A huge amount of my research focuses on two particular counties of New York State, my maternal ancestors settled primarily in Clinton County.
Most of my family in Clinton County centers on the towns of Plattsburgh, Peru and Ausable.
The other New York county that a lot of my research has been focused on is Essex County. I have affectionately called Essex County as the black hole of my family history.
For Essex County, a lot of my research is in Chesterfield, Jay and Wilmington. I have lots of research particularly in North Jay but records can be hard to come by.
Recently I have been working on my Dad’s side of the family and I have been focussing on his Italian roots as much of his family stayed in Italy. I stumbled across this map recently and it has really helped me as I have been looking for records.
I have so far found records in Vasto, San Salvo and Lentella. As I have said most of my Italian research is done blind as there is no one alive that really knows anything. My Dad has told me things and next time I see him I am going to sit down and write down everything I can so I can maybe find out more.
I personally love the old insurance maps where you can see who was living where.
I love that the Library of Congress has a great cache of old maps to use for free. Looking at a map always helps me figure things out with locations and how much travel people did by horse and buggy,
Yes life has gotten in the way so it is time to start playing catch up. This is a fun topic. I have been doing a lot of what I call shrubbing. Shrubbing is working on all those collateral lines to figure out some dead ends or to try and learn more about a family.
I have been concentration on Gerard’s Roddy (Riedy) line. For years I have put off attempting researching Gerard’s Irish relatives because it gets quite confusing.
Mary Roddy was Gerard’s Great Grandmother and we know almost nothing about her. She was born 25 Jun 1885 in Brooklyn, Kings Co, NY. She died 22 Jul 1921. She was 36 years old of tuberculosis. I am discovering how common tuberculosis was.
Copy of Mary. Roddy Mc Mahon’s Death Certificate.
As I go back in my research which isn’t very far on this line, I am discovering the utter tragedy of Mary’s life. I hope she was happy in her married life.
Mary Roddy was the daughter of James Roddy and Margaret McGuire (Maguire). I have only been able to find out a little about them. James Roddy was born in 1854-55 in Ireland and sadly he died at 40 years of age of pneumonia. He had been in New York for about 20 years.
Mary was only 10 years old and an orphan.
Margaret Maguire died at the age of 30 years old following the complications of a miscarriage. She had been in the United States for 15 years. It was 1886.
For years I wondered what became of Mary Roddy before her marriage to James McMahon in 1907. I decided to delve a bit deeper and see what I could find.
I found the Baptism Register for St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Brooklyn, NY on Ancestry. In it was an entry for John Thomas Roddy who was the son of James and Margaret Roddy. Sadly, he died at about 3 weeks old, but this baptism record yielded a clue into the family of James Roddy. One of the sponsors was a Winifred Roddy.
So, I decided to see what I could find out about Winifred Roddy and I turned to the 1900 Census.
I found Mary Roddy, living with not one aunt but 2 so this opened up the family of Jame Roddy a bit. During the pandemic I found a parking lot angel who went to the Family History Library and was able to find the death certificate for Winifred Roddy.
Sadly Winifred Roddy died at the age of 48 of pneumonia and a cardiac arrhythmia. According to her death certificate she came over to the United States at 8 years old but the 1900 census has her arriving 1876.
I am in the process of searching for the death record of Mary Johnson but it has been slow going as to the commonality of the name. I would also love to find her marriage certificate if one exists.
I haven’t been able to definitively find any of the immigration records into the United States for the Roddy siblings or find their origin in Ireland. So with the exception of their parents names I am at a stand still for now. It just makes me sad at how young they all died and they must of lived a tremendously hard life.
Also between 1907 and 1919 Mary Roddy McMahon gave birth to 6 children who survived to adulthood. After the life she lived that must of also taken a toll on her.
So branching out and shrubbing did help me find other details into this family line and I find it an extremely useful tool to move forward and find a fuller picture of the life our relatives lived.
Today is April 1st, 2022 and it is the long awaited day of the release of the 1950 census. I was very excited about this day because it is the first census my parents show up on. It released at 12:01AM EST. Since I live in the central time zone I was luck to be able to view it last night since I was up and down another rabbit hole that I will save for another day.
Even though I would of loved to search for my Dad or the elusive Henry Bass, I figured I would start with my Mom, Grandma and Grandpa because the lived in a much smaller place than NYC. Oh did I mention I decided to take this endeavor on using my iPhone.
Well I had great success and found them right away.
As you can see they were in Clinton Co, NY in the Town of AuSable.
But my most favorite part of this page is my Grandpa’s occupation.
Yep you read that right he was Beer Salesman. LOVE It.
I will spend some time looking for other relatives including my Dad and all of my Grandpa and Grandma’s siblings and some great grandparents and of course the elusive Henry Bass but it is fun to see people I actually know on the census.
Now the wait begins until 2032 for the 1960 census.
Today was a big day in genealogy research. New York City Records & Information Services released their brand new Historical Vital Records website.
