Newspaper Records from 1832

I uploaded a new web page; Marriages and Deaths from Rochester Newspapers; Jan. 1, 1832 – June 30, 1832. I extracted all the records from newspapers from the first half of 1832. Sometimes a marriage notice would be in five newspapers and other notices in just one newspaper. They included records from not just Monroe County but much of the surrounding area. Also included are one teenager that ran away from an apprenticeship and a few notice of missing people.

Remember to check alternative spelling. On 23 May a James Hughitt or Hughitz died in Greece. Then there are notices of the death James Whippo and James Whipple on 24 January. Other records that I have online have his surname spelled Whippo.

siamese-waxThere were a couple of notices that the famous “Siamese Twins” came for a visit to Rochester in June 1832. They stayed at the Eagle Hotel and you had to pay 25 cents per person to visit them in their room. Then if you wanted to take home a lithograph picture of them (see below); it would cost another 12 and a half cents. That was a lot of money in those days. It appears that they stayed about a week. Then the ad on the right from June 25th states that there was a full-size wax reproduction of the twins at the Rochester Museum. I wonder what ever happened to that?

The twins were Eng and Chang Bunker. They adopted the surname after coming to America. They were born 11 May 1811 near Bangkok, Siam (now Thailand). After they stopped touring, they married sisters and settled in North Carolina. Eng had 10 children and Chang had 11. They also became naturalized citizens of the US. Chang had been sick for a while and died 17 Jan. 1874. Eng died a few hours later even though there was no reason that he should have. It is said that they now have about 1500 descendants many of which still live in North Carolina.

Eng and Chang Bunker (1836).
This lithograph (#2609i) comes from Wellcome Images, a website operated by Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation based in the United Kingdom.

Rootstech 2016 Online Sessions

rootstechRootstech has announced the sessions that they will have online for free next week. This link will tell you what those are and the times. Remember the listed times are Mountain Time and you would add 2 hours for Eastern Time and subtract one hour for Pacific time, etc. I already have Thursday to Saturday marked off on my calendar so I can watch all of the sessions. Those sessions will be available on the Rootstech homepage.

I’m looking forward to Lisa Louise Cooke’s talk on “Proven Methodology for Using Google for Genealogy.” She has given similar talks on the subject all over the country. Ron Tanner will tell about “What’s New in Family Tree in 2016.” He is a manager for FamilySearch Family Tree and knows everything about the online tree. He is also very entertaining. Peggy Lauritzen is talking about finding women ancestors.

Old News – WWI Update

I haven’t posted anything about World War I in a while. A hundred years ago it was still going strong but no one was make any significant progress in defeating the other side.

Nieuport (now spelled Niewupoort) is a small port city in Belgium on the North Sea. Monastir is a city in Macedonian now called Bitola.


Thursday, Jan. 27, 1916



On none of the major fronts of the field of war in Europe are notable military operations in progress, so far as the official reports show. Not even from little Montenegro have there come additional reports of fighting, following the indirect advices on Friday declaring the hostilities had been resumed after rejection of peace terms offered by Austria.

Military operations in the Balkans are at present mainly confined to Albania. Austrian occupation of Montenegro having virtually been completed with the taking of the Adriatic coast towns of Antivari and Dulcigno. In the interior the disarming of Montenegrin soldiers is proceeding, according to advices from Teutonic sources.

On the Greek border the only offensive operation recently reported is a raid by a squadron of 45 French aeroplanes on Monastir, Southwestern Serbia, where notable military damage is said to be inflicted on the quarters of the Teutonic allies.

After a long period of comparative inactivity in Belgium, heavy fighting has broken out, with the initiative by the Germans. The French official report states that after a heavy bombardment the Germans launched an attack over a front of 1,500 yards from Nieuport. At some places they succeeded in occupying French positions of the first line, but Paris reports were expelled subsequently from most of this territory.

The German war office announces the destruction by artillery fire of the cathedral at Nieuport. The reason assigned for this act is that the cathedral was being used as an observation post. It was built in the fifteenth century.

An official British statement says that bombs were dropped by two by two aeroplanes on the French city of Dunkirk on the straits of Dover. Later a German seaplane was forced to the water near Nieuport by a British machine.

Kodak Hawk-Eye Works

hawk-eye-worksI uploaded a brochure about Kodak’s Hawk-Eye Works from 1951. It tell about the kind of lens that were made there and also tells how those lens were made. It is only 16 pages but tells that lens were made to very exacting tolerances. The brochure has lots of pictures of people at work making lens.

