They came in 1798-1805, first in small numbers, and then with families until several small communities had sprung up around the county. Names like Mitchell, Beardsley, Coe, Lovell, Caitlin spread like wild fire across the landscape. Large families were the sign of success and were a practical necessity in an age without mechanical devices to help clear, plow, and reap the land.
Our goal was to looking at Mary Jones, the woman who had previously owned my house. Mary never married and left no off spring but her name lives on in the local community. We traced her family and we found threads that ran back to the beginning of the township. She was, in one way or another, related to the Mitchells that first split the area into lots, the Caitlin’s, Beardsleys, Aults, Lovells and, of course the Jones, Stanley and Shelton families.
Mary Jones house, in spite of the stories her family told, was not the first house in Odessa. It was not the sight of Itinerate ministry prior to the building of a church. We know the church predates the house by 50 years. Even so, Mary Jones can be proud of her heritage as well as her own accomplishments. She gave a great deal to the town and to the county during her life. She, as most of her family before her, was a staunch Christian and very active in the local Methodist church. Her generosity, learned from her father before her, extended well beyond the borders of Schuyler county NY and touched the lives and hearts of the suffering peoples of Hiroshima Japan.
Building a family history is much like throwing a stone in a pond and watching the ripples spread. Each circle encompasses a larger area than the one before it in perfect synchronicity. As each circle pushes its way to shore, the water spills out over the bank to water the land beyond. John Mitchell, David Beardsley, John Coe, Simeon Lovell .and Lemuel Shelton et al., looked out over the land and threw a foundation stone. From their vision families sprouted, thrived and grew until a county was born. If you come from a small town don’t be surprised to discover that you have cousins among your neighbors.