31 December 2017

End of 2017

2017 is only hours away from ending. How did your genealogical pursuits fare? Did you get everything done that you set out to do? Did you break through that brick wall? These are some questions that many genealogists will sit back and think about.

My pursuits went well this past year. A big find for me was discovering a family branch that was included in a Palatine German genealogy. Now for 2018 I must check the work of the previous researcher for accuracy. We do not simply take the word of others. Sources are listed which will make it easier for me.

Another goal that I recently started and will continue into 2018 is to research my Albert line from Albany's South End. During this initial research I have been in contact with numerous distant cousins and plan to corroborate with them in this search. Unfortunately there are numerous sloppy genealogies out there with most of them missing the big picture. The goal here is to tie all of these South End Albert families together for an all encompassing tree.

Last year I made it to the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium in Springfield. That was an excellent experience for a first time conference. 2018 will bring me to two new conferences. The first, RootsTech in February and second, later in the year to the New York Family History Conference in Tarrytown.

2017 had me visiting numerous libraries and archives; as most of know that all of your genealogical research cannot be completed online. On site research will only increase this coming year. Back to the good old days of visiting old, dark, dusty vaults and shelves and viewing microfilms.

My thought when setting your goals for the upcoming year is not to set them too high. Actually set them relatively low as most resolutions fail within the first few weeks of the new year. The goal should be to set goals that are realistic and not outrageous and bound to fail.

30 December 2017

Saturday's Society : Unterstützungverein

Unterstützungvereine. Say that word three times fast! What does that mean? Unterstützungvereine were German benevolent aid societies that aided the poor and also recent immigrants. A brief history of these German benevolent groups follows.

A subdivision of Germans immigrants was the Kirchendeutschen, or church Germans.  Their common value was their strong commitment to religious principles.  They paid little attention to secular affairs occurring in their community.  The church was the center of their social lives.

Organizations created among Kirchendeutschen included numerous parish benevolent groups and the Germania Council, No. 110, of the Catholic Benevolent Legion, hereafter CBL, founded on May 6, 1885, with seventeen members. The CBL acted as a health insurance company. By 1897 membership numbered 162 individuals, and its treasury totaled $1128.82. Membership contributions depended upon the amount the individual was insured for- $500 to $5,000.[1] The group met monthly at Eintracht Halle, until the closing of the Halle. 

The Order of Saint Francis, or OSF, was a religious society that included many various lodges. Germans in Albany who evidently believed in left-liberal principles named a lodge after Robert Blum (1804-1848), a pacifist left-liberal radical member of the German Parliament in Frankfurt. Blum was also a journalist who advocated religious freedom for believers of German Catholicism, and democracy through the popular sovereignty of a republic. He supported mass education, freedom of the press, and the right of free assembly. Blum was executed as a revolutionary in 1848 for taking part in the revolution in Vienna. The only OSF lodge in Albany was the Robert Blum Lodge, No. 38, OSF. It was organized on March 29, 1868. By 1872 the lodge numbered thirty members.[2] As time passed, lodge membership increased; by 1897 its total membership included seventy-five individuals. Its treasury amounted to $3,763.30. Members paid quarterly dues of $1.30, which provided them with sick benefits of $4.00 per week and a death benefit for their spouse amounting to $130.[3] In 1876 the lodge met at the saloon of Martin Lehmann, located at 206 Washington Avenue. The Blum lodge dissolved around 1901. 

Other societies included the Erster Deutscher Protestanischer Verein, or the First German Protestant Society, which was organized on May 13, 1873, with one hundred twenty members. By 1897 the group consisted of fifty-nine members who paid quarterly dues amounting to $1.30. The treasury totaled $2,128.16, and the membership met monthly at 60 Alexander Street. Societal benefits paid $75 to the wife of a deceased member.[4] The Verein appeared in city directories between 1874 and 1882. The Federation of German Catholic Societies was another outlet for church Germans. The group met at 48 Phillip Street in 1919.

During the week of September 15, 1895, the Katholic Kirchendeutschen or German Catholic Churches celebrated with a glorious conference in Albany. It was estimated that upwards of five thousand visitors from all parts of the United States attended the fortieth convention of the German Roman Catholic Central Verein in Albany. Delegates representing fifty thousand members of German Catholic societies gathered “to assist in deliberations and to discuss and devise means by which all may be benefited, that the sick may be assisted and to work for the mutual benefit of all [German Catholic societies.]”[5] This objective was to be fulfilled by bringing the societies “together in body and spirit and thus further promote by this unity the objects for which they have been formed.”[6]

The most popular of all Deutsch Vereine were the Unterstützungvereine. The main purpose of these societies was the raising of money for the relief of the sick, the poor, and families of deceased members. Typically they were the largest societies in the German-American community. Usually members paid an initiation fee of $2.00 or $3.00 and a monthly payment of $.125 to $.25 a month. Members were given payments of $2-3.00 per week if they became sick and up to $15 towards their funeral. The Unterstützungverein functioned as a savings bank, and in time of need; it provided insurance money for its members.[7] Therefore it provided its members with cheap mutual assistance. Also if the deceased was a member of a fraternal organization whose insurance benefits were as simple as its ritual was elaborate, the procession might be modestly spectacular.[8] An example of a sizeable funeral can be read in the Times Union:

