Tuesday, July 28, 2020

"Women as bright as Stars" by Rosemary Rowland

Researching female ancestors is a difficult task. Women are left out of the history books. Their busy lives and contributions to family and community oftentimes ignored. 

Thanks to Rosemary Rowland, the women of the small rural village of Newfield, New York are recognized and now part of written history. 

Rosemary starts her books with a quote from author Donald Dean Parker, who wrote Local History, How to Gather it, Write It, and Publish It. Mr. Parker states: It is not, after all, the highly trained historian who will write the local history of each community in this vast country. If the local history of the United States is to be written at all, it will have to be done by an interested, if amateur citizen or citizens in each community."

I would not say Rosemary is an "amateur," because she has published a well researched and documented book. But she does fit into Mr. Parker's category as an interested citizen of the community in which she lives.

To give a glimpse of the scope of her research into the women who called Newfield home during the 1800s, there are nine pages, two columns of names in the index.

This book is not just for those who have female ancestors in the Tompkins County, New York area. Rosemary divided the chapters into categories, such as Land, Farming, Business, African Americans, The Arts, Education, etc. Consequently, any family historian can learn the issues of the day, can learn what daily life was like for women everywhere during the 19th century.

Her book, recently published, has garnered much interest. Bravo! Rosemary. A job very well done.

To order your copy email Rosemary at: fnrland@gmail.com


Thursday, July 2, 2020

St. Joseph's Home Peekskill, New York - Contact information

Several years ago I contacted the Franciscan Sisters in Peekskill, New York to inquire about my grandfather's records. My grandfather, Harry Nunn, and six of his eight siblings were admitted into St. Joseph's Home in June 1900. I had worked eight years to break through this family's brick wall. I had no idea where the records would be, but I was on a mission. 

To my surprise a lovely nun came to the phone and when asked where I could get my grandfather's records, she replied in a soft tone, "I have them." You could have knocked me over with a feather!! This lovely person worked with the home's archives and appreciated genealogy. She copied my grandfather's intake and outtake documents as well as those of each of his siblings. The day the postman delivered that manila envelope I was in "heaven." 

Over the years I've posted several blogs about St. Joseph's home, and it is the most visited blog of any I have written. I still receive requests from family historians on how to get their family records from St. Joseph's Home. Since it has been quite a few years since I received my grandfather's records, I decided to find out what the latest procedure was. The last I knew, since the nun who help me had passed away, no one else had stepped forward to respond to these requests.

I sent an email to the Field Library in Peekskill, and was delighted to learn that the reference librarian who I'd met all those years ago, is still there and has worked with the Franciscan Sisters to make records available. The Sisters have given permission to add their contact information on the library's website. It is listed under Local History. 

The contact is: Sister Laura and any information about St. Joseph’s Home can be obtained by emailing Sister Laura at slmfmsc@mail.com.  Please include St. Joseph Home Request in the Subject line.