Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

Well, I haven't updated here in quite a while, but I've posted these for the last few years and want to keep it up.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? Ordered books with other people's money.  In my new job, I'm in charge of collection development for adults; it's a dream come true.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I'm not a fan of resolutions; I much prefer a word of the year.  My word for 2015 was "passion"n and I wanted to focus on things I love and leave the rest behind, both in action and in stuff in our apartment.  I did pretty well with this, though it's a work in progress.  In fact, my 2016 word, "Connect," is a continuation of the passion idea.  I want to connect more with my family and friends and with myself, particularly in terms of my health and my hobbies.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Calvin, Ava, Charlotte, Harrison, Nora, and Anna (who just arrived and was a bit early; please keep her & her family in your thoughts!) were welcomed into the world.  I also found out about quite a few babies coming in 2016!

4. Did anyone close to you die? This was a hard year with my uncle dying way too young, and then my husband's uncle dying a few months later.  We also just found out that my cousin-in-law's father just passed away.  My husband's boss also died too young.

5. What places did you visit? My big trip was to Honolulu for work.  I went to conferences in Chicago and Washington, D.C for work and went to GRIP outside of Pittsburgh for fun.  For vacations we hit Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and Niagara Falls.  We also spent lots of time around Central and Western New York and visited friends in Oneonta.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?   I'm keeping the same answer as last year, since I didn't do either: a trip to see friends in NYC and a trip abroad.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? December 1st, when and I started my first official librarian job.  March, when we lost my Uncle Brian.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?   Getting the job as the assistant director at a local public library.  

9. What was your biggest failure? ***

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I had pink eye for the first time ever.

11. What was the best thing you bought? My robot vacuum.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My husband, who could write a book on loving a strong, independent woman with wanderlust.  My mom, gramma, and sister for all their help with Julian.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The majority of the Republican presidential candidates and people who can't comprehend why our gun laws are inane.

14. Where did most of your money go? Daycare.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Julian becoming such an amazing talker.  He has whole conversations and is so inquisitive.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2015? Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon, (This Ain't No) Drunk Dial by A Thousand Horses [Concert with my sister], Vienna by Billy Joel [Concert with Aaron & friends], Girl Crush by Little Big Town, and Julian's kid CDs that we play over & over in the car.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Ending happier than I've been in a long time.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner and continuing to go down.
c) richer or poorer? Pretty much the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exercising and paying off debt, but we're getting there with both.  

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Being angry about work stuff that now I can't even remember.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2015? Christmas Eve with the Casells, Christmas Day with the Acquards, and the 27th with Perrines.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015? It just keeps getting better; we celebrated out 5 year anniversary.

22. What was your favorite TV program? Criminal Minds, still.  So easy to just have it on in the background.  For kids I really like Super Why and Daniel Tiger.

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2015? I had the morning off and read, I worked at night and my desk was decorated and I received beautiful roses from my son.

24. What was the best book you read? Fiction: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, Non-fiction: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Book club: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, Kids: The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak.

25. What did you want and get? A new job!

26. What did you want and not get? A move to Hawaii, though it was the right choice and is working out well.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? Star Wars

28. Did you make some new friends this year? I've gotten closer to a few new-ish friends.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I'm ending on a pretty high note.  Maybe if I had not hurt my ankle training for the Thanksgiving 5K?

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015? Simplify.

31. What kept you sane? My family and friends.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Bernie Sanders.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? The multitude of shootings in the US and the terrorist attack in Paris.

34. Who did you miss? My Grandpa Acquard and Uncle Brian.  At Christmas the lack of their presence was huge to me.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015. Life is really short; tell people you care about them now.

Friday, July 3, 2015

GRAIP 2015: Day 4

For my first post on this year's Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), go here.

Erie Canal Signage, Buffalo, NY

Another full day at GRIP began with "The Records of Institutions and Local Governments" by Karen Mauer Jones.  This discussed the multitude of record sources available outside of the state, which included many things I never thought to look at, such as Supervisors' Minutes.

Jane E. Wilcox then presented "Up the North River: An Overview of Pre-1800 Hudson Valley Ethnic Groups and Religions."  This was a general history of the area which was tremendously diverse for the time period.

