Showing posts from 2010

Advent Calendar - If Only In My Dreams...

"I'll be home for Christmas... If only in my dreams..."

Today's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories is a grab bag, so I thought I would talk about those times I was unable to be home for Christmas.  As a retail manager this has happened often.  While at FYE I would work Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas, so driving home was difficult with the 4-hour trip each way.  Now that I am at Starbucks, I often work Christmas, as they do not often find people and it means I get off Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, which is when my mom's family tends to get together.  Coming home to Buffalo when it is only 2 hours away is much easier.

Those years when I did not get to go home at all I was always very lucky to have friends who were like family that I could spend the day with.  Lauren, Sterling, Matt and Christmas Eve at Emily's parents' party, are the ones that stick in my mind most.  Now, I spend the day with my husband and in-laws.  It was always hard to be a…

Chrome for a Cause

For the next four days, you can donate books, trees, water, vaccines or shelter just by using the tabbed browsing in Google Chrome.  Just install a free extension, available here.  I will be browsing for Room to Read, one of my favorite charities and one I hope to work or volunteer with one day after I receive my library degree.

Blog Caroling - Oh Holy Night

My favorite Christmas Carol is "Oh Holy Night".  The best I have ever heard it sung was when I directed The Best Christmas Carol ever and, after the show finished, we had each of the kids line up along the auditorium with plastic light-up candles.  First, they recited the Christmas story that has become best know as Linus' speech in A Charlie Brown Christmas, turning on their candle as they said their line.  Then, in the candlelight, they sang Oh Holy Night a capella.  Unfortunately, the video camera didn't work that night, so it lasts only in our memory.  Here for your hearing pleasure, is Josh Groban's version:

This post is for footnoteMaven's Tradion of Blog Caroling.

Pearl Harbor Day: Marion F. Hubler

On Pearl Harbor Day, I will be remembering those who died in the attack.  I will also be thinking about those who survived, such as mu uncle Marion F. Hubler.

Here is an image of the muster roll for the quarter the attack took place of the ship he was on.

And here is a close-up of his name:

Source: Marion F. Hubler, muster rolls of the Ship Medusa (AR-1), 31 December 1941; Muster rolls and reports of changes, 1939-47; Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1798 - 2003, Record Group 24; digital images, Footnote, "Pearl Harbor Muster Rolls," Footnote ( : accessed 7 Dec 2010).

Advent Calendar - Christmas Ornaments

We always had quite the mish-mash of ornaments on our tree while I was growing up; a tradition that continues through today.  There were the paper and Popsicle stick ones my sister and I had made.  The ones that were knitted by crafty relatives.  A multitude of those made by Hallmark.  Even fun ones of national monuments that attached to the string of lights and would light up and make noise every time they turned on.

As I got older, I started collecting miniature ornaments.  I love the detail each one has.  I have a small tree, just over a foot height, that I decorate with them each year.

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: Week 48

This weeks 52 week challenge by Amy Coffin of The We Tree Genealogy Blog is:
Examine different online tools for cataloging your personal genealogy library and keeping track of the books you read. LibraryThing ( is a site where you can catalog and tag the books in your own personal library. It is a great tool for keeping track of the genealogy books you have. You can ever create tags for books you want to purchase. Good Reads ( and Shelfari ...( are web sites that help you keep track of books you have read. All three of these sites have social networking components. Your challenge this week is to browse these sites and see how genealogists use them. Bloggers, do you use any of these tools? How do you organize your own personal genealogy library?

I have been using Good Reads since I talked about it in a class presentation last fall.  It is very user-friendly; easy to add books, write reviews and create tags.…

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Katherine V. Tobin


I, KATHERINE V. TOBIN, residing at 404 Huxley Drive, Town of Cheektowaga, County of Erie and Stateof [sic] New York, being of sound mind and memory and aware of the uncertainty of human life, do hereby make, publish and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament, in mannor following:

FIRST: I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid as soon as practicable after my demise.

SECOND: All the rest, residue and remainder of my property, both real and personal, of every nature and wherever situate, whether owned by me now or here-after aquired, I give, devise and bequeath to my beloved brother and sisters, as follows:

CLARA E. BUSCH ["CH" written over "H" of original spelling of "BUSH"]




to be divided equally between them, share and share alike, survivor take all.

THIRD:  I nominate and appoint my beloved sister and brother, CLARA E. BUSCH ["CH" written over "…

A Letter For Grandpa

[caption id="attachment_654" align="aligncenter" width="291" caption="With my Grandpa Acquard (1985)"][/caption]

Dear Grandpa,

It's hard to believe it has been a year.  Time is strange, I have learned, sometimes it feels like minutes, sometimes decades, and when is far beyond my control.  Did you ever think about that?  Did you wonder when you grew old?  When your children and grandchildren grew up?

It has been quite a year.  Aaron and I got married about two months ago.  I put a poinsettia on the alter in memory of you.  I wish I had gotten to dance with you at the reception.  We got Grandma to dance a few times and I think everyone had a wonderful time.  I am glad you met each other a few times, that he can have memories of you, too.

