THE NAME OF TULLY includes the VILLAGE OF TULLY incorporated 1875the TOWN OF TULLY set off 1803, plus Central School District #2 TULLY CENTRAL SCHOOLS, post office zip code 13159, telephone area (315) 696 --- one of the southern tier of towns of Onondaga County, New York State. Some of the above overlap into adjacent towns, and Cortland County, less than a mile south of the village.
The original use of the name was the TOWNSHIP as surveyed by Simeon Dewitt 1793for the MILITARY TRACT OF CENTRAL NEW YORK.
During the revolution New York State had raised 2 regiments of soldiers by promising bounty land as partial payment for the services rendered. Of course they did not have land, yet. The area they had in mind still belonged to the native Indians. After several years treaties were signed and they were ready. Simeon Dewitt surveyed the area. He asked Robert Harpur a professor of classical studies at Kings College (now Columbia)to suggest names that were not English nor Indian. They wanted to make the area distinctive.. Altogether there were 26 townships surveyed. The names included HANNIBAL, LYSANDER, CICERO, CAMILLUS, MARCELLUS, POMPEY, FABIUS, TULLY, HOMER, VIRGIL,SOLON, CINCINNATUS and several more. One Roman general got double honors. Marcus TULLIUS CICERO. Tully was #14 of the 26 townships. On March 1, 1794 the tract became ONONDAGA COUNTY.
New York had set up the original counties in 1683. At that time Albany county included all of the state not otherwise defined. In 1772 They set off Tryon County for that purpose, in 1784 name changed to Montgomery. They also set off Ontario and later Genesee Counties as large areas all "mother counties". They set a preemption line just west of Seneca Lake. the western border of the military tract, eastern of Ontario. Montgomery was broken into several counties, Herkimer and Tioga, 1791 parts of which became the 1794 Onondaga County. 1799 saw that split in half, Cayuga County, which later formed Seneca Co., pieces of Wayne, Tompkins, Schuyler and even a piece of Yates. In 1808 the remaining half was split to form Cortland County, 1833 saw parts used to form Oswego County, finally leaving the current configuration.
The towns were split rapidly too. before 1794 there had been the mother town Whitestown. in Albany and Montgomery Co. In Herkimer County town of Mexico, and Peru covered 80% of the new Onondaga area, Owego, and others in Tioga County were
the remaining southern tier. Within the new county the Town of Pompey covered the area we are interested in. Originally the Onondagas and Cayuga Indians had a reserved area not part of the tract. They did sell some of the areas later, some still subject to judicial review.
The Town of Onondaga set up 1798 includes most of the City of Syracuse. Also 1798 Marcellus became a town. in 1799 Fabius Homer and Solon were
set off. the 1799 Fabius included the townships of Fabius and Tully. 1803 they were split, and for 3 years the 2 towns and townships actually were the same area. in 1808 when Cortland county was organized both Tully and Fabius were divided in half. 1806 Otisco, and 1811 Spafford reduced Tully to its present town boundary. The Cortland County half was called Preble, and in 1815 split to form Scott. Fabius south half combined with some of Solon to make Truxton, and 1855 Cuyler. The neighboring areas underwent similar changes. LaFayette to the north was formed 1825 from Pompey, plus some slivers of the Indian Reservation. The newer towns took names from heroes in the Revolutionary war....Commodore Preble, Generals Spafford, Scott, Truxton, and obviously the marquis de LaFayette. also Cortland. By now Indian names which were used for bodies of water were adopted by adjacent lands, Skaneateles and Otisco.
Tully also was favored by geology. A bed of salt from a prehistoric ocean would become important to the industries of Syracuse, the Solvay Process Company, and the glaciers had sculpted the hills, and left numerous pockets of icebergs which became beautiful kettle lakes attracting summer vacationers. It also sits astride of the continental divide between waters draining north to the great lakes and St. Lawrence, and other streams draining south...the Tioughnioga which joins the Chenango and Susquehanna on its way to the Chesapeake Bay.
THE POPULATION EXPLOSION People settling the area, other than Onondaga Indians who used the area for hunting for centuries, were largely from New York, New England, and some from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The federal census for 1790 did show a few hardy families in Pompey area. By 1800 the census as published by New York Genealogical and Biographical Record about 1901 showed 5823 for Onondaga County (this was without Cayuga, but does include Cortland). The breakdown by towns:
Marcellus 1009 Manlius 989 Fabius 944 Pompey 2337 Homer 512 Solon 580 Camillus 344 Lysander 119 and Onondaga 993.
others (possibly Indians or negro slaves) 9
this indicates about 236 adult mail family heads, If there were a few widows heading family perhaps 250 in the full Tully Fabius area
The 1800 census only lists the surnames of heads of families. Here is the Fabius list which includes modern Fabius, Tully pieces of Otisco, Spafford Cuyler, Truxton, Preble, and Scott.
