Saturday, January 28, 2017

52 Ancestors: William Herbert Whitehead

Any 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.

Week 3 is late, as I realized I hadn’t gotten to the Whiteheads yet in OneNote, though everything is in Legacy.  William Herbert Whitehead is my mom’s maternal grandfather.IMG_0082-1

William, who went by Bill, was born 29 September 1896 in Buffalo, Erie, NY to Charles and Anna May (Sanderson) Whitehead, who had recently immigrated to the US from Canada.  He was their first child and would eventually have a brother and sister (Harry Hobson and Adeline.) He was baptized at the St. James Episcopal Church (in Buffalo) 11 December 1904.

Whitehead William Herbert Engagement Announcement

He married Vera Louise Julia Gress 28 March 1921 in Buffalo and had 6 daughters, the first of whom, Elizabeth, died in infancy.  Bill worked for Sacony Mobile Co., retiring as the head clerk in payroll.

He died 25 Oct 1965 at Buffalo State Hospital and his cremains were interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery and Crematory on 27 October 1965.

Newspaper from:

"Whitehead-Gress," The Illustrated Buffalo Express, 30 Jan 1921, p. 4, col. 2; digital images, Old Fulton New York Post Cards ( : accessed 23 Jun 2009), Tom Tryniski, "New York State Historical Photos & Newspapers 1817 Thru 2007". 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

52 Ancestors: Lillian Eichorn

Any 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.

Week 2 is my mom's paternal grandmother, Lillian Eichorn Casell.  Lillian was born 22 December 1908 in Buffalo, Erie, NY.  Her parents are William and Augusta (Tross) Eichorn.  Lillian was the fifth child and fifth girl in the family, though she would get a little brother in 1914.

Lillian married Alfred Casell 11 Jul 1928 and preceded to have a daughter followed by three sons.  This must have been a big change for her and Al, as he also grew up in a house surrounded by sisters.

Lillian died 19 December 1938 of lobar pneumonia along with myocardial failure (toxic) and rheumatoid arthritis.  She was buried on what would have been her 30th birthday at Acacia Park and Resthaven Memorial Gardens in North Tonawanda, Niagara, NY, in a lot owned by her brother-in-law Friendly Amidon (married to her sister Clara).

Saturday, January 7, 2017

52 Ancestors: Alfredo Marco Casillo

Any 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.

Week one is my mom’s paternal grandfather, Alfredo Marco Casillo, also known as Alfred Macro Casell.Casell Alfred
Alfredo Marco Casillo and twin sister Angela Caterina (also known as Angelina) were born 28 June 1906 in Buffalo, Erie, New York to Marcantonio and Carolina (Izzo) Casillo.  They had one older sister, Amelia, and would have four younger siblings, Lucy, Clara, Roberto, and one who died young whose name I still need to find.

Alfred married Lillian Eichorn 11 July 1928, also in Buffalo.  They had four children, Beatrice, Robert (my grandfather), Alfred and James.  After Lillian died in 1938, Alfred placed his children in The Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Orphan Home for the next 9 years.
Alfred worked for the railroad, just like his father.  He had his name changed officially to Alfred Casell in 1941.  In his later years he became very involved with his church and was an elder for the Bremen Street Bible Students Church.

He died 25 January 1981 in Buffalo and was buried four days later in Acacia Park & Resthaven Memorial Gardens Cemetery, North Tonawanda, Niagara, New York.  The plot he is in belonged to his son Robert and is, unintentionally, within seeing distance of where is wife Lillian is buried (my grandfather was unaware of his mother’s burial location when he and my grandmother bought 4 plots Acadia Cemetery).  His obituary was published 27 January 1981 in the Buffalo Courier-Express.

I am missing a few documents for Alfred: his death certificate (I need to bring the right documentation when I go to Buffalo), the 1910 federal census, the 1925 New York census, and a copy of his probate packet (will ask my mom to get next time she goes to the Clerk’s office.)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in Review

Another year has come and come.  Another year of not much posting, which I'd like to say will change this year, but we shall see.  My annual review.

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? Visited my friend Wendy and her family at one of their deployment locations, which I've meant to do many times before.  I've now clicked off South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska from the states I've visited list.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I'm not a fan of resolutions; I much prefer a word of the year.  My word for 2016 was "connect" and I wanted to focus on connecting more with my family and friends and with myself, particularly in terms of my health and my hobbies  I did pretty well with this, visiting friends like Wendy and Tom and going on a birthday trip with Rachel & friends, as well as seeing friends and family pretty frequently locally.  It wasn't perfect, there were some people I didn't see nearly enough, but all in all it was a good year of connection.  I kind of forgot about the my hobbies part, but that's okay.  In fact, my 2017 word, "Compass," is all about focusing on what I want to do and how to get there.  My focus will be three-fold: Only say yes to doing things that are moving me forward in my plans for work and hobbies, travel with intention, particularly making sure to continue giving Julian lots of new experiences, and, three, keep moving, focusing on a consistent exercise plan.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? So many babies this year.  Welcome to the world Liam, Aubrey, Hunter, Landon, and Christopher!

4. Did anyone close to you die? Though no one directly related to me died this year, I had a few friends and family members lose their parents.

