Find A Grave on FamilySearch (Again)

Back in August 2013 I posted that Find A Grave records were on FamilySearch. There was a problem. Only about 15% of the records from F-A-G  were on FamilySearch. Then within a couple of weeks the F-A-G records disappeared off FamilySearch.

This week FamilySearch announced that they now have Find A grave records and this time it appears that they have all the records. An advantage of searching on FamilySearch is that that it finds alternate spellings. This is the direct link to the database on FamilySearch.

I am amazed at all the records that I have been able to find on Find A Grave. It keeps growing every day. In May 2011 there were 62 million records on there. Now over 121 million. Plus some of the records have pictures of the person’s tombstone.

Local Authors Book Fair

special-deliveryWith the holiday season upon us, find the perfect gift for the reader and history buff in your family.  The Charlotte Branch Library will showcase the work of local authors at a book fair on Thursday, December 11 from 5-7 pm.  History books on Rochester, Charlotte, Greece, the Underground Railroad, the Orphan Train, memoirs, and novels will be available.  Local authors including Marianne Dambra, Jill Fortune, Michael Keene, Rose O’Keefe, Mary Ellen Ostrander and Marie Poinan will be on hand to sign their books.  Attend for a fun evening of book browsing and shopping.

Top Songs of 1964: #22

The Supremes are back at the top of the record charts in 1964 with “Baby Love.” It was written and produced by Motown’s main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland. This was the second number one song of the year for The Supremese. In the next few years, they would have another 10 songs on the top of the charts.

“Baby Love” was on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the weeks of Oct. 25 – Nov. 21 (4 weeks). Then it was the number one song n the Cash Box chart for the weeks of Nov. 8 -21.

Download songs of The Supremes (for a small fee) from

Top Songs of 1964: #21

Lass Kiss” by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers was the next song to hit the top of the record charts in 1964. The song was originally released in 1961 by Wayne Cochran who was one of the co-writers. “Lass Kiss” was one of several teen tragedy songs from that period. It tells the story of a couple out on a date when their car crashes. The guy is able to get one last kiss before his girlfriend dies in his arms.

Lass Kiss” was the number one song on the Cash Box record chart for the week of Nov. 1 -7. On the Billboard Hot 100 chart it only made it up to the #2 position.

Old News – Charity

An editorial on charity and a couple of short articles.


Thursday, December 3, 1914



It is generally felt that there will be more call for charity this winter. The business disturbances which the country has suffered has thrown many people out of work, and those able to give will need to ope both hearts and purses.

It is vitally necessary that all available charitable resources should be efficiently used. There are a great number of people who have clothing to give away that is perfectly good, it might not look wholly appropriate at a full dress ball, but it would keep a workingman comfortable for many months. Much of such clothing is distributed haphazard. People give it to the first drunken tramp that comes along. Meanwhile, hardworking people in the next street are shivering too self-respecting to ask for help.

It is always possible to raise money freely on a genuine appeal for destitution of deserving people. The hunger your neighbors, in your own home town, will bring larger gifts than any religious, philanthropic, educational, or missionary cause.

Churches and fraternal organizations are supposed to take car of needy members. This allows the general feeling to spread that every one is comfortably provided for. But there are a great many persons who have no ties of this kind.

Every town ought to have some central organization or committee that would take general charge of distributing funds and supplies. Where this is done, the workers acquire a certain expertness in sifting appeals. They are able to distinguish cases of deserving need from those that come from indolent or vicious people, who would better be left to the public authorities. Money spent systematically along these methods will go several time as far as haphazard and unorganized charity.

Arizona is to have a woman state senator as the result of the recent election. Miss Frances Mundza is the name of the lady, and savors of Spanish descent. She led the entire Democratic ticket, defeating her Republican opponent by 600 votes.

Uncle Sam is building a dirigible balloon 195 feet long and 40 feet ub diameter which will carry twelve men, machine guns, oxygen tank and air pumps. Two 100 horse power engines will prpel the ship.

