Monroe County Almshouse Deaths; 1873 – 1903

almshouse-deaths-1898I completed my project to extract the death records of the Monroe Co. Almshouse. I found them published in “Proceedings of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Monroe.” Those death records began in 1873 and stopped being published  in 1903. There were also a couple of years that the statistics of the Almshouse were published but not any of the deaths. Those missing records were for Oct. 1876 – Sept. 1877 and Oct. 1901 – Sept. 1902.

August 1883 was a bad month to be at the Almshouse. There was a bout of dysentery that killed many elder people. This would have been caused by a bacteria that was spread around the Almshouse. It causes inflammation of the intestines, diarrhea and passing of blood.

Another cause of death that you will see a lot is phthisis, which is another name for tuberculosis. Another old name for the disease is consumption. Tuberculosis was easily spread and there wasn’t a cure until the 1940s.

The last year of the available death records (Oct. 1902 – Sept. 1903) show many bodies being sent to Cornell University. These would have been used to teach medicine at the school.

These death records along with cemetery records can help tell family stories. Sarah E. Edwards, who was born in Canada, was at the Almshouse in June 1885 when she gave birth to a child. Sarah died on July 1st at age 22 from complications of the birth of the child. She was buried on the 3rd in Mt. Hope Cemetery in the public grounds, row 17, grave 98. The child died on Aug. 7th at age 47 days from “marasmus” which is a state of being grossly underweight. It is very likely that the child, of which the sex was never indicated, had been born prematurely. The child was buried the next day in the same grave as the mother.

You can view these deaths records on the GenWeb of Monroe County website. There are three web pages:

Genealogy Software Bargains

When people ask me what genealogy software they should buy, I always tell them they should download the trial versions of Legacy and RootsMagic and see which one they like best before buying. Both of those genealogy software are on sale.

Legacy-8Legacy Family Tree 8 is half price for today only. Regular price is $39.95 and you can get the software for only $19.98. That price is for both a CD of the program and also a download version. If you only want the download version of the software, then today’s price is $14.98. Again, these prices are only until midnight tonight.

ProdRM7BookBundleI ended up using RootsMagic to maintain my family data and they are having a holiday sale. Now you can buy their RootsMagic software for only $20 (plus shipping & handling) and get a free printed manual. They also have some other software; “Personal Historian” and “Family Atlas” that are on sale. Or if you want you can buy all three as a bundle for $59.95. The RootsMagic sale lasts until Dec. 19th.

Top Songs of 1965 – #26

I_Hear_a_Symphony_1966The Supremes are back for their third number one song of 1965. This time it was ”I Hear a Symphony” at the top spot. Again, Diana Ross sung the lead.

”I Hear a Symphony”was written and produced by the Motown team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. Backing instruments were by the Funk Brothers, as were most of Motown’s recordings of that time.

The song was the number song on the Cash Box record chart for the week of Nov 14 – 20. It was the top song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks ( Nov. 14 – 27).

Download songs from the Supremes (for a small fee) from

Black Friday

naum-bros-editBack in the early 1970s I worked for Naum Brothers. They used to say. and I believe it, that they made as much money between Thanksgiving and Christmas as they did during the other 11 months. That is the reason that all retailers want to get you out buying your gifts for the holidays as soon as possible.

Naum Brothers was a catalog store. Only us older people will know what that is. The store was set up with both catalogs to look at and also one of some items to view before you went to the counter. You would submit a form with the catalog number of the item you wanted to buy to a person behind a counter. Then the item would be picked from the warehouse and brought out to you to be paid for.

One year that I worked for Naum’s the big item was the crock pot. We quickly ran out of the big name brand manufacturer crock pot but had some other manufacturer’s similar item that we would bring out and 90% of the time people would buy that one. By the time Christmas came we didn’t even have any of the lesser brand.

Naum’s also had a jewelry counter that had a great selection. They always said that they were a discount jeweler. They only marked up jewelry 100% while the big jewelry stores mark up jewelry items at least twice that.

