
first, located in the (now) village of Brookfield and at Babcock's Mills
and were established in 1823.

A Baptist Society was formed in 1798 at "Five Corners". It later moved to
Brookfield village and shared a meeting house with the Seventh Day Baptists.
A Methodist Class was formed in 1800 and in 1820 built a meeting house in
lot #43 of the 18th Township. They later moved to the village of Brookfield.
The only newspaper published in the town is THE BROOKFIELD COURIER. It
was started in 1876 but copies of issues prior to about 1909 have been
destroyed by fire. However, other newspapers of the area, Cazenovia, Oneida,
and Norwich carried a great deal of Brookfield "news".

Two books have been written about and by the Town of Brookfield families in
the 1970's. The Eternal Hills by Donna Spooner Tanney and Remembered Years
by the Brookfield Township Historical Society. Remembered Years giving more
detail of the early settlement of the Town of Brookfield.

The text was scanned and corrected by Douglas J. Ingalls. No changes
were made to the content.

Douglas J. Ingalls
18 October 1997

Cemetery transcripts contributed by Sandra B. Wilsey, April, 2009 from the 
James Madison Chapter N.S.D.A.R. Volume 168 collection at the Hamilton Public 
Library, Hamilton, New York.    

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