Berne and Knox, Our German Heritage

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In 1977 The Town of Berne Bicentennial Commission, with the extensive help of the Berne Historical Society published Our Heritage, a detailed history of the Town of Berne through 1977. In the Foreward, by Euretha Wolford Stapleton, then Historian, Town of Berne, wrote in part, "The editors and authors of this volume recognize that a history such as this is never complete or perfectly accurate. It is our hope that in time other sources and document will be discovered and the material added to our archives so that future generations will benefit."

The early history of Knox Knox, New York Sesquicentennial, published in 1973, contains a similar caveat, "It is the hope that the community will continue to become more conscious of its past heritage and many more pertinent fact of our history will be disclosed."

Thanks to 10 years of research on the Internet plus email from hundreds of family researchers, and the books written by professional genealogists William V. H. Barker and Henry Z Jones Jr., I, Hal Miller, have found considerably more about the early settlement of the towns of Berne and Knox. Both towns have the same early history because until 1822 Knox was part of Berne. Our Heritage is an excellent history except for the first chapter on the early settlement of Berne and the genealogy of the early families. The same with the Knox history.

To share these new facts a few years ago I wrote Berne and Knox, Our Geman Heritage. The history of the settlement of these two towns covers the period from the first settlers to 1787. Even though during this period the terms Berne and Knox and did not exist, I use them to make it clearer to the readers where certain events took place. German is the language they spoke and modern Germany is the area most of them came from. The book tells when the earliest settlers came, where they came from, why they came to Berne and Knox, and where they first settled.