In a secret room of an abandoned house, Dennis P. Bielewicz uncovered documents which led him to research and retell the story of the complete military service of H. Seymour Hall and Benjamin Coffin. Dennis will present his background story leading up to the publication of his book Heroes in the Attic – the Untold Story of Two Civil War Soldiers. It is the true saga of two Livingston County college students who abandoned their classes and organized their student colleagues to leave college before graduation to train as volunteer soldiers at the beginning of the Civil War. Dennis will then detail their training, service in over twenty battles, their discharge from the military and the course that their adult lives took.
Dennis Bielewicz is a military veteran and retired school librarian, lives in Ontario, NY. Books will be available for purchase ($29.95 plus tax) and signing after the presentation.
The presentation is Tuesday, March 11th at 7 p. m. in the Greece Town Hall (One Vince Tofany Blvd.). Reservations are not necessary. Greece Historical Society members free. A $2.00 donation is appreciated from others.
I added the fourth page of records from the old newspaper column “Early Rochester Family Records” that were published between 1910 and 1912. The records are on Page 44 of Biographies. Highlights of families on this page are:
- Latta family of Charlotte, including a long autobiographical sketch by George C, Latta
- Children & grand-children of Dr. Anson Colman
- Isaac Hills of Rochester
- Descent of Pocahontas (not sure why she was included)
- Williams family of Henrietta
- Jeremiah Olmstead, first permanent resident of Rochester
- Perrin family of Perinton
- Gates family of Gates and Henrietta
- Eli Granger of Rochester
- Bible records of the Asabel Beach family
- Children of William Hincher of Charlotte
- Northrup family of Perinton
- Garnsey family of Pittsford
- Jacob Howe of Rochester
- Orlando Hastings family of Rochester
- General Timothy Burr family of Rochester
- Isaac Stone family of Rochester
- Garbutt family of Wheatland
- Henry S. Potter family of Pittsford and Rochester
Plus lots of short other family records.
I have transcribed genealogies from 13 months of this newspaper column and have another 9 months worth to be transcribed. Then the newspaper column abruptly disappeared from the newspaper.
Today (March 8th) is Genealogy Day. If you didn’t know it was, neither did I until about an hour ago. Genealogy Day is part of “Celebrate Your Name Week” which was created by Jerry Hill in 1997.
A quick search has found that some libraries and genealogy societies around the US are celebrating with special events. No events are scheduled locally so you can celebrate by doing a search on your favorite website.
My ancestors Silas P. and Nancy Ann (Gibson) Lason (pronounced Lay-son) had 5 sons and 2 daughters. The three eldest sons all volunteered to served in the Civil War. The third eldest, James, served in Co. L, 5th US Cavalry (along with George Custer). James died 27 May 1862 at the Battle of Hanover Courthouse, Virginia.
Benj. F. Lason tombstone
The second eldest son, Benjamin Franklin Lason, was born about 1843 in Pennsylvania where the family had lived for only a couple of years. Ben was in Co. F, 6th NY Cavalry. He was captured near Thoroughfare Gap, VA on 22 Oct. 1863. He was sent to Andersonville prison in Georgia. That was an infamous prison that was known for its unhealthful conditions. Of the 45,000 prisoners that were at Andersonville prison during the war nearly 13,000 died. Food was in very short supply and the prison ended up with many more men than the prison could hold. Most of the prisoners died from scurvy, diarrhea, and dysentery. Ben managed to live until 6 March 1864 when he died of a fever. He was buried at the cemetery outside the prison.
Ben’s eldest brother, George Washington Lason also served in the Civil War. He was in Co. B, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry. George was wounded in his left arm at Gettysburg (July 1863) He was captured at the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864. As fate would have it, he was also sent to Andersonville prison. He didn’t find out until after the war that his brother had died there a few months before he got there. Andersonville prison was liberated in May 1865. George had to be carried out on a stretcher and stayed at a hospital for a month or so before returning home. George was the only one of the three Lason brothers to survive the war.
More news from the past.
THE BROCKPORT REBUBLIC
Thurs. March 5, 1914
BIGGEST STORM SINCE 1888
Brockport streets were never in more impassable condition than on Monday morning after the heavy storm on Sunday night had piled them high with drifts in some places so high that entrance to buildings was impossible until three or four feet of snow had been shoveled away.
The east side of Main street fared better than the west but the drift near the corner of Clinton and Main streets presented the aspect of a snow fort built by small boys, and stood nearly eight feet high. There were few placed along the street where the snow was less than three feet deep.
Eighteen inches of snow were registered between Sunday night and Monday morning. The strong north-west wind made the storm seem even worse than it was. Brockport fared even better than many towns father east. Penn Yan was milkless, Auburn was isolated until noon, Geneva was trainless and Clifton Springs cut off. All the milkmen around Brockport experienced great difficulty in getting into town but managed to make it, remembering the many hungry babies on their routes. A peculiar sight was witnessed yesterday at the Normal school as a result of the snow. The snow on the roof of the Gymnasium very slowly began to slide until a snow and ice formation, about 12 inches thick, 25 feet long and 7 feet wide was hanging about seven feet over the side of the building. The bank represented probably from four to six tons of snow and fell with a crash about 11 o’clock. Trolley service although somewhat impaired was fairly good, thanks to constant use of snow plows. N. Y. C. trains arrived nearly on time from the west but service from the east was entirely broken up.
Several teams and a force of men have been busy since Monday carrying away the immense snow banks on Main street.
I started adding pictures to the GenWeb of Monroe County website about 1997 or 1998. At that time everyone had slower internet connections so most of the pictures were rather small. Plus I had to hand code all the webpages that the pictures were on. That got really tedious and it was difficult to add new add new pictures. That all changed in November 2012 when I moved all the pictures to a sub-website.
