Thursday, April 30, 2009

New York Gravestones

Lamb's Tree, Two has a fantastic link today:  They are trying to get all the tomb stones for New York state.  Part of the Gravestones Photo Project (GPP), there are also sites available for Massachusetts, Oregon and Utah.

According to their site: "The mission of this project is to capture digital images of gravestones of our ancestors. As decades pass-- many stones are becoming harder, if not impossible, to read the inscriptions they originally contained. 

By archiving the images, we can help save these important records and also assist researchers using this valuable resource."

I do not see any of my ancestors yet, so time to start editing my photos to their specifications and adding them.  The specifications alone are worth visiting the site:

I only wish that all the tombstone project sites would get together to form a comprehensive site, instead of having to check and add to all the known sites.

The Erie Canal

"Map of the Canal, and Profile of the Canal" -- from: Marco Paul's Voyages & Travels, Erie Canal / by Jacob Abbott. (Harper & Brothers, New York, c1852) -- frontispiece.  From

In writing a post on local history, I thought it interesting to connect my current location, Syracuse, NY with where I grew up, Buffalo, NY.  Buffalo is also where my ancestors settled and stayed for generations.

The Erie Canal is well known in upstate and western New York as the reason cities such as Buffalo, Albany, Utica and Syracuse became prime trade locations and grew so large.  Connected to each other by 363 miles of hand- and horse-dug canal.  The Canal ended at the Hudson River, where ships head to New York City.

Known as Clinton's Folly, then governor DeWitt Clinton dreamed up the project and used his political savvy to have it created.  No one believed something of that mass could be created.  The canal was built between 1817 and 1825.  The Erie Canal is what made New York City America's largest and busiest port as it connected it to the west.  According to, "Cities along the route boomed. The population of Syracuse, a swampy settlement of 250 people in 1820, grew to more than 22,000 by 1850. The city's salt industry supplied half the nation's salt.

The Erie Canal lasted until the 1920's, due to the rise of railroads and highways.  In Syracuse, the Erie Canal is now Erie Boulevard and is has the Erie Canal Museum.  Other parts have trails for hiking, biking and snowmobiling.  One can also take a canal boat ride which even goes up and down on the locks.  I highly recommend taking a trip if you ever get the opportunity.

Just this week I learned from my great-great-great grandfather Gottlieb Finck's death certificate that he was a canal lock tender.  It is thrilling to know that my family played a part in such an important part of our country.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

(No) Tombstone Tuesday - Adam Fleeman

My 4th great grandfather, Adam Fleeman, does not have a stone.  The top photo is around his final resting place and the grass above is where he is located.  Died 25 Nov 1889. Buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, NY.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Madness Monday: Anna May Sanderson

Outside of a small genealogy project in elementary school, the first time I was introduced to finding your family history was when a woman contacted my grandmother and all of her sisters in regard to Charles and Anna May Sanderson (my great-great grandparents). She believed they Anna was her grandmother and had been married prior to being with Charles, had 3 children, then left them, married Charles, changed her name and left Canada for Buffalo.

Unfortunately, my family decided not to pursue it at the time. Luckily my grandmother saved everything and I have been trying to figure out if she was correct. I have also been in contact with her to exchange additional information. I wanted to see if I came to the same conclusion.

Information I originally had:
  • Anna May Sanderson died in Buffalo, NY the 29 Apr 1928
  • According to her death certificate she was born 17 Jun 1881 in Burlington, Ontario and her parents are William and Unknown Sanderson both of Burlington. Informant was her son, Hobson Whitehead.
  • Her obituary is as follows:
WHITEHEAD-In this city, April 29, 1928, Anna M. Whitehead (nee Sanderson), wife of the late Charles H. Whitehead and mother of William H. and H. Whitehead and Mrs. Raymond Gross; sister of William Sanderson and Mrs. Freeman of Burlington, Ontario, and Gertrude Sanderson of Galt, Ont. Funeral from residence of her son, H. Whitehead, 1971 Baily avenue, Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock. Friends are invited to attend.
  • Her (assumed) brother William's obituary as follows:
The funeral of William H. Sanderson was held from Southall's funeral home on Friday afternoon last. Reverand C.F. Heathcote officiated and the pallbearers were: William Abbs, Hobson Whitehead, Carl Jennings, Samuel Parkin, Herbert Risk, and William Whitehead. Interment took place in Greenwood Cemetery.

