Friday, November 24, 2017

2nd Blogiversary-Debby’s Family Genealogy Blog

A look back at the last year-

Over the past year I have created and published about 52 blog posts.

Some of my Favorite Posts this year-
  • It’s Official! I Proved it! This was a major accomplishment for me. I was able to find the information and prove to the Alden Kindred Society that I was a descendant of John & Priscilla Alden of the Mayflower. My perseverance and research skills were validated.
  • Recording a Family Thanksgiving Tradition. I enjoyed recounting my father’s memories and finding videos that added to his story.
  • Heading Back to School in 1880 and Back at College in 1880.  From my paternal Great-Grandmother Carrie’s Letters.  I enjoyed hearing about her trip back to college in Trenton, New Jersey and about the college itself.

All time History Page Views- 54, 464 (about 50,000 more than last year)

Followers – 12

My most viewed blog was – Finding my Pilgrim Ancestors-John and Priscilla Alden with 1304 page views. To date this is my most viewed blog post.

What I’ve learned:
  • Providing a link to my blog post on related Facebook groups has helped me find cousins and allowed me to share family history with them in a much easier format. I have received some very valuable research help from others. It really does take a community frequently and I am grateful for others willing to help and share their experiences. I have also tried to assist others when possible.
  • I think as I reach out to other people on public trees having a blog to refer them to gives me a little more credibility as a  researcher and someone who is happy to share information.
  • Using the right media to help tell a story can really enhance the information and help readers understand the time period.
  • I can enhance the sometimes just bare facts of a person’s life by adding information about the time period around the facts.
My Frustration continues to be that there never seems to be enough time and money to do as much research as I want.

My goals for this next year:
  • To once again publish at least 50 posts while continuing to work full time.
  • Prove to the Mayflower Society that I am a descendant of John & Priscilla Alden.
  • Make the stories of my ancestors’ lives be more than just dry facts. Help the readers understand the time period better.
Accomplishment: One of my goals for last year was to publish a book of my blog posts and I was able to accomplish that. How exciting to see all the research for a year published in to one place in a book format.

My updated Surname word cloud:

A VERY SPECIAL THANK-YOU TO ALL MY READERS!  I enjoy the comments you make and/or questions you ask.  I’m always looking for new directions to research or information that is questionable and needs verification.  

It has been another great year for me as a blogger.  On to new discoveries and new cousin connections and maybe some great new photos.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.

Enjoy the journey,

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Recording A Family Thanksgiving Tradition

I recently recalled my Father telling me what his family had done for several years when he was growing up for Thanksgiving and thought it was a tradition that needed to be recorded. 

My Grandfather had a duck farm out on Eastern Long Island that required constant attention.  It certainly wasn’t a 9 to 5 job.  It was difficult for him to get away on trips but around Thanksgiving he was able to take some time in the 1940s.

My father remembers my Grandfather Olin driving my Grandmother Agnes, my Aunt Gloria and him in to New York City early in the week of Thanksgiving.  My Grandfather would spend the night and then have to drive the 60 some miles back home to check on the farm and then return to the City by Thanksgiving.  They always stayed at the Hotel Pennsylvania (renamed the Statler in 1949 and in 1991 it was once again renamed the Hotel Pennsylvania) on Seventh Avenue across from Penn Station.  My Dad remembers that some years they had a window in their room that they could see the parade from and watched it right there from their room.  Other times he said they would go to the end of the hallway and watch from the windows there.  The family ate Thanksgiving dinner in the dining room of the Hotel.  He remembers being a young boy of 10-12 and always wanting to pay the bill for dinner.  My Grandfather would hand him the bill and give him the cash so he could go pay for dinner.  How important and grown up he felt.  They left their car in the parking garage under the Hotel and walked around New York City or used a taxi. During the day they went walking around looking at the many Christmas decorations and doing some shopping.  He remembered my Grandmother going to the Concierge desk at the Hotel to get tickets to shows such as Oklahoma, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, etc. and how much he enjoyed the shows. He also remembered going to dinner one night and having a table right next to the stage.  He said he was so excited to hear the famous trumpet player W.C. Handy-St Louis Blues.  He said he was so close he could almost reach out and touch Mr. Handy. After a busy and fun week Sunday came and it was time to head back home.  What a great tradition and memory to preserve!

