Showing posts from 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday - Gavel

Book: The Accidental Library Manager

The Accidental Library Manager by Rachel Singer Gordon is the first book I have read to try to get a more well-rounded view of library management than I received in my school course on management.  I highly recommend this book for new library managers or those who would like to go into library management.  The most interesting and useful part of this book were the comments librarians and paraprofessionals made for a survey for the book.  They discussed good and bad managers they had had and made recommendations for others.  The recommended reading list also looks useful, with a multitude of books and journal articles on the different topics in the book.

Topics covered included managing change, people, finances and technology, just as my management textbook did, however these are easily readable and seemingly much more useful.  I will be rereading this book again in the next year or so.

Wordless Wednesday - Jacob Gress

Photograph in possession of my great aunt Lois (It would be her grandfather, my great-great grandfather).  I scanned during my trip to Florida last spring.

Wordless Wednesday -

Tombstone Tuesday - Katherine Weiss Eichhorn Gorndt


Goals for the New Year

In 2010, I hope to accomplish the following:

Interview my grandmothers, parents and great aunts, uncles and cousins on video ASAP!Goal is to do this by the end of February for my grandmothersUpdate each of my lines sideways and forward.I usually do well with my information about my ancestors siblings, but I have not done so well finding cousins in more recent generations.Focus my search for my German lines so that I can visit their hometowns while I am in Germany for 4 1/2 monthsI will therefore focus on the Eichhorn, Gresz, Fink, Weiss and Tross lines for the next two monthsStay in touch with my relatives searching my fathers side of the family.I research my mothers side as I have great aunts and uncles who research my fathers.  I will be helping my Aunt Dottie with her search in Poland for the Karpinski's (my great-grandmother's line)Complete Dear Myrtle's finally get organization checklist from 2009Start researching my fiancé's line (at the very least, get the inform…

SNGF - What I received for Christmas

This weeks Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:
1) What gift that you received for Christmas is your favorite for genealogy purposes? Book, magazine, hardware, software, website subscription, research time - what was it, and how will it affect your genealogy research?

2) Tell us about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook in response to this post.

I received a fantastic genealogy present on Christmas - a reply to a blog post from my second cousin, once removed!  I couldn't have asked for anything better.  Thank you Alan, for a fantastic present!

Semester 1 Completed

I have completed my first semester of graduate school! It went by much quicker than I had anticipated. My favorite class with my introductory class, which featured numerous alum who spoke on their career path and current position. Nearly every week I would have a different idea of what type of librarian I wanted to be.

The most disappointing class was my management class, as it focused only on theory and mostly theory in the IT world (as the class is mandatory for all iSchool students, not just MSLIS). I would have much preferred a class on managing a library, hiring, HR, etc. Basically a "what do I do as a library director/team leader/department manager." As such, I have taken out numerous books on library management to read over winter break.
Overall, this semester was a success. Working full-time and going to school full-time was easier than expected, though I am looking forward to a few weeks of just work without classes.
Next semester I am taking a few online cl…

Where in the world is Charles Ammi Cutter?

Our final group project in my Information Resources: Users & Services was to create a pathfinder and presentation about our group namesake, Charles Ammi Cutter. We searched everywhere for information, from Wikipedia to journal articles to a 900 page dissertation by Dr. Francis L. Miksa.

Cutter was a brilliant librarian, creating the modern card catalog, interlibrary loan, a classification system and the traveling library (book mobile). He also wrote The Buffalo public Library in 1983, where he prophesied such things as library automation and controlled atmosphere within a library.
For our presentation we created a game show based on the old television show Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? I was the "hostess with the mostess, head library detective and researcher extraordinaire." Part of the presentation was video taped by a fellow student:

Poster Session

Our final project for my Introduction to Library and Information Professions class was to present a poster on the pros and cons of a subject of our choosing, along with creating a handout. Our poster was on NARA partnering with private firms to digitize records.