The picture pages use a free application named Piwigo. It makes it much easier for me and I can even add a picture to more than one menu. For you it makes it much easier to navigate. You can pick the size of the picture you want to display. You can also download all the pictures and if you do, in most cases you will find it is even larger than the size you can view on the internet. That’s because since I moved the pictures, I have rescanned as many pictures as I could find and made them much bigger than they were a couple of years ago. You can also rate the pictures on a scale of 1 to 6.
If you register on the picture page there some additional things that you can do. First you can leave comments. I originally had it so you could leave comments with registering but I quickly got spam comments. So I had to make a person register to leave a comment. You can also change the background color theme if you register. The best things is you can change the number of thumbnails that appear on a page. The default is only 20 but if you register you can set it as high as you want. I set my number of thumbnails to 125. that means I never have to page through pages of thumbnails
The largest part of the collection of pictures are old postcards. You should know that even old postcards were altered. They were originally black and white photos that were colorized. Some of the colors were added for dramatic effect and may not be accurate. I have also seen some postcards that have people, autos and a stage coach added to the original photo. Trees have leaves added and telephone poles disappear in some of the postcards.
Some of the pictures are from old books. I have a small collection of area history books but I also have found some unique digital books online. I can split digital books into separate pages and then clean them up using Photoshop. That’s how I was able to recently add a collection of bank ads with pictures from the early 1900s. They came from books that were published by the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. They were trying to show everyone how progressive Rochester was in those days.
When I moved the pictures to the picture pages I had approx. 1200 pictures. Now there are almost 2000 and I’m always looking for some new pictures to add.
The Rochester Public Library recently added the Combination Atlas Map of Genesee Co., NY to their collection of digitized books. This atlas originally published by in 1876 by Everts, Ensign & Everts is in PDF format. This was a large atlas approx 27 x 17 inches and makes a large PDF file (80mb) This atlas is one of those that shows property owned and where homes of people are located. Also the maps show schoolhouses, churches and cemeteries.
Within this atlas are some short histories of the Towns in Genesse County. Also there are some illustrations of buildings and larger homes in the County
I found the cemetery were my ancestor, Richard Buell, was buried in 1819 in what is now S. Lyon St. in the City of Batavia. That cemetery was dug up and moved before 1900. I found some of his descendants in the Town of Elba. I also found other distant relations in the Town of Pavilion. See if you can find any of your relatives in this 1876 atlas.
More news from the past.
THE MONROE COUNTY MAIL
Thurs. February 26, 1914
Autoist Guilty of Manslaughter
George H. Williamson, secretary of the Oswego Auto club was convicted of manslaughter in the second degree by a jury in Justice Hubb’s court in Oswego. A previous jury disagreed. Williamson was charged with running down Mrs. Theresa Miller, who died from the injuries, and having hurried away from the scene of the accident. This is said to be the first conviction in the state under the automobile law. He got five years and three months in Auburn prison.
In took the book, Hundertjährige Geschichte des Deutschtums von Rochester (1915) by Hermann Pfaefflin to the RootsTech 2013 conference. FamilySearch scanned the book and were going to place a digital copy online. It has been almost a year and it still isn’t online This web page on FamilySearch says there is a digital copy but it appears that they forgot to add the link to it. Meanwhile, you can click on the title and view my version of the digital book made from the FamilySearch scans.
Back in this post from Aug. 27th 2013 I mentioned that FamilySearch had added tombstone records from Find A Grave . That was based on a press release from FamilySearch the day before. It was actually easier to search on FS as they took into account spelling variations. There were only 2 million records added at that time out of the 104+ million tombstones on F-A-G. That database on FS disappeared within a couple of months. F-A-G is now owned by Ancestry.com where you find those records. You can also search the F-A-G records on Mocavo. And you can also search directly on the Find A Grave website.
In this post from Nov. 23, 2013 I had a link to a free search of 1892, 1915 & 1925 NY State Census records on Ancestry. That link not longer works. Instead go to this link on NY State Archives then you have to put in a zip code in NY State. Any number between 10001 and 14899 will work.That will send you to a page of Ancestry.com. If you do a general search on that page it will give you many results which require an Ancestry membership. If you scroll down on the search page and click on the 1892, 1915 or 1925 census you can search just that year for free. Ancestry doesn’t make it easy for you to see the content that they have for free.
Today is the anniversary of the birthday of out first President, George Washington. But he wasn’t born on February 22nd. The original birth date of Washington would have been February 11, 1751/2. There are two genealogy problems at work to cause the confusion.
First, there was a change in the calendar used. Originally most European countries used the Julian calendar which was begun by Julius Caesar. After many centuries it was found the calendar was off by about 10 days. The Gregorian calendar (from Pope Gregory XIII) replaced the old Julian calendar in most Catholic countries in 1582. England and her colonies including us in America didn’t switch to the Gregorian calendar until September 1752. By that time there was a difference of 11 days. For a while after that you may see old records with either the suffix “O.S.” for old style (Julian calendar) or “N. S.” for new style (Gregorian calendar) or occasionally both date styles recorded.
Then there is what most people call the double dating for the year. That arose because in England the start of the legal year began on March 25th. So dates from Jan. 1 to March 24 usually recorded with the double years. That has always confused genealogists. If you are looking at old vital records from New England and only see one year recorded before 1752 then check to see what year is recorded after March 25th in order to get the correct year.
This part isn’t related to Washington but I have some ancestors that were early Quakers (aka Society of Friends). Quakers recorded their records as xth day, xth month, year. Before 1752 the first month was March as in the English legal calender. Then beginning in 1752 the Quakers started having January as the first month.
No matter what country you are doing research in, you should familiarize yourself with the calendar that was used at that time. George Washington really was born 282 years ago today but that day wasn’t February 22nd.