Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Burned Over District


During the early to mid 1800s, New York State, primarily from the Finger Lakes to Lake Erie experienced religious revivals described as the Second Great Awakening. Because the religious fervor was so strong, this area was also referred to as the Burned Over District.  The Second Great Awakening played an important role in women’s rights, education reform, peace advocates, and the question of slavery.  It spawned many new religions such as Mormonism.  

I became aware of the importance of the Burned Over District, because I now have the original journal of Adeline Cleveland Hosner (1809-1882).  Adeline’s journal was edited by William Heidt, Jr. and published by the DeWitt Historical Society (now known as The History Center) as The Pioneer Clevelands.  Adeline Cleveland Hosner is my great-great-great-grandmother.

I also now have a typed version of the original unedited journal, which The Pioneer Clevelands doesn’t provide.  The forward to the typed manuscript – a project lead by Dale and Metta Winter - explains how the journal was found and the role it played in Ithaca College’s Burned Over District Project.

“In 1974, because the Burned Over District was so important to the religious history of New York State, a group of faculty and students from Ithaca College decided to do some research into the area, its history, and its spiritual values. In looking through church records, the group discovered, much to its delight, the personal journal of a woman named Adaline Cleveland Hosner.”  [Dale Winter]

“The overall theme of Adeline’s journal is the recorded process of a woman’s spiritual quest. In its pages she traces and comes to understand the religious experience as it manifests itself in the daily events of her life.”  [Dale Winter]

Mr. Winter goes on to describe the journals: “The manuscript is a coverless booklet made by folding 42 sheets of 16” and 12-1/2 “ paper in half and hand sewing them together along the fold with fine linen thread making an 84-page booklet measuring 8” by 12-1/2”.   The first entry is March 1838; the last August 7, 1882.”

I look forward to the hours of work ahead reading through the entries to extract important family history information, and really getting to know Adaline.   The first entry tells of her mother’s death as well as her sister’s illness, which resulted in the loss of a child. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Those Places Thursday – Fredericksburg VA


Fredericksburg Court Records Online...

Tomorrow hubby and I will spend the better part of the day being trained to input data and digitize marriage records for the City of Fredericksburg.  At this point 1995 to present are online; the city clerk wants us to work back from 1995 to 1742. Needless to say this is a long term project!  

This information is available at Historic Court Records  and we are very excited to be part of this ongoing project to get all Fredericksburg city records online.

These records will have a wide range appeal. Because of the city’s proximity to Quantico as well as other military installations, and government offices, many non-residents utilized this beautiful historic city for their marriage ceremony.

[Correction: Once trained we realized that the documents at Historic Court Records are the work of one of the employees at the Circuit Court. We, however, are putting records online for access through the Fredericksburg Circuit Court. These records are available online for a fee; contact the court for the authorization process.  As of 4 February 2013 we have made available 160 marriage records for 1994.]

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Noah Agard's House



My cousin and her husband visited us this past weekend and brought another box of family memorabilia.  I have inventoried each item and have carefully placed them in an archive box. As we went through these photos and documents, we could not figure out where this house is located.  Most likely it is located in the Alpine/Catherine, NY area. Or possibly in the Mecklenburg, NY area.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Newtown Deaths 1890s Daley - Keane

This posting is a continuation of the Newtown Deaths 1890-1899 database.  As noted in the first posting those residents in bold are of black descent. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Newtown, CT Deaths 1890s - Booth-Curtis


Newtown, Connecticut Deaths – 1890-1899


The loss of the 1890 U.S. Census presents a great inconvenience for genealogists.  A few years ago my hubby and I talked about how we could create a census substitute for Newtown, CT. We pulled together four town documents: the 1890 Grand list, 1890 Voters list, 1890 New Electors, and information from the school register for 1890.  An article was published in Connecticut Ancestry, and the databases can be found at the Genealogy Club of Newtown's website. 

