Friday, December 31, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Genealogy Goals 2011

Reading entries of 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy prompted me to think about and decide on some goals for 2011.  I was inspired by Donna Jane’s blog especially reviewing one family line a month and making sure all citations are in place.  That is a great suggestion.

My goals for 2011 are:
·      Produce a monograph of the Hardenbrook family 1830 – 1930.  I have so much interesting information written up on this family during these years it is time to share with others doing research in Seneca and Cayuga County, NY.
·      Produce a monograph of the Shepard family for my cousin.  I have sorted through the two suitcases.  I will scan photos, research this family, write up what I find and return the material to my cousin in an acid free archival box by Christmas 2011.  
·      Continue to share genealogical research information through my blog.
·      Develop the 1880-1889 Newtown Death Database from vital records book held at the town clerk’s office. (The 1890-1899 Newtown Death database was developed in 2010; an article has been submitted about the importance of this database to the February 2011 issue of Connecticut Ancestry).
·      Continue to search for descendants of Elizabeth Nunn Siebert.
·      Attend the NERGC Conference in April 2011.
·      Provide Tompkins County Rootsweb ( with transcribed material.  From the Shepard family suitcases I have retrieved a number of Ithaca Journals in which I have saved the obits and will transcribe for this site as I have done in the past.

Happy New Year and I wish everyone a year filled with genealogical successes!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shepard Family

Howard Shepard - Age one year, six months

We did not intend to see my cousin on our recent visit to Upstate NY, but as it turned out she wanted us to stop by if just for 15 minutes. Well, 15 minutes turned into over an hour of catching up. Towards the end of our stay we talked about genealogy.  In the course of that conversation my cousin said she had two American Tourister suitcases filled with photos and “other stuff” that she had cleaned out from her mother’s house. Would I like it? Well…we dug around in her basement until we found them, and she was only too happy to help load them into the trunk of our car.

I am so excited to work on my Aunt Beverly’s family line.  The majority of the photos are labeled!  Some of the family lines I will be working on are:  Shepard, Day, Monroe, Vorhis, Benton, Garatt, Spaulding, and Dakin.  The adventure begins!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mystery Monday - Where is Cora Stanley Cardwell?

An inherent genealogist trait is to help others. Consequently we find ourselves pulled from our own research to assist a friend or others with finding their ancestors.  One such search includes tracing Cora Stanley Cardwell.

We know that Cora’s first husband Jerome W. Stanley died April 1910. By December 31 of that same year, Cora married Harry D. Cardwell in Auburn, NY.  That may have been an unwise decision, as not two months later the police arrived at their home because of an alleged domestic dispute. As the Auburn Citizen reported, when the police arrived Mr. Cardwell “was inclined to resent their presence.” Further, “he shoved Officer Green over a chair knocking him over a jardinière that was smashed and a piece of the broken porcelain cut the bluecoat’s head.”  Consequently, Mr. Cardwell was arrested and because he couldn’t make the $25 fine, he was sent to the County Jail for 60 days.

We cannot find Cora Stanley Cardwell after this unfortunate incident.  Her children were: Lena Stanley Cornett, Bernice Stanley Carscadden, and Fordyce Stanley. Any help or suggestions on finding Cora would be appreciated. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - Christmas Memories

Mary and Skip Nunn abt 1956

Christmas at our Taughannock Boulevard home never varied.  Our tree was cut from the back woodlot, and then decorated with a few ornaments, popcorn strings, and lots of silver tinsel. The best part were the candle-shaped lights that bubbled up when heated.  A simple cardboard crèche was put out – one I still have and use.  On Christmas morning my brother Skip and I woke early, sneaking down the stairs to see if Santa had come. Once Mom and Dad were up, we were allowed to open our stockings before heading out to 8:00 a.m. Mass at St. James in Trumansburg, NY.  Using our negotiating skills, we finally got them to agree to let us open our stocking plus one present before church. Back home, our grandparents, Merritt and Maude Agard, and great-grandmother Laura Hardenbrook arrived for Christmas breakfast. Excitement mounted as we waited to open presents.  Santa always did well by us. You can see in the above photo that I had received a new carrying case for my Ginny doll while Skip proudly shows off his new bow and arrow.  We kept busy playing with our new toys until later in the day when we drove two miles north to our grandparents’ house for a family dinner that included aunts, uncles and cousins. 

In raising our own family we developed new Christmas traditions. Mass was on Christmas Eve, presents were opened early Christmas morning always accompanied by Finnish Coffee Bread or Cinnamon Tea Rings.  Our children enjoyed their new toys and mid afternoon we drove seventeen miles north to Ithaca to join the rest of the Maki clan for a large family gathering.  By evening we were exhausted but happy. It was another wonderful family Christmas together.

Our children are now grown and living elsewhere, and so we are in the midst of establishing new Christmas traditions. In the meantime, the tree is trimmed, the crèche is out, the coffee bread is made, and we welcome our family with love whenever they can get here.  

