26 May 2017

PolishFest 2017

The annual PolishFest is held on the grounds of Blessed Virgin Mary of Czestochowa Church conveniently located at 
250 Old Maxwell Road
Latham, New York

PolishFest is an annual three day event and the largest in Capital District celebrating Polish and Polish-American arts, literature, music, culture, history, and, of course Polish food. 

They are also proud to host Polish vendors of high quality Polish crafts not easily found in the Capital District. The event is planned so that there will be plenty of fun activities for kids, adults, and seniors. With our wide variety of musical, artistic, educational The Capital District's PolishFest is a celebration of Polish heritage – the food, music, art, language, customs and the culture of the Polish people.

June 2nd Friday 4PM - 9PM
June 3rd Saturday Noon - 9PM
June 4th Sunday Noon - 6PM

Admission - $5/Day
$1 off with Price Chopper Advantage Card
Children 12 and under FREE

All Children's Activities are free

Check the PolishFest website here for more info!

Friday Funny

For those genealogists who are also Star Wars aficionados

25 May 2017

Throwback Thursday : 1598 Digital Scan

For Throwback Thursday this week, I cropped a digital scan from the marriage records of the Catholic church in Hilvarenbeek, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. The scan is the marriage record of my 10th great grandparents, Walterus Adrianus van Spreuwel and Adriana Adrianus Joannes Tijlmans. They were married on 24 November 1598. Witnesses at the marriage were Petrus Jacobi and Adrianus Nicola van Spreuwel. As of today, this is oldest primary record that I have found in tracing my ancestry; so this is my oldest throwback photo/scan. Without a doubt it is extremely difficult to read!

24 November 1598 marriage record for
Walterus Adrianus van Spreuwel
Adriana Adrianus Joannes Tijlmans

23 May 2017

Tombstone Tuesday : Photos

This post is simply suggestions when taking photos of tombstones. One of the most important factors is the sun. Very often the sun might be too high and the sun's rays can put a glare on a polished granite stone. This will make the stone very hard to read and also make a bad photo. Sometimes early in the morning, late in the afternoon, or even on overcast days can be the best times to get that perfect shot. Below is a photo of a gravestone of one of my great great grandfathers. I took this shot at least a dozen separate times before I finally got it right. All due to too much sunlight and glare.

Wetting the face of a stone can sometimes make it easier to read also. The practice of putting baby powder and shaving cream on a stone should be avoided. Chemicals in these products are not good for porous marble gravestones.

Photo shots that I take always include a direct shot of the front of the stone so that the inscription is clearly visible. See the above photo. Sometimes this shot is taken at an angle. But I always want the inscription in the photo.

One of my pet peeves is I do not like to have my shadow in the photo. I try to avoid this at all costs. It disrupts the image. Most of my photos are taken in color; but sometimes adjusting them in photo editing software to make them black and white can really make the shot pop. Below is an example of a photo taken on black and white film about 25 years ago. Recently my wife thought that it was an "old-time" photo. In reality, I got lucky with this one.

Finally, I take a picture of each individual gravestone and then finish the shoot with a photograph of the whole cemetery lot. Depending on the number of gravestones included and also the size of the lot; this shot will either be from an angle or straight on. It usually depends on which shot looks best.

21 May 2017

German Methodists in Albany

A very brief history of German Methodists in Albany follows;

The German Methodists or Albrights originated in New York State circa 1800. By 1860 they numbered approximately three thousand followers with fifteen churches in the state.[1] The German Methodists differed from the mainstream of American Protestantism only in language, while the German Lutherans, by contrast, differed in language and ritual, as well as theological heritage.[2] 

In Albany, the German Methodist Church first gathered at a meeting-house on Rensselaer Street in 1853, most likely at the Albany City Tract and Missionary Society. Soon the congregation met at 86 Schuyler Street, between South Pearl and Franklin Streets, until they sold their church to the German Reformed Church in May 1858. The German Methodist congregation appeared to completely vanish after the sale of their church. It is not known whether the congregation merged and joined with an existing Methodist congregation.

Pastors of the German Methodist Church:
M. Lawer, 1848-50
Augustus Hertell, 1851
John J. Grau, 1852
Jacob Gabler, 1853-54
Schwartz, 1855
F. W. Tingar, 1856-58

[1] John Homer French, comp., Gazetteer of the State of New York (Syracuse: R. Pearsall Smith, 1860), p. 141.
[2] Frederick C. Luebke, “German Immigrants and Churches in Nebraska, 1889-1915,” Mid-America, An Historical Review 50(2): 119.

20 May 2017

Saturday's Society : Historical Society of Esquatak

The Historical Society of Esquatak is this week's society plug. The Society was founded in 1971 by residents of the towns of Nassau and Schodack in Rensselaer County. Esquatak is a not-for-profit educational organization chartered by the New York State Education Department. Their mission is to identify and preserve the historic resources of the two towns. Beginning in the Fall during the month of September, lectures, presentations, and educational programs begin their season. Check the website for upcoming lectures.

Anyone with an interest in local history, antiques, genealogy, preservation of structures, cemeteries or other historic features should consider joining Esquatak to support our effort to promote an appreciation for our heritage and preserve at least some of the past for the future. A membership application can be downloaded from their website. All are welcome to join!

Esquatak has a presence on the Internet with
Esquatak's Facebook Page

Monthly meetings take place at venues located in Schodack and Nassau. Please refer to the Program Schedule for exact locations.

Esquatak's Mailing Address:
The Historical Society of Esquatak
P.O. Box 241
East Schodack, NY 12063

19 May 2017

Archaeology at Van Schaick Mansion Tomorrow

Yes, this is extremely late, but it's new to me, since I just found this announcement. Tomorrow, Saturday 20 May 2017, 11 AM till 2 PM, New York State Museum Archaeologists will be at the Van Schaick Mansion for an archaeological program. The program is free; discover Albany’s past.

