Friday, November 30, 2007

Maria Niemann Alien Registration

One of John's cousins just sent me the Alien Registration Card of his great-grandmother, Maria Klotz Niemann, that she received from another cousin. This is the only picture of her that I have and it is the first record I've seen where her name is recorded as Maria rather than Mary. Loose inside the card was a picture of a younger man which is in the third scan. I am guessing that it is her son, Adolph. It lists her address as 113 Hier Ave, Syracuse, NY so she would have been living with her daughter and son-in-law, Anna & August Korthas.

Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY
Mrs. Niemann, Native of Germany, Dead

Mrs. Mary Niemann, widow of Carl Niemann, died today at her home, 119 Hier Avenue, after a long illness. She was born in Germany and had lived in this country 28 years. Mrs. Niemann was active in Holy Trinity Church circles, and was a member of the Altar Society and Pour Souls' Union.
Surviving are one son, Adolph Niemann; three daughters, Mrs. Adam Weis, Mrs. August Korthas, and Mrs. Frank Grabowski, and a sister, Mrs. John Schwartz; two brothers, Robert and George Klotz, and 15 grandchildren.

Burial Assumption Cemetery.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Snowville Flag Unfurled

Lisa at 100 Years in America shared a link to the We Are Multicolored site where you can make a unique flag that represents your ancestry. Jasia at Creative Gene has suggested the creation of a genea-blogger quilt.

My flag represents my paternal heritage using the flags of Canada, the UK and Ireland.

Madeline Korthas Thater 1922 - 2007

Madeline A. Thater November 14, 2007 Mrs. Madeline A. Thater, 86, of Syracuse, died Wednesday, November 14, 2007, at St. Camillus Health and Rehabilitation Center. A native and life resident of Syracuse, Mrs. Thater was a health aide for the former city of Syracuse Health Department and Onondaga County for 16 years, retiring in 1983. She was a communicant of Holy Trinity Church and a former member of its Altar Rosary Society. She was a former member of the United German-American Society. She was predeceased by her husband, Edward J. Thater, in 1987. Survived by one son, William (Sharon) Thater of Austin, TX; former daughter-in-law, Agnes Thater of Syracuse; five grandchildren, Edward, Kristen, Allison, Joseph and Michael Thater; and several nieces and nephews. Funeral services are MONDAY at 8:15 a.m. at Keegan-Osbelt-Knight Funeral Home and 9 a.m. in Holy Trinity Church. Burial in Woodlawn Cemetery. Calling hours are SUNDAY from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home, 900 N. Salina Street. Contributions: Holy Trinity Church Food Pantry, 501 Park Street, Syracuse, New York 13203. Keegan-Osbelt-Knight Inc. 900 N. Salina Street
Published in the Syracuse Post Standard on 11/17/2007.

I didn't know Madeline, to me she is just a name in my tree but I know she is missed by her family and to them I extend my deepest sympathy. She was one of the dozens of local cousins that John was not aware of.

1. Madeline A Korthas

2. August Korthas abt 1883 - 1949
3. Anna Nieman abt 1891 - 1959

6. Carl Niemann
7. Mary Klotz abt 1854 - 1931

John descends from Carl and Mary's daughter, Mary.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I saw you in the parade today and you looked great! Was that a new suit you were wearing? Seeing you reminded me that I needed to get my annual letter written.

First I want to thank you for bringing me The Master Genealogist last year even though I can't seem to master it. And thank you also for filling the toe of my stocking with coins for the parking meters downtown. I still have them! I didn't get to the Onondaga County Library even a single time this year. Instead I spent my time at the Library of Mom and she doesn't charge for parking.

The scanner and digital camera that you brought me years ago both were so out-dated that I had to replace them earlier this year. I seem to go through laptops and I have a new one of those too.

Last year I saved my most important request for last and I'm afraid that you must have missed it as it wasn't under the tree. I can't tell you how disappointed I was! Now I've taken care of most of the big ticket items so I really don't think that it's all that much to ask for. Just a single piece of paper that tells me who the parents of William Wisner were. If you really feel that that is too much to ask for maybe you could just leave me a little hint; something that will point me in the right direction. You brought me Wisner's in America a couple of years ago but I swear to you he's not in there! Yes, the book is full of William's but not my William.

Becky and Thomas both seem to think that I need an external hard drive. I've been looking at them online and I really can't decide which one would be best for me so I'll leave the choice up to you and the elves.