Well I immediately went down a little rabbit hole and had the most success with Gerard’s family. I was able to get his family back another generation on one line which is fabulous. The other thing is the files are so crisp so it will be fun to go through the records I have to see if I can find better copies.
Here are the records I found and was able to get death dates for both of his 2nd Great Grandparents on his paternal side.
The first one I found was Martin Lynch who died in 1931.
Best part is that it had his parents names so I hope to be able to find them in Ireland. Also states he was a resident of NYC for 50 years. I will try to see if I can find his grave in Holy Cross Cemetery also.
Next I was able to find Martin’s wife Bridget Larkin Lynch. She died a few years after her husband in 1935.
I can definitely see this leading me down lots of rabbit holes and working on NYC lines. I am excited to see what I can find for more of Gerard’s family and what I can find anything new on my Dad’s family. Between this and the upcoming 1950 census I am super excited.
The minute I saw this prompt Alice in Wonderland popped into my mind, I had no idea what I should talk about. I have been mulling it over since the beginning of the week.
I decided to tell you about a couple of relatives that have me in somewhat of a genealogical quandry and I am quite curious about.
First let’s discuss John Daby, who happens to be my 4th great grandfather on my maternal grandfather’s side.
John Daby was born in approximately 1782 possibly in Massachusetts.
In 1801 he married Olive Bolton in Shirley, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.
In 1810 census, he appears in Windham County Vermont in the town Andover.
In 1830, 1840 & 1850 he appears on the United States Census in Jay, Essex County, NY.
John appears on the 1860 United States Mortality Schedule for Jay Essex County, New York. He died in June of 1859 of old age.
John is buried in the North Jay Cemetery in Jay, New York.
I have always thought that John’s parents were Joseph Daby (1748-1825) and Abigal Bennett (1748-1824). A cousin recently reached out to me and said that she was told by another researcher that his parents are a Samuel Darby (1759-1839) and Hepzibeth Wheeler (1762-1794) and no proof was given.
It could be possible though I am a tad doubtful after seeing that Samuel and Hepzibeth were married in December of 1782 and John was born in June of 1782. Also I and other of my close relatives have several DNA matches to descendants of Nathan Daby (1766-1836) who was a child of Joseph Daby and Abigal Bennett.
So this whole line now has me seriously baffled and curious as to what the truth is. I know I am going to have to brush up on some DNA skills and shrub out some trees to figure this all out.
The second thing that has me curious currently is the Italian side of my genealogy. This is kind of like researching my husbands family as I am flying blind and add in a language barrier and it is interesting to say the least.
Right now I am focussing on my great grandmother Teresa Tracchia. I am going to start putting together my steps for my Research Like a Pro 14 day challenge which I am behind on but I want to follow through with the steps so I have the locality guide together as I think it will be helpful with future research. I am then going to go step by step and see if I can find her parents so I will have that set of 2X great grandparents complete. I also need to find out if anyone knows when she died.
A few months ago those sets of Great Great grandparents looked much different and I am happy to see the names beginning to flesh out. I have also been planning a little trip to the Bentonville Family History Center so I can tap into the Italian records they have there instead of using the Italian Website.
So these are the 2 things that have me super curious at the moment.
This week in the 52 Ancestors Challenge hosted by Amy Johnson Crow, the topic is favorite photo and WOW it is a tough one. I can’t pick just one so here are a couple of my favorites.
The first is of my husband’s great grandfather, Henry Bass. Henry was a bit of a scoundrel and not much is known about him. I am hoping with the release of the upcoming 1950 census I can fill the picture out a bit more.
Henry Morrissey Bass picture courtesy of Ancestry.com
The next photo is of my favorite ancestor Sarah Larkin Beardsley, MD.
Sarah Larkin Beardsley is my 2X Great Grandmother on my maternal Grandfather’s line. I joined the DAR through Sarah’s Grandfather Lorin Nehemiah Larkin. The stories she could tell and the trails she blazed by becoming a doctor in the 1880s.
My Mom is currently getting a bunch of family photos from a family member so it will be awesome to see what she gets.
January 14, 2021 began a 14 Day Research Like a Pro Mini Challenge. I love these challenges because I use them to focus on lines I am uncomfortable searching like my husband’s Irish roots or this time I am working on my Italian Roots.
Searching my Italian roots ought to be fun because I do not read or write Italian and my genealogy books are all still in the garage in boxes. I really should move those things upstairs and get a desk so I can get back to work but I digress.
Day one was to come up with a research question and my original question was going to be when did my 2nd great grandmother Chiara Ludovico die but I know she died sometime after 1902 and the records for Chieti, Italy only go until 1900 so I figured that would be a very difficult task.
Last night I was poking around my tree trying to decide on a different question and I ran across her marriage record to my 2X great grandfather Michelangelo Moro. I found some one who was able to translate it on a facebook group and I now have the names of Chiara’s parents.
Both of these translations gave me new information I did not have regarding both the groom and the bride. I now have the following questions and one may just become my research question for this mini- project.
When did Domenico Moro die?