ROC the Day

rocthedayToday is a day of giving called ROC the Day. It is a one day online event to support non-profit organizations in a 9 county area centered on Rochester. There are over 600 non-profit organizations to pick from and you can give any amount you want. The organizations are separated into the categories: Animals, Arts & Culture, Community Benefit & Economic Development, Education, Health, Human Services, Religion and Environment but you can also do a search by keyword. If you were thinking of giving to an organization during the holidays, then this is a good time and easy way to do it. All of these organization can use your help.

A search on the ROC the Day website for “historical” yields 11 organizations. Searching for “library” or “museum” yield 10 organizations for each.

You only have until midnight to ROC the Day.

Top Songs of 1964: #20

The next song to hit the top of the record charts in 1964 was “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine” written and recorded by Gale Garnett. Gale was born in New Zealand and moved to Canada at about age 11. Gale recorded albums through the 1960s but none ever had the success as “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine.” Besides a recording career, Gale also pursued acting and appeared as a guest on TV series as early as 1960 and recent as 2011. She also branched out into journalism in the last decade, writing essays, columns, and book reviews for various newspapers and magazines.

We’ll Sing in the Sunshine” was the number song on the Cash Box record chart for the week of Oct. 25 – 31, 1964. The song only made it up to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart but spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Easy Listening chart. The song also won the 1965 Grammy as Best Folk Recording.

Download Gale Garnett songs (for a small fee) from

Old News – Thanksgiving

Here is an account of the first Thanksgiving.


Thursday, November 26, 1914


Turkey Figured In the Menu When They “Had Things In Good Plenty.”


Governor Bradford describes the first Thanksgiving of the pilgrims in America.

“They (the pilgrim colonists) now began to gather the small harvest they had and to fit their dwellings against winter, all being well recovered in health, and had all things in good plenty. Some were employed in affairs abroad; others exercised in fishing about bass, cod and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All summer there was no waste. Now began to come in store of fowl as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first, and beside waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, beside venison, etc. Beside, they had about a peck of meal to a person, or now, since harvest, Indian corn to that portion.”

On Dec. 11, 1621, Edward Winslow wrote the following description of the Thanksgiving to a friend in England:

“our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, so that we might after a special manner rejoice, together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. Amongst other recreations we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming among us, and among the rest Massasoit, their greatest king, with some ninety men, whom we entertained and feasted three days. They killed five deer, which they bestowed on our governor and the captain (miles Standish, a Roman Catholic) and others. Although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God we are so far from want that we often wish you (were) partakers of our plenty.”

From other sources it is learned that besides the exercises with arms that Winslow mentioned there were athletic contests. No doubt the pilgrims played stool ball, an old form of croquet, and pitch the bar, which Bradford named in his journal. There appears no evidence of special religious services having been held. The pilgrims had daily prayers before breakfast. In this service and int he temper of rejoicing that ran through their Thanksgiving they voiced their gratitude.

Book on Frederick Douglass Family

special-deliveryLocal author. Rose O’Keefe, has published a new book of historical fiction, Special Delivery: From One Stop to Another on the Underground Railroad (North Country Books). It  is the story of eleven-year-old Lewis Douglass, son of Frederick Douglass. Lewis hears his father tell the family they are moving from their gracious home on Alexander Street to a homestead on the edge of Rochester, New York, and he feels shocked at leaving their lively neighborhood. But when his father tells him he must learn to drive a team of horses to help with the move, Lewis is at a loss for words at the thought of this daunting task – and has no choice but to agree.

Rose O’Keefe has written four other books dealing with the history of the Rochester area. Her previous book, Frederick and Anna Douglass in Rochester, NY: Their Home Was Open to All tells the story of the former slave, orator and author and his time in Rochester.

Rose O’Keefe grew up in the suburbs of New York City. After graduating from SUNY Potsdam during the Vietnam years, Rose moved to Rochester, NY, and discovered the beauty of the Genesee River Valley and Finger Lakes region on camping outings with family and friends. Since then, she has become an expert on western New York history. Her website is at where you can buy any of her books.

Rose will also do a short reading from her newest book, Special Delivery: From One Stop to Another on the Underground Railroad, from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 22 at the Fairport Historical Museum, 18 Perrin St., Fairport, NY. The reading will be followed by a book signing and sale.