Showing posts from May, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The Frisco Club, Buffalo

The Frisco Club, Buffalo, NY.  Marked are Elizabeth (Fink) Gress with her children Chester and May.  In the background are the words “Blackrock Market.”“Lois – Grandma at the Frisco club, she help the boys – Chester, Walter + Howard.  they belonged to it + the mother’s always helped.  I was about 14 years old, thought you might like it.”  Assuming this was written by May, the photo is from  approximately 1904.Photo scanned from original owned by my great Aunt Lois 25 May 2009.

Memorial Day: Franklin Bowers

In memorandum of my great uncle, Franklin Bowers, who gave his life in service for this country 9 July 1944 in Normandy, France, just 13 days before his 22 birthday. (He is the young man on the left).Photograph and burial information courtesy of my Great Aunt Lois, 26 May 2009.

Research Plan: Where is Sophia's town of origin?

Sophia Possehl/Passel Gress is my 3rd great grandmother.  Here is my problem analysis and work plan, Elizabeth Shown Mills style, to find her town of origin in Germany.Written by: Amanda E. Perrine ( to: Own FilesDate: 17 May 2012Subject: Sophia Possehl/Passel's German town of originQuestion: What town in Germany was Sophia Possehl/Passel born in?Known FactsInformationSourceShe immigrated from Germany, arriving in NYC 16 Nov 1859. 1. Joh. Passel, farmer, 56, male. 2. Dorothea Passel, wife, 46, female. 3. Friedricke Passel, daughter, 19, female. 4. Joh. Passel, son, 16, male. 5. Sophie Passel, daughter, 14, female. 6. Carl Passel, son, 7, male. 7. Line Passel, daughter, 3, female.database, ( : accessed 16 Jun 2009), Sophie Passel; citing Port of New York records.Birth: 29 Jan 1849 in Germany. Death: 27 May 1928 in Buffalo, Erie, NY. In US 72 years [1856]. Father: John Possehl, born Germany. Mother: unknown, …

The Loomis Family of Sangerfield, NY

I attended a presentation at the DeWitt Community Library on the Loomis Gang of Sangerfield, NY.  It was presented by Sue Greenhagen and Darothy DeAngelo, who are sisters, genealogists and historians, and whom I have heard before at their Oakwood Cemetery walks.
Although I tend to think I haven’t been in the central NY area for long, it has actually been about a third of my life.  In all that time, I had never heard of the family gang that lived in nearby Sangerfield.
In 1638 John Loomis and Mary White left England and settled in Windsor, CT.  They had 8 children and all were pillars of the community for many years.  Their fifth son Deacon John had a son named Sargent Daniel, who had a son Daniel, who had a son Daniel, who had a son Lieutenant Daniel, who in 1779 had a son, George Washington Loomis.  George was not such a model citizen and eventually moved to Sangerfield to escape the police.  Here he met Rhoda Mallett and had a large family.
The family was known for crimes such as s…

Thrifty Thursday: Vital Record Purchases

Purchasing vital records can become an expensive proposition for genealogists, especially when you need them for FANs as well as your direct line.  One way I have found to decrease the cost is to go directly to the vital records office in the town or city the person was in when the event occurred.  I have saved $10 per record by doing this, which quickly adds up.

NGS 2012: Final Recap

It is hard to believe that one week ago the NGS conference began.  This was the largest genealogy conference I have attended and I look forward to many, many more.  Here are my general thoughts on the conference and recommendations for the next one:First of all, I ask attendees in the future to please be polite to each other.  I had doors slammed in my face because people were in too much of a hurry to wait 5 seconds and hold them open and the commotion surrounding full sessions, with people shoving, cutting in line past people waiting much longer and being just plain rude, is not necessary.  It’s just genealogy people.  If all else fails, I’ll give you the $12 to buy a recording to listen to later.  Also, remember to wear comfy shoes, bring a water bottle and snack bars, get enough sleep and take care of your biological processes in a timely manner.  These things will keep you in a much friendlier place.In that same vein, please NGS, have Elizabeth Shown Mills give her presentations …

NGS 2012: Final Day

It is hard to believe how quickly Saturday came.  The three morning classes this day were the ones I had most been looking forward to.  First, I went to Railroad Men and the Records They Left Behind by Patricia Walls Stamm.  My paternal grandfather, his father and his grandfather all worked for the railroad, as did others in his line, so I was looking forward to learning more about the records available for them.  What surprised me the most is that railroad papers traveled with the person in charge of them. You have to look everywhere to find out who currently holds the archives for a particular railroad.  Most railroads have historical societies which can also help with these records.My second session was Research Reports for Ourselves:More than a Research Log Presented by Paula Stuart-Warren.  I think everyone was surprised by the packed house for this lecture.  It was quite apparent that I am not the only one who does not, as Ms. Stuart-Warren said, treat her work as well as I woul…

