Where’s that tombstone?

Many years ago I ordered the death certificate for my great grandfather, Melvin Halsey, who died in 1920 in a town about one mile south of the New York – Pennsylvania border. It had hardly any information except that he was buried in the Rosstown Cemetery about ¼ mile north of the border in Southport, …

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Set your VCR, Tivo or DVR

This is your last notice! This Wednesday is the first of a four part series, Faces of America hosted by Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates. He uses genealogy and DNA to explore the ancestors of 12 celebrities. Those profiled are: Professor and poet Elizabeth Alexander Chef Mario Batali Comedian Stephen Colbert Novelist Louise Erdrich Journalist …

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U. of R., Rush Rhees Library annex

While doing a recent research project I ended up at the Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester. I tried to find the book in the stacks but it wasn’t there. I went for assistance to the reference librarian. She figured out that the book wasn’t in the library but was in their new …

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Orphans, Adoptions and Indentures, part 2

As I mentioned in the previous post, the first law in New York State that dealt with adoptions was passed until 1873. The entire law is over here on Bastard Nation an adoptee rights website. Important parts of the law are that both adopting spouses must agree to adopt a child. If a birth parent …

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Orphans, Adoptions and Indentures, part 1

I have been working on extracting Rochester, NY area adoption records from the 19th century since last August. In the process, I have learned a lot about adoptions in New York State and how orphans were treated. Plus, I have found that there were more organizations out placing orphans in the Rochester area than thought. …

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Rochester Historical Society opening mid Feb.

Rochester Historical Society re-opens their museum in the Rundel building in downtown Rochester on Feb. 16th. Formerly the Society had been located in “Woodside,” their home on East Avenue. Woodside was sold in 2008 and the Society has been setting up space for their vast museum collection in the Rochester Public Library’s Rundel building.  There …

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