Can I find birth records for Michelangelo Moro or Chiara Ludivico?
Who are the parents of any of the parents listed?
Can I find other records for any of the persons named here?
The other cool thing I found here is my Dad had mention San Salvo to me but we did not know where that fit in so now we do. Also we never knew that his Great-Grandmother was named Chiara before finding her on a ships Manifest in 1880. So this is going to be an interesting journey and while I like the Antenati website, I may take myself to a Family History Center to do this research as I will be able to save it on my computer easier and it is behind a wall. Thankfully the Family History Center is only about a 20 minute drive and has great hours.
So any ideas on which Italian Ancestor I should research next?
This week in the 52 Ancestors Challenge hosted by Amy Johnson Crow, the topic is favorite find. To this date I think my favorite find is about my 2x Great Grandmother, Sarah Larkin Beardsley. Sarah was born in Clintonville, Clinton County, NY in 1847 and sadly she died in April 1886 but she is truly a remarkable woman. Now let’s get back to the find.
I discovered a blurb about Sarah being inducted into the Michigan Medical Society in 1884 that means she had to be a doctor. So there was more research and let’s look at the 1880 Census for Ann Arbor Michigan.
On this 1880 Census we find Sarah with her husband Lesley Beardsley and she is listed as a Student.
On Google Books I found the Calendar for the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and listed inside is Sarah A. Beardsley as a 3rd year student.
Another search of Google Books yielded the In Memoriam Page for the Michigan State Medical Society, where Sarah is listed as deceased.
Sarah died in Valley Falls, New York in April 1886 of tuberculosis. I have found numerous articles about her in the New York newspapers for Clinton and Essex County to this date she fascinates me.
I also have a new favorite find. I have been trying to find out a death date for my husband’s 2X Great-Grandmother, a woman named Bertha Maier Brucks. Bertha was born in approximately 1863 in Germany. She emigrated to the United States and in 1887 she married Robert Brucks who also was a German immigrant. Robert died in 1916 in Chicago, Illinois.
After Robert died the family left the Chicago area after the 1930 census, I know that two of the daughters settled in the Washington DC area. Daughter Charlotte was a gifted pianist and attended Julliard and daughter Helen settled in Maryland.
I found Bertha in a Washington DC City Directory in 1954 but after that I couldn’t find her after that. She was living with her daughter Charlotte.
So this past weekend I decided to run an Ancestry search on Bertha and a new result for Find-A-Grave popped up but I wasn’t sure it was her so I ran her husband Robert and daughter Charlotte. I knew Robert was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Chicago due to an obituary and his death certificate.
So I think this is my new favorite find.
This wonderful Find-A-Grave contributor has been going section by section and photographing Rose Hill Cemetery. So now I have a Year of Death for Bertha. So maybe now I will be able to find a death record for her.
When I saw the topic of foundations for the week, my Grandma immediately came to mind. I have many a memory of cemetery trips with my Grandma and Grandpa.
Who is my Grandma? Frances Mary Stewart was born 30 July 1922 in Clinton County, New York. The daughter of Charles Stewart and Mildred Shumway. Frances married Earl Elmer Witherwax 6 October 1940 in Schuyler Falls, Clinton County, New York. Grandma and Grandpa had 7 children and did many different jobs. She developed an interest in genealogy and she spent a huge amount of time researching my Grandpa’s family. She left me so much information and I have loved following through with her work. Sadly my Grandma passed away in 2004 in Washington County Arkansas and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her .
Coming from a family who are contractors, you know the foundation needs to be the strongest to hold up the rest of the building. So when I think of a genealogy foundation I think of my grandma. She was the heart of my family and the glue that held us all together.
I am excited to be starting the 52 Ancestors Challenge again and can’t wait to dive back into my family history after a crazy insane 2021.
Yes shrubbing out that tree and a DNA cousin have lead to a huge Rabbit Hole and it isn’t even a direct ancestor but when a good juicy story gets you hooked you follow.
I love a mystery and think I may of been a detective in a previous life. So I am working on shrubbing out the descendants of Benjamin Knowlton Coolidge and Olive Daby. Though I should also shrub out Benjamin Knowlton Coolidge and Betsey Black also since this family has some pedigree collapse going on and I discovered a triple cousin.
I am also working on creating a tree for my DNA cousin’s great great grandparents because I discovered a case of sisters marrying brothers, so we have a bit more pedigree collapse going on. Thankfully I have a couple of odd markers making the research go a bit easier with a somewhat common last name.
So one of my goals in the coming days is to actually work on some of my own research and scope out the Family History Center’s local to me. It will be nice to be able to access the records fairly easily. I have a list of records I need in my source box and my wonderful daughter said she wouldn’t mind going either. She likes doing research. I am thinking of doing a little 14-day mini-challenge, I did one last year with Nicole and Diana from Family Locket and Research Like a Pro and it helped me. I was able to find some great information and have a nice little report for it. The best part is it kept me focussed on one question.
So I am sitting here going down a rabbit hole and shrubbing along this tree, what are you working on in your tree.