One of the largest funerals that has left the South End in some time was that of John Albert, which took place this morning from his late home on Second Avenue, and later from Our Lady Help of Christians church…His body was reposed in a solid oak casket, with gold extension bar handles, which was hidden from view by numerous floral tributes. Iron Molders’ union No. 8, of which he was a member attended…[9]

To aid workers who came ill and could no longer work the Workmen’s Compensation Group was established in 1884. Another society created to benefit sick workers was the Arbeiter Kranken und Sterbekasse, or Worker’s Sick and Burial Fund. The group was organized on July 26, 1894. Its membership was divided in different classes. First class members included thirty individuals who benefited from weekly sick payments of $9.00. Ten second class members were granted weekly sick imbursements of $6.00. The group also included three women. The burial fund amounted to a single $250 disbursement.[10]

In 1828 Albany’s first Unterstützungverein was organized- the Wohlthätigkeitverein or charity society. The group was also known as the German Benevolent Society. Its objective was to aid recent immigrants in providing for themselves. The Albany Daily Advertiser reported that at the annual meeting of the German Benevolent Society of the City of Albany held in the Lutheran Church on January 11, 1832, it was noted,

That from the 1st of January 1831, to the 31st of December ensuing, 628 families of German emigrants, consisting of 3413 souls, have arrived in this city, most of whom have passed on westward and northward, and to whom the agent [Daniel Pohlman] has in many instances rendered essential services.[11]

Other German benevolent societies included the Bethesdaverein. It was organized on August, 15, 1848. The group consisted of 180 members in 1872, but its numbers shrank to seventy-two members by 1897. Sick members were given a weekly payment of $4.00 per week. They met at Laventall’s Building, and its treasury amounted to $4,742.80 in 1897.[12] A Jünglings und Männer-Verein or Young Men’s and Men’s association was created on December 20, 1883. The Verein numbered eighteen members who paid quarterly dues of $1.00 and received sick payments of $3.00 per week. In 1897 the group’s meeting locale was 60 Alexander Street.[13] The Deutscher Wohlthätigkeitverein, or German charity society, was established in March 1889. In 1897 its 125 members met at Strempel Halle and paid quarterly dues of $1.00 for the benefit of weekly sick payments of $4.00 and a $50 death benefit. Its treasury amounted to $2134.[14] The Deutsche Hospital Gesellschaft, or the German Hospital Association, came into existence on February 28, 1895, after a group of Wohlthätigkeitvereine met and decided to form a German hospital association. On April 18, 1895, the German Hospital Association was founded. After one year membership included 144 members who paid yearly dues of $3.00 and twenty-seven Vereine that paid yearly dues of $10.[15]

The Orden der Hermannsoehne, or the Order of the Sons of Herman, hereafter OdHS, was organized in America circa 1869. The order was a benevolent society with the objective of aiding its members and their families in times of death, distress, or illness. It also fostered the continuance of the German language and customs. The order’s namesake was a Germanic folk hero who, according to embellished legend, defeated three Roman legions at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in A.D. 9. Germans in Albany quickly established two OdHS lodges- first the Wilhelm Tell Lodge, No. 25, OdHS in 1869. The lodge had twenty-five members in 1872, and the Germania Lodge, No. 100 OdHS was organized in 1874. [16] Both of these lodges appear to have dissolved around 1893.

The Order of Chosen Friends, or OCF, was a secret benevolent society. Its members united in bonds of fraternity, to aid and protect its members. The order was instituted on May 28, 1879. Albany gained its first OCF lodge on February 20, 1887, when the Stern Counsel Lodge, No 72 OCF was formed. The lodge totaled ninety-five members in 1897 but was short lived, dissolving soon afterwards.[17]

The Knights of Honor, or KOH, was another men’s benevolent society that was first organized in 1873 at Louisville, Kentucky. Albany gained a German KOH lodge on May 27, 1881 with the formation of the Beethoven Lodge, No. 2487. The lodge had thirty-six founding affiliates. By 1897 membership increased to sixty-three individuals that met at Besch’s. The state of Kentucky also chartered another fraternal benevolent society in 1878- the Knights and Ladies of Honor or K. & L. of H. The objective of the K. & L. of H. association promoted benevolence and charity to its members who were males and females over the age of eighteen, of any reputable profession or occupation, by establishing a death relief fund. Albany’s German K. & L. of H. lodges included the Victoria Lodge, No. 445, founded on September 19, 1881, with forty-seven members. The lodge grew to 176 members by 1897. The Central Lodge, No. 1441 was formed on August 24, 1889, with thirty-nine members. The lodge increased to eighty-five affiliates by 1897. The Homestead Lodge, No. 1828 was established on October 10, 1893. Fifty-nine members met at Liederkranz Halle.[18]

