Our friend Gary Jones, an employee of the Onondaga County Public Library in Syracuse, NY has sent in some items of interest to our Upstate New York Genealogy blog.
“What a great conference and the Family History Library was unbelievable. It will be a while for me to process what I learned but will definitely email you some tidbits.
I did attend the Ancestry.com reception where the Senior VP of Product Development Eric Shoup and CEO Tim Sullivan announced a revamped search engine that will offer new and more precise search options for the advanced user while maintaining a simpler search option for the novice.
Ancestry.com will release a Mac version of Family Tree Maker before the end of the year. I saw a demo of the alpha version and really like it. I’ll be beta testing the MAC version of FTM for them. I switched to Mac 2 years ago and will never go back to a PC, so I am really excited about this.
And yes, they will have an iPad application to go with it! Later, Gary.”
Another item of interest in addition to our recent report about the 300 million new names to the LDS beta search engine they have added an unknown quantity of death notices and other historical records. The largest quantity of extracted vital records that have been available previously has been of birth/christening and marriage records, so it is great to see that LDS is now also adding large quantities of death records. I used it on a few names and came up with some awesome quality census images also.
You may search for this series at: http://fsbeta.familysearch.org/
Read our previous post on this subject here: http://bit.ly/bVOX6k
More information concerning the closing of the National Archive (NARA) Northeast Region New York Branch is received from correspondent, Roger D. Joslyn, FASG.
Those of you that have had the pleasure of using the excellent facility and holdings of the New York City branch on Varick Street will want to know about the changes being made.
It appears as though the downsizing will affect the collections as they move the facility over to the Customs House in lower Manhattan.
“I hope those of you who are interested in the future of the National Archives in New York City and access to its research materials will be able to attend one of two meetings this Tuesday at NARA-NYC, 201 Varick Street, 12th floor, Manhattan, at 10:30 AM or 5:30 PM (or come to both sessions!).
In addition to information about the new location in the Customs House, there will be discussion about which textual records, microforms, and books have been identified to go to the new facility, which will be sent to storage, and which will be offered to local libraries/repositories (the latter concerns only microforms and books).
This list of research materials is still in the “development” stage, so your interest in, concern for, and comments about the materials is important.
See you there!
Check out the previous letters from Roger regarding this matter.
Update on the Update of the Update:
Roger added this correction on the meeting place for Tuesday
“Please note (thanks to Steve Siegel’s pointing this out), the two public meetings this coming Tuesday, 4 May, about the NARA move to the Customs House will be held, NOT at NARA, 201 Varick Street, but at the Naval Officers Room, 3d Floor, in the Customs House at One Bowling Green. Again, the times are 10:30 AM and 5:30 PM.”
To many of our long time readers and also to our newest friends we want you to be aware of few things that you might find as being a little different on this website and blog.
We have been publishing totally free information about Upstate New York Genealogy on the internet since the 1980′s and will continue to do so.
Our main website at www.UNYG.com does not change much as it is structured in categories that remain relatively static but that do contain just an enormous amount of free data for you to use.
What you are reading here is published on the adjacent blog website at www.UNYG.com/blog. You can easily go back and forth between the two websites with the buttons at the top.
All of our content is copyrighted of course, as is anything that is published on the web, however we have never not allowed anyone to republish our data by merely asking for permission and giving proper credit. You must have written permission from this website to reuse any of the content for republishing in any format, digital, images or printed matter.
We invite all historical societies and genealogical societies in the Upstate New York area, to send us details on your events, or your press releases, or a review of your society or organization for possible publication on this blog.
To our readers that might have a great story about your research or if you have been successful by using any of the information provided on this website or blog, please send it in for possible inclusion and credit.
To other webmasters, please contact us when you link to this blog or website and we will return the favor in the most beneficial manner. Thanks in advance.
As the whole world is now in a Social Networking frenzy we have added a button to each post called “Tweetmeme” which will easily allow you to click on and send to Twitter that you enjoyed a particular post. Thanks for your help spreading the word.
From time to time you will see some advertising appear on this site. We will always try to keep it relative to the topic and of products that we believe will be helpful or of interest to our readers. When you make a purchase of a product from this website we will receive a small commission from the vendor. This will not cost you a penny more than if you were to have purchased it from say a magazine ad or any other medium. Thank you for your support.
To your success in finding those elusive ancestors that are hiding behind a brick wall.
To readers of the Upstate New York Genealogy website and blog we want you to know about the Troy Irish Genealogy Society (TIGS).
This very active group was founded by some of the Irish descendants from Troy, New York and the surrounding area. If you have ancestors who lived in Troy or the immediate surrounding area at one point in time, you are cordially invited to join the Troy Irish Genealogy Society. This Troy Irish group is dedicated to making available on-line searchable records of Irish ”AND” non-Irish names to genealogy researchers.
