Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Saturday Challenge- Occupations

From Randy Seaver: For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:

1)    Geneablogger Diane Gould Hall posted WORKDAY WEDNESDAY – What kind of work did your ancestors do? on her Michigan Family Trails blog last year, and I thought the topic could be used as an SNGF post.

2)  Please go back several generations (say parents or grandparents or great-grandparents) and list the occupations that they had in the records you've found for them.  You could do this, say, by ancestor table number.

A field overlooking Owasco Lake
I wondered how to go about answering this Saturday challenge. I can answer the question for most of my male ancestors with just one word: “farmer”. My father left the farm, worked as a mechanic/tow truck driver for a short time.  Then worked for his uncle for a while as a salesman for a Sinclair oil distributorship before taking it over from him. He then ran this business as his own for the rest of his working career, but was always a farmer at heart.  My maternal grandfather was a carpenter by trade, although in later years he also worked for the school district as a janitor. The women for the most part were housewives, supporting their husbands in their careers; especially those who were farm wives. My maternal grandmother was a Registered Nurse. There is not much variety to write about.

Then I read a blog posting from Michael John Neill where he took exception (and rightly so) to somebody saying that an ancestor was just a farmer. That made me think about the fact many people may not realize what the occupations of farmer and farmer’s wife entailed, and often still do today.

The farmer is the one that gets up while its still night to milk the cows and feed all the animals. He may not have had much sleep, as he had been in the barn just a short while before checking on an animal that was sick or about to give birth. Maybe there were new baby animals of some sort to tend to already that morning.

He is the one that gets all the crops planted while checking the weather for storms and cold spells that will hurt the tender plants. Have you ever watched a haying crew scramble to get the hay from the field on a hot summer day when a storm is brewing? They are working at a frantic pace, but organized and knowing exactly what to do.

I use the pronoun “he” above. However, not all farmers are men. And did you notice what was happening right along side that farmer when there was a crisis going on or any type of extra work needing to be done? Yes, that is the farmer’s wife jumping in and helping where needed. When I posted a picture of my grandparents’ barn a while ago, one comment was made by my older brother about something that was missing from the scene. The ’48 IH pick-up truck pulling up to the barn with a load of hay to be unloaded-- driven by Grandma.

The farmer’s wife’s traditional sphere was the kitchen. Getting meals on the table, washing the clothes and keeping the house. Preserving the harvest for use next winter, mending clothes or sewing entirely new outfits. All the time while keeping an eye on the children and making sure they were safe. It was also helping and getting everything done that her husband might not be able to get to. They were a team.

At other times a farmer is doing many other chores around the farm. The job, if a written description were made, would go on for pages and pages and scare any sane person away. The farmer is part veterinarian, part butcher, part mechanic, part electrician, part carpenter, part meteorologist, part business person, part bookkeeper, part salesman, part store clerk, part horse-trader, part blacksmith, part cooper, part herbalist… part many more things I have missed. Whatever needed to be done on the farm needed to be done by him his wife or children, often at a moment’s notice, without a chance to call for help unless it was to his nearest neighbor- another farm family.

So, yes most of my ancestors were “just farmers” and I’m proud to say that I descend from many, many generations of farmers. None of the current generations farm other than a small garden or such, but many of our cousins still do.

FGS in Springfield Illinois- Registration

Collage from their website
The FGS (Federation of Genealogical Conferences) will hold its annual conference “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories,” in Springfield, Illinois in late summer.

Here's a link to information about this exciting conference:

The conference is August 31-September 3 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois and registration for it is now open.

If you're going to attend, get registered while the early bird specials are going on, of course, and then drop a comment on this post and make all the rest of us jealous! So many great speakers and so many great topics while being surrounded by a great group of people. Alas, I only have so much, time, money and energy so will not be able to make this conference this year. I'm hoping in the next 2 or 3 years to be able to make another NGS or FGS conference, they are so much fun!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

As we approach Memorial Day do you know how it originated? Or where it originated? Although many places lay claim to a decoration day after the Civil War in which they decorated graves in their cemeteries of the war dead, Waterloo, New York is officially the first to have started a yearly tradition throughout the village.

Here’s a quote from the U. S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs website:

Official Birthplace Declared In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.”

Now then, who’s good with math? For those that aren’t it was fifty years ago that it was officially declared and this year is the one hundred and fiftieth Decoration (now Memorial) Day.