Third, we heard "Turnpikes, Canals, & Railroad" by Karen.  This was one of the classes I most looking forward to and it didn't disappoint.  I learned about the records for the Erie Canal at the state archives that I need to go through looking for my ancestors who worked on the Canal in Buffalo.  I also have other places to look for railroad records, as I had many ancestors who worked for that.

Lastly, Michael Hait spoke on "Estate Administration in New York: Laws and Records." This was an interesting overview of probate and other estate records in the state.  He recommends New York state probate records : a genealogist's guide to testate and intestate records by Gordon Lewis Remington.

Our evening lecture was changed to "Rogues, Rascals & Rapscallions: The Family Black Sheep" by Judy Russell due to illness of the originally scheduled speaker.  All I can say is that if you get the chance, see this lecture.  Thank you Anna May/Elizabeth Ann Sanderson for being the black sheep that got me into this hobby.

It's hard to believe we only have a few hours left of this year's GRIP!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

GRIP 2015: Day 3

For my first post on this year's Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), go here.

Apologies for the late  posting, I couldn't put down The Girl on the Train.

Day 3 began with "New York Land: Patroonships, Manors, Patents, Rent Wars, and Land Companies" by Karen Mauer Jones.  The amount of information given was a bit overwhelming, as records change through time and are different depending on the area of the state and if it is an urban or rural setting.  Records in Western New York are often rich, since they went through the Holland Land Company.

Next up was Jane E. Wilcox's "Looking for your NY Tenant Farmer: Little-Used Resources."  This looked more in-depth at manors and patents that were also discussed in the first presentation of the day.  These records are invaluable for people with pre-colonial ancestors in the Hudson Valley area.

After lunch Thomas W. Jones presented "Workarounds to New York Record Shortages: Greenfield Examples."  This was a fantastic presentation that showed how to reconstruct a person's life using a lot of indirect evidence.  I found it particularly interesting that outside of DNA, all of the records have been available for over 100 years, so even though we do research online now, it still comes down to those same records and how we assess them.  He has a related article to this presentation in the June NGSQ (in the mail now) and is hoping to publish the entire case study in the NYG&B Record in the next year or so.

The last presentation of the day was "Urban Research Strategies" by Rick Sayre.  This focused on New York City research and spoke of the importance of knowing your ancestor's address in order to do urban research.  He also spoke of using Excel sheets to keep track of people in city directories, census records, and tax records.

It amazes me that we are almost done with this week.  I already have a lot of ideas on how to continue my research.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

GRIP 2015: Day 2

For my first post on this year's Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), go here.

Start of the labyrinth at La Roche College
Another full day of GRIP classes commenced today at 8:30 am, though really, some of my favorite parts of GRIP occur before this and around classes, when you can sit and talk to other attendees.  Having attended 2 other GRIP institutes and a few conferences, I now have people whom I recognize and know in addition to all of the wonderful people I get to meet.  If you are worried that you do not know anyone and that is why you do not want to attend, I can guarantee it isn't a problem.  Sit at any table in the cafeteria and you'll meet interesting people who are actually interested and understand your genealogical addiction.

Our first class today was the second part of Judy Russell's "Justice in the Empire State: Legal Records in NY State."  Having had an overview of the laws and courts yesterday, today we were shown actual records and how you can use them to create a better family history.  My favorite part of this session was her recommendation to go beyond the regular FAN club and find their enemies as well, as that makes for great court cases.

Then Karen Mauer Jones spoke on "The Dutch in New York."  Understanding the Dutch is key to seventeenth and eighteenth century NY research, particularly in the Hudson Valley region of the state.  An excellent starting point on this research is the New Netherland Institute.

After lunch Jane Wilcox presented on "New York City and State Governmental Vital Records and Alternatives."  Having begun my genealogical research in New York, I remember being in shock when I found out that people in many states can just walk into the court house and start flipping through books of vital records and that these vital records go a long way back.  NY records, particularly those outside of NYC, are not complete until the early 1900s and even then you have to check an index and order a copy while paying a large sum of money.  Using items such as state census', newspapers, and city directories can be key to tracing your family back in time.

Lastly, Karen spoke on "Joseph Johnson Chase: An Upstate New York Case Study."  I love hearing and reading case studies and this one was tremendously informative.  The main point of this one was that using cluster genealogy can help break through brick walls, particularly during the difficult time period of 1780 and 1850.  Looking for the women, in particular, is often difficult but also very rewarding.

