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Work and Travel In Geneva, NY

Updated on June 6, 2013
Harbor at Geneva
Harbor at Geneva | Source

Who Lived in Geneva?

Geneva, New York is a center of State and National History as well as tourism, culture, and natural beauty. It possesses much information with which to trace a genealogy, plan a vacation, or to start a satisfying career. it is nicknamed the "Lake Trout Capital of the World."

This article will provide some history and genealogical resources for Geneva New York, as well as a look at the job market and its development over the life of the United States. Certain job fields attracted specific immigrant populations int he 1800s and 1990s and that can be an addition point of contact for training ancestors. See this related article about Italian Immigration in the US. The largest ancestry recorded for Geneva is, in fact, Italian. Another fact is that Geneva is in what is called Wine Country in New York, which matches the historic work of the Italian and other vintners in the state.

Finger Lakes Region in Northwest New York State

Geneva is located at the top of Seneca Lake and in the local Wine Country (From Finger Lakes Land Trust at ).
Geneva is located at the top of Seneca Lake and in the local Wine Country (From Finger Lakes Land Trust at ).

Early Inhabitants

Indigenous Peoples

The Seneca Native Americans lived in a village they called Kanadasaga, which became Geneva. The name Geneva itself may or may not have been a misspelling of the name Seneca, but we don't know for certain. Overall, New York State experienced a large native Amrican population from about 8,000 BC when the Indigenous Peoples migrated from the Pacfic Northwest across the North American continent. They were forced back westward and northeard into Canada after the American Revolution.

The village of Seneca became a British stronghold against the French and subsequently against the Americans in the Revolutionary War with the help of the Mohawk and Seneca Nations. Many Seneca did not support the Americans, but the Mohawk, also members of the Iroquois Confederation, were more visibly supporters of the British, many fighting on the side of Britain in both wars.

Early European Settlers

From my few-dacades' research regarding Native American Nations, I have found much about the Iroquois peoples and their support of European settlers. More specifically, a segment of the Mohawk Nation intermarried and joined with the British in business in the 1600s - 1700s. War Chief Joseph Brant operated a farm and a retail store in New York State and married a white woman that had been captured by another band of Native Americans and returned to New York. When she died, he married her half-sister, which was rather similar to native traditions. Before him, his mother had been the niece of a chief and had married another chief in New York. Thee British built alliances amolng these Seneca and with Mohawk Nation against the French in the French and Indian War and against the colonists in the American Revolution. Seneca Nation also intermarried with Europeans. Thus, a large pool of mixed ancestry likely exists around Geneva that reflects Iroquois Confederacy lineages as well as European.

The Seneca Nation village at Geneva was detroyed by the Sullivan Expedition in the year 1779, during the American Revolution. This leveled location was reestablished as a town by European settlers in 1793 by the Pulteney Association. Officially, the "Village of Geneva" was incorporated in all of of 1806, 1812, and 1871, in order to divide it from the surrounding area of Geneva Town. This was political maneuvering for independence, which was successful. The town eventually became a city.


Historically, the ancestry of today's Genevans besides that of Native American lineage includes 20% Italian, 18% Irish, 12% German, 10% African & African American, and 10% English. Other ethnic designation are present at the 2% and 1% levels.

The village grew in the late 1800s and early 1900s to at last become an incorporated city in the 20th Century, attracting new immigrants to the beautiful Finger Lakes Region.

Econokmic Status, Stimulus, and Jobs

The general direction of the curve on the graph above represents the number of job openings listed on Indeed.Com in an increasing trend through the end of February 2009. An increase of about 63% is noted from December 08 thru February 2009. This occurred prior to the institution of the additional Employment & Training funds provided from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in mid-February. Economic status of the city and county should rise through 2011-2012 and push off from this foundation with enough momentum to develop and increase further.

In early May '09, 925 job openings within 25 miies of the center of Geneva were posted in Indeed.Com. Indeed is often the search engine that contains the largest numbers of jobs in a specific area. Of these jobs, the major work offered was:

  • Retail Sales
  • Sales Reps
  • Teachers
  • Tax Professionals
  • Financial Managers
  • Other Managers, including Health
  • Assistant Managers

The firms offering the most openings included:

  • Sears
  • Gentiva Health Services
  • Uncommon Schools
  • TeacherNex
  • Plumbing Agent and HVAC Agent
  • Prudential Financial
  • Verizon Wireless

  • Local History and Research -- The Geneva Public Library’s local history and genealogy collection is of special interest to historians and genealogical researchers. Most historians will only find this collection useful if their research is related to Geneva.

Higher Education

Local colleges and universities may also hold geneological records as well as to offer employment placement services.

Human Rights Movement

Geneva is a historic center for Women's Rights, being the home of the first female physician in America: Elizabeth Blackwell. The Friends of Women's Rights organization is active today in nearby Seneca Falls and Waterloo, New York.

The original Declaration of Sentiment(a vision statement and plan) was published in 1848 at the first Women's Rights Convention in America, with an updated version published in 1998 and available online at the Women's Rights National Historical Park website.

As part of the Economic Stimulus package under President Barack Obama, the federal government awarded the park $750 Million to use in 800 different projects.


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    • MamaDragonfly2677 profile image


      10 years ago from New York

      My husband is an Iron Worker, so he is all over the place... I just like to learn more about where he is working, because sometimes, he is there for months at a time... And it helps him, too, as I can give him suggestions on what to do after work, and where to eat, and so-on and so-forth...

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Hi MamaD - I don't live there, but have traveled through the area several times and have read a lot about it and its history. Is your husband doing some geneaology research as well? There seem to be lots of records there.

    • MamaDragonfly2677 profile image


      10 years ago from New York

      Thanks for answering this request Patty! Do you live near Geneva? I am (about) 4 hours from there. My husband is working in Ovid, and is staying at a Motel in Geneva.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I think so - beautiful, interesting, things to do and some good jobs.

    • RVDaniels profile image


      10 years ago from Athens, GA

      Very informative. Seneca looks like an interesting place to visit.


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