Hobson and William are Anna's children. According to William Sanderson's tombstone his wife's name is Sarah A. Douse.

The search:

  • With her siblings names I searched ancestry for a female Sanderson and male Freeman, William Sanderson's and Gertrude Sanderson's marriage record. I found Mary Jane Sanderson and Samuel Freeman and William Sanderson and Annie A. Doucet. The parents on both of these were John Sanderson and Mary Alwood. I then checked Elizabeth Ann Sanderson and Wilmur Lawrence's marriage record, which had the same parents listed. There were no other records with the same parents.
  • I then asked a RAOGK to check to find a marriage record for Anna May and William Whitehead, as I have been unable to find one. She too was unable to find one.
  • Looking at Canadian census records for John and Mary Sanderson to try to find Anna May.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book Swap

Has anyone checked out the PaperBack Swap?  A friend recommended it to me and so far it is fantastic!  You post books (paperback and hardcover) you no longer want and ship them to people who do.  You then can choose books from others and they send them to you.

You get 2 free book credits for signing up and posting 10 of your books.  You then get one for every one you send out.  There are a few genealogy books and a lot of history and travel ones.  I think we need to get more genealogy books up there!  There are a lot of people who have them on their wishlists...

If you do sign up, please use me as a referral and ask me to be a buddy: amandaea129

Enjoy the inexpensive books and helping the environment!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fantastic Research Worksheet

Genealogy Gems News has a wonderful research worksheet which goes with the genealogy proof standard.  The best part - it's free!  Check it out here!

Probate File - Carolina Casillo

Carolina (Izzo) Casillo died 2 Oct 1934 in Buffalo, NY.  She left part of her estate to her children Amalia Berni, Alfred M. Casell, Angeline Frascelli, Lucy Murphy and Clara Catalano.  The majority was left to her husband Marco A.

Her estimated personal worth was $ 1400.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Family Search Correction?

My great-great grandfather is listed in the FamilySearch International Genealogical Index and a Pedigree Resource File with the incorrect death date.  I cannot seem to find a way to correct this.

He is Jacob Gress, died 11 Aug 1932, Buffalo, NY (married to Elizabeth Fink).  The death date listed, 25 Apr 1957, is actually for a Jacob Gross, of no relation.

Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cemetery Findings - Forest Lawn

Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, NY is a huge, beautiful cemetery.  Founded in 1849, according to their website, it is well known for people such as President Millard Fillmore and Red Jacket being buried there.  According to my grandmother, it was where everyone who lived in Buffalo was buried.  Her parents, William Herbert and Vera Julia (Gress) Whitehead are in the Chapel and on Monday we got assurance that three other ancestors are also there.

While home for my cousin's daughter's christening Sunday I was able to add another day to visit Forest Lawn.  According to the pedigree resource file, my ancestors Adam Fleeman and Jacob & Barbara Fleeman Fink were buried there.  My grandmother also found out her grandmother Elizabeth Fink Gress is buried there.  I was hopeful that Adam's wife Barbara, Barbara's husband Gottlieb and Elizabeth's husband Jacob would also be located there.

Adam, Barbara and Elizabeth were indeed there, but where, of where, are their spouses?  Luckily, I will have two of the death certificates soon, so I can find them.  It was rather amazing that they were in three consecutive sections, which made life rather easy.  Also interesting as Barbara is Adam's daughter and Elizabeth is Barbara's daughter.  We will be going back soon, hopefully when it's not raining, as we were unable to find Elizabeth's grave site.  I will save photo's of the other two for future Tombstone Tuesdays.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

FamilySearch Update - 1892 NY Census beginning to be indexed!!!