Although many of us now commemorate the holiday as the unofficial start of summer with trips, camping and barbecues, this is what the original intent was. I was touched by how many people responded to my post from yesterday about still carrying out the tradition of decorating families’ graves. That was what I was taught as a child, to make sure that all the recently passed relatives had flowers or other decorations on their graves if at all possible. We also did other activities that usually included camping and cooking outside as well.
I see that Waterloo is doing a big celebration as is fitting for such an occasion. There are many activities for people to participate in and enjoy. Personally, I will be staying away from there as it is becoming way too hot this weekend and I really, really hate crowds! However, you decide to celebrate the holiday--- Enjoy!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Memorial Day Flowers

Memorial Day.

Do people still do the tradition of putting flowers on loved ones graves at Memorial Day? I see flowers on many graves as I go about exploring cemeteries, but they often look old and faded. This could just be because with the exposure to wind and sun, the silk flowers fade rather quickly. A few places have live plants or flowers, but these, of course, die quickly unless you can go there frequently to water and tend to them which most of us don’t have time to do or are too far away from where the graves are.

I don’t remember when I made the first trip to the cemetery to put flowers on my grandparents’ graves. I’m sure it was some evening in the week before Memorial Day after supper. That was the way my parents would always do it. After the dishes were done, we would get in the car and head south to go around the lake and head to Scipio where my Dad’s parents were buried. They had died three years before I was born, so the routine would have been already established by that spring when I was a baby.

Did we go to Skaneateles to put flowers on my Mom’s grandparents graves? I don’t remember, but Grandma, her mother, passed away just before my fifth birthday and the following spring we definitely would have been heading that direction some evening in that week before the holiday. I remember Mom putting an arrangement on her grandparents’ grave as well, so she might have been doing that prior to her mother’s death.

Over the years as I was growing up, this was a yearly ritual for us. I took it for granted that everybody did this for their grandparents. As I got older, I realized that only some people do that. My mother continued on for many years. She added her father’s grave when I was ten. As I grew up and left the house, I no longer accompanied my parents, but knew they did this still. In my early 30s, my father’s was added to the list, across the driveway from his parents.

I rode along with my mother from time to time as she did this job alone over the years. When she stopped driving, I would make sure she got to the store and was able to select the flowers. Most of the time I took her as well. Occasionally  my brother would if I didn’t have a chance. As she got older, I took over going to Skaneateles for her. She still goes out to my father’s grave, but now just watches from the car as I arrange the flowers in the vases on either side of their stone.

And so the tradition passes. From one generation to the next. Remembering and taking care of putting flowers on the ancestors’ graves.
Find My Past has 1.8 records available and they are allowing you to access some of them for free until Monday! See the information at the bottom of this link.

Add your tree and get 1.8 billion free records this week

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Almost Wordless Wednesday- In Honor of Memorial Day

Just a few from my Wooster line that served during conflicts and that I have pictures of their burial sites.
Robert Tifft burial site. Revolutionary War

Orrin Wooster. Civil War

Marion Wooster. WWI and WWII.

Alice Wooster. WWI
Robert Wooster. WWII

Monday, May 23, 2016

Southern Cal Jamboree Live Streaming

Want to travel to Southern California's Jamboree, but can't get away or can't afford to? Here's a partial solution! They are live streaming some of the presentations. DNA day will cost you, but the other days are available for free thanks to Ancestry! The details are all in the funky looking link below. You do need to preregister even for the free ones. Also, if, like me, you're on the east coast or well, any time zone different from Pacific time, you need to adjust the times listed to what they are in your local time zone.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Time Spent- Saturday Challenge

This Saturday’s challenge seemed complicated with a lot of hours of calculation and really how do I separate my genealogy from other things related? It wants me to account for all my genealogy time during a given week. So, instead I’m doing an old challenge from last summer that has some similar questions that don’t require me to calculate every single minute of my day!

1)  Answer these questions in my survey about your genealogy resources and usage:

a)  Which genealogy software programs for your computer do you use (e.g., Family Tree Maker, Reunion, GRAMPS, etc.)?

I use Reunion. It is a Mac based program only. Sorry Windows users! This program is easy to use and has a lot of different report creating capabilities as well as a good display for information.

b)  Which online family trees have information submitted by you - in either a separate online tree (e.g., Ancestry Member Tree) or a universal (collaborative) online tree (e.g., WikiTree)?

