31 December 2014

Last Post in 2014: Plans for 2015

When in less than three hours 2015 will be here.  2014 has been a good year.  A lot was accomplished in my genealogy research and graveyard rehab projects but looking back I have been very unorganized with a lot of things.  I came back to genealogy in 2011 after a fifteen year hiatus. Although my research stopped because I went back to school I was still acquiring family info, photos, and miscellaneous stuff as it came to me.  I did not do anything with it aside from putting these various papers etc. in files according to family names.

After being away from genealogy for so long I was amazed at what I had found.  There were many paid subscription sites such as Ancestry and others out there that made research that much more convenient for me.  Also, numerous records were transcribed and put on the Internet.  Now I am not saying that you can trace your whole family online but the Internet has definitely made life easier.

When I started up again my intentions were to not do any new research until:

  • my computer files/data/sources were cleaned up 
  • paper files and photos organized, scanned and loaded into my genealogy software and organized in folders
However with curiosity I did a google search of my gggg grandmother's name, Allegonda Klep, which is a very uncommon name and found hits and ideas to other research sites where I was able to trace her line back into the early 1700s and her husband's line the Koreman's back into the 1600s.  I have since broke away from my initial plans of no research until everything else was caught up because I could not resist bringing my family lines back four or five generations further.

Now I have numerous projects started, none finished, perhaps 2015 will be the year that I see them finished.

26 December 2014

Capt. Abram Harrington Found

Although it is the end of December, today's weather was beautiful; almost 50 degrees.  With great weather came a great idea for another search for the grave site of Captain Abram Harrington and his wife Mary.  In a previous post I mentioned that I could not find the site.  Well today with the help of a couple of hikers we found the burial site of a Revoluntary War veteran and his wife.  On a hike, twelve years ago with my family, my wife noticed their grave stones just off the trail.  Today the both stones have fallen and need to be uprighted.  I plan on going back in the spring to "clean-up" the site. There are only two stones so it will not take long.

I am glad that the grave site was found.  At first when I could not find it I began to think that it was bulldozed over to make way for a baseball field.  Fortunately my initial hunch was wrong.  Below are some photos of the site.
Harrington Grave Site

Mary Coons Harrington

Capt. Abram Harrington

06 December 2014

Finding Abram Harrington

Yesterday, I took a hike in the East Greenbush Town Park.  I was looking for a gravesite which is located on or near the Town Park property.  Twelve years ago my wife and I took the kids on a hike at the park and we found two tombstones off the trail.  Although at this time my genealogical pursuits were on hiatus, I still had to have my photo taken with the newly found gravestone.  The picture is below.

Well I had recently been curious about the old stone we found years ago; so I went looking for it.  Unfortunately I could not find it.  Things appeared different from how I had remembered them.  Along the trail, I thought that there were old rusted out and abandoned cars and farm tractors/equipment.  They were not there, which is a good thing.  But why could I not find the old gravestones?

Last night I found the photo that was taken of my daughter and I at the gravesite and I found that the person's name was Harrington.  After doing a google search, it was determined that the two stones were those of Capt. Abram Harrington who died 29 July 1846 at age 82 and Mary Coons Harrington, wife of Capt. Abram who died on 2 October 1832 aged 66 years.  Further I found that Abram was a Revoluntary War soldier also.  Now, I do not know how accurate this last information is without doing further research but it is quite possible.

The next question is why could I not find the grave site? I did not have a lot of time to look around for it but as I mentioned the abandoned vehiciles were all missing and as I walked further into the trails I came to an opening where a baseball field was recently created.  I walked to the main entrance way and determined that I was on Route 151 at the Miracle League baseball fields.  I found that this field offers children with special needs an opportunity to play sports.  I believe that this is a great organization and very much needed for disabled people.

I am hoping that the burial spot of this possible Revoluntary War veteran was not destroyed in the creation of the baseball field? Over the weekend, I will be heading back with two daughter's in tow to search the area.  Three sets of eyes are better than one.  I am hopeful that we find the gravesite.

24 November 2014

Importance of Multiple Backups

We have all heard many times about the importance backing up your data.  For some this may be a new one but how about keeping multiple backups.  Yes, it may sound crazy but what happens if you only have one backup and that backup fails for some reason.  That has the ingredients for a real disaster.

Over the weekend I was updating and backing up various files.  I was putting them on multiple DVDs and then finally on a Centon 128 GB USB flash drive which was purchased this past January.  Well the flash drive died or crashed; either way it will not work and the files that were on it are no longer accessible.

