16 September 2019

Translation of German Words on Gravestones

For those of us genealogists who have German ancestry and for those of who conduct research in cemeteries that hold German interments, you probably noticed words or phrases inscribed on gravestones that are in Deutsch or German. Have you questioned what do these words mean? Well, to help, below is a short list of words that are found on gravestones of Germans and a translation to the English equivalent. This list will be added to as more are discovered.

Deutsch                              English
Alt                                       Age
Eltern                                   Parents
Er Ruhet                              He rests
Ehefrau                                Wife
Er wurde geboren                He was born
Frau                                     Woman/Wife
Gatte                                    Husband             
Gattin                                   Wife
Geboren                               Born
Gestorben                            Died
Gott                                     God
Hier                                     Here
Im Gott                               In God
Im Herr                               In Lord
Im Unsers Herrn                 In our Lord
Jahr/Jahren                          Years/Years
Jahren von Herr/Herrn        Year of our Lord
Kind/Kinder                        Child/Children
Monat/Monaten                  Month/Months
Mutter                                 Mother
Ruhet                                  Rests (m)
Ruhen                                 Rests (f)
Sie Rhuet                            She rests
Sie War                               She was
Sie wurde geboren              She was born

Sohne                                  Son
Sohn von/ Sohnes von        Son of/ Sons of

Tag/Tagen                           Day/Days
Tochter/Tochtern von          Daughter/Daughters of
Tod                                      Death
Vater                                    Father

Gravestone Example Inscribed in Deutsch

14 September 2019

Log Cabin Cemetery - Hurstville

This Spring the gravestone of Jacob Cappallo and his wife Mary Schaeffer Cappallo was uprighted at the Evangelical Protestant Church Cemetery. See the photo below. While doing research on another individual, the death notice for Jacob Cappallo was discovered and a new discovery came to light. The Evangelical Protestant Church Cemetery, also known as the Hurstville Cemetery, also had another name, the Log Cabin Cemetery.

Gravestone of Jacob & Mary Cappallo
Times Union 17 March 1897 5:6
Cappallo- March 16th, at the residence of his son, 613 Clinton avenue, Jacob Cappallo, aged 67 years and 3 days. Funeral Thursday afternoon at 2:30.

Brief information on the life of Jacob Cappallo was found in various Albany newspapers. Including the snipet below.

Times Union 17 March 1897 5:5
- Mr. Jacob Cappallo, one of the best known residents of the West End, died yesterday at the residence of his son, 613 Clinton avenue. He was the proprietor of Cappallo hall, the meeting place of Division 5, A.O.H. and several other societies.

The interesting part of this story is below from a notice in the Times Union newspaper where he is listed as being buried in the Log Cabin Cemetery.

Times Union 19 March 1897 6:4
The funeral of Jacob Cappallo took place yesterday afternoon from the residence of his son, Frederick, 613 Clinton avenue. The rev. Mr. Reller of the German Evangelical Protestant church officiated. The bearers were Coroner George Held, William Smith, Ernest Gau, and Goetleif (sp) Klinger. Interment was at the Log cabin cemetery, Hurstville. Mr. Plantz had charge.

Hurstville was in the local newspapers many times over the years. Hurstville, once located in the Town of Bethlehem until residents of the hamlet petitioned the town to allow Albany annex the area. This was over an inadequate water supply to the area. Proceedings for this action began in 1964 and in 1967 the area was annexed to Albany.

Times Union columnist Edgar S. van Olinda wrote snippets on local history of Albany for years. Once such story was printed in the Times Union on July 29, 1943, 1:1 stating, Hurstville, a section of Albany, better, better known by that name a quarter of a century ago than it is today was once known as Log Cabin. In after years, there were several hotels along this turnpike, such as Hurst's, Johnnie Hoy's, the Home Lawn and the Adams House.

Five years earlier "Looking Back" columnist Nancy van Dyck wrote in the Times Union on October 30, 1938, C3:1 that Driving along New Scotland avenue, near the Buckingham Garden development, the other day, there came to mind the days when New Scotland avenue, a "plank road" and the Hurstville Hotel and picnic grounds, which were located at about the intersection of the Whitehall road and New Scotland avenue, were the mecca of many of the younger set. A trip to Hurstville in those "Horse and Buggy Days" was an event of much importance. All day journey, it took an hour or more to get there and to get home again, so that the younger set of those days invariably started out early in order to enjoy a days outing, in what was then the heart of the countryside.

Newspaper reporters reminiscencesed about the old days as early as 1928 when Times Union columnist DeWitt Schuyler wrote in his Albany Day Day column on June 26, 1928, 1:1, Do you Remember- When there was a race track at Hurst's hotel and Hurstville?

Readers thinking about that question would be very old considering this news story from the Saturday August 28, 1869 Albany Morning Express that reported The Turf,- The attendance at the track- Hurstbille- yesterday was quite large, and the sport was good. In the first race Hill's "Capt. Jenks" was the winner, and in the last Greenman's "Sir William."

The story of Hurstville revolves around William Hurst who owned many acres of land including the trotting park where the horse racing occurred. See the following link for a detailed Knickerbocker News article from 1952 about the former hamlet of Hurstville.