Poster sessions are basically science fairs for grownups, which, as a former science fair competitor, I love. This project game me a lot of experience with Google docs and Microsoft Publisher, two things I had not used a lot in the past. I am now a huge fan of Google docs for group collaboration, particularly since you can look through the revisionist history, can easily collaborate and have a listing of who contributed what (always helpful in a group project with individual evaluations). I have used Microsoft Publisher for brochures and newsletters in the past, but designing a whole poster using it was definitely pushing my boundaries of the software. I was extremely lucky in that one of my teammates is an artist and ma…

Advent Calender - Opening Day 5

The GeneaBlogger Advent Calender prompt #5: December 5 - Outdoor Decorations
Did people in your neighborhood decorate with lights? Did some people really go “all out” when decorating? Any stories involving your ancestors and decorations?
In recent years, my sister has slowly become one of the more out-of-control light people. Each year after Christmas, she gets another one of those lit, movable, holiday animals to add to the collection. Her and my mom also put up icicle lights around the house for a complete winter wonderland.
My favorite lights are those of an unknown neighbor. Each year, for as long as I can remember, he has put up a huge Christmas tree, made out of green lights. It never feels like Christmas until I go home and see the tree all lit up against the dark night sky.

Advent Calender - Opening Day 4

The GeneaBlogger Advent Calender prompt #4: December 4 - Christmas Cards
Did your family send cards? Did your family display the ones they received? Do you still send Christmas cards? Do you have any cards from your ancestors?
My mother is fantastic about sending Christmas cards, which is a trait I am trying hard to pick up on. She would write out dozens each year, as would my grandmother and, in return, our mailbox would be full each day leading up to Christmas. Trying to display each one could be tricky, but we went through a multitude of card holders over the years to do so.
I do not have any cards from my ancestors and until reading this prompt had never thought to look for some. It looks like it is time to mention that to relatives as they pull out all their holiday items and hopefully find some old cards tucked away.

Advent Calender - Opening Day 3

The GeneaBlogger Advent Calender prompt #3: December 3 - Christmas Tree Ornaments
Did your family have heirloom or cherished ornaments? Did you ever string popcorn and cranberries? Did your family or ancestors make Christmas ornaments?

My mother has a multitude of ornaments her grandmother and other female relatives made over the years. Each year we would hang a few of these on the tree along with all of our Hallmark ornaments from more recent years. The ornaments I love the most are those with a story attached and my mom does an excellent job at picking them out for us year after year. My favorite from last year was the "First Christmas Together 2008" she got for Aaron and I and our first apartment together.
We also tell the story each year of when my grandmother bought each family a pickle ornament and my cousin Jake picked one up and it just crushed in his hand. He had the most crestfallen look ever, but after making sure he was okay, we all just laughed and laughed. Gl…

Advent Calender - Opening Day 2

The GeneaBlogger Advent Calender prompt #2: December 2 - Holiday Foods
Did your family or ancestors serve traditional dishes for the holidays? Was there one dish that was unusual?
My favorite holiday food story is also always brought up by my Gramma Acquard every time I see her:-) We spend Christmas each year with my father's family and for every Christmas dinner my grandmother makes baked beans. Every year she also forgets to take them out of the oven, which is where I come in. I always remember that they aren't out on the counter in the buffet line with everything else, so she will pull them out of the oven and find a place for them with everything else. This is apparently a long running tradition, as my mother used to always remind her before I was old enough to. She makes fantastic baked beans.

Advent Calender - Opening Day 1

The GeneaBlogger Advent Calender prompt #1: December 1 - The Christmas Tree Did you have a real tree or was it artificial? How big was the tree? Who decorated the tree? What types of Christmas trees did your ancestors have?
We almost always had an artificial tree growing up, except for the few years my sister convinced my mom that a real one was necessary. After still picking up needles in July, we would switch back to the artificial for another year. We all helped decorate, pulling all the ornament boxes out of the attic and remembering why we had received each one or which relative had made them back in the day. Everyones favorite part was always the tinsel. As kids, we would throw it on in globs and my mom would add it in a more restrained way.
Since moving out, I have a very small artificial tree, which works perfectly with the miniature ornaments that I love. I put the few larger ornaments around it on the table, along with my Charlie Brown nativity scene and other random holid…

