Ovid Bee Bill

Genealogical Index to the Ovid Bee Newspaper – Ovid NY

Jesse Howell Finch spent a considerable part of her lifetime in genealogical research and in acquiring all types of early records. When her husband retired (Frank Finch) they settled in the vicinity of Trumansburg New York, where she added greatly to the genealogical knowledge of the area. When she passed on, her husband made her voluminous collection of papers and records available to the Jesse Finch Committee. Among them were her collection of cemetery records of practically every farm and organized cemetery in the Seneca, Schuyler and Tompkins Counties area, as well as extracts from The Ovid Bee, a local newspaper.

Of the extracts made by Jesse, each original page had a light pencil notation “P + C” indicating that she had proof-read and corrected that page. Another note in the box containing these papers was “These are copies of the only issues at Ovid of the years between 1820 and 1869.” It appears that a portion of this work was done in 1952, but there is no indication of when it was completed.

A group of The Jesse Finch Committee became interested in preserving this work by publishing in a very limited fashion the material and distributing it to only 20 individuals and institutions. Thankfully, it has survived the years, and is presently published online at Ancestry as: Vital records from the Ovid Bee, 1822-1869. These extracted records were indexed and typed by her just as they were reproduced within the committee manuscript.

The difference in the years 1822 which appears in the title of the manuscript, and in the year of publication for the Ovid Bee which began publication in 1838, is that this manuscript actually contains genealogical valuable transcriptions from earlier Ovid New York newspapers such as the The Ovid Gazette and the Seneca Republican. See further: A History of Ovid New York Newspapers at AccessGenealogy for a history of all of the newspapers of Ovid, Seneca County, NY.

If anyone knows of what happened to Jesse Howell Finch’s source material, please let us know in the comments below. I would love to get digitized the early cemetery record transcriptions if they’re not already published elsewhere, as they undoubtably contain records of gravestones that can no longer be read or found in Seneca, Schuyler or Tompkins counties.