Posts Tagged ‘Upstate New York Genealogy’

Some Changes at Website and Blog

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 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 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.

We will never spam you or scam you. Please refer to our Privacy Policy.

To your success in finding those elusive ancestors that are hiding behind a brick wall.

Dick Hillenbrand

WALDRON Family History Research Turns Into Historical Novels

Gloria Waldron Huckle was bitten by the genealogy bug many years ago and while digging into her early Dutch Colonial Roots on the WALDRON Family she became so interested in their history that her passion for history sparked her career as a novelist.

From a recent article in the Glens Falls Post Star newspaper she tells her story to a staff reporter and it is a fun story to follow.

She brings her ancestors and their lives to life with her fictional novels, three of them so far, starting in the 17th century up to more modern times you will see how the families progressed through the generations.

(From the Post Star article:)
“Manhattan: Seeds of the Big Apple” is the story of lower Manhattan in 1653 and the Dutch who lived there, including Resolved Waldron. “The Diary of a Northern Moon” follows a 26-year-old advertising executive in 1976 as she journeys through the Adirondacks looking for clues to her family’s past. “Threads: An American Tapestry” tells the story of Margaret Vandenberg and the struggles she faces in the early 18th century because of her gender and mixed ancestry.

By going back in time through her family history research she was able to discover exact locations where they had resided and she would go to those spots and try to envision what it was like in the much earlier times.

Essentially her books follow quite a similar pattern of the history of New York from the earliest to modern times. Many of our own ancestors followed quite the same migration patterns as hers did, up and down the Hudson River towns and then branching out to other parts of Upstate New York.

You will want to read the complete article in the Post Star.

Congratulations Gloria on your achievement and thank you for writing these books.
Dick Hillenbrand
Upstate New York Genealogy

Here are the websites that were recommended in July

One month ago today, this UNYG Blog posted an article inviting readers to send recommendations of their favorite links to websites or Blogs that have information on Upstate New York Genealogy.

Here are the links that were submitted for July.
All have been checked and are good suggestions.

Fulton History dot com:

Apple (Charlotte) of Apple’s Tree:

Colleen of Orations of OMcHodoy:

Thomas of Destination Austin Family:

Cyndis List:


Doris Wheeler’s Family:

NYS Newspaper Project:

Jefferson County, NY, Pioneer Portraits Project:

Schmid and Madr family history site:

100th Annual Reunion of descendants of Job PRINCE (1750-1827) and Rhoda KIBBE PRINCE (1770-1831):

New York Traveler:

Montgomery County Department of History and Archives at Fonda, New York.

history of New York State Diners.

Joyce Tice’s Tri-Counties and History web site:

Town of Hornby in Steuben County:

Rochester and a tiny bit in the Chesterfield, NY:

Mt. Hope & Riverside Cemetery Records:

Rochester City Directories:

Rochester Historic Marriage Records:

Gen Web of Monroe County:

Thanks to all who shared these with us. You know the old story about not being able to see the forest for the trees, right? Well this is a way that you can inform researchers of sites that they might not locate on their own.

Keep them coming folks. Just add your favorite NYS site to the comments just below this posting.

Tomorrow I will write a review of one of the July submissions.

You may read the previous post on this subject for the 07/08/08 article, here:

Then one more thing, our friend over at Dear Myrtle has just returned from a genealogical cruise that she will tell you all about on her recent podcast.

Visit our main website at

Where is Upstate New York?

Many people ask “Where is Upstate New York, and why is it called that?”

The answer is pretty simple. It is generally considered to be all of New York State other than the major metropolitan New York City areas.

For the purposes of this Blog and our main website of Upstate New York Genealogy at we emphasize Genealogy and Family History Research throughout the whole state starting with Westchester County, north and west.

Our neighbors to the east are; Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. On the north we enjoy an International border with some of the nicest people in the world, our Canadian friends of Ottawa and Ontario. So as you head up the Hudson River Valley at a little north of Albany it becomes known as the Champlain Valley Region on up to the St. Lawrence River. West of Albany and running to about mid-way in the state the region is called the Mohawk Valley Region. Our north western border and several counties border on the south shore of Lake Ontario.

In the southern part of the state is the historical Catskill Mountain Region and in the north are the majestic Adirondack Mountains. Starting in the central part of the state and running further westward is called the Finger Lakes Region. Our southern border is shared first with New Jersey and then for the greater width of the state we share a border with our friends in Pennsylvania. We end up out on the western edge of the state at the Niagara Falls Region and Lake Erie.

