Thursday, June 30, 2011

Funeral Card Friday - Velma Cleveland

This could be a Mystery Monday entry since we don’t know much about Ms. Cleveland, except that she always sent Christmas presents to my husband and his sisters.  He always received handkerchiefs, and as a young boy he could care less, but his mother always made them write thank you notes to Velma Cleveland.  Going to the census, we found the connection.  Velma’s sister, Frieda married Earl Tribe; the Tribe family was very close to my mother-in-law’s family. Velma connected with the Cutter family and always remembered them, and their children at holiday time.  Rest in peace, Velma. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - Small Farmers Fight Agribusiness

Among the treasures found in Kay Maki’s scrapbook is an article that appeared in the Ithaca Journal in the 1950s. Even then small farmers had to compete against the growing and powerful agribusiness that was crushing family farms and in so doing, destroying a whole way of life.  This is how my husband’s family fought agribusiness.

From Left: Elmer Maki, Paul Cutter, Eugene Maki
“How three neighboring farmers near Newfield have learned to share labor and machinery, so that they can compete in production with large-scale farms, is told in the March issue of Country Gentleman.  The three are Elmer and Eugene Maki and Paul Cutter, who farm a total of 606 acres.  In swapping work and machinery, they are finding out how to mechanize and how to have use of the latest labor-saving machines, without going too far into debt. They own their machinery separately, the magazine says, and their inventory includes a hay baler, a grain combine, a corn planter, corn picker, forage harvester, blower, five tractors, two trucks and the usual smaller equipment.”

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mystery Monday - May Cooper - Elmira and Newfield, NY

May Cooper

The story handed down about a black woman named May Cooper who lived with Frank and Delia McAllister on Van Kirk Road in Newfield, New York, was that someone found this little girl as an orphan during the Civil War and brought her to the north. The McAllisters, who had no children, took her in, and treated her almost like a daughter.

Delia McAllister
However, through genealogy research, we found the story about May’s arrival in Newfield wasn’t quite true.

May Cooper was born in 1874, first appearing on the 1880 census as a niece living with Charles and Sarah Smith of Elmira, NY. Charles was a minister. That census indicated that May’s mother was born in New York, but her father was unknown.

May lived with the McAllisters from at least 1892 until her death in 1929. She is buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Newfield, New York. 

The mystery yet to be solved is the circumstances in which she came to the Smiths in Elmira, and who her parents were?

Church Record Sunday - Philathea Class Newfield, NY

Philathea Class Old Baptist Church
Newfield, New York
early 1920s
Philathea means "Lover of God," and was an international, interdenominational organization for women. The members of the Newfield chapter are: Top row: Adelaide Williams, Mrs. George Ervay (?), Mrs.  David (?), Mrs. Leon Godley (?), Lina Wescott, Mrs. Tucker (husband ran creamery in Newfield). 
Second Row: Hattie Gardner, Iva Tompkins, Mae Cooper (Uncle Frank McAllister's maid), Theresa Stevens Carpenter, Etta Tompkins; Third Row: Marie Cutter, Ethel Taber, Helen Estabrook, Alice Van Marter (?). 

Thanks to Kathryn Cutter Maki for preserving this photo. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Follow Friday - Immigration and Naturalization

Yesterday we attended a presentation by professional genealogist, Penny Hartzell, on immigration and naturalization.  In a concise manner Penny lead the audience through the three phases of immigration: Phase 1 was 1820 – 1854. This period covers the failure of the German Revolution and the Irish Potato Famine. Phase 2 covers the years 1855 – 1891 when Castle Garden opened in New York harbor.  Immigrants’ entry through Castle Garden was a way for the government to better control the great influx. Many people were being scammed at the docks, left with no money or luggage.  Officials at Castle Garden provided security and assistance for those arriving on U.S. shores.  Many marriages occurred at Castle Garden as immigrants had to be met by someone. Women were especially vulnerable, so they would arrange to have a male waiting for them and a quick marriage performed.  Phase 3 of immigration covers the years 1892 – 1920 and the establishment of Ellis Island. Penny mentioned that during the years 1890-1900 the U.S. had 30,725 immigrants per month.