Instructional Design Assignment

One of our major assignments for my information resources: users and services class was a lesson plan, focusing on information literacy. As I have recently been highly considering academic librarianship, I was quite interested in this assignment. I read through a multitude of lesson plans online and we had a lecturer on instructional design and information literacy standards.
I focused on the NYLA 21st century information literacy standards for the digital learners of New York, as it gives standards for lifelong learners. I then put together a lesson plan for an advanced lifelong learning genealogy class on genealogy blogs, both how to use RSS feeds to read others and how to create your own.
I would greatly appreciate a 1-credit course solely on creating lesson plans, learning the different information literacy standards and giving practice on teaching. One internship I am considering for next year will give me the opportunity to develop these skills by assisting in the teaching of …

Librarian Interview #2

While at the NYLA conference, I was able to interview the director of Livonia Public Library, Frank Sykes, for my reference class. My assignment was to learn how reference services work at his library, including modes of delivery, assessment and levels of service provided. We also discussed his recommendations on how to stay current with reference trends and other general observations he has.
Similar to getting to Carnegie Hall, Frank’s recommendation to become good at reference is “practice, practice, practice.” Just like any other program or application, you have to become familiar with it. Databases have different interfaces and various ways to search for a desired result. Reference is also a field where the professional has to stay on top of their game. Research, webinars, and list-servs are all ways to be informed of new databases and research methods.
Frank’s goal is to provide more specific, local information to his patrons in the next few years. He feels that small publ…

Half way through the semester

It is the midway point in my first semester of graduate school. I have been incredibly lucky, learning quite a few things that will help me with my career as a genealogical reference librarian in the future. The first is that the American Library Association has a division which focuses on reference services and in the division is a part for history/genealogy librarians. I will be joining this ASAP to network and learn more. They are also giving a full-day workshop in Boston in January on genealogical librarianship that I plan on taking. Second is that librarians are tremendously nice. I interviewed the head of the local history/genealogy department and she gave me a lot of tips, which I look forward to implementing:-) Most of all, I have been constantly citing everything for papers and have assignments where we have to write down every site or item we search, even if it comes back negative. This is a habit I really need to get better at for my genealogy research, so I am hopi…

NYLA Conference 2009

I attended my second library conference, the annual conference for the New York Libraries Association, over the weekend in Niagara Falls. I was able to volunteer, go to workshops and meet interesting librarians, students and vendors. I think that what I realized the most was that I still have so much to learn. Items such as insurance for the library, companies that move a libraries contents to another space and architects dedicated to libraries are all items we have not heard about in class.I went to two workshops on Friday which made very interesting points for me to use in the future. The first was on ePortfolios and give me tips on where I can take blog in the future. The second was on public library certification in New York state and the new requirements that will be in place beginning 1 January 2010. Mainly, librarians will need to do 60 hours of continuing education/professional development every 5 years to keep their certification active. In my opinion this is a very r…

Web 2.0/Library 2.0 Group Presentation

For my Information Resources: Users & Services class, our group presentation was on the context of user services. We decided to focus on Web 2.0 and Library 2.0, as that appears to be one of the proficiencies libraries will be looking for when we graduate. Rather than create a powerpoint presentation, we made a Wiki.Our presentation was given using Web 2.0 tools such as Skype, Wiki’s,YouTube and GoodReads. The amount of Web 2.0 tools is ever increasing, making even our presentation, based on an article from 2009, close to being outdated. One reason I say this is that Wiki’s are slowly being replaced by LibGuides, which were not mentioned in the article, and that I found out by attending the Librarian’s Toolbox conference.Research for this project proved interesting when I took the Second Life module and signed up for my avatar. The genealogy portion of Info Island was something I had heard about, but never seen before. Although I will never be an active Second Life user, the…

The Librarian's Toolbox Conference

I attended my first library conference September 25, 2009. Hosted by the Upstate New York chapter of the Special Libraries Association, The Librarian’s Toolbox: Enhance Your Connectivity, Productivity, and Presence, gave me a great introduction to the conferences presented by the profession.The day began with speed networking, which is akin to speed dating in that you get 5 minutes with another attendee in order to newtork. I met many fascinating librarians and the CEO of the SLA. Presentations followed on community outreach, LibGuides and other Library 2.0 features, what the SLA is currently doing to help members, and free web tools libraries can use such as Wordpress. My favorite new 2.0 tool is Prezi. Called the zooming presentation software, Prezi leaves powerpoint in the dust when it comes to presentations. I cannot wait for an opportunity to use it for class.The conference gave a fantastic first impression to a new library student about the future of the profession, particula…