Friday, December 17, 2010

New York State Research

My husband and I are both genealogists with New England ancestors. So it is not uncommon to hear one of us blurt out, “Thank God for the Puritans!” Because it was the Puritans, and other early religious groups who wanted to know what everyone was doing, and documented it! We are thankful for all that information. But as we follow our ancestors as they cross the border into New York, a mere 30 minutes away, our research immediately became more difficult. 

Fortunately there are many resources becoming available to assist genealogists.  Since our ancestors landed in Tompkins County, NY, we use the Tompkins County Rootsweb site.  The women who manage this site do a great job organizing data, adding new content and linking to surrounding counties. Their searchable and constantly updated cemetery listings have been invaluable to us. I love the Past, Present, & Future option where you can quickly see what new content has been added. My husband and I have even donated databases to this site – he recently submitted a searchable database for the 1865 Census for Newfield, NY.  Now, if I could only get him to do the same for Ulysses…

The Ithaca Journal Obituary Index has also been helpful to us. The years included are: 1860-1876; 1900-1989; 1990-1999.

New York State performed its own census every ten years from 1825-1875, then in 1892, 1905, 1915 and 1925. Because of the loss of the 1890 Federal Census, my husband has found the 1892 Census located in the newly updated Family website a valuable resource.  Not all counties were included – those that are: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Clinton, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Genesee, Kings, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Orleans, Otsego, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Washington, Wayne, and Yates. Consequently, the two counties in which my relatives lived during that time are not included!

Old Fulton New York Postcards website is a goldmine of information. This site has millions (the number goes up almost every day!) of name searchable New York (Upstate and New York City) newspaper articles of obits, marriages, travel, and social news. It gives researchers a window into the day-to-day lives of their ancestors.  And that is what we, as genealogists, strive for – as Marcia Iannizzi Melnyk terms “filling in the dash.” Our ancestors are more than “date of birth – date of death,” and these resources help us to fill in the dash.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NERGC - April 6-10, 2011

So many choices; so little time. I just filled out my registration form for this exciting and educational conference. This was not an easy task. I read through each session with a “fine tooth comb” finding sessions that would be most beneficial for my personal research. I just hate it when there are two or more sessions in the same time slot I want to attend. As it turned out, I mainly choose sessions in the Skills & Technology track. I am especially excited to attend the session on Effective Editing and Writing, as well Jean Nudd’s session on Examining the 1940 Census. I also choose the session on Erie Canal Genealogy, since we have family in Upstate New York with migrations west.

I had to sign up for Elissa Scalise Powell’s session on Genealogical Standard of Proof. She is a great teacher and after one of her sessions at the 2009 NERGC I purchased the BCC Genealogical Standards Manual thinking this would be my next goal - a goal I have not yet accomplished.

I also veered off the Skills track for the session on Irish Birth, Marriage and Death Records for the Beginner, as this session will explain the new computerized system of Irish civil records.

Reading through the sessions, I learned that the New England Historic Genealogical Society has a new website, which I will explore further, as well as exploring what Zotero, the Free Citation and Note Manager is about.

Our registration forms will be on their way to NERGC soon, but as in the past, I will continue to peruse the session write-ups to make sure I attend the sessions best for me.  What fun!!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mystery Monday - Deaths on Duchess of Atholl

Was it sunstroke, malaria, or a mysterious plague that killed four passengers of the Canadian Pacific’s cruise ship Duchess of Atholl?

What began as a pleasurable four-month world cruise for Edward and Lulu Hardenbrook, turned to tragedy for Dr. Edward Hardenbrook and three of his fellow travelers. The first reports coming from passengers and officials of the ship were confusing. Was it ten, seven, or six who died?  Each report varied as to number of deaths as well as the official diagnosis. Doctors were mystified if the cause of death was from sunstroke, malaria, or some mysterious plague. The number was further confused by the fact that two crewmembers had died previously, one of heart disease and the other of liver disease.

4 World Tourists Die on Ship Board;
2 Members of Crew of Duchess of Atholl also dead, Officials Reveal
Reported the Associated Press headline in the Amsterdam Evening Recorder, Wednesday, April 24, 1929.

“We first thought it was sunstroke,” stated the ship’s commander, Captain E.  Griffiths, “but it turned out to be very malignant malaria, contracted in the interior.”

Apparently the four passengers died following being stranded 18 hours without food or water in Krueger National Park during a monsoon.  The tourists told of climbing trees at night to escape roving animals, and then having to walk miles out of the park because their vehicle was stuck in the mud. 

Back on the ship, they left Durban on March 10 with temperatures soaring to 136 degrees in the shade.  Shortly thereafter, several passengers became ill with high fevers, and four finally succumbed. One of those was Dr. Edward Hardenbrook of Rochester, NY.  

