Friday, April 30, 2010

Fantastic Find Friday - Marcantonio Casillo Birth Record

Not only is this a Fantastic Find Friday, it is also my 200th post:-)  My first foray into foreign language records was to try and find my gg grandfathers Italian birth record.  In addition to getting incredibly lucky that the woman volunteering at the FHC was an expert in Italian records, the record was also exactly where it should be!  That doesn't happen too often, especially when dealing with birth records.  I was also excited when, written in the margins, was a note telling his marriage date and the town it occurred in.  I am told this happens rather often in Italian records, but I had never heard of it before.  I wish other cultures did that as well;-)

(Sorry for the blurry photos)

Roccaromana, Caserta, Italy, "Anno 1868 Comune di Roccaromana Provincia di Terra di Larone Registro dell e Nascita Ufficio," (Archivio di Stato, Caserta, e nel Tribunale di Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Caserta), 1868 Nascita, Marcantonio Maria Casillo; FHL microfilm 1,801,953, item 2.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Summer is Coming!

A view of the North Sea (the dark blue in the middle of the picture) at the beach in St. Peter-Ording, Germany.  It was a beautiful day at the beach, it is finally getting in the 60's here - hopefully summer will come soon! For an even better view, check out their live webcam:-)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky Tour

Today I went on a tour of the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky (State and University Library of Hamburg).  The library was originally founded in 1459 and celebrated its 650 year anniversary last year.  The original building burned down during WWII and they unfortunately lost a lot of their original books at that time.  Their current building still has a couple beautiful rooms,such as this one:

As a state library, they automatically receive a copy of all items published, both in paper format and digitally, in the state of Hamburg.  They have millions of books, with those published in the last 10 years available in the open stacks.  Older items are available by ordering them and are available to pick up in 24 hours.  Students in Hamburg can borrow books free of charge, but other residents must pay a fee of 20 Euro a year to use the library (common in Europe).

I was most impressed by the large amount of textbooks they had.  Students can then borrow them for assignments, rather than having to purchase them as we do in the US.  They have also created their own catalog, which seems very user friendly.  It is named Beluga.

The most amazing part of the tour was being taken to the 17th floor, where they have an outdoor patio with a beautiful view of the city.  It was a fantastic tour and very interesting to learn the differences between this library and the ones in the US.

You can take a virtual tour here!

Tombstone(less) Tuesday - Adam Fleeman

Adam Fleeman, Abt. 1820 - 25 Nov 1889
He is to the left of the tombstones in the foreground, as he has no tombstone.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

SU ALA Student-Chapter Office, 2010-2011

I have just received word that I am one SUs ALA Student-Chapter officers for 2010-2011!  I was really excited when they put out the calls for officers and hoped I would get one of the few positions open.  The other 2 officers are Claire and Rose, two of my favorite classmates and I can guarantee with the three of us the programming will ROCK next year!  Field trips, speakers, workshops... so many ideas and so little time!  If you are an iSchool student, be sure to let me know what YOU want to do next year so we can make sure to include it!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fantastic Find Friday - Casillo Passenger List

My great-great aunt Lu wrote to my Grandpa Casell back when he started doing genealogy research and included that when she got her passport, the passport office found the passenger list of her father's (Marcantonio Casillo) first trip to the US with his father Pietro when Marcantonio was 17.  Over the years I have tried to find this passenger list and never managed to, wondering if it was an incorrect family legend.  Then I searched for Pietro on and there it was!  It was so exciting to prove this piece of family history.

"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," online images, ( : accessed 10 Apr 2010), manifest, Elysia, 11 May 1887, M. Casillo, Year: 1887; Arrival: New York, United States; Microfilm serial: M237; Microfilm roll: M237_506; Line: 16; List number: 540.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Buffalo Library Local History Subject Guide

The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library Database News Blog announced today the newest subject guide, that of Local History.  It offers databases, community and local links, and library materials.  They also have a genealogy guide that can be used in conjunction with this.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Madness Monday - Census Problems

Welcome to my first Madness Monday post!  Over the weekend, I was catching up on some census additions to many people in my database and found few people who appear to have been abducted by aliens for the day in the early 1900's...  Looks like it is time to start reading line by line.  If you have come across them in your research, please let me know:-)

Katherine Weiss Eichhorn, b. 1849 in Germany and daughter Marie b. 1891 in Buffalo, should be listed on the 1910 census.  I have found Katherine's 4 other living children, her future spouse, Marie's future spouse, but no Katherine and Marie.  My next step is to look at Buffalo city directories to see where they lived and look line by line.

Clara Eichhorn, b. 1884 in Buffalo, should be listed in the 1900 census as a 16 year old.  Her family is there, who she was listed with in 1892, but no Clara.  She isn't with her future husbands family and I cannot seem to find her as a servant, which is my best guess as to her location.