5. What places did you visit? New York City three times, South Dakota (with side trips to Iowa and Nebraska), a conference in Atlanta, Kingston, Ontario, Toronto and Niagara Falls.  We also spent lots of time around Central and Western New York and visited friends in Oneonta.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?   I'm keeping part of the same answer as last year: a trip abroad.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? November 8th, Election Day. July 4th, when Julian decided to start using the potty.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?   Speaking at a national conference.

9. What was your biggest failure? I'm not sure I had anything I would count as a big failure; life is a learning experience.  I was rather sad when my Kris Kringle cookie dough didn't blend properly.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? An ear infection and a stomach bug.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Paying off my car and one student loan.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? I was incredibly impressed by how strong my friends and family are, dealing with preemies, losing their parents, medical stuff, job loss, and all the hard things life brings.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Pretty much all things election related.

14. Where did most of your money go? Paying off debt.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Julian getting into Montessori school.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2016? Anything by Laurie Berkner, but particularly Julian singing "I Saw Three Ships."  "We are Golden" from Tom's show.  "Stay a Little Longer"  by Brothers Osborne and "Downtown Train" by Everything But The Girl

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Same
b) thinner or fatter? Same-ish
c) richer or poorer? Richer and in much less debt!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exercising.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying.  And following the news.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2016? Christmas Eve with the Casells, and my dad and grandma. Christmas Day morning with mom/gramma/Chris and dinner with the Hendricks family.  Christmas with the Perrines to follow.

21. Did you fall in love in 2016? 6 years :-)

22. What was your favorite TV program? How I Met Your Mother as background noise.  The Crown as something new.

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2016? In the morning I had the legislative breakfast, then headed to Niagara Falls for the night, followed by a night in Toronto to see the Mystic Impressions exhibit at the AGO and northern Chinese food.

24. What was the best book you read? Fiction: I'm Thinking of Ending Things Non-fiction: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Book Club: Orphan Train.

25. What did you want and get? A trip to NYC

26. What did you want and not get? ***

27. What was your favorite film of this year? I don't think I saw any movies this year

28. Did you make some new friends this year? Yes, meeting great ladies in the Junior League :-)

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Focusing more on exercising.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? Simplify.

31. What kept you sane? My family and friends.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Bernie Sanders.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? The election and all that went with it.

34. Who did you miss? My Grandpa Acquard and Uncle Brian, like every year now.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016. Fight for what you believe in and get out of your bubble.

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Little Detective Work

As you may know, I work in a small public library in Central New York.  One of the books donated for the book sale was an old library book that had been withdrawn at some point and sold.  Little Lore Fauntleroy was written in 1886 by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  It was stamped and marked as book number 7010.  More interesting was that it was signed "Daisy Turner" with the date "Oct- 1886-".

Thanks to some research by one of my amazing pages, we think it was placed into the library in the 1930s.  Because I had some time while sitting at the circulation desk, I thought I would try to find out who Daisy was and why she donated this book to the library.

Thanks to Library Edition and Newspaper (also available through the library), I learned that Daisy Muriel Turner was born 10 Mar 1874 in Chicago and moved to Skaneateles in 1900 with her mother Helen (Wheaton) Turner after her father William died. She died in 1968 and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Skaneateles. It looks like Helen was born in Pompey and then lived in Syracuse prior to marriage.

I have no idea why it was donated it here, since Skaneateles did have a library at the time, however I'm glad she did and that I got to play detective.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Census Sunday: Eichhorn 1861 & 1871

I had two great finds on Ancestry this week for census records that I have needed for a while.  My 4th great grandparents, Nicholas and Dorothea Eichhorn and their son, my 3rd great grandfather, Charles Herman, in Chippawa, Ontario, Canada.


1861 census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, Ontario, Welland, sub-district Chippawa, Chippawa, p. 21, Nicholas Thorn; RG 31; digital images, Operations, Inc., ( : accessed 22 Apr 2016); citing Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Census Returns For 1861; Roll: C-1080.

1871 census of Canada, Ontario, district 19, sub-district K, Chippawa, p. 22, dwelling 75, family 75, Nicholas Thorn household; RG 31; digital images, Libraries and Archives Canada, Libraries and Archives Canada ( : accessed 22 Apr 2016).

Saturday, April 23, 2016

SNGF: Share Your Childhood Memories

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

 1) Judy Russell asked six questions in her Keynote address at RootsTech 2014 to determine if audience members knew certain family stories about their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. She demonstrated very well that family stories are lost within three generations if they are not recorded and passed on to later generations.

 2) This week, I want you to answer Judy's six questions, but about YOUR own life story, not your ancestors. Here are the questions:

 a) What was your first illness as a child? I had a lot of ear infections as a kid and got tubes starting around age 2 all the way until middle school.

 b) What was the first funeral you attended? When I was 16 I was asked to sing at a funeral for a baby who had died of SIDS. It was really, really sad.

 c) What was your favorite book as a child? 10 Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss.

 d) What was your favorite class in elementary school? According to an old paper I found, math class. I remember loving the gifted and talented class as well.

 e) What was your favorite toy as a child? Cindy, my stuffed mouse, who I still have.

 f) Did you learn how to swim, and where did you learn? Nope. Due to the tubes in my ears, I couldn't really go in the water. I still don't know how to swim, but maybe some day.