I went to Germany for 4 months.  I know you always worried when I traveled alone, but I was careful, and went to amazing places in Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark and even Iceland.  I didn't get to any ances…

Workshop: Silent Voices: Telling the Stories of Your Female Immigrant Ancestors

Last week I was able to hear Lisa Alzo at the Cortland County Genealogical Society.  Lisa gave a workshop titled Silent Voices: Telling the Stories of Your Female Immigrant Ancestors.  As any genealogist knows, finding information on your female ancestors can be very difficult, namely because most records prior to the twentieth century focus on males.  One of the tips she gave was to focus on finding records for a woman's husband and siblings, as this can give you further information.

I really liked the idea that women are the household.  They raise the children, pass on traditions, and instill morals and values.  Home sources and oral history, therefore, are another wonderful way to learn about them.  I also recommend checking newspapers, especially the social columns, for information.  Addtionally, remember that women may have remarried.  I remember looking for Catherine Weiss Eichhorn's date of death between the census she was in and the one I could not find her in.  It turn…

New Blog: OCPL Local History & Genealogy Dept.

As part of my internship at the Local History and Genealogy Department for the Onondaga County Public Library, I have created a blog that will introduce you to their collections, databases, and exhibits, as well as examples of how to do research using the items they own.  You can read it here.

Aunt Beulah's Coffee Cake

This post is for the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.

[caption id="attachment_645" align="aligncenter" width="205" caption="Beulah Gress Hoppel"][/caption]

Every family has one, that amazing recipe that gets made over and over.  For my family it is my Great-Great Aunt Beulah Gress Hoppel's recipe for coffee cake.  I recall helping my mom make it as a child, being allowed to grind the walnuts in the hand grinder or beat the dough.  We only make it for major holidays: Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  On Easter we always had to make a few of them, as my mom hosts brunch every year and this is one of the favorite dishes.  It is the most delicious breakfast treat, especially with some butter on the side.

This is the version of the recipe my mom gave me:

From the Kitchen of Mom from Aunt Beulah

Recipe for Cinnamon and Nut Coffee Cake

Mix well in a large bowl:

1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/2 pint sour cream
2 …

Happy Early Christmas to Me!

For Christmas this year I asked for the graded option of the first CD of the NGS Home Study course from my mom.  Since I am a member and a graduate of their online classes, I received a nice discount, and my mother let me ship it to myself.  I had been hoping it would arrive by the end of November, but instead it took only 3 days (it would have been 2, but no mail Veteran's Day).

My aim will be on lesson every month, similar to my ProGen program.  I have begun looking over lesson 1 (I couldn't wait for Christmas) and am very excited.  It's mostly a review, but, along with the extra readings, it is a great reminder of the basics.  I will discuss each lesson as I turn in my assignments.

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Make Up Work

I have fallen slightly behind on my 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy prompts from Amy Coffin and wanted to catch up before week 46 is posted later today.

Week 44: Research ways to give back to the genealogy community. A great deal of genealogy information on line was put there by volunteers. This week, your challenge is to examine some different ways genealogists can donate their time and effort in kind.  Find-a-GraveRandom Acts of Genealogical KindnessFamilySearch Indexing, the World Archives Project,Unclaimed Persons and the USGenWeb project are all dependent on volunteer effort. Perhaps you’ll even discover a new tool to use. You do not have to volunteer as part of this challenge, just increase your knowledge of the available opportunities. Genealogy bloggers, are there any other online groups and organizations you can think of that may be of benefit to your readers?

I am a huge fan of many of these projects and have worked actively as a RAOGK volunteer in the past (I had to stop wit…

ProGen Business Plan Accomplished

Another month of my ProGen study group has been completed.  Our task for the month was to create a business plan following the guidance of our ProGen book and some online resources.  This was a difficult assignment for me, not the least of all because I was not planning on starting a business.

Now that I have thought about it so much (this assignment took me forever), I realize how great owning a genealogy business could be some day.  It would allow me to earn some extra money doing what I love.  With the money I could pay off my tremendous amount of student loan debt.

The November assignment is a continuation of the business plan, looking at contracts and such, which should be interesting and very useful.

Bar Coded Vital Records

Imagine getting a birth, marriage or death record with a bar code on it.  What would your first though be?  When I received my marriage certificate, my first thought was "Why on earth is there a bar code on it?"

Although not very pretty, some vital records now come with a bar code.  Much different that that old birth certificate of great-grandma's.  I tried doing some research online to figure out what it is for, but was unable to find anything.  My best guess is that it offers security, for example a person cannot change a date, as the code will offer the correct information when scanned.  In the future will genealogists be able to scan these codes and get further information than is shown on the record?  It is an exciting idea.

Has anyone else come across this?  Any ideas why?

Free Military Records on Ancestry this Weekend!

I received this email earlier today:

Find the heroes in your family tree for free through November 14th. Discover the stories of family members who served in conflicts ranging from the American Revolutionary War all the way up to Vietnam. Find out where they were in life when they joined the military. The roles they played in key battles. Even the color of their eyes and hair. It's all in the world's largest online collection of historical military records on

NYLA Workshop: Creative Programming for the Frugal Librarian

Last Friday I was able to attend one day of the New York State Library Association's Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York.  One of the workshops I attended was Creative Programming for the Frugal Librarian by Lisa Forrest of Buffalo State.

