A Happy Ending for Some Old Photographs

Years ago I rescued a box of old photographs (mostly from the 1920s and 30s) that my father was looking to throw out. Although many of the photos were of my direct relatives (father and grandparents), there were some of my father’s uncles, aunts and cousins. Even though I dislike holding on to what could eventually become clutter, I decided to keep all of the photographs. Recently I connected with a second cousin through Ancestry.com, who was delighted to learn that I had pictures of her direct ancestors, and asked for copies of them. I scanned and emailed them to her, and I later noticed that she had posted them onto an historical website for Duryea, Pennsylvania to share with many others.  The website has a significant collection of old Duryea photographs, many of them family snapshots, but there are also others of buildings and various events. It is a website that would interest both genealogists and local historians. I am very happy to know that the photos my father was tossing out found a good home, and that they can now be viewed on http://www.duryeapa.com/contents.htm. So, next time you are tempted to send old photographs to the landfill, keep in mind that the internet might help you reunite your photos with their subject families and maybe even an entire community.

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Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights

The National Genealogical Society unveiled at their conference last week a Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights.  The declaration is a statement advocating open access to federal, state, and local public records.  You can read more about the NGS declaration by going to the website  http://www.fgs.org/rpac/


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Tracing Italian Immigrant History to the Italian Present

Join us this Monday (May 5th) at 7:00 p.m. when Dr. Salvatore Primeggia, a professor of sociology at Adelphia University, will speak on the history of Italian immigration to America. This lecture is free and open to the general public. This event is made possible through the Speakers in the Humanities program with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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New Indexing Project

John Martino of the Italian Genealogy Group in Bethpage has informed me that he will be looking for volunteers to help with a project to create an online index to the records of Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.  It is planned that the indexing process will be done directly online, and volunteers will be able to choose how much time they wish to devout to this project as they go along.  If you are interested in signing-up to volunteer, or if you would like to learn more, you can contact the Italian Genealogy Group at info@italiangen.org
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Extra! Extra! Extra!

Brooklyn Public Library has announced that they have finished digitizing the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper from 1903-1955. The full run of the newspaper (1841 to 1955) can now be found at http://newsstand.bklynpubliclibrary.org/. The old Brooklyn Daily Eagle website will be phased out next month. 

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Question about Books

A couple of people, who attended our last Irish genealogy program, asked where they can find two Brooklyn genealogy books by Joseph Silinonte. Below is a list of Suffolk County public libraries that own these books. If you plan on going to these libraries to view the books, it is advised that you contact them ahead of time to check on availability because some local history rooms have limited hours.

Bishop Loughlin’s dispensations, Diocese of Brooklyn: genealogical information from marriage dispensation records of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, Kings, Queens, and Suffolk Counties, New York.

Brentwood Public Library (Local History) http://brentwoodnylibrary.org/

East Hampton Public Library (Local History) http://www.easthamptonlibrary.org/

Sachem Public Library (Long Island Room) http://www.sachemlibrary.org

Smithtown Public Library (Long Island Room) http://smithlib.org/

Tombstones of the Irish Born: Cemetery of the Holy Cross Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Connetquot Public Library (Reference 929.5 Silinonte)

Center Moriches Library (Long Island History) http://centermoricheslibrary.org/

Mastic Moriches Shirley Community Library http://www.communitylibrary.org/

Patchogue Medford Public Library (Reference Area) http://www.pmlib.org/

Riverhead Free Library (Reference Area) http://www.riverheadlibrary.org/

Smithtown Library (Long Island Room) http://smithlib.org/

East Islip Public Library (Local History) http://eipl.suffolk.lib.ny.us/

South Country Library http://sctylib.org/


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Irish Genealogy for Beginners

Do you want to know where in Ireland your ancestors came from? Maybe you have already looked into it, but you find yourself at a dead end. If so, join us this Thursday (March 27th) at 7:00 p.m. when we present some useful resources that might help you find out where in Ireland your ancestors were from.

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A Different Approach Story

I always enjoy it when someone shares with me a different research approach that has helped them to break through a genealogical brick wall. It definitely helps me become a better researcher.  For that reason, I thought I would share an interesting success story that I encountered recently.
I was asked by someone this week to help her find a family in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census.  After exhausting all the advanced search options on Ancestry.com, she needed another approach. We decided to try to find the family by their address. However, the woman didn’t know what the family’s street address was in 1940, only that they lived in Brooklyn. To get the street address we went to the New York Public Library’s online Brooklyn 1940 telephone directory at http://directme.nypl.org/. Unfortunately, the surname wasn’t listed in the Brooklyn telephone directory, as not everyone had a telephone back then.  We had to find other avenues of research.
Finally some good news appeared, namely that the head of household was in his 50s in 1940, and therefore he was listed in Ancestry.com database U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942. This database consists of the World War II draft cards for older men in the age range of 45-65 (World War II draft cards for younger men are not available yet), and provides the address at which they live. Using that address and Stephen Morse’s (www.stephenmorse.org) 1870-1940 Large-City ED finder, we found the potential enumeration district number of interest. Moving on to the Ancestry.com 1940 census index page, we used the enumeration browse function on the right side of the page. I couldn’t believe our luck when we found the family on the very first census page for the enumeration district.  It is very nice to have a challenge that forces you to approach a problem differently, and it is especially rewarding when you are successful.  It made my evening.

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Irish Historic Graves Project

If you are researching Irish families, you might be interested in learning about the Historic Graves project. It is a community-based project consisting of volunteers who are currently taking photographs of tombstones in Irish cemeteries and uploading them onto the website http://historicgraves.com. This alone promises to make it valuable to family researchers, but it also contains some even more interesting features.  Volunteers are uploading old and new surveys and recorded audio and video stories of cemeteries.  There is no fee to search or view the contents on the website.  However, don’t be surprised if you don’t yet see an ancestor’s headstone.  This is a fairly new, but on-going project. 

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Local Genealogy Groups

Since there seems to be more and more people getting started with their family research, I thought it would be helpful to list the websites of some of the more active local genealogy groups. These organizations usually have monthly meetings and lectures, and some even have help sessions for groups or individuals. It is suggested you visit the website of each individual group to learn more about what each one offers their members.

 German Genealogy Group http://germangenealogygroup.com/

Irish Family History Forum http://ifhf.org/

Italian Genealogical Group http://italiangen.org/

Jewish Genealogical Society of Long Island http://www.jewishgen.org/jgsli/wordpress/research-resources/

Genealogy Workshop of the Huntington Historical Society http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nygwhhs/

 African Atlantic Genealogical Society http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gfli/africanatllantic.html


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