17 April 2015

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 12; Aistroppe Robinson Hitchcock

With work and the warmer weather here now, I am playing catch up on this 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks program. For this week I am changing their theme for the week of "how do you spell that?" to "how do you pronounce that name?" I will write about my gggg grandfather, Aistroppe Robinson Hitchcock. Personally, I am glad that I was not named after him.

Aistroppe was born on 15 September 1810 in West Troy, New York; now Watervliet to Captain James Hitchcock (1785 - 1858) and Peggy Meneely (c. 1790 - c. 1818). He was baptized on 03 February 1811 in Troy at the First Presbyterian Church. I believe that Aistroppe was named after a brother-in-law to James Hitchcock. In the First Presbyterian Church records, a marriage took place on 08 August 1804 between Eliza Hitchcock and Aistroppe Robinson. I believe that Eliza was a sister of Captain James. The names and time frames fit and where would his parents come up with that name also?

Siblings of Aistroppe include:

  • Andrew Meneely (1808 - 1883) married Charlotte Crowner
  • Alexander (1812 - 1871) married Abigail Irena Hanks
  • Marion or Mary Ann (1814 - ?)
  • James Harvey (1816 - 1894) married 1st Juliette Harriet Fuller, 2nd Mary E. Fuller
  • Eleanor Levina (1818 -  ?)
Aistroppe's mother Peggy died possibly shortly after Eleanor Levina's birth. James started another family with his deceased wife's younger sister Eleanor Meneely (1804 - 1888). They were married on 28 July 1821. Their children included:
  • Frances Juliet (1822 - 1899) married Aaron Clinton
  • Emily H. (c. 1830 - ?) married John K. Quail
  • Amelia G. (c. 1834 - 1892) married John U. Learned
  • Ellen M. (1840 - 1929) married Carlos Carpenter Pope
  • Edward Payson (c. 1842 - a. 1879)
A page from the Hitchcock Bible



On 13 April 1883 at the North Reformed Church in Gibbonsville (Watervliet), Aistroppe married Margaret Ann Sickman (1812 - 1892) daughter of Henry Sickman and Elizabeth Waltz (1769 - 1861). Their children included:
  • James Henry (1834 - 1886) married Caroline Gertrude Ruenburgh
  • Edward Newton Kirk (1837 - 1840)
  • Edward Newton Kirk (1842 - 1842)


Aistroppe and family resided in West Troy for many years before moving to Albany and purchasing a house at 198 Green Street sometime before 1855. In 1850, still residing in West Troy, Aistroppe was listed as an ironworker, perhaps at the Watervliet Arsenal. He was mainly found in Albany city directories as a machinist; but later was listed as an armorer for the 10th Regiment.

At age 51, on 21 October 1861, Aistroppe enlisted in the 44th Regiment of the New York State Volunteers as a Fife Major. According to his widow's pension application papers, he was suffering from a double hernia; which could explain why he was honorably discharged on 10 April 1862.

Aistroppe died on 06 May 1876. As mentioned, Aistroppe was a musician and was a noted fife player. Below is a transcript of his obituary from the 08 May 1876 issue of the Albany NY Evening Times.

Death of "Bob"Hitchcock
A.R. Hitchcock better know as "Bob" Hitchcock, the veteran fifer died at his residence 198 Green street at 11 o'clock Saturday night of apoxlexy.  He retired to bed at 10 o'clock in apparent good health but in one hour was a corpse.  He was sixty-five years old and leaves a wife and son.  He has blown the fife for upwards of fifty years, served in the late war, and was ell and favorably known all over the country.  His death will be sincerely mourned.  He was armorer of the Tenth regiment at the time of his death and a member of Doring's band, which latter organization was to tender him a complimentary concert in Tweddle hall on the 24th inst. the concert will take place as announced and the proceeds given to Mr. Hitchcock's family. The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock from his late residence. The funeral arrangement are in the bands of Post 5 G.A.R., Doring's band will attend as mouners and Amtg's Tenth regiment band will furnish the music.  The following list of mourners was singularly prepared by Mr. Hitchcock March 25th Asa K. Patten, Brad Frost, Stephen Schreiber, H. Golirey, Frank Doring, Peter Klein, John Nidock, and John Wilkes.

The following circular was been issued from brigade headquarters:
HEADQUARTERS 9th BRIGADA N.G.S.N.Y. 
Albany, May 8, 1876 {Circular}
The general commanding 9th Brigade N.G. learning with profound regret that A. Robinson Hitchcock reg identified with the National guard as a soldier and armorer of the Tenth regiment has been suddenly removed by death requests the members of his command to attend the funeral of the deceased as a mark of respect to his memory.
D.M. Woodhall (Brig.-Gen.)