As mentioned earlier, most German women did not work outside the home; therefore, they aided themselves by establishing numerous benefit and charitable societies, such as the Erster Deutscher Frauen-Hilf Verein, or the First Women’s Aid Society. The Verein was created on February 11, 1864. By 1897 the society numbered sixty-two members who met at the school hall of the Protestant Evangelical Church. Dues of $.25 per month enabled payees to a sick benefit of $3.00 per week and a $50 death benefit.[19] 

On February 14, 1864, the Frauen Unterstützungverein No. 1 was established with seventeen members. Three years later the group changed its name to the Wohlthätigkeitverein. In 1897 the society totaled ninety affiliates and met at Liederkranz Halle. Its treasury amounted to $1,800. Members paid $.25 monthly dues for $3.00 weekly sick imbursements and a $50 death benefit.[20] 

On August 10, 1865, the Deutsche Frauenbund No. 2 der Stadt Albany, or German Women’s Federation Number 2 of the City of Albany, was organized. Towards the turn of the century, the group consisted of eighty women who met at Henry Besch’s and paid $.25 monthly dues for $3.00 weekly sick payments and a $50 death benefit. The group’s treasury amounted to $2,257.64 in 1897. 

The Bethesda Unterstützungverein was founded on May 1, 1874, with 134 members. By 1897 the Verein consisted of fifty-four members who paid quarterly dues of $1.25. Their assets totaled $2,793.92.[21] The Harmonia Frauen-Verein was established on September 1, 1878. By 1897 the society consisted of eighty affiliates that met at Liederkranz Halle. Members paid $.25 monthly dues that granted them a sick benefit of $3.00 per week and a $50 death payment. As of 1897 the Verein paid out $8,398.30 in expenditures, and its treasury totaled $2,531.38.[22] 

The Deutscher Frauen-Verein Eintracht, or the United German Women’s Society, was established on December 11, 1878. Ninety members paid dues amounting to $.25 per month for the imbursement of a $3.00 weekly sick benefit and a $50 death disbursement.[23] 

On October 23, 1879, the Albany City Frauen-Verein, or Albany City Women’s Society, was created. Seventy-seven members met at Besch’s, paid $.25 monthly dues and received a $3.00 weekly sick benefit and a $50 death payment.[24] 

The Germania Frauen-Verein No. 1 was founded, on November 20, 1887. One hundred members met at Strempel’s Halle. Their treasury totaled $1,750. Monthly dues of $.25 gained affiliates weekly sick payments of $3.00 and a $50 death benefit. The society felt it was becoming too large; accordingly on November 20, 1894, the Germania Frauen-Verein No. 2 was created. By 1897 the new Verein held eighty members that also met at Strempel’s Halle and received the same compensation as its older sister Verein.[25] Another women’s aid society was organized on September 26, 1895, as the Frauen Hilfs Verein, or Women’s Aid Society.[26]

[1] n. a., Geschichte der Deutschen in Albany und Troy, pp. 217-219.
[2] Ibid., p. 133.
[3] Ibid., p. 217.
[4] Ibid., p. 189.
[5] Times Union, September 16, 1895, 1:6.
[6] Ibid., September 14, 1895, 1:6.
[7] Dolan, The Immigrant Church: New York’s Irish and German Catholics, 1815-1865, p. 80. Nadel, Kleindeutschland: New York City’s Germans, 1845-1880, pp. 228-230.
[8] Mann, “The Furor Teutonicus: Upper Mississippi Abteilung,” The Yale Review 60(2): 316.
[9] Times Union, March 28, 1899, 5:5.
[10] n. a., Geschichte der Deutschen in Albany und Troy, pp. 190-191.
[11] Albany Daily Advertiser, January 18, 1832, December 12, 1828. Rowley, Albany: A Tale of Two Cities, 1820-1880, p. 131.
[12] n. a., Geschichte der Deutschen in Albany und Troy, pp. 69-71, 133.
[13] Ibid., p. 190.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid., pp. 185-187.
[16] Ibid., p. 133.
[17] Ibid., p. 219.
[18] Ibid., pp. 209-213.
[19] Ibid., pp. 197-199.
[20] Ibid., p. 199.
[21] Ibid., pp. 189-190.
[22] Ibid., p. 203.
[23] Ibid., p. 205.
[24] Ibid., pp. 203-205
[25] Ibid., pp. 205-207.
[26] Ibid., p. 187.

28 December 2017

Genealogical Research and Cemetery Work Findings

Lately my genealogical research and my gravestone restoration work at the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery have become intertwined fully. For years I knew that one set of my great great great grandparents, Joseph Albert and Maria Ittinger, were married in the German Evangelical Protestant Church on Alexander and Broad Streets on 07 February 1857. A photo from the church marriage register is below; left and right pages, entry number 442. Note the spelling variation of the bride's surname- Oedinger.

