County Historian

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*PLEASE NOTE: The Research Room will be closed on Friday, November 26, 2021.*

The Livingston County Bicentennial Year is Here!

Livingston County Bicentennial Seal

In 2021 Livingston County is celebrating 200 years! Check out our schedule of events and follow Livingston County social media for updates.

November - Tribute to Veterans

Sgt. MildredMildred Allen in uniform Irene Allen (1906-1943) graduated from the Craig Colony School of Nursing in Sonyea in 1932 and joined the Nursing Service of the American Red Cross in 1936. She enlisted in the US Army Nurse Corps in October 1942, becoming the first Craig Colony nurse to enter the service in World War II.

Allen was assigned to duty in North Africa in May 1943, traveling overseas with one of the initial contingents. Within two months, she fell critically ill, dying on July 17 and becoming the first from Craig Colony to die in the line of duty. Allen was buried in Constantine, Algeria, in a US Army cemetery. 

In 1946, Mildred Allen was awarded the American Red Cross Bronze Star Medal for highly meritorious service. She was among the 233 US Army and Navy nurses to posthumously receive the medal after dying during service in World War II. The same year, the Hally-Allen American Legion Post 1341 at Sonyea was established, adjacent to the former Craig Colony for Epileptics property. To present day, the Hally-Allen Post 1341 recognizes the sacrifice of US Navy Fireman William T. Hally (1917-1944) and Mildred I. Allen and is the only American Legion post in Livingston County named in honor of a woman.

In 1948, Mildred Allen’s body was transported from North Africa and reinterred with full military honors in Nondaga Cemetery in Bath, New York. These were the first military rites performed for a returned soldier in Allen’s hometown of Bath. 

Photo courtesy of Hally-Allen American Legion Post 1341.

portrait of Mary Ann GallupMary Ann (Burt) Gallup (1836-1926) grew up in Vermont and married Lyman Beniah Gallup (1834-1906) in 1852. The couple moved to Oakland, town of Portage, and raised a family.

In 1861, Lyman Gallup enlisted for service in the Civil War. He served in the 105th New York Infantry and 94th New York Infantry before being transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps in 1863. He convalesced in a Washington, DC, hospital in 1863 and 1864.

In May 1864, Mary Ann Gallup enlisted as a nurse in the United States Army Medical Department. She was stationed at the Emory General Hospital in Washington, DC, where wounded Union soldiers convalesced. Gallup worked through the end of the war, and she was honorably discharged when the hospital closed in July 1865. It is unknown if she was stationed at the same hospital where her husband was a patient. 

After the Civil War, Lyman and Mary Ann Gallup returned to Portage, remaining in the area for the rest of their lives. Mary Ann Gallup took advantage of the groundbreaking Army Nurses Pension Act of 1892 to draw her own pension. After her husband’s death, she also received a survivor pension.

Photo courtesy of the Portage Town Historian’s Office.

Paul Sanborn (1760-1846) was a private in Gen. Sullivan’s Campaign of the Revolutionary War. In 1779, Sullivan’s army was sent by Gen. George Washington to Western New York to destroy Seneca settlements and drive the Seneca, allies of the British army, out of the area for that season. Most of the Seneca fled to British-held Fort Niagara.

Sullivan’s army camped at Foote’s Corners, in present-day Conesus, and a scouting party was sent out, but most members never returned. When Paul Sanborn and the rest of the army reached Little Beard’s Town, a Seneca stronghold in Cuylerville (Leicester), they discovered the mutilated bodies of scouts Lt. Thomas Boyd and Sgt. Michael Parker, who had been ambushed in Groveland. They also found the other missing members of the group in Groveland.

Despite the scouting party casualties, the Sullivan Campaign was considered a success by the Americans, since it was a devastating blow to British-Loyalist forces and the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). ThePaul Sanborn expedition’s route marked the western-most battle of the Revolutionary War in New York State.

After the Revolutionary War, Paul Sanborn returned to Conesus, where he purchased land and built a log cabin. In 1841, sixty-two years after the events of 1779, Sanborn observed the ceremonial send-off of the scouting party’s remains to be reinterred in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester.

Paul Sanborn died in 1846 and is buried in Union Cemetery in Conesus.

