Friday, April 16, 2010

Researching Bovina's History On-line - Delaware County NY Genealogy & History site

This blog isn't the only source for information on Bovina's past. There are a number of other on-line sources to consider, starting with one of the first ones I used - the Delaware County NY Genealogy & History site ( In the interest of full disclosure, I have been a fairly regular contributor to the site over the years. Given a lot of very hard work by a lot of other people, however, I'm not tooting my own horn by saying what an incredible site this is. Started in 1996 by Joyce Riedinger, it is consistently well organized and content rich. As you explore the site, you'll see that Joyce has provided a history of the site and a large list of the many people who have contributed content over the years. While not wanting to disparage other county genealogy websites, I have yet to find one as well done as Delaware County's. Kudos to Joyce for managing such a wonderful resource.

When you enter the site, you'll see first a 'Historical Background' section. Under that is a link to sections for the towns in Delaware County. When you click on that, then on Bovina, you'll find a number of contributions:

-a number of photographs of Bovina people and places, many contributed by the late Alan Davidson.

-a color scan of the 1869 Beers Atlas map of Bovina.

-extensive cemetery information, contributed by Ed and Dick Davidson. I've noted this before, but Bovina has the best documented dead people in the state, if not the nation. If you're dead in Bovina, we know where you are!

-the 'Bovina Families' transcription. About 100 years ago, Bovina native David Fletcher Hoy, uncle of Fletcher Davidson, began to collect information on Bovina families and put it down on hundreds of slips of paper. In the 1980s, Fletcher transcribed all of these slips into a 1600 page handwritten document. In 2001 and 2002, I typed this transcript, estimating that there were 12,000 entries. My next step in all of this is to take David Hoy's slips and match them with my transcription to catch any mistakes I made and any information Fletcher may have missed.

-membership lists for the Bovina United Presbyterian and Reformed Presbyterian churches.

-census information, much of which was submitted by Linda Ogborn and the Davidson brothers.

But don't just stay in this section. Other sections of the website include transcriptions of old histories of Delaware County, which, of course, include entries for Bovina. The Biographical Review of Delaware County is a rich source of genealogical and family information. Under 'Index to Data and Photos' then 'Family bios, information' you'll find a number of contributions on the history of specific families. I've submitted histories of the Coulter and Miller families and provided information created by Jack Burns on the Burns family. You'll see other Bovina related families there too.

The site also has an excellent search feature that can help you find specific people or places. You'll also see a section of queries so you can find if other people are researching the same lines you are. Feel free to submit your queries also.

Stay tuned for a future blog entry or two on other places to research Bovina.

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