Monday, June 25, 2012

Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum


Image from the Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum site

Yesterday, my husband surprised me with a trip to the Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum, which is located in Sodus Bay, on Lake Ontario. The lighthouse was originally built in 1824, but had to be rebuilt in 1871.  It became a museum in 1984.

The museum showed this history of the lighthouse, talked about Sodus Bay in the War of 1812 (every building except one was burnt down by the British), and showed beach fashion over the past 150 years.  Included with admission is a guided tour and this was one of the best tour guides I have ever had.  After the tour we walked to the top of the lighthouse which gives a great view of Sodus Bay.  In the gift shop, I purchased a Lighthouse Passport and got my first stamp.  I'm looking forward to visiting other lighthouses in the future.

After out tour ended, we wandered around the grounds a bit and looked at Lake Ontario.  Unfortunately, it started to rain, so we were not able to explore as much as we had wanted.  We then drove around the town a bit and headed home, stopping at a farm stand along the way.

If you are in the area, I definitely recommend checking out the museum.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New York Indexed in 1940 Census at

New York is now indexed for the 1940 census at

From Ancetsry’s webpage about this: “From upstate to downtown, New York was a busy place in 1940. The 11th state was number one in population with 13 million people. The eyes of the world were watching, too, as the World’s Fair landed here in 1939, and planes were landing at the new LaGuardia Field. What were your Empire State relatives up to in 1940?”

I know how I’ll be spending my Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday’s Tip: A Rose by Any Other Name

Having a hard time finding a person in an index that you just know must be there?  For women, make sure you always check their maiden name (particularly in passenger lists) or Mrs. Husband’s Full Name.  For birth records, always try “male” or “female” last name, as many infants were not named prior to leaving the hospital.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Barbara Fleeman Probate (Part 1)

I have found many probate packets for my ancestors over the years, most all small, just a will and a few pages of information from the Surrogate’s Court.  One probate packet that surprised me was that of my 4th great-grandmother, Barbara (Griss) Fleeman, who died 1 October 1870.  At 37 pages long, this packet includes legal proceedings that occurred for 3 years after Barbara’s death.  Written mostly in not-always-easy-to-read longhand, I will be transcribing a couple pages a week over the next couple months.  Italics are used to differentiate handwritten items.  Items in brackets are asides written by me.

Barbara Fleeman Probate_0001Barbara Fleeman Probate_0002

Erie County, SS. - To Jacob Sumers + Henry A. Swartz

By virtue of the power and authority given to me, I do hereby appoint you appraisers of the personal property of Barbara Fleeman late of the City of Buffalo deceased.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereto set my hand and seal of office, this 12th day of June 1872.  [Signature Unreadable] Surrogate.

Erie County, SS. – I Jacob Somers and I, Henry A Swartz do solemnly swear that I will truly, honestly and impartially appraise the personal property of Barbara Fleeman deceased, which shall be exhibited to me, according to the best of my knowledge and ability.

Sworn to this 1st day of July 1872, before me} H A Swartz [Signature] Jacob Somers [Signature] Edward Edge [Signature] Commissioner of Deeds for Buffalo

STATE OF NEW YORK, Erie County.}SS. I, Adam Fleeman Administrator of Barbara Fleeman deceased, do swear that the following Inventory is in all respects just and true; that it contains a true statement of all the personal property of the said deceased which has come to my knowledge, and particularly of money, bank bills, and other circulating medium, belonging to the said deceased, and of all just claims of the said deceased against me, according to the best of my knowledge.

Sworn before me, this 1st day of July 1872} Adam Fleeman [Signature] Edward Edge [Signature] Com of Deeds for Buffalo

A True and Perfect Inventory of goods, chattels, and credits of Barbara Fleeman deceased, made on the 1 day of July 1872, by Adam Fleeman Administrator &c., of deceased, with the aid of Jacob Somers and H.A. Swartz appraisers, duly appointed by the Surrogate' of the Count of Erie,

Articles for the Widow and Minor Children, set apart without appraisal, pursuant to the Revised Statutes: None

[Page 2]

In addition to above, we do inventory, appraise and set apart for the use of the Widow and Minor Children of said deceased, the following articles of property, ($150 in amount,) pursuant to the Statute of 1842, viz: None

We further certify that upon inquiry we could not find any personally property to appraise

Adam Fleeman [Signature]

H A Swartz [Signature]

Jacob Somers [Signature]

Source: Erie, New York, Probate Files, 7035, Barbara Fleeman; Erie County Probate Court, Buffalo.

Motivational Monday: June

It is hard to believe we are at the halfway point of the year already.  After hearing Elizabeth Shown Mills speak at NGS, I am focusing the majority of my time putting sources into my updated RootsMagic database.  Although most items are sources in my Legacy database, not everything is and there is almost no document transcription or comments on the validity of the document/information.  As such, I am trying to create a main database that will include all of this information and have decided that RootsMagic 5 is the best program for this.


  • Main focus: Sophia Possehl research strategy
  • Secondary focus: Continue basic search for the husband’s family (Ancestry, FamilySearch, etc.)
  • Search for tombstones for my husband’s family in the Utica area


  • Put all Whitehead family sources into RootsMagic.  All sources must be fully documented, transcribed and with comments as needed.
  • Dedicate one shelf on our bookcase to my genealogy notebooks


  • Watch all RootsMagic webinars of interest
  • Read the 4 genealogy books I have out from the library
  • Continue reading and taking notes on the NGS syllabus
  • Attend 3 CLRC library/archives workshops


  • Post at least twice per week on this blog
  • Complete at least 3 Find-A-Grave cemetery requests

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...