Librarian Interview #1

Networking is an important part of a career path. In my introduction to library and information science class, we were given our first opportunity to practice this skill by interviewing a library manager, administrator or department head in order to learn more about the profession.I was fortunate to interview the director of the local history/genealogy department of the Onondaga County Public Library. Our discussion focused on her job, the change in libraries due to digitization and the things I can focus on while receiving my degree.Our discussion on digitization brought up many fascinating aspects to librarianship in the computer age. What used to be a long search for an obituary, covering a microfilm search of the death date and four days after, is now a quick online search of digitalized newspapers. The difficulty in deciding what fee to charge patrons has been created due to this new search. Instead of a 25 cent copy, a librarian can easily attach an image to an email. I fo…

New blog

If you have been missing my posts (and how could you not be?), please check out my new ePortfolio blogAmanda's Athenæum, where I will be posting my journey through starting graduate school to becoming a genealogy and local history librarian.

Welcome to my ePortfolio

My decision to enter graduate school to receive a Masters of Science in Library and Information Studies was made in part due to my enjoyment of genealogy as a hobby and wanting to assist others in their family search. As an MSLIS student at Syracuse University, I will be using this blog to trace my progress from new student to librarian. I will discuss class projects, interesting news in the field and various other topics related to becoming a librarian. I invite you to join me on this path by looking at my posts and commenting, and appreciate your visiting my ePortfolio.

Not much time for genealogy

I apologize for the lack of posts the past few weeks, but graduate school has taken over my life, leaving little room for anything other than work and sleep. I promise to keep this blog as updated as possible, but it may not be much until winter break.

Wordless Wednesday

The gavel my great-grandfather William Herbert Whitehead used at the American Legion. In the possession of my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Bud.

Genealogy Happy Dance - Marcantonio Casillo

I had the best night ever at the FamilyHistory Center today. I walked in, grabbed my microfilms and the woman working asked what I was looking at today. I said Canadian land records and Italian birth records, but I wasn't so sure on the Italian. She said that Italian records were her favorite and offered to help!
Apparently, back in the day, someone helped her at a FHC with the Italian records and now she was going to help me. She asked about my family and my interest in genealogy. I told her I was looking for my great-great grandfather MarcantonioCasillo's birth record. According to his daughter who told her nephew (my grandfather) Marco was born 11 January 1868 in RocRoma, Caserta, Italy. Try as I may, I never have been able to find a RocRoma, but in checking, I saw many Casillos listed in Roccaromana, Caserta and thought that was close enough and ordered the microfilm. According to my grandfathers family tree Marco's father was Peter, mother Unkn…

Wordless Wednesday - Lucy Casillo


SNGF - My 16 great-great-grandparents

From Randy over at Genea-Musings: Here is your SNGF assignment for the evening (if you choose to accept it - this is not stump the genealogist or even Mission Impossible):

1) List your 16 great-grandparents in pedigree chart order. List their birth and death years and places.

2) Figure out the dominant ethnicity or nationality of each of them.

3) Calculate your ancestral ethnicity or nationality by adding them up for the 16 - 6.25% for each (obviously, this is approximate).

4) If you don't know all 16 of your great-grandparents, then do it for the last full generation you have.

5) Write your own blog post, or make a comment on Facebook or in this post.
Joseph Francis Eugene Acquard, Jr.: born 17 Jan 1855 in Cheektowaga, Erie, NY; married 15 Oct 1878 in Bennington Ctr., Wyoming, NY; died 10 Sept 1943 in Bennington Ctr., Wyoming, NY. FRENCHMary Ann Kollin: born 15 Oct 1878 in Bennington Ctr., Wyoming, NY; died 5 Feb 1938 in Bennington Ctr., Wyoming, NY. 1/2 GERMAN and 1/2 BELGIANFrancis…

