Sunday, April 21, 2024

Resident’s Historic Document Finally Finds a Home

Doris Killion with her letter from the Ulster County Clerk’s office. (WYDaily/Jillian Appel)

WILLIAMSBURG — Many people’s stories are lost to time due to the loss of historical documentation. Thanks to the joint efforts of Williamsburg resident Doris Killion and William & Mary, Killion’s documents have found a forever home.

Killion has donated a part of her family history to Ulster County in New York with the help of Jay Gaidmore, Director of William & Mary’s Swem Library.

The document is over 300 years old and was written under the reign of King George III in 1769. It is a land indenture, transferring property in the town of Hurley from Charles DeWitt of Hurley to John D. Wynkoop of Kingston. Both are located in Ulster County, New York.

“This fascinating document offers a window into the rich history of one of the oldest Anglo-Duch communities in our section of the Hudson Valley,” said Jonathan Palmer, Ulster County Archivist, in an official document to Killion. “[The document] will reside in our care in perpetuity for the benefit of the public and as a testament of [Killion’s] fidelity to the cause of historic preservation and public access to our documentary heritage.”

Palmer found that the indenture concerns a house and land now coincidentally owned by a noted regional architectural historian in Hurley. It was also noted that the neighborhood hasn’t changed much since the time of the deed being transacted in 1769.

The Ulster County Clerk’s Office was first established in 1683 by an act of James, Duke of York before his ascension to the throne as James II. The scope of the history made it possible to create an Archives division in the office in 2002 to guarantee broader access to the historical records of Ulster. Its records donation program was founded in 2005 to supplement government archives with those materials held by private individuals that are a part of the history of Ulster.

“[This experience] has been wonderful,” Killion expressed about the journey of finding a home for her family’s historic document. “The support from William & Mary has been amazing.”

To learn more, check out WYDaily’s previous report.

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