William Hurst II

Hurstville Hotel

10 September 2019

Dramatic Tour of Murder at Cherry Hill

On the evenings of October 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, and 26, Historic Cherry Hill will present a dramatic tour reliving the infamous 1827 murder that occurred at the Cherry Hill mansion; once home of the van Rensselaer family from 1787-1963

The program times begin at 5:30 and 7:00 PM each night. Reservations are required. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.com. Cost for members of Historic Cherry Hill is $15 and non-member ticket cost is $20.

Cherry Hill
523 1/2 South Pearl Street
Albany, New York 12202


09 September 2019

New York Chapter Palatines to America Fall 2019 Conference

The New York Chapter of the Palatines to America German Genealogy Society will hold its Fall 2019 Conference on Saturday October 5, 2019. The featured speaker is Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG® author of Guide to Hanover Military Records, 1514-1866. McMillin has taught at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG).

She will be speaking on the following topics

  • Oh Where, Oh Where are My Ancestors From?
  • So, You've Found Your German Town of Origin, Now What?
  • Untangle the Web of German Websites
  • The Voyages of Our German Immigrants
Hilton Garden Inn Albany Airport
800 Albany-Shaker Road
Albany, New York 12211

For more information email: palamny@gmail.com

Palatine to America society members registration fee: $55
Non-member fee: $80

08 September 2019

48th Annual Festival of Nations

The 48th Annual Festival of Nations will be held at The Egg in the Empire State Plaza on Sunday, October 20th from 12-5 PM. Celebrate different cultural traditions at the festival. Tasty ethnic foods are available. Unique crafts, watch ethnic dances and listen to music from various nations.

Tickets $5 for adults
Children $2 (ages 3-12)

For more information:

29 August 2019

Great Discovery at the Cemetery

Last week while working at the Evangelical Protestant cemetery in Albany I made an awesome discovery. While looking at the gravestone of Civil War veteran, Philip Myers, who married a distant cousin of mine, Magdelena Sanger, I noticed that there were low spots and clumps of dead grass in spots to the left and to the right of Philip's gravestone.

Philip Myers
photo courtesy J. Aoyama

I scraped the dead grass with my foot and discovered two tablet style gravestones that broke off from its buried section. The gravestones fell over, sunk into the ground, and then were covered over by dirt. I always found it surprising that Philip had the only visible gravestone in a large lot.

Immediately I called a distant cousin, Pat, who I was supposed to meet at the cemetery last year. After telling him of my find, he quickly came to the cemetery and helped with this project. Philip is Pat's great great grandfather. One of the newly found gravestones was that of Pat's great great grandmother, Magdalena Sanger and the other was of an uncle, Max Myers.

The gravestones were removed from the soil and Pat cleaned them with D2 while I prepared the area for installing wood frames so that I could fabricate slotted bases for the new found gravestones.

The next day, while mixing cement for the bases, Pat stopped by and he dug out another gravestone that had fallen over and sunk into the ground. This gravestone was that of Mary Myers, daughter of Philip and Magdelena. So, in total, three gravestones that had not seen the light of day for many years were found.

1881 - 1949

When coming home I checked the burial lot cards to see how large the plot was and how many burials were interred. The lot was 16' x 12' and there were additional burials also. However after probing the entire plot area, no additional gravestones were found. Below is the lot card.

Today, the gravestones were reset into the newly made bases. The stones will need to be cleaned again with D2 but so far the project looks amazing. Cemeteries always hold stories that are waiting to be found. Sometimes you need to dig to get at them.

Gravestones Correctly Aligned

Myers Lot Overview

wife of
Co. A. 18 N.Y.S.V.
Died Oct. 15, 1896
AE 55 Yrs.

Co. A.
18. N.Y.S. Vols.
Died Dec. 23, 1922
AE 86 Yrs.

Co. f.
12 N.Y. Cav.
Died Sept. 4, 1909
AE 31 yrs.

20 August 2019

Update on the Work at the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery

For those who are following the saga of the Evangelical Protestant Church Cemetery in Albany, here is a long overdue update. For background information on this story click here. If you read the background story, well, now the cemetery is back to way that it should always be; neat, orderly, and nicely landscaped. But... this is only temporary. As we all know, the grass will continue to grow until early November. Within another two weeks, maybe sooner, the grass will need to be cut again. The grass cannot be allowed to grow to the extreme length that it was previously.

So far the present owner of the cemetery and its accompanying South End church building is missing in action. He cannot be located by the authorities. We do not think that the municipality is trying very hard though. However, when I decide to tackle the task of finding our absentee cemetery owner. Oh, he will be found. Those who are in hiding need to realize that I am a genealogist with super skills and have the ability to find information and people. Enough on that.

The primary individuals who tackled this project were Travis, Mike, and Dan. These three amigos worked at the cemetery for about two weeks and they got it done. There was help from a lot of other people including a crew from Albany Med, workers from Mater Christi, UAlbany football players and their coaches, and numerous lot owners. However Travis, Mike, and Dan were present at the cemetery on a daily basis.

Will the city of Albany invoke their "Action Plan" so that this does not happen again? I very seriously doubt they will do anything. But, time will tell what happens here.

Below are a series of before and after photos at the cemetery detailing the amount of work and effort that those who helped with this project undertook. While the cemetery was overgrown, deer, skunks, and groundhogs were plentiful.

Below are before and after shots at the front of the cemetery on Krumkill Road.

Where are the gravestones?
Oh, here they are

Overgrown entrance road

Entrance road looking good