WDYTYA – Julie Bowen

Emmy Award winning actress, Julie Bowen is investigating her family tonight on Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA). Julie has been playing Claire Dunphy on the comedy Modern Family since 2009.

Julie visits Chicago to research her maternal great-grandfather Charles Daniel Frey, who started his own advertising agency in 1910 after working for the Chicago Examiner and Chicago Post. She learns that Frey became Director of the American Protective League during WWI. That was an organization of private citizens that worked with Federal law enforcement agencies during the World War I era to identify suspected German sympathizers.

WDYTYA airs on the TLC channel at 10 p.m. DST (eastern & western times). Also right before this is another new episode of Long Lost family where a woman is looking for two younger brothers who vanished after being taken by social services 20 years ago.

1958 East High Yearbook

I uploaded the Orient 1958. That is the yearbook for East High School in Rochester. There were 257 seniors that graduated in 1958. As people from this class would be aged 77 – 79 now, chances are that most of them are still with us. Besides the pictures of the seniors, there are the standard pictures of school activities and sports. In 1958 East High is still in the old building on Alexander Street but at this time they would be building the new structure on East Main Street.

This yearbook has some writing in it. Also there are signatures of some faculty.

Rochester Public Library has yearbooks for East High from 1904 to 1940 on their “School Heritage Collection” web page.

I couldn’t resist adding the picture of these 4 seniors because of their hairstyle. I think it was called the “flop,” a variation of the DA. If I am wrong, please leave a comment.

Wilkinson Scrapbook Article – #17

In this article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he writes about the Civil War monument that is in Washington Square Park. He notes that “bums” liked to sleep in the park. It is still a favorite place for homeless men. The park is also a favorite place for protestors.

Abraham Lincoln at the top. Dedicated on Memorial Day, 1892, in the presence of President Benjamin Harrison, Gov. Roswell P. Flower and Frederick Douglass. There was a crowd of 10,000. Many wonder today why it is called “Washington Square” when the only monument is for Lincoln. It was called “Johnson Square” in the early days after Elisha Johnson who gave the lands for the square. That’s what it should be today. George Washington never slept there. Bums sleep there on hot nights in the summertime. Here is what the tablet reads: “To those who faithful unto death, gave their lives for the country” “1861 – 1865.” And the words of Lincoln: “We here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain.” The sculptor and designer was Leonard W. Volk. Mr. Wilkinson shook the hands of the above noted gents at a reception in the Powers Building that day.

WDYTYA – Courteney Cox

Courteney Cox

A new season of Who Do You Think You Are? starts this Sunday night on TLC. The first person to find her ancestors is Courteney Cox, formerly from Friends. The genealogists are able to trace her ancestors back 700 years. She gets to see original parchment document that tel that her 18 times great-grandfather, Thomas Lord Berkeley, is holding the king’s father prisoner in his castle in Gloucestershire, England.

Other people being investigated the rest of this season are Jessica Biel, Julie Bowen, Jennifer Grey, Smokey Robinson, John Stamos, Liv Tyler and Noah Wyle.

The episode with Courteney Cox airs at 10 p.m. (eastern & pacific times) March 5th on TLC. Before this show is another new episode of Long Lost Family.

Old News – Fire Bugs Sentenced

These boys were lucky to get away from a charge of setting a fire with only a sentence of probation.

If you look at the ad, you would think that the movie serial was named “In Underground Paris” but it is really named “The Purple Mask.” It was a 16 part serial that would get you to come back each week to see the next episode. The Internet Movie Datase says that the movei was written by the stars, Grace Cunard and Francis Ford. Francis was the brother of the family director John Ford. Francis would also direct movies during the silent movie era.


Thursday, March 1, 1917


Judge J. B. M. Stephens suspended sentence in the case of Wesley Wiers, Jr., and George Tuttle who pleaded guilty to arson, third degree, when they were brought before him on Monday. Their attorney Byron A. Johnson, argued that it was more a mischievous prank, brought on by indulgence in strong drink, than any criminal act. Assistant District Attorney James Mann said that he did not think the seriousness of the affair ought to be minimized, but he had made an investigation of the circumstances and thought that the ends of justice were served if the young men were placed on probation.

S”Keep away from the saloons” was Judge Stephens’ admonition. “Don’t even be found near one. I want you young men to get this so firmly impressed upon your minds that you will not dare to go within three blocks of a saloon. And I want you to remember that if you do not obsreve every condition of your parole you will be brought back here and given the sentence that migh have been imposed this morning.”

The young men can feel that they have been playing in the biggest kind of luck and can thank Attorney Mann and other Brockporters for getting off so easily.

Early Wheatland Records

Parents with children in school in 1824.

The Rochester Public Library recently scanned a collection of early records from the Town of Wheatland. There is a book of Supervisor’s Records, 1834 – 1860. Also a book of Town Audits, 1830 – 1877. Then there is a whole book of people eligible for Juries, 1822 – 1866.

As you would expect there are a lot of tax records. Most of those records give a person’s name, how much land they own and the amount of tax they owe. There are tax rolls for 1843, 1844, 1845, 1846, 1848, 1849, 1851, 1852, 1903-1904, and one for 1945.

There are records related to the roads in the Town. This volume gives descriptions of where roads are located, 1823 – 1863  This volume also gives road descriptions, 1828 – 1901. Then this volume gives road taxes, 1826 – 1854. People were taxed for days of work to help maintain the early roads.

School records can be a very interesting genealogy record for your family. This volume gives the names of children in school district #1 (1850 – 1854) and number of days attended. Other school records have parents names, account records and sometimes number of days that students attended school. This volume is for 1824 – 1834, this volume for 1835 – 1844, this volume for 1845 – 1849 and this volume for 1860 – 1884. Plus there is this volume of legal document relating to building the new High School in 1927.

There are 4 volumes of chattel mortgages. Those are mortgages on personal property, not real estate. This volume is for 1842 – 1846, this volume for 1857 – 1863, this volume for 1864 – 1877 and this volume for 1877 – 1883.

The volume of Civil War records will be of interest to people with relatives from Wheatland that served in that war. It has records of enlistment and also records of bounty money that was paid to some recruits for enlisting.

One volume is titled “Miscellaneous and Curious Paper 1824 – 1885.” It has jury lists, law suits, a deed, lists of dog owners and indentures of 4 orphans to new families. Those orphans were:

  • Alonzo M. Story, aged 1 year, in 1846
  • Jane McCarty, aged 9 years, in 1859
  • Margaret McCarty, aged 10 years, in 1858
  • Caroline Francis Ruth Amelia Rockwell, aged 3 years, in 1858.

If you have relatives that lived in Wheatland in the early years, then you may find some data on them in these records.



Frederick Douglass Photo

Next Tuesday, WXXI-TV (channel 21) is showing a 1/2 hour documentary on how a previously unknown photo of Frederick Douglass was found in the Rochester Public Library.The historic photo was found while inspecting scrapbooks in the RPL collection. The documentary investigates the mystery surrounding this unique image, reveals details about the interesting life of the owner of the photograph and explores the ways Douglass used photography as a tool in the fight for social reform.

The documentary is produced by City Communications Bureau staff members Tiana Stephens and William Schwappacher.  It airs on Tuesday, February 28th at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV.