WDYTYA Returns

Photo courtesy of TLC

Photo courtesy of TLC

The TLC series Who Do You Think You Are? returns for another season this Sunday at 9 p.m. (eastern & western times). The first celebrity to dig into their roots is Aisha Tyler. She is currently one of the hosts on The Talk and also the voice of Lana Kane in the animated series Archer.

Aisha learns about her great-great-grandfather, Hugh Hancock, whose story had been lost over time. Some people thought that he may have been the son of General Winfield Scott Hancock. As you will see in the episode that turns out not to be true. Instead, Hugh Hancock turns out to be a son of a Congressman from Texas.

Even though Aisha thought all her ancestors were from the east coast, she travels to the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio and also to Texas to discover her ancestor’s story.

Other celebrities to be featured on WDYTYA this season are: Scott Foley, Lea Michele, Chris Noth, Molly Ringwald and Katey Sagal.


Edited: 4/3/2016

Old News – Poorhouse and County Hospital

This article tells the amounts for support of the Monroe County Poorhouse (Almshouse) and the County Hospital. It also tells of overcrowding at the Hospital. It wouldn’t be until 1933 that the current Monroe Community Hospital would be opened.


April 1, 1916


ad-1916-03-02The annual report of Superintendent of the Poor, Thomas J. Bridges, gives the following statistics and information which will be of interest to people of this vicinity; Number of inmates in the Almshouse during the year ending September 30th, 1915, chargeable to the Town of Hamlin, two; chargeable to the Town of Sweden, ten. This is out of a total of 1,201 inmates.

Total number of inmates at county hospital for the year 2,273.

Total amount to be assessed upon the towns and the city of Rochester for the support of the poor in the Almshouse during the year ending September 30, 1915—$26.801.36. Total amount to be assessed for the support of the poor in the county hospital during the year ending September 30, 1915 is $4,887.86.

Superintendent of the Poor Bridges recommends that an estimate of $39,000 be made of the amount necessary for the support of the Monroe county poor in the Almshouse Hospital and Out Door Relief Dept. during the ensuing year. That fifty acres be added to the Almshouse farm as the acreage is inadequate. That something be done to relieve the urgent need for more beds at the County Hospital as more cases than ever before had to be refused during the past year for lack of room. That the enlargement of the hospital should be such that it would provide for at least fifty additional beds and that a separate wing be considered for the confinement of ‘disturbed cases.” He states that for the past three years the Almshouse has been greatly has been greatly over crowded and for months at a time over ninety inmates were obliged to sleep in the halls. This crowded condition might result in the loss of lives in case of fire. The system of housing the employees connected with the Almshouse and Hospital is not only expensive but entirely inadequate to these institutions and the erection of a separate building to be used as a Nurse’s Home is recommended

Children’s History Book

rochester-areaI upload a history book of this region that was used by children in school. The Rochester Area (1955) was one of a series of regional histories of New York State. It is only 36 pages and only 14 of the pages have text, as there are some large illustrations. The book mostly covers Monroe County but also mentions historical events and people of Wayne, Seneca, Yates, Ontario, Livingston, Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming counties. The next to last page in the book is a map of the region with historic events drawn around the outer edged.

Although intended for children, this book is a good review for everyone. You may just relearn something that you may have forgotten.

Old News

Margaret Wilson’s mother died in 1914 while her father was President of the United States. Margaret took over the social duties as First Lady until her father remarried in Dec. 1915. About 1940 Margaret traveled to India where she decided to stay and would become a Buddhist nun. She died in 1944 and is buried in India.


Friday, March 24, 1916

Woman’s World

The President’s Daughter is an Advocate of Suffrage.

Margaret_Woodrow_Wilson_1912Miss Wilson always has been a suffragist at heart, but it was not until last year, after her father had announced his own views on the question of votes for women, that she permitted herself to come out and work for the enfranchisement of her sex. She had for several years attended as a silent spectator all the mass meetings of the suffrage societies. Even now she seldom makes speeches, since she needs to save her voice for her chosen career as a vocal artist.

Recently Miss Wilson was one of the hostesses at a suffrage tea given in New York, where Miss Julia Lathrop, head of the national children’s bureau, spoke about the relation of suffrage to child welfare. The children’s bureau is another one of the humanitarian interests of Miss Wilson, whose unaffected love of humanity has led her to ally herself with many philanthropic movements.

It is said that she always gives the proceeds of her concert money to the work for the blind, for, while she is an enthusiastic lover of her work, she does not sing to enrich herself, but to help mankind.

Old News – St. Patrick’s Day

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. A local Society was planning to have a dinner to celebrate the day in 1916.


Friday, March 17, 1916


st-pat-1916The Gaelic Society of Rochester has announced that more than five hundred tickets have been sold for the fifth annual banquet to be held at the Powers Hotel on Friday evening at 6:30 o’clock.

The speakers at Friday night’s dinner will be Francis Cullen, of Watertown, and Thomas A Kirby of Albion. President Love will be toastmaster. there will be plenty of entertainment, among the numbers being the following: E. J. Ryan, of Victor, songs; Walter Herring, songs; Roy Miller, stories; Walter Edward Burke, songs; Mary Sullivan and Jack O’Brien, child entertainers in costume, several stunts and other features.

The following Reception Committee were named: John Curtin, Maurice J. Murphy, James C. Quinn, Anthony McGreal, William T. Farrell, F. L. O’Laughlin, Charles Howe, James E. Ryan, L. A. MacSweeney, C. E. Callahan and B. F. Dunn.

Good Roads Booklet

I uploaded a 20 page booklet titled “Good Roads; Monroe County, N.Y. and Federal Highways, 1918.” It was put out by the Good Roads Committee of the Rochester Auto Association which even in 1918 was affiliated with the national Automobile Association of America (AAA). The Committee was pushing to have roads improved for use of automobiles. According to the booklet, only about a mile of roads were paved with macadam (asphalt pavement) in each town in the County in 1917. Other roads had tarvia applied. I had to look that term up and found it was a thick coal tar. That is the same stuff that they use now to seal driveways.

The booklet has a picture and description of the Stutson Street bridge which had just recently opened. That bridge has been replaced. They also mention some concrete road bridges built around the county.

Maple Sugar Candy

maple-candyThe sap is running. Maple trees are tapped in early spring to get sap that is boiled down to make real maple syrup. That imitation syrup that is sold in grocery stores only taste similar to the real maple syrup. There are some places that this time of year will serve pancakes with the real stuff.

From 1952 to 1964 my parents owned a fruit and vegetable market in Horseheads, NY. My mother used to make maple sugar candies to sell. She started with a pan that probably held five gallons of syrup. Then it would have to be boiled down even further. Our house smelled great during that time. It would take 5 or 6 hours to get down to the right consistency. How she knew when it was ready I don’t know. Then after it cooled some, she poured it into molds. There were two sizes molds. One was a leaf shape about an inch across. The larger one was about 2.5 inches round and with a leaf impression.I wish I could remember what we charged for the candies. I know they were expensive even in those days. I used to get some pieces that came out of the molds broken. If many came out broken, mom would put them in the pot and melt them down again, to be reformed.

Maple sugar candies are full of calories but just one won’t hurt. And they they taste so good.