I spent the time before dinner reading BCG portfolios, which are available at many conferences and institutes for those curious of the certification process.  At this point in my genealogical study, I find the resumes showing the education opportunities they took part of most useful.  The reports are very interesting and show me what to strive for in writing up my own research.

There was also an evening session today by Judy Russell.  In "How Old Did He Have to Be?" Judy demonstrated how knowledge of the law of a specific time and place could assist in getting a person's age range and in deciding which John Smith was yours.  Although it cannot give you an exact birth date, having even a small range is better than nothing.  I cannot recommend her lectures enough and if you are in NY, she is speaking at the New York State Family History Conference in Syracuse in September.

Tomorrow's classes include land records, urban research, and workarounds to record shortages.

Monday, June 29, 2015

GRIP 2015: Researching New York State

Really bad cell photo of our cool present

My third time at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) began yesterday afternoon after arriving at La Roche College in Pittsburgh.  I attended the first year, 2012, and last year, 2014, and it is something I look forward to all year.

Every year we get a little present and this years was a USB drive attached to a name tag, which will be very useful to bring on research trips to keep that plus my ID and credit card together.

This year I am in the "Researching New York State" track coordinated by Karen Mauer Jones.  As soon as I saw that being offered, I knew I had to take it.  All of my and my husband's lines end in New York State and while I can tell anyone how to research in Buffalo, but once I get into rural Central and Northern NY, records are much harder to come by.

Our days are broken into 4 classes plus an optional nightly lecture that is open to the public.  My classes today were Researching New York: Introduction and Historical Overview with Karen, The New York Gateway: Immigration and Migration by Jane E. Wilcox, Justice in the Empire State: Legal Records in New York, part 1, by Judy G. Russell, and New York's Military Records once again with Karen.

The biggest lesson learned today is that New York is a black pit of confusing and oddly named records and places.  I have friends who moved to Syracuse from Maine for school and over the past few years I remember them being tremendously confused by the idea of a town in NY and my husband explaining it while I zoned out.  Today I learned that what is known as a town in NY is comparable to a township in other places, a fact that confuses researches not from the state.  I had always known to check both town and county records (vital records are almost always cheaper at the town level), but apparently one wouldn't do that in other states.

One of the speakers I had most looked forward to hearing was Judy Russell, and she did not disappoint.  I do not even know where to begin with all of the wonderful things she told us except to say that if you have NY ancestors, you need to look at Duly & Constantly Kept for a primer in legal records.

Lastly, I highly recommend the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer: First Edition put out earlier this year by the NYG&B.  I bought a copy shortly after it came and out and have been amazed by the information in it.  It is well worth every cent.

Following dinner Jane E. Wilcox spoke on "Finding American Women's Voices through the Centuries: Letters, Journals, Newspapers, and Court Records."  I found it interesting that she recommended Presidential Libraries as possible sources for letters, which is not something I had heard of previously.

Tomorrow is another full day of classes including part 2 of legal records, state vital records and alternatives, and a case study about a man from upstate NY.  If you're in the area, Judy Russell will be giving the evening lecture entitled "How Old Did He Have to Be?" which is sure to be fantastic.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Love Wins Facebook Cover Hd Wallpapers L Backgrounds Comment Picture

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered."

And for the genealogy blog related part...  Genealogy companies, time to let us put same-sex couples into our family tree programs correctly.  Legacy has a workaround for this and I have heard some programs allow it completely, but it needs to be all of them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: The Williams Family

Ralph, Carrie (Gress) and Ethelyn Williams.  Buffalo, Erie, NY.  Around the turn of the last century (1900).  According to Legacy, Carrie is my 2nd great grand aunt and Ethelyn is my first cousin, three times removed.

