Page 3 - LeRoy Historical

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Page 3
rit Cotringer purchased
50,000 acres, south of
the Ogden Tract. A tract
6 miles wide, containing
100,000 acres was sold
to John B. Church. And in
the southern part of the
original Genesee Coun-
ty, toward Pennsylva-
nia, 175,000 acres were
purchased by Samuel
Sterritt, and although it
passed through several
over a short period of
time, it is still most com-
monly called the Sterritt
Tract. With the excep-
tion of a small “Mt.Morris
Tract”, all of the remain-
ing land owned by Rob-
ert Morris, located along
the eastern boundary
of the Morris Reserve,
became known as the
“Morris Honorary Credi-
tor’s Tract.” It was divid-
ed among the creditors
of Robert Morris.
Strange as it seems,
all this land had been
divided into tracts, but
no one had negoti-
ated with the Indians.
That was still Morris’ re-
sponsibility. So in Sep-
tember 1797, Thomas
Morris and Charles Wil-
tives for Robert Morris,
met with the chiefs and
sachems at the Coun-
cil of the Big Tree near
Geneseo. Negotiations
lasted for several days.
Ultimately, the Indians
relinquished all claims
to the land in return
for $100,000 and the
establishment of sev-
eral Indian reservations
within the area. Once
Big Tree Treaty
was signed, the surveyors went to
work and settlers began pouring
into the wilderness.
Joseph Ellicott led the team of
surveyors for the Holland Purchase.
They utilized surveying equipment,
including a transit, that produced
a more accurate account of the
boundary lines than had been pos-
sible before. Ellicott considered their
work to be “for the ages.” As a result,
they discovered and corrected many
discrepancies. Some of the boundar-
ies were corrected by as much as
two miles.
The most important boundary
that they surveyed was the Eastern
Transit Line of the Holland Purchase.
It begins at the Pennsylvania border
in the town of Alma and continues
due north eventually following the
common border of Bethany and
Pavilion, along
Transit Road
, cross-
ing what is now Route 5, a few feet
east of the Black Creek bridge in
Stafford, near the fire hall.The Transit
line continues north between Byron
and Elba, taking a westerly jog at the
corner of the Craigie Tract and the
100,000 Acre Tract before reaching
Lake Ontario in the Town of Kendall.
This Eastern Transit Line has never
been challenged.
From 1788 to 1802, the land west
of the Genesee River was part of
Ontario County
. The county seat
was in Canandaigua where all land
transactions had to be recorded.
(This is important if you are tracing
family settlement in LeRoy prior to
1802, you’ll need to check the On-
tario county Clerk’s office in Canan-
daigua.) The land west of the Gene-
see River, when it was part of Ontario
County was designated as the Town
of Northampton.The first Northamp-
ton town meeting was held at the
home of Peter Sheffer, Sr. (east of the
present village of Scottsville) on April
4, 1797.
In 1802,
Genesee County
separated from Ontario county. It
contained all the land west of the
Genesee River, to the state bor-
der at the Niagara River and from
the Pennsylvania border to Lake
Ontario. It was the former town of
Northampton. Genesee County was
divided into four new towns: Bata-
via, Northampton, Southampton
and Leister.
Batavia was the
largest and contained all the land of
the Holland Purchase and became
the county seat. Northampton was
immediately west of the Genesee
River toward Lake Ontario. South-
ampton was immediately south of
Northampton and was the smallest