Monday, June 29, 2009

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
Registri dello slato civile di Roccaromana 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 listed:-)

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 the Carnival of Genealogy to my great-uncle who died while fighting for freedom and independence.

Photo courtesy of my aunt Barbara.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"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 you
I tried to follow but you hid every record
You 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 tree
look into you mailbox and you'll find vital records
listen to my great aunts talk: Sanderson and Whitehead 
They're just perfect as can be
Someday I'll find the truth to those family mysteries
So, Anna May/Elizabeth Ann
I'll find you this time i'm sure 
Hiding at every chance, 
Then no tombstone...
I've been spendin' way too long checkin' Ancestry in the library 
and changin' all the spellings just to try to find the answer 
But my crazy searches finally worked
and so I drew a new chart and happy-danced
I guess what I'd be sayin' is there ain't no better reason 
to search through old microfilms and in courthouses 
Genealogy’s what we aim to do 
our goal is our history
But I won't hesitate no more, 
no more, it cannot wait
I found you!
Casell, Casillo, Tross
Acquard, Nuwer, Gress and Bond
look into my gedcom and you'll find lots of family 
listen to me ramble of happy dances and brick walls
ah, la one big family 
even if they're black sheep, they're mine, mine, mine, mine 

But I won't hesitate no more, 
no more, it cannot wait 
They’re mine

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:-)


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 grandfather's family tree, Marco was from RocRoma, Caserta, Italy. No one in my family has been able to find this place, however, has many Casillo's listed under Roccaromana, Caserta, Italy, so this is a possible search option.

Lillian L. Eichhorn [1908-1938] and Alfred Marco Casell [1906-1981] ~ Buffalo, Erie, NY
William Fred Eichhorn [1874-1931] and Augusta M. Tross [1877-1939] ~ Ontario > Buffalo, Erie, NY
Charles Herman Eichhorn [1848 - ~1905] and Katharine Weiss/Wise [1869 - ~1905] ~ Germany > Chippewa, Welland, Ontario > Buffalo, Erie, NY
Nicholas Eckorn/Eickhan/Thorn [~1799-1878] and Dorothea Unknown [Unknown] ~ Germany > Ontario

Nicholas and Dorothea are still under investigation, but evidence keeps accumulating.

Carolina Izzo [1876-1934] and Marco Antonio Casell [1868-1937] ~ Italy > Buffalo, Erie, NY
Peter Izzo [Unknown] and Catherine Donufrio(sp?) [Unknown] ~ Italy > NY

Augusta Tross [1877-1939] and William Fred Eichhorn [1874-1931] ~ Germany > Buffalo, Erie, NY
Wenzel/Wesley Tross [Unknown] and Marie/Mary Crosshein(sp?) [~1843-~1913]~ Germany > Buffalo, Erie, NY


Emma Bond [~1812-1877] and Charles Whitehead [~1811-1887] ~ Knockholdt, Kent, England > Halstead, Kent, England
Richard Bond [Unknown - Bef. 1841] and Mary Unknown [~1798-1862]

Elizabeth L. Fink [1867-1957] and Jacob J. Gress [1869-1932] ~ Buffalo, Erie, NY
Gottlieb Fink [1838-1910] and Barbara Fleeman [1846-1929] ~ Württemberg, Germany > Buffalo, Erie, NY
John Finck [Unknown] and Barbara Killster [Unknown] ~ Württemberg, Germany

Barbara Fleeman [1846-1929] and Gottlieb Fink [1838-1910] ~ Buffalo, Erie, NY
Adam Fleeman [~1820-1889] and Barbara Gris [~1824-1870] ~ Hesse, Germany > Buffalo, Erie, NY

Vera Louise Julie Gress [1900-1976] and William Herbert Whitehead [1896-1965] ~ Buffalo, Erie, NY
Jacob J. Gress [1869-1932] and Elizabeth L. Fink [1867-1957] ~ Buffalo, Erie, NY
Joseph Gresz [~1841-1899] and Sophia Persales/Possehl [1846-1929] ~ Germany > Eden, Erie, NY > Buffalo, Erie, NY
Joseph Gresz [~1806-~1865] and Catherine Unknown [~1810-~1875] ~ Germany > Eden, Erie, NY

Mary Ann Hayman [1845-1877] and Charles Whitehead [1840-1902] ~ Halstead, Kent, England > Ontario
Thomas Hayman [~1799-1867] and Susan Whitehead [~1802-1867] ~ Halstead, Kent, England

William Herbert Whitehead [1896-1965] and Vera Louise Julie Gress [1900-1976] ~ Buffalo, Erie, NY
Charles William Whitehead [1872-1927] and Anna May Sanderson [1871-1928] ~ Ontario > Buffalo, Erie, NY
Charles Whitehead [1840-1902] and Mary Ann Hayman [1845-1877] ~ Halstead, Kent, England > Ontario
Charles Whitehead [~1811-1887] and Emma Bond [~1812-1877] ~ Halstead, Kent, England

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.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

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!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Whitehead-Gress Wedding Announcement

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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.

Belated Thank Yous

Thank you all for the congratulations and especially to those who gave my blog awards over the past month. I will be back to posting more as life has calmed down a bit:-)

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...