 Formerly in possession of my great aunt Lois.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Barbara Fleeman Fink

Barbara Fleeman Fink, 1846-1929
Located in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, Erie, NY.  Barbara is my 3rd great grandmother.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Whitehead Girls

Lois, Janice, and Barbara Whitehead, 1930, most likely in Buffalo, NY.  My maternal grandmother's older sisters.  Photo in possession of my great aunt Barbara.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The 30-Day Learning Challenge

Image by Robinbos

In addition to #blogjune, I'm also taking part in zen habits 30-Day Learning Challenge which is taking one topic and studying it for at least 10 minutes per day, every day of the month.  The topic I have decided to look at in German Genealogy.  I will be reading and studying the following:

My goal in studying this information is to make progress on my Gress, Fink, Strassheim, and Passel ancestry.

Monday, June 1, 2015

#blogjune & MM1

It's #blogjune again!  I tried this last year and kind of failed, so I'm trying again.  You can sign up here.

List 5 things you’re looking forward to about #blogjune [Monday Meme 1]

1. A reminder to actually post on here.
2. #blogjune is full of Australian library bloggers, who write interesting things that I don't know much about.
3. Having a record of all of the interesting things going on in my genealogy/library/travel/etc. life.
4. Actually working on my genealogy more so that I have something to blog about.
5. Developing the blogging habit again.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Birthday cake!

Dear Julian-Bug,

Happy second birthday!  I find it both amazing how fast time has gone and how much we have been able to cram into such a short time.

In one year you have gone from cruising to running and climbing and jumping, from mimicking words to saying sentences, stories and songs.  Your vocabulary is huge and varied and we can understand about 90% of what you say.  You can count to 10, sing your ABCs (mostly), know animal sounds (especially if it can roar like a lion or dragon), and just this week figured out a few colors.  You use "please" and "thank you" and say "bless you."  You are a fantastic singer, which I imagine you won't believe when I tell you when you're older, but you actually sing, not yell, and are in tune and often on pitch.  Your favorite song to sing is "Tomorrow" from Annie and we had a few weeks of "Let it Go."  "Farmer in the Dell," "Wheels on the Bus," "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," and many others are also in rotation.  You know your name and recently started speaking about yourself in the third person ("Julian Out," "Julian no drink water").  You even have a favorite art exhibit, the hourse statue at the Everson.

When I think of your second year of life, trash cans and water are what will fill my memories.  For the first three quarters of this year you were obsessed with garbage cans, so much so that your daycare teacher bought you a little one play with.  For the past couple of months, you have become obsessed with water.  I think it started from helping Gramma Casell with the laundry and Daddy with the dishwasher, as well a catching the drips from the roof after it rained with Daddy.  Now you ask for bathes, to brush your teeth or wash your hands, and to visit fountains constantly.  As such, we're having an "Under the Sea" themed birthday party for you next week.

You love running and have scraped up your knees a few times and also flipped over a truck you were pushing at daycare twice, as did your friend Dupree, leading to the rule of crawling with trucks only.  You always jump right back up and continue on.  You love playing airplane with Papa (and Mommy and Daddy when he isn't around), being held upside-down and practicing headstands with Mommy and playing "whee" with Daddy.  You have also spent a lot of time at the park by us climbing.  You aren't just rough and tumble though, you also love your baby doll (who you feed and hug and have me pretend to diaper), your stuffed moose, your glow-worm,  your kitchen set, flashlights, blocks, balls, and anything to do with cleaning.  You have a vacuum, a broom, two mops, a lawnmower, and get really excited when you can help clean the windows and table.  If we give you a baby wipe you clean everything possible.  It's possible you are Douglas Adams reincarnated, as you love carrying towels around.  I try to read to you, but you usually want to hold the book and "read" to me instead; you frequently sit on the reading couch at school as well and read to your friends there.

You spent a lot of time at my mom's this year again, both with us and when I went out of town for work things.  You love it there!  You have so much fun with Gramma Julie, Gramma Casell, and Aunt Christina (and baby bear, your stuffed friend who lives there and is bigger than you are) and get very sad when we have to leave, which breaks my heart, but we see them about once a month, with a couple week long trips, which isn't too bad considering the two hour drive.  We go to Daddy's parents most Fridays to visit which you also love, especially when Kelly is there, too.  They have a stash of toys that you love to play with, especially the small tricycle and megablocks.  You were quite the hit at the hospital when we visited Hamma there a few times a few months ago.

