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Rockland Room

Before the Bridge Documentary

Genealogical Society of Rockland CountyOn Tuesday night February 25th at 7pm documentary filmmaker Steven Bretschneider will present his video Before the Bridge, a documentary about life in the riverfront villages before the Tappan Zee Bridge was built. Residents of the Nyacks were interviewed for the film. Thirteen residents speak about their lives growing up in a much more remote and rural environment than we know today. Topics covered include: The River, Fishing, Hiking, Ice, The Ferry, The Train, The Great Oom, School, and Moving Houses.  Afterwards, Steven will answer questions from the audience. This program is sponsored by the Genealogical Society of Rockland County.

New Local History Librarian

I am happy to join the staff here at New City Library as of MondThe New City Library Rockland Roomay January 27, 2014.   I will be taking helm of the New City Library Rockland Room which I consider to be the finest Genealogy collection at any public library in Rockland County.   I look forward to working with this collection and especially meeting patrons.   I will be looking for opportunities to add to the collection and highlight the wonderful materials already here. 

Brian Jennings
Local History Librarian
New City Library
220 N. Main Street
New City, NY 10956
(845)634-4997, ext. 127
bjennings@rcls.org

Online NY Death Records +

I recently saw an email that reminded me of a great site, New York Death Records, Indexes and Obituaries. It is listed as a Genealogy Records Guide for New York City and State. If you look at the web site, www.deathindexes.com/newyork, you will find New York counties with those records that are digitized. Records and indexes are submitted so the county listings may be spotty. For instance, Rockland County shows cemetery records and funeral homes from the collection of the Genealogy Society of Rockland County. Despite the disparity in listed records, it may be worth your while to check it out. You never know, you may find a lost relative!

Prologue

In the past I have mentioned both in writing and at library programs the rich amount of history in several of our publications found in the Rockland Room. Two of my favorites are Prologue from the National Archives and Archives from the NY State Archives. Both offer some off-beat history as well as relevant history for the publishing season. 

In the current Summer issue, Vol.44 No. 2, there is an interesting article about FDR and his creation of the National Archives in 1934. FDR referred to the agency as "It's my baby" and his interest and support continued through his life. He asked Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter that upon his death, a simple memorial be place in his name in the center of the green plot in front of the Archives Building.The block of granite is the size of his desk and only has his name and birth/death dates.

Newspaper Index

In the local history collection, we have digitized the Rockland Messenger, a 19th century newspaper. This was done with a grant from the late Senator Morahan. Since that time, a more sophisiticated software has become available allowing for line segmentation and ease in searching. We are currently in the process of this upgrade through a company called Hudson Microimaging.

Newspapers are some of the last research tools that have been recognized for their valuable information and there has been a major effort o preserve the old editions. I came across an email from a librarian in Oshkosh WI and would like to condense her reporting. Apparently the Oshkosh Public Library began indexing newspapers through WPA in 1936-1938. The indexing was done by one person who covered a variety of information. Then in the nid-1950's, a researcher became so interested in family names that he indexed 1920-1948.

Ancestry and NY State Archives

In reading New York Archives, a quarterly publication from the New York State Archives, I discovered a recent article about the collaboration of these two agencies. Recently it was agreed to post selected genealogical resources from the State Archives and Library along with some local government repositories. You can access the site via the State Archives' web page (www.archives.nysed.gov), create an account by using their email addresses and then search records from participating institutions.

Records include:

NY State Census, 1915 and 1925

NY Census of Inmates in Almhouses, 1830 and 1920

NY Marriages, 1600-1784

NY Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861- 1900

For a full list, read the Summer issue, Volume 12 #1, page 5-6.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Quilts

Family photos have a way of piling up, demanding organization and care. Fortunately, today we have many avenues available for arranging these family treasures. We are now able to email them, store on our computers, send to an online service for processing and post on a web site for anyone to view. However, one way that is not as well known is printing digital photos on fabric.

The Genealogy Society of Rockland has asked Debra Calyo, an avid quilter, to the June 26 meeting starting at 7 PM. Debra will bring samples of her creative work and explain the process.The technique is not limited to just quilts as most fabrics will take the images. Banners, clothing, tote bags are a few of the ways you can create family scrapbooks. For those with planned summer/fall family reunions, this concept may be a great way to share family memories with others.

The Genealogy Society always welcomes guests and those who are curious about genealogy. Meetings are scheduled on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 7 PM. The group does not meet July, August and December. Hope to see you.

Genealogy Abounds

Join the Genealogy Society and library staff on Saturday, May 19 starting at 10:30. First you will meet author and genealogist Greta Nettelton who talks about how she researched her family. She found Cora Keck was a piano prodigy from Davenport, Iowa whose coming-of-age story turns all our stereotypes about Victorian gender relationships upside down. Cora’s mother was a self-taught itinerant physician and the proprietor of Mrs. Dr. Keck’s Palatial Infirmary for All Chronic Diseases, and her father was a bankrupted farm mechanic who kept house for the couple’s six children. Mrs. Dr. Keck sent her daughter to Vassar’s School of Music in 1884 to keep out of trouble and find a proper Ivy League husband but Cora defied everyone’s plans, first enjoying a series of romantic affairs with her classmates and later eloping with one of her mother’s business partners, a 63-year old banker. Greta found Coras's diaries and papers and began piecing her family history.

Black Sheep in the Family

Genealogy for Librarians is an email I subscribe to and lately there was discussion about "black sheep" in family research. EVERYONE has at least one in their family history. Yet, I have found thatpeople seem to think it reflects on them today. I know one person who upon finding her relative was unwed with children, was so devastated she dropped her research.

One researcher pointed out blacksheepancestors.com as a source for records in U.S., Canada and Great Britain. Check it out! There is International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists that has a web site, blacksheep.rootsweb.com

In past centuries, there were various factors that caused people to be reported in asylums. For one, mental hospitals were the only one in certain areas and served all regular hospital functions, including  births, appendectomies and broken bones.People with behaviorial problems due to head injury, illness,"hardening of the arteries", senility etc were often admitted to residential institutions.

1940 Census Has Arrived

After 10 long years, the 1940 federal census was released online in early April. For all those who need to find lost relatives and document findings, here is a chance to begin searching. By law, the federal census is withheld for 72 years so all who want to view the 1950 records will have to wait  another 10 years.

The Genealogy Society of Rockland will be meeting Tuesday, April 24 at 7 PM. At this meeting, members will be viewing the new census and making comments and observations. Should you have questions, plan to attend. Interested persons are always welcomed.

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