Naum’s had a majority of the toys out in the store during the Christmas season. That department had to keep restocking all days during the Christmas season to keep up with demand. Larger items like bicycles were in the warehouse and be brought out to the customer in the store or they could come around back of the store where we would load it in their car.

Naum Brothers had four stores in the Rochester area. The one on Ridge Road West in front of Greece Town Mall was the largest and also housed the headquarters for the company. There was one on Monroe Ave. across from Pittsford Plaza. Another store was on Empire Blvd. next to the Webster Drive-in. The smallest was on Chili Ave in Chili. They also had at least one store in Syracuse, one or two in Buffalo and four in Michigan. About 1975 the chain was sold to another catalog store from Iowa and the name was changed. That company really only wanted the stores in Michigan so within a year they sold the other stores to a company in Buffalo and the name changed again. I can’t remember when all the stores closed for good.

Old News – Thanksgiving

This article from 100 years ago seems like it also applies today when we all wish for simpler times.

Notice the name of the fish dealer in the center of the ads. Palmer’s was started in 1850 and still exists today as a fifth generation family owned business. Today they not only sell fish but also all kinds of meats. This web page gives a history of the company.


Friday, Nov. 26, 1915

The Old Time Spirit of Thanksgiving


The old time spirit of Thanksgiving — “Ah those good old days!” This with reminiscent sadness. If there was not a lurking sentiment for the splendor, good fellowship, for the charm of simplicity and the peace that comes from the content heart that marked the old time Thanksgiving, there would be no regret for the good old days that are gone. But why can’t they be conjured back again that we might cherish the generous spirit of that household festival?

It is the character of the day that we would have back again—the aftermath of the harvest, with its spirit of joyousness, the bounteous feast gathering together the family, making sacred the beauty of home ties.

In old New England a hustle of preparation began long before the appointed day. The turkey, strutting in haughty disregard of his fate, was watched with eager eyes and fed with liberal care. The pumpkins were gathered and lay with faces upturned to the sun. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, raisins and citron were heaped in plenty upon the pantry shelf. And within the house was aglow in joyful anticipation of the coming guests—a true hospitality, not so elaborate as it was beautiful and not so luxurious as healthful, but replete with rare kindness and grace.

And when the feast was over and the long afternoon of sport and games was spent and the shadows of evening closed round the great assemblage crowded about the huge fireplace now clear was the coder passed around. Hearts overflowing with jollity and gratitude burst into song—

  • Ah, on Thanksgiving day when from east and from west
  • From north and from south, come the pilgrim and guest
  • When the gray haired New Englander sees round his beard
  • The old broken links of affection restored
  • When the care wearied man seeks his mother once more
  • And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before

This was the spirit of the old time Thanksgiving.


amazonAre you shopping on this holiday season? If you are, then you can help out the GenWeb of Monroe County by clicking on the link to Amazon from this posting. I get a small commission for most sales on their web store. It usually ends up at about 2%. You can buy books, electronics, movies, clothing, health care, kitchen ware or just about anything. Amazon remembers that you came from here and gives me credit for your sale. With the money, I buy more things to scan like postcards, booklets, etc. that end up on the GenWeb site.

ebay-logoAlso, I have things for sale on eBay. Some are related to Rochester and others are not. If you are local to the Rochester area, you can save the shipping costs by picking up whatever you buy at my home in Greece. What you would need to do is add something to your “cart” and then send me a message or ask for an invoice and I will get rid of the shipping charges. Remember, that is only for orders that you will pick-up. If you compare an item I have for sale to the same item that others on eBay are selling, you will see that I usually am the lowest price.