Now did you notice that great big word “AND”? These great volunteers index everything that they can find and not just your father’s Irish line.
Here is a list of just some of their projects that are available online:
Alderman/Assistants in Troy, NY Wards During the Period 1816 to 1891
Bank Officers in Troy, NY Banks
During The Period 1801 to 1891
Church Memorials & Family Names
Selected Death Cards from the Rensselaer County Courthouse
History of the Police Department of Troy, NY from 1786 to 1902
Death Records from a Newspaper Collection the files of the Burden Iron Company,Troy, NY
Deceased Troy, NY Area Individuals Identified in the 1902 -1903 Troy City Directory
Marriage Records from a Newspaper Collection at the Burden Iron Works in Troy, NY
Payroll Records from the Burden Iron Company, Troy, NY
Prominent Citizens of Troy & Rensselaer County, NY (Prior to 1925)
Rensselaer County Marriage Index
Representative Young Irish-Americans of Troy, NY, 1889, Names
St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands, NY – Interment Records
Troy Elks Club List of Exalted Leaders
The Rensselaer County online Marriage Record Index is golden. If you had ancestors in Rensselaer County you will absolutely find this website of great benefit, and while you are at it, help them out by becoming a member.
Click this link: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nytigs/
The NGS conference is being held in Salt Lake City this week and FamilySearch President Jay Verkler said 300 million more names will be available online this week through the LDS Church’s family history service.
The church’s Worldwide Indexing project, created mostly by volunteers digitize images of microfilmed records from the Mormon collection of microfilm and transcribe the records so they can be indexed and searched easily online by people at home.
This addition of 300 million names adds to a few hundred million indexed names that are already accessible.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has plans to index all of the approximately 3.5 billion names stored on microfilm. It will take about 10 years to index all of the records, a task previously projected to take more than a century to complete.
The new search site is in beta and may be searched from home now at: http://fsbeta.familysearch.org/
The original search utility may be found at: http://familysearch.org/
These new additions to the name index are primarily from the United States and Europe. I tested a few from some of my known German areas and am finding many new opportunities for further research.
Personally, I like the search index very much, but find the gold is in the library catalog. On any new project I always go to familysearch.org and click on “Library” and then click on the “Library Catalog” tab in the drop down menu, then go to either:
Subject Search, or
Call Number Search.
These choices will tell you what microfilms they have on your topic of choice and then you can order the original records on microfilm to be delivered to your own local Family History Center.
Thank you volunteers!
Monday May 3rd, 7:30pm at the Fabius Commuity Center
On Monday May 3 Linda Meyers will have a panel of women tell us what it has
been like to be the wife on a family farm in Central New York.
Harvey Skeele and his friends told us about the role of men on the farm, now you get to hear the rest of the story.
We meet at 7 pm in the Fabius Community Center. Everyone is invited. The refreshments are great. Come and greet your friends.
You’ve heard it all before, can’t see the forest for the trees. Well that is the situation in this example.
I have an ancestor, Abram HODGSON (1804-1877) who had lived in Fabius, then Lysander in Onondaga county, and finally very near by in Ira, Cayuga County, and is buried In the Ira Union Cemetery.
From his parent’s bible I had much about him, and even had been able to document through land records where he had sold land to his son Mahlon HODGSON and Mahlon HUDSON sold the land later which proved what we knew, that most of the kids changed the name to HUDSON.
I had found Abram on all the possible census excepting the 1840 census, and in my mind I always thought that I had at one time gone through the Ira 1840 census page by page on microfilm, but perhaps not.
Yesterday I was determined to locate him in 1840 and it was fairly easy by using Ancestry.com advanced search and just searched on the spelling of the given name as “Abram” anywhere in New York State, and sure enough, found him.
Abram “HADGSON” in Ira, with the right number of other household members, just exactly where he should have been. All these many years I had searched on HODGSON and HUDSON and given name as Abraham as a possibility, but was never able to find him in any printed census index, nor in any online census index.
So my point here is don’t ever give up. Take a step back and look at alternate possibilities when you are not able to locate your ancestor on the census when you think you should.
In this case it was as simple as searching on given name only. Another method is to record say five or ten families on each side of your family on the census that you are able to locate them on. Then when you come to a year that you think they should be in a certain location but not found, then do a search for the neighbors from the adjacent census and see if you can locate them manually as being neighbors on your target census.
It only took me about 25 or 30 years to locate this 1840 listing when it should have been able to be found way back when. Never give up.
“STICKLEY HISTORY IS YOUR HISTORY”
AT THE STICKLEY MUSEUM
SUNDAY, APRIL 25 AT 3PM
300 Orchard Street
Fayetteville, NY 13066
Do you have a relative who worked for Stickley?