Notes clipped from the New York State Musuem webpage are below:
In the fall of 2016, the State Museum began an archaeological survey of the Van Schaick Mansion in order to locate remnants of buildings and landscape features that no longer exist. Excavations at the Mansion uncovered artifacts dating to the nineteenth century that provide clues about the lives of the Van Schaick family and the many unidentified enslaved African Americans who maintained the property grounds. Completed archaeological excavations will be open, artifacts will be on display, and archaeologists will be available to discuss their findings.

The Van Schaick Mansion is located at 1 Van Schaick Ave. in Cohoes, N.Y. 12047.

Van Schaick Mansion

Friday Funny

Yes, but some families more than others

18 May 2017

Throwback Thursday : Stephen Joseph Koreman @ OLHOC Cemetery

Considering that I just got home and showered after five hours of working at the Krumkill Road cemetery, I deemed this old photograph of one of my great grandfather's older brothers, Stephen Joseph Koreman (1881-1968), appropriate. Stephen, with watering can in hand, is most likely tending to the graves of his ancestors at Our Lady Help of Christians cemetery in Glenmont. Someday I will try to determine the spot where this photo was taken.

Stephen Joseph Koreman

17 May 2017

Wordless Wednesday : 187 First Street

187 First Street, Albany
Former home of Klaasje Klasen Booy
great great great grandmother

16 May 2017

Tombstone Tuesday : Lottie McDonald

This week's Tombstone Tuesday is on the gravestone of Lottie McDonald (1859-1871). She was the child of Barbara Helen Hitchcock (1834-1922) and Abram W. Baker (1836-1868). After Barbara's husband, Abram, passed away, she married Dr. William Ogden McDonald (1836-1918) on 05 January 1870 in Brooklyn. Lottie Baker took the surname of her step-father.

Lottie McDonald, gravestone

Lottie was only twelve years old when she died of an unknown cause on 24 March 1871. Below is a photo of Lottie's ornately carved tree gravestone with cut branches that represents a life cut short before it was cleaned with D2 Biological Solution.

Very little is known about Lottie because of her young age at the time of her death. Below is a scan of her burial card from Albany Rural Cemetery where most of the information known about her comes from.

When Lottie's mother died on 06 October 1922 in Brooklyn. It was written in her Will one of her last wishes. Below is page one of Barbara's Last Will and Testament. Please note the Second and Fourth items within the Will.

15 May 2017

Military Monday : Albany Rural Cemetery, Soldier's Lot

Albany Rural Cemetery has a large lot in Section 75 on the North Ridge where 149 veterans of the Civil War are buried. The Soldier's Lot was created in 1862 for the burying Union soldiers from the Albany area. The Lot has 149 identical marble gravestones; one for each fallen soldier. Overlooking the marble gravestones is the large Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Monument. The monument contains the names of 648 Albany County residents who were “Killed in Action.” The bronze plates on the monument were cast from a melted down Civil War cannon. On the top of the monument stands a life size bronze statue of a Union Army soldier. After years of settling the individual gravestones became uneven and un-level. In 2013 and 2014 a project was undertaken and all of the individual gravestones were cleaned and re-leveled.

Soldier's Lot

Restored Soldier's gravestones

GAR Monument

Soldier's Lot Plaque

14 May 2017

German Baptist Church

Below is a brief history of the German Baptist Church in Albany.

The origins of the German Baptist Church date back to 1708, when Alexander Mack founded a religious community of eight believers in the Schwartzenau region of the Wittgenstein Province, in the Palatinate. The early religious movement was originally named the Church of the Brethren; but they were identified by other names, such as Dunkards, Dunkers, Täufer, and Tunkers, all relating to their practice of baptizing by immersion. 

Early followers were persecuted, and many immigrated to America. The first American congregation was founded near Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1723. In America, believers were originally known as Neue Täufer or new Baptists; therefore they adopted the title “German Baptist.” 

The first German Baptist congregation in Albany dates to February 1854, when German Reverend Johann Gerhard Oncken began a German Baptist mission in the city. Many of the Germans at the mission originally worshipped at the North Pearl Street Baptist Church. After Oncken baptized nine German converts, the German Baptist Church was organized and dedicated on October 29, 1854. In 1863, 252 Washington Avenue was purchased for use as a church.[1] 

During the year 1865 the German Baptist Church merged with the State Street Baptist Church to become the Calvary Baptist Church. However, Albany city directories still listed the church as the German Baptist Church until 1926. By 1897 the church counted eighty-five members, and its societies included a Sonntagschule, a Jugendverein, and a Frauenverein. 

The beginning of the end for the German Baptist Church occurred when Reverend David W. Zwink resigned as pastor of the church in 1911. He acknowledged that he was advancing in age and that he was troubled by the fact that “…the younger members of the congregation neglect the language of their fathers and speak only English. They subsequently attend the churches of the English speaking people… the attendance of the German church has fallen off to a scant body of about sixty old German residents.”[2] 

David W. Zwink

In 1926, the Calvary (German Baptist) Church burned down and merged with the Tabernacle Church to form Temple Baptist Church, on the corner of Clinton Avenue and Ten Broeck Street- today the site of the Sweet Pilgrim Baptist Church. Eventually, in 1970, the Temple Baptist Church merged with the Emmanuel Baptist Church at 275 State Street.[3] 

Pastors of the German Baptist Church
Alexander Von Puttkammer, 1854-62
Henry Feltmann, 1863-67
William Argow, 1868-75
Henry Trumpp, 1876-81
John Jäger, 1881- 87
David W. Zwink, 1887-95
A. M. Petersen, 1895-99
F. W. Becker, 1900-05
David W. Zwink, 1906-11
Vacancy, 1912
Adolph Bredy, 1913-1916
Vacancy, 1917-23

[1] n.a., Emmanuel Baptist Church of Albany: One Hundredth Anniversary, 1834-1934 (Albany: n. p., 1934), p. 46.
[2] Times Union, July 3, 1911, 8:1.
[3] n.a., Emmanuel Baptist Church 150th Anniversary, 1834-1984: Our Heritage, With Emphasis on Creative Tensions: 1959-1984 (Albany: Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1984), pp. 4-5, 7, 9.