Norine MeagherSgt. Norine A. Meagher (1916-1999), of Livonia, enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in 1945. She served in World War II with the 343rd General Hospital Company of the WAC, stationed at posts in the United States and Japan.

In 1950, the 343rd was recalled during the Korean War, and Norine Meagher was stationed in San Francisco. During her service, she was a physical therapist and clinical psychologist.

Meagher was a charter member of the Livonia Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9028 and an active member of the Harrison-Lee American Legion Post 283. She was the only woman in the Livonia American Legion at that time. 

Meagher chronicled the military service of over 1,400 Livonia-area men and women from the Revolutionary War to Vietnam. The result of her research was a two-volume compilation entitled As It Was, completed in 1986.

Photo: Livonia Gazelle, September 18, 1991.

Jeffrey SchirmerJeffrey Schirmer, a native of Cuylerville (town of Leicester), served a 36-year career with the NY Army National Guard and is a veteran of the Gulf War and the Iraq War.

In 1982, Schirmer joined the NY Army National Guard and was promoted to sergeant first class. He served in Saudi Arabia and Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991.

Jeffrey Schirmer became a warrant officer in 1998 and was deployed to Iraq in 2005 as logistical maintenance officer for the 42nd Infantry Division. 

For 34 years of his career, Schirmer served as a dual-status federal technician in charge of the New York National Guard’s Combined Support Maintenance Shop, primarily working in electronics and logistics maintenance.

In 2016, Schirmer became chief warrant officer of the NY Army National Guard. At his retirement in 2018, he was presented the Meritorious Service Medal. Jeffrey Schirmer also earned the Army Commendation Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal, and the Global War on Terror Service Medal.

According to research by Lima Town Historian Emeritus Doug Morgan, there are nearly 400 Civil War veterans associated with Lima. In this photo, 14 veterans pose for a photo in 1913. Many of these men were members of the Honeoye Falls and Lima GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) post, an organization for Civil War veterans. 

Charles S. Chambers (1847-1940), seated in the back, 4th from left, was the last surviving member of the Lima-area GAR post. According to his obituary, Chambers ran away from home in Ontario County in 1864, at age 16, and enlisted in the US Navy. Through the Civil War, he served as a powder boy and later a sailor on war ships on the Atlantic Coast. He was discharged in 1867. 

Chambers eventually moved to North Bloomfield, an old settlement in the northeast corner of Lima. He was a charter member and past post commander of the Lima GAR post. Until his last years, Charles Chambers led the annual Memorial Day parade and placed flags and flowers on local veterans' graves.
1913 Lima Civil War VetsPhoto labeled by Doug Morgan.

Harriet E. (Kingston) Luther (1886-1959) grew up in Mt. Morris and trainedHarriet Kingston Luther as a nurse at City Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, graduating in 1913.

In 1914, Harriet E. Luther was among the first local women to enlist in the US Army Nurse Corps and was the only known woman from Mt. Morris to serve as a nurse in World War I. She traveled extensively between military hospitals, including Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC, and the Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco. In 1915, while Luther was in San Francisco, she cared for Brig. Gen. John J. Pershing’s wife and children after the family was seriously injured in a home fire. 

Harriet E. Luther later served two years with the Army Nurse Corps in Manilla, Philippines. Upon returning to the United States, she was stationed in Virginia and Texas. She was then sent to the Army base hospital in France for six months, serving during the height of American involvement in World War I. For this service, she earned a War Service Chevron, visible on her left sleeve in this accompanying photograph.

For the rest of her career, Harriet E. Luther continued working as a nurse, including at hospitals in Colorado, New Jersey, and New York. Upon her death at the veterans’ hospital in Buffalo, she was buried in Dansville.

Norman Gibbs portraitNorman Gibbs (1839-1907) was a native of Springwater, living most of his life in the town. In 1862, at age 23, he enlisted as a private in Co. I, 136th NY Volunteer Infantry, for service in the Civil War. The regiment was organized at nearby Portage, and Company I was organized at Springwater and surrounding towns. After training, the 136th traveled south.

Soon after enlistment, Norman Gibbs was promoted to 5th sergeant, but became sick in December 1862. While recovering, he was “reduced to ranks,” likely so that another soldier could serve as sergeant in his place. Gibbs was honorably discharged for disability in March 1863 at Baltimore, MD, and returned home to East Springwater.

Norman Gibbs was a farmer for the rest of his days and is buried in Pleasant Valley East Cemetery in Springwater.

Margaret Galton NemethMaj. Margaret A. (Galton) Nemeth (1918-1996) grew up in Nunda. After training and working as a nurse, she enlisted in the United States Army Nurse Corps in 1941 as a second lieutenant.

In 1942, during World War II, she sailed to North Africa with the 33rd General Hospital unit and was promoted to first lieutenant. Nemeth served 28 months in Africa and Italy. After the war, she was promoted to the rank of captain and was honorably discharged in 1946.

Margaret Nemeth became a nurse at the US Veterans Administration hospital in Topeka, Kansas, and rejoined the Army Nurse Corps in 1948. She completed reserve officer training and joined the Army hospital staff at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York.

In 1950, during the Korean War, Nemeth was stationed in Korea with the 8076th Army Unit, a 60-bed Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH). The unit provided medical services in support of combat operations during an intense nine-month period. In September 1951, the 8076th received a meritorious unit commendation for outstanding service.

After spending over two years in Japan and Korea, Margaret Nemeth returned to the US and worked at the Army hospital at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. In 1966, she was promoted to the rank of major, and resided the rest of her life in New Jersey.

Information and photograph from the Nunda Historical Society.

Michaeux brothersErnest Micheaux (1897-1981) and his four sons’ service spanned three wars. Micheaux was born in California and eventually moved to Rochester. He joined the US Army and served in World War I. During World War II, he trained Army cooks stateside. His four sons, Richard, Tommy, McKinley, and Robert, lived with the Jackson family of Caledonia for a time.

Walter R. “Richard” Micheaux (1921- ) served in the Army and the Air Force during World War II and then moved to New York City.

Edward T. “Tommy” Micheaux (1923-2008) joined the Army Air Corps and served nearly three years during World War II, from 1943 to 1946. He lived in Caledonia for the rest of his life and is buried in Mumford Rural Cemetery.

Ernest McKinley Micheaux (1925-1999) enlisted at California and served overseas during World War II. Upon his return, he opened a golf school in Rochester in the 1950s and later moved to New Mexico.

Robert T. Micheaux, aka Ya-Sin Muhurrib, (1927-1989) joined the Navy and served overseas in World War II and the Korean War. He is buried in Mumford Rural Cemetery.

Photo: clockwise from top left: Tommy, Robert, Richard, and McKinley Micheaux. Photo and information courtesy Big Springs Historical Society Museum and ”Celebrating Our Past” (2000).

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Doing Research?

We are excited to help! Here are some ways you can start: 

  1. Search our online Records Index for a name.
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  4. Browse other recommended digital resources and repositories to track down information.


COVID-19 Documentation Project

The County Historian is requesting assistance from the public to help document the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Submit your experiences and/or images directly here:

What's New?

Poorhouse Cemeteries

June 2021Grave number 14 in County Poorhouse Cemetery

Just released: over 320 names of those known to be buried in the Old and New County Poorhouse Cemeteries.

Gail McGuire: Rallyist

April 2021

Gail McGuire of Avon, New York talks about her 50-year career as a rally car driver and co-driver in North America. 

New Church Records

October 2020

Brooks Grove Sabbath School record book pageIn addition to our new Primary Sources page, where you can find a few digitized church records and much more, check out our new church records page!

Local History Out Loud - Part 2

September 2020

This video explores Livingston County's response to preserve the Union, massive changes in the post-Civil War era, the rise of industrialization, social reform, and the woman's rights movement in the mid- to late 19th century.

Groveland Town Clerk’s Book, 1797-1833

May 2020

Who were Hercules Williams, Valentine Stufflebeam, and Enoch Squibb? Groveland Town Clerk's Book, 1797-1833

The personalities of these and other early residents of Groveland can only be imagined, but we can learn just how many roles each person played to keep early Groveland functioning. Search our Online Records Index for your Groveland ancestors. 

Women’s History Trail

March 2020

Explore some of the contributions women have made to Livingston County with this new OnCell tour, and check back for periodic additions!

Womens History Trail image

Photographs from the Archives