What I did not remember though until recently was who Joseph and Maria's witnesses to their marriage were... Gottfried Saenger and Anton Ittinger. Gottfried was the son of Gottfried Saenger and Margaretha Ittinger. Both from the village of Tolnaishof in Baden. Margaretha is definitely a relative but I am not yet able to pinpoint the exact connection even with positive DNA results from descendants of Gottfried and Margaretha. Anton Ittinger was an older brother to Maria. Joseph Albert and the Ittinger siblings were also from the village of Tolnaishof.

When we first started the cemetery rehab; we began at the overgrown section near the driveway closest to Route 85. This area had a lot of sumac trees that were growing into the cemetery and obscuring many gravestones. One gravestone in particular was severely leaning forward due to settling and root growth. Below is a photo of the gravestone after the area was cleared of the sumac trees.

Below is a photo of the gravestone which was rehabbed this past Summer. The photo taken in early December. Please notice the name. Gottfried Sanger. Yes, he is the same man who was a witnesses to the marriage of my great great great grandparents; and also a distant cousin. This was discovered about three weeks ago.

As my research continues, I found myself at the Albany Hall of Records going through the funeral books of the John M. Foll funeral home, which was located on South Pearl Street. The Foll funeral home waked numerous relatives of mine and also other German South Enders. As I was going through the books I came across the page below. The funeral expense record for Caroline Sanger. Gottfried's wife. Note, the record names Gottfried as Gottlieb.

It became very apparent while reading through the pages of the funeral books that I had rehabbed numerous gravestones of people who were buried by Foll and I was looking at their funeral expenses a hundred years plus later. Very interesting!

History Program: The Lost History of Ice Harvesting

From today's Rensselaer County Advertiser newspaper.

The Lost History of Ice Harvesting
Thursday, January 11th- Sand Lake Town Hall. 7pm. RPA's 2nd Thursday Lecture Series presents The Lost History of Ice Harvesting. Historian Tom Ragosta will give a presentation on the lost history of ice harvesting. He will detail the process for harvesting, storing, and delivery of ice. Tools of the trade will also be on display. Ragosta is currently the President of the Watervliet Historical Society, Curator of the Watervliet Museum, and Watervliet City Historian.

18 December 2017

North Greenbush 2018 Historical Calendars Available

Another Rensselaer County historical calendar is available. This one is on the North Greenbush area. From last week's Rensselaer County Advertiser newspaper.

North Greenbush 2018 Historical Calendars Available

The 2018 edition of the calendar is now available at the Town Clerk's Office at 2 Douglas Street, Wynantskill, or from Town Historian, Jim Greenfield (518-283-6384). The $10 price remains the same as it has been since 2009 (Where else can you find a deal like that?). Pictures include Doakmajian's Brookside Market, the 1947 graduating class of the Wynantskill School, fr. Tooher and St. Jude's "tent church" 1952, old photos from Snyders Lake and much more.

14 December 2017

Tombstone Tuesday Post on Thursday

This article was meant to post on Tuesday but I was caught up in other activities. Last week before Winter actually set in I took a ride to the cemetery of the Lisha Kill Reformed Church in Colonie. I was looking for a distant cousin's gravestone to snap a photo of it. This cemetery is tiny and of course I will have to go back in the Spring to locate it because I could not find it.

However, the cemetery is very old with many older style grave markers, many of them are extremely difficult to read. As I was passing through I noticed the heavy moss growth that was growing on a particular stone. I stopped and used my finger to gently scrape the moss off. I stopped what I was doing to snap a photo of the offending moss and then proceeded to remove the rest of the moss and then take another photo. All for a future blog post. This one.

This was done because I read in various posts on other sites how some people think that a gravestone should not be cleaned ever and if you do clean a stone you are removing history and patina from the stone. Well I never heard of a gravestone having a patina such as perhaps a copper weather vane for example.

Over the years gravestones accumulate dirt, moss, lichens, and the effects of acid rain. I clean gravestones however I do not simply clean them just to clean them. My cleaning process is done so that further repairs can be made to a stone. For example if you were going to re-silicon the tile around your bathtub you would make sure that everything was clean because if you did not your work would quickly fail because your silicon would not "stick." Same with a gravestone. The stone and its base must be clean before any kind of lime based mortar can be used to seal the bottom of the stone to the base and to secure it and to keep water from migrating under the stone. I will also clean a stone if the inscription is completely unreadable. My processes for cleaning gravestones are all approved by various restoration associations, foremost being the Association for Gravestone Studies.

Back to the moss. The photos will show the moss growing inside the fizzer cracks that have appeared on the sides of the stone. Believe it or not the moss growth growing inside of the cracks and do damage to the stone just like water entering the stone and then freezing and further separating and damaging the stone.

Since it took me about 5 seconds to scrape the moss off and nothing further done to the stone. The moss will be back again next year as if I never did anything. The approved chemical for cleaning gravestones is D2 Biological Solution. D2 sprayed on the remnants of the moss and left on the stone for 10 to 15 minutes and then gently scrubbed clean with a soft bristle brush and clean water would kill all of the biological growth on the stone including moss and all lichens.

