List of Occupants of the Onondaga Reservation, Onondaga County, New York

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Native American Records
Onondaga Reservation Map, 1890
Onondaga Reservation, 1890
Onondaga, County, New York

The Onondaga reservation, lying in Onondaga County, forms a rectangle of a little more than 2.3 miles by 4 miles, commencing about 5 miles southward from the city of Syracuse, and contains about 6,100 acres: Onondaga castle, with hotel, store, post office, and a few houses, is at the “entrance gate “. The blue limestone quarries belonging to the Onondaga Nation furnish excellent building material, but the deep strata, which will measure from 18 to 20 inches in thickness, are 20 feet below the ground surface, requiting laborious and expensive stripping. Only 3 derricks are now worked, each paying to the nation an annual rental of $100. The leases, made by ruling chiefs, pass under the keen supervision of the state agent for the Indians.

The Onondaga reservation, lying in Onondaga County, forms a rectangle of a little more than 2.3 miles by 4 miles, commencing about 5 miles southward from the city of Syracuse, and contains about 6,100 acres: Onondaga castle, with hotel, store, post office, and a few houses, is at the “entrance gate “. The blue limestone quarries belonging to the Onondaga Nation furnish excellent building material, but the deep strata, which will measure from 18 to 20 inches in thickness, are 20 feet below the ground surface, requiting laborious and expensive stripping. Only 3 derricks are now worked, each paying to the nation an annual rental of $100. The leases, made by ruling chiefs, pass under the keen supervision of the state agent for the Indians.

For nearly three-quarters of a mile after leaving Onondaga castle the road runs through the land of a man who, by inheritance from the late “Aunt. Cynthia” (long honored by the Onondagas and also by the white people) and by other acquisitions, has become one of the wealthiest and most influential of his people. His leases to white men bring him a cash income of from $600 to $900 per annum. His example has been followed by others. Only 2,522.25 acres are cultivated, or less than half the acreage of the reservation, 423.5 acres being classed by the owners as pasture land. As a fact, the greater portion of the cultivated land is leased to white men under sanction of the laws of New York, with the concurring consent of the ruling chiefs. As a general rule, the rental is at a fair rate, and whether legally or, as on some of the reservations, illegally leased, affords support to Indian landowners, many of whom would be otherwise helpless and destitute.

More than 1,000 acres are so stony and mountainous that they have little value except for a poor grade of pasturage. There is still sufficient timber for fencing, and the best cultivated farms are fairly fenced, but the fences are not generally well maintained and are only repaired sufficiently to protect crops during their maturity. The supply of timber is ample for the present. While no timber has been sawed, and but little wood cut except for home use, it is to the credit of the people that, to a greater extent than found upon ‘any other reservation, even the poorer families had a visible supply of wood laid up in advance for winter use.

With the exception of the land lying in the angle of the roads below Onondaga castle, no large farms in. well shaped tracts lie upon the east side of the Cardiff road. The lower range of hills comes within a few hundred feet of the road, nearly through the reservation, and for the last mile touches the road. Between First creek, 1 mile from Onondaga castle, and the fork leading to South Onondaga, there are a few good farms of 20 to 40 acres. The land on the west side of the road is uniformly good. The bottom lands on the west side of the creek, although cut by spurs from the hills which press closely upon the creek, are also fertile.

A second road from Syracuse cuts the 300 acre “Webster tract” and afterward follows the western reservation line until it joins the South Onondaga road at a fine farm belonging to a widow. This is also leased to a white man, and the owner lives on the main road in a modern house adjoining the Methodist Episcopal Church. North of this farm are two others worthy of notice, both leased to white men.

The lands along the stony wretched roads, on the upper waters of Lafayette creek, are broken sharply by spurs from the mountain, which occupies so large a portion of the south half of the reservation. More than 20 small, steep hills, almost as distinct as mounds, fringe the creek, leaving only small garden patches for culture. One man has made a success of strawberries, but substantial farming is impracticable. Northward along the bench land and slope of the hills which rise eastward toward the reservation line are several tracts of land with good farming properties. The entire reservation is a narrow valley between two strips of bench land, each of which is at the foot of high outside hills belonging to the white people of New York. No artificial irrigation is needed, as the hills are full of unfailing springs and the water is of the best.

Occupants of Onondaga Reservation

We have carefully copied the names listed on the map in hopes it will provide a better record but also help you in your search for ancestors

Section A – Green on Map

  • Webster Tract, 300 acres
  • Orris Farmer
  • N. Johnson, Tennant
  • Daniel LaForte Family own this farm
  • O. Farmer
  • Widow Hill, Leased to Dudley Evans
  • Mary Palmer
  • Mat White Brown, Tennant
  • O. Farmer
  • Mary Jones
  • Andrew Gilson
  • Orris Farmer
  • William Johnson
  • Asa Wheelbarrow
  • Vacant
  • John Lyon
  • Rev. J. Scott
  • Protestant Episcopal Church
  • Daniel La Forte
  • Stephen Webster
  • Joshua Pierce
  • School
  • Elijah George
  • Marvin Grouse
  • Cemetery

Section B – Blue on Map

  • Hall of Temperance
  • Widow Brown
  • Jarvis Pierce
  • Widow Hill
  • M. E. Church
  • Parsonage
  • Elizabeth Thomas
  • Mary Canada
  • Thomas LaForte
  • Dan George
  • George George
  • Josiah Jacobs
  • Martin Hill
  • Abbie Jones
  • Elam Carpenter
  • Elias Powlis
  • James Powlis
  • Elizabeth Scanandoah
  • John Loft
  • Moses Jackson
  • Mary Ann Hill
  • Thomas John
  • Wilson Jacob
  • Harley Hill
  • John Adams
  • Bird Hill

Section C – Yellow

  • Moses Smith
  • J. Thoas
  • L. Thomas
  • Ira Island
  • Abram Printup
  • Abram Island
  • Moses Jones
  • George Lyon
  • Joshua Jacob
  • Peter Johnson
  • David Jacobs
  • David Frost
  • Solomon Frost
  • David Big Bear
  • Sully George
  • Henry Homer
  • William Johnson
  • Joseph Green
  • Frank Logan
  • Moses Jones
  • Melinda Pierce
  • Albert Cusick
  • Phil Green
  • J. Thompson
  • Jane Curry
  • Sydney Isaacs
  • Moses Logan
  • John Billings
  • Thomas Webster
  • Wallace Carpenter
  • R. Webster
  • Sally Johnson
  • Abram Hill
  • Peter Elm
  • David Webster
  • Lewis ?oals

Section D – Red

  • Ruben Jackson
  • Wilson Reuben
  • Pat Knox, Tennant
  • Elizabeth George
  • Wilson Reuben
  • Rev. McNoal, Tenant
  • Vacant
  • Quarry
  • Wilson Reuben
  • Levi Smith
  • Daniel Canada
  • Albert Canada
  • Six Bodied Elm
  • Solomon George
  • John White
  • Enoch Scanandoah
  • Benjamin Isaacs
  • Eliza Fish
  • Bill Isaacs
  • Joseph Thomas
  • Council House
  • Job Farmer
  • Raptisle Thomas
  • Eunice Hill
  • John Green
  • Eliza Green
  • John Brickman
  • Dan Hill
  • George Vanevery


MLA Source Citation:

Department of the Interior. Report on Indians Taxed and Indians not Taxed in the United States, Except Alaska at the Eleventh Census: 1890. Washington DC: Government Printing Office. 1894. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 11 October 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/list-of-occupants-of-the-onondaga-reservation-onondaga-county-new-york.htm - Last updated on Jun 27th, 2013


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