Showing posts from November, 2010

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…