Surname Saturday: Passel/Possehl/Persales

Each Saturday this year I am posting one of my surnames, going in alphabetical order.  This weeks surname is Passel, which I have also seen as Possehl and Persales.  The names in red are my direct line ancestors.

1-John Passel b. Abt 1803, , , , Germany
 +Dorothea b. Abt 1813, , , , Germany
|--2-Friedricke Passel b. Abt 1840, , , , Germany
|--2-John Passel b. Abt 1843, , , , Germany
|--2-Sophia Passel b. Jan 1846, , , Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, d. 27 May
|    1928, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
|   +Joseph Gress b. Cal 9 Aug 1841, , , , Germany, d. 18 Feb 1899, Buffalo,
|    Erie, New York, USA
|  |--3-Louisa Gress b. Feb 1867, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
|  |--3-Jacob J. Gress b. 26 Jan 1869, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA, d. 11 Aug
|  |    1932, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
|  |--3-Carolyn M. Gress b. Abt 1871
|  |--3-John Gress b. Abt 1873
|  |--3-Eli Gress b. Abt 1875
|--2-Carl Passel b. Abt 1852, , , , Germany
|--2-Line Passel b. Abt 1856, , , , Germany

Friday, April 16, 2010

BallinStadt - Port of Dreams - Part 3

See Part 1 & 2 for the introduction and tour of building 2.

Building 3 offers a reconstruction of a sleeping hall from 1910.  Once the emigrants arrived in Hamburg, this was where they waited for their ship to arrive.  According to the museum, after the long trip the beds here were rather luxurious.

After walking through this room, you arrive in the gift shop.  For 6 Euro I bought a guide to the museum (they are available in German or English), which has a lot of information and many of the fantastic photographs you see at the museum.  I look forward to adding it to my collection of genealogy books when I get home.  There is also a cafe if the tour has made you hungry or thirsty.  I left the last building and walked over to the Elbe, trying to picture the giant steamships that once passed by.

I want to finish this blog series by giving my sincere thanks to Joan at Roots'n'Leaves.  She has been one of my air chair traveler readers and was the person who told me about this museum.  I am so glad, as the idea that they would have an emigration museum here never crossed my mind.  Thank you Joan, this was the most interesting place I have gone to on my trip this far!  Please check out her fantastic blog!

BallinStadt - Port of Dreams - Part 2

For the the introduction to BallinStadt, please look here.

Upon leaving building 1 with ticket in hand I headed to the main exhibition, located in building 2.  The photographs and documents to look at were numerous.  Many items had English explanations, which was very helpful, and there were "telephones" you listened into to hear an "emigrant" tell their story.
I was most interested in those that were near the years my ancestors left Germany.  Hearing of the trials and tribulations faced and the courage shown was amazing

There were a bunch of advertisements from the eighteen and nineteen hundreds on going to America and New York.  I bought a couple postcards featuring these and there are also posters available in the gift shop.

The "ship of dreams" is the next portion of the building.  Questions are on poles on either side of the ship, with answers written on the ship.  My favorite answer to "What are you taking with you?" is hope.  People left their homelands, family, friends, all they had ever known with the hope of a better life in America.  It was not easy.  Even getting to Hamburg from where ever they were from was an adventure.  They then had to wait in the emigration halls until their ship arrived, take a multiple week boat ride across the Atlantic, pass the examinations in New York City and, possibly, take a train to their final destination further inland in America.  We complained over the 7.5 hour flight with 2 layovers.  I cannot even imagine the fortitude and determination these people had.  Hope would be the only way you could survive.  After walking around the boat you enter building 3, which I will talk about in my next post.

BallinStadt - Port of Dreams

As I walked the two blocks from the Veddel S-Bahn stop to the BallinStadt Emigrant Museum in Hamburg, I stopped in from of the first sign and felt tears welling up in my eyes.  As I stared at the boats and other signs along the past to the entrance of emigrant families, it hit me: this is where, in 1859, John and Dorothea Passel and their 5 children, ages 3 - 19 left for a new life in America and where, in 1884, Maria Strassheim Tross took her 6 children, ages 11 months - 9 years, and 3 pieces of baggage and set off to meet relatives in Buffalo, New York.  I was standing in the place where they last saw their homeland of Germany, filled with hope, but nervous about the strange new land they would soon embark upon.

BallinStadt is a set of three reconstructed buildings, located on the Elbe River's Veddel Island, where the Emigrants Halls once sat.  Although what my ancestors would have seen would have been much different, since these buildings were not build until 1896 - 1907, the exhibit has information from 1850 until the present day.  Building number 1, actually the last building you come upon, is the entrance and also holds a multitude of computers with free access to  This allow patrons to search for their ancestors in records which include the Hamburg passenger lists.  Being in German, I could not do any research, but I did get a shot of the passenger list with the John Passel family.
I will post part 2 of this, on the main exhibit building, shortly.