13 May 2017

Josephus Gervasius Pfort

Yesterday was a day of helping others. Early in the day I located, photocopied, scanned, and emailed a few obituaries for another genealogist who lives out of the area. Later in the day I was helping my father-in-law with a genealogical line on his wife's side. And what a surprise we found! I will mention soon.

My mother-in-law's third great grandfather was Josephus Gervasius Pfort. Joseph was baptized on 29 March 1815 in Breisach am Rhein, Freiburg, Baden. He was the son of Gervas Pfort, born circa 1777. Gervas married Maria Magdalena Barbara Klar on 31 July 1804 in Breisach. Maria was born circa 1768 and died on 02 July 1829 in Breisach.

What was interesting was Joseph and his family lived in Watervliet in the early 1850s. Matter of fact according to the 1855 New York State census he was also living next to the "Last Patroon" Stephen van Rensselaer IV (1789-1868). A scan of the census page is below.

On the previous census page living nearby was Angelica Schuyler and also Peter and Elsie Schuyler. We never knew that my wife's family lived near and probably rubbed elbows with the Schuylers and the van Rensselears.

Upcoming Cultural Events : Summer Picnics at the German-American Club of Albany

Every Summer the German-American Club of Albany hosts three outdoor picnics in their pine tree shaded Biergarten, Schuetzenpark. The Schuetzenpark Biergarten is actually the last original German Biergarten in the Capital District.

At these picnics live German music can be enjoyed while eating delicious German Wursts and drinking imported German draft bier such as Spaten. Entry into Schuetzenpark costs around $3 per adult and children under 12 are free. The park opens at 12 noon and closes at 7 PM.

Summer Picnic Schedule:
Father's Day Picnic, Sunday, 18 June 2017
Old Time German Day Picnic, Sunday, 16 July 2017
German Summerfest, Sunday, 20 August 2017

Check their website for more information.

Saturday's Society : Albany County Hall of Records

This week's blog is not on a society but on a local historical records holding facility. And for those who have yet to use the Albany County Hall of Records (ACHOR) for their genealogical pursuits, you are missing out! The ACHOR holds numerous city and county records that are stored at its facility. ACHOR records are vast. It is best to check the ACHOR website for its holdings. A few examples of important genealogical items of interest hold include naturalization and marriage records, city directories, Almshouse, census, church, and cemetery records, deeds, maps, and military discharges. This list is just the tip of the iceberg here.

The ACHOR has an extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff. Many of them have worked at ACHOR for long time.

The Albany County Hall of Records is located at
95 Tivoli Street, Albany, NY 12207
Phone number: 518.436.3663
Email: achor@albanycounty.com
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30AM - 4:30PM

12 May 2017

Friday Funny

Although I do not have my own final resting spot picked out, I do not intend to have a gravestone such as this. That statement says it all.

11 May 2017

Throwback Thursday : Old genealogy office

While looking through my photo albums for Throwback photos I came across this one from 1993. Age 25 and working on the family tree with our 19 year old cat. Viewing the monitor screen I was using one of my first genealogy programs, Roots III, long discontinued. The photo was taken in our first house in Albany. Noticing my vintage Packard Bell computer with its 3 1/2" and 5 1/2" floppy drives. The huge 13" monitor was impressive. The $5 1960s Steelcase Multiple 15 desk that I bought years ago was one of the best purchases that I made. The desk was in mint condition for its age and was used by us for years. Wish I still had it.

09 May 2017

Tombstone Tuesday : Ancient Aughrim Church & Cemetery

Tombstone Tuesday photos this week are on the ancient Aughrim church and cemetery. These photos were taken in April 1995 while visiting cousins in Ireland. Unfortunately I am unable to find any information online regarding this site.

Ancient Aughrim church front

Marker at ancient Aughrim church

Interior of ancient Aughrim church

Cemetery at rear of ancient Aughrim church

Rear corner of ancient Aughrim cemetery

07 May 2017

Trinity Church

The German Evangelical Lutheran Dreienigkeits, or Trinity Church Society was organized on May 30, 1860, and incorporated on July 2, 1860, becoming Albany’s third Evangelical church. Trinity Church was an outgrowth of the Evangelical Protestant Church on Alexander and Clinton Streets. Thirty-two parishioners left the church with Pastor John C. J. Petersen to form Trinity Church.

The original meeting place was located on the southeast corner of Broad and Alexander Streets. In 1878 the congregation relocated when they bought a chapel from the First Presbyterian Church for $4,300, located at 58 Alexander Street. At the church’s inception, German was the only language used during services and in the parochial school. The usage of German during services ceased after 1900 because on March 2, 1899, a number of members from the parishes of Trinity and Saint Matthew’s left their own congregations to form a strictly English language Lutheran Church- Emmanuel Lutheran Church. The new church was also located in the South End on Benjamin Street.[1]

Societies enrolled in Trinity’s parish towards the end of the nineteenth century included the Jugendverein, or Young Men’s Beneficial Society of the Trinity Lutheran Church, with seventy-four members, the Frauenverein, an Unterstützungverein, and the Young Peoples’ Association. On October 19, 1892, Trinity Church Luther-Liga or Luther League was organized under the name Jugendverein, with sixty members.[2] 

Parish societies established at the beginning of the twentieth century included the Ladies Society and the Concordia Maenner-Chor, which was founded on January 20, 1890. By 1897 the singing society counted twenty-eight active and four passive members.[3] In 1955 Trinity Church merged with St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, located on the corner of Hurlbut and Garden Streets, to form St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. St. Mark’s merged with the Emmanuel Lutheran Church on Benjamin Street to form the Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit in 1974. The German Trinity Church has disappeared, but the church building has been owned and employed by the Mount Calvary Baptist Church since 1956.[4]