After a bad experience a number of years ago with someone taking my information and changing it after a distant cousin had given them a copy of the tree we had been working on, I do not put information into online trees. The short version of the problem is that sources were completely removed, information garbled- siblings are married to each other among other things- and he claims that he’s the only one to have done work on the family, and that this tree is gospel.

I do add information to Find A Grave, but not complete trees or all of the research.

c)  For which subscription genealogy record providers (e.g., Ancestry) do you have a subscription?

I have subscriptions to Ancestry and AmericanAncestors (New England Historical Genealogical Society). My husband has access to the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society databases as well through his membership.

d)  Which FREE genealogy record providers (e.g., FamilySearch) do you use regularly?

I regularly use Family Search, Find A Grave and rootsweb/genweb sites. Also, several newspaper and obituary websites: Fulton Postcards, New York State Historical Newspapers, and Legacy for the recent obituaries.

e)  How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research online?  [Note:  not reading, or social networking, but actual searching in a record provider].  Estimate an average number of hours per week.
I’m probably online about 5 hours a week usually, more if I have a chunk of time to do some research. A lot of it is on Find A Grave as I want to get as many of my families stones and those of local cemeteries photographed as possible before the stones disappear. I wish I had more of a chance to get out and photograph the stones than I currently have, but request the ones I can’t get to.

f)  How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research in a repository (e.g., library, archive, courthouse, etc.)?  Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one-year period.

About once or twice a month I get a chance to go to an actual repository to do research. I usually am able to devote about 6-8 hours to researching when I do. Other times it might be a quick trip to get a certain record or a short visit to find out about that repository.

g)  How much time do you spend each week adding information to your genealogy software program (either on your computer or online)?  Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one-month period.

Often, I try to enter information as I go along. However, that is not always possible if there is analysis to do or if I am quickly copying pages to get the information. On an average week, I probably spend an hour or two catching up with this. Right now I have a backlog of pages of various records that I photographed while at the New York State Library in Albany.

h)  How much time do you spend each month at a genealogical society meeting, program or event (not a seminar or conference)?  Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one-year period.

I’m not going to average this all out as most meetings are clumped together into the spring/fall season. I average about 4 hours probably at the Central New York Genealogical Meetings- there are 5 per year, 2 all-day and 3 half-day meetings and I attend most of them. Half shire Society is about 3 hours per meeting and I attend about 3 during the spring to fall season. I have also started attending NYSCOGO meetings that are twice a year and vary widely in the time. This spring’s meeting was about 2 hours, but involved a day and a half of research with the group as well.

i)  How much time do you spend each month on genealogy education (e.g., reading books and periodicals, attending seminars, conferences, workshops, webinars, etc.)?   Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one-year period.

I try to listen to at least one webinar each week, which can be an hour to an hour and a half usually. Also an hour-long podcast or two each month. Conferences and institutes are one or two times a year and are from 3 to 5 days long. I have no idea how much time I spend reading, that varies widely, but as an avid reader, I devote whatever time I can to it.

j)  How much time do you spend each week reading, writing and commenting on genealogy blogs, websites, and social media?   Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one-month period.

This falls into the above of I’m not sure how much time I spend reading. As I read both print and online, I don’t differentiate in my mind.

Whew! That’s a lot of guesses in various categories. And the amounts vary widely week to week and from season to season. You can probably see why I took a look at a challenge that asked for hours spent in a week over large categories of things and said, no I could never calculate that; or if I did I would be wasting a lot of time. My time fluctuates day to day, week to week and season to season way too much to be able to figure out an average or typical week.

Friday, May 20, 2016

New York State Archives

Name: New York State Archives
Address: 222 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12230 11th Floor
Phone: (518) 474-8955
Website: http://www.archives.nysed.gov/

Parking: This will take you to a map and information on parking near the library. I have had good luck with the Cathedral parking lot whenever I have visited the library.

Monday - Saturday
9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Situated in the state’s capital, the New York State Archives is simply put, the archives for the entire state. It is situated in downtown Albany, a couple blocks from the state capital and at the southern end of the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. The building also contains the New York State Library and the New York State Museum.

Monday through Saturday, the doors to the building open at 9:30 in the morning. Upon entering, you are in a large room with information and guard counters as well as kiosks with information about Albany including bus schedules. At first it can be confusing as archways lead off in all directions. If you have time, feel free to explore through these arches—they are parts the New York State Museum which is free admission. In the northeast corner is the museum gift shop, which among other items, sells many books about the history and culture of the state.

