Town of Birdsall
BIRDSALL (1829): Named after the Eighth Judicial District Judge (1823-1829) John Birdsall. Formed from Almond and Allen May 4, 1829.
Records of Civil History indicate The town of Birdsall was formed on the 2nd day of March, 1830, at a meeting of the inhabitants held at the house of James Matthews, pursuant to an act of the Legislature of the State of New York passed at it's fifty-second session May 4, 1829. The meeting was under the management of the following named justices of the peace: James Matthews, Elias Hall and John P. Van Allen. The following Officials were chosen:
SUPERVISOR - Andrew C. Hull
TOWN CLERK - Horace B. Camp
ASSESSORS - Thomas Parker, R. Thompson, James Matthews
HIGHWAY COMMISSIONERS - Samuel Hodgman, Thomas Havens, David Bennett
SCHOOL COMMISSIONERS - David Bennett, Abram J. Havens, Daniel Schenck
SCHOOL INSPECTORS - Joseph B. Welch, Horace B. Camp, John P. Albaugh
OVERSEERS OF THE POOR - Josiah Whitman, Gilbert C. Little
CONSTABLES - Chester Sleteker, Thomas VanWormer, Jonathon Jackson
COLLECTOR - Thomas VanWormer
JUSTICES - Josiah Whitman, Lawrence Dey
SEALER OF WEIGHTS & MEASURES - Aaron Hale
This town, which was named in honor of Judge John Birdsall, circuit judge of the eighth judicial district in1828-29, was organized from Allen and Almond, May 4th, 1829. The first settlement was made in 1816 by Josiah Whitman, on lot number 24. Not long afterword William P. Schaack and a man named Vance came in from New Jersey, and Jeremiah VanWormer from Cayuga county. In 1818 James Matthews, also from New Jersey, settled on lot number 21. In 1822 William Dey and his son Lemuel C. Dey, from Cayuga county, settled on lot number 5 and John I., James I. and Lawrence J. Dey and John Meserall, all from Middlesex county, NJ, settled there the next year. There was quite an accession of settlers during the next four years.
In 1830 the population of Birdsall was 534. Among those who came in that year was Jabez Southard, who was born in New Jersey in 1793. Thomas Randolph, his father-in-law, had come in the previous year and taken up three hundred acres, the west half of lot number 6, in the southeastern corner of the town, and made a small clearing. After the arrival of Mr. Southard, with his wife and two children, Randolph sold him one hundred acres of the land he had purchased, and they went forward with the work of improvement together. Mr. Southard was living in the autumn of 1878, with his daughter in the town of West Almond.
In 1835 the population of the town was 573; in 1840 it had fallen off to 328; and during the next five years there was a gain which brought the aggregate up to 475.Peter M. Young, Jacob Young and others moved in during 1847. The Youngs were from Livingston county. Among those who came in 1849 was A. K. Humphrey. He bought seventy-five acres of lot number 14, of Mrs. Van Allen, whose husband had previously taken it up and made some improvements on it. Mr. Humphrey continued to be a resident of the town till his death. The census of 1850 showed an increase in population which gave an aggregate of 597. John Buch moved in from Livingston county in 1851, and Freeman Doolittle came in 1852, accompanied by his family, and purchased 161-1/3 acres of lot number 21, which he cleared with the aid of his sons. He remained a resident of the town till 1865, when he removed to Michigan where he was living in 1878, at the age of 73.
In 1853, Patrick Haire (a native of Ireland, who had come to America in 1847, and resided for a time in Monroe county) came to Birdsall and purchased ninety-four acres where he has since lived. He has been prominently identified with the affairs of the town. Jehial Abbey moved in from Erie county, PA, in 1855, at which time the population of the town was 838. David B. Abbey came the same year.
Among other early settlers, the dates of whose advent in the town cannot now be ascertained, were Josiah Whitman, Jonathan Jackson, Chester Sleteker, Gilbert C. Little, John P. Albaugh, Horace B. Camp, Joseph B. Welch, Abram J. Havens, David Bennett, Samuel Hodgman, Andrew C. Hull, R. Thompson, Thomas Parker, Elias Hull, John Riggs, Reuben Freeman and William Lord, and in most instances, the members of their families. In 1860, the population was 909; in 1865, 766; in 1870, 755; in 875, 979.
The first birth in the town was that of James E., son of James Matthews, March 7th, 1820. The first couple married in the town were Samuel VanWickle, brother of Evert VanWickle of Angelica (and afterwards clerk of Allegany county), and Harriet Freeman, daughter of Reuben Freeman, in 1821.
The first death was that of Leah Riggs, daughter of John Riggs, in 1824."
----History of Allegany County,NY; F.W.Beers & Co, NY; 1879.
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