Trinity Church, 58 Alexander Street, 2002

Pastors of Trinity Church:

Johann Carl Julius Petersen, 1876-81
Conrad Kuehn, 1881-83
Herman Heinrich Friedrich Hartwig, 1883-91
Ernest Heydt, 1892-94
Johann C. Flierl, 1894-97
J. T. Koehler, 1898-99
John Samuel Braren, 1899-1901
Herman Liebich, 1902-11
Hugo Ernst David Meyer, Ph.D., 1911-13
John Frederick Karl Riebesell, 1913-15
Friedli Heinecken, 1915-19
Gustavus Adolphus Bierdemann, D. D., 1920-35
Walter Frederick Frey, 1935-42
David Christian Gaise, 1943-47
Charles Edwin Deitz, 1947-52
Walter Paul Scherr, 1953-56

[1] Henry Hardy Heins, Swan of Albany: A History of the Oldest Congregation of the Lutheran Church in America (Rensselaer: Hamilton Printing Company, 1976), p. 126.
[2] n. a., Geschichte der Deutschen in Albany und Troy, p. 189.
[3] n. a., Geschichte der Deutschen in Albany und Troy, p. 177.
[4] n. a. The Story of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church: Its Roots and Its Fruits, 1832-1957 (Albany: n. p., 1957), p. 7. Craig Earl Bartholomew and Henry Hardy Heins, eds., The Lutheran Church of the Holy Cross Centennial, 1876-1976 (Albany: n. p., 1976), pp. 6-12.

06 May 2017

Upcoming Cultural Event - Greek Festival, 2017

A great cultural event is just around the corner. Friday 19 May through Sunday 21 May the 2017 Greek Festival will be held again. Albany's Greek Festival is always held at the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church; located at 440 Whitehall Road.

Admission is $3 at the door and kids under 12 are free. Once inside plenty of Greek food and drink are available for purchase. Greek music and dancing will be on hand also.

Hours for the festival are:
Friday: 6pm - 10pm
Saturday: Noon - 10pm
Sunday: Noon - 7pm

Check it out, you will not be disappointed!

Saturday's Society - Greenbush Historical Society

This week's Saturday's Society is the Greenbush Historical Society (GHS). The society was organized in 1972 and chartered by the New York State Education Department the following year. The focus of the society is on the Towns of North Greenbush and East Greenbush. The GHS holds historical programs about local and regional history. It promotes and aids in preservation of historic sites within the Town.

A few of its recent projects include the rrestoration of the historic Carner Family Cemetery on Best Road, a survey and clearing of the Van Rensselaer Family Cemetery on NY Route 9J, and a procurement of a storage site for the Society’s files, records and artifacts at the North Greenbush Town Historian’s Office.

Membership is open to anyone sharing an interest in the history of Greenbush.
Annual membership for an individual is $10 per year and a family membership is $15 per year.

Meetings are held at the East Greenbush Community Library. Its programs are open to the public, although registration is required due to seating limitations.
To register for a program call the East Greenbush Library at: 518.477.7476 or register online at the library website.

Upcoming Events include:

Wild Women of Rensselaer County, on 21 May 2017, presented by Kathy Sheehan, Rensselaer County Historian

Edmonia Lewis: East Greenbush African-American/Native American Sculptor, on 04 June 2017, presented by Bobbi Reno

05 May 2017

Friday Funny

This comic reminds me some of those genealogists who say that they have traced their trees back to Adam and Eve. OK

04 May 2017

Throwback Thursday : Albany Rural Cemetery, August 1989

Ah the sickness continues with this Throwback Thursday photo that was taken in August of 1989 at Albany Rural Cemetery. We were at one of favorite haunts and I decided to be goofy. Notice my svelte clothing. Photo was taken about two months after I was wiped out in a car accident. Very very lucky, I could have been residing in the marble orchard myself.

03 May 2017

02 May 2017

Tombstone Tuesday : GAR Marker

Tombstone Tuesday this week is on a Grand Army of the Republic grave marker in cemetery that is purposely not listed. The cemetery is not named because a very rare; in my opinion, grave marker for a member of the DKV (Deutscher Kreiger Verein) that I wrote about two years ago has come up missing. These relics are the property of the family members whom are buried. Perhaps the family of the missing DKV marker took it; but I doubt it. I will not point theives in the direction of these markers from the past.

Dawson Post # 63 grave marker

The Grand Army of the Republic was a fraternal organization for the Union Armed Forces from the Civil War. The GAR was founded in 1866 and dissolved 90 years later in 1956 when its last member died. The GAR was succeeded by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) which is composed of male descendants of Union veterans.

Albany had the following GAR posts.

Lewis Benedict Post #5, chartered 30 January 1867
George S. Dawson Post # 63, chartered 26 November 1875
Lewis O. Morris Post # 121, chartered 20 August 1870
Timothy J. Quinn Post #601, chartered 04 October 1886
William A. Jackson Post # 644, 31 December 1889

Located on the north side of the Albany County Courthouse on Columbia Street is the entrance to the GAR room where some of these organizations met.

GAR room entrance at Albany County Courthouse

01 May 2017

Military Monday : Isaac Hitchcock, War of 1812

This week's military ancestor biography is on Isaac Hitchcock who was a younger brother to one of my 5th great grandfathers, James Hitchcock. Isaac was born 15 May 1796 to Samuel Hitchcock (1760-1831) and Mary Schlippe (1760-1827). His siblings include:

  • James (1785-1858) married Peggy Meneely
  • Joel (1787-1853) married Freelove Dyer
  • Nicholas (1800-1870) married Sarah
  • Jeremiah
  • Rachel married Stephen Conger
The Hitchcock's resided in West Troy in the area of Washington Street. As a youth, age 18, Isaac volunteered at Troy to serve in the New York Militia during the War of 1812 on 05 September 1814. He served under Colonel Benjamin Higbie as an Officer's Waiter. His company became known as the "Troy Invincibles." Isaac was discharged in Troy on 10 December 1814. It is not know where he was stationed or if he saw military action. Below are two scans from his pension files.