BABCOCK, DENNIS, HOWARD, JACQUES, WILCOX, HENDERSON, GOODWIN, CHRISTIAN, STROUD, DAYTON, LANGER, HOWELL, SCRIVEN, WALKER, OWEN, TROWBRIDGE, CREVETT, CREVATH, CRETH, CLEVELAND, OSGOOD, GILL, MESSINGER, GRANT, HILL, THORP, GRANGER, SAMPILL, INGOLS, LEWIS, PATTERSON, LYTELLE, WOODRUFF, KENNY, FOX, WEBSTER, BROWN, CROUCH, CASE, SLATER, NORTON, HARRIS, BAKER, WEBSTER, ANDREWS, PECK, WOODROUGH, DANIELS, KENNEY, BLANCHER, SKELLINGER, BURROUGHS, BLANTHING, KINGSLEY, GROFF, HOSKINS, HANKS, WALLING, CARPENTER, BABCOCK, HEDGES, STEWART, GATES, HODGES, OWEN, MCCARTY, BUCKINGHAM, ALLEN, HELLER, KEYLOR, MORSE, LOCKWOOD, KRENDAH, VINCENT, WITMARSH, MEAD, SKINNER, CARR, WHITE, HAYNES, GILBERT, TINKER, JUDD, LOCKWOOD, POTTER, DUNHAM, MARKS, TUBBS, BEEBE, DUNHAM, MOORE, CLARK, JEROME, STJOHN, SIMONS, SWEETLAND, COUCH, KEENEY, CHAUNCEY, PORTER, STRONG, WEBSTER, STEBBINS, PHELPS, SMITH, BENSON, HENDERSON, ANDREWS, SLIGO, OWEN, STOCKHAM, NIGGER, SPRAGUE, OLNEY, PAUL. JUDSON, VIRGIL, LANCEY, SPRAGUJE, COBB, BEEBE, ALLEN, SHAW, KNIGHT, BARBER, LEVIN, HOWARD, VIRGIL, BENEDICT, BELDING, TOOL, WALLIS, DOUD, HOW, WALLIN, DUNHAM, MEARS, HALL, BELDEZ, GILBERT, PIXLEY, STARKES, DAUS, STODDARD, MCNAMERA, MILES, SYMPSON, MILES, JAY, COBB, DADY.
since the original text is longhand, sometimes hard to read, some spelling variations may be errors in transcription copied many times. this means use some judgment, if a family name is similar to one you are tracing. most of these names are still in the area phonebooks, some definitely have descendants still in the area. I am not prepared to address any of these genealogies personally.
Now back to Tully. The first log cabin built 1795 by David Owen, is where most Tully histories begin. Michael Christian is the only actual soldier to claim his Military Tract. bounty land on lot 18 of Tully. I found that another soldier who drew lot 39 Nicholas Cook sold his interest to Anson Owen father of David. David purchased the southeast quarter of lot 39 which is most of Tully Village now. David, Michael and the Hendersons were all residents by 1797. Prebleís first settler as James Crevath. In 1801 the first school was taught by Miss Ruth Thorpe in Timothy Walkers barn. The first church in the Town of Tully was the Preble Congregational Church in 1804. before the 1808 split. The Post Master Nicholas Howell for Tully appointed 1815. (before that they got mail at Preble or Pompey).
Other early settlers: Seth, Samuel, and Milo Trowbridge, Samuel and Robert Crevath, Edward Cummings, Nicholas and Floyd Howell, the Farrs, John Meeker, Joseph Goodelle, Nicholas Lewis, Jacob Johnson, Peter Van Camp, Amos Skeele, Job Lewis
There are plenty of accounts of the many Tully firsts.
There is a mention of an army unit in the war that traveled through the area on their way to Niagara Falls. One soldier noted that these fertile soils were so good that one acre here was worth 10 of New Englandís rocky grounds, and determined to come back.
Most early settlers built farms on hill tops, overlooking valleys they expected to be swampy and overrun with mosquotes and diseases. As they cut trees and cleared the land
the valleys dried up enough to be habitable. Large farms became common.
The Skaneateles / Hamilton Turnpike finished 1806 became a main street. todays NY Rt 80. The first settlers walked or rode horses, or used waterways by boat. Turnpikes were the first roads built by private contractors and paid for by tolls. The Genesee Turnpike and the Cherry Valley Turnpike helped open the area. The State Erie Canal became the main street and ensured the success of Syracuse, then just another small village to the north.