Every year I've asked you for CD's so that I can back up everything. I know I haven't been as good about backing things up as I should have been but I really don't think that I've been so bad as to make the naughty list. Instead of a big heavy stack of CD's this year maybe you could toss a couple of flash drives in my stocking. (Yes, I know I already asked for an external hard drive for backups but I need to be able to have duplicate copies to store someplace else in case John can't keep up with the raking and the house collapses!)

On second thought, I guess I'm going to need some more CD's after all. I really want to put some family history and pictures together to send to family members and CD's are probably the easiest way to do that.

Another thing that I would really like is a picture of Grandpa Kelly. He wasn't a real popular guy around these parts and nobody saved one for me. I haven't been able to find one for sale so I guess I'll have to count on you and some Christmas magic to find one. He was James Kelly of Ottawa, Ontario. And if you find any other tidbits about him while you're tracking down the picture, I'd sure appreciate that too.

I don't want to seem greedy so the only other thing that I'll ask for is a few books. I could really use some books about the Revolutionary war as I think I'm close to getting the facts straight about Capt. Daniel Carlisle. And because I don't spend all of my time thinking about genealogy you could bring me an advance copy of Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich. It's official release date isn't until January 8, 2008 - what's up with that! But I Believe and I'm certain that you'll know how to get it for me.

I'll be sure to leave out a plate of Noel Wreath Cookies for you because I know how much you like them. There will be lots of carrots for Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Library of Congress Pictures

I was poking around the Library of Congress' Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. I often have a hard time navigating the LOC site, rarely finding what I am looking for.

I was unsuccessful in searching for any of the family names that I tried searching for so I decided to search for "Syracuse" to see what was available. I found several interesting pictures but one labeled, "Milk delivery being made to a chocolate factory near Syracuse, New York", caught my eye. I recognized it as being the Nestle Chocolate Factory in Fulton, NY. If I was looking for this specifically I would not have found it by searching for Fulton or Nestle. A search for chocolate factory does include this image but I would have had to know that Fulton was near Syracuse.

Oct 1941, Fulton, NY
Nestle Chocolate Factory [1]

The factory in Fulton was Nestle's first chocolate factory in the United States. After a century of operation, it closed in 2003, another blow to our local economy. An African firm has purchased the plant but it is still is not operating and there have been reports of mishandling of funds that make me suspect that the plant will not reopen anytime soon. I can still remember my first trip to Fulton when I was probably 10 -12 and the smell of chocolate that intensified the closer you got to the plant.

The truck in the picture is another great find for me. Dairylea is a local milk cooperative that, happily, is celebrating it's 100th anniversary this year. The next picture in the LOC collection shows the back of the truck with lettering stating it had air brakes. That got me looking into the history of air brakes, which I found fascinating but I will spare the rest of you. I love large, antique vehicles.

After downloading the picture above I decided to click on the link for "Display Images with Neighboring Call Numbers." I found 100's of pictures I didn't know I was looking for! There were pictures in this particular group from Oswego, the Finger Lakes, Little Falls, Amsterdam and places in Western Masachusetts and Conneticut. Dozens of these pictures were untitled and therefore will not be found using the search function! I was able to tell where some were taken by comparing them to others in the collection, sometimes separated by several pages.

I next searched for "Oswego" and was led to a different collection of pictures where I found this great picture of a bus bound for Syracuse at the corner of W. First St and W. Bridge St. I had just passed through this intersection on my way to the dentist last week. How much fun it would have been to have this picture with me then so that I could compare then & now!

1940's Oswego, NY
Corner of W First St & W Bridge St [2]

In this collection there were also many pictures labeled "untitled" but many I could again link up with other pictures in the group. In both collections there were dozens of pictures of people, most without names. So the point behind this rather long ramble is that you really need to plan to spend some time poking around the collections to find all the great stuff!

They have a long page on copyright information that turned out to not be very helpful to me. The pictures that I decided to share here have nothing about their copyright status. If I am interpreting the information provided correctly I should be OK using these images under "fair use." Below is the source information included with each picture. Feel free to weigh in on what I didn't need to include and what I left out.

TITLE: Milk delivery being made to a chocolate factory near Syracuse, New York
CALL NUMBER: LC-USF34- 081278-D [P&P]
REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USF34-081278-D (b&w film neg.)
MEDIUM: 1 negative : safety ; 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches or smaller.
CREATOR: Collier, John, 1913- photographer.
Title and other information from caption card.
LOT 1306 (Location of corresponding print.)
Use electronic surrogate.
Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944.
Film copy on SIS roll 13, frame 369.
United States--New York--Onondaga County--Syracuse.
Safety film negatives.
PART OF: Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)
REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540
DIGITAL ID: (intermediary roll film) fsa 8c26068
CONTROL #: fsa2000052293/PP

[2](I do not know why there is so much less info. on this picture.)
Digital ID: fsa 8d31682
Source: digital file from intermediary roll film of original neg.
Reproduction Number: LC-USW3-034504-E (b&w film nitrate neg.),
LC-DIG-ppmsca-01513 (digital file from print),
LC-USZ62-131149 (b&w film copy neg. from print)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What Time Is It?

