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Burns was formed from Ossian, Livingston county on March 17, 1836.  It was name after the Scottish poet Robert Burns.  It is located on the east border of the county, north of center.

The first settlement was at Whitney Valley in 1805, by Moses and Jeremiah Gregory, John Gaddis and Samuel Rodman.   William CarrollL and William Hopkins settled at South Valley.  Elijah and Daniel Abbott, Elias Van Scoter, and Thomas Quck, all from Pennsylvania, settled at De Witts Valley.  Samuel Boylan settled at Whitney Valley in 1806.   The first child born was Lewis W. Carroll on Aug. 1, 1807.  The first marriage was John Gregory and Betsey Doty.  The first deaths were Jeremiah Gregory, who was killed by the fall of a tree on April 4, 1812, and his twin brother, killed in the same manner on Sept. 17 of the same year.  The first school was taught at Canaseraga by William Crooks in 1810.  S. DeWitt Brown kept the first inn at "De Witts Valley," (now Burns Village) in 1826.  Isaac N. Town kept the first store at Canaseraga in 1828.  Daniel Schull erected the first gristmill, in 1810. &nbps;David McCardy built the first sawmill in 1813.  The first religious meeting (Methodist Episcopal) was held at the house of Moses Gregory by Robert Parker, in 1806.  The first church (Baptist) was formed at Whitney Valley by Rev. Jesse Braman in 1817. [Source: J.H.French, Gazetteer of State of New York, 1860, p.168]

Hamilton Child's 1875 Gazetteer - Grove

Cities, Villages and Hamlets

Canaseraga - formerly called Whitney Valley in honor of Ezra Whitney who settled there in 1817.

Burns - hamlet located at the eastern town line; formerly known as DeWittsville

Burns Station - a former community

Mastin Corners - located near the western town line

Gas Spring - located near the western town line

Garwood Station - hamlet in the northwest corner of the town; named after James Garwood, an Englishman, who in partnership with Nelson Bailey, purchased large tracts of timber and operated a large timber business.  A settlement rose and it was made a station on the railway.  A post office was established and known as Whitney's Crossing.

Town Historian
Faye Clancy
PO Box 15
Canaseraga, NY 14822
Telphone: 607-545-6204
Town Clerk

Mary Duthoy
PO Box 222
Canaseraga, NY 14822

Telephone: 607-545-6509
Canaseraga Village Clerk

Marcia J. Bird
PO Box 235
Canaseraga, NY 14822
Telephone: 585-567-2222


  • Methodist Episcopal - earlist meeting 1806
  • First Baptist of Canaseraga - organized 1810 under the name of the Alfred Baptist Church. In 1820 it was called the Ossian Baptist Church, in 1826, the Burns Baptist Chruch and received its present name in 1857.
  • First Presbyterian - erected Jan. 18, 1877
  • Trinity Episcopal Church - organized July 22, 1857
  • St. Mary's Catholic Church


  • Canaseraga Cemetery - code #11-1; (Town 5, Range 7PE, lot 144), Canaseraga Village
  • St. Mary's Cemetery - code #11-2; (lot 110), Rte. 13A
  • Methodist Church Cemetery - code #11-3; moved to Canaseraga Village
  • Cemetery - code #11-4; Burns Village
  • Slader Creek Cemetery - code #11-5; (lot 55), Rte. 13C

*code #s refer to the Allegany County Cemetery Index card file at the Allegany County Historical Society and FHL/FHC microfilm. See WNYGS Journal, Vol. II, No. 1

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Last updated on July 22, 2006
© copyright 1999, Vivian Karen Bush
This page is part of the Allegany County, New York GenWeb Site and is not affiliated with any other society or organization.