In the times of cut budgets, this workshop was particularly important to librarians, as was seen by participants outnumbering the chairs in the room.  Lisa started the session by discussing how librarians need to change the perception of libraries just being a building full of books to "a lively space for engaged learners."  It is our job as librarians to engage our patrons in their quest for knowledge.  We are all educations, teaching information literacy daily.

One of the best ways to engage patrons is through programming.  There are many programs that can be run for free or on a slight budget, such as book clubs, workshops, discussions and collaborations with other groups in the area.  Lisa focused most of her examples on t…

MSLIS Monday - Work/Life Balance for Grad Students

I have been hearing a lot about work/life balance recently.  There are workshops, articles on magazines, discussions on talk shows.  Yet, in all of these different discussions, no one has mentioned work/life balance for the graduate student.

I was once told that if you are a grad student who also works and has a significant other, say goodbye to your social life for the next 2+ years.  As I am nearing the end of my third semester, I tend to agree.  I have a husband, work 30 hours a week, do 10 hours a week at an internship, take 3 classes, am part of a ProGen group and am a blogger.  Other things I consider myself, such a a genealogist, reader, and traveler, have all but disappeared.  Blogging goes in spurts.  Cleaning falls by the wayside, except for laundry when I am out of clean undergarments.  I do not exercise as often as I should, sleep as much as I should or see friends as much as I would like.

To keep sane, I do allow myself to combine certain interests in my spare time, usually…

SNGF - Make a Genealogy Wish

Courtesy of Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  If you found a bottle on the shore, and it had a genea-genie in it, and rubbed it and you had ONE WISH to make about your genealogy and family history research, what would it be?

This is an easy one for me.  I would want to talk to my great-great grandmother Anna May (Elizabeth Anne) Sanderson Whitehead.  It is most likely that after being married and having a few children, she then left them, married my great-great grandfather, moved to Buffalo and had a whole other life.  I just want to know for sure if she did and then ask why.  No judgement, of course, people do what they need to do, just curious for the story.  I will post more about her for Madness Monday.

Wordless Wednesday - Notre-Dame Basilica, Montréal


Election Day 2010

It is time for the midterm elections once again.  I woke up bright and early this morning to drop Aaron off at his election inspector site at 5:30am.  Like many other New Yorkers, I could not help but smile at the "Rent is 2 Damn High" party listed on my ballot.

As a blogging prompt, Thomas MacEntree of the GeneaBloggerssaid "Today, November 2, 2010 is Election Day here in the United States with many local and national contests. Think about how voting and the right to vote has factored into your family history.  Or have any of your ancestors run for office whether it be local dog catcher or perhaps even President of the United States."

[caption id="attachment_604" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Robert Casell Entering Alden Town Hall as Supervisor"][/caption]

My grandfather, Robert Casell, was supervisor of the town of Alden for multiple terms in the 1970's. I was once listed in his campaign brochure as his first gran…

Amanuensis Monday - Election Day Edition


Robert A. Casell Victor In Race for Supervisor

Robert A. Casell, Democrat-Liberal, a locomotive engine man on the Penn Central Railroad for 17 years Tuesday, won the supervisor race in the Town of Alden after an unsuccessful attempt two years ago.  He captured 1,826 votes to 1,571 for Republican William L. Risher, a former mayor of the Village of Alden.

In the race for the four-year term as councilman, Republican Donald J. Donnelly, now completing his third term as superisor, and Democrat Gabriel P. Ciulla, won.  Donnelly who did not seek re-election as supervisor, had 1,798 votes, Ciulla, 1,809, Republican Everett J. Beyers, an incumbent, had 1,666, and Joseph Sank Jr., Democrat had 1,424.

Savage Is Victor

In the race for the two-year term as councilman, Republican Ronald L. Savage beat Democrat Robert Wojciechowski [next door neighbor to my grandfather, Robert Casell], 2,017 to 1,320.

Republican William S. Sivecz won the town justice post with 1,926 votes to 1,462 for Democrat Gera…

Happy Halloween!

Sorting Saturday - My eReader Makes Everything Better

I received a Sony eReader as a present a couple months ago (thank you Tara!!!) and this week I finally put a bunch of items on it.  I downloaded all the back issues of National Genealogical Society Quarterly (available to members on the NGS site), bought a new genealogical guidebook and created a pdf of my family tree and to do list and put them all on my eReader.

This has saved a lot of trees, a lot of space in my apartment and a lot of money, since eBooks are less expensive than paper copies.  Additionally, since my eReader fits easily in my purse, whenever I have extra time, I can easily read these items, furthering my genealogical education.  There are also highlighting and bookmarking features so that I can easily mark items of interest.

I also think this will be quite useful when doing genealogical research.  I am a paper and pen researcher, and obviously cannot bring all of my information when I go to libraries or court houses.  In the past I have come across names I know are rel…

SNGF - Halloween Personality

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver:
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:
1)  Go take the Hallowe'en Personality quiz at
2)  Post it on your own blog, as a comment on this blog, or on your Facebook page.
3)  Tell us if this is "right on" or note.  Have fun with it!

You See Halloween as Scary

You're a friendly person, but not the life of the party. You like making someone else's day - and you'll dress up if you think of a really fun costume.

