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Re: Paris Hill, in Oneida County, NY?
Posted by: Bud Schafer Date: April 13, 2000 at 06:41:29
In Reply to: Paris Hill, in Oneida County, NY? by Duane M. Smith Sr of 2263

Perhaps the following might help. I am quoting from a book originally published in 1881 called “History of The Town Of Paris, And The Valley Of The Sauquoit”:

“Chapter IV. Town Of Paris As First Formed From Whitestown. The town was named in honor of Colonel Isaac Paris, of Fort Plain, Montgomery County, N.Y.”

“Chapter VI. Paris Hill. (P.O., Paris.) Paris Hill, called by the Indians Ga-nun-do-glee, signifying ‘hills shrunk together’, was the first settlement in the town of Paris, Major Amaziah Royce being the pioneer and first settler in the town, on the farm now owned and occupied by Colonel Isaac L. Addington, northeast of the village, on the ‘old Pioneer road.’ The village is 1660 feet above the sea-level, and 1240 feet above Utica.”
So what you have is the County of Oneida, the town of Paris, and within it, the “village” of Paris Hill. Town, Township, and Village are often interchanged and even after having spent my first 22 years of life in Madison and Oneida Counties, I am still not quite sure what all this means.

There is mention of your Peter Selleck but none of Isaac Smith, though other Smiths are
mentioned. Here is what is said of all Sellecks and of St Paul’s (this book is indexed and these are all of the mentions of Sellecks per the index):

“Chapter VI. Paris Hill. (P.O., Paris.) Page 36: Samuel Stiles, David, his son, and Peter Selleck were early settlers. Captain Uri Doolittle, Captain Gideon Seymour and Eli
Blakeslee were also early settlers and prominent men in town.”

Still Chapter VI, page 45: “St. Paul’s Church, (Episcopal,) Paris Hill. This is the oldest Episcopal Church in the State of New York, west of Johnstown. The matter of
establishing the church was initiated as early as 1795. Upon the arrival of the Blakeslees, in the year 1796, the subject was again agitated, and in the fall of that year, on ‘general training’ day, those present that were Episcopalians, met in an ox-cart and took the preliminary steps for an organization, as soon as ten could be found to constitute the legal number for a vestry. The prime movers in the matter were Captain Uri Doolittle, Captain Gideon Seymour and Eli Blakeslee, Revolutionary veterans. The first formal meeting of
members was held February 13, 1797. At a meeting of the members of the Protestant
Episcopal order, legally warned and met at the dwelling-house of Selah Seymour, and
proceeded according to an act for the relief of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the
State of New York, as follows:”
(Here I skip down to the “Fifthly”)

“Fifthly. chose eight Vestrymen, as they stand: Uri Doolittle, Benjamin Graves, Peter
Selleck, Epaphroditus Bly, (Bligh,) Selah Seymour, Thomas Stebins, George Harden,
Noah Humaston, Silas Judd.” (that totals “nine”, not a typo. Bud)

Page 46: “The first clergyman that paid them a visit was the Rev. Robert Griffith
Wetmore, on the 14th of November, 1797, when he administered the rite of baptism at the
houses of Peter Selleck and Uri Doolittle, at which time he baptized Rufus Lockwood
Selleck, Jesse Selleck, Drake Selleck, Mary Selleck, Ebenezer Lockwood Selleck and
George Selleck.” (No other baptism’s recorded this date, there is a hint that Peter’s wife’s maiden name could be “Lockwood”. There are no Lockwoods indexed in the book.)

Page 47: “Their first church edifice was erected about 1800, and afterwards used as a
dwelling, and finally burned. The present frame church was erected in 1818, and
consecrated by Bishop Hobart, September 20, 1819, who that day confirmed seventy-nine
persons. Memorial inscriptions: A marble tablet near the entrance reads: “Erected to the memory of the Founders and First Vestry of St. Paul’s Church, Paris. Organized the 13th of February, 1797. Eli Blakeslee, Senior Warden; Gideon Seymour, Junior Warden;
Vestrymen, Uri Doolittle, Selah Seymour, Benjamin Graves, Thomas Stebins, Peter
Selleck, George Harden, Ep’o’s Bly, Silas Judd.” (I note that Noah Humaston is not
mentioned here.)

Chapter XIX. Page 214: “Soldiers Of The Revolutionary War 1775-82. ... Peter Selleck, died 1840, aged 84; ...”

There are 37 Smiths indexed but, as I stated earlier, no Isaac. It is possible that there are more references to Peter and family that may not have been indexed, I found him mentioned on page 47 and that reference was not in the index. The book is 398 pages and it has been quite some time that I read it.

If I can be of any further help, please do not hesitate to write.

Bud Schafer
Elk Grove, Ca. (formerly of Sylvan Beach, Oneida Co., NY)

Researching: Adle, Barche/Barge, Butler, Church, Crizer/Kreuser, Chrisman, Everett(s),
Fox, Gardner, Guy, Hyland, Ma’ss, Messenkopf, Miner/Minor, O’Leary, Pfaff, Pease, Richmond, Schafer, Vosburg, Williams, Zabele, Zimmer.


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