But then what remains is the fizzer cracks. They should be infilled with a lime based mortar of the appropriate color to keep anything else from entering the cracks especially water.

09 December 2017

2018 Historic Hoags Corners Calander Available

This advertisement comes from today's Rensselaer County Advertiser newspaper.

2018 Historic Hoags Corners Photo Calendar: Now Available

the 2018 Historic Hoags Corners Photo Calendar has just been released. East Nassau Village Historian tom Kernan and HC resident Terry Lasher Winslow have put together the calendar which features historical photographs of the hamlet of Hoags Corners, NY. Once a thriving community on the Tstsawassa Creek, the community hosted several mills and factories that harnessed the power of the creek water to power these industries in the early 19th century. Hoags Corners was also the epicenter of the Anti-rent War in the 1840s, a movement to end the colonial custom of collecting "rent" from the land owners to the Dutch Patroons. Proceeds from the calendar will be used for a Historical Resource Inventory Survey of the buildings in the hamlet. Calendars can be purchased at the Nassau Town Hall, Blueberry Hill Cafe on Route 20 in New Lebanon, the Schodack Flea Market on Route 9 or by calling 518.766.5131. For more information, please call 518.766.5131 or 716.425.4005.

07 December 2017

Programs at the East Greenbush Community Library

Earlier today the monthly community library newsletter came and these two programs appear interesting.

Genealogy Research Help by Appointment
12/20, 1/3, 1/17, 2/7, & 2/21
5:00 - 7:30pm

30 minute appointments with Alexis Graham. Genealogy Coach. New expanded hours! Please register.

Historic Route 20
Thursday, 2/15
6:00 - 8:00pm

Join Bryan Farr, President of the Historic US Route 20 Association, as he guides you down this historic road, spanning 3,365 miles from coast to coast. Register.

Both of these programs require attendees to register.

For further information please contact:
East Greenbush Community Library
10 Community Way, East Greenbush, NY 12061
Phone: 518.477-7476
Web: www.eastgreenbushlibrary.org

Throwback Thursday : 22 October 2000

Just found this throwback pic from 22 October 2000. Hannah, my daughter, just 6 days old helping with the family tree back in our old house on Hollywood Avenue in Albany.

05 December 2017

Tombstone Tuesday : Stone that Recently Fell

Here is a photo of a gravestone that recently fell over at the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery. The photo was taken just this past Saturday. Notice the fresh cut grass perfectly angled around the base of the gravestone and the dirt under the stone is still dark and damp. This stone toppled over recently. It is apparent that the foundation granite for this monument is extremely unlevel. But the stone is on the ground now. Fortunately it appears that nothing was damaged. This one will be added to next year's list.

03 December 2017

2017 Historic Albany Foundation Holiday House Tour

From the Historic Albany Foundation:

As a part of our mission to promote the appreciation of Albany's magnificent architecture, Historic Albany hosts an annual Holiday House Tour showcasing a variety of historic buildings decked out for the holiday season. The tour highlights some of Albany's very best examples of high style architecture as well as ongoing preservation and restoration efforts.How it works: tickets are available online via the link below, by phone at (518) 465-0876 ext. 14, or in person at Capital Wine Albany at 348 State Street. Sales will also be available the day of the tour at the ticket pickup location.

Once you purchase tickets, your name will be on the list for ticket pick-up on the day of the tour, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 235 Lark Street. The tickets double as a map of all the sites and the tour is self-guided, so you can visit all of the houses at your leisure. There are "clusters" of houses so most people drive, park, and walk to a few houses at a time. The tour is rain, snow, or shine! No refunds on ticket purchases.

Pricing through Dec. 8th
$15 students
$20 HAF membership
$25 General Public

Deutsch Tag

Photo from the first German Day celebration
at Dobler Park

On September 19, 1904, Albany’s first annual Deutsch Tag or German Day was held at Dobler Park and was “an unqualified success.”[1] The night before, the German Hall Association arranged an enormous vocal and instrumental concert at the Harmanus Bleecker Hall to inaugurate the first Deutsch Tag.  A children’s chorus of 250 voices, a male chorus of 120, and a mixed chorus of 250 entertained the German citizens of Albany throughout the night.  The Albany Argus praised the German concert, stating, “…yet it was nevertheless distinctively an Albany audience, the Germans have become so thoroughly assimilated in the civilization of the new world that all, whether born here or in the Fatherland, are Americans.”[2] German Day celebrated the arrival of the “German Mayflower,” the Concord, and the subsequent establishment of the first German colony in America at Germantown, Pennsylvania.  The colony was established on October 6, 1683 by Franz Daniel Pastorius and was composed of mainly religious refugees from the Palatinate. 

[1] Times Union, September 17, 1904, 6:2; September 19, 1904, 1:2. Albany Argus, September 19, 1904, 8:1; September 20, 1904, 3:3.
[2] Albany Argus, September 19, 1904, 2:4.

01 December 2017

2018 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference Registration is Now Open

This notice comes to me from an email from the National Genealogical Society.