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, as we know it, was originally called the Christmas Parade.  The parade began in 1924 and has run every year with the exception of 1942-1944 during WW II.

I was able to find the following mentions of the families’ trips to New York City in the local newspaper of the time:
The County Review newspaper dated Nov. 29, 1945
“Mr and Mrs Olin Warner and children spent the holiday and weekend in New York City.”
      In 1945 the big balloons were reported to be Bobo the Hobo (Clown), Acrobat, Teddy Bear, Pumpkin, Ice Cream Cone
                                                                                           Daily News photo from November 23, 1945
(click to enlarge image)
[You can even click the link and watch a video on YouTube from the 1945 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.]

The County Review newspaper dated Dec 5, 1946
“Mr and Mrs Olin Warner, Miss Gloria and Olin, Jr, spent the holiday and weekend in New York.”

The County Review newspaper dated Dec 2, 1948
“Mr and Mrs Olin Warner and son Olin Jr spent the holiday and weekend in New York, where they were joined by their daughter, Miss Gloria, of Lasalle Junior College, Aubarndale, Mass.”

Many years later I would take my young son in to New York City to see the parade two times.  Our first time was in 1986.

One time my sister was even able to join us.  We watched along the route of the parade and not at Macy’s.  I remember how cold it was standing there (I think one year it was 11 degrees and windy) and how quickly the parade was over compared to the 3 hour time it takes on TV.  My son also remembers having a loose tooth that came out while eating a New York pretzel. 

It was an amazing experience to be there in person and see the huge balloons and floats go by.  One we will definitely not forget.  I’m thankful we were able to continue that Family tradition of seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in person and to be able to record my father’s story.  What a great memory it was for him that we now have a record of!  It was fun for me to listen to my father tell me about these great memories he has.  With a little searching I was even able to locate the YouTube videos of the 1945 Parade and the one of W.C. Handy-St. Louis Blues on the Ed Sullivan Show and share them with my father who enjoyed watching them.  It’s so amazing what is available on the Internet and how we can share in my Father’s memories.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Be sure to record the memories of your Thanksgiving traditions.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Obituary-Timothy Alden

As genealogists we are always looking for obituaries to find those missing pieces of information such as a birth location, a missing family member, etc.  When I found the following obituary for my maternal 5th great-grandfather Timothy Alden, I was amazed at how different this obituary was from the others that I have been able to locate.  This has no mention of his wife or children, his year or location of birth, or even his connection to his very famous 5x great-grandparents John & Priscilla Alden of the Mayflower.  Yet, I feel like I know so much about him as a man from the following very eloquent description of the personality of the man Timothy was.  I believe it also shows the author’s admiration for Timothy.

The Bradford County Historical Society was able to locate the obituary for me from the
Bradford Reporter dated Thursday, Oct. 13, 1859:


Transcription:  In this village, on the 20th ult, Capt. Timothy Alden, of Monroe township, aged 89 years and seven months.
Capt. Alden was one of the pioneer settlers of northern Pennsylvania; emigrated from Massachusetts, and fixing his home in these sylvan wilds in December of the 1880.  His axe cut the road for the teams as he approached the place which he had selected for a home. -- He grappled manfully with the inconveniences of frontier life, and the wild beasts of the mountains, and the forests alike stood out of his way, and the earth and his mechanical industry were compelled to yield him a support.  He has lived until all the original surroundings have changed while he gazed upon them-the village, the church, the railroad, and all the accompaniments of thirst, now occupy the cities upon which he gazed, in their original attire.  The red man has gone to his imaginary hunting ground, the sturdy pioneer has fallen a martyr to his privations and hardships; and two generations have passed away from this western home, leaving a patriarch to tell us of events that were well nigh a century agone; and thus to stand as a connecting link, associating us with men and events of quite another era of time.  The aged oak has finally fallen and the connecting link is broken and forever gone.  Bowed with age and with locks whitened by the frosts of many winters, the sluggish stream is stayed and the weary wheels of life have ceased to move.  Panoplied by a life of rich experience, and fed by fruitful thought and meditation, and nerved for the event, by long and careful observation, he wrapped around him the mantle of his christian faith, and sat down to await the day of his appointed time as quietly as the infant reposing in the arms of maternal affection.  He has gone on that long journey.  Verily, “As the waters fail form the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up; so man lieth down and riseth not, till the heavens be no more.”

I wish I could thank the author of this obituary for the care he/she took in preparing this and the style of writing used.

