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Cemetery Index

Cemeteries of Madison County, NY

 

Burials in the Madison Street Cemetery

Town of Hamilton

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Introduction

	While researching the Hamilton ancestry of a Michigan client in early 1982, I discovered 
that there was no complete record of gravestone inscriptions for the Madison Street Cemetery 
in the Village of Hamilton. A very small portion of the markers had been read by the James 
Madison Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, in October, 1911. Their data was 
included in Cemetery, Church and Town Records, Volume 151 (New York State Series, 1940-41), 
compiled by the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, a copy of which is in 
the Hamilton Public Library. Though very limited, this material is so useful that I determined 
to make a complete reading of all markers in the burying ground. The the task proved far more 
complex than originally envisioned and has required nearly two years to complete.

	Knowing that the cemetery is municipally maintained, my first step was to inquire at the 
Village Office about the existence of interment records. Among the files of the Village Clerk 
are two volumes of such data and a portfolio of papers concerning the cemetery property. Though 
containing information about some of the earliest burials, they are obviously ex post facto records.
Until the early part of this century, all entries are in the same handwriting and appear to have 
been done at approximately the same time. In addition, the amount of data varies from entry to entry. 
Some record only a name, death date or year, and grave location. Others give some or all of the 
following: family relationships, age, place of birth, place of last residence, marital status, a
nd cause of death. The listing appears to be incomplete, especially for recent years.

	I prepared a separate file card for each name in the interment books, listing all of the data given. 
These were then cross-checked with the DAR reading mentioned above and any differences noted. Next, a 
gravestone-by-gravestone reading was made. Actual data from the stones were entered on the cards if 
different from that of the other records. Where no stone could be found for a recorded burial, the cards 
were so annotated. the location of each grave was compared against the reported location. Finally, Mr. 
Howard Williams, Village of Hamilton Historian, was kind enough to share with me his c. 1935 compilation 
of data from the Osgood family tombstones. This, too, was added to the cards. The result was not a record 
of gravestone inscriptions, as had been intended, but a record of burials  probably an even more useful 
document.

	Entries are in the following format, though not all entries will contain each item: Surname; 
Given Name(s); Maiden Name, if applicable; Date of Birth, Date of Death; Age Place of Birth; Last Residence; 
Cause of Death; Military Services; Name of Spouse or Parents; Grave Location. A very few entries contain 
additional information, inserted wherever it seemed appropriate. Unless otherwise indicated, all sources 
were in agreement and a gravestone was found. where the data differed or where it seemed advisable to show 
two or more sets of data (generally in those cases where one source had a death date and age while the other 
had birth and death dates), the source of each set is shown parenthetically. 

The codes used were:

	(Int) - Interment Records in the Village Office;
	(VBG) - my personal reading of the tombstone; 
	(DAR) - the limited DAR reading mentioned above;
	(HW)  - Howard Williams. 

	Though many inferences concerning family relationships could be drawn from the proximity 
of gravestones, they were not included here. Cross references have been made between husband 
and wife and between a woman's married and maiden names, but not between parents and children.

	There have been, inevitably, errors in my reading of the gravestones. Many of the stones 
are very worn and nearly illegible. Some markers could be read only after the surface was covered 
with chalk and a raking light used. Others required a rubbing, using paper and heel-ball (a waxy 
crayon). Several of the stones are broken and parts of the inscription completely destroyed. Only 
the worst of these conditions are noted in the text. Because of these difficulties, the user should, 
whenever possible, obtain confirmation of my data from other sources, e.g. , obituaries, death 
certificates, church records, etc.

	It should also be noted that there are many fallen stones in the cemetery. Those that are face 
up have, of course, been included in the text. Others, however, have fallen face down and were 
omitted. Thus there may well be a marker in several cases where I have stated "stone not found." 
There are also several piles of broken gravestones. An attempt was made to read all of these but 
some may have been missed.

	This compilation could not have been possible without the assistance of several individuals. 
Village Clerk James Morgan not only made available the interment records but gave me working 
space in his crowded office. Howard Williams, the Village Historian, shared with me his vast 
knowledge of local history as well as his personal files on the Osgood family. Most importantly 
of all, my wife, Joan Goodrich, helped proofread the seemingly endless pages of data.

Hamilton, New York
February 1984
 
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