Albion History, Albion New York
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About Me
 
Neil Johnson

Neil Johnson, PhD.
Albion Village Historian

I was born in Rogers City, Michigan, grew up near Detroit, and went to the University of Michigan and Wayne State University in Detroit, where I received my BA and MA in Anthropology.  I moved to New York to get my PhD in Anthropology at Cornell and I and my family have lived here ever since.  My interest in history was fostered by Dr. Arnold Pilling, my mentor at Wayne State, who was interested in ethnohistory.  Therefore, my work with him involved extensive archival research, working with abstracts, and local histories.
We moved to Orleans County, on Lake Ontario in Western New York, in 1970, and to Albion, the county seat, in 1977.  I have been the Albion Village Historian since September 1982.  By a unique New York State law, passed in 1918, every village, town, and county must have a municipal historian to record its history.  We are not highly paid—it is generally a part-time job—but we do know our community and can help researchers find what they need.
As the village historian, I write a weekly column, Albion, Oh, Albion, which was originally published in the Albion Advertiser and now is in both the Advertiser and the Medina Journal Register.  The original purpose of albionhistory.com was to bring these 1298, and growing weekly, columns out where history buffs and genealogists could find them.  However, of course, the site has already grown to include postcard views of Albion, articles, and biographies.
I regard my columns as the first processing of the myriad details that have come down to us in the newspapers and other sources.  I will post the last eight columns but I do not intend to post all 1298 plus.  What I will do is post the articles I make from these columns, where I edit out the disjointedness that results from a weekly column, reorder the columns, and make general corrections in style and fact.  It will take a while to post several million words, but I am aiming at one article a week.
Because I am fulfilling my duties as a part-time historian by writing my column and offering general help, I am not able to undertake detailed free historical or genealogical research.  However, I am wiling to undertake them, as a private individual, for a fee.