Fortunately I had backup DVDs from earlier in the year plus what is on the computer's hard drive.  If I lost anything I'm not 100% sure.  But I am lucky that I did not store my data simply on the flash drive.

This particular flash drive was purchased because of its capacity, price, and being completely rubber coated.  They advertise it as being waterproof.  I would never trust that statement.  But it appeared to be very well built.  Looks can be very deceiving.  It might be sturdy on the outside but its insides are definitely lacking.

I have my files backed up but will need to get another flash drive.  I will probably buy two.  Just in case one fails.  I do know that I will be staying away from Centon products.  Also I called their customer support line and no one answers.

16 November 2014

Care of old Photos

A project that I have been working on for about a year that seems very simple will hopefully be complete in about a week.  My old family photos were put in those magnetic photo albums from the 1980s and 1990s. The perpetrator of this crime was myself.  I unknowingly put upwards of 500+ photos into multiple magnetic albums which are supposedly not very good for the photos.

The final, but largest collection will finally be put into archival quality albums and photo sleeves.  It has been a lot of work but I think that it will be worth it.  These photos were in the albums for a little over twenty years and it appeared that some of the photos were beginning to stick to the magnetic cover.  I was able to remove them from the magnetic film without damaging them.  I guess that I was lucky. Who knows how it would have worked had the photos been in the album for another twenty years?

A photo below shows some of the photos that are organized and piled into groups that will be put into new albums.  It does not look like many but believe me; there are enough of them to keep anyone busy for a while.

A company called University Products, Inc. is where I purchased the new archival albums and sleeves.  The company website is http://www.universityproducts.com
Although their materials are very expensive, so far I am very happy with their products.  The bottom line is if I had done this, initially, years ago I would not be doing today. Also, very very important before putting photos in albums, be sure to lightly write on the back of the photo who the photo is of and perhaps a date as to when the photo was taken.  I have numerous photos of unknown relatives that are upwards of 130-140 years old; and we have no idea who these people are because everyone who might know who they were are long gone now.  Please do not let this happen to you.

12 November 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 4; Abigail Hanks Hitchcock

This bio is on Abigail Irena Hanks Hitchcock.  She was the wife of Alexander Hitchcock; who was a brother to my gggg grandfather, Aistroppe Robinson Hitchcock.  During a "google" search for anything about Alexander Hitchcock I found the photo below of Abigail Hitchcock, with a brief description about what was written on the reverse of the photo.  The bottom line is you never know what you might find on google! Use it for your genealogical research!

Abigail Irena Hanks Hitchcock
Abigail Hanks was born in Mansfield, Tolland County, Connecticut on 10 November 1816. She was the daughter of Rodney Hanks and Olive Freeman.  Abigail married Alexander Hitchcock from West Troy, New York on 9 November 1836 in Mansfield.  Abigail and Alexander had the following children:

  • Julia Philena (1841 - 1896)
  • Madeline Louisa (1843 - 1893)
  • Olive Hanks (1848 - 1929)
Abigail died 25 December 1884 aged 68 years in Jersey City, New Jersey.  She was eventually buried on 29 May 1885 in Albany Rural Cemetery with her husband Alexander.

04 November 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 3; Charles Koreman

Until last year, since the early 1850s there have been three men named Charles Koreman living in Albany.  A father, a son, and a grandson; all with the same name.  This bio will focus on Charles I. His name was not always Charles.

Charles Koreman, circa 1872

He was born Adrianus Johannes Koremans on 31 January 1844 in the city of Zierikzee, in the Province of Zeeland, in the Netherlands; to Cornelis Koremans and Maria Catharina Colen.  Charles was the younger brother of my great-great grandfather, Henry Koreman.  The author believes that sometime after the family arrived in the United States, circa 1852, that Adrianus Johannes Koremans' (Adriaan John Koreman in English) name was changed to Charles Koreman.  From there the name stuck.

Adrianus Johannes Koremans, Dutch birth certificate

In the 1860 New York State Census, 16 year old Charles was listed without an occupation but residing with his parents.  The following year the Civil War broke out and the young immigrant boy desired to show his patriotism for his new homeland.  He longed to enlist as a volunteer soldier. Against his parents' wishes he was mustered into the 177th Regiment of NYS Volunteers as a Private on 16 October 1862; and within five weeks Charles was discharged as a minor on 23 November 1862 for enlisting without his parents consent.

Record from 177th Regt. NYSV, Adjutant General Book
Record from 177th Regt. NYSV, Muster Rolls
Record of Discharge 

However within two years Charles re-enlisted as a Private this time in the 12th Cavalry, NYSV on 8 September 1864 for a one year term.  He was discharged on 14 June 1865 at Raleigh, North Carolina.

