Tom Riley spoke last night about the Orphan Train which was a supervised welfare program that transported orphaned and homeless children from crowded eastern cities of the United States to foster homes in rural areas of the Midwest. During Mr. Riley’s lecture there was a question about how to locate records. I have listed the websites and contact information for some of the organizations that could be particularly helpful to a genealogist researching an Orphan Train relative.
National Orphan Train Complex
The New York Foundling
New-York Historical Society Museum & Library
Portions of the New York Historical Society Museum & Library collection can be viewed on Flickr.com
The article provides background information on the Orphan Train and links to research resources.
By using Google Books recently, I was able to assist someone in finding information on his ancestor. I am a big fan of Google Books and its advanced search engine, so I am happy to share this tip with anyone who hasn’t used it. The direct link to it is https://books.google.com/advanced_book_search. However, I admit that most of the time I just google the phrase “google books advanced search” and I find it quickly. When beginning a search I usually use the “with all of the words” search option. If my results are too numerous, I will then narrow the search.
Depending on the copyright, you might be able to view a whole book, but there are time that you can’t. However, don’t be discouraged because at least you will have been provided with a list of titles that you can check out through other means. For example, you might find other online sites for the book, or you may be able to interlibrary-loan it. The main thing is to not be discouraged if you can’t view everything directly on Google Books in order to find the information you are looking for. There is usually some other way to get that information, once you have found out through Google Books what you should be looking for.
Join us this Wednesday, May 9 at 7:00 pm when “The Legal Genealogist” Judy Russell will speak on the topic of conflicting evidence and how to resolve it. This program is free and open to all.
Since yesterday (April 25) was National DNA Day, I thought it would be a good time to share some questions that some family researchers have asked me about genealogy and DNA.
1. My siblings and I are going to have just one of us do the Ancestry.com DNA test to see what our ethnicity results are. Does that make sense?
Just be aware that the DNA ethnicity results you receive and what your siblings can be different. My brother and I are an example of this. According to the Ancestry.com test, my brother is 68% Irish and I’m 40%. My DNA shows 36% from Great Britain and while his is only 5%. He also has 12% Scandinavian that I do not have. I should also mention that our DNA results match both of us to people on both my mother and father’s line, so there’s no reason to think that we had different fathers. The first thing to keep in mind is that siblings have different proportions of their four grandparents’ DNA. The second thing is that the ethnicity estimates from any DNA test are just that… estimates, with some significant margin of error.
2. I am listed as having 7% Finland/Northwest Russia. I don’t know why that should be. Should I believe it?
When you take an Ancestry DNA test, you might find some unexpected results that appear in your Ancestry Ethnicity Estimate. For example, if you are Irish you could have Finland/Northwest Russia and/or Iberian Peninsula. That could come from ethnic mixing of ethnicities in the somewhat distance past, but such low percentages are often considered “low confidence” estimates, so while they are possible, it’s good to take them with a grain of salt.
3. How can I learn more about DNA?
If you want to learn more about DNA for genealogy, you might consider attending The DNA Group of Long Island meetings, which are on the first Saturday of the month at alternating Nassau and Suffolk locations, currently Bethpage and Patchogue-Medford Public Libraries. Their website is https://dggli.wordpress.com/, and they also have a Facebook page. They give a variety lectures on genealogical DNA, and you can meet many other people eager to learn more about the subject.
Join us for our next genealogy program on Wednesday, April 11 at 7:00 pm. This program is free and open to all.
Join us for our next genealogy program on Wednesday, March 28 at 7:00 pm. This program is free and open to all.
FindMyPast (a subscription database) has just announced that they have added to their collection the New York Roman Catholic parish records. You can find more information about this new collection by going to the FindMyPast blog post https://blog.findmypast.com/findmypast-friday-2541664179.html
There is also a list of the New York Roman Catholic parishes included in the collection which can be found on the website https://www.findmypast.com/articles/world-records/full-list-of-united-states-records/birth-marriage-and-death/new-york-roman-catholic-parish-list
Attached is a listing of some genealogical websites for you to explore. You might have to register with some of them, but you do not need a paid subscription to use their databases. If you have any suggestions to add to the list, please email them to me.
Websites of Genealogical Interest
Our Family History Roundtable program this month will feature Norwegian culture and family history. Our speaker Christine Campisi was a contestant on Alt for Norge, a popular Norwegian television show, in which Norwegian-Americans compete in a series of cultural, historical, and language challenges for the prize of meeting their long-lost Norwegian family. During the competitions, the contestants learn about various aspects of Norwegian heritage and culture. The Alt for Norge television show is proof that family history can be both entertaining and educational. Come and join us Wednesday and learn more about the show and Norwegian culture.
If you have Norwegian roots and would like some advice in beginning your family research, I would recommend the following website: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Norway_Genealogy This site will provide you with much advice and some links to online databases.