Isaac married Nancy Meneely (1798-1858) on 23 November 1816 in West Troy. Nancy was also an older sister of Andrew Meneely (1802-1851) of the renowned Meneely bell company.

Isaac and Nancy had the following children:
  • Julia Ann (1818-1888) married Eli Fay
  • Elmina Jewel (1820-1876) married George May Wheeler
  • Margaret (1822-1904) married Luther Washington Jackson
  • Lucy (1824-1889) married Jabez P. Bowman
  • Jane Guernsey (1827-1867)
  • Isaac James (1830-1866)
  • Nancy Meneely (1833-1917)
  • Jonas C. (1836-1898) married Sarah Elizabeth Johnson
  • Mary Elizabeth (1839-1881) married Stephen Harris Seamans
Isaac was known as Captain Isaac. He operated sloops on the Hudson River for years as did his brothers James, Joel, and Nicholas. On 28 April 1847 Isaac was appointed US Postmaster in West Troy.

Isaac Hitchcock signature from his pension files
 On 24 April 1851 Isaac applied for a land bounty warrant. He was granted 160 acres. It is believed that the land was in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. because Isaac moved the family there eventually. A newspaper article from the Troy Times dated 31 August 1864 read:

Captain Isaac Hitchcock, a life-long resident of West Troy, has disposed of his residence in Washington street, and will, in the course of a fortnight, remove with his most estimable family to Illinois. Captain H. was master of a sloop on the river when passengers went to New York "by sail." He has been postmaster for two terms, and held other offices of trust. The citizens of West Troy will miss his face from the Postoffice, where for so many years he had a pleasant word or innocent joke for all. May success and long life attend him.

Isaac Hitchcock moved back to West Troy by 1880 where he remained until he died on 24 February 1882. His obituary from the Hudson Daily Evening Register dated 25 February 1882, 2:3 read:

Death of Captain Hitchcock
Captain Isaac Hitchcock, a veteran river man and prominent citizen, died at his son-in-law's residence at Port Schuyler, Thursday night.  He was 86 years of age and was the last surviving member of the "Invincibles," a company raised in Troy to fight the British in 1812.  He navigated the Hudson for 30 years.  From 1846 to 1857 he was postmaster at West Troy and was a member of the North Reformed church of that village.  He was respected by all who knew him.  He leaves a son and four daughters.

Isaac was buried in his large family plot in Albany Rural Cemetery.

Isaac Hitchcock, Albany Rural Cemetery plot

Isaac Hitchcock, obelisk inscription

1st of the Month : Back-up Your Computer Files

This is a point that I have not mentioned in a while. We all should back-up our computer files on a regular basis; just in case! One never knows what could happen to those important files, data, and perhaps photos. Electronics can crash at anytime for a multitude of reasons such as a hard drive failure or an electric surge. Either way if this happens, bye bye to your "stuff." I have had it happen and fortunately I was able to recover some data but luckily I had numerous CDs with my "stuff" saved upon them. Recently I purchased a Western Digital My Passport Ultra external hard drive for around $60 from Amazon. It is set to copy my laptop hard drive weekly on a particular day and at a set time. This is an additional way I protect my data aside from regular DVD and thumb drive back-ups.

30 April 2017

NERGC 2017 - Day 3 & 4

Day three, yes, I was crazy but I decided to commute to this conference. Everyday I drove to Springfield. Fortunately it was an easy commute. But unfortunately due to some Friday morning traffic I was held up for about 15 minutes which meant I got to the conference late and my first session was filled. So I was locked out and nothing to report on regarding Margaret Sullivan's session on "First Generation Irish." With spotty free Internet service, my blog posts were written during this time. Friday could be considered my Irish day. Three of the five sessions I was attending focused on Irish genealogy.

The first session that I attended was presented by Donna M. Moughty, a professional genealogist specializing in Irish research. Her blog is Donna's Irish Genealogy Resources. Moughty's knowledge on Irish genealogy is immense and one will quickly realize that fact once she begins her lecture. Her focus was on "Locating Famine Emigrants Using Griffith's Valuation."

Griffith's Valuation is actually a tax list of Irish land occupiers or those who paid the taxes. It is considered a census substitute because all Famine era censuses were lost in the 1922 fire at the Public Records Office in Dublin during the Irish Civil War. Therefore it is pertinent to use this record to locate your Irish ancestor.

On the website of Ask About Ireland, Griffith's Valuation can be found here for free. Please review the information here to learn how to use the Valuation. It can take a few uses to get the hang of it. I am still learning about it so I will not delve into it on this post.

During lunch the exhibit hall was checked again and I ended up being lucky enough to to get a free 20 minute Genealogy Roadshow private consultation with DNA specialist Blaine Bettinger on my DNA results. My DNA results are in from Ancestry and Family Tree DNA. We will go over the results on Saturday morning.

Exhibit Hall

After lunch, another Irish session, "Mapping Irish Locations Online," by Pamela Holland. Pam discussed the breakdown of jurisdictions in Ireland. Such as how Ireland's thirty two counties and its 62,000 town lands are broken down into Civil Parishes, Catholic Parishes, and Register's Districts. Townlands.ie and irishancestors.ie are great sites to aid in this task.

Pam Stone Eagleson presented the next session, " Confronting Conflicting Evidence." When researching documents the evidence found in records sometimes conflicts with previous found evidence from different sources. So now the question is; which document is correct or are both documents incorrect?
Eagleson's method to confront and correct these conflicts is to

  • identify the conflict
  • conduct new and additional research
  • compare and analyze all found sources
  • write up a resolution to the conflict (if possible- all conflicts cannot be resolved)
Noted professional genealogist F. Warren Bittner gave the last presentation of the day, "Complex Evidence." Bittner's lecture tied in with Eagleson's session by detailing how he got the answer to his question by examining multiple sources to make a comparison and then a conclusion on conflicting evidence. He did this by combining and analyzing sources from indirect evidence that was found in various documents. 