You didn't travel as much this year, but we did do a trip to the 1000 Islands with Hamma and Papa and one to Ottawa for the Tulip Festival over Mother's Day weekend.  Speaking of travel, we flipped around your car seat and you love looking for trucks, buses, construction equipment, and motorcycles, and doing singalongs with me and Daddy as we drive around.

At school you talk about Mimi and Alonzo the most and Miss Vertty is one of your most favorite people in the world.  You'll continue on in the toddler room for the next year, which you started November 30th.  You didn't walk until 15 months, when one day at school you stood up and walked everywhere.  They took video for me and Daddy and I am grateful you are at such a wonderful school.

Every night we look at the pictures on the wall of your grandparents and Aunt Chris and sometimes, at your request, we call one of the grandmas.  Then you and I cuddle on the couch, and finally you and Daddy look at the clock, discuss if it is 7:15, and then decide it is bedtime.  You still sleep about 12 hours per night and are down to one 2ish hour nap.

You are in 24 month clothes, except for 1-piece pjs where you're in between 2T-3T, and size 4 diapers that we're moving up to 5 soon (you talk about the potty a lot but don't ever want to actually try to use it).  You have all your teeth except your two year molars, which I think are coming in as you're chewing everything.  Your hair is still light and keeps getting curlier. You are highly independent, love to walk everywhere and can climb up and down the stairs and climb onto all furniture and open a lot of doors.  We just set-up your tricycle which you like a lot and will be pretty prevalent in our summer, I think.  I'll update your height and weight Monday after your two year appointment.  You eat everything but don't like tomatoes, green beans, or mayonnaise.  Your favorite foods are fruits, peanut butter, toast, and eggs.

Sadly this year we lost my Uncle Brian and Daddy's Uncle Ed.  It is still impossible to me that you will grow up in a world not knowing them.  You daddy's employer closed, but he found a temp job quickly and permanent job not too long after that.  Lots of good happened, too.  You also had one second cousin (Connor) and four new friends (Penelope, Calvin, Ava, and Charlotte) come into the world.  Your cousin Erin graduated from college.  And two of my cousins (Erin [Sean] and Bobby [Nikki]) got married.

Every day just keeps getting better with you and I am forever grateful that I get to be your mommy.  I am continuously impressed by what you say (Daddy and I constantly say "Did you hear that?"), and I love hearing you sing and your wonderful laugh.  Watching you learn about the world and how to navigate in it is one of the best things I have ever been able to be a part of.  You are kind, loving, curious, and intelligent.  In my very biased opinion you're also the cutest little man I've ever seen.  I cannot wait to see what the next year brings.

Love always,

Addendum: A coupel days after your 2nd birthday, we realized you could name all numbers 0-10 and some letters, like "H."  Thank goodness for your awesome daycare.

Friday, April 17, 2015

DNA Results: Ethnicity Estimate (Me)

I finally jumped into the DNA testing pool.  Ancestry had a great sale at the beginning of March and I bought a test for myself and for my husband.  My results arrived Wednesday and I have been playing around on the site trying to build my tree and my husband's as my results came in much faster than I had anticipated.

The first thing I looked at was my ethnicity estimate.  Unsurprisingly, my ethnicity is "very white."  33% Europe East would be Germany, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg.  18% Great Britain is mainly England, 17% Italy/Greece is just Italy for me. The 15% Scandinavia surprised me until I read that people with German ancestors can show up as Scandinavian ancestry in this test.  11% Europe East is Poland and the trace regions are 3% Ireland and 2% Iberian Peninsula.  The less than 1% West Asia is in the Middle East and I'm guessing has to do with my Italian ancestors going further back.

The ethnicity estimate is what I expected and most of it can be figured out easily from the research I've done.  This is still a really cool map to have and I'm glad Ancestry gives out this information.

In my next post, I'll begin to discuss my matches in Ancestry and what I plan to do with the data next.  Once my husband's results come in, I'll post those as well.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Webinar: Ten Genealogical Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Family Tree Webinars 

Warren Bittner is among the best, if not the best, genealogical speaker I've ever heard.  I was very excited to see that he was giving a webinar entitled "Ten Genealogical Lessons I Learned the Hard Way" through Legacy Family Tree Webinars today.

This was a fantastic webinar and one that I highly recommend people check out.  A lot of these are things you hear when you learn how to do genealogical research and know you should do, but that you don't always do. 