Fleeman Obituaries

I found the following obituaries today on Old Fulton NY Postcards. The most interesting to me is finding out that my gggg grandfather, Adam Fleeman, remarried after his wife Barbara died. You have to feel bad that his second wife died 4 years after his first and then his son died a few months later. The last obituary is this Adam's grandson.
Buffalo Daily Courier, 2 Oct 1870 At North Buffalo, Mrs. BARBARA FLEEMAN, wife of Adam Fleeman, at 9 o'clock, Oct 1st, aged 46 years, 8 months and 8 days.
Funeral to be held Monday Oct 3., at 2 o'clock P.M., at St Johns Church, on Amherst street, North Buffalo. Friends and acquaintances are invited to attend.
Courier & Republic, Buffalo, NY, 18 May 1874 In this city, MAGDALENA FLEEMAN, wife of Adam Fleeman, aged 48 years and 10 days respectively.
Funeral on Tuesday, at 2 o'clock P. M., at residence No. 59 Tonawanda street. Friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited to attend.
Fremont, Ohio, papers please copy.
Courier &…

When I feel most like a genealogist

Over at Olive Tree Genealogy is a well-deserved rant about genealogists who only will look for records in the comfort of their own home on the Internet. Some of these people have been looking for years, nearly a decade even, without ever stepping out into the world to search other records.
In my own research, I have to say I feel most like a genealogist when I am sifting through papers at the library, searching through huge index books at the court house and flipping through microfilm at the FamilyHistory Center. Finding information online through a search tool is always a nice addition to my work, but to feel truly accomplished I need to do more than type in a name, some dates and a location and hit "search."
If you are new (or not so new) to genealogy, remember that your family history is not online, ready for you print out back to Adam and Eve. If it were, this would not be a fun hobby, or even any hobby at all, since you wouldn't have to do any work. Go out into th…

My Maria (Strassheim Tross)

My great-great-great grandmother Maria Tross's death certificate arrived earlier this week, as I discuss here, with a birth date of 18 May 1841 in Germany and her father's name as John Strassheim. The source of information was Adoph Wetzlelen, her son-in-law. The passenger list she is listed to America on with her 6 children has her as being from Hessen, Germany.
I decided to check for the off-chance she was listed here and she was (I think)!
Maria Elisa Strassheim, b. 18 May 1841, Eberstadt, Giessen, Oberhessen, Hessen to Jacob Strassheim and Catharina Argin.
As two of her daughters are Elise and Katharine, this would definitely add evidence to it fitting. Then, I looked further down the list and found:
Maria Elisa Strassheim married to Wenzel Trost, 18 Nov 1866 at Eberstadt, Giessen, Oberhessen, Hessen.
My Maria was married to a Wenzel (also seen as Wesley) and their first child that I know about was born approximately 1869, which would also fit with the date.

They arrived!

Yesterday my two other microfilms arrived at the FHC. I went through the Halstead marriage records, still none for my ancestors, but a few for their siblings. The roll also happened to have marriage banns from Knockholt, Kent, where I have relatives from! Again, none for direct ancestors, but some for siblings, including one of the siblings from Halstead, who married a man in Knockholt. That was a nice surprise:-) The records from Roccaromana, Caserta, Italy also came in and I can't read them. Now, obviously I realize I can not read the Italian, but it is so tiny (it's one of those small microfilms) that I cannot make out any of the words/letters. I am going to buy a magnifying glass, but I'm not sure that will help enough. Any recommendations are more than welcome!
Today my birth/death/marriage certificates came in from Buffalo. It took just a week and a day from ordering them, which is really decent time. Unfortunately, the marriage record couldn't be found,…

The Story of Me

My parents were high school sweethearts. Apparently my father liked a dress my mother was wearing and then they took a class together and started dating. She was a freshman and he was a sophomore. It also didn't hurt that my mom's best friend was my dad's sister, so it was easy for them to meet.
After my mom got her associates degree my parents married. It was 5 September 1980, my mom was 20 and my dad 21. About five months later my mom was pregnant with me.
I was due on Thanksgiving and the story goes that my great aunt Marilyn wanted me named Tom Turkey if I was a boy (this is the same aunt that later convinced one of my cousins that my aunt was pregnant with a mouse, a la Stuart Little). I ended up not coming on Thanksgiving, or the week after, and the doctors had decided to come get me on 10 December. Even in the womb I didn't like being told what to do, so I decided to make my entrance on the 9th instead.
According to my father, while driving to the hospital h…

Wordless Wednesday - Charles and Anna May (Sanderson) Whitehead

Scanned at my Aunt Lois's home in Florida. I am not sure who the child is.

