Genealogy helps satisfy a deeper need to understand how we fit into the broader world around us. From this perspective, genealogy is more than just a collection of single-family threads that go through time. Genealogy is a popular pastime, and it is important because ultimately it lies at the heart of the human condition. Dedicated genealogists spend hours researching their family’s history.
Historical Society board trustee, Kathy Decker, has traced and thoroughly documented her family and that of her husband’s, Jim’s family. She has an amazing ability and knowledge to navigate name changes, to find relatives as they appear and disappear in the written record, and to untangle family myths from historical truths. She has provided valuable resources through her work not only for her own family history but for the county and town. Now Kathy has completed a very large portion of an ongoing database to serve family researchers.
Kathy has a passion for providing free access to family records and has spent countless hours on this project as an ongoing service to our community. The site includes indexes, photos, maps, timeline, and a canal slide show. You can also find locations of Town Cemeteries and links to burial listings. Here you will learn about Kathy’s latest BillionGraves project.
Kathy invites families to contribute non-copyrighted photos or documented biological information. We would also like to thank Bill Hecht for permission to post Montezuma photos and maps from his online collection. If you would like to make a donation to the Montezuma Historical Society to help support our preservation efforts, your tax-deductible contribution can be made here on the link to download the Membership Form and mail it to us.
The County Historian’s office has compiled a County Surnames 2018 list to aid in researching family histories in Cayuga County. By using this as a cross-reference, additional family information might be found in letters, or artifacts, that provide added insight.
Another great resource has been made possible by one of our members, Bernie Cocoran, at http://www.cayugagenealogy.org/. This index provides links to websites that contain information to assist you with genealogy and family history research in Cayuga County, NY. The information provided is intended as a secondary-source research tool for personal genealogy and local history research.
Montezuma was a part of the Town of Mentz until 1859. Researching family records in Montezuma can be aided by a recently new project completed by Port Byron Lock 52 Historical Society. Lock 52 member Joyce Biss set up a Newspaper Committee, and this committee began an informal consortium made up of; the Port Byron Library, the Seymour Library, the Cayuga County Historian, the Montezuma Historical Society, and the Cayuga Museum. All these organizations either had historic ties to Port Byron or held copies of existing papers. Through a very generous family donation, you may now use this database for research located on the Digital Collection page of their website.
Along with sharing online family records, an effort is underway to start collecting stories and impressions of life in Montezuma. You can learn more about our Oral History Project plans, and the importance of sharing your stories.