You like to think of yourself as naughty. But compared to most people, you're actually quite mild.

Your inner child is open minded, playful, and adventurous.

You truly fear the dark side of humanity. You are a true misanthrope.

You're prone to be quite emotional and over dramatic. Deep down, you enjoy being scared out of your mind... even if you don't admit it.

You are a traditionalist with most aspects of your life. Yo…

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Honeymoon Food Fun

[caption id="attachment_591" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Restaurant Toqué!"][/caption]

I read that Wednesday's are also Wedding Wednesday, so I thought I would show and tell some of the food we had inMontréal for our honeymoon.  For dinner one night we went to Restaurant Toqué! which is amazing.  We had the tasting menu and the wine pairings.  That night the chef made such dishes as sea urchin soup, fried bone marrow and squab (pigeon).  Definitely items I would not order normally, but they were fantastic and served in very artful ways.  I highly recommend this restaurant if you are in town.

[caption id="attachment_590" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Poutine!"][/caption]

Poutine is a well known dish in Quebec.  It is french fries, gravy and cheese curds and DELICIOUS!

Although I did not get a picture, we also went to the Tibetan restaurant OM.  In addition to Tibetan food, they also have…

Amanuensis Monday - Carolina Casillo Will

Amanuensis Monday is a blog theme created by John Newmark at TransylvaniaDutch.  He defines amanuensis an 'a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

For my first Amanuensis Monday I have transcribed the will of my great-great grandmother, Carolina (Izzo) Casillo.

Will of Carolina Casillo

Erie County, New York

Will Book 123:559

Written 25 June 1934; proved 26 October 1934

“Last Will and Testament.

I, Carolina Casillo of the City of Buffalo, in the County of Erie and State of New York, being of sound mind and memory, do make, publish and declare this my last Will and Testament, in manner following, that is to say:

First.  I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid.

Second.  I give, devise and bequeath to my beloved children Amalia Berni and Alfred M. Casell the sum of One Hundred Dollars each.  To my children Angeline Frascelli, Lucy Murphy and Clara Catalano, I give devise and bequeath to each the sum of Fifty Doll…

MSLIS Monday - OCPL Archives Internship

I am currently at work on my newest internship, organizing the archive of the Onondaga County Public Library.  When I started, this was basically a hidden collection, the librarians knew it was there, but patrons did not and it was not organized or cataloged.  I have almost gone through the entire collection and there are fantastic items in there, like a letter from Laura Ingalls Wilder and the first public library of Syracuse.  Beginning this week, I will begin foldering and boxing the collection and then will create a finding aid.  My internship is scheduled through January.

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy – Challenge 43 – Source Citations

This week,  Amy Coffin says: "Week 43: Brush up on your knowledge of citations. The most detailed element of genealogy is also the most important. Take some time to review articles, books and web sites on the subject. If you have a copy of Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained, you can read it as part of this challenge. If you do not, consider getting the book, then review some of these pages and the links they contain: Genealogy Source Citations Quick Reference by Thomas MacEntee at (this is a PDF file), Citing Sources at Cyndi’s List and Documenting Your Research / Citing Your Sources at Bloggers, do you have a favorite book, web site or tool for helping you craft quality citations?"

I haven't taken part in this challenge in a while, but am glad I got back into it for this week in particular.  I am going over my copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  I have one professor in school who has us use Chicago style for our pape…

Sorting Saturday - The Beginning

I just learned about Sorting Saturday, created by Michelle Goodrum of  The Turning of Generations.  Looking around my apartment, it is clear that this is an excellent thing for me to become involved in.  Yesterday I ordered 2 legal sized 3-ring binders to hold the wills and other legal sized documents I have.  Today I went through my family tree program and began creating a list of research to do when my classes begin.

Based on todays post by Michelle Goodman, I am going to try to organize all the documents I have , a few at a time.  This includes checking if they are in my family tree program and then putting them into their proper binder.

Goal for the week: Organize all the documents I have in my big blue bin of genealogy chaos by surname over the next week.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Same birthday as yours?

This weeks SGNF from Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings:

1)  Is there a person in your genealogy database that has the same birth date that you do?  If so, tell us about him or her - what do you know, and how is s/he related to you?

2)  For bonus points, how did you determine this?  What feature or process did you use in your software to work this problem out?  I think the Calendar feature probably does it, but perhaps you have a trick to make this work outside of the calendar function.

According to Legacy's calender function, I am the only person born on 9 December.  I like being an individual;-)

Wordless Wednesday: Gress Siblings

Here are the oldest 5 of 7 children of Jacob and Elizabeth (Fink) Gress: Chester, May, Walter, Elsie, Howard.  It was taken approximately in 18671868, prior to the birth of Beulah in 1898 and Vera (my great-grandmother) in 1900.  I darked the photo as the original is quite faded.

Things I Don't Have to Think About Today

Please go read this brilliant post by John Scalzi.  And please think about it and pass it on to others to think about as well.

Why I have been MIA...

I got married 2 October to Aaron!  See you all after the honeymoon!