Backing up a step; direct evidence from a document answers a question by itself. Such as when was George Eger naturalized? The answer to that question should be found on his naturalization paper. The one document answers the question. Whereas indirect evidence comes from sources that are combined with others to answer a question. It is a roundabout way of getting the answer from analyzing many different sources and cross referencing them to each other. If a diagram of this method was drawn out it would resemble a highway road map where various pieces of evidence point to each other, intersect,  and across to others.

Tomorrow is last day of the conference and if I am lucky I will be leaving with one or more of the free giveaways that the vendors are offering. I have my eye on free tuition for a certificate in genealogy from Boston University.

Saturday, Day 4, the last day. Well over one thousand people attended this conference. They had their choice of presentations to attend. There were 94 sessions, 8 workshops, 3 luncheons, and 2 dinner banquets to choose from. The sessions that I gave a brief description about were those that I attended.

Today was my tech day. Most of the sessions I was attending today were tech based instead of on analysis or methodology. After rushing and getting into the NERGC conference this morning I quickly found out that I was in the wrong session. The rooms were side by side. Soon I was in the correct program, "Being More than Social on Social Media," by Jen Baldwin from FindMyPast and Ancestral Journeys. One take away from Jen's excellent lecture is social media is not going away and if you are not on social media, get on it!

Jennifer Baldwin
There are various platforms within social media (SM) that are applicable for genealogy. One of the most popular SM sites is Facebook (FB). FB has well over two billion users and has over 10,000 topics related to genealogy. I am sure one can find something of interest there. Other SM venues include Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snap Chat.

According to Jen, when using SM consider what do you want to do with it? If you are looking to establish yourself in the world of genealogy. Make a plan and work the plan. Some tips for a SM plan:

  • Ask yourself what are you here for 
  1. To become a better genealogist?
  2. To find cousins?
  3. To build your genealogical reputation?
  • Details for your venture
  1. What SM platform do you plan to be on? 
  2. Create long term plans
  3. Brand yourself
  • Establish your voice and content
  1. Show your personality
  2. How will you present yourself and content?
  • Be in it to win it
  1. Commit yourself for success
  2. Be realistic and capable of adapting
The Genealogy Road trip with Blaine Bettinger was extremely successful. During our 20 minute chat, Bettinger was able to help me with questions on my DNA results. He also showed me how to use GEDmatch better. GEDmatch is a third party tool that aids genealogists with their DNA results. Raw DNA files are uploaded to GEDmatch from the DNA testing companies such as Ancestry and Family Tree DNA. With these companies results pooled together a researcher can have a larger pool to fish in for ancestors. Best of all, GEDmatch is free.

The session after a long lunch break was the informative presentation "Obsure & Neglected Sources" by Certified Genealogist Diane Gravel. Important take-a-ways included expand and use the FAN method when researching. FAN is friends, associates, and neighbors. For example; when scouring over census pages, why not check two pages before and after the page where you found your ancestor? Other relatives may have lived nearby. Other record sets to explore include Bibles, criminal records, maps, Google books, land ownership records, DAR records, and lineage society papers.

"Tools & Techniques for Finding Family Online" by Jennifer Zinck was the second to last presentation that I attended. Zinck gave numerous examples of web sites for locating living people. She stressed how important it was not to publicly share information on living people. Aside from the big three search engines Google, Bing, and Yahoo, web sites to search when searching for living people include FB for individuals and groups and Ancestry's public records index record set. Excellent people search databases include pipl, spokeo, and DOBsearch.

After another long day, the last session attended was "Online Tools to Organize & Collaborate with your Cousins" by Kelli Bergheimer. Kelli urged that on your initial contact with a cousin; be brief and do not overload or ask too much of the person. You could aggravate them and then you are getting nowhere. After contact is made, ideas to keep interest going with both parties can include creating cousin email groups and using photo sharing web sites such as photobucket and flickr.

NEGRC was the first genealogy conference that I have attended. It was great. I leaned quite a bit and met a lot of nice people. In the future months I will be attending more conferences as my schedule allows. Next February I will be looking forward to attending the world's largest genealogy conference, Roots Tech, in Salt Lake City.

Aughrim RC Church

The following photos were taken in April 1995 when I was invited to Ireland by a now deceased cousin. It was a two week trip; two days in Dublin and rest in County Roscommon. While there; many genealogy adventures were on hand. I visited with numerous cousins, located long lost cousins, and made various stops at Irish churches and graveyards.

Below are photos of the Aughrim Roman Catholic church where some of my ancestors worshipped. According to FindAGrave, The first Aughrim church was built in 1790 and was referred to as "Rodeen Chapel"and was replaced by the present church in 1907.

Aughrim Church, exterior

Aughrim Church, interior

Aughrim Church, interior

29 April 2017

Saturday's Society : Genealogy on Facebook

This week's genealogy society is not on a particular society. It is on an enormous list compiled by genealogist Katherine R. Willson. Her list is composed of the many Facebook groups and societies that are related to genealogy in some manner. Willson's website can be found here.

Social media is everywhere and it has a strong presence in the world of genealogy. As an aid to help others a portion of Willson's list is posted below. This list is not the result of my research. All credit is due to Katherine R. Willson.

The Genealogy on Facebook list is all encompassing. The latest version is over 300 pages. For simplicity I have cut and pasted her list from 2016 on the Facebook groups that are New York based. The urls are not linked and have not been checked.