Registration is now open for the National Genealogical Society’s fortieth annual family history conference, Paths to Your Past, which will be held 2–5 May 2018 at the DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With more than 175 lectures given by nationally known speakers and subject matter experts on a broad array of topics, an exhibit hall, and more, it’s an event you won’t want to miss. To register on or after 1 December 2017, visit the NGS website and complete the online registration form.

First of the Month File Back-up

The New Year is only one month away. Do not end the year wishing that you had backed up those files in the event of a computer crash or even a power surge which could fry the inside of your computer.

There are many platforms available to back-up your files and data. They include:

  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • The Cloud
  • Thumb Drives
  • External Hard Drives
  • Floppys (They still exist if you are using an older computer!)

Friday Funny

29 November 2017

Leibenstadt - Tollnaishof to Albany

One of my great grandmothers was an Albert, Mary Albert; daughter of John Albert & Sophia Albert from Second Avenue in Albany's South End. Years ago my grandfather, Joseph Albert Koreman, mentioned to me that there were a lot of Alberts in the South End and they were all related. He could not explain the connections at the time. Years pass and now I am tracing all of the South End Albert families and tying them together.

With the help of other researchers who also happen to be cousins this mass of Albert surnames is coming together. The family originates in the province of Baden in a farming community known as Tollnayshof/Tollnaishof/Dollishof just outside of Leibenstadt. Most of this information comes from Wikipedia. However I have a book in PDF form written in Deutsch on the history of the town. The translated title is The Dollishof: History of a Dissolved Village by August Haeffner, Schoeckingen, 1970. It is mandatory that I translate this book.

Leibenstadt Flag

The farming village was actually a colony of a manor estate that was established by the Hungarian noble Franz von Tolnay in 1703. By the mid 19th century the community grew to approximately 250 residents. The area was relatively small therefore agriculture was limited to the personal needs of the residents who mainly subsided by peddling and begging.

In 1830, Tolnayshof had 24 citizens plus their relatives. The first population count was in 1832 and the village had 166 inhabitants. Due to the area's poverty it was decided not to continue the settlement of Tolnayshof. By 1847 the area had about 250 residents. Finally in 1850 the Baden state decided upon forced immigration to America. By 1852, the population fell to 155. All of those inhabitants homes were demolished. After this first successful immigration campaign, the further depopulation of the village was slow. In 1865, 117 people still lived in the remaining 16 houses.

By 1880 the Baden state acquired the remaining buildings and demolished them. Only the village well and the cemetery remained. The cemetery deteriorated and was later leveled also. Today a memorial stone and fountain are reminiscent of the former settlement.

The following maps of Tollnaishof come to me courtesy of cousin, Joseph Jennings.

Other surnames from the town of Tollnaishof that immigrated to the United States and resided in Albany's South End include: Herbinger, Hoffmann, Ittinger,  Maier, Salg, Schwind, and Wolpert.

28 November 2017

Tombstone Tuesday : True Story

Tombstone Tuesday this week is not a photo but a story that occurred yesterday. Colder weather and a broken wing have me researching my family tree now. Yesterday we went to the Albany Rural Cemetery office to drop off a list of plots that I was looking for information about. After that, I decided to find the plots and check on the condition of the gravestones. While traveling to the first plot we saw my friend, Joe Ferrannini from Grave Stone Matters, rehabbing a stone. We stopped to talk to him. He asked me what I was up to and I told him that I needed to go back down the hill to section 75 because I think I just passed it. He then said "we are in section 75 now and what name am I looking for?" I told him "Ruoff, Theresa Ruoff." He then said "you can't make this up, there are higher forces at work here, I just finished working on her stone a couple of hours ago." He then walked me over about 100' from where he was working and showed me the plot and her stone. He of course did an outstanding job on her stone. Thanks, Joe!

24 November 2017

Upcoming Italian-American Genealogy and Cultural Programs

The following articles were brought to my attention via the Colonie-Delmar-Slingerlands Pennysaver weekly newspaper yesterday.

American Italian Heritage Association and Museum 
Italian Genealogy- Next Steps
ALBANY- November 30, 2017, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. As follow-up to last month's presentation, "Jumpstart Your Italian Genealogy," retired educator John Capano will provide a more in-depth exploration of research resources such as Ancestry.com to assist you in finding "lost" ancestors and new, living relatives you never knew existed. Bring your own laptop or tablet device. A donation of $5 is requested as are reservations by 11/28.

1227 Central Avenue
Albany, New York 12205

American Italian Heritage Association and Museum
Italian Christmas Market
ALBANY- December 1 & 2, 2017, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; December 3, 2017, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. -Share and celebrate in the old Italian tradition of the "Christmas Market." Made in Italy Candy, Ornaments, Scarves, Foods, Italian Language Christmas Cards, Wood Ceppo. Italian Music CDs, Cookbooks, Aprons, Baby Bibs, Italian Flags & Novelties, Befana Figures, Books & Crafts. Sicilian Carts, Gift Boxed Estate Jewelry. Italian Playing & Greeting Cards, Calendars. Framed Italian Sayings, Religious Articles. Books for All Ages, hand Packed Olio Mediterraneo. Homemade Baked Goods, Personalization, Special Vendors! Featured Special Exhibit: Italian Christmas Nativity. Sit down in our Market Cafe & enjoy food, beverages & fellowship. This is a major fundraiser for our organization!