In 2010 I decided to develop a database of Newtown Deaths for the 1890s. I went to the town clerk’s office with laptop and began the project. The problem I ran into was that the book was so large, I had to get up, take a step to the right to read the information on the facing page. This slowed the progress immensely!  When I mentioned this to my husband he offered to help. We continued this project armed with a long ruler, him reading and me typing.

What I found most intriguing was this information included the deceased’s place of birth, cause of death, and parents’ names.

 Persons of black descent are shown in bold.

Number of Newtown Deaths by year:

1890 – 66
1891 – 57
1892 – 81
1893 – 55
1894 – 55
1895 – 36
1896 – 51
1897 – 57
1898 – 46
1899 - 66

Keep in mind handwriting legibility and name and medical term spelling variations are inherent in any document.  Over the next few days I will post pages of this database. Because it is so large, I have not included the column of parents’ names, but am happy to provide should one of these folks be yours.





Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Carrie Tucker


Carrie (Tucker) Beardsley


Carrie, born in Enfield, NY on 10 January 1866 was the oldest daughter of William Lanning and Fanny Adelia (Hosner) Tucker. 

In November of 1886 she married Frank J. Beardsley. They made their home in the town of Hector, just west of the Mecklenburg town line.  Carrie and Frank had three children: Herbert b: February 1888, Mabel b: April 1890, and Olive b: January 1894.

The year 1916 was difficult for Carrie.  In January her son Herbert fractured his leg while jumping from a wagon on the farm he was working.  On 9 April 1916 Carrie’s mother passed away.  Carrie, along with her sisters Jessie Agard and Olive Rightmire then shared in the care of their father, William Lanning Tucker.

Besides keeping house, raising her children, and helping to care for her dad, Carrie stayed busy with the Mecklenburg Grange and Study Club. 

Carrie (Tucker) Beardsley died at her home on 7 December 1932 after a long illness. She is buried alongside her husband in the Mecklenburg NY cemetery.

Please note that Carrie’s birth date in the Rootsweb/Ancestry online index for this cemetery is incorrect by a year.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Willow Creek Ladies Lunch at "The Krebs"

Willow Creek Ladies
The Krebs Restaurant, Skaneateles, NY
I decided to scan this deteriorating photo sooner rather than later. Only eight of the thirteen people are listed on the back. Those named are: Margaret Crumb, Florence Graham, Hester Hadley, Pearl Vann, Amanda Smith, Emma Lueder, Jessie Agard, Anna Johnson.  I have no idea the data of this photo; can only guess it is early 1900s.

The Krebs restaurant was originally owned by Cora Krebs in 1845, and became a renowned area restaurant in 1899. It was closed in 2010 due to the death of the owner/operator, and has just recently been renovated to reopen as a restaurant again. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Military Monday - Harry Hoose

Harry Hoose - 1943
Ithaca, New York

I believe Harry was the son of Edwin W. and Emma J. Hoose who lived on Giles Street in Ithaca, New York. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tillie Politi, best friend


Tillie Politi (lf), and Margaret Nunn
abt 1940

The foggy weather this weekend provided the perfect setting for me to stay inside and work on organizing my mother’s 1940s photo collection.  Getting set up took the most time; I organized photos by family, got acid and lignin free archive envelopes and laptop handy.  I then typed up a list that included a brief description of each numbered photo. No more pawing through boxes and envelopes to find that one photo I had in mind. 

During this process I came across several pictures of my aunt, Margaret Nunn with the same girl in the photo. My mother had identified this young lady as “Tillie Politi.  Mom said Tillie was a neighbor of the Nunns when they lived on Cruger Street in the Bronx.

I was curious about Tillie so I checked the 1930 Census and sure enough, the Politis lived just a few houses away from the Nunns. Joseph and Ernestine Politi were both born in Italy, coming to the U.S. in 1899; they had nine children, and Matilda (Tillie) was the third from last. Joseph Poletti did plaster work.