NGS 2012: Day 3, PM

My first session of the afternoon on Friday was Making the DNA Connection by John Pereira of  This was a discussion on Ancestry’s new DNA test.  It looks interesting, but I really need to do more research before making a DNA test purchase.  There is a waitlist for this test and it is available only to members of Ancestry.comMy last session for today was Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion: Catholic Church Records by Dave Schroeder.  Having recently begun searching for my father’s side of the family and my husband’s mother’s family, Catholic Church records are going to be tremendously important.  I was pleasantly surprised by all of the information available on the records and that records are available beginning in the last 1800s.  Check with diocese archivists to see if records are available.  And remember, a small donation to the church never hurts.After the session was over, we headed to dinner where I gave a brief beginning genealogy lesson to the server, who was interested…

NGS 2012 Day 3, AM

It was hard to believe on Friday morning that the conference was half-way done.  I had learned so much already and some of the sessions I had been looking forward to the most were over the next two days.
I began day 3 with Printed Legends and Missing Footnotes: Dissecting 19th and 20th Century Compiled Genealogies by D. Joshua Taylor.  Most genealogists come across a compiled genealogy which is unsourced.  Surprisingly, these are not always correct  It is important to verify as much of the information as possible.  Additionally, remember that just because a like does not have a + next to it does not mean the line ends, they just did not have information on them, something I have found in my Perrine research.  My favorite tip from this lecture was to look for reviews of the book in its contemporary journals.  I had never thought of this.  This is a great lecture for purchase if you are wondering what to do with compiled genealogies about your family,
My second session was on Facial Re…

NGS 2012: Day 2, PM

My afternoon on Thursday began with the Palatines to America luncheon feating Marianne S. Wokeck on “Framing Genealogy: How Family Research Enriches the Ways in Which We See the World".” (If anyone has a copy of the syllabus, please let me know, I was not able to snag one.)  I really enjoyed her talk, particularly the idea that how a person remembers a place changes based on age.  If you moved away at 8, everything in your mind will be bigger due to your small size.After lunch, I headed to German Marriage Laws and Customs by Warren Bittner.  I wish I could go to the Palatines to America conference to hear more from him.  This was a fascinating presentation, full of great photographs on the power point slides.My key takeaways were on “stands” in German society (similar to an Indian caste), to look for word "dispensation" on a marriage record, because the diocese may have much more information on the couple trying to get married and that there was a time when religious ce…

NGS 2012 Day 2: AM

Day 2 (Thursday) of the NGS conference began in a much nicer fashion than day 1: not much actual gridlock on the highway and I arrived in time for the first session, which was on BCG certification.  As this is on my 5 year plan, I thought I should get some basics.  I only stayed for the first half of the session (it ran through 2 session times), but learned a lot.  It is time to go through the manual with a fine tooth comb, up my research reports and work on friends research so that I can practice writing “client reports”.

After this, I headed to Indexes! Indexes! Indexes! How to Find People Who Don't Seem to Be There! with Elizabeth Shown Mills.  This was my first time seeing her speak and I was quite impressed by her presentation.  My favorite part was when she mentioned that “Cassell” can be indexed as “Cafell”, which I am hoping will help me with my Casell (but often spelled Cassel or Cassell) ancestors.

The best strategies she gave, in my opinion, was to use wildcards for vowel…

NGS 2012 Day 1, Morning

I spent the first hour of the morning on the parking lot known at the I-75 trying to get to the opening session at 8am.  Sadly, I missed the beginning of this session, but luckily heard Patricia Van Shaik speak on the Cincinnati Panorama of 1848, a daguerreotype.  I can not even begin to tell you how much I love what the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County have done with this photo; in fact, this type of project is the reason I went to school for my MLS.  You can explore the photo from their website.  If all libraries offered sites like this, with photos and historical information, our genealogies would be so much richer (side note: if your library needs an MLS to do this, I’m available!)

