Top Songs of 1965 – #21

Were we really on the “Eve of Destruction” in 1965? That anti-war protest song was written by P. F. Sloan. He was a song writer and also a session musician as part of the LA group known as the “Wrecking Crew.” The song was made a hit by Barry McGuire. Barry had been a member of The New Christy Minstrels before recording this song. This would be the only song that Barry ever had to go into the top 40 record charts.

“Eve of Destruction” was the number one song on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Cash Box record chart for just the week of Sept. 19 – 25, 1965.

NY Family History Conference, 2015 – #5

NYS-fam-hist-confHenry Hoff gave a good talk on “Colonial New York Research” at the recent NY Family History Conference in Syracuse, NY. Mr. Hoff is editor of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register and former trustee editor of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. His genealogical interests include New York and the West Indies.

Mr Hoff said that you should use the three prong approach in searching for colonial ancestors:

  1. Compiled genealogies (most of the early families very already been done)
  2. Genealogical periodicals
  3. Published primary sources

He had a 3 page of sources that I am unable to share because it is his copyrighted material. He did mention Genealogical and Biographical Directory to Persons in New Netherland, From 1613 to 1674, 4 vols. and supplement by David M. Riker. Also check the series by Frank J. Doherty, Settlers of the Beekman Patent, Dutchess County, New York, 12 vols. to date. Then there is Hank Z Jones’ The Palatine Families of New York 1710, 2 vols., (1985); More Palatine Families (1991); and Even More Palatine Families, 3 vols. (2002).

Mr. Hoff said that you should check all library catalogs especially subject indexes and geographical compendia like Genealogies of Long Island Families From The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 2 vols. (1987).

New TV Shows of Fall 1965 – ABC

ABC-color-logoIn the fall of 1965 ABC added 11 new shows. Like every new TV season some failed and some ended up running for a few years. The highest rated show on ABC for 1965-6 was Batman that came in at number 5.
See how many of these shows from the fall 1965 schedule that you remember from that time or have seen in syndication. (All times Eastern Time Zone) The links in the titles are to Wikipedia where can find more information on each show.

  • The F.B.I.; Sunday at 8:00. This was a crime show based on real cases of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was produced by Quin Martin who had many crime shows through the years. It starred Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. as Inspector Lewis Erskine. He had three different agents assisting him through the years until the show was cancelled in 1974. At the end of some episodes was a “most wanted” segment hosted by Zimbalist, noting the F.B.I.’s most wanted criminals. View the opening of the first episode on YouTube.
  • The Legend of Jesse James; Monday at 8:30. This half hour western was not an accurate account of the history of Jesse and his brother Frank. Maybe that is why it only lasted one year (26 episodes). There is just this one episode on YouTube.
  • A Man Called Shenandoah; Monday at 9:00. An amnesiac seeks his identity out in the west. Robert Horton who had formerly been on the hit, Wagon Train stars in this series. It only lasted a year with 34 episodes being produced.
  • F Troop; Tuesday at 9:00. A comedy western where Sgt. O’Rourke (Forrest Tucker) and Corp. Agarn (Larry Storch) are runnig businesses on the side while stationed at Fort Courage. Captain Parmenter (Ken Berry) doesn’t seem to have a clue as what is going on around him. Meanwhile Wrangler Jane (Melody Patterson) has a crush on the Captain. The local Hekawi tribe are so peaceful that they participate in the many schemes of O’Roarke and Agarn. The first season was in black and white and the second and last season was in color. This series is currently running on MeTV (Rochester channel 10.2) early on Saturday mornings. The first season opening is on YouTube.
  • Gidget; Wednesday at 8:30. Sally Field starred as the boy-crazy teenage who hangs out on the beach with the surfers. The series also starred Rochester’s own Pete Duel (1940 – 1971) as Gidget’s brother-in-law. Another series that lasted just one season (30 episodes). The opening titles performed by Johnny Tillotson are on YouTube.
  • The Big Valley; Wednesday at 9:00. This western was about Virginia Barkley (Barbara Stanwyck) and her children. She had two sons played by Richard Long and Peter Brick and a daughter played by Linda Evans. To complicate situations on the ranch, there was also an illegitimate son of Victoria’s late husband that was played by Lee Majors. This was Majors first acting role. A strong cast and good stories made this series last 4 seasons (112 episodes). This series is currently playing on MeTV on Saturday afternoons. View the opening titles on YouTube.
  • Amos Burke, Secret Agent;  Wednesday at 10:00.  This was a spin-off of Burke’s Law in which Gene Barry played a millionaire police commissioner. The new series had him quitting the police force and becoming a international secret agent. This show was very unsuccessful. It only lasted until January 1966 with 17 episodes being produced. The opening titles also looks very uninspiring.
  • O.K. Crackerby!; Thursday at 8:30.  Burl Ives stars as a man from Oklahoma (O. K.) that is the richest man in the world but he wants to be accepted in high society. Cancelled in January 1966 after 17 episodes. The opening credits are on YouTube.
  • The Long, Hot Summer; Thursday at 10:00. An adult drama set in a town in the Deep South that is controlled by tyrant Will Varner. Enter young Ben Quick (Roy Thinnes) who returns to town to challenge Varner. You know this series was in trouble when Edmond O’Brien who was portraying Varner left half way through the season to be replaced by Dan O’Herlihy. Only 26 episodes were made. The entire series is on YouTube.
  • Tammy; Friday at 8:00. A show about a country girl looking for love in the city. Based on three previous movies about the character. Tamy was played by Debbie Watson and her grandfather was played by Denver Pyle. Although the character was familiar to many people, this series only lasted one season (26 episodes). The very short opening is on YouTube.
  • Honey West; Friday at 9:00. A half hour show in which Anne Francis plays a female private eye. This was based on a book series. A great idea but this was another show that lasted just one season (30 episodes). The opening is on YouTube as are many full episodes.