Video and media coverage of Saturday’s Quran reading

Posted on my ALA listserv:

Video and media coverage of Saturday’s Quran reading

Posted on September 15th, 2010 by Jonathan Kelley

On Saturday, September 11, ALA staged a reading from the Quran, in response to the high-profile threat to burn the book by a Florida pastor. The event demonstrated the library community’s commitment to intellectual freedom and belief that spreading knowledge and information is the best counterpoint to efforts to destroy or restrict access to it.

In 10 days, Banned Books Week starts. ALA will kick off this annual celebration of the freedom to read with a Read-Out! of the most frequently banned and challenged books of 2009. We hope those in Chicago will join us Saturday, Sept. 25 from noon-2:00 in historic Bughouse Square (901 N. Clark). Others around the country should check our website for events in your area.

We are pleased to share the video and media coverage of the Quran reading


ALA press rele…

Mashups for History

Lauren Pressley, one of my favorite library blog writers, had a post on archive mashups.  As someone who went to library school to work with local history, genealogy and archives, I adored the link she gave, which is called Ghosts of World War IIs Past.  Go visit this link... do not pass go... do not read further... just go view the images.

I have learned that I enjoy working with Web 2.0 and I am excited to see ways to use it in an archival setting.  History will become much more interesting and understandable by using methods such as this.  Imagine have augmented reality, where you are taking a walking tour and are able to view images such as this on your smart phone as part of your tour?  Or if you are at a historical society and have photographs such as those shown in exhibits, making you see how you and where you live is a part of history?

Some other photographs of interest:

Looking Into the Past

Do you have any other recommendations?  Please let me in the comments.  I lo…

BECPL Hispanic Heritage Subject Guide

Labor Day: What My Ancestors Did

I think a lot of beginning genealogists start their hunt with a hope of finding out they were related to Charlemagne or Cleopatra or some wealthy king who left money and a title that they are now entitled too.  I had always heard growing up that somewhere in Italy, I had an ancestor who was a cavalier.  While being related to a knight would be cool, I have much more in common with the ancestors I have found in relation to their occupation, than I would with a night in shining armor.

My English and German ancestors were farmers, laborers, and gardeners.  They worked each day, often for people wealthier than they were, in the fields or stables, taking care of plants and animals.  Each successive generation kept the same position until they moved to America.  In America, I had ancestors work on the railroad, as coopers, as construction workers, as homemakers, work on the Erie Canal, own and run bars and corner stores and hold office jobs for companies such as Sacony Mobil and New York Tel…

MSLIS Monday: Where have all the group projects gone?

I could tell I have become a true MSLIS student when I received my syllabus for my anthropology class in life histories and personal narratives and my second thought (after "wow ,this class is going to be AMAZING!") was "where are all the group projects?"

Every class I have taken for my master's degree, both in the US and Germany, is filled with group projects.  Whether pairs or groups of 10, I have come to expect and even enjoy the group project.  I have had my share of bad groups, such as the girl who told the rest of us that she wasn't going to help because she was busy with one of her other classes and didn't care much, nor had time for, this project (grrr...).  However, I have also had some awesome groups (shout-out to my 605 Charles Ammi Cutter Group!)  Even in the bad groups, you tend to find another person who has interest and works hard.  I also get to use my leadership skills (aka I organize the group and make sure everything gets done on time …

Library Card Sign-Up Month

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month!  Why should you get a library card?  ALA gives you 52 reasons to use one here.  My favorites are "Trace your family tree" and "Check out a special collection of rare books."  I would also add that you can research an upcoming trip or check out books for armchair travel, save money by borrowing books, DVDs and CDs and read magazines, rather than buying or subscribing to them or go to a game night.  I can guarantee there is something for everyone at the library.  If you haven't been there in a while, why not go back and see what's new?

Wordless Wednesday: Wedding of Albert Nuwer and Edna Roll

[caption id="attachment_533" align="alignnone" width="235" caption="My great-grandparents, Albert Nuwer and Edna Roll, married 22 June 1932 in Alden, Erie, NY"][/caption]

MSLIS Monday: Radical Reference

Have you heard of the Radical Reference librarians?  I read about them recently and realized I have found kindred spirits.  Their mission statement is "Radical Reference is a collective of volunteer library workers who believe in social justice and equality. We support activist communities, progressive organizations, and independent journalists by providing professional research support, education and access to information. We work in a collaborative virtual setting and are dedicated to information activism to foster a more egalitarian society."

It began prior to the Republican National Convention in New York City in 2004 and helped demonstrators and others with information ranging from where the bathroom is to what are the politicians backgrounds.  Taking reference to the streets to help people is a brilliant idea for me and shows librarians are so much more than just "shushers"  behind a desk.

There is a Syracuse Radical Reference Collective, although the page does…

Tombstone Tuesday: Eichhorn

Frederick W. Eichhorn, 1875 - 1932

Mary C. Eichhorn, 1886 - 1966

Anne N. Eichhorn, 1913 - 1990

Edward Eichhorn, 1909 - 1993

Located at Acacia Park, Niagara, NY

Geek the Library

How much money would the average person save by checking out books and movies from the library rather than buying them?
What is the most common use of public libraries since the start of the recession?
Do you support your library?

These questions are asked on the quick quiz when you first go to the Geek the Library site.  As a future librarian, I know the importance of public libraries; accessibility of information for everyone, a place the community can gather and learn, the ability to apply to jobs online for people who cannot afford the internet and many, many more things.