She then went through three scenarios of what she found and did not find in immigration records giving her audience a good perspective.  She reminded everyone that Italian wives traveled under their maiden name, so when looking for this family, look for the children. 

Canadian border crossing lists began in 1906.

Naturalization indexes and cards are being put online every day, so keep looking. She mentioned,, and of course Ancestry as good sources for immigration and naturalization information.

My Follow Friday entry therefore is Penny shared an immigration form available on this site. The form covers the years 1880 through 1930 and is a good way to track and compile what your immigrant ancestor reports on each census. This Jewish Genealogy site has a wealth of information, and of course, there are many more useful forms shared there.

A couple of years ago I had asked Penny about my great-grandfather’s naturalization documentation. Since the year of his naturalization was 1887 she said there wouldn’t be much of anything. I asked yesterday if that answer was still correct. She said there should be a card for him and that I should take the document I have and go to NARA in New York City, show them the document and ask what they might have in their files.

My husband couldn't wait... so we had to go check and we found the card for my great-grandfather, Patrick Doyle. But as you can see, there is no information there that I didn’t already have. Except for the name, John Carroll. The back of the card just states Great Britain/Ireland. 

Sigh... my family continues to be a trial…but I shall keep looking

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Mrs. George (Lucina) Hardenbrook

Obituary for Mrs. George Hardenbrook
Her Death at Her Daughter’s in Batavia, After Brief Illness

Mrs. Lucina Bush Hardenbrook, widow of George Hardenbrook, died about 12:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon [Nov. 10, 1912] at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Martha Lindsley of No. 135 Ross Street from a complication of diseases. She had been in ill health for some time, but was not taken seriously ill until Saturday. Owning to the fact that her illness had been so brief Coroner Snow was called on to issue the death certificate.

Mrs. Hardenbrook was born in Barre, Orleans County, on March 24, 1832, and was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ebenezer Bush. Her grandfather was Elisha Smith, who took a deed of his farm in Barre in 1806, traveling there from Massachusetts with his family by wagon. Mrs. Hardenbrook’s great-grandfather was Abija Harding, a Revolutionary soldier, and she was also a grand niece of Cheater Harding, the noted portrait painter. Her marriage to George Hardenbrook took place in Middleport on September 25, 1849. She resided with her husband in Clarendon nearly sixty years.

Two years ago Mrs. Hardenbrook came to Batavia and took up her residence with her daughter, Mrs. Lindsley, besides whom she is survived by a son, Fred Hardenbrook of Clarendon; a sister, Mrs. Wallace of Geneseo, eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Willow Creek Evaporator - 1904

As genealogists it is only natural to wonder how our ancestors met.  Until I read the following article from the Ithaca Daily News I suspected my great-grandparents, Enos Hardenbrook and Laura Wortman probably met at the Jacksonville (NY) Community Church or at one of the Grange suppers. I now understand they could have gotten to know each other working at “The Evaporator.”

Willow Creek, October 20, 1904 - Davis, Vann & Boit Employ Large Force – 180 Bushels of Apples Dried Daily

The firm of Davis, Vann & Boit opened its evaporator. One hundred and eighty bushels of apples are peeled and dried daily. They have employed Mr. and Mrs. Lee Cleveland, Elmer Kimpland, Miss Myrtle Brink and Mr. and Mrs. E.R. Boit of Wolcott, Frank Dell of Corning, George Manning, Enos Hardenbrook, Mrs. N. Simpson, the Misses Minerva Taylor and Laura Wortman of Jacksonville and Harry Onan of this place.

Enos and Laura were married June 8, 1905 at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, NY by the Reverend M. J. Owen.