J.S. Dickerman (Lieut.-Col. & A.A.G.)
Also the following by Post 5:
HEADQUARTERS LEW BENEDICT POST
No. 5 DEPARTMENT OF NEW YORK
G.A.R. Albany May 8, 1876

Comrades of this post and also those of Post 63 and 121 are hereby requested to meet at Post headquarters tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon at 1 o'clock for the purpose of paying the last tribute of respect to our late Comrade A.R. Hitchcock.  Comrades will parade in citizens' dress with white gloves.
By order, Oscar Smith, Post Commander

Chas. E. Gavtz, Adjutant

Aistroppe Robinson Hitchcock was buried in the Albany Rural Cemetery on 09 May 1876. Note, on his tombstone is the relief of a fife.

Aistroppe Robinson Hitchcock, gravestone

16 April 2015

Andrew Meneely; 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 11

This week's ancestral biography is on Andrew Meneely. Much has been written on him regarding his world renown bell foundry and his apprenticeship to Julius Hanks. I am not going to write about his bell manufactory. I'll stick with basic genealogical facts on his family. He was a younger brother to my ggggg grandmother, Peggy Meneely. Andrew was born in West Troy, now Watervliet, on 19 May 1802 to Andrew James Meneely and Eleanor Cobb.

Andrew and Eleanor were Irish immigrants who came to America in the 1780s. The exact date is presently unknown. They raised their family in West Troy and had the following children:


  • John, born circa 1788
  • Peggy, born circa 1790
  • Mary, born circa 1797
  • Andrew, born 19 May 1802
  • Elenor, born 13 May 1804
  • James S., born 24 November 1806
Andrew Meneely


Father, Andrew James Meneely died in September 1806 and mother Eleanor died in 1827.  Andrew married Philena Hanks (19 October 1803 - 25 June 1887) on 10 November 1826 in Mansfield, Tolland County Connecticut. Andrew and Philena had a large family with numerous children who died under the age of seven. Their children included:

  • Eleanor Sophronia, (18 August 1827 - 20 September 1853)
  • Edwin Andrew, (12 November 1828 - 15 January 1887)
  • Olive Eugenia, (23 December 1829 - 12 August 1830)
  • George Rodney, (15 March 1831 - 23 October 1915)
  • Olive Eugenia, (03 January 1833 - 13 August 1837)
  • Henry Clinton, (06 March 1834 - 12 May 1835)
  • Henry Clinton, (07 June 1836 - 06 August 1837)
  • Eugenia Philena, (16 January 1838 - 26 June 1859)
  • Clinton Hanks, (26 December 1839 - 01 July 1923)
  • Juliett Augusta, (22 October 1842 - 25 August 1849)

In the late 1840s, Andrew became ill with consumption and died on 14 October 1851 and was buried in Albany Rural Cemetery. A photo of his large burial lot is below.

Andrew Meneely burial lot at Albany Rural Cemetery


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 10; Favorite Picture

Last week's theme for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was to write about a favorite picture. I cannot say exactly that the photo below is a favorite picture but I like it anyways. Left to right are John Joseph Aloysius Gannon, 1887 - 1961 (my great grandfather); his son, John Joseph Gannon, 1914 - 1975 (my granduncle); and his brother-in-law, George Edward Kirk White, 1910 - 1982 (my grandfather).

This picture is circa 1953. Was it staged? Probably. Were they having a good time? Yes. Were they really drinking? Definitely!

John Joseph Aloysius Gannon, John Joseph Gannon, George Edward Kirk White
Father, son, & son-in-law

30 March 2015

Thievery at the Cemetery?

About four hours ago I took a ride to Our Lady Help of Christians Cemetery in Glenmont to check how my ancestor's graves held up over the Winter and to note whether I had any upcoming projects to attend to there. While at the cemetery I took a look at a grave site where there was an old cast iron bench at an unrelated grave site. Years ago this cemetery had quite a few of these benches within it. I remember seeing them as a kid when I visited the cemetery with my grandparents.

As of March of 2013 there was only one remaining bench left in the cemetery. All of them had disappeared one way or another. Today I checked for the bench because numerous times in the past when my kids were at the cemetery with me, we would photograph them sitting on the bench. The last time I did this was in 2013 and I will no longer be able to do the same in the future because today it is missing, gone, not there.  Below is the first picture we took of my kids at the bench. It was taken in 2003.


Summer 2003


The next photo below was taken in March 2012. In order to keep the peace within the family and not start WWIII with the girls; their faces have been whited out. "Are you happy girls?" The bench can clearly be seen between two grave stones.

March 2012


The photo below is of the same spot taken today. The cast iron bench is gone. In the top photo, the bench was wired together. Obviously it was damaged at some point. The question here is: did the cemetery workers remove the bench because of the damage or was it removed by thieves?

30 March 2015

It is very aggravating that this happens and I am sure that it happens all the time. Another item that is no longer found here are the old GAR medallions that hold flags. This cemetery had numerous ones again when I was a youngster. I hope that these small relics from the past are not disappearing for ease of up keeping of the grounds. This will be looked into further.