Before the railroad there was also a Plank Road from Syracuse to Binghamton through Tully Center. That hamlet is largely covered by the modern interstate route 81, paralleling the US Rt 11 as major highways. Tully history has many more highlights, potash making, farming, Schools, Stores, finding the Salt, the Railroad, etc. The two Churches side by side (Baptist built 1825 ) Methodist(1830) which merged 1971 as Tully United Community Church. In 1978 the old buildings were acquired by the brand new Tully Area Historical Society as its headquarters. This is really a short history because I donít plan to repeat the commonly available sources here. I am focusing on the first settlers and ties to my own family genealogy, which provided some of the following details.
Since my website has other accounts of my early generations, will begin with the story told about Isaac Van Buskirk and his father John who walked from Coxsackie to Preble
about 1810 to visit relatives already here. The Preble historian, Isaacís grand daughter Helen says it was to visit his aunt and uncle John Collier who settled about 1806. Mrs Collier was Hannah Spoor, sister of Eva Spoor Van Buskirk his mother. The Spoor sisters mother Leah Van Hoesen was first cousin to Elizabeth Van Hoesen who married her 4th cousin Gerritt Van Hoesen, also from Coxsakie area, and settled here by 1806.
John Colliers mother was Sarah Van Vechten. Sister Catrina married Lambert Van Valkenburg, whose daughter Christine was the wife of William Van Denburgh who has a historical marker for building the first Preble Hotel 1802. Also Isaacís sister Mary married Abraham Hollenbeck in 1808 and settled at Tully.
Gerritt Van Hoesens son Gerritt married a Catherine Van Buskirk, their son Gerritt married a Lana Van Buskirk in 1811 daughter of Benjamin Van Buskirk and Maria Hardick They are found in the Tully records from 1810 - 1830. They also lived in the Coxsackie area and had Johns parents witness a baptism for Lanaís sister Maria in 1796. But the entry "remote gossips" means distantly related. I believe the circumstantial evidence shows that Benjamin had been a Loyalist who went to Canada, and was disowned by his real family. I think he was indeed Johnís brother, and I am sure the visit would have included him, but they did not want to acknowledge the connection. Isaac married in 1816 to Elizabeth Conine of Coxsackie, and settled permanently in Preble. They had 9 children. Isaac was the 5th of 9 children himself, and all 9 atleast spent some time here, one, Abram went on west to Michigan. He told census takers years later he was born in Preble Co NY 1795 - before any of them were here. He might have memories of teen years here. Another Abraham shows up and has a large family, historians seemed to adopt this Abraham, but I think he is Johns 2nd cousin probably removed, and his wife Catherine Van Valkenburg was probably sister or cousin to the Mrs Van Denburgh above. Their son Lambert Van Denburgh married Rachel Van Buskirk who appears to be a sister of this Abraham Van Buskirk. Before long additional members of the Spoor, and Conine families join the group. The point being a large number of these families came together from the area around Coxackie to Preble / Tully area. Probably other families on the early lists also had prior connections back east, where ever they started.
Following up my own family line : Isaac & Elizabeth have a son John whose wife was Electa Sniffen. The Sniffen / Kniffens were from Westchester Co NY where Reuben was
a Revolutionary War veteran. The family settled in Cardiff, near LaFayette about1800.
Their youngest son Charley married Phoebe Van Allen. That family was from Kindehook area in Columbia Co, but Abraham was born in Coxsackie 1810 married about 1845 to Lovina Allen b in Hudson, NY they settled at Cedarvale, town of Onondaga, raised 11 children. Both Sniffens and Van Allen descendants are part of Onondaga County history. My father married Margaret Dayton. The Daytons were originally at East Hampton LI NY 1640s then New Jersey 1700s. Her father moved from Basking Ridge NJ to Brooklyn NY to marry into the Barnes family, then to Atlanta and Griffin Ga, where most of his children were born, then to Auburn, Cayuga Co NY about 1903. The Barnes family was from Hartford Ct and West Stockbridge Mass, her grandfather married a Van Deusen from Copake, NY (resulting in overlapping lines for her son, me) then moved to Brooklyn. Several of the pioneers in Pompey 1790 and later were cousins of her Barnes lines, including Andrews and Scovilles at Keeny Settlement near Fabius. Also one of the 1800 names was a Dayton (not yet identified). The only other line the Quakers of Bucks Co Pa include John Pearson Thornton and Julian Marie Chapman still had a New York connection. He was a surveyor in Rochester NY when they married, and in Troy when Mary Ellen was born (Mrs Dayton, Margaretsí grandmother). This is both why I got a good start in genealogy from family with good memories and records, and the interest in our own local history. Most of the families mentioned are outlined in the website. http://www.oocities.com/vanbus1/
my e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org This is intended to prompt questions from those interested in more details, especially potential cousins. Good luck with your research. John C Van Buskirk Tully, NY. 13159 0061
†RETURN TO MAIN PAGE