I am happy to inform you that the Fold3 database has been renewed. You will find the link back on our eResearch Databases list. As before, you can login in to it through your personal computer by using your Connetquot Public Library card barcode.
It is with great sadness that I report the passing of John Martino of the Italian Genealogy Group. He was one of the principal project managers and coordinators of the valuable on-line database indexes for New York City vital records and naturalizations, as well as other indexes that can be found on the italiangen.org and the germangenealogygroup.com websites and elsewhere. He spoke at our library about his many projects and often attended some of our other genealogy programs. He was definitely a memorable individual, with his strong yet always amiable personality, and a no-nonsense approach to genealogical projects. For years he was driven in his volunteer work in making family history records more readily available to the general public, from which most of us have benefited on many, many occasions. On a more personal note, I would like to add that in the field of genealogy, as in most others, you can find plenty of people with grand egos and self-promoting agendas, but John Martino was not one of them. He will most definitely be missed.
With Thanksgiving Day being celebrated tomorrow, it seems the appropriate time to mention an interesting fact about the holiday. Although it has been a widely celebrated holiday in the history of the United States, it was not always a national holiday observed by the states on the same day. It wasn’t until after the battle of Gettysburg, that President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation on October 3, 1863, naming the last Thursday in November (later changed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the fourth Thursday in November) as the national Thanksgiving Day. Before then the governors of each state separately declared the day upon which the holiday would fall. For instance, in 1854 New York and Massachusetts celebrated Thanksgiving on a different day than New Jersey and Pennsylvania did. So if you had some ancestors in 1854 living in New York City and others across the Hudson in Hoboken, they were probably observing Thanksgiving on different days.
Two parts of an 1854 newspaper article about Thanksgiving Day
Join us on Wednesday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m. for our next genealogy program. This month you will have the opportunity to ask a panel of two experienced family researchers your questions. This program is free and open to all.
Join us for our next Family History Roundtable program on Wednesday, October 28 at 7:00 p.m. Elena Florenzano will speak on the regions of Sicily, Calabria, and Campania from the 19th and early 20th centuries up to present day. This program is free and open to all.
The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) has recently published a genealogical research guide to New York State records titled New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer. The book is chock full of information for family researchers. To give some idea of the overall content of this publication, here are the titles of some of the chapters: Colonial Era, Vital Records, Census Records, Immigration, Migration and Naturalization, Military Records, Cemetery Records, Business, Instructional and Organization Records, City Directories, Tax Records, Peoples of New York, Religious Records of New York, National and Statewide Repositories & Resources. There are also geographically oriented guides for the state counties, New York City, and Long Island. The book is in our reference collection with the call number R 929.1072 New.
Join us on Wednesday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m. for a program on the Irish Potato Famine and Irish immigration to America during the Great Hunger years. Tom O’Reilly, Ancient Order of Hibernians History, Culture, & Traditional chairperson, will be our speaker. This program is free and open to all.
Ancestry has made the following announcement, “More than 170 million pages from the largest collection of wills and probate records in the United States is now available online exclusively on Ancestry. With searchable records included from all 50 states spread over 337 years (1668-2005), this unprecedented collection launches a new category of records for family history research never before available online at this scale in the United States.”
Although Familysearch.org also has collections of wills and probate records from various states, including New York, I believe they are not indexed (New York, Kings County Estate files is an exception). For this reason, the indexes to wills and probate records included on the Ancestry.com website are a valuable addition. You can view Ancestry.com (Library Edition) free of charge by using a database or internet library computer.
A library patron mentioned to me yesterday how helpful she finds the Old Fulton NY Post Cards (New York State Historical Newspapers) website in doing her family research. However, she gets frustrated by her inability to print just a single article. She informed me that she resorts to using a magnifying glass to read the article of interest on the full page of the newspaper that she prints out. This gives me the idea to pass along some tips I’ve learned about printing from the Old Fulton NY Post Cards website. Before I begin with my tips, let me first mention that I use Internet Explorer as my browser. I think it opens the articles up in the Adobe Acrobat reader more easily and faster than some others. My browser choice may or may not factor into the tips I give about printing, but I thought it could be helpful to share that information.
Getting back to how to print just a single article, note that when a newspaper page is opened in Adobe Acrobat, you are able to adjust the viewing size of your page (upper toolbar), which will enable you to read the text more easily once you have printed the article. After you have the article set to the desired size, there are a few options available for printing. I personally like using the Snipping Tool, which, if your PC has one, you can find by clicking on your computer’s start button, typing “snip” in the Search box of the Start menu, and then clicking on the Snipping Tool that it finds to start the program. The Snipping Tool will let you select an area of the newspaper to copy, so that you can paste it into Microsoft Word or Paint, and then print. Another way you can copy, paste, and print is by using the computer command keys Alt-PrtScn. You can also download the page onto the computer, so that when opening it in Adobe Acrobat, it should give you the option in Edit (top toolbar) to “Take a Snapshot,” which allows you to select the article. Click on “File” (top toolbar), and from the drop down print menu you should see as a print option “selected graphic.” Hopefully one or more of these tips will be of use and enable you to put that magnifying glass away. And if anyone has a different approach, I would love to hear about it.
The Familysearch Worldwide Indexing Event has arrived (August 7-14), and it lasts for a week. Here is an opportunity for you to join with volunteers from around the world to help “Fuel the Find.” Using your home computer, you can download a batch of records to index.
For those of us who have benefited from the free Familysearch.org website, this is an opportunity to give back. More information can be found on their website: https://familysearch.org/indexing/