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The Town of Jerusalem and Its Records

The district of Jerusalem was organized in 1789 as part of Ontario County, and then included the present towns of Benton, Milo and Torrey as well as modern Jerusalem. It was named in deference to the "New Jerusalem" established there by the presence of the Public Universal Friend and her society. There was enough population by 1798 to organize a town; when Benton was taken off in 1803, the town of Jerusalem was left with township seven in the second range of Phelps & Gorham's Purchase, and that part of the seventh township in the first range that lay west of Keuka Lake; the part of Bluff Point south of the seventh township was annexed from Steuben County in 1814. A small part of the village of Penn Yan is in the town, several annexed parcels west of a line that passes just west of Lakeview Cemetery. Jerusalem was one of Yates County's five original towns. 

Jerusalem is the largest town in the county, geographically. It has by far the longest shoreline, from Penn Yan south along the west side of the east branch of Keuka Lake to the tip of Bluff Point, then up the east side of the west branch to Branchport, then back down the west side to the county line. Consequently, it faces a very great development pressure as lakefront and lakeview lots are converted from seasonal to year-round occupancy. Resorts began to spring up in Jerusalem in the last years of the 19th century, and recreational tourism has remained a strong component of the town's economy. 

Keuka College is located in the hamlet of Keuka Park, on the east branch a few miles south of Penn Yan; it was founded in 1890 largely through a local subscription effort and is now the county's sole institution of higher learning, a four-year undergraduate college with about 900 students. 

Besides Branchport, which for a brief period beginning about 1870 incorporated as a village, Guyanoga and Indian Pines are hamlets within the town. The old crossroads at Kinney's Corners is now called Bluff Point after its long-time post office. 

The town hall is in a former stone schoolhouse in Branchport, at 3816 Italy Hill Road. 

The following series of records are on microfilm, and except for the vital records may be viewed at the town hall, at the Yates County Historian's office in Penn Yan, or at the NY State Library in Albany. 


RECORDS ON MICROFILM

ASSESSMENT ROLLS - 18 rolls:
AR.4.1. 1866-1972 (missing 1868-70, 1883, 1887, 1900, 1904) 

MINUTE BOOKS
1798 -December 1993 [The first book 1799-1868 has been indexed]

VITAL RECORDS REGISTERS
Births, deaths and marriages 1884-1909 [INDEX], Delayed birth registrations 1868-1937, Delayed birth registrations 1880-1935, Deaths 1909-1913, Births 1909-1913, Births and deaths 1914-1922, Births and deaths 1922-1926, Births and deaths 1926-1931; Births and deaths 1931-1936, Births 1942-1949 and 1957, Deaths 1941-1950, Deaths 1951-1958, Deaths 1959-1966, Deaths 1966-1968, Births 1977-1992 and deaths 1968-1991, Deaths 1991-1994 and births 1993, Marriages 1908-1938, Marriages 1938-1971, Marriages 1971-1993 

HIGHWAY SURVEYS
Minute Books, 1798 - February 1927, includes Record of Roads 1798-1850 and highway districts for 1816; name index [Commissioners of Highway minutes 1900-1906, see under District School Records below; the first volume Record of Roads 1798-1820 has been indexed.] 

CHATTEL MORTGAGES AND CONDITIONAL SALES INDEXES
Chattel Mortgages 1875-1906; 1907-1918; 1919-1929; 1929-1936; 1937-1941; 1943-1956; 1956-1964; Conditional Sales 1922-1941; 1942-1956; 1956-1964 

JUSTICE DOCKETS
Papers (criminal cases) 1903-1950; (civil cases and summary procedings) 1970-1979 ; Papers (conservation violations and misdemeanors) 1926-1974; (criminal case files) 1970-1979; Docket of Justices VanTuyl and Bronson 1888-1891; Barrow, Bishop, Swift and Rogers 1896-1908; Davis, Hibbard and Keech 1896-1919; Culver (civil) 1900-1916; Hibbard and Keech (civil) 1900-1909; Bishop, Swift and Rogers (civil) 1901-1907; Culver (criminal) 1901-1914; Justice Keech (civil) 1909-1919; Miller and Davis (civil) 1913-1932; Miller, Miller and Benedict (civil) 1913-1936; Whitney and Gelder (criminal) 1918-1929; Davis (criminal) 1921-1928; McConnell and Benedict (criminal) 1923-1937; Whitney (civil) 1924-1929; Davis (civil) 1930; Justice Davis 1931-1957; Smith (criminal) 1932-1933; Loomis (civil) 1934-1937; Loomis (criminal) 1935-1938; Benedict (criminal) 1937-1944; Benedict (civil) 1937-1950; Burke (civil) 1943-1957; Benedict (criminal) 1944-1950; Burke (criminal) 1944-1957; Justice Benedict (criminal) 1950-1956; Benedict (civil) 1951-1959; Benedict 1956-1959; Wheeler (civil) 1960-1962; Wheeler (criminal) 1960-1963 

DISTRICT SCHOOL RECORDS
Commissioners of Common Schools minutes 1839-1910; School money apportionments 1882-1928; Teachers' pay vouchers 1899-1927; Attendance officers' books 1910-1919; Miscellaneous records 1911-1914; Certificates of appropriation and school fund receipts and payments 1931-1933; Tax collectors' receipts 1932; Certificates of appropriation 1941-1944; District boundary changes 1935-1967; School tax lists and warrants 1909-1941; School tax lists and warrants 1942-1948; Miscellaneous Records: Civil War service record 1861-1865; Board of Auditors' minutes 1859-1896; Board of Health minutes 1882-1929; Commissioners of Highway minutes 1900-1906 

OVERSEER OF THE POOR AND WELFARE RECORDS
Account books 1908-1961; Reports 1898-October 1933; Reports November 1933-December 1934; 1934 Commodity Requests; Receipts 1934; Reports January 1935-April 1935; May-December 1935; Home Relief Orders January-September 1935; Home Relief Orders October-December 1935; Reports January-December 1936; Receipts and Orders 1936; 1937; January-February 1938; March 1938-December 1939; January 1940-December 1941; Receipts 1941 

OATHS OF OFFICE AND MISCELLANEOUS RECORDS
[see under District School Records above]