We do not have anything against the southern metro areas not covered, it is just that the research methods and record centers are quite different than for the rest of the state. We recommend an excellent book compiled by: Estelle M. Guzik, “Genealogical Resources in New York”. If you need to hire a professional for the New York City areas, we suggest you check with the Association of Professional Genealogists at

Please bookmark this website and subscribe by email. We Love having you be part of our research community at Upstate New York Genealogy Blog.

We are here to help you find your roots in Upstate New York. Ask any question and post any comment that is relevant, and someone will give you a helping hand or a willing ear. Use the “comments” tab just below this Blog.

Visit our main website at


GenealogyBuff (great name – great site!)

GenealogyBuff provides dozens of unique quick finding aids for all types of genealogy searching. This website compiles data sites from all over the Internet and presents them in a nice easy to find and searchable format.

GenealogyBuff – Links to thousands of on-line sources for items like; Maps, Immigration, Obits, Marriages, Archives, Personal Announcements, Cemetery Inscriptions, School Yearbooks, Church Records, Census, Court, Land, Probate, Military, Newspapers, and let’s see did I miss anything? What else is there?

Oh, try the handy dandy surname search. Does this website miss some links? Sure, but what it does find is absolutely remarkable, and totally Free! (There’s my favorite word again.)

Check out the GenealogyBuff Library for New York State at

A quick search for New York State Newspapers is at

Upstate New York Genealogy is adding this site to the My Favorites folder, and thought you might like to know about it too.


Something new for 2008, if you enjoy the UNYG Blog, you might also like to visit our other Blog site that is meant for genealogists everywhere, at Still all free information! Our websites are now supported by advertising. Please leave comments on each of our Blogs by clicking on the word comment right underneath each Blog message. You may subscribe to all future posts of this Blog by scrolling all the way down to the bottom of this website and click on the subscribe tab. If you wish to be added to our email list for announcements and special offerings, just send us your email address to opt in.
Your feedback and comments spur us on!

Ephemera of the Genealogical Type

Some might say, “What the heck is Ephemera?”
Pronounced “eff-em-er-uh” (at least that’s the way I pronounce it.)

Ephemera means an item that relates to the moment. This term is normally applied to just paper, but to some it might also include items of 3 dimensional types, and something that one might hang on to for a keepsake or future reference.

Some of the items that fall into this category are; manuscripts, autographs, letters, diaries, handbills, matchbooks, photographs, broadsides, almanacs, programs, advertisements, funeral cards, posters, newspapers, tax lists, old bill heads, valentines, business cards, and on and on.

“Why would genealogists care?”

Well what about funeral cards? They would be pretty helpful right? You would get the name of the deceased, their vital dates and other clues.

Let’s discuss some of the other neat little items that just might provide some clues to your research.

Old Almanacs from the late 1700′s into the 1800′s usually had a chart of distances from location to location. Say from Albany to Buffalo, the routes would be described starting at Albany, so many miles to the first stop, which might be a village, or a tavern, or some such landmark. As you study these charts you will notice that most of the distances between locations were within one days “walk.” Most of our ancestors, I venture to say the majority of them, did not have access to horse and wagon, stage coach, Erie Canal, and so on. They walked from place to place! I have read dozens of accounts of the early settlers that came into “Upstate New York” from New England or down along the Hudson River, or up from New Jersey, and they almost always tell about coming in with their belongings on an ox-cart. That means everyone else walked!

So those distance markers would be of importance to determine where the actual dirt roads went. There were no paved roads. It was easier to travel in the winter after the snow was on, because they could pull the goods on a sledge of some kind, and the ground was not a soupy mess.

I can’t begin to tell you the importance of reading old family letters and diaries. You will learn so many details that you will never find in a court house or on a census about the families you are researching.

Use your imagination regarding any of the items listed above and see if you can’t make a determined effort to locate some of these treasures to assist you in shaking your family tree.

The Ephemera Society of America has an excellent website at, replete with many informative articles, websites of member/vendors, notices of exhibits and forthcoming shows. They publish a very professional and scholarly journal, and the membership is open to everyone.

Dick Hillenbrand – Upstate New York Genealogy –

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Upstate New York Genealogy Website 411

This Blog will inform new visitors of the types of materials that will be found on the website of
Upstate New York Genealogy

When you land on the homepage of unyg, you will see across the top some tabs.

The first tab is for the “UNYG Blog” which will bring you to where you are reading this.