1227 Central Avenue
Albany, New York 12205

American Italian Heritage Association and Museum
Italian Christmas Cooking Class
ALBANY- December 5, 2017, 11:00 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Instructor Dolores Scalise will make an Italian Christmas stew and almond paste cookies. Tasting after the class! Cost is $10 for ingredients. Payment and reservation by 12/1 please.

1227 Central Avenue
Albany, New York 12205

Friday Funny

23 November 2017

Ancestry.com Available at the North Greenbush Library

Another article from yesterday's Rensselaer County Advertiser newspaper mentions that Ancestry.com will be available at the North Greenbush Library. If you do not subscribe to Ancestry and you live local, this is a great way to try out Ancestry for free before you leap into a paid subscription.

Ancestry Library edition is now available at the North Greenbush Public Library. Ancestry provides access to the world's most popular consumer online genealogy resource. Please bring a flash drive to save your information. The library also has a volunteer- Town Historian, Jim Greenfield who will help you get started with your genealogy search. To sign up for a 30 minute session with Mr. Greenfield please call the library at 518-283-0303. The library is located at 141 Main Avenue, Wynantskill in the Town Office Building.

Polish Food Sale

An article from yesterday's Rensselaer County Advertiser newspaper mentioned:

Polish food sale sponsored by [the] Fort Crailo 471 American Legion Post. Pierogis: $8/doz. or $5 for 1/2 doz. (pot., cheese & onion, farmers cheese, sauerkraut, bacon, & onion). Golumbkis: $30/doz. or $18 for 1/2 doz. Polish breads: Babka ring $8- Placek $8. To order, call Stephanie at 518-369-1346. All orders must be in by December 9th. Pick up date is Dec. 19th, 8 Hillview Avenue, Rensselaer.

Fort Crailo American Legion Post 471
20 Partition Street
Rensselaer, NY

Happy Thanksgiving

Turkeys hate the obituary section on Black Friday

22 November 2017

Rehanging a Flag at Graceland Cemetery

"You can't keep me down!" Even with one arm; yesterday my father and I took my brother and his wife from Texas on an ancestral graveyard tour. Sounds like fun! Well it was! Expand your horizons! Hahaha! We stopped at a total of four cemeteries and Graceland Cemetery on Delaware Avenue in Albany was one stop. Graceland is the burial spot for a number of ancestors and other relatives of mine. However we stopped there to check out the Spanish-American War veteran's plot.

My father, a veteran himself, has turned the Spanish War Vet's final resting spot into a project for himself. On his own time and with his own dime he cleaned all of the marble grave stones himself. I believe there are approximately 96 grave stones. Many of these stones are crooked due to the passage of time and the frost uplifting the stones. But the stones are now bright white like you would see at any of the veteran's National Cemeteries.

On  Veteran's Day, Dad stopped by Graceland Cemetery and was disgusted by the way that the flag was flying. It was hanging on by one grommet and appeared to be torn. We took the flag down to inspect it. Fortunately a hook which holds the flag to the hoisting rope was broken. We made a quick repair to the hook (which will need to be replaced) and sent the flag back into the air.

Unknowing to me, my sister-in-law, Ashley, was taking photos and also a video of the action. A short video on this was just made and is below. The aggravating part of this venture was the fact that Dad called the organization that is supposed to maintain the plot and mentioned to them the condition of the flag. Well, ten days passed and the flag was still in the same condition. Sometimes if the right thing needs to be done, you just do it yourself. We felt good afterward!

Upcoming 2018 Genealogy Conferences

Yes, these dates are for 2018; but, next year is only 5 weeks away. Two genealogy conferences are scheduled. One is the annual Family History Conference from the National Genealogical Society and the second is the New York State Family History Conference sponsored by the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society.

RootsTech 2018 is coming for us in February and March. We will also be adding the New York conference to our 2018 itinerary!

2-5 May 2018
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Registration opens 1 December 2017

Check the above link for the following:
  • NGS Conference Program
  • Conference Speakers
  • Registration
  • Venue & Hotels
  • Exhibitors & Sponsors

13-15 September 2018
Tarrytown, New York

Registration is open now for an early-bird rate!

Check the above link for the following:
  • NYS Family History Conference Program
  • Conference Speakers
  • Registration
  • Venue & Hotel
  • Exhibitors & Sponsors

21 November 2017

Tombstone Tuesday : Johann Remigius (Michael) Albert

Ah, it is eight days since my shoulder operation. My bicep tendon in shoulder was torn and revamped. The rotator cuff tendon was partially torn and repaired. The lambrum which holds your shoulder in place was damaged and tightened. The reason this is being mentioned is because I am right handed. It was my right shoulder that was repaired. Now I find it very difficult to manage with one "left" arm. Typing up until now was literally impossible. I managed to rig myself and arm so that I can type; but not for long. Therefore unless posts are already scheduled to go live, articles may be scarce for a bit. We will see.