Charles Koreman, 12th Cavalry, NYSV

Record from 12th Cavalry, NYSV Adjutant General Book

Record from 12th Cavalry, NYSV Descriptive Rolls

Charles Koreman, 12th Cavalry. NYSV, Discharge Paper

After the war Charles re-entered life as a civilian and took up the occupation as a saddler.  At one point Charles and older brother Henry were in business together as saddlers in 1873 according to the Albany City Directory for that year.  Below is a listing from the directory for their business.

1873 Albany City Directory Ad
Also around 1873 Charles married Magdelena Behrhof (1854 - 1892). Magdelena was the younger sister of Margaret Behrhof who married Henry Koreman in 1863.  Two Koreman brothers married two Behrhof sisters.

Magdelena Behrhof Koreman, circa 1875

Charles and Magdelena resided in Albany's South End on Osborn Street for a number of years before moving around the corner to 77 Catherine Street in a neighborhood known as the "beehive." The couple had eight children;

  • Charles (1874-1877)
  • Henry (1876-1876)
  • Margaret (1877-1938)
  • Charles Joseph (1878-1938)
  • Peter Edward (1880-1933)
  • Henry William (1884-1939)
  • Frank Joseph (1886-1915)
  • Adrian Charles (1890-1927)
Charles Koreman seated center of picture with crossed arms

From 1888 till 1893 Charles was employed as a foreman at the Carriage Manufactory of James Goold Company until his eye sight started declining.  I believe the photo above to be the workers from the Goold Carriage Company.  His poor eyesight enabled him to apply for a pension with the United States government for service during the Civil War.  An affidavit from his Civil War pension files is below detailing his troubles.

Affidavit from Koreman's pension records

Charles kept his ties with other Civil War soldiers by joining one of the local Grand Army of the Republic posts.  As of this writing, the author knows that Charles was a member of one the three GAR posts in Albany but not which one.  Below is a photo of Charles on the right; seated perhaps next to his brother-in-law, Joseph Wagner, who also fought in the war.  Both men are wearing GAR dress uniforms.

Charles Koreman, seated right

Charles died on Christmas Day 1908 in Albany at 77 Catherine Street.  He collapsed and was found in the hallway of his home according to the Albany Evening Journal.  One of the last photographs of Charles is below.  Charles is seated left; brother Henry is seated right; and an unknown Koreman relative is standing behind them.  The unknown man may be Henry Koreman Jr.?  Charles was buried in Our Lady Help of Christians Cemetery in Glenmont, NY.

Koreman photo circa 1908

31 October 2014

Monthly data backup

Now that all of the trick or treaters are gone an tomorrow being the first of the month please do not forget to backup your genealogical data.  Try to set a day where you backup your data, photos, and files. For me, I do this on the first of the month, every month. Actually I backup my data as I research; but I also do another monthly backup where absolutely everything is copied and saved externally. Please do not let your hard earned work become a casualty to a computer crash or virus. It can happen. Also, do not forget to test your backup to make sure it works and that you have everything that you meant to save.

25 October 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 2; George Washington White

The ancestor biography for week 2 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is about one of my great grandfathers, George Washington White.

George Washington White

George Washington White was born on 22 February 1871 at 116 Spring Street, Albany, New York. He was a son of Charles William White (1835-1917) and Mary A. Wilson (1838-1908) both of whom were Irish immigrants.  Charles and Mary were married in Albany on 23 September 1861.  They had many children; all born in Albany.

  • Mary A. (1862-1918)
  • Charles William (1863-1937)
  • James Lincoln (1864-1885)
  • Robert (1866-1908)
  • Joseph (1868-1954)
  • Margaret Agnes (1869-1939)
  • Emma (1873-1874)
  • Christopher (1875-1877)
  • Bella (1877-1877)
  • John Bridgeford (1880-1903)
George first appeared in the Albany City Directory in 1893 through 1895 as a moulder.  In 1898 as an iceman.  From 1900 to 1904 he was working as a fireman for both the New York Central Railroad and the Hudson River Railroad.  In 1905 until his death he was a locomotive engineer for the New York Central Railroad. George's older brother Charles William White, Jr. was also an engineer with the NYCRR.

George W. White 3rd from left

George married Clara Boyd Hitchcock (1882-1966) in Albany on 20 July 1904.  They had the following children;
  • Margaret Agnes (1905-1984)
  • Clara Edna (1906-1978)
  • Mary Wilson (1908-1973)
  • George Edward Kirk (1910-1982)
  • Marie Mulder (1912-1976)

George and Clara's children in 1911.  Left to right Mary, George, Margaret, and Clara.