Tillie, thanks for being Margaret’s best friend. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dorn Family Bible Record


In the process of reorganizing my family files, I came upon (again) a copy of a “Family Register” sheet that had been amongst my mother’s papers.  I suspected all along that the George and Emma listed was my grandfather’s sister, Emma Nunn. The marriage date is 8 April 1923.  Earlier I had poked around trying to verify this information, but kept coming up blank.  Today I took another stab at it, and do now believe this page is from the Dorn family.



In the 1925 New York State Census, I found George and Emma Dorn living in the Bronx.  George’s occupation was listed as a Gem Polisher. Emma was an embroiderer.  Living Nearby is Nicholas and Josephine (possibly called Joy?) Dorn. Nicholas’ occupation is lapidary.

In posting this page I hope to receive verification that this indeed belongs to the Dorn family. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fredericksburg Genealogical Society


Fredericksburg (VA) Regional Genealogical Society members are excited about the genealogy programs that will be offered this year.  At its January meeting a full slate of officers was elected, including the hubby of yours truly taking on the Program Chair position.  By the end of the meeting he had four program ideas, and those are being put into place as I post this.  This year we will have programs on Cemetery Research, DNA, Blogs and Social Media, Researching at the DAR, and more. An interest survey will be sent around to members soon to ascertain what research areas are most needed.

More exciting news – The Society will partner with the Central Rappahannock Regional Library in sponsoring a five part Saturday morning Genealogical Series.  The series of lectures will be aimed at beginning genealogists and will have a range of topics.  Stay tuned as details are firmed up.  

Top on the to-do list is to get the Society’s web page back online, refreshed, and with new content added. Hopefully this will be done by February.

The Fredericksburg Regional Genealogical Society meets the second Wednesday of each month (except July, August and December), 7:00 p.m. in a meeting room of the Salem Church Branch Library, 2607 Salem Church Road,
Fredericksburg, VA 22407
(540-785-9267)

Meetings are open to the public, and of course we welcome new members!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Funeral Card Friday - Mary A. Harrington



 I came upon this funeral card today. The dearth of information imparted is testimony that she had no living relatives to provide such.  I remember clearly the early October day this card arrived in our mailbox. We were living in Newfield, New York at the time, and although I had not seen her in over ten years, we exchanged birthday and Christmas greetings.  But in 1983 my greeting for her 15 September birthday arrived too late.  I am thankful to the kind gentleman neighbor who intercepted the birthday card and then mailed me the funeral card with a note that Mary (Mae) had passed away.

There were too many Marys – Mary A. Harrington’s maiden name was Mary A. Conlon. She was my grandmother’s (Mary Doyle) cousin.  By 1920 Mae b: 1902, and her three brothers, Edward b: 1897, George b: 1899, and Lawrence b: 1901 were living with the Doyle’s in their Manhattan apartment. I suspect since my grandmother was “Mary,” they nicknamed Mary Conlon, “Mae.”  And that is how we knew her.

In the 1920s Mae started work in the fire department as a stenographer. She married in the early 1930s, and lived in the Bronx for the rest of her life. The 1940 census shows John and Mary A. Harrington living in the Bronx. John works as a “typest” for the fire department; Mae is not working. At some point she went back to work as I remember so well how proud she was of her position as “Secretary to the Fire Chief of New York.”

Mary (Nana) Doyle Nunn and Mae Conlon Harrington
1486 Taughannock Boulevard, Ithaca, New York
late 1960s 
During my growing up years Mae spent her two-week vacation at our Taughannock Boulevard house, visiting my grandmother, her cousin, Mary Doyle Nunn. 

Cousins - Mae and Nana on Anna Maria Island
Upon retirement she then could join us during our time on Anna Maria Island, Florida, again, able to spend time with her favorite cousin.