Walking towards the back, you will see a desk for the security guards of the building. On either side of their area are banks of elevators. Turn towards the right and you will see these are marked with the various public floors. The Archives are on the 11th floor.

Does this information sound familiar? It should, the above was taken almost word for word from my previously write-up of the New York State Library and for very good reason. Although two different places, they are in the same building and take up much of the same space.

The archives have many restrictions, but don’t fear. They are also very happy to guide you through what you need. The registration process is very quick and simple; just make sure you have an official picture identification with you- probably your driver’s license. Once you register, you’re good for the year.  There are lockers available to stow any of your stuff that you have along and can’t take in with you. The pictures on this post were taken in the archives with just one stipulation- I was not allowed to take any pictures of people. Luckily, it was just about noon and not many people were working there at the time!

Once you are registered, you will be assigned a table in the archives. Shortly, the items that you requested will be brought out to you. On my most recent trip, I had so many items I was looking for in the library, that I did not plan any time to use the archives. However, in the past I have looked at various manuscripts that people have prepared about families that I am interested in. Some were family trees, and some were letters and such. 

This past December, I had the opportunity to look through a bound atlas of maps of the Wallumschack Patent along the upper Hudson River coming out of the 16 January 1791 deed of partition. These were not the original maps. But rather it is, a late 19th century copy of them. The maps show the lines and divisions of lots in what is now Washington County and across the border in Vermont. Not much information found, except there is that detail of Lot 12. What is that name just north of where Little White Creek runs through? Why, yes it does say “Seth Chase.” Seth, better known in my research as “grandpa times 5,” was a Loyalist at one time, but remained after the Revolution. He ran a tavern somewhere in present day Washington County both before, during and after the Revolution. Did I say somewhere? I think that house symbol in the corner of the property might give a clue. Comparing this map with a present day, we can tell almost exactly where that tavern stood!

Of course, not everyone can find a direct ancestor listed on a map, but you never know what you might find that is either direct or indirect information about your New York ancestors if you explore the archives

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cheat Sheets

Today I received 3 legal “cheat sheets” in the mail from Amazon. They’re laminated sheets with information printed on them in a convenient 8 ½” by 11” size and hole punched ready to slip into a loose-leaf notebook. Many companies put them out on various subjects. Legacy Family Trees and New England Historical Genealogical Society among other places sell ones on various genealogy topics. Some are called “Quick Sheets”, these I see are entitled “America’s #1 Legal Reference Chart.” Whatever they’re officially called, I refer to them as cheat sheets.

They are much like those pages that you made in high school or college before a test that listed key points on them for you to reference and study. Perhaps an index card that you were allowed to take into a test with you. I still create these from time to time for myself. I have one with models of common citations that I keep handy for doing research. The chart that somebody (The New York State Library?) put out many years ago with the New York State censuses and which counties were included is floating around somewhere as is the one that shows the year each county was formed and from which other counties. All of these various types of cheat sheets are helpful to reference.

The ones I got today are not intended for genealogy, but rather to help law students or paralegals in their studies. One is on terminology, another on research and the third on legal writing. I will be referencing all of these; I’m sure, while taking the Legal Research course at IGHR at Samford University next month. Reading over the research one this afternoon, I was glad to see they have a listing of primary and secondary authority publications. Something that having not worked with them, I often confuse. It is the difference between which are the laws and which are more like interpretations of what the laws mean. The titles are all familiar to me and I smiled to see that some of them are listed by the color of their covers. Having worked in Technical Services in a Law Library for a little over a decade, I immediately recognize those colors along with the titles and can picture exactly where they were on the shelves. After all, not only did I check them in upon arrival, but I often had occasion to shelve or retrieve them as well!

I am sure I will have reason to refer to these cheat sheets often during that week of class. I learned just enough while working in the library to have a beginner’s background in the subject, but will be delving far deeper into the research end now. These are where such forms shine. No matter the subject, if you have a basic grounding in it, but need help on the details either because you haven’t learned them yet or don’t use them often enough, a little help goes a long way. I have found over the years that such cheat sheets are great for quick reference. This is why I either make my own or search them out already created for me by others.

Create a binder of such pieces of information for the location and time period that you are researching. With this, you don’t need to remember all the seemingly trivial facts or where to find that one piece of information. Also, you can remind yourself of sources to look at that might lead to the clue to solve a problem.