Black Friday at RPL

LibraryStore2Black Friday is Book Friday at the Rochester Public Library. If a unique used book could be the perfect holiday gift for a person on your list, go to the Black Friday Sale at The Library Store on Friday, November 27, from 9am – 5pm. This store features new and used books of all genres, as well as local and literary-themed items at discounted prices. New merchandise is discounted from 10% to 50% off as marked. Specially selected books are marked at 50% off. The remaining used hardcover books are 50 cents and remaining used paperbacks are 25 cents. Many of the used books are in gift-quality condition, and volunteers will gift wrap purchases at no charge. Free cocoa will be served to the first 100 customers. The Library Store is located on the first floor of the Bausch & Lomb Library Building of the Rochester Public Library, 115 South Avenue in downtown Rochester. The store is run by the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library.

Old News – Factory Sold

In 1892 Frank Capen and George Witney started a piano factory in Brockport as Brockport Piano Manufacturing Company. When Mr. Witney died the name of the company was changed to Louismann-Capen Company. The article tells that the factory is being sold to Mr. McLaughlin who would manufacture wash tubs, fuel cans, flour sifters and other galvanized steel products. That company would close when Mr. McLaughlin died. The building would later be used by Alderman Box Company, Dynacolor and 3M.


Thursday, Nov. 18, 1915


J. R. McLaughlin, Prime Mover, Has Had Valuable Experience

Brockport Piano Manufacturing Co.

The buildings of Louismann-Capen Piano Company, which went into bankruptcy in July 1914, were sold Tuesday afternoon by the trustee Edward J. Hartman of Buffalo and will come up for confirmation on Friday. The plant sold for $12,000 which is considered by some as a very conservative figure and by some as a very conservative figure and by others as a high price due only to the business sagacity of the referee and trustee. The best price offered at previous sales was $10,000. A dividend of ten percent has been paid in the case so far and amounted to $7,203.63.

It is probable that the sale of the Louismann-Capen plant will mean a great deal for the village of Brockport and its purchase by James R. MacLaughlin of Rochester almost insures the location of a business in this village which will probably employ anywhere from fifty to one hundred men at the start and more later. Mr. MacLaughlin has for years been connected with a manufacturing industry, the output of which is practically along the line of the proposed concern. All kinds of staple ware in stamped metal ware, tinware, copper-ware and galvanized metals are to be manufactured.

Some of the best business men have not only taken stock in the enterprise but are actively engaged in securing subscriptions from others. Scarcely a person approached but has subscribed and efforts of the committee are bearing fruit but there is yet a considerable sum to be raised in order to meet the proposition made by Mr. MacLaughlin. As we understand it the situation is that he has taken the chance in bidding in the building of the Village meeting his requirements. This phase of the situation should be borne in mind by everyone who realizes the importance of having such a plant located here.

Outside of loyalty to the interests of the village it would seem from the standpoint of an investment that there should be no difficulty in securing the balance of the required amount.

Circus Program

1949-shrine-curcusI uploaded a program to the 1949 Shrine Circus to the GenWeb website. The circus was held at the NY State Armory. That location would be considered to be too small now-a-days to hold a circus.

There is actually very little program in the 106 page book. It is mostly local advertising. A good share of those ads are for businesses that no longer exist. Some of the businesses that used to be in the city but have now moved to the suburbs.

Monroe County Almshouse Deaths

almshouse-deaths-1898I uploaded a new web page to GenWeb of Monroe County. Deaths in the Monroe County, NY Almshouse has records from the Poor House that used to be near the corner of South and Elmwood Avenues. This page cover Oct. 1, 1890 to Sept. 30, 1900 and has records of 941 deaths at the institution. The records list the name, death date, age, cause of death, where born and where buried. Ages of death vary from one day to 105 but a good share of the people are elderly. Also I see from the records that about two thirds of the people at the Almshouse were men. Every year there were about 800 people admitted to the Almshouse and about 700 of those were discharged.

These records are a direct result of a talk given by Karen Mauer Jones at the NY Family History Conference in Syracuse held in September. She suggested that there may be some vital records in the records of the County Supervisors. I picked this time period as a test and found these Almshouse deaths. I still am not sure when the Supervisor’s records  started listing the deaths nor when they stopped. I decided to move back in time first and already have some more records to transcribe.