Samuel Jerome

Samuel Jerome

As Linda and I were leaving our hotel in Saratoga Springs I punched Pompey into the mapping app of my iPhone and let Siri choose our route.  We were going to the village of Pompey in Central New York State to look for my five times great grandparents, John and Mary Jerome.  I knew from that John served during the Revolutionary War as a private in the Massachusetts Militia.  When the Revolution ended the brand new United States government had no money to reward its soldiers for their service, but lots of acreage.  John was awarded a tract of land near Pompey, and the Jerome family moved west to claim his reward.  At I found they were both buried in the Pompey Hill Cemetery.

Siri directed us to drive 110 miles west on Interstate 90, then 20 miles south on Interstate 81 and then six miles east on the very rural Cherry Valley Turnpike.  We knew we had arrived when we saw a sign for the Pompey Mall.  Now, I have to tell you, the Pompey Mall is not the Great Mall of the Americas – it is, in fact, a small gas station and run down convenience store.  I asked a young man behind the counter where Pompey Hill Cemetery might be located and he pointed to the entrance just a block away.

While the village of Pompey is small, their cemetery has been in use for over 200 years and has grown to be fairly large.  There is no caretaker’s office so we just walked the graveyard on our own, figuring the oldest graves would be on the highest ground.  A picture posted at Findagrave showed the top of John’s headstone to be cambered or oval in shape, so we could cover ground quickly by ignoring any stones without an oval top.  When I came to a section clustered with oval top stones I stopped to look, and there was a stone pillar with the name Jerome carved at the base – this was the Jerome family plot and there were Jerome’s all around me.  I was almost standing on a marker for Samuel & Lucy Jerome – John’s mother and father and my six times great grandparents!  John and Mary were just a few feet away and so was John’s older brother and my six times great uncle, Timothy.  I hadn’t been looking for Samuel or Lucy or Timothy and didn’t even know they were here – I just sort of tripped over them while looking for John.

After introducing ourselves to my five times and six times great grandparents, and to Uncle Timothy, we left the cemetery and turned south on State Route 91, headed for the village of Fabius four miles away.  Since we now knew at least two generations of Jerome’s had lived in the Pompey area Linda wondered if there had been any more.  We came to an intersection and I stopped to check the crossing street sign … it said Jerome Road – I guess that answered Linda’s question, there must have been more Jerome’s here to warrant a road being named after them.

Jerome FarmI side tracked off State Route 91 to meander along my family’s road and we realized the land originally settled by the Jerome’s could now be any of the farms we were driving past.  Just as Linda wondered out loud how we could find the original farm she noticed a blue historical marker that identified the site of Timothy Jerome’s original log cabin and farmland purchased in 1793!  That answered the question; Uncle Timothy’s land was exactly there!

I wanted a picture of my family’s land so I pulled onto a dirt track running into the field.  While we were sitting in the car a lady tapped on the window – she owned the farm and wondered why we were on her land … oops.

I apologized and quickly explained I was related to Timothy Jerome and just wanted a picture … she understood very well because, you see, it turns out she too was a Jerome and descended from the same six times great grandfather – making her my first cousin six times removed!