If you support libraries or want to see why you should, "get your geek on" and go to Geek the Library.

MSLIS Monday: Summers End

It is hard to believe I will soon be starting another school year.  I have ordered my books and am anxiously awaiting their arrival by the USPS and UPS.  I have always loved getting new books and school supplies, although my checking account tends not to agree.

I am tremendously excited by my class schedule this semester, which includes Introduction to Cultural Heritage, Life Histories/Narratives and Telecommunications and Information Policy (which is a required course).  I am also auditing three one-credit classes on budgeting, grant writing and fundraising.  As I am hoping to go into library management, I think these will be tremendously useful and interesting.  I am also completing my first of two 150-hour internships.

It should be a busy semester, but also a fascinating one, full of classes I am interested in and projects that will progress my skills and be useful in my future jobs.

Buffalo & Erie County Library System Faces Layoffs

Earlier today, the Buffalo News published an article entitled "Library system faces layoffs, closures due to budget shortfall."  They will be facing a $7 million shortfall in 2011 due to the county budget and other revenue losses.  The gap is "the loss of 145 full-time employees."  "Among the wide range of possibilities Quinn-Carey presented for discussion were accelerating the shift of purchases to online materials over more costly print, which she acknowledged is controversial; reducing staff hours, including leaving some desks unmanned for periods of time; sharing staff between branches and not anchoring books at branches to save handling and shipping costs."  Hopefully the library system will find ways to keep people employed and libraries open.

Wordless Wednesday: Edna Roll Baptismal Certificate

The baptismal certificate of my great-grandmother, Edna Roll

Tombstone Tuesday: Friendly Amidon

Friendly W. Amidon, 1900 - 1940, Acacia Park Cemetery, Niagara, NY, USA

MSLIS Monday: The World's Most Modern Library

In classes my first semester in graduate school, one of my professors continually brought up the DOK library in Delft, The Netherlands.  I imagine each of us students had a different idea as to what the "world's most modern" library was, but I was lucky enough to visit while on my semester abroad.

The town of Delft is wonderful.  Unfortunately my photos from the trip were corrupted, but there are a lot of photographs on Google images.  I was already in love with the town when I went to the library.  When I thought of modern, I thought technologically advanced.  It was in some aspects, such as automated book return instead of the boxes we have in America and video game units for patrons to play.  However modern here was more a feel.  It was colorful and vibrant, somewhere people actually want to come and hang out, not a boring, dingy building people come in when they need a book or to use the internet and then leave right away.

You can tell upon entering the library that th…

Surname Saturday: Weiss

1-John George Weiss/Wise
|--2-Katherine Weiss b. Apr 1849, , , , Germany, d. 9 Aug 1936, , , New York,
+Charles Herman Eichhorn b. 25 Dec 1848, , , , Germany, d. 25 Feb 1907,
Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
|--3-William Fred Eichhorn b. 22 Jun 1874, Chippewa, Welland, Ontario,
| Canada, d. 9 Mar 1931, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
|--3-Frederick William Eichhorn b. 14 Jul 1875, , , Ontario, Canada, d.
| 1932, (North Tonawanda, Niagara, New York, USA)
|--3-George Eichhorn b. 30 Aug 1878, Niagara, Niagara, New York, USA, d.
| 1928, (Cheektowaga, Erie, New York, USA)
|--3-Eichhorn b. After 1878, d. Bef 1884
|--3-Eichhorn b. After 1878, d. Bef 1884
|--3-Clara Eichhorn b. 9 Aug 1884, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA, d. Aug
| 1967, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
|--3-Charles Eichhorn b. Abt 1888, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA, d. Btw 1892
| - 1900, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
|--3-Marie Eichhorn b. 21 Dec 1891, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
+Charles M. Gorndt b. Abt 1841, Prussia, Germany

Wordless Wednesday: Albert Nuwer and Edna Roll's Wedding

My great grandparents Albert Nuwer and Edna Roll at their wedding 22 June 1932 in Alden, Erie, New York.

Tombstone Tuesday: Alfred Marco Casell

My great-grandfather, Alfred Marco Casell, 26 June 1906 - 25 January 1981.  In Acacia Park Cemetery, North Tonawanda, Niagara, New York.

MSLIS Monday: Archives Internship

I recently started my internship at the Archives of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York.  My job was to create a website for them so that researchers know what information they hold.  You can see it here.  Now that it is nearly finished, I will assist with other projects they have.

It is amazing to hold the parish registers from the 1800s in my hands.  As a genealogist, I tend to use microfilms from the Family History Center, so to see the original, even without a connection to my family, is still thrilling.  The more I work in archives relating to genealogy and history, the more I want to do this for a living.

MSLIS Monday: Semester 2 Complete

I completed my second semester of classes today! Although I still have a couple papers to hand in by next Friday, it is mostly done. Thursday I will be leaving Germany to go back to my life in Syracuse:-)

Over the next couple weeks I will be getting back into blogging and discuss a lot of what I learned over the past 4 months.