See also Tombstone Tuesday-Timothy Alden and Using County Histories to Find Information-Timothy Alden for additional information.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.

Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Honoring a Revolutionary War Veteran

I think I have about 7 Revolutionary War Veterans among my ancestors.  While so many lines of my ancestors have been in the United States since the 1600s and 1700s it has made tracing them to their ‘home’ country towns a lot harder, but on the other hand it gives me great pride in knowing how many of them served in the founding of this great country.

Jacob Grantier (see post entitled Sunday Serendipity-Jacob Grantier) was my maternal 5th Great-Grandfather.  I found the following on the Tri-Counties Genealogy and History website about Jacob:

“Jacob Grantier (Granteer, Granadier), a native of the province of Lorraine, Germany, came to America about two years before the Revolutionary War, locating in Schoharie county, N.Y. Here he joined Morgan's famous riflemen and served until the close of the struggle for Independence.”

I decided to do some further research to see what I could find out about Jacob and Morgan’s famous riflemen and Jacob’s military service.
  • The age of enrollment or enlistment during the Revolutionary War was 16 years of age.  They were able to serve until age 50.
Morgan’s Riflemen were an elite light infantry unit commanded by General Daniel Morgan in the American Revolutionary War.  They served a vital role because they were equipped with what was then the cutting-edge rifle instead of muskets, allowing superior accuracy up to ten times the distance of the typical troops of the day.  General George Washington, in his own words described them as "...chosen men, selected from the army at large, well acquainted with the use of rifles, and with that mode of fighting which is necessary to make them a good counterpoise to the Indian."  They were very skilled sharpshooters.  I was not able to find any verifying information yet that Jacob was part of this group, however, I have found information indicating this was true.  More research to be done in this area to confirm.
On Fold3 I was able to verify that Jacob was in the Revolutionary War and was in Colonel Peter Vroman’s Regiment of Albany County Militia (Fifteenth Regiment) which existed from about 1779-1783.  (click on images to enlarge)

Transcription:  Jacob x (his mark) Granetier four months 13 Dollars 3/4

Transcription:  Appears as shown below on a Receipt Roll under the following heading:  “We the Subscribers of Lieut. Dietz’s Company do acknowledge to have Received of Col. Peter Vroman of us the Sums affixed to our names as a Bounty Collected from Exampts in Schohary agreeable to an act passed by the Legislator for the Raising Seven hundred men.”  Roll dated, Schohary Jan. 27, 1779.
Jacob  X (his mark) Granetier four months 13 Dollars 3/4

I was able to also find the following listing of Jacob being paid for his service:

Transcription:  We the Subscribers for ourselfs or some other person for us Do acknowledge to have Received of Peter Vroman the Respective sums opposite to our names in Certificates Issued by Garard Banker Esq State Treasurer pursuant to an act of the Legislature passed the 27th April 1784 for Services performed in the Militia in the Late war-

Date     Persons names           No. of ceritifcates       Amount L   S   D           Signers names    Witnesses to persons making marks
1784  Nov 3   Jacob Kranatier  Pv     10                                  7  11  6 2/3      Jacob Granteer
                                                            7 Pounds- 11 Shillings - 6 2/3 Pence 
  • 12 Pence/pennies per Shilling and 20 Shillings per pound.  As best as I can figure probably the equivalent of about $150 in today’s currency.
  • I find it interesting the way the clerk wrote his name in the ledger and how, I am guessing, he signed his name on the right.
From New York State Legislative Records:

Transcription:  Certificates issued or to be issued by virtue of an act, entitled An act for the settlement of the pay of the levies and militia, for the services in the late war, and for other purposes therein mentioned, passed the 27th day of April, 1784.

I have not been able to determine what the certificates were ever worth to the soldiers, perhaps Land Warrants?

This is additional confirmation of Jacob's Military Service:


Transcription of gravestone:    Jacob Granteer      Vrooman’s N. Y. Mil. Rev. War

I so love it when all the pieces fit together so nicely and information from a variety of sources is consistent information.  I also find it interesting the many spellings of the name Grantier and Vroman.  I am guessing that the spelling of Jacob’s name may have changed since it looks like initially he was unable to write his name and then must have learned how and spelled it his way.

I am continually thank-full for the service of my ancestors and all Veterans in shaping this great country!

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.

Enjoy the journey,