The second to last gravestone that I repaired before my operation was that of Johann Remigius (Michael) Albert and that of his wife Theresa Maier Albert. The stone had tipped over due to the base being unlevel and an offending shrub obscuring the stone. Below shows the shrub removed but the base is un-level.

Next the base was leveled. The stone was hoisted upright to be cleaned, two new pins installed, and fresh lithomex mortar layed underneath the stone and around the joint where the stone meets the base. No comment on the shoe.

The final product is below. Over the Winter the D2 should do its work and the stone will be brighter come this Spring.

Until the Spring comes, my gravestone restoration projects are finished. Injuries, Winter, snow, cold, and ice will make sure that I now take up my genealogy research for a while.

15 November 2017

Holiday Sales for the Family Genealogist & Archivist

Now through December there will be lots of sales for genealogical and archival gifts. Some sales that have come to me via advertisements that are decent are listed below. If you are thinking of getting any of theses items, do not wait; these offers all expire on different dates.

  • University Products has a 20% off code BOXES20 on all archival storage boxes
  • AncestryDNA has $20 off a single kit- just $79. Additional kits can be purchased for $69 each. Plus a coupon code FREESHIPDNA for free shipping on your first kit.
  • FamilyTreeDNA sale prices on the Family Finder kit - $59, YDNA kit - $129, and the mtDNA kit - $169.
  • 23andMe has its Ancestry Service DNA kit for $49 when two or more kits are purchased or get a single kit for $69.

14 November 2017

Tombstone Tuesday : Bender Plot at the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery

For me, the 2017 season for gravestone restoration is over. Cold weather is here and a shoulder operation yesterday has put me out of commission for that type of work. Genealogy research will begin again in full throttle.

Below is a link to my Youtube channel for our latest video. The video is of the restoration of a cemetery plot in the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery. Initially the plot was a disaster. Every stone was broken and damaged in one way or another. Little by little the plot was rebuilt and restored.

Youtube channel link is here.

12 November 2017

Poestenkill Historical Society Meeting

The following announcement comes from the Rensselaer County Advertiser newspaper.

Poestenkill Historical Society
Kate Mullany National Historic Site:
National Significance of a Laundry Worker's Strike.

Tom Carroll returns as our guest speaker for our November Program. In early 1864, a nineteen-year old Irish immigrant named Kate Mullany organized the shirt collar laundry workers of Troy, New York, into the nation's first truly all-female labor union. Their weeklong strike yielded them a twenty-five percent raise and vaulted Mullany to national prominence. Today, the house that she bought for her family is a National Historic Site and the home of the American Labor Studies Center, which helps educate young Americans about the history of labor in the United States. This talk will tell that story. Please join us on Tuesday, November 28th, at 7:00 p.m. in the downstairs meeting room of the Town Hall on route 351. The program is free and everyone is welcome. Refreshments will be provided.

11 November 2017

USAF Veteran

Here is a brief photomontage of a living USAF hero. No names mentioned. Dad

Military Service in the Family

Today being Veteran's Day; I wish to honor these deceased relatives and ancestors who fought in the following wars to help preserve our way of life and freedoms in America. This list is far complete for family members who served.

Revolutionary War

  • Samuel Hitchcock
Samuel Hitchcock, gravestone

War of 1812
  • Isaac Hitchcock
Isaac Hitchcock, gravestone

Civil War
  • John Albert
John Albert, enlistment paper

  • Joseph Albert, Andersonville POW
Joseph Albert, gravestone

  • Robert Boyd
Robert Boyd, gravestone

  • Aistroppe Robinson Hitchcock
Aistroppe Robinson Hitchcock, gravestone

  • Charles Koreman
Charles Koreman

  • Clinton Hanks Meneely
Clinton Hanks Meneely

  • Thomas O'Donnell, Richmond, Virginia POW
Thomas O'Donnell, POW affidavit

  • William Henry White
William Henry White

Spanish-American War
  • John Michael Albert
John Michael Albert

World War I
  • Charles Albert
Charles Albert, grave marker

  • Henry Albert
Henry Albert, gravestone

  • Adrian Koreman
Adrian Koreman, right

World War II

  • John Josesph Gannon
John Joseph Gannon

  • John Joseph Hohenstein, Died in Sicily
John Joseph Hohenstein

  • Arthur Stephen Koreman, KIA, Iwo Jima
Arthur Stephen Koreman

  • Francis Joseph Koreman
Francis Joseph Koreman

  • Edward Joseph Koreman
Edward Joseph Koreman

  • Joseph Albert Koreman
Joseph Albert Koreman, gravestone

  • James Lyons Quinn, KIA, Marshall Islands
James Lyons Quinn

  • George Edward Kirk White, POW Germany

George Edward Kirk White

  • Thomas Charles White
Thomas Charles White

  • Thomas Charles White
Thomas Charles White