Tombstone Tuesday - Joseph and Sophia Gresz

Joseph J. and Sophia Gresz buried at Forest Lawn cemetery in Buffalo, Erie Co., New York. They are my great-great-great-grandparents. This is the nicest stone I've found so far for my family. I am amazed it is in such great shape considering its age. If only Sophia had made sure her maiden name was on it...

Amanda's Excellent (Genealogical) Adventure (Day 2)

Last Thursday began in Buffalo, this time I was spending the day with my Grandmother. We headed out to Forest Lawn in between rain storms and hoped for the best. The man at the desk was tremendously helpful and found the location of GottliebFinck and Joseph and Sophia Gresz. We walked over to the Gresz stone first, as it was located right behind the office. It is a large, very nice stone. We then drove to the end of the cemetery and found Gottlieb's, which matches his wife Barbara's. We were trying to find Barbara's (we had found it on our last trip, it's in the same area). After a couple minutes of searching I returned to Gottlieb's, as in front of it I had seen a granite Mason symbol. Hoping it belonged to him (maybe there was an arrow...) I started pulling the grass and weeds away... and found another tombstone for him! This one was older and had the same dates, but had his last name as "Fink." Why does he have two stones? This is a mystery …

Amanda's Excellent (Genealogical) Adventure (Day 1)

It began Wednesday at 6:40am. This is when I left my apartment and headed toward the inactive records center in Buffalo. I arrived shortly after their opening at 9am and was directed to the new CD version of the Buffalo death index, available for 1852 - 1944. Someone has recently scanned the book indexes and created pdf files that you can view on the computer. This makes it much easier for the workers, as they do not have to bring out the huge index books for every searcher who visits. I ordered death certificates for 4 of my ancestors, meaning I only could not find one I was searching for. I also ordered one for my great-aunt who died as a baby. These should arrive in my mailbox sometime next week.
I then moved on to birth indexes. It is here that I must thank Marvin, who happily lugged out 10 different index books for me to go through. He was the most happy and helpful government worker I have ever met. I ordered a couple of my ancestors sibling's records, as I am a big…

Old Marcellus Village Cemetery

As part of my RAOGK volunteering, I went to the Old Marcellus Village Cemetery in Marcellus, Onondaga, New York. An inactive cemetery located right in the middle of the village. This is my new favorite cemetery for a multitude of reasons, most shown here.
First, it has the following notice outside the cemetery gate:
Here rest the forefathers who gave so much character to the community that they founded. We cannot forget those old families, who built fine homes, lived wholesome lives and contributed in a large measure to the life of the community.
Here rests many a soldier of the American Revolution, of the War of 1812, of the Civil War, their warfare over. Here they all sleep among their kindred, waiting "till the day breaks and the shadows flee away."
There is no one to speak for or guard the remains of those interred in the heart of our village. There is no one to preserve the memories of and the legacy from our past. There is no one but us.

Postcard - London Pubs

In 2001, I had a friend who was studying in London for a semester. When I went to visit over Thanksgiving break we went on a pub crawl and I bought this postcard for my scrapbook. It is glued to the paper, hence no back available. I recall having a lot of fun on "Thanksgiving" night...

“It will remind you what a great person you are”

Please read this wonderful article on writing an autobiography/journal. A man with short-term memory lost works to remember by reading his autobiography. The link was posted by Kathy Gunter Sullivan on the RootswebTGF list.