My favorites are to build the citation up front, read Genealogy Standards: Fiftieth Anniversary Edition quarterly, summarize and plan on the go, and write proof summaries.    Because I didn't do that with my research years ago, I have been going through all of my research over the past couple years and making sure it is cited properly and the conclusions I reached made sense.  In the future I will be doing this as I go along.

I also really liked his discussion on credentials.  At GRIP last summer, I mentioned that I still didn't feel ready to take one of Tom Jones' course, and, after I answered a couple questions, was told I was definitely ready for it (not taking it this year, but that's only because of the New York state course offered).  The point being, don't wait until you're perfect, become a better genealogist and a better researcher now.

These webinars are available free online for a week, so check it out soon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Ted Acquard

Photo of my grandfather Theodore Acquard's grave with flowers from my Uncle Brian's funeral.  St. John's Roman Catholic Church, Alden, NY.  Photo courtesy of my Aunt Barb.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thirfty Thursday: RootsMOOC

What is more thrifty than free?  Canvas Network is currently hosting RootsMOOC: Intro to Genealogy and Family History Research, a free massive open, online course for beginning genealogists.  I'm a big fan of refresher courses, so I signed up. It is being taught by librarians at the State Library of North Carolina.

It is currently in the introduction week, but there is already a great surname list and a lot of discussion.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: Brian Acquard

ACQUARD - Brian M. Of Alden, NY, March 4, 2015, beloved father of Scott (Laura), Brianne and Brian Acquard; dear stepfather of Jennifer (Robert) Mitscher, Amanda and Brittany Jutze; step-grandfather of Zachary and Abigail; son of Agnes (Nuwer) and the late Theodore Acquard; brother of Mark (Kim) Acquard, Barbara (Dan) Kay, Laura (Frank) Orlowski and Lisa (Brian) Anger. No prior visitation. A Memorial Service will be held at the First Baptist Church of Attica, 3 Prospect St., Attica, NY, Wednesday at 11 AM. Flowers gratefully declined. Arrangements by the CHARLES MEYER FUNERAL HOME.

RIP Uncle Brian
9 Feb 1965 - 4 Mar 2015

Published in the Buffalo News on Mar. 8, 2015

SNGF: The Date Your Grandmother Was Born

For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:

  1. What day of the week was your Grandmother born (either one)? Tell us how you found out.
  2. What event was a headline in the newspapers on that date?  Tell us how you found out.
  3. What has happened in recorded history on your Grandmother's birth date? Tell us how you found out, and list five events. 
  4. What famous people have been born on your Grandmother's birth date? Tell us how you found out, and list five of them. 
  5. Put your responses in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook.
1. I'm going to skip back a generation, to one of my great-grandmothers, Lillian Eichhorn, who was born 22 December 1908 in Buffalo, Erie, New York, to William Eichhorn and Augusta Tross.  According to the calendar in Legacy Family Tree, was a Tuesday.

2. "Reforms in the Navy Begun" from The Sun (New York City).  I couldn't find an online scan from a paper for Buffalo for this day.

3. Historical events on 22 December:
  • 1807 - The U.S. Congress passed the Embargo Act, designed to force peace between Britain and France by cutting off all trade with Europe
  • 1895 - German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen made the first X-ray, of his wife's hand. 
  • 1910 - U.S. Postal savings stamps were issued for the first time. They were discontinued in 1914. 
  • 1943 - Sporting goods manufacturers received permission to use synthetic rubber for the core of baseballs. 
  • 2001 - Thirty Afghans, including two women, were sworn in as part of the new interim government in Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai was the head of the post-Taliban government.
All found at

4. Famous people born on 22 December:
  • Giacomo Puccini 1858 
  • Lady Bird Johnson 1912
  • Diane Sawyer 1945 
  • Ralph Fiennes 1962 
  • Meghan Trainor 1993 - Singer 
All found at

Saturday, February 28, 2015

SNGF: How Did You Meet Your Significant Other?

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: It's story time - tell us how you met your spouse or significant other.  If you don't have one, tell us about your parents met each other.