Fantastic Find Friday - Peter Berni Passport Application

Fabulous Find Friday is a new meme I am going to do to post some of the records I have found that were either important, helped break down a brick wall or interesting to me. This may also include stories from relatives, items from books I have read or useful websites. If you are interested in joining in on the fantastic-ness, please do and post a comment so I can come look at your find:-)

Peter Berni married my great-aunt, Amelia Casillo. I keep in contact with their granddaughter, my second cousin once removed, who has some amazing photographs she has shared with me. While filling in some gaps in census records on Ancestry over the weekend, I came across his passport application from 1924. I have never before found a passport application for a relative and after I saw what was included on the record, I wish some of my ancestors had traveled.  I particularly love the photograph, the fact that it lists the town he was from in Italy, which had been previously unknown and the affidavit from my g-g grandfather Marco A. Casillo about Amelia's birth certificate.  This is another reason I love cluster genealogy, I would have never found this had I just looked for my direct-line ancestors.

"U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database and images, ( : accessed 10 Apr 2010); Pietro Barne [Peter Berni], no. 452037, issued 30 June 1924; citing Passport Applications, January 2, 1906-March 31, 1925; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1490, 2740 rolls); General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Oude Kerk, Amsterdam

I posted pictures of some tombstones yesterday from the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam.  Here are some photos of the rest of the church.  For more information on the church, visit their website.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Oude Kerk, Amsterdam

The Oude Kerk (Old Church) is located in Amsterdam's red light district.  The entire floor is made up of gravestones, most containing only a carving of a religious symbol, no name.  The most famous tombstone belongs to Saskia van Uylenburgh, the wife of Rembrandt.  As you can see from the above sign, I was unable to see this due to the renovation work currently being done.  Their website has a fantastic page of the graves in flash, with pictures, inscriptions and who is buried there.  It is available in English.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Surname Saturday: Izzo

Each Saturday this year I am posting one of my surnames, going in alphabetical order.  This weeks surname is Izzo.  The names in red are my direct line ancestors.

Descendants of Peter Izzo
1-Peter Izzo b. , , , , Italy
 +Catherine Donufrio b. , , , , Italy
|--2-Caroline Izzo b. 3 May 1876, Calvi Risorta, Caserta, Campagna, Italy, d. 2
|    Oct 1934, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
    +Marcantonio Maria Casillo b. 11 Jan 1868, Roccaromana, Caserta, Campania,
     Italy, d. 26 Nov 1937, Colden, Erie, New York, USA
   |--3-Amelia Angela Maria Casillo b. 14 Jun 1903, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
   |--3-Alfredo Marco Casillo b. 28 Jun 1906, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA, d.
   |    25 Jan 1981, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
   |--3-Angela Casillo b. 28 Jun 1906, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
   |--3-Lucia Marian Casillo b. Dec 1910, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA, d.
   |    1993, , , California, USA
   |--3-Clara Casillo b. Abt 1914, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA

Surname Saturday: Template

Each Saturday this year I am posting one of my surnames, going in alphabetical order.  This weeks surname is Hayman.  The names in red are my direct line ancestors.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Google Earth Helps Find an (Ancient) Ancestor

Google Earth Helps Scientists Discover New Species of Early Man according to the post on Mashable today. The new early man species, Australopithecus sediba is most likely a descendent of Australopithecus africanus.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter Memories

Growing up, I always spent Easter the same way.  I would wake up very early and go to sunrise Service with my grandmother.  The youth group put on the service each year, and it was always my favorite, very contemporary with a play and upbeat songs.  We would then head to the fellowship hall where there was a small brunch.  Following brunch we went to the 8:30 service put on by the paster and then I went to Sunday School.  After Sunday School I would rush home and my sister and I would search for our Easter baskets.  I never liked searching and wished the Easter bunny just left them out like Santa Claus.  At noon my mom's family would come over for a big brunch with coffee cake, sausage, bacon, scrambled and hard-boiled eggs, toast, coffee and juice.  It was always quite the feast.  Sometimes I would then organize an egg hunt or we would just play.   Near the end of brunch my dad would come get my sister and I and take us to my grandparents.  Dinner usually with them, almost always ham.

This year I will be far from home for Easter, but I will be thinking about these memories and looking forward to attending brunch again next year.  Happy Easter to you and yours!

Census Day 2010

It is Census Day 2010!  Make sure you fill out and mail in your census form so you can be counted and future generations can find you.  This is the first census I am in, that I am not at my parents house, so having this is very exciting.  Before you mail it in, make a copy so that your descendants do not have to wait until 2082 to see it.

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...