1607. Albany County, NY - Descendants of Early Hudson River Valley Families: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1608. Albany County, NY - Early Hudson River Valley Genealogy 1683-1773: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1609. Albany County, NY History & Genealogy: www.facebook.com/pages/Albany-County-New-York-History-Genealogy/226123027513435
1610. Appalachian Genealogy: www.facebook.com/AppalachianGenealogy
1611. Bronx County, NY Historical Society: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bronx-County-Historical-Society/158177394957
1612. Cemeteries of Western New York Project: www.facebook.com/TheCemeteriesOfWesternNewYorkProject
1613. Central New York Genealogical Society: www.facebook.com/CNYGS
1614. Central New York’s Mohawk Valley Region - Path Through History: www.facebook.com/mohawkvalleyhistory
1615. Chautauqua County, NY - Jamestown Historical Society & Fenton History Center: www.facebook.com/FentonHistoryCenter
1616. Clinton County, NY - Saranac Valley & Canada Genealogical Society: www.facebook.com/pages/Saranac-Valley-CCNY-and-Canada-Genealogy-Society/255393594506871
1617. Clinton County, NY Historical Association: www.facebook.com/ClintonCountyHistoricalAssociation
1618. Colony of New Netherland History & Genealogy (present-day Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania & Rhode Island): www.facebook.com/NewNetherlandHistory
1619. Columbia County, NY - Descendants of Early Hudson River Valley Families: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1620. Columbia County, NY - Early Hudson River Valley Genealogy 1683-1773: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1621. Delaware County, NY - Bovina Historical Society: www.facebook.com/pages/Bovina-Historical-Society/138807632835629
1622. Delaware County, NY - Town of Bovina Historian: www.facebook.com/bovinanyhistory
1623. Delaware County, NY Historical Association: www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-County-Historical-Association-NY/269257042204
1624. Dutch in New Netherlands (New York), 1609-1674: www.facebook.com/groups/NewNetherlandDutch
1625. Dutchess County, NY - Beacon (Fishkill Landing & Matteawan) Genealogy Group: www.facebook.com/groups/746246578788258
1626. Dutchess County, NY - Descendants of Early Hudson River Valley Families: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1627. Dutchess County, NY - Early Hudson River Valley Genealogy 1683-1773: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1628. Dutchess County, NY Genealogy Group: www.facebook.com/groups/834642333254982
1629. Erie County, NY - Buffalo Genealogical Society of the African Diaspora: www.facebook.com/groups/213233678768299
1630. Erie County, NY - Buffalo History Museum: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Buffalo-History-Museum/35507276870
1631. Erie County, NY - Buffalo Irish Genealogical Society: www.facebook.com/BuffaloIrishGenealogicalSociety
1632. Erie County, NY - Langford/New Oregon Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/357697114922
1633. Erie County, NY - Vintage Buffalo (Photos & Articles): www.facebook.com/vintagebuffalony
1634. Genealogy Technology Interest Group of Central New York (CNY): www.facebook.com/groups/226695224012623
1635. Genesee County, NY Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/377475412287287
1636. Get Help with NY Family History: www.facebook.com/GetHelpWithNewYorkFamilyHistory 
1637. Greene County, NY - Cairo Historical Society: www.facebook.com/groups/111983588813394
1638. Greene County, NY - Descendants of Early Hudson River Valley Families: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1639. Greene County, NY - Early Hudson River Valley Genealogy 1683-1773: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1640. Greene County, NY - Town of Windham Historical Society: www.facebook.com/pages/Town-of-Windham-Historical-Society/46527396938
1641. Herkimer County, NY Historical Society: www.facebook.com/pages/Herkimer-County-Historical-Society/138289506216283
1642. Hispanic Genealogical Society of New York: www.facebook.com/pages/HGSNY-Hispanic-Genealogical-Society-of-New-York/351829253558
1643. Irish Family History Forum (Based in Long Island, but also covering Bronx, Brooklyn, Kings, Manhattan, Nassau, Queens, Staten Island & Suffolk Boroughs, NY): www.facebook.com/IrishFamilyHistoryForum
1644. Irish Genealogy in New York: www.facebook.com/groups/142484599457471/191511974554733
1645. Jefferson County, NY - Nostalgic Watertown: www.facebook.com/Nostalgic-Watertown-NY-125087347668743
1646. Jefferson County, NY Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/jeffersoncountynewyork
1647. Jewish Genealogy Society of New York: www.facebook.com/groups/62112838856
1648. Kings County, NY - Brooklyn Historical Society: www.facebook.com/BrooklynHistory
1649. Kings County, NY - Brooklyn History, Brooklyn Genealogy and Lost & Found: www.facebook.com/groups/678304068888346
1650. Kings, Queens, Nassau & Suffolk County, NY - Genealogy Federation of Long Island: www.facebook.com/groups/430270373798390
1651. Kings, Queens, Nassau & Suffolk County, NY - Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island (Group): www.facebook.com/groups/JGSLI
1652. Kings, Queens, Nassau & Suffolk County, NY - Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island (Page): www.facebook.com/pages/Jewish-Genealogy-Society-of-Long-Island-JGSLI/120817506514
1653. Kings, Queens, Nassau & Suffolk County, NY - Long Island Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/306920332837026
1654. Kings, Queens, Nassau & Suffolk County, NY - Long Island Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/81344396004
1655. Manhattan, NY Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/1559213587648298
1656. Nassau, Suffolk, Kings & Queens County, NY - Genealogy Federation of Long Island: www.facebook.com/groups/430270373798390
1657. Nassau, Suffolk, Kings & Queens County, NY - Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island: www.facebook.com/groups/JGSLI
1658. Nassau, Suffolk, Kings & Queens County, NY - Long Island Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/81344396004
1659. Nassau, Suffolk, Kings & Queens County, NY - Long Island Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/306920332837026
1660. New York - Old Images of New York: www.facebook.com/groups/313455892154814
1661. New York Chapter for the Association for Gravestone Studies: www.facebook.com/New.York.Chapter.AGS
1662. New York City, NY - Organization for Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors: www.facebook.com/groups/3GNewYork
1663. New York City, NY Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/57780952454
1664. New York City, NY National Archives: www.facebook.com/nationalarchivesnewyork
1665. New York Genealogical & Biographical Society: www.facebook.com/nyfamilyhistory