In late April when Dr. Hardenbrook’s body arrived back in Rochester, his son Frederick Hardenbrook stated the family was satisfied with the diagnosis and held the Canadian Pacific Line blameless in their father’s death.  Mystery resolved.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - Camping at Taughannock

Taughannock Falls State Park abt 1940
Cayuga Lake - New York State

This is a great photo because it ties some of the best times in my parent's lives with my best memories of spending summers at Taughannock Falls State Park

This particular memory came about when a friend who grew up in New York City recently talked about how her family vacationed in the Catskills during the summer. Her comments sparked memories of how my paternal grandparents also escaped the city’s oppressive heat, but instead of the Catskills, they went further north. Their son Harold Nunn attended Cornell University, played on Cornell’s football team, and had secured a lifeguard job for himself and his brother, Edward, at nearby Taughannock Falls State Park. He suggested his parents camp in the park’s campgrounds for the summer. So while my grandmother, Mary Doyle Nunn, and her teenage children camped through the summer months, my grandfather made the grueling trip up and down the two lane Route 17 to work his job in the city, returning to his family on the shores of Cayuga Lake whenever he could. 

The park had a bathhouse, and my maternal grandmother, Maude Agard, was the attendant. Her daughter Carol and son Richard would ride their bike – Carol on the handlebars - down the steep hill to the park bringing their mother her lunch. And that is when Carol Agard spotted a handsome lifeguard named Edward Nunn.
Edward Nunn abt 1940
 The first photo is of particular interest as it was a source of anxiety for my mother (pictured center with hand shading her eyes). The perfectly formed acrobat is Genevieve Cosintini, daughter of a well-known Ithaca family, and someone my father (far left with a big smile on this face) seemed to enjoy. Genevieve’s parents are sitting on the grass at the far right. My mother, a farm girl, was very jealous of the city girl, Genevieve, and related she was especially upset the evening the Nunns were invited to the Cosintini’s for dinner. 

Aren’t we fortunate that Dad chose the right gal to be his soul mate. 
Edward Nunn and Carol Agard abt 1940

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Journey Takers

Last evening the members of the Genealogy Club of Newtown thoroughly enjoyed Leslie Albrecht Huber’s lecture based on her new book, The Journey Takers.  The well thought out PowerPoint presentation seamlessly wove her personal journey in tracing her German and Swedish ancestors with their difficult choices and their journey to America.  The presentation included helpful research tips and interesting information that included use of maps, making sure you know not only the hometown of your European ancestor, but where they attended church, utilize parish and village histories, a reminder that original records can be wrong, always verify information, be flexible with spelling – even though you might have it correct, the original record might be wrong and therefore won’t come up in your search.  And last but not least, Leslie made the case that it is the responsibility of each of us to document and share the stories of our ancestors as well as our own.

Leslie Albrecht Huber is a delightful young woman who is an accomplished genealogist and a passionate and entertaining speaker.  Thank you, Leslie, for sharing your time and knowledge with the Genealogy Club of Newtown.  We all left the meeting energized to better document our families. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mystery Monday - Margaret Conlon

Margaret “Maggie” Conlon is a mystery.  She was born May 1865 in Ireland, and may have arrived in New York in 1888; she married Patrick Doyle in 1893. Because Patrick was naturalized in 1887, Maggie automatically was naturalized at the time of their marriage. 

The Doyles had six children; only two survived - Mary “Mamie” Doyle (1899-1971) and Winnie Doyle (1903 -?).  Maggie also cared for the Conlon “cousins,” Edward, Lawrence, George, and Mae. Additional Irish immigrants seeking refuge with the Doyles were the Gormley brothers and Catherine Murphy.  Although “None” was the common census notation for women who kept house, in reality, with such few conveniences, women worked very hard every day to keep their families fed and clothed. They had to shop, cook, clean, wash clothes, and care for children and extended family. It is unfortunate the term “Domestic Engineer” was not available for the 1900-1930 census years.
Maggie Conlon Doyle
One day Mamie asked her mother if she missed her, and Maggie’s reply was, “If I did I had ease.” And despite their economic status, the family enjoyed many summer weekends on Coney Island.

I think Maggie died in the early 1920s of diabetes, but at this point I cannot confirm that, nor do I know her parents and exactly how the Conlon “cousins” were related.  I would love to learn more about Maggie Conlon Doyle – any Conlon cousins out there?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Patrick Doyle - Street Cleaner

Irish immigrant Patrick Doyle arrived in New York on the first day of July 1885. Because the potato famine had driven almost two million Irish immigrants to American shores thirty years earlier, the Irish Emigrant Society was set up to help these immigrants find jobs, food, lodging and medical care.  I like to think that a Society member welcomed Patrick to America and helped him get settled.
Patrick Doyle
The city that Patrick now called home had streets not paved with gold; most were not paved at all, and they were filthy.  At first he found work as a laborer, but at some point after 1900 he worked as a street cleaner for the city’s sanitation department.

Fortunately, Patrick’s employment came after Col. George Edwin Waring had been put in charge. Waring demanded the sanitation workers stay out of bars, refrain from fighting, and from using foul language.  And they would now wear white uniforms that would proclaim them as “Soldiers of the Public Health.” 

At first I didn’t feel my great-grandfather’s occupation was important, but after reading about the history of New York City’s Sanitation Department, I learned that Patrick had a very important position. He served as the first line of defense in protecting public health. And that is why I love genealogy.