New Webpage & Blogs for Buffalo & Erie Co. Library

I love when I get emails about great new things to do with Buffalo genealogy.  Here is one from yesterday:

The Grosvenor and Rare Book Rooms of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library have new Web pages. Please visit to learn more about our local history, genealogy, and rare book collections. Mark Twain fans have a new page to consult: . Two new blogs are also associated with these Web sites. A Local History and Genealogy Blog: a Rare Book Room Blog:
Please pass this information onto potentially interested parties. If you should have any feedback or questions, please email me off list at the address below.

Fantastic Find Friday: Microsoft OneNote

I have a problem when it comes to my research log.  Well... logs...  I have started and stopped over a dozen research logs over the past couple years.  I will find this great form/excel sheet/word document set-up/family tree software idea, do it for a couple weeks or months and then stop.  I know I am not alone in this...

Needless to say I was thrilled to see How Do You Take Notes? On We Tree, by the amazing genealogist Amy Coffin (who is also a librarian:-))  Kelly, who's blogger profile is not yet activated, and Elyse Doerflinger, an amazing genealogist & blogger, both recommended Microsoft One Note.

Lucky for me, that is one of the programs I can download free from SU as an iSchool student.  Well, I downloaded it and the rest is history.  I am OBSESSED and use it for everything.  Sick of having a million little Word documents?  Make a new OneNote tab.  Forget to cite where you copied something from online?  No worries, OneNote does it AUTOMATICALLY when you paste something in…

Citation Listserv/Study Sessions Being Set Up

This went out on a lot of lists I am on.  I signed up, as someday I would love to be able to source things without my Legacy SourceWriter or thumbing wildly through EE.  Elizabeth Shown Mills even replied that she wants to be involved in case of questions that others can't answer.  Hope to see some of you there!

I've set up a restricted yahoo group called SourceCitations.  What I'm planning is a moderated study session group, restricted to those who don't have a high level of confidence in the writing of source citations.  It will not be like TheoryGen (which is completely wide open as to content and membership).  It won't be a place to debate the BCG or professionalism or anything along that line.
I think I'm well placed to moderate such a group because I have 25 years of experience with research methods, both historical and genealogical, and yet I have a strong interest in really taking a detailed look at source citations.  The idea would be a round table serie…

Footnote's Civil War Records Are Free Through June

Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy site Footnote is making its Civil War records collection free through the month of June.

This is a great opportunity to begin researching your Civil War ancestor (right in time for next year's sesquicentennial of the war's first shots). Get started searching the collection at <>. You'll need to register for a free Footnote basic membership to gain access to the records.

Footnote’s Civil War records, digitized through a partnership with the National Archives and Records Administration, have information on both Union and Confederate soldiers. Among the records are:

Union and Confederate service records for many states (these records are being added as they’re digitized)
Widow’s pension files (records are being added as they’re digitized)
Emancipation documents and slave records
Confederate amnesty papers and citizens files
Lincoln assassination investigation and trial papers
Civil War photos and maps

A good first ste…

SNGF: Feeling lucky?

A fun Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy at Genea-Musings

1) Go to and enter a search term and click on the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.
2) Try your name, your local society, favorite genealogy terms, whatever you want. Do at least three, and as many as you want if you have time. Be creative! Have fun!

3) What did you learn from this exercise?

4) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, as a comment to this post, or as a Note or comment on Facebook.

Mine is through, as it is the default in Germany

"Amanda Acquard" - My Facebook page

Genealogy - (so weird)

"Amanda's Athenaeum" - (my friends post where I am listed on her blogroll.  Ironically, I gave her the idea for this post)

"amanda genealogy" - (looks like a nice site)

"acquard …

Surname Saturday: Tross

This is pretty much the same as last week, with my direct ancestors in red.  I really need to work on this line...

–1-Wenzel Tross d. Bef 1900|

+Maria Strassheim b. 18 May 1841, Eberstadt, Giessen, Oberhessen,|   Darmstadt, Germany, d. 18 Feb 1921, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA

+-2-Balthasar Tross b. 19 May 1869, Eberstardt, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany|

–2-Elise Tross b. Abt 1876|

–2-Katharine Tross b. Abt 1877|

–2-Augusta M. Tross b. 6 Sep 1877, , , , Germany, d. 1 Jan 1939, Buffalo,|    Erie, New York, USA|

–2-Heinrich Tross b. Aug 1875, , , , Germany|

–2-Philip Tross b. Abt 1883, , , , Germany, bur. 30 Oct 1958, Cheektowaga,|    Erie, New York, USA

Old Buffalo church to be Reborn in an Atlanta Suburb

As many of you know, I am from Buffalo and over the years I have seen more and more things in the city close and heard stories of what it had been like there in the '40's when my grandmother was growing up compared to now.  I am unsure of my feelings by the news that people want to take "99-year-old St. Gerard's" out of Buffalo and move it to an Atlanta suburb, where it will become Mary Our Queen in Norcross.

So many Catholic churches have been closing over the past decade in Buffalo (as in all of western and central NY from what I have seen), so it is a nice idea to give the building new life again.  So many of the closed churches are just crumbling to the ground due to the rules the church has put on who can purchase them.  It is so sad to see the lifeless buildings, particularly those people want to purchase but are not allowed to.