Hawk-Eye was originally a brand of cameras that was made by the Boston Camera Company. That company was bought by Blair Camera Co. (also of Boston) in 1890. Blair, who continued to make Hawk-Eye cameras, was bought by Kodak in 1899 and the company was moved to Rochester. Then in 1911 Kodak changed the name of the factory to Hawk-Eye Works. Kodak also used the name of “Hawk-Eye” for models of cameras for many years.

The Hawk-Eye works is currently for sale or for lease. It has ITT’s aerospace division as a tenant in part of the complex. It sits on the northwest corner of St. Paul Blvd. and Driving Park Ave. and contains about 750,00 square feet of space on seven floors. There is ample parking across the street. Anybody want to help out Kodak and buy the property?

Attacked !!!

This blog was down for the last 12 hours. Someone was trying to remotely add fake posts in the middle of the night. All those fake posts failed but it created too much activity on my internet account. That made my internet service provider (ISP) shut down the blog temporarily. The ISP also added in some coding, that I don’t understand, that will help  this happening again.

I also get about 5 fake comments daily. I have comments set so that I have to approve them before they get posted so you won’t ever see any of those comments.


“The Birth of a Nation” in Rochester

birth-nation-1One hundred years ago today the classic movie, “The Birth of a Nation” opened at the Lyceum Theater in Rochester for a two week run. This movie ran for over three hours at a time when most movies were about 20 minutes. It is known for being the first blockbuster film. It cost $110,000 to make and it estimated that it took in between 3 and 10 million dollars. In those days no one kept track of how much money a film made. There are sweeping battle scenes and melodramatic scenes within the homes of the families involved in the Civil War. At the premier the film in 1915 the full Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra played the musical score written specifically for the film.

The first half of the movie deals with the whole of the Civil War from its beginning to the assassination of President Lincoln. Most of that part is historically based and tries to recreate some scenes from actual accounts of the war.

The second half of the film deals with the aftermath of the war and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. That caused objection even at that time and the film was banned in many cities because of the racist tones. The film portrays all black people as deviants and criminals that needed to be suppressed. In fact, many of the black actors in the film are white actors wearing grease paint. The film was based on a book titled “The Clansman,” a novel about the beginnings of the KKK and that was going to be the title of the movie.

An article about the film in the Brockport Republic of that time was probably written as a promotional article not as a review. It states, in part:

In every respect the production to be seen at the Lyceum will be the same as the one that ran 10 months in New York City, including a symphony orchestra of thirty pieces.

The historical drama has proved the greatest theatrical success of the present century. Over five million people have already seen it…

There are over 5,000 scenes and 200,000 historical details… The magnitude of this spectacle has made it one of the most talked about offerings in the history of the theater.

A dual love interest runs throughout the story. The score… is so synchronized to the action of the drama that it perfectly interprets the various emotions, interests and conflicts of the multitude of scenes.

In spite of terrible racism in the film, it is worth watching for the great film style and pioneering techniques like panning action shots and close-ups. There is also a love story throughout the film with Lillian Gish in the starring role. The film is available for free on The best version is this one that retains the color tinting of the original. I had some trouble with that one as it stopped and started over my slower internet connection. This version of the film is only in black and white and is 12 minutes shorter. When the film was re-released in later years, many of the most objectionable scene were cut out.

Below is a page from the program at Rochester’s Lyceum Theater for the movie. That theater was on Clinton Avenue and existed from 1888 to 1934. It seated 2,000 people for each show and I’ll bet it was full for every performance of “The Birth of a Nation.”


Top Songs of 1966 – #2

SoundofsilenceSimon and Garfunkel first got together while in High School. They had a minor hit in 1957 with “Hey Schoolgirl” but they were billed as Tom and Jerry. After an audition for Columbia records in 1964 they were given a contract to record the album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M which included “The Sounds of Silence.” The album was a failure but the song started getting some airplay on a few radio stations. The record’s producer to remix the song, without telling the duo, overdubbing electric instrumentation and re-released it in September 1965. It then started climbing the record charts.

“The Sounds of Silence” was the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week of Dec. 26, 1965 – Jan. 1, 1966, Then it was knocked of the top spot by The Beatles “We Can Work It Out.” Then “The Sounds of Silence” re-gained the top spot for the week of Jan. 23 – 29. On the Cash Box record chart, the song was on the top spot for the week of Jan. 23 – 29.

The duo’s final studio album Bridge over Troubled Water (1970) would be their biggest seller. They have reunited a few times over the years.

Download Simon and Garfunfel songs and albums (for a small fee) from