A kind gentle soul, Mae was a wonderful lady, soft spoken, and with a very sweet smile. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Best Friends



            The end of a year also brings about thoughts of times past. Today I am thinking about a special childhood friend, Susie Suchman, someone I lost track of; this blog is dedicated to her, wherever she is.

Susie Suchman and Mary Nunn abt 1957


A skinny Jewish girl; a chubby Catholic girl – that was Susie Suchman and me – best friends.

            Susie and her family lived in a house across the road from my grandparents on Taughannock Boulevard. The Suchman’s beautiful contemporary home was positioned on a narrow strip of land between State Route 89 and the cliff overlooking Cayuga Lake. Conforming to the land, the house was long and narrow; the windows were floor to ceiling in most rooms facing the lake.  For me the most intriguing area was the breakfast nook. The three outside walls were glass and this room literally hung over the cliff so when you looked down, you saw nothing but the water below.

            I don’t remember how Susie and I met; possibly her parents came over to meet the proprietors of the nearby restaurant. At any rate, we hit it off and ended up playing for hours either at the restaurant or at her house.

            Susie and I loved to play paper dolls. We would stake out our areas in my grandparents’ house as that was the safest place to leave them undisturbed. We could do this for about a week before my grandmother would “mention” them; that was our cue to pick up our dolls and move them over to Susie’s house.

            Susie was a fussy eater – probably the reason she looked like a toothpick. When we played at the restaurant Susie would be invited to stay for lunch. Before she accepted the offer, she roamed the large commercial kitchen looking into the pots to see what was being served that day. She would then say, “No thank you; I think I will go home.”

            A memorable lunch at the Suchman’s was one Friday during Lent. As lunchtime approached I became nervous, wondering what was going to be put in front of us. As I sat down at the table I was overwhelmed with the kindness and sensitivity of Mrs. Suchman. She served us grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Before her two girls could comment on the menu, she stated she knew I could not eat meat, and therefore everything was meatless. I am sure this was a small gesture on her part, but to me it was a life lesson about compassion, acceptance, and respect of others’ beliefs.

            As we entered our teens, Susie and I drifted apart. She attended Ithaca schools; I attended Trumansburg. Her parents got divorced, the house was sold, and Susie and her mother moved away. I never heard from her again.

Susie, wherever you are, I hope you are happy and healthy and I would love an opportunity to talk with you again.



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Year; A Fresh Start



This was a year of transition for us, moving from Newtown, CT to Fredericksburg, VA, and getting settled into our new environment.  Luckily our genealogy files arrived intact, and are housed on shelves in our lower level Hobby Room.  Between unpacking and finding my way around town, I was able to finish the Hardenbrook monograph, and immediately began a monograph of the Tucker family. I made great progress transcribing my great-grandmother’s (Jessie Tucker Agard) diaries, not verbatim, but just jotting down the important vital record information, and other details of importance.  From those diaries I learned about her sister, Addie Tucker’s illness and death that provided an important emotional element to the monograph. 

As the year ended I was successful in getting volunteers from the Field Library in Peekskill to assist in filling genealogy requests from the archives of St. Joseph’s Home.  I am so thankful to Rev. John Higgins for his willingness to keep these archives open.

And speaking of St. Joseph’s Home, I have not given up on my Nunn family line. I just know that someone from the Eberhard family will answer my call.

And there is much to be done in 2013.  I have old photos, lots of them, different sizes, shapes, and conditions.  Sometimes a particular photo will come to mind when I am writing a blog. But where is it? I paw through many archive envelopes, each time telling myself I have to take the time to get all these photos better organized.  Many years after my father died I found his box of slides. Lying on top were yellow lined pages with the number of the slide slot and a description of the slide.  Thanks, Dad, for a great way to organize those photos.

I still have a box of material on the Shepard family that I should delve into again and continue that research.  That box hasn’t been open in almost two years.

And, I need to continue verifying citations of previous work and putting them into the correct format.

I think that's enough for a start in this new year.  I wish everyone much success in their genealogy journeys.