The following ennouncement made by FamilySearch is very, very, very exciting to me!  I can't wait to jump on and help index the 1892 NY census and can't wait even more for Buffalo to be put online.  I have searching it on my to-do list, but I always seem to come up with something else to research when I get to the library in Buffalo (about once every couple months).  This will make my life so much easier, as well as so many others.  Off work tomorrow, so indexing here I come...

There are many new, upcoming, and completed indexing projects to report in this update. There are 12 new projects (see Current Projects chart below). These include three Belgian and two Argentina projects. The New York 1892 State Census project will be of great interest to many people. FamilySearch could not do all of these great initiatives without the great time and effort contributed by so many terrific volunteers. Thank you for your continued support.

Current FamilySearch Indexing Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion

d style="color:rgb(38,38,39);vertical-align:top;font-size:12px;margin:0;padding:0;">English
Argentina, Buenos Aires 1855 CensusSpanish(New)
Argentina Censo 1869–Catamarca y La RiojaSpanish(New)
Argentina Censo 1869–Corrientes y Entre RiosSpanish


Arkansas County Marriages VEnglish20%
Australia NSW Newspaper CuttingsEnglish88%
Belgium–Antwerp Foreigners IndexDutch, Flemish27%
Brandenburg KirchenbücherGerman49%*
España, Lugo–Registros Parroquiales [Part 1]Spanish16%
España, Ávila–Registros ParroquialesSpanish78%
France, Coutances, Paroisses de la MancheFrench9%
Germany, St Petersburg Church Records 1833-1885German1%
Illinois, Cook County Birth RegistersEnglish(New)
Italy, Trento Baptism Records, 1784-1924Italian60%
Mexico Censo de 1930–SinaloaSpanish(New)
Mexico Censo de 1930–SonoraSpanish88%
Mexico Censo de 1930–TabascoSpanish70%
Mexico Censo de 1930–TamaulipasSpanish(New)
Minnesota 1895 State CensusEnglish74%
Missouri–1920 US Federal CensusEnglish(New)
Nevada–1920 US Federal CensusEnglish89%
New Mexico–1920 US Federal Census75%
New York 1892 State CensusEnglish(New)
Nicaragua, Managua Civil RecordsSpanish13%
Norway 1875 Census part 1Norwegian10%
Perú, Lima–Registros CivilesSpanish10%
Rhode Island 1925 State CensusEnglish(New)
UK, Cheshire–Land TaxEnglish58%
UK, Cheshire–School RecordsEnglish44%
Ukraine Kyiv 1840-1842Russian10%
Venezuela Mérida Registros ParroquialesSpanish1%
(*This percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)

Current FamilySearch Partner Projects

Arkansas Marriages IVEnglish(New)
Australia–Victoria Probate RecordsEnglish31%
Belgique–Registres des Décès - Charleroi 1851-1900Dutch, Flemish(New)
Belgique–Registres Des Décès (Français)French21%*
België–Overlijdens Registers–In het NederlandsDutch, Flemish74%*
België–Overlijdens Registers–Kalmthout 1851-1900Dutch, Flemish(New)
België–Overlijdens Registers–Mechelen 1851-1900Dutch, Flemish(New)
Bremer, SchifflistenGerman42%
Flanders Death RegistrationFrench, Dutch, Flemish76%*
Indiana Marriages, 1882 to Apr 1905English82%
Indiana Marriage Returns, 1882 to April 1905English31%
Nova Scotia, Antigonish Church RecordsEnglish72%
Ohio Tax Records–2 of 4English71%
Vermont Militia RecordsEnglish37%

(*These percentages refer to a specific portion of a larger project.)

Upcoming Indexing Projects

Look for the following projects coming in the near future (Note: These projects are currently being created. Dates when indexing is scheduled to begin will vary.)