At 9:30 the exhibit hall opened.  I went in about 5 minutes late, as I was sitting next to a set of doors they never opened.  My first trip around the the hall was cursory to look at books I may want, people I may want to speak with and to get badge ribbons.  I was able to talk to Chris W…

NGS 2012 Day 1, Afternoon

After lunch Wednesday (which will receive it's own post later this week), I attended Fitting the Pieces Together: A Case Study in City Research by F. Warren Bittner, CG.  This was one of the best presentations I have ever seen.  Mr. Bittner is a wonderful presenter and his presentation was good for all levels of genealogists, in my opinion.  This is one I would recommend purchasing the CD for.Bittner started with a basic overview of the genealogical proof standard and then put it into practice with a case study on his New York City ancestors.  The main takeaways from this lecture are that the address a family lived at in a city is one of the most important items you can have.  The second is that indirect evidence which comes from comparing documents tends to provide the best proof of identity.  Lastly, always make sure every statement you make is cited.  My favorite quote was that that when looking at  “complex evidence: Compare sources, resolve conflicts, must include a written p…

Family Tapestry: Integrating Proof Arguments

My first workshop on day 1 of the NGS conference was “Family Tapestry: Integrating Proof Arguments” by Jeanne Larzalere Bloom.  As you will notice, the majority of the lectures I am attending are on proof arguments and writing, and this was a wonderful introduction to both.All genealogists should be writing proof arguments for every step of their research.  It is tremendously important to remember that the proof argument is not a final, written-in-stone document, but rather a statement of where you are in your research at this point in time.  Looking at it in this way makes writing proof arguments much less overwhelming that the grandiose essay I had in my mind.Bloom discussed her adaption of the Toulmin Model for genealogy.  First, we need to start with the evidence found an exhaustive search.  We use this information to build a proof argument and, finally, a proof summary.  It is important to remember that the entire point of a proof summary is to answer the research question you po…

FamilySearch Media/Bloggers Dinner

On Tuesday night FamilySearch sponsored a Media/Blogger dinner.  It’s not every day that you get to eat dinner with Paul Nauta of FamilySearch, the AncestryInsider, Leland Meitzler, Pam Schaffer, Sandra Benward and Denise & Scott Richmond (who I met on the Legacy Cruise in October).  I also met Ruth Blair, who shares my blogiversary and DearMyrtle said my business car was pretty (I can die happy now).The main discussion was on the Community 1940 Census Project.  There are over 460 blog ambassadors for this program (including myself) and they are looking for more!  If you are interested and at the conference, there is a special offer where you can sign up and write a blog post and receive a very nice gift.Over 101,000 people have volunteered as indexers and arbitrators, which is how 30% of the census has already been indexed.  This is likely the largest community indexing project and we can only hope to see more of these in the future.  Remember, if you index two batches while at t…

BCG Education Fund Workshop

The BCG Education Fund sponsored a full-day pre-conference workshop at the NGS conference today.  There were two parts, Dr. Thomas W. Jones on “Editing Your Own and Others’ Genealogical Writing” and Melinde Lutz Byrne on “Editor’s Ink: Writing for Genealogical Journals.”For the pre-lunch session, I attended Dr. Jones’ lecture.  “Polishing is the greatest part of writing” according to Dr. Jones, it is also the hardest part.  When you begin writing you can start with anything: key terms, a description of what you want to say or full sentences.  If you cannot come up with anything to write, you probably should not be writing.  It is where you go from here, all the polishing, that is the difficult part.I was amazed that as an NGS Quarterly editor, Dr. Jones routinely cuts 25-50% of the words sent to him.  The main rules for publication, after having interesting and well-done research, is to be concise, choose simple words and have a logical sequence.After lunch, I attended Melinde Lutz By…

Planning for the NGS Conference

A hoard of genealogists is descending upon Cincinnati today to attend the 2012 National Genealogical Society Conference.  In order to make the most of your time, it is important to pre-plan your conference, or at least the first day.  Luckily, NGS has made a multitude of tools available to help in this planning.Syllabus, Daily Schedule and Exhibitor ListingThe syllabus and daily schedule of events are available as PDF files on the NGS website for conference attendees.  By going through these, you can decide which lectures you want to attend during each time period.  Important items to keep in mind:Is the speaker one you want to hear?Is the topic important to your current level and interests as a genealogist?Is the session being recorded?  If there are two sessions you are interested in and one is being records and the other isn’t, go to the one that isn’t and purchase the recording for the other.Is the syllabus specific or general?  If the syllabus gives you a lot of information on a …

NGS Conference Begins in 1 Week

In one week, the pre-conference workshops begin for the NGS Annual Conference in Cincinnati.  This will be my first national genealogy conference and I am very excited to be one of the official bloggers!  I will post daily about the workshops, lectures and special events I attend, as well as general information about the conference and Cincinnati.Will you be at the conference?