Summer 2008: Thousand Islands, NY
In 2007 I moved to Syracuse to take a job with Starbucks.  A week or so after I started I had a sit-down with the district manager to discuss how my training was going and after we spoke he turned to some guy sitting behind him who was drinking an espresso and reading the newspaper and asked how he thought I was doing.  Luckily for me, he thought I was doing well.  I thought this was the oddest thing, but learned later that the guy sitting in the corner was a regular and had been at my DM's former store as well.

Over the next few months, the guy drinking espresso and reading the newspaper and I became friends.  Eventually Aaron and I were hanging out all the time.  And about a year after we first met, with the help of our friend Shannon, we started dating and have been together ever since.  Our first date was dinner at the Sherwood Inn on 7 May 2008 and we got engaged there on 8 May 2009.  We still go back every May.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

SNGF: Best Find of 2014, and Research Challenge for 2015

I'm joining Randy at Genea-Musings this week for some Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:

1)  What was your best research achievement in 2014?  Tell us - show us a document, or tell us a story, or display a photograph.  Brag a bit!  You've earned it!

This is pretty easy considering the small amount of research I did in 2014, though I'm pretty certain I'd have used this anyway.  While at GRIP I found where my Polish ancestors are from and expanded their names by multiple generations, thanks to Geneteka's database.  

My great-great grandparents Franciszek Karpiński and Józefa Szydlik were married in Ostrów Mazowiecka, Mazowieckie, Poland in 1904.  His parents are Jan Karpiński and Rozalia Zamojska; hers are Tomasz Szydlik and Barbara Gacioch.   Prior to this I had their names, the marriage year, and some names of their parents.

3rd great grandparents:
Jan and Rozalia were married in 1879, also in Ostrów Mazowiecka, Mazowieckie, Poland.  His parents are  Franciszek Karpiński and Ludwika Bieńkowska; hers are Paweł Zamojski and Katarzyna Łomot.

4th great grandparents:
Paweł Zamojski and Katarzyna Łomot were married in 1858 in Długosiodło, Mazowieckie, Poland.

Tomasz Szydlik and Barbara Gacioch were married in 1879 in Brok, Mazowieckie, Poland.  His parents are Ignacy Szydlik and Krystyna Krzewicka; hers are Jakub Gacioch and Marcjanna Ferenc.

Franciszek Karpiński and Ludwika Bieńkowska were married in 1841 in Ostrów Mazowiecka, Mazowieckie, Poland.  His parents are Stanisław Karpiński and Petronela Samson; hers are Grzegorz Bieńkowska and Rozalia Zawisza.  Ludwika had previously been married to a man named Adamie Makiński.

Ignacy Szydlik and Krystyna Krzewicka were married in 1840 in Ostrów Mazowiecka, Mazowieckie, Poland.  His parents are Szymon Szydlik and Kunegunda Wasielewska; hers Jan Krezewicki and Teresa Skudzieńska.

Jakub Gacioch and Marcjanna Ferenc were married in 1853 in Brok, Mazowieckie, Poland.  His parents are Marcin Gacioch and Agata Ferenc; hers are Tomasz Ferenc and Magdalena Ruszkowska.

5th great grandparents:
Szymon Szydlik and Kunegunda Wasielewska were married in 1809 in Jelonki, Mazowieckie, Poland.  His parents are Piotr Szydlik and Katarzyna Krystek; hers were Antoni Wasielewski and Marianna Kośnik.

Marcin Gacioch and Agata Ferenc were married in 1825 in Brok, Mazowieckie, Poland.  His parents are Paweł Gacioch and Agnieskza; hers Szymon Ferenc and Marianna Jachowska.

Tomasz Ferenc and Magdalena Ruszkowska were married in 1832 in Brok, Mazowieckie, Poland.  His parents are Wawrzyniec Ferenc and Wiktoria; hers are Andrzej Ruszkowski and Katarzyna Nadzyk.

In addition to these marriage records, there are birth and death records, as well as additional marriage records for collateral relatives.  Most of these include scans of the record.  I am grateful for those who transcribed them as I do not understand much Polish or Cyrillic. 

2)  We all have elusive ancestors.  What research problem do you want to work on in 2015?  Tell us where you want to research and what you hope to find.

For 2015 I want to work on my 2014 project of re-entering my research into Legacy.  I'm hoping to find things I had previously missed and organize everything so that when I have more time to research in the future I will be ready.  

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...