On 10 June 1935 George Washington White passed away at age 64 and was buried in Graceland Cemetery on Delaware Avenue at the city limits.  Below is a photo of his memoriam medals from the railroad  union local that he was a member of.

Brotherhood of Locomotive Fireman & Enginemen

George Washington White gravestone

24 October 2014

German Hall, 48 Beaver Street, Albany

A few weeks back I was involved in a conversation and someone mentioned the former German Hall that was on Beaver Street in Albany.  Therefore I decided to put together a blog post about German Hall.  The following is an excerpt from my MA thesis.

German Hall post card
German Hall Post

For over forty years, the numerous German societies longed for a “Deutsche Halle” or German Hall.  Circa 1904, the German Hall Association was formed to aid the German desire for a hall.  On January 18, 1908, their dream came true.  The Albany German Hall, costing $125,000, opened at 48 Beaver Street.  The hall included large assembly rooms, a ball room, kitchens, a spacious banquet hall reputed to be the largest in the city, a grill, restaurant, and a bowling alley.  The German Hall was an elaborate cultural landmark that became the dominant venue for German societies and clubs in the city.[1]

Schenectady Herold Journal Ad
Times Union Ad Feb 1913

As late as 1915, the German Hall Association promoted the study of the German language for the younger generation.  They also encouraged its study in schools and various institutions throughout the city.  The hall association suggested that all parents of Germanic descent teach their children to speak, read, and write the German language.[2] On October 2, 1914, the hall was toured by a large New York City theatrical concern with the intention of leasing the hall as a theatre.  The hall was considered a promising site because very few alterations to the building were necessary.[3]  The writer of this work was unable to determine the outcome of this venture, but concludes that the deal fell through.  Although the hall was home to most of Albany’s German societies and was the site for many successful concerts, the German Hall Association seemed always to be short on cash.  The Association owed the Albany Trust Company $60,000.  

Times Union 31 July 1918 1:3

           Regrettably, on July 31, 1918, the German Hall was sold to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for $68,000. [4] Over fifty years later, Edgar Van Olinda, a Times Union journalist, wrote in his weekly column “Around the Town” of the atmosphere inside the defunct German Hall.  He asked, 
…do you remember German Hall…where no ladies were admitted without a male escort? And the small Hungarian orchestra that played there, lending a strange, exotic touch to the scene? And the fat oiley [sic] violinist, strolling between the several tables playing his wailing Gypsy melodies for the occupants of the red table clothed drinking and eating pads? And the watery-eyed, silent little timpanist, wearing white cotton gloves, making soft, rippling music with his felt-covered mallets on the spinet-like instrument called a cymbalon?[5]

[1] Times Union, February 25, 1907, 6:2., 3:3.
[2] Ibid., August 20, 1915
[3] Ibid., October 2, 1914, 1:3.
[4] Ibid., July 31, 1918, 1:3. Schenectady Herold-Journal, June 1, 1917, 5:2; February 8, 1918, 1:6; June 21, 1918, 1:4.
[5] Times Union, January 14, 1970, 6:1.

21 October 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 1; Henry Koreman

It is hard to believe that I did not find the challenge of writing a blog/biography article on 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks until this weekend.  I am a little behind so I have my work cut out for me if I am to catch up with other genealogical bloggers! Some bios will be longer and more detailed  then others.  My first bio will be on Henry Koreman; one of my great-great grandfathers on my mother's side.

Henry Koreman, circa 1910

Henry or Hendrikus Koreman was born in the city of Zierikzee, in the Province of Zeeland, in the Netherlands on 27 March 1841.  He was the son of Cornelis Koremans who was baptized on 29 August 1810 in the city of Oosterhout, in the Province of Noord Brabant and died in Albany, New York circa 1867 and Maria Catharina Colen who was born circa 1803 in Antwerpen, Belgium and died in Albany, NY on 11 May 1873.  Cornelis and Maria were married on 18 August 1837 in Zierikzee.

Hendrikus Koremans birth certificate

Cornelis and Maria had three other children; all born in Zierikzee.  Maria Allegonda born 16 March 1838, Catharina born 5 March 1839, and Adrianus Johannes born 31 January 1844.  Cornelis was a shoemaker in Holland and continued his trade in the United States after he and his family immigrated circa 1852.  I have yet to find the exact date when the Koreman family sailed to America yet I know that by 1855 they found a home in Albany, New York.  Below is a copy of the 1855 New York State Census.  Note the incorrect spelling of the Koreman name.  The census enumerator listed them as Coleman.