Sons of England Benevolent (or Benefit) Society

The obituary of my 3rd great grandfather, Charles Whitehead, invited members of the Sons of England Benevolent Society to his funeral.
From what I can find online, this appears to be a society that helps lower class protestants from England in Canada get health insurance and burial plots in hopes of gaining support for the monarchy. As Charles was Church of England, I assume he was a member and helped others with these things. There are some microfilms available that have membership rolls, that would be interesting to find. I am also trying to find a book or website that explains this society in some depth, but so far have come up short. More information as soon as I can find it:-)


"Cherry" she would call and I would stand up from the porch step and run to the right, not touching the driveway, around the first tree, staying in front of the small the small flower garden, but out of the road, and around the second tree as she chased me. With her hand outstretched I just reached the porch. Safe... for now...
The thing I remember most about summers as a child was playing outside with the neighborhood kids. I grew up on a dead end street, with a girl my age named Tammy, her older sister Kelly, my younger sister Chris and a bunch of other people of similar ages.
During the day we would congregate on Kelly and Tammy's front lawn and play "pies."
For anyone who hasn't played this, there is the person who is "it." They have to come up with a category, such as pies, and all the other players think of a pie. The person who is it then starts naming pies, pumpkin, cherry, apple, strawberry rhubarb, and when they call yours you have …

Wordless Wednesday - Ralph, Carrie (Gress) and Ethelyn Williams

Ralph, Carolyn M. (Gress) Williams and their daughter Ethelyn. Carrie was born approximately 1871, so I would guess this picture was taken around 1900. I like the glasses on Carrie (hopefully footnoteMaven will, too:-)) and her dress.
Carrie is my great-great grandfather's younger sister. This photograph is in possession of my Aunt Lois and was scanned during my recent trip to Florida.

Genealogy Wise

Yes, I have a page... I am not sure how often I will be able to follow it (I can't even keep up with my Facebook groups, but I figure it is one more way to get my surnames out there.

Tombstone Tuesday - Beethoven

Beethoven's tombstone at Vienna (Austria) Cemetery. Even in the middle of January, visitors keep it decorated with flowers. Photo taken by Amanda January 2009.

New Header

I received a new header today from Deez of Cemetery Explorers. He has become the go-to header creator for geneabloggers for obvious reasons:-) Thank you so much Deez, I love it!!!

Wordless Wednesday - Lillian Eichhorn Casell

The only picture I have of my great-grandmother Lillian L. Eichhorn Casell

In Memory

Today would have been the 79th birthday of my grandfather, Robert Alfred Casell. This picture was taken approximately March 1983. I am on the left, just over a year old, and my cousin Erin is a newborn. Unfortunately, he died 29 May 1983, seven months before my sister, his 3rd grandchild, was born.
Growing up I would go through his scrapbook over and over and claimed it as my own at an early age (eventually, at least and before my Uncle's ever asked for it...). It has pictures of him, his parents and siblings, his wedding, my grandmother, his children, Erin and I, and the family tree he put together, as well as other ephemera. Upon his death my grandmother added items about his death, such as cards, flower decorations, etc. It is beyond a doubt what got me interested in genealogy, long before I knew what genealogy was. The start he provided from information he got from living relatives has been invaluable to the start of my search.
Happy birthday Grandpa! You're loved an…

Family History Center

On Thursday I make my second trip to a Family History Center. The first, many months ago, did not go well, as the volunteers weren't very friendly and I felt like a nuisence. As such, I put off going back, but my experience Thursday was FANTASTIC!
The volunteers were very friendly and helped me with everything I needed. In a few weeks I should receive the following items:
Parish Registers of Halstead (Kent, England) 1561-1900 Bishop's transcripts of Halstead 1813-1898 Abstract Index of books of Chippawa 1796-1955 RegistridelloslatocivilediRoccaromana 1866-1886
Hopefully, I'll be able to push my Whitehead line back another generation or two with the Halstead items and find Charles Whitehead and Mary Ann Hayman's marriage.
My Eichhorn line should make an appearance in the Chippawa index.
The Roccaromana, Italy records are rather scary for me, as this will really be testing my reading skills. I have my Italian words to know ready, now if only the Casillo's I need are list…

Freedom Isn't Free

Franklin and Lois Bowers, young couple on left
Franklin Bowers fought in World War II, as it was his duty. He died on the beach of Normandy, France, 9 July 1944, just 13 days before his 22 birthday and less thank 5 months after marrying his high-school sweetheart, my great-aunt Lois. According to Lois's mother Vera, Franklin saw the person who shot him and did not shoot back, as he would have been unable to hurt, let alone kill, someone. He was a kind and decent young man.
While I always knew I had an uncle who fought and died in WWII, it was only recently I learnt he died in the battle of Normandy. This battle plays such an important part in history classes throughout school, yet I never even knew it lasted for 24 days, as D-Day was always the topic of discussion. I was never able to understand how some many thousands of young men were able to jump into the water and run onto the beach, all the while knowing that they would probably not make it home.