The problem, however, is summed up in the following quote by Buffalo Council President David Franczyk, "You can't strip-min…

Wordless Wednesday: Rostock, Germany


Tombstone Tuesday: Marienkirche, Rostock, Germany Part 2

Here are more tombstones from Marienkirche.  I also posted some last week.

[caption id="attachment_402" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Top of crypt"]

Closeup of Skeleton

[caption id="attachment_408" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Interesting tombstone carving"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_405" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Interesting Tombstone"][/caption]

EU Chooses 2014 Capitals of Culture

The EU chose its 2014 European Capitals of Culture on 22 May: Umeå (Sweden) and Riga (Latvia).  This program is currently in its 25th year and the current Capitals of Culture are Essen (Germany), Pécs (Hungary) and Istanbul (Turkey).

For more information go here.

Surname Saturday: Strassheim

My direct ancestors are in red.

1-Jacob Strassheim
+Catherine Argin
|--2-Maria Strassheim b. 18 May 1841, Eberstadt, Giessen, Oberhessen,
|    Darmstadt, Germany, d. 18 Feb 1921, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
+Wenzel Tross d. Bef 1900
|--3-Balthasar Tross b. 19 May 1869, Eberstardt, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany
|--3-Elise Tross b. Abt 1876
|--3-Katharine Tross b. Abt 1877
|--3-Augusta M. Tross b. 6 Sep 1877, , , , Germany, d. 1 Jan 1939, Buffalo,
|    Erie, New York, USA
|--3-Heinrich Tross b. Aug 1875, , , , Germany
|--3-Philip Tross b. Abt 1883, , , , Germany, bur. 30 Oct 1958, Cheektowaga,
|    Erie, New York, USA

Fantastic Find Friday - Letter from a great-great aunt

One of the biggest helps in research is always information from those who researched before you.  This is a transcription of a letter I found in my grandfathers' papers regarding his grandparents.  Although some of the information was not quite correct, it helped tremendously and provided a great starting point that would have taken me much longer to get to.
Aug. 3, 1978
Dear Bob + Maryln [sic] + family,
I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed each and every one of you.  I really hated to leave this time.  I am holding you to your promise to come see us here.
Now, as to the dates you want on your Grandfather Casell.  His correct name on his marraige license is Marcantonio Casillo.  Born Jan. 11, 1868[.] He passed away some time in Dec. 1938.  I think he was buried at Bflo. Cemetary [sic].  They should have the exact date.  He became a Citizen of the U.S. Oct. 24, 1892, age 24.  Married Carolina Izzo, Dec. 5 1901.  She was 25 and he was age 33.  I had to have all this informat…

Complimentary membership for all NGS members

I just received this tremendously amazing email.  I will let you know what I think of in the next couple weeks after I try it out.

Dear Member, we've got some great news!

As part of a special partnership between the National Genealogical Society and, all NGS members will receive a complementary three-month membership to ($20 retail value).  You don't even need to enter your credit card, and the membership will not renew without your expressed permission. is a relatively new family history website, but they’ve already managed to compile over 1.2 billion records, online family tree tools, a community forum, and lots of other resources – all of which are available at no cost to you as part of your complimentary membership.  Your membership includes unlimited viewing of millions of original census and vital records. However, some services and documents provided by other companies to such as contact informat…

Wisdom Wednesday: Marienkirche, Rostock, Germany

Yesterday I posted some images of tombstones located inside Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church) in Rostock, Germany.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="343" caption="Image used with CC attribution to from Wikipedia Commons"][/caption]

Marienkirche was Rostock's parish church from 1265 - 1531, when it became an Evangelical-Lutheran church.  It is best known for its medieval astronomical clock, built by Hans Düringer in 1472 and which calculates the date of Easter through 2017


They also a beautiful bronze baptismal font that dates back to 1290.


Tombstone Tuesday: Marienkirche, Rostock, Germany

I took a lot of pictures of the tombstones in Marienkirche in Rostock, Germany, and will be posting them the next few weeks for Rombstone Tuesday.  They had some of the most interesting carvings I have even seen on tombstones.  The first image appears to be a medusa-type image, though that may be incorrect.  The second image is a moon and star.  The third was the most interesting to me, hence the close-up of the skull with flowers growing out of the top.  These stones date from the 16-, 17- and 1800's.  Tomorrow I will post on the history of Marienkirche.

SNGF - Time Capsule

This weeks Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings

1) Go to the dMarie Time Capsule Website -

2) Select a date in your family history that you want to know about. You might pick a birth date or wedding date of your parents or grandparents.

3) Enter the date into the search form, and select the news, songs, toys, books and other things that you want to feature.

4) Share the date, why you picked it, and the results of your Time Capsule study on your own blog, in a comment to this post, or in a comment or post on Facebook.

I chose 26 January 1869, the day my great-great grandfather Jacob J. Gress was born.

Top headlines were:

Feb 2 - James Oliver invents the removable tempered steel plow blade   Feb 3 - Booth theater at 23rd & 6th opens in New York NY (Romeo & Juliet)   Feb 6 - Harper's Weekly publishes 1st picture of Uncle Sam with chin whiskers   Feb 15 - Charges of Treason against Jefferson Davis are dropped   Feb 19 - US Assay O…