I actually have two different types of “notebooks” for these. One set I keep in a binder that can set on my desk or the bookshelf where it is handy. If you’re leaving home, just take out the one or two you need if there is too big a collection. These are very easy to rearrange. The other isn’t a notebook, but rather a digital collection. In a folder on the computer amongst my genealogy is one entitled “Cheat Sheets.” This contains ones that I either haven’t printed out, or that I want to keep a digital version even if it has been printed. If I’m using it often, it is good to be able to print a fresh page when that one begins to get tattered or if it is lost. Also, ones like the citation cheat sheet is handy to have that way as I can copy and paste a sample citation directly into a document or my family tree database and then insert the specific information in place of the generic place holders.

So, even though I fondly refer to these as cheat sheets like we did back in high school, they are actually useful documents for serious research. I use these to quickly reference information that I need to be able to move forward without a lot of diving into books or other records to find that information that I know I read and can’t quite remember.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Other Hobbies- Saturday Challenge.

From Randy Seaver: For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:

1)  Tell us about your "other" hobbies or interests outside of genealogy and family history research, writing, speaking, etc.  Be mindful of your family's privacy, though!

2) Write a blog post of your own, respond with a comment to this post, or write a Facebook status post or a Google+ Stream post.

Hmmm, what if I don’t have a life beyond genealogy? Some days it doesn’t seem like it the way things intertwine around each other. Here’s the conversation I had with myself after reading this challenge:
View from NYS Library
-Travel. However, most of our trips center around genealogy or some aspect of historical encounters. My latest trip was to a genealogy meeting and the New York State Library and Archives. The next trip will be seeing some of the countryside though. Yeah, some of the countryside as you can see from the interstate, as we don’t have much time before we need to be in Alabama to, you guessed it IGHR, a genealogy institute.

-Crafts. I enjoy working on crafts, especially sewing. I’m working on a cross-stitch project right now. The subject? Oh, well, it’s historic buildings from Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts that we visited a couple years ago. That’s not research, so the historical doesn’t count right? I have a couple sewing projects that I need to get to soon! What are they? Well, one’s an organizer for the car that will help us on our trip to Alabama… and well, the other, is um a cover for a medal for the Sons of the American Revolution so they can do an unveiling.
Drayton Hall, a previous cross-stitch project

-Reading. But aren’t most of the books you read either about genealogy, history or some aspect of technology that helps you with this blog?

-Cooking. I enjoy cooking and collecting recipes. Of course, most of my cooking is reminiscent of what my ancestors cooked or regional cooking from areas that we’ve traveled to on genealogy.

So there you have it. I have hobbies besides genealogy and historical research. However, I am such a nerd about those two areas that everything else manages to revolve around it in some way. Is this good or bad? I don’t know, but I’m enjoying myself!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Central New York Genealogical Society will have their last meeting of the spring this coming Saturday. If you've been meaning to attend, now is the time as they do not meet over the summer and your next chance will be in September with the New York State Family History Conference.

Here's the information from the Program committee:

May 14, 2016 - 1:00 - 3:30 PM
Sue Lorraine, a member of the Association for Gravestone Studies from Utica, will present a lecture explaining symbols and epitaphs found on gravestones, and her experience giving cemetery tours for different historical groups. After her slideshow, we will use what we learned by looking at pictures of your own family’s gravestones. Bring prints or digital images on a flash drive. Also if you have a unique gravestone you may forward a photo beforehand to <slorraine1@roadrunner.com> and she might incorporate it into her slideshow! 

I found the Association for Gravestone Studies has their own website here. Check out their information, and make sure you look at the Knowledge Center if you need some quick answers to your gravestone questions. 

Hope to see you on Saturday!

Monday, May 9, 2016

New York State Library

New York State Library
Address: 222 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12230; 7th Floor and 11th Floor
This will take you to a map and information on parking near the library. I have had good luck with the Cathedral parking lot whenever I have visited the library.

Monday - Saturday
9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

A view from the library

Situated in the state’s capital, the New York State Library is simply put, the library for the entire state. It is situated in downtown Albany, a couple blocks from the state capital and at the southern end of the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. The building also contains the New York State Archives and the New York State Museum.

Monday through Saturday, the doors to the building open at 9:30 in the morning. Upon entering, you are in a large room with information and guard counters as well as kiosks with information about Albany including bus schedules. At first it can be confusing as archways lead off in all directions. If you have time, feel free to explore through these arches—they are parts the New York State Museum which is free admission. In the northeast corner is the museum gift shop, which among other items, sells many books about the history and culture of the state.