1855 New York State Census

In the 1860 Census, 19 year old Henry was listed as a shoemaker  as was his father Cornelis.  By 1863 Henry entered the trade of harness maker and saddler.  Not yet married he still lived with his parents and boarded at 49 Jefferson Street according to the 1863 Albany City Directory.  At the end of 1863 on December 29  Henry married Margaret G. Behrhof; born August 1844 in Grossbardorff, Bayern, Deutschland and died in Albany on 4 February 1908.  The couple were married at the Holy Cross Church on Hamilton Street.  The church was the only German Catholic church in the city at the time.  The newly weds resided at 160 Broad Street.  Interestingly Henry's younger brother Adrianus Johannes, who in all New York records is found as named Charles, married Margaret Behrhof's younger sister, Magdelena.  Therefore two brothers married two sisters.

Henry and Margaret resided in Albany's South End at 16 Osborn Street for upwards of thirty years. This section was called "Dutch Hollow" which centered on the area of Elizabeth, Delware, and Alexander Streets.  The area was called "Dutch Hollow" not for the number of "Holland-Dutch" residents that lived there; but for the large number of German or "Deutsch" immigrants who lived in that neighborhood.

Henry and brother Charles were in business together in 1873 as saddlers according to the Albany City Directory for that year.  Below is a listing from the directory for their business.

1873 Albany City Directory, p. 123

By 1880 Henry was listed as a harness maker and his business was located at 373 South Pearl Street, which was the building immediately next to Eintracht Hall, number 371.  Eintracht Hall was the premiere German Hall during this time.  Numerous German societies including many of the Gesängvereine or singing societies held their practices and meetings there.  Singing would play a large role in Henry's life.  Henry kept his harness making business in the Albany's South End on South Pearl Street at various locations for the remainder of his working career.  From 1899 till 1919 he was located at 395 South Pearl Street.

373 South Pearl Street - vacant lot & Eintracht Hall to right (2004)

Henry and Margaret had ten children all born in the South End of Albany.  One child is unknown. Their children were

  • Mary Louisa (1866 - 1962)
  • Henry (1867 - 1916)
  • Catherina (1872 - 1911)
  • Theresa Ann (1873 - 1959)
  • John Henry (1875 - 1942)
  • Anthony George (1878 - 1936)
  • Stephen Joseph (1882 - 1968)
  • Edward George (1884 - 1945)
  • Joseph William (1886 - 1979)

The photos below are of Henry and other family members most likely after a Saengerfest or at one of the German Day festivals that Albany held on a yearly basis.  These fests always ended with a large picnic.  One such picnic area was Dobler Park which is in the vicinity of today's Hoffman Park. Another picnic area popular among the Germans was the vicinity south of Dobler Park, known as Schaller’s Grove.  The grove was established in 1903 and was used until the early 1950s when New York State procured the land for the New York State Thruway.  Around 1914, northwest of Dobler Park another picnic ground popular with the German element was Marshall’s Grove, located on Delaware Avenue.  The German Holy Cross parish held picnics and field days at this locale.

Henry Koreman seated center 

Henry Koreman seated left

Singing held a large role in Henry Koreman's life.  On September 20, 1875, the Mozart Singing Society was established.  It was a very small Gesängverein, having only eight members.  Although, the club was diminutive, it was still able to compete with the larger singing clubs, on account of the talents of its members.  In 1884 Henry Koreman was its president, Peter Behrhof was vice president, and Stephen Behrhof was secretary.  The Behrhof brothers were also brothers-in-law to Henry. By 1886 the society numbered fifty-three members. 

In 1860 Henry joined the Holy Cross choir and in 1910 the choir held a 50th Anniversary banquet for him. Below is a scan of the program.

Front cover
Rear cover

Pages 1 & 2
Pages 3

Below left is an article from the Times Union detailing the events of the anniversary banquet and to the right is a scan of the Holy Cross Choir from 1912.  Henry's sons Edward and John along with son-in-law Andrew Hahn were also members of the choir.

Henry Koreman, a many faceted man.  He was a son, an immigrant, a husband and father, a singer, and a prominent tradesman.  Henry passed away on 18 February 1923 in Albany at the home of his daughter Theresa Ann Koreman Hahn at 120 Morton Avenue.  When Henry died there was a lot of coverage on his passing in the Albany newspapers.  Below are some of his obiturary articles.




Henry Koreman was buried in the Koreman family plot at Our Lady Help of Christians Cemetery in Glenmont, New York.