Central New York Research. The eclectic ramblings of doing genealogy and growing up in that part of Upstate New York that is the central and Finger Lakes regions. With ancestors all over the northeast and beyond, there will be forays outside the area with trips and news on family history as well as local history.
Attendees listening to Michael Keene's presentation
The Central New York
Genealogical Society is still looking for a new editor. Joyce Cook has retired from
this position after 10 years of hard work on TreeTalks. We still will be seeing
a lot of her at meetings though as she has agreed to serve as Vice President.
Congratulations to Joyce on your new endeavor and I hope it gives you enough
time to get the book published you’ve been wanting to!
The meeting today had two separate
sessions. The first featured Michael Keene who was
speaking on the history of orphan asylums. He has written many books on history
in New York, mainly New York City and had them available at the meeting for
He spoke briefly of Irish
history of the famine era that brought many young people to America. This was
the beginning of such phenomenon in New York City as the Bowery boys and other
groups of children roaming the streets. This was a time of many orphans with no
real place to live or supervision as they grew up. These children were
essentially raising themselves.
This was the start of orphan
asylums and the Orphan Train Movement. His book, Abandoned, tells about 18 orphanages established around New York
State. Far from the total number orphanages formed in the state, but they are representative
of the overall movement that happened during this time period. It was a time of
dedicated people coming together to rescue children they didn’t even know.
Just three of the people
highlighted in the book:
·Philby Thomas founded an Indian Orphanage in
·Susan Fennimore Cooper- The Orphan House of
·Elizabeth Scarlet Hamilton- NYC’s first private
An Institute for destitute
pregnant women was established as well to give women a safe place to stay and
give birth. This idea was spread across the country to cities and small towns.
In all, 55 missions were created; some survive to this very day.
The people who founded the
asylums were all wealthy. They were members of some of the most prominent
families of New York. They were people that could have easily ignored the poor,
but instead they reached out and helped them.
Michael told other stories told
of children across the state that have been found from newspapers and letters.
One such mentioned was a young boy who was enrolled in the State School for
Idiots in Syracuse. His problem? He was “deaf and dumb.” In other words he
couldn’t hear or consequentially speak. This was typical of many of these
asylums. Their only crimes, if you can call them that, were that they were poor
or sick with illness or disease.
Sue Greenhagen and Mary Ray Casper
The second session was an
overview of lineage societies giving us an idea of the many different ones that
exist and an idea of what is needed to join them and why people belong to one
or more of these societies. This was conducted by a panel of four people who
belong to several of these societies across Central New York: David Morton, Bob
Gang, Sue Greenhagen and Mary Raye Casper. After the presentations, they were available
to talk individually with interested people.
come in three basic types:
·Pioneer or First Family Societies
·Common Trait (same ship, occupation)
A site that lists many, if not all of them
is:www.hereditary.usThe list is quite extensive with somewhere
around 500 lineage societies listed.