Many thanks to the Old Fulton NY Post Cards website for continuing to add newspaper articles that help us learn about the day-to-day lives of our ancestors. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Preserving your Family History

Last Thursday’s storm battered parts of Connecticut and took out our electricity for three days.  Without which I had time to catch up on my reading.  An article in the Connecticut Genealogy News, Vol. 4 No. 2, What to Do With Your Stuff? by Richard G. Tomlinson caught my attention and I hope Mr. Tomlinson doesn’t mind if I share the information.

Actually this concern has been raised in our genealogy club from time to time.  Members wonder what will become of their research when they are gone. Their children are not interested, nor are other family members. They shudder to think that their precious family files will be thrown in the dumpster.  One member, who was diagnosed with cancer, had plans in place to send the genealogy research of his ancestor who had worked on the Erie Canal to a museum in that area.  Others suggested designating a historical society or local library to receive their materials and to make sure family members know of this designation.

Mr. Tomlinson’s solution is to set up three ring binders for each ancestor. His write-ups are included in the binder as well as vinyl sheets with pockets that hold newspaper clippings, etc. Each binder’s spine is clearly labeled. When he has enough research done, he writes up the history and that is shared via CD or hard copy with family members.  By following this process he hopes that his material will be organized enough that some local genealogy society, historical society or library might accept his files in the future.

Remember DO NOT carry around original documents – birth, marriage, death certificates, etc. Make a copy to keep in your binder for when you are off on a research trip; leave the original at home.

I would love to know what plans others have for preserving their genealogy research.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Books - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy

I couldn’t let this prompt pass me by.  Several titles come immediately to mind when I think of my favorite childhood books.  For Christmas 1951 my great-grandmother Jessie Agard gave me a hardcover copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses.  My favorite poem was “The Swing.”

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

I would read that poem and then look at the color drawing facing the title page. For whatever reason I was captivated by this picture.
Courtesy of
I am delighted these books are still available
My next favorite book was Tootle. I just loved Tootle, and would ask my parents to read it to me over and over and over again.  One time when my father asked me what I wanted him to read and I responded, Tootle, I heard him groan.  There were a lot of words and it was long for a Golden Book. 

Courtesy of
Order yours now! Every family should have his book!

And then, of course, was Boss of the Barnyard. What antics those animals were into.

I still have these books, as well as other well loved treasures like Ugly Duckling given to me by my first grade teacher, Marian Evans, and of course as I grew, all those horse books.

Thanks to Geneabloggers’ prompts for stirring up these wonderful book memories.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

This Is The Face of Genealogy

Maude Emma Hardenbrook Agard, Carol Agard (Nunn), and Merritt Agard
abt 1925
Genealogy is about remembering family.

Church Record Sunday - Spencer NY Presbyterian Church

The Christmas Day 1910 Bulletin for the Spencer (NY) Presbyterian Church
Society Officers listed on back. Happy to share information with any interested parties.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Addie Tucker

Addie Tucker

Reviewing information I had gathered on the Tucker family, I had only one sentence attached to Adelaide C. Tucker b: 7 April 1871 – “Adelaide Tucker remained unmarried.”  Not much of a bio for Addie! 

She is a bit elusive at this point, but I do know that for over thirty years she taught school in Asbury Park, New Jersey. For at least ten of those years she boarded with Cornelia Thompson on South Main Street in Neptune Township, Monmouth County, NJ.  Addie returned home to visit her family during summer vacation and at holiday time. My mother remembers Addie taking the train that ran through Willow Creek to travel to and from New Jersey.  Addie Tucker was the daughter of Fanny Adelia Hosner and William Lanning Tucker; her sisters were Carrie Tucker (Beardsley) b: 1866, Olive Tucker (Rightmire) b: 1873 and my great-grandmother Jessie Tucker (Agard) b: 1876.

Addie came to mind when I pulled out some photos my cousin gave to me recently. The photos were in an old box that was found in a corner of their barn.  I will do my best to learn more about Addie’s life.