The D. G. Beers Co. of New York, published but one atlas of Cattaraugus County in the year 1869. Sad to say, it was not one of their better publications. Maps are not always straight on the page, lines and borders often are crooked, edges of coloring frequently run over into adjacent sections, and occasionally the caligraphyis difficult to decipher .Spellings also vary, i.e ., Mathews/Matthews, both within the same immediate area. Nonetheless, the atlas contains a great deal of information helpful to the genealogist/historian.
The program may be downloaded to the hard drive, or it may be operated directly from the CD. For reasons unknown, when the area of Cattaraugus County was surveyed, the standard of squares six miles by six miles was not always followed. The numbering system is confusing and most difficult to follow. For this atlas~ the colored school districts had to become the divisions for making an everyname index and although some of the school districts are large, the population of the county in 1869 was not so dense as to make it difficult to locate a name. Maps were printed on one side of the paper and a single page map was always printed on the right hand page with of course, an odd page number. The reverse side of the page was blank, but was included in the page numbering, making about half of the pages in .the atlas totally blank. There are five double page maps where left side is even numbered, right side odd numbered. Such a system of numbering simply will not accommodate to a computer program ergo, the entire atlas was renumbered. Although the order is the same, page numbers are very different. The original index page is included, but the user should remember, it is not accurate for this reproduction. Please be aware of the following:
- On the border of many of the Towns, school districts were often joined to districts of adjacent Towns. On the atlas maps, these places are called J. Dist. No., followed by a number. The number will be that of the adjacent Town’s school district. There are cases of more than one joint district with the same number. In such event, an asterisk after a name was used in the index alerting the user to check more than one place for a name.
- On some maps, a joint district was hinted at by coloring, but no legend was given to identify it. In that event, the needed information was added to the original map.
- The city of Olean was already divided by wards in 1869. The index places a name with the ward number.
- On two or three of the maps, the placement of the Indian Reservation within a school district is not always clear. To avoid complication, Reservation names in the index are followed by IndRes.
- The maps of Gowanda, Salamanca Village, Salamanca P .0. , Randolph Village, and East Randolph are large enough so that a division into sections seemed the best solution to help locate names. Green lines dividing these villages have been added. Be it understood, they are not a part of the original atlas maps. Numbers are used to indicate section, and in the index will follow the Village abbreviation letters.
- There is one small square on the map of Randolph which is unidentified – the best guess is that it is a joint district with Erie county .The name entries are marked rvX.
- Occasionally a list of names has been added to a Town or village called References. It was not made clear anywhere in the atlas exactly why these lists are added. A possible explanation is that the people listed helped in some way to accumulate data for the publisher .
- In almost.all villages there is a Business Directory..
- There are inset maps of almost every village in the county. The abbreviations for these villages and other abbreviations used throughout the index are listed at the head of the index. The illustration below may assist in learning to use the program. Remember also, Adobe Reader has an excellent Help file.
My sincere thanks, once again to Al Carnali for his noble assistance in the preparation of the computer program. One page of the copy of the Atlas which the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society owns, has a page missing. I am grateful to Ms Judy Shaw, Historian of the Perrysburg Historical Museum for making available a copy of the missing page..
Richard F. Sheil
Fredonia, New York