Place:Syracuse, Onondaga, New York, United States

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NameSyracuse
Alt namesWebster's Landingsource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) XI, 468
TypeCity
Coordinates43.047°N 76.144°W
Located inOnondaga, New York, United States     (1300 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Syracuse is a city in and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, in the United States. It is the fifth-most populous city in the state of New York following New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, and Yonkers.

At the 2010 census, the city population was 145,252, and its metropolitan area had a population of 662,577. It is the economic and educational hub of Central New York, a region with over one million inhabitants. Syracuse is also well-provided with convention sites, with a downtown convention complex. Syracuse was named after the classical Greek city Syracuse (Siracusa in Italian), a city on the eastern coast of the Italian island of Sicily.

The city has functioned as a major crossroads over the last two centuries, first between the Erie Canal and its branch canals, then of the railway network. Today, Syracuse is at the intersection of Interstates 81 and 90. Its airport is the largest in the region. Syracuse is home to Syracuse University, a major research university, as well as Le Moyne College, a nationally recognized liberal arts college. In 2010, Forbes rated Syracuse fourth among the top 10 places in the U.S. to raise a family.

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History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

French missionaries were the first Europeans to come to this area, arriving to work with the Native Americans in the 1600s. At the invitation of the Onondaga Nation, one of the five nations of the Iroquois confederacy, a group of Jesuit priests, soldiers, and coureurs des bois (including Pierre Esprit Radisson) set up a mission, known as Sainte Marie among the Iroquois, or Ste. Marie de Gannentaha, on the northeast shore of Onondaga Lake.

Jesuit missionaries reported salty brine springs around the southern end of what they referred to as "Salt Lake", known today as Onondaga Lake in honor of the historic tribe. French fur traders established trade throughout the New York area among the Iroquois. Dutch and English colonists also were traders, and the English nominally claimed the area, from their upstate base at Albany. During the American Revolutionary War, the highly decentralized Iroquois divided into groups and bands that supported the British, and two tribes that supported the American-born rebels, or patriots.

The 1788 Treaty of Fort Stanwix was made to force most of the Iroquois to cede their land. Settlers came into central and western New York from eastern parts of the state and New England. The subsequent designation of this area by the state of New York as the Onondaga Salt Springs Reservation provided the basis for commercial salt production. Such production took place from the late 1700s through the early 1900s. Brine from wells that tapped into halite (common salt) beds in the Salina shale near Tully, New York, 15 miles south of the city, were developed in the 19th century. It is the north-flowing brine from Tully that is the source of salt for the "salty springs" found along the shoreline of Onondaga Lake. The rapid development of this industry in the 18th and 19th centuries led to the nicknaming of this area as "The Salt City".


The original settlement of Syracuse was a conglomeration of several small towns and villages, and was not recognized with a post office by the United States Government. Establishing the post office was delayed because the settlement did not have a name. Joshua Forman wanted to name the village, Corinth. When John Wilkinson applied for a post office in that name in 1820, it was denied because the same name was already in use in Saratoga County, New York. Having read a poetical description of Syracuse, Sicily (Siracusa), Wilkinson saw similarities to the lake and salt springs of this area, which had both "salt and fresh water mingling together". On February 4, 1820, Wilkinson proposed the name "Syracuse" to a group of fellow townsmen; it became the name of the village and the new post office.

The first Solvay Process Company plant in the United States was erected on the southwestern shore of Onondaga Lake in 1884. The village was called Solvay to commemorate the inventor, Ernest Solvay. In 1861, he developed the ammonia-soda process for the manufacture of soda ash (anhydrous sodium carbonate, a rare chemical called natrite, to distinguish it from natural natron of antiquity) from brine wells dug in the southern end of Tully valley (as a source of sodium chloride) and limestone (as a source of calcium carbonate). The process was an improvement over the earlier Leblanc process. The Syracuse Solvay plant was the incubator for a large chemical industry complex owned by Allied Signal in Syracuse. While this industry stimulated development and provided many jobs in Syracuse, it left Onondaga Lake as the most polluted in the nation.

The salt industry declined after the Civil War, but a new manufacturing industry arose in its place. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, numerous businesses and stores were established, including the Franklin Automobile Company, which produced the first air-cooled engine in the world; the Century Motor Vehicle Company; the Smith Corona company; and the Craftsman Workshops, the center of Gustav Stickley's handmade furniture empire.

The Geneva Medical College was founded in 1834. It is now known as Upstate Medical University, one of four medical colleges in the State University of New York system, and one of only five medical schools in the state north of New York City.

On March 24, 1870, Syracuse University was founded. The State of New York granted the new university its own charter, independent of Genesee College, which had unsuccessfully tried to move to Syracuse the year before. The university was founded as coeducational. President Peck stated at the opening ceremonies, "The conditions of admission shall be equal to all persons... there shall be no invidious discrimination here against woman.... brains and heart shall have a fair chance... " Syracuse implemented this policy and attracted a high proportion of women students. In the College of Liberal Arts, the ratio between male and female students during the 19th century was approximately even. The College of Fine Arts was predominantly female, and a low ratio of women enrolled in the College of Medicine and the College of Law.[1]

The first New York State Fair was held in Syracuse in 1841. Between 1842 and 1889, the Fair was held among 11 New York cities before finding a permanent home in Syracuse. It has been an annual event since then, except between 1942 and 1947, when the grounds were used as a military base during World War II.[2]

World War II stimulated significant industrial expansion in the area: specialty steel, fasteners, and custom machining. After the war, two of the Big Three automobile manufacturers (General Motors & Chrysler) had major operations in the area. Syracuse was also headquarters for Carrier Corporation, and Crouse-Hinds manufactured traffic signals in the city. General Electric, with its headquarters in Schenectady to the east, had its main television manufacturing plant at Electronics Parkway in Syracuse.

The manufacturing industry in Syracuse began to falter in the 1970s, as industry restructured nationwide. Many small businesses failed during this time, which contributed to the already increasing unemployment rate. Rockwell International moved their factory outside New York state. General Electric moved its television manufacturing operations to Suffolk, Virginia, and later offshore to Asia. The Carrier Corporation moved its headquarters out of Syracuse, relocated its manufacturing operations out of state, and outsourced some of its production to Asian facilities. Although city population has declined since 1950, the Syracuse metropolitan area population has remained fairly stable, growing by 2.5 percent since 1970. While this growth rate is greater than much of Upstate New York, it is far below the national average during that period.

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External Links

  • Outstanding guide to Syracuse family history and genealogy resources (FamilySearch Research Wiki). Birth, marriage, and death records, town histories, cemeteries, churches, newspapers, libraries, and genealogical societies.


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