The next is a new tab for a “UNYG Store,” which is not yet active, but might be real soon.

The next tab is, “Favorite Links” a collection of links that we started with a couple of years ago, which needs updating.

The tab for “FAQs” means “Frequently Asked Questions,” answers to questions posed in the early development period of this website.

The tab marked “Contact Us” will bring up an email link to the webmaster.

The tab for “Privacy” was put on to explain our Privacy Policy.

The “Site Map” tab is a quick way to get a feel for the contents of the site, but is designed such that bots like Google, Yahoo, MSN and others can automatically index the contents of the site.

The top left corner of the website is a search box that searches just the unyg site, it does not search the Blog site. A separate search box is on the “UNYG Blog” page.

Under that is “HOME” which you can see from all sub pages and will bring you back to the start.

“BASIC GENEALOGY” is a paper of a very old lecture that we used to give to groups of individuals that were just starting out in searching for their ancestors. It is a little dated, but the basic ideas are still relevant.

“CIVIL WAR RESEARCH IN NY” is a collection of instructions and links to persons looking for Civil War ancestors.

“INTERNET GENEALOGY” also is dated, from an old series of lectures given, but some of the processes are still valid.

“INTERNET SECURITY” is also a few years old, but good advice. (We will get around to updating these older instruction areas, real soon now…)

“LAND RECORDS” is one of our favorite areas of instruction. If you have not been using land Records in your family history research, you are missing out on a fantastic resource. Please print the instructions out and refer to them often.

“MAYFLOWER CONNECTION” is a non-documented basic set of charts that show our own family connection to three of the Mayflower passengers, George SOULE, Francis COOKE, and Edward FULLER. Please use it with care, it is for general information only and these lines are not officially proven.

“NY COUNTIES & CENSUS” shares the hot spot with the Civil War button, according to the stats program that we use to monitor our website activity. This very informative page is a chart that we developed some years ago to explain the dates that the various counties were formed, their parent counties if not an original, the name of the county seat, and a list of partial or complete holdings of the New York State Censuses that might be available for each county. These state censuses are very helpful in addition to the federal censuses that are on-line. Most of the state censuses are not on-line yet, a very few exceptions, and usually only a few parts. The best places to view these censuses are at the NYS Library, any LDS Family History Center, and some of the other excellent research libraries around the country.

“OLD CAMBRIDGE DISTRICT” is a description of a collection of about 30,000 manuscript Family Group Sheets of an in-depth area study of the South East corner of Washington County, NY., which is generally the now towns of Cambridge, Jackson and White Creek, and covers from the colonial period up to about the Civil War period. None of these records have been digitized and we just keep building the collection with the grand plan of publishing it all, some day…

“RESEARCHERS GATHERING” (not presently being used.)

“PROGRAMS & LECTURES” is a partial list of some of the conference and genealogical society lectures given by Dick Hillenbrand in the past and a place to post announcements about some of the forthcoming programs to be given.

“BOOK REVIEWS” needs to be updated. At present there is only one book reviewed and we have many more to put up, some day, real soon now…

“DATA / IMAGES” is a collection of images and scans of some manuscript items that we want to share with researchers. We have much more to add, when we can get a round tuit.

“MY TOOLS” will show a chart that is handy to print out and use when you are searching pre 1850 federal censuses, where only the name of the head of the household is given and everyone is counted in age groupings. This chart will help you decide “APPROXIMATELY” the years of possible birth range.

“MY GENEALOGIES” is a list of some of our own ancestors and is shown in basic fact format only. If anyone thinks they might tie into any of these people listed, we are very willing to share our full blown version of these genealogies complete with voluminous notes and all sources cited.

Next is a “Google Search” box where you can instantly search for anything on the Internet without having to leave the unyg site.

You will now be seeing some advertising on this website also, as we need a little help paying for webspace and bandwidth.

The logo for “s-go consulting” will take you to the homepage of our wonderful hosts and website developers down near Ithaca, NY. Please visit s-go if you EVER have need for any website assistance of your own. They are a FIRST RATE company!

Lastly, the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) logo. A group of highly dedicated and motivated professional researchers that share ideas and methods, and keep up with the latest in the world of family history research.

The body of the website is dynamic and constantly changing with fresh material.

Please bookmark our site or add it to your favorites, come back often to see what’s new or revisit some materials that you have seen on in the past.

Ps: Don’t forget to click on the “UNYG Blog” at every visit to see what our most recent postings are.

Dick Hillenbrand

Upstate New York Genealogy

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