Friday, September 29, 2017

52 Ancestors: Angela Rosa Palmiero



Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small began the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge in 2014.  I am playing along this year.  I will be following my mom’s pedigree chart to start.  In addition to writing these posts, I will be making sure everything I have on the specific individual is in both OneNote and Legacy, do any basic research needed for missing documents, and start research plans as needed.

Today is the first of my mom’s 16 great-great grandmothers.

Me > My Mom > Robert Casell > Alfred Casell > Marcantonio Casillo > Angela Rosa Palmiero

I do not have a photo of Angela.  If you do, please let me know.

Angela was born around 1845, most likely in Italy, to Rafael Palmeiro and Maria Giuseppa Izio.  She married to Pietro Casillo in the early to mid-1860s.  They had at least 3 children, Giuseppe Maria Vittorio, Maria Domenica, and Marcantonio Maria.  As a family they lived in Roccaromana, Caserta, Campania, Italy, which is also where she died in October 1906.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wanderlust Wednesday: Hurricane Katrina Memorial (New Orleans)


This past weekend my husband and I went with some friends to New Orleans.  For us, it was an early anniversary trip to visit a city my husband had not been before.  The food and music was amazing, but one of my favorite parts was taking the Dead of Night Ghosts & Graveyards Bus Tour from Haunted History Tours.  I'm not sure 9:30pm counts as the "Dead of Night," especially in New Orleans, but it was dark and a good time to go look for ghosts.


We didn't happen upon any ghosts so far as I could tell, but we did see some interesting cemeteries and other aspects of NOLA that we wouldn't have otherwise.  The tour ended with a stop at the Hurricane Katrina Memorial.  I have to admit to not knowing about this memorial, as, I think, most people sadly do not.  Designed to look like a hurricane from above so that those flying in and out of New Orleans will always remember the tragedy.

Photo by Kelly Fannin
Located at the site of the Charity Hospital Cemetery, a pauper's field, the memorial has the graves of over 80 unclaimed Katrina victims whose names are unknown.  It is possible that many, maybe even most, of these people were homeless, but even homeless people belong to someone.  If you or someone you know is missing a friend or family member who may have been in New Orleans during Katrina, please contact the New Orlean's Coroner Office which has information on each person. 


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

GRIP, Take 4

I'm back at La Roche College outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for my 4th time at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP).  (Want to see the fun I've had here in the past? 2012, 2014, 2015.)

This year I'm taking "From Confusion to Conclusion: How to Write Proof Arguments" with Kimberly T. Powell and Harold Henderson.  Over the past few years I've been focusing on organizing and writing up proof statements on the research I've done over the years.  Sometimes I do well, though lately, not so much.  I signed up for this class to make sure I was writing proof arguments correctly and also to try to jump start myself back into researching and organizing and writing.  Additionally, I'd like to get on the clock for my CG in the next couple years and also to take clients, and before doing so I felt taking this class would be tremendously useful.  So far, it looks like I was right.

Day 1, Monday, began with an introduction to proof arguments, records, information, and evidence; making sure we had a good foundation.  One of the most interesting pieces was the discussion of three sizes of proofs: proof statement (small), proof summary (medium), and proof argument (large).  I have always used these terms interchangeably, so it was good to learn the difference.

We then discussed tools that can be used analysis and correlation.  Analysis and correlation, the third step of the GPS, is where you start writing.  We need to remember that even items that are proved automatically or easily should still be written down.  Whether simple to prove or not, we can use tools such as narrative, lists, tables, timelines, spreadsheets, and maps of both the land and mind variety to organize, analyze, and correlate our information.

In the afternoon we learned about writing proof arguments.  Start where you understand as it can always be changed, moved, or deleted later.  There are a multitude of ways to organize your argument.  If you have "drama," start there, as, according to Harold, "Most of our ancestors are pretty damn boring."  From there, use logic to decide how to organize your material.  Sometimes the information is chronological, sometimes by document type, sometimes the conclusion is in the front, sometimes at the end.  Use whatever makes sense to you and you editor, if applicable.

The last part of the day was a workshop where we were able to practice organizing information and writing a proof summary and a proof argument.  It was fascinating to see how classmates and the teachers write their proofs and how many different ways you can do it that are still "right."  This, combined with our homework, is my favorite part of the course so far.  As a kinesthetic learner, I always want to try it myself and learn best by doing so and then discussing the results with others.  It is also very motivating to hear a genealogist you respect describe how they wrote a proof and see that you had done it the same way.  It helps show where your level of genealogical knowledge and training is and what you still need to learn. (Hence why I loved the SLIG Virtual Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum that I took last fall and will be taking again this year, registration willing.)

Day 1 ended with fascinating conversations, but I'll write more on that later.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

52 Ancestors: Pietro Pablo Casillo

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small began the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge in 2014.  I am playing along this year.  I will be following my mom’s pedigree chart to start.  In addition to writing these posts, I will be making sure everything I have on the specific individual is in both OneNote and Legacy, do any basic research needed for missing documents, and start research plans as needed.