I dedicate this entry in th…

"Just Make Up Some Lyrics" Challenge

Here is my entry to the "Just Make Up Some Lyrics" Challenge by Bill West:-)"They're Mine" to the tune of "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz
Well, you changed your name and you bet I lost youI tried to follow but you hid every recordYou fell right through the cracks, now I'm tryin’ to get you back before the night done run out I'll be givin’ it my best-est and nothin's gonna stop me but divine intervention I reckon it's again my turn to find that Eichhorn(Eichorn/Eichkan/Eckorn/Thorn)But I won't hesitate no more, no more, it cannot wait G-G-G-Grandpa Nicholas!Well open up that gedcom and see like me open up my email and new cousins for the treelook into you mailbox and you'll find vital recordslisten to my great aunts talk: Sanderson and Whitehead They're just perfect as can beSomeday I'll find the truth to those family mysteriesSo, Anna May/Elizabeth AnnSanderson/LawrenceI'll find you this time i'm sure Hiding at eve…

Family Lines: Maternal Branches

Thank you to Becky for this wonderful idea!
I mostly research my mother's family, as my father has an aunt and uncle who have traced a lot of his line. Here is where I am at currently. As you can see, I am currently trying to find many of my immigrant ancestors' parents. I am hopeful that next week when I go to Buffalo, I will find obituaries that assist in this. Please leave a message if you would like further information:-)
Casillo/Casell Alfredo Marco Casillo (Alfred Marco Casell) [1906-1981] and Lillian L. Eichhorn [1908-1938] ~ Buffalo, Erie, New York Marcantonio Casillo (Marco Antonio Casell) [1868-1937] and Carolina Izzo [1876-1934] ~ Italy > Buffalo, Erie, New York John or Peter Casillo [Unknown] and Angelina Unknown [Unknown] ~ Italy
Both Alfred and Marco legally changed their name to Casell. I am not entirely sure who Marco's parents are, these are the names I have found so far. According to my grandfath…

Wordless Wednesday - Sophia Gresz/Gress

This is a tin-type photo of my ggg-grandmother Sophia (unsure of maiden name) Gresz/Gress. Her granddaughter (my great-grandmother), Vera, looks like her, as does Vera's daughter (my grandmother) and me. It was amazing to see this photo to see how far back it goes. I'll do a photo spread here on that soon. Photo courtesy of my great-aunt Lois.

They Worked Hard for the Family

This is a photo of my great-grandfather William Herbert Whitehead, located in the back corner, when he worked for Socony Mobil "The Flying Red Horse" on Elk Street in Buffalo. He was the head clerk for payroll there, hence the nice corner desk:-) I believe this photo was taken in the 1950's. If anyone has relatives in the photo, please let me know so I can give you a copy. It is courtesy of my grandmother.

Obituary - Elmer J. Daniels

The obituary of my step-great grandfather. From an unidentified Buffalo, NY newspaper. Original in possession of my great-aunt Barbara.

Syracuse, NY City Directories

City directories are not a source I have used often, due to there not being many online and my not knowing that the Syracuse library has the Buffalo ones on microfilm (now that I know I may have to move into the library next week:-).
Yesterday I was looking up some people in the Syracuse city directories for a ROAGK person and found that not only do they list occupations and addresses, but marriage dates and to whom for women, death dates, who a women is a widow of and where a person moved to when they leave Syracuse. This is just amazing! Here's hoping other city directories are this fantastic!!!

Whitehead-Gress Wedding Announcement

This is the wedding announcement of my great grandparents, Vera Gress and William Whitehead, from an unknown Buffalo newspaper in late March/early April 1921 (They married 28 March 1921). We found this in a box of family items my great-aunt Barbara had on my recent trip to Florida to visit. I am planning on finding the microfilm of the newspaper to see what Vera's middle name is listed as, as she appears to have changed it at some point in her life.