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INTRODUCTION TO PALMYRA AND MANCHESTER, NEW YORK, DOCUMENTS
Discouraged by three successive years of crop failure, Joseph Smith, Sr., left Norwich, Vermont, in the late summer or early fall of 1816 in search of a better land. The remainder of his family joined him in Palmyra, Ontario County (Wayne County after 1823), sometime in the winter of 1816-17, perhaps in January. The earliest record of the Smith family’s presence in Palmyra is a road list of April 1817, apparently locating them at the west end of Palmyra’s Main Street (see III.L.1, PALMYRA [NY] ROAD LISTS, 1817-1822).
The Smiths may have lived in Palmyra Village for as long as three years, where among other things they ran a “cake and beer shop” (III.J.8, POMEROY TUCKER ACCOUNT, 1867, 12). During their residence, Joseph Sr. continued having visionary dreams, one in 1818 and another the following year (I.B.5, LUCY SMITH HISTORY, 1845, MS:Frags. 2 & 4), and Joseph Jr. began searching the Bible and investigating various churches (I.A.7, JOSEPH SMITH HISTORY, 1832, 1-2).