If I had to rely on any of these watches I'd always be late because not one of them works. I believe that all of them could be repaired and they all need a good cleaning but it's one of those things that I just never seem to get around to and even if I had them repaired they'd just end up back at the bottom of my jewelry box.

The wrist watch originally belonged to Mary Kelly Berry, my paternal grandmother. She died in 1970 and the watch was put aside for me. I don't remember exactly when it was given to me but it was probably about 1976. I don't remember ever seeing her wear it. I've never worn it and probably never will, because the face is too small to read, but it's one of the many things that I just can't part with.

I'm not certain who was the original owner of the pocket watch. I think it belonged to Kimberly Berry, my grandfather, but it may have been my my father's. When Dad died in 2000 it is one of the many things that came home with me. Maybe my nephew or one of my grandson's will be interested in having it one day. I should get it in to jeweler to be opened to see just how old it is. Waltham stopped making watches in the 1950's. Since it has a 24 hour face it seems likely that it was Dad's, either from his Navy days or time working for the railroad. There were watches made for the Canadian railroad so there is a slight possibility that it belonged to my great-grandfather, James Kelly.

I have actually worn both of the ladies pendant's. The older, smaller one belonged to my great-grandmother, Charlotte Hollington Berry Sanders. She was always called Lottie. This watch is very special to me because I was named for her. My father was named for her second husband, Harvey Harry Sanders although he always went by Harry. Grandpa Harry raised my grandfather and uncle after their father died and is the man I think of when referring to my great-grandfather. My actual great-grandfather, Joseph Berry, died in 1903. I also have the ring that Joseph gave Charlotte in 1893 that I do wear occasionally. When I damaged the ring I decided not to take any risks with the watch so I bought the other pendant to wear instead. It as no real or historical value and since it isn't worth fixing I should probably put it in the toy box for the girls to play with.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

161 Meme

Becky at kinnexions has tagged me for the 161 meme. Go to page 161 of the book I'm reading and share the 6th sentence. Then tag 5 more.

I'm currently reading When Phelps Was Young by Helen Post Ridley (a history of Phelps, Ontario Co, NY) online at World Vital Records. I do actually read entire books on my laptop. This book only has 136 pages.

I'll be re-reading The Christmas Train by David Baldacci next week at work. Leading up to Christmas I re-read several favorites every year.

"Well, the Zephyr does leave out of Chicago too."

If you haven't already been tagged - you're it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tipperary Hill

Like most cities, Syracuse, NY had many ethnic neighborhoods. Over time most of these neighborhoods have lost their ethnic identity but the Irish flag still flies in the neighborhood of Tipperary Hill. I grew up not far from Tipperary Hill and it's famous traffic light.
I don't know of any other traffic light where the green light is at the top and the red at the bottom. The story of the light has been passed down through the generations and is generally known by anyone from Syracuse.

Back in the mid 1920's, when the city first began installing electric traffic lights, a light was placed at the corner of Tompkins St and Milton Ave. It had the accepted light arrangement of red at the top, yellow in the center and green at the bottom. Some of the local youths associated the color red with the British and were unwilling to have the red over the Irish green. They'd knock out the red lights with stones and the city would come and replace them. As soon as the light was repaired they'd vandalize it again and the city would have to repair it again. Eventually the city gave up and changed the light so that the green was on the top.

The light has remained this way ever since. In the late 1990's the
Tipperary Hill Memorial Park was created at one corner.
Cead Mile Failte - 100,000 Welcomes!

Bricks were sold and inscribed with the donors names.
If you click on the picture to enlarge it you will see many non Irish names.
On Tipperary Hill everyone is Irish!

The Stone Throwers monument was erected depicting a family in the 1930's,
where the father is telling the story of the light to his children.
Was he one of the stone throwers?

From the back of the monument you can see they are facing the light.

And if you look closely at this picture you can see
that the son has a slingshot in his back pocket.

This was written for the 1st edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture, Irish Stories. All of the pictures were taken on Nov. 13, 2007.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Uncertain Future

As family historians, we spend most of our time looking to the past. I'm a bit concerned about the future.