Shortly after opening Saturday morning
Walking towards the back, you will see a desk for the security guards of the building. On either side of their area are banks of elevators. Turn towards the right and you will see these are marked with the various public floors. The majority of the library is on the 7th floor. This is where you will find books of general interest, law books and the genealogy area. Genealogy covers almost half the floor. There are many microform readers, copiers and scanners available to you. A set of computers connects to the Internet. All of these must be reserved, but it is very easy to do at the information desk. Another computer gives you access to the card catalog if you haven’t looked at it through the website prior to arriving or need to check for one more item. An old-fashioned paper based card catalog contains surnames with published genealogies related to that name; locality cards and listings from the Daughters of American Revolution (DAR) books contain similar information. Open stacks contain countless genealogies and books regarding counties within New York, books on New Jersey, New England and probably other places as well. A complete set of the NYS DAR books are available as well as boxes of loose papers on various subjects. All of these are fully browsable and accessible.

Some microfilm and microfiche are available in cabinets. Most of these and some items from the catalog must be requested as they are stored on other floors. There are several “pulls” throughout the day, but request early so that you have plenty of time. I’ve requested microfilms to be pulled late in the afternoon for the following day. If you’re coming from out of town, you can also contact them ahead of time and they’ll have them ready and waiting for you upon arrival.
Looking towards the microfilm area

The 11th floor is the archives and items from the library that need special handling. I will write about that floor in a post soon.

Photocopies cost 25 cents each, or you can do digital copies either to a thumb drive (a staff member will scan your drive first to make sure there are no viruses), or you can email them to yourself. Digital copies are free as well as the ability to take pictures with your own digital device as long as no flash is used. Some books are marked “too fragile to photocopy”. There are now special overhead scanners that can be used on these as well as the ability to photograph.

Just a few of the NY counties...
There are so many different items available that it is hard to mention one special item that can be singled out for this library. One thing that comes to mind is that the Capital District Genealogy Society actually staffs the library on some days with volunteers from their society that can help you with your searches! These volunteers are not only experienced genealogists, but they are already familiar with the library and can help you negotiate to where you need to go to find that elusive item. Librarians and staff members are also available and very willing to help, but they are very low staffed and so are busy trying to accomplish many things at once, so often it is better if one of the volunteers is available to help out.

Another thing that is special is the ability to use microfilms of newspapers across the state. While I was there on Saturday, I used some rolls of the Watertown Times to find a couple articles on one of my families. However, if I wasn’t going to be there I could go to my local library anywhere in New York State and request that they Interlibrary Loan them for me from the NYS Library. It is a free service, and I’ve even had a film come to the Syracuse University Law Library (a private institution) a few years ago to look through. Outside of NYS there is a $20 fee for the loan.  

Many years ago, while working on a high school assignment, my father gave me a box of newspaper clippings and photos that his mother had saved over the years. Among those was a yellowed and tattered article from a newspaper telling of her mother’s death. This project started me on my genealogy search. Saturday morning while going through those microfilms, I found the exact issue of the paper that the article about my great-grandmother’s death had come out of and was able to get a digital copy to go along with the tattered one my grandmother had saved.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Saturday Challenge- Mother's Day

The Saturday Challenge:
1)  This is Mother's Day weekend, so please go through the photographs you have of your mother and share one of your favorite photograph of her.  Just one.  Oh, tell us why it's one of your favorites, and tell us something about your mother, too.

Spring Cherry Blossoms

As my brother's will certainly tell you, I'm not always good about following directions. Today is one of those. My mother has hated the camera and for years will duck out of a picture or hide her face. It is hard to get a good picture of her unless it is a candid shot. She seems to hate every single picture that she is in. So, instead, today I am posting some of what were probably some of her mother's favorite pictures of the family. They were found in a collection of family pictures and were put together on one page as a collage probably by her, which is why I believe they were some favorites:
Collage from my grandparents collection

 In the upper left is a photo of my grandmother, Alice Jennings Wooster in middle-age. To the right is a picture of her husband, Marion J. Wooster and her son Kenneth. This was taken in November 1942 when Grandpa was serving in the SeaBees during WWII. The bottom oval is that of my mother, Alice Wooster Ward and her brother Lester as children.