  • Arkansas Marriages VI
  • Arkansas Marriages VII
  • Australia, Bounty Immigrants, 1824-1842
  • Australia, Greenwich, Genealogical Records
  • Austria, Vienna Population Cards
  • Brazil, Pernambuco Civil Register 1900-1920
  • Brazil, Rio de Janeiro Marriages 1900-10
  • Canada, British Columbia Birth 1854-1903
  • Canada, British Columbia Marriages
  • Chicago Archdiocese Cemetery Records 1 (1864-1989)
  • Czech, Litomerice Church Records - Part 1 1552-1905
  • Freedmen Marriages
  • Germany, Baden Church Books 1810-1869
  • Germany, Mecklenburg 1890 Census
  • Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates 1
  • Indiana, Allen County Marriages 1811-1959
  • Jamaica, Trelawny Births
  • Peru, Lima Civil Register Index 1910-1930

Recently Completed Projects

(Note: Recently completed projects have been removed from the available online indexing batches and will now go through a final completion check process in preparation for future publication.)

  • Argentina 1869 Census–Cordoba y San Luis
  • Arkansas Marriages III
  • Michigan–1920 US Federal Census
  • Nayarit–Censo de Mexico de 1930
  • New Brunswick 1871 Census
  • New Hampshire–1920 US Federal Census
  • New Jersey–1920 US Federal Census
  • Nova Scotia–1871 Census
  • Ontario–1861 Census
  • Rhode Island 1915 State Census
  • UK – Cheshire Parish Registers part 1

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tomb Sweeping Day

On The Peripatetic Graveyard Rabbit 's blog today is a post about Tomb Sweeping Day in China.  In China this is called Qing Ming and has been celebrated since ancient times.  It is a solar holiday, which is usually celebrated April 4, 5, or 6.

On this day, the Chinese honor their ancestors, clean their grave cites and leave items such as food and drink.

It is mentioned in much literature, including the Vietnamese epic poem The Tale of Kieu, as follows:
Swift swallows and spring days were shuttling by
of ninety radiant ones three score had fled.
Young grass spread all its green to heaven's rim;
some blossoms marked pear branches with white dots.
Now came the Feast of Light in the third month
with graveyard rites and junkets on the green.
As merry pilgrims flocked from near and far,
the sisters and their brother went for a stroll.

I plan on celebrating Monday.  I will visit some ancestors graves and clean them up after the long winter.  I hope you have the opportunity to do so as well.


Vital Record Madness

In NY, vital record copies for genealogical research are $22 each.  This has made me, unfortunately, do a little at a time, when I had the money.  Recently I ordered two death certificates for $44.  Now, I grew up in the same county in NY, where my ancestors had stayed since immigrating to America.  My family still lives there and yesterday my grandmother went to the county clerk with a list of 10 death certificates I need (plus 3 I don't have exact dates for yet) and was told they would be $10 each!  She therefore is getting 4 and a half for the price I paid for two!  I understand that if they mail them to me I should have to pay for postage, but $12 for a stamp?  Really??

Even if I had driven a couple hours each way to get them it would have been cheaper... and faster - she should have them by Tuesday and NY state can take over 5 months.  

Has anyone else found a similar problem?  It seems rather peculiar to me.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Citing Sources - Quick Reference Card

As any genealogist who has been working on their family history for a while will tell you, citing your sources is of utmost importance.  I have experience first-hand the problems created when others did not.  One example is the 5-generation chart I inherited from my grandfather.  It has names, some dates and general places for up to 3 generations of his ancestors, as well as his children's names, spouses and his first two grandchildren (only my cousin and I were born prior to his death).

It is a treasure to have this information and most of it is proving true, however it is not sourced.  Therefore, I have to go through a lot of searching to find information he had gotten first hand from relatives.

Please do not make your descents redo the research you have done.  Properly cite your sources on all forms you have.  If you need information on citing, Thomas MacEntree at GeneaBloggers has created a quick reference card.  Also, pick up either of Elizabeth Shown Mills source citation books and you can use a source writer, such as the one available on Legacy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Back to Basic: July

July went quick! GRIP  went virtual! I attended (most) of the sessions in Documentation and then continued my citation work with my ProGen a...