Memories of growing up near the Stickley factories? On Sunday, April 25, at 3pm, The Stickley Museum invites you to bring your Stickley stories, photos, documents and furniture to our first Stickley History is Your History event – celebrating the common roots of Stickley and our community.
We will have historic employee records available to the public for the first time. Learn more about your family connections to Stickley. Admission is free. Call (315) 682-5500 or visit stickleymuseum.com for more details.
Update: I did attend the stickley open house and it is really a very nice museum.
The furniture is without equal in my humble opinion and the interesting thing is that the musuem archivist has gone through the olde employment records from the late 1800′s to the 1970′s and transcribed a file of employees records that you may see.
Contact them at StickleyMuseum.com
Have you heard of the Loomis Gang? This was a family from Madison county, New York that lived slightly more than slightly outside of the law.
Local lore in Upstate New York is often talked about with shock and awe, or chest out proud of, the outrageous acts reported to have been performed by this complete family of thieves.
When you ain’t got nuthin’ you got nuthin’ to lose, comes to mind. It is said by many that the mom of this group of 19th century Robin Hoods was the instigator and trained her boys that if it ain’t tied down, bring it home, mentality.
Oh and if you are about to go on trial and all of the evidence against you is in the court house, well then it would be a good thing if the court house burned down, which actually did occur.
One author, Charles Brutcher, of a very rare book titled; “Joshua, a Man of the Finger Lakes”, Syracuse, 1927, made the claim that the founder of the Rockefeller fortunes got his start with a close association with the Loomis Gang.
In this historical novel the author throughout the book used the name of Big Bill Rockwell as he described his life of thievery and deceit, horse theft, bigamy and his association with the Loomis’s is a wild tale for sure. It is claimed that the author went to the Rockefeller family to attempt to have them purchase his manuscript, can you spell blackmail?, and after being rejected inserted an addendum into the rear of this book that blatantly explained that throughout the book his use of the name Big Bill ‘Rockwell’ should be changed to “Rockefeller” and that the novel was a true story.
Turns out that William Rockefeller, the father of John D. Rockefeller, the founder of the Standard Oil Company, was born in Upstate New York and the genealogy of this family commenced in Moravia, Cayuga county. Brutcher’s claim was that Big Bill Rockefeller, the convicted bigamist, used to steal horses down around Pennsylvania and Corning areas and would trade them with the Loomis Gang. Should make a fun project for some serious historians and genealogists to tackle.
Well you may read some modern discoveries that are going on now by a dedicated historian, Robert Betz, in Madison county that is working on these Loomis stories and his articles are being published in the “Madison County Courier” newspaper which you can read online at: http://bit.ly/9Aqgku
There are several books on the Loomis Gang which you can find by searching on www.worldcat.org, there is even a VHS video available.
You know the drill by now. You find something on your ancestors in an old book and you are on Cloud 9 because now you have something factual to go on, it is in a book!
Well do you ever consider the source of that printed source? Do you ever wonder, “Gee I wonder how he knew that?” Well it would be good to think about the sources that were available to the writer at the time the book or other printed source was written.
I thank my lucky stars every time I find an entry in an old county history because it gives me a little platform to launch a new research project, or might provide clues that will send me off to search in greener pastures.
Most of the men and women that compiled those huge old county history books were nuts just like you and me and they had a story to tell that they thought was interesting enough to share with everyone.
Think about the time period that the author lived in and what was their background and why would they write it. Many of these big old books were published from about the 1850′s through about the start of World War I, with the largest majority coming to print soon after the Centennial of 1876 which I believe created an interest in the founders of this country over the previous 100 years.
I have a picture in my mind of one of these compilers having boxes and scrapbooks of old documents and newspaper clippings and journals and perhaps albums of photos or sketches that related to the early history of their community. Chances are they knew other people in their area that had similar collections and liked to swap yarns so I envision many letters back and forth.
So lets say an author is about 50 or 60 years old when they get bit by the bug that says ‘better leave a trail’. They can remember back 40 to 50 years and they know what their parents told them growing up and they can go and interview the older people still living in the area.
These things were their sources right? They had few books that they could refer to for sources other than natural history books, gazetteers and possibly an earlier publication on the same subject that might have been released a generation or two previous.
They did not have Google, Ancestry.com, Rootsweb or any of the multitude of databases that you have right at your fingertips. They wrote history the old fashioned way, they did historical research in old record collections and they served up countless memories from various sources.
The point here is to not take anything too seriously that is found in print in any of these old publications, but by all means do not discount them or bypass them! By being able to prove, or disprove, any of these printed words using modern research methods or to at least build a strong case for a new hypothesis will afford you countless hours of pleasant research and a much stronger affinity to those that signed their name on the dotted manuscript say a hundred or more years ago.
In the future I plan on bringing you some stories about my favorite historians and why I want them to come back and do it all over again, this time with a computer.