Today I will begin with the first of my mom’s 16 great-great grandparents. 

Me > My Mom > Robert Casell > Alfred Casell > Marcantonio Casillo > Pietro Pablo Casillo

I do not have a photo of Pietro.  If you do, please let me know.

Pietro Pablo Casillo was born around 1835 to Giuseppe and and Maria (Deticcoso) Casillo in Italy.
Pietro married Angela Rosa Palmiero most likely in the early to mid-1860s.  They had at least 3 children, Giuseppe Maria Vittorio, Maria Domenica, and Marcantonio Maria.  As a family they lived in Roccaromana, Caserta, Campania, Italy.
Casillo Pietro Passenger List
Pietro took his son Marco on his first trip to the US in May of 1887.  Marco would later immigrate to Buffalo, New York.
Pietro died 13 July 1909 in Roccaromana. 





Sunday, April 2, 2017

52 Ancestors: Elizabeth Fink Gress

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small began the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge in 2014.  I am playing along this year.  I will be following my mom’s pedigree chart to start.  In addition to writing these posts, I will be making sure everything I have on the specific individual is in both OneNote and Legacy, do any basic research needed for missing documents, and start research plans as needed.

IMG_0009 (2)

Elizabeth with my Gramma (Left) and great Aunt Judy.  Approximately 1944.

Me > My Mom > My Gramma > Vera Gress > Elizabeth Fink

Elizabeth L. Fink was born 6 July 1867 in Buffalo, Erie, New York to Gottlieb and Barbara (Fleeman) Fink.  She was the second of 11 children.

Elizabeth married Jacob Gress around 1886, also in Buffalo.  They had 7 children, Chester, May, Walter, Elsie, Beulah, and Vera.

Elizabeth and Jacob moved in with their daughter Vera’s family when Jacob was fired from his job right before he planned on retiring, and Elizabeth stayed with them after Jacob died in 1932.

A couple things I know about Elizabeth are that she cleaned rugs by putting salt on them and then sweeping out the dirt and that she made the best angel food cake with whipped strawberry topping.

She died 24 April 1957 of Terminal Broncho-Pneumonia due to Advanced General Atherosclerosis.  Another significant condition, Senile Psychosis simple deterioration (Alzheimers).  She was buried in Forest Lawn next to her husband.

With Elizabeth, I have now put finished posting about my mom’s great grandparents.  I may go back and edit these posts a bit with some additional stories over the next month as I finish inputting information into Legacy and OneNote.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SNGF: A Critical Life Decision

Dark Matter



From Randy Seaver's GeneaMusings (a bit belatedly). Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):

1) Did you or your ancestor make a critical life decision that really changed their life in terms of place, work, family, relationships, etc.?

I think all people make a multitude of critical life decisions over the course of their lives.  Things like changing jobs, deciding on a college or career or to join the military, getting married, having children, and moving will alter the course of your life.

My ancestors that most changed their lives with one decision were those that decided to get on a boat and cross the Atlantic to come to the US from wherever they lived in Europe.  Some of these people came with only pennies to their name, in search of a better life for themselves and their family.

In my own life, I would also equate critical decisions on moving, though on a smaller scale.  I moved to Syracuse 10 years ago and everything changed because of that: I met my now-husband, decided to get my MSLIS, had Julian.  All things that most likely would not have occurred in the same way had I stayed in Oneonta.  I can't imagine my life any other way, so I think it was the right move.

If you're interested on a fiction book that shows how even minute changes effect your life, I highly recommend Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.  It is one of the best books I've read this year and well worth the hype.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

52 Ancestors: Jacob Gress

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small began the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge in 2014.  I am playing along this year.  I will be following my mom’s pedigree chart to start.  In addition to writing these posts, I will be making sure everything I have on the specific individual is in both OneNote and Legacy, do any basic research needed for missing documents, and start research plans as needed.

Woo-hoo, I’m all caught up!  I’m going to try to get back to posting these weekly.

jacob gress bar

Jacob Gress and his son Chester behind the bar

Me > My Mom > My Gramma > Vera Gress > Jacob Gress

Jacob J. Gress was born 26 January 1869 in Buffalo, Erie, New York to Joseph and Sophia (Possehl) Gress.  He was the second of what would be five children.

He married Elizabeth Fink around 1886, also in Buffalo.  They had 7 children, Chester, May, Walter, Elsie, Beulah, and Vera.

Jacob worked as a saloonkeeper for many years.  Later in life, he was a handy man at a paint company.

Jacob died 11 August 1932 in Buffalo of broncho-pneumonia and was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

52 Ancestors: Angela Rosa Palmiero

Amy Johnson Crow at  No Story Too Small  began the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge in 2014.  I am playing along this year.  I wi...