29 March 2015

Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS) Meeting in Menands

Briefly the New York Chapter of the Association for Gravestone Studies will be holding a meeting at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands in a couple of weeks. Details are listed below. The information was cut and pasted from the Association website.

Spring Meeting -- The New York Chapter of the Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS) is pleased to announce its spring meeting, to be held on April 18, 2015. The event will take place at St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands, NY (near Albany).

The meeting will include talks on conservation, rural cemeteries (including Albany Rural Cemetery), public programming at St. Agnes Cemetery, and other topics. In the afternoon attendees can take self-guided tours of St. Agnes Cemetery and adjacent Albany Rural Cemetery.

Maps and information about points of interest at the the cemeteries will be provided.

An invitation with the program and more details will be emailed at a later date. If you would like to be added to the New York Chapter mailing list to receive an invitation to this and future events, please email evabowerman25@gmail.com.

Updates will be posted on: https://www.facebook.com/New.York.Chapter.AGS

28 March 2015

A Brief History of Albany's Water Works System

Some posts and questions arose on the FB group, Albany... the way it was, regarding some of Albany's past reservoirs. I found some info on these former reservoirs and put this together. Below is a picture of part of a Sampson & Murdock 1902 Albany map that shows part of the Patroon Creek to the left of where West Albany is listed. This pond-like portion of water is the same water that can easily be seen today between I90 and the former Tobin's First Prize building.  Two other reservoirs can be seen in the western portion of the city, the Bleecker and the Prospect reservoirs.  A brief history of these water works is below.





The following information comes from pamphlets that were included with city water bills back in the late 1990s. The old Water Works Company, formed in 1802, created Watervliet Lakes, also known as Tivoli Lakes in the 1840s. These lakes were behind Phillip Livingston school.  Only one small lake remains today. In 1850, three streams at the Patroon's headwaters were dammed near Fuller Road to create Rensselaer Lake or Six-Mile Waterworks. A four mile long underground brick conduit would deliver Rensselaer Lake water to Bleecker Reservoir, site of today's Bleecker Stadium. More than four million bricks were used to construct the egg shaped conduit. Bleecker Reservoir held 30 million gallons of water. The reservoir was converted to Bleecker Stadium in 1935.

In the late 19th Century, Patroon Creek, east of Fuller Road, would feed a newly constructed Tivoli system, which provided drinking water to the City until the early 1920s. This system consisted of Sand Creek Reservoir (I believe this might be the pond-like area off I90), Russell Road Reservoir (located on Russell Road just north of Sand Creek Road), and Tivoli Reservoir (located north of Livingston Avenue between Ontario and Quail Streets).

In 1875, a new pumping station was built at the northwest corner of Montgomery and Quackenbush Streets. Hudson River water was pumped from a pier in the river to a 30 inch cast iron main located beneath Clinton Avenue. The water would supplement the existing water in Bleecker Reservoir.

A second storage reservoir, Prospect Hill was constructed in 1877 to better supply elevated sections of the City. The new reservoir held 7.5 million gallons and was built on a sandy knoll, known as Powder House Hill, between Colby Street and Manning Boulevard.

Who Are They? 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 9

As I have mentioned before everyone should know the importance of lightly writing on the back of old photos as to who the individual/s are. If writing on the reverse of the photo is not an option, some means of name identification should be accomplished. I have numerous photos of relatives and ancestors that date back to the 1860s and maybe earlier. Unfortunately everyone who would be in the know as to who these people are are long gone; some upwards of one hundred years or more.

This week's ancestor biography is on ... I do not know?  Below are photos of unknown ancestors. I have an idea of who they might be but that is it. No solid proof. Only a hunch?

Below are two photos that came from the town of Zierikzee in the Netherlands. Zierikzee is the town where my great great grandfather Hendrik Koreman and his three siblings were born.  Around 1852 the family immigrated to America. On the reverse side of the photos is the address of the photographer, which is how we know the photos are from the Netherlands. The below photos could be of siblings to my ggg grandfather Cornelis Koreman. Whoever they are? They felt it important to send these photos to New York.

CJ Korsten, Zierikzee, Photographer

Zierikzee


The remaining two photos below are from Rondout, New York; just outside Kingston. My grandfather told me numerous times about his ancestors living in Rondout before coming to Albany. These photos are proof that they were in Rondout.

Vallaha, Division Street, Rondout


DJ Auchmoody, Garden & Ferry Streets, Rondout, NY


The final photo, I do not know if it can be called a photo. It is like a piece of glass with a negative print in it.  It is very difficult to see the print. However if a dark background is placed behind it then the image becomes very clear. I do not know what type of photo it is. If anyone knows the answer to this question, please let me know. One noticeable thing is the man in this photo is also the same man in the photo two pictures above. Both of these photos came from different cousins within the Koreman family.

Glass negative type photo?