My mother is in her 80's and wants to know what will happen to her things when she is gone. She has some family treasures stashed in the attic. There is the silver coffee set that she received as a wedding gift (and that needs replating), a couple of children's chairs (at least one was my grandfather's, both need repairs), our old cardboard fireplace (lots of memories in that box) and who knows what else. She has asked us to let her know what items we would like so she can have it all written down before her time comes. Of course she didn't specify any certain items when she asked so I replied that I'd like the little china hair holder that has been on her dresser for as long as I can remember. She was shocked that that was something that I would want. In the basement are my father's old photographic enlargers. Lot's of memories there for me but what on earth would I do with them? We've decided to sell them but I've put it off for reasons of sentiment. She also has a large thimble collection. Who will take that?

When my father died in 2000 we had to make decisions as to what to keep, what to sell and what to trash. There were pictures, awards and plaques that went home with me, as did an old broken ham radio and a couple of cameras. My sister took some things and my brother others. There were still things of my step-mother's in the house and my step-sisters made those decisions. The box full of plaques and awards sits at the bottom of a pile of others things I have no space for in the back of an overflowing closet.

I have large pieces of furniture that have been passed down to either John or myself. None of our children are interested in pieces that don't fit in with their style. I have pieces of jewelry that have been passed down, some of my grandmother's knick-knacks and other family trinkets. I have items that I've hung onto from my childhood for reasons important only to me I guess. Should I be worried about what will happen to all of these things when I'm gone? Will a great-great-grandchild of mine be interested?

Then there is all of my research and the boxes filled with notebooks and bits of paper that are too important to be thrown away and digital files I have created. From various things I've read, especially at Sally Jacob's, The Practical Archivist, there is a good chance that a descendant looking at the digital files 100 years from now, might not be able to read them if they are not continually updated to reflect ever changing technology. I started scanning with the thought that I could divest myself of much of the paper I have taking up space. Most of my pictures are in jpeg format and already should probably be converted to tiff. How long until that format is out of date?

Then there is the question of whether or not any of the things I'm concerned about preserving for the future will even survive me. I am terrible about backing up my files. Then there are natural disasters to worry about. Both Becky and Thomas had articles last month that really got me thinking about new ways to protect my data in the event the worst happens. Of course that means a commitment of more time and money.

So what are you doing to plan for the future? Are you giving away some of your treasures now? Is there a younger family member that you are counting on to preserve your treasures for a couple of more generations? Will some of your family papers go to a library or other archive?

As far as paper items go I will continue to sort and scan, probably for the remainder of my lifetime. I hope to publish a family history at some point and then win the lottery so I can afford to give copies away to far flung family members. The furniture and trinkets I will start photographing. I commented on one of Terry's posts that I had no curiosities to share. I realize that I actually have a houseful. I'm looking forward to Tim Abbott's new Cabinet of Curiosities as a way to preserve and share some of my treasures. The reasons why these items were important enough to be kept will then be written down in the event that a great-great-grandchild is interested.

This was written for the 36th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, a carousel edition.

Monday, November 12, 2007

November 12, 1908

The Syracuse Herald
Thursday, November 12, 1908

At 9 o’clock this morning Mr and Mrs Andrew Grabowski were remarried at the Church of the Assumption in celebration of their fiftieth wedding anniversary. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Fredolin Stauble, of Trenton, N.J., the step-son of Andrew Grabowski, Jr., at whose house at No. 1208 Park street a reception was held after the wedding. Mr and Mrs Grabowski were born near Millborg, Germany, and came to this city 26 years ago.

Andrew and Helena Grabowski were my husband's great-great-grandparents. When I started working at sorting out the Grabowski's of Syracuse's this little bit of information helped greatly.

I still have to figure out where Millborg was.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Carnival of Genealogy, 35th Edition - DNA

The Genetic Genealogist, Blaine Bettinger, is the host of the 35th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. Participants were invited to submit their questions concerning using genetic testing as part of their research. And there was a very wide range of questions for Blaine to answer! He kindly answered my questions and I now have some new research options to consider. After you are done reading all the carnival entries go download Blaine's eBook for further reading on the subject.

Call for Submissions. The next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy will be a “carousel” edition. Just like carousels have a variety of animal figures on the ride so too will the next edition of the COG have different topics. All topics (genealogy-related of course!) are welcome. Submit any article you’d like. This edition will be hosted by Jasia on the Creative Gene blog. The deadline for submissions is November 15.