1666. New York Genealogy - Just Ask! www.facebook.com/groups/NewYorkGenealogyJustAsk
1667. New York Genealogy Group: www.facebook.com/groups/nygenealogy
1668. New York Genealogy Network: www.facebook.com/groups/210302895672550
1669. New York Genealogy: www.facebook.com/NewYorkGenealogyRecords
1670. New York Historical Society: www.facebook.com/nyhistory
1671. New York State Archives: www.facebook.com/nysarchives
1672. New York State Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/NewYorkStateGenealogy
1673. Niagara County, NY - Royalton Historical Society: www.facebook.com/pages/Town-of-Royalton-Historical-Society/176698222421913?id=176698222421913
1674. Niagara County, NY Genealogical Society: www.facebook.com/Niagara.County.Genealogical.Society
1675. Niagara County, NY Historian’s Office: www.facebook.com/pages/Niagara-County-Historians-Office/299057299891
1676. Niagara County, NY History Center: www.facebook.com/niagarahistorycenter
1677. Onondaga County, NY - Jewish Community of the 15th Ward (Preserving the History of the 9th, 15th-18th Syracuse Wards): www.facebook.com/groups/15thWard
1678. Onondaga County, NY - Local History & Genealogy at Onondaga County Public Library: www.facebook.com/ocpl.lhg
1679. Onondaga County, NY - Nostalgic Syracuse: www.facebook.com/groups/2226651976
1680. Onondaga County, NY Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/onondagacountynewyorkstategenealogy
1681. Ontario County, NY - East Bloomfield Historical Society: www.facebook.com/pages/East-Bloomfield-Historical-Society/233421727292
1682. Orange County, NY - Descendants of Early Hudson River Valley Families: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1683. Orange County, NY - Early Hudson River Valley Genealogy 1683-1773: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1684. Orange County, NY Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/1715282565363989
1685. Oswego County, NY Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/oswegocountynewyorkstategenealogy
1686. Polish Genealogical Society of New York State: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Polish-Genealogical-Society-of-New-York-State/125523827501958
1687. Putnam County, NY - Descendants of Early Hudson River Valley Families: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1688. Putnam County, NY - Early Hudson River Valley Genealogy 1683-1773: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1689. Queens, Nassau, Suffolk & Kings County, NY - Genealogy Federation of Long Island: www.facebook.com/groups/430270373798390
1690. Queens, Nassau, Suffolk & Kings County, NY - Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island: www.facebook.com/groups/JGSLI
1691. Queens, Nassau, Suffolk & Kings County, NY - Long Island Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/81344396004
1692. Queens, Nassau, Suffolk & Kings County, NY - Long Island Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/306920332837026
1693. Rensselaer County, NY - Descendants of Early Hudson River Valley Families: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1694. Rensselaer County, NY - Early Hudson River Valley Genealogy 1683-1773: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1695. Rensselaer County, NY - Troy Irish Genealogical Society: www.facebook.com/pages/Troy-Irish-Genealogy-Society/264980077964
1696. Rensselaer County, NY Genealogy Group: www.facebook.com/groups/422922431244901
1697. Richmond County, NY - Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries of Staten Island: www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Abandoned-Cemeteries-of-Staten-Island-FACSI/158775687492624
1698. Rockland County, NY - Descendants of Early Hudson River Valley Families: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1699. Rockland County, NY - Early Hudson River Valley Genealogy 1683-1773: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1700. Rockland County, NY - Dutch Door Genealogy: www.facebook.com/pages/Dutch-Door-Genealogy/161720084156
1701. Schoharie County, NY Historical Society & Old Stone Fort Museum: www.facebook.com/oldstonefort
1702. Suffolk County, NY - Long Island East End Genealogy Family: www.facebook.com/groups/186909234791386
1703. Suffolk, Kings, Nassau & Queens County, NY - Genealogy Federation of Long Island: www.facebook.com/groups/430270373798390
1704. Suffolk, Kings, Nassau & Queens County, NY - Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island: www.facebook.com/groups/JGSLI
1705. Suffolk, Kings, Nassau & Queens County, NY - Long Island Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/81344396004
1706. Suffolk, Kings, Nassau & Queens County, NY - Long Island Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/306920332837026
1707. Sullivan County, NY - Descendants of Early Hudson River Valley Families: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1708. Sullivan County, NY - Early Hudson River Valley Genealogy 1683-1773: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1709. Sullivan County, NY - Local History: www.facebook.com/groups/Sullivan.County.History
1710. Sullivan County, NY Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/593611020719282
1711. Sullivan County, NY Genealogy Society: www.facebook.com/Sullivan-County-NY-Genealogy-Society-919272588156663
1712. Tompkins County, NY History Center: www.facebook.com/tompkinshistory
1713. Ulster County, NY - Descendants of Early Hudson River Valley Families: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1714. Ulster County, NY - Early Hudson River Valley Genealogy 1683-1773: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1715. Ulster County, NY Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/680648592013639
1716. Washington County, NY Ancestors (affiliated w/Washington County, NY GenWeb): www.facebook.com/groups/washcty
1717. Westchester County, NY - Descendants of Early Hudson River Valley Families: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1718. Westchester County, NY - Early Hudson River Valley Genealogy 1683-1773: www.facebook.com/groups/819585878133232
1719. Westchester County, NY - Somers Historical Society: www.facebook.com/pages/Somers-Historical-Society/104464119586538
1720. Westchester County, NY Genealogical Society: www.facebook.com/pages/Westchester-County-Genealogical-Society/82588199143
1721. Western New York Genealogical Society: www.facebook.com/groups/WNYGS
1722. Wyoming County, NY Genealogy: www.facebook.com/groups/304183196316885
1723. Yates County, NY Genealogical & Historical Society: www.facebook.com/pages/Yates-County-Genealogical-Historical-Society/114839918540441

Revised 07 March 2016 (posted online at http://socialmediagenealogy.com/genealogy-on-facebook-list)
Copyright © 2013-2015 Katherine R. Willson (moonswings@gmail.com).

All rights reserved.