This site is dedicated to our ancestors and a gift to our descendents.
Join us as we explore our Berne Heritage. We'll follow the scenic Helderberg Trail, now State Route 443, as it wanders through the Helderberg hills in western Albany County, along the same route taken by our forefathers.
The Berne Historical Project began in 2001 as a means of sharing the history and genealogy of the people of Berne, NY. It has been a volunteer effort started by Ralph Miller, Berne Town Historian and continued by his brother Harold (Hal) Miller <email@example.com>. Our webmasters were originally Gordon and Joan Wright. The wemaster is now Gordon's son Jay Wright. Obituaries are added by Marilyn Miller Nardillo.
Kathleen Putzig <firstname.lastname@example.org>
is now Town of Knox Historian and Town of Berne Historian. She is the daughter of Ralph Miller
Ralph11@aol.com, formerly Town of Berne Historian. Kathleen
has also taken over the Hilltowns Genealogy posted on this web site.
In 1977 The Town of Berne Bicentennial Commission, with the extensive help of the Berne Historical Society, published Our Heritage, a detailed history of the Town of Berne through 1977. In the Foreward, by Euretha Wolford Stapleton, then Historian, Town of Berne, wrote in part, "The editors and authors of this volume recognize that a history such as this is never complete or perfectly accurate. It is our hope that in time other sources and document will be discovered and the material added to our archives so that future generations will benefit."
The early history of Knox,"Knox, New York Sesquicentennial", published in 1973, contains a similar caveat, "It is the hope that the community will continue to become more conscious of its past heritage and many more pertinent fact of our history will be disclosed."
Thanks to almost 20 years of research on the Internet plus email from hundreds of family researchers, and the books written by professional genealogists William V. H. Barker and Henry Z Jones Jr., Hal Miller found considerably more about the early settlement of the towns of Berne and Knox. Both towns have the same early history because until 1822 Knox was part of Berne. Our Heritage is an excellent history except for the first chapter on the early settlement of Berne and the genealogy of the early families. The same with the Knox history.
To share these new facts a few years ago Hal wrote Berne and Knox, Our Geman Heritage. The history of the settlement of these two towns covers the period from the first settlers to 1787. Even though during this period the terms Berne and Knox and did not exist. Still he used the town names to make it clearer to the readers where certain events took place. German was the common language they spoke and modern Germany is the area most of them came from. The book tells when the earliest settlers arrived, where they came from, why they came to Berne and Knox, and where they first settled.
A secoond book has since been written and published by Hal, Berne and Knox, Some Early Families to 1787. Both books are available from Kathleen Putzig, Town of Berne Historian, 1136 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY, 12023. Tel. 518-872 0212. The cost is $20 if picked up at the house, or plus $5 if mailed.
A reprint of Our Heritage
is also now available from the Berne Town Clerk at $15 if picked up at the Town Hall office, or $20 if mailed. Checks should be made out to Town of Berne and mailed to Berne Town Clerk, PO Box 57, Berne, NY 12023.
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The current day Town of Berne is located southwest of Albany, New York in the western section of Albany County. Originally settled in the 1750's, many descendants of the original founding families still live here.