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Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Irish Settlement – Newport, New York – Part 1

WARNING - Later Posts may have more updated information and discoveries but it is best to read them in order.

The first time I saw the location named “Irish Settlement”, Newport, New York, I thought to myself, “What is that place? And, I want to know more!” I found this location listed on a family worksheet for my Maxwell’s. They had emigrated from County Meath, Ireland to Newport, New York, at the Irish Settlement.

In my search for information about the settlement in Newport, New York, I have found the term “Irish Settlement” used in other locations from Newport, New York to Des Moines, Iowa and in other locations around the world. The title still has an impact on me whenever I read it or say it. It speaks of community, family, neighbors, and a specific location for which I found my Irish immigrant relatives and not just one of my family surnames. I have found multiple family settlers there plus all of these other Irish immigrants who were their neighbors and friends. Sometimes I get so excited when people find me on with all of my McLaughlin’s, Maxwell’s, and Gartlan’s up the line, I just want to share, share, and share my information. I try to keep my excitement under wraps a bit as to not scare off or overwhelm anyone.

I think I kind of overwhelmed this one gentleman. When we determined that his McLaughlin’s were the Newport Family (It was pretty obvious to me anyway.), I emailed him that 34 page document about the “Descendants of Thomas McLaughlin”. He thanked me but I haven’t heard back from him. Originally, he had indicated that he had limited time to work on his tree these days. There are probably over 300 people listed on those pages and I am only on page 29 after hours of review. I can imagine what other people think. I am still ever so grateful for the gentleman who assembled the document though. I’m still trying to reach him.

Anyway, back to Newport, New York………..Newport is actually referred to as the Town of Newport, New York and is located on the western edge of the county. It includes the village of Newport. Utica, New York is located to the northeast. According to the 2000 Census, there were just over 2,000 people living there at the time.

The size amazes me. I live in Sacramento where it is wall-to-wall people. There are over a million people in the Greater Sacramento Area. There is no separation between the city of Sacramento, the unincorporated area of Sacramento, Carmichael, Elk Grove, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Rocklin, Roseville, Antelope, Orangevale and North Highlands. It is urban sprawl at its best and sometimes its worst.

Enough about where I live. Sometime after 1786, the first settlers took up stakes in the area of Newport. The town was formed April 7, 1806 from parts of Fairfield, Herkimer, Norway, and Schuyler. Now things are starting to click for me. A geography lesson definitely helps sometimes. Those four other cities are indicated all over my family tree and so is Utica. I do find it interesting that most of the names seem to have a German influence. I have also seen the name German Flatts mentioned in my research of this area.

So where did Newport get its name? Every time I try and do a Google Search for Newport without the state indicated, Newport, Rhode Island pops up leading the results. It probably comes as no surprise that Newport, NY is named after Newport, RI. Apparently many of the early settlers came from Rhode Island.

I found the following information online about the breakdown of Newport’s locations:

-Farrel Corner – A hamlet west of Newport Village

-Irish Settlement – A Hamlet near the south town line

-Martin Corner – A location near the west town line

-Middleville – Part of the Village of Middleville on Route 28 by the east town line and the West Canada Creek

-Newport – On Route 28 by the east town line and West Canada Creek

-Poland – South part of the Village of Poland near the northwest corner of town

-Old City – The east town line

-Welch Corners – The east town line, south of Old City

I think that is it for now for my geography lesson in this post. It helps me get my bearing on things for future discussions about this area. I would like to know more and it would appear I will be self taught from a far on this subject. I am hoping for some stories about what life was like in this location. I am open to any information about this area. I have one story that a Maxwell cousin provided about Middleville. I hope he writes more.

To be continued…………

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