Below is a promo for the ABC fall season featuring Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York from Bewitched.

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NY Family History Conference, 2015 – #4

Dick Eastman

Dick Eastman

Dick Eastman was the speaker during the Friday lunch at the recent NY Family History Conference in Syracuse. He has been into computers for genealogy for many years. In fact when I was on Compuserve in the early 80s he had already been on there for a few years.

Dick talked about “The Genealogy Library Inside Your Computer.” He, at one time, had many heavy books in his personal collection but is now able to carry them all with him as “ebooks” on a thumb-drive that he can carry in his pocket. Plus the books are completely index so he can search them at any time.

Dick has an outline online at this web page. On that page he tells you which places have online books for free and which have “ebooks” for sale.

Dick also mentioned a website that I hadn’t heard of before; Genealogy Gophers. That website has more than 80,000 genealogy books that can be searched and downloaded if you want. The website is free, all they ask is for you to answer a survey question for access. I found many new sources for one of my families.

Don’t forget to regularly go to Dick’s Online Genealogy Newsletter or subscribe and you will get an email every time a new genealogy item is posted.

NY Family History Conference, 2015 – #3

NYS-fam-hist-confJane E. Wilcox gave a very long list of early settlers in “Up the North River: An Overview of Pre-1800 Hudson Valley Ethnic Groups and Religions” at the NY Family History Conference in Syracuse. She is a contributing editor of the NYG&B Record. She specializes in colonial, early national and NY area research.

Ms. Wilcox reminded us who have forgotten our NY history that Italian Giovanni Verrazano, who was sailing for France, was the first to explore New York Harbor in 1524. Then 1609 Henry Hudson explores the North River (the present Hudson River). It was 1624 when the Dutch made New Netherland their province. That year they had Walloon families (from Belgium) settle on Governor’s Island (in NY harbor) and Fort Orange/Beverwijck (Albany). Throughout the 1600s the Dutch allowed people of many religions and nationalities to settle in their colony.

When the English took over New Netherland in 1664 they also allowed people from other countries and other religions to settle in the colony. By 1800 there were people from most of the countries in Europe represented in New York.

Ms Wilcox also has a free genealogy podcast called The Forget-Me-not Hour that you may want to check out.




NY Family History Conference, 2015 – #2

NYS-fam-hist-confAt last week’s NY Family History Conference, Stephanie Barrett talked on “Civil War at the NYSL” (New York State Library). She has been a librarian with the New York State Library for over twenty-five years. She is a reference librarian, who specializes in online resources and education.

Ms. Barrett referred to the Civil War Resources page at the NYSL website which outlines the extensive collection of materials in their collection. The Selected Civil War Resources page is a bibliography of printed sources available at the library. One of the most used series of books is Phisterer’s New York in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 to 1865 that gives histories of the NY State units in the Civil War.

The library has letters, diaries, battle maps, broadsides and prints in their manuscript collection. To see a description of the various manuscripts see the Finding Aids to Special Collections.

There is only a small amount of the library’s collection in their online digital collection. If you want to do extensive research on your Civil War ancestor it would be best to make a visit to the library.


Old News – Strange Night

This article is about Dr. Mary Walker coming to Penfield and not being allowed in the house. Dr. Walker is the only woman to receive the medal of honor. During the Civil War she was a surgeon at a temporary hospital inside the capitol. She was captured by Confederate forces after crossing enemy lines to treat wounded civilians and arrested as a spy. She was sent as a prisoner of war to Richmond, VA until released in a prisoner exchange.


Wednesday, Sept. 22, 1915


Well Known Army Nurse and Suffragist Passes Time on a Porch in Town of Penfield

Dr. Mary Walker with her Medal of Honor

Dr. Mary Walker wearing her Medal of Honor

Dr. Mary Walker of Oswego, Civil war nurse in the Union army, well known suffragist, and by special permission of the United States government wearer of man attire, had the unique and not particularly pleasant experience of spending nearly an entire night on the front porch of a house in the town of Penfield Wednesday night.

The doctor had addressed a suffragist meeting in Syracuse that day and came to Fairport on the trolley, alighting at the trolley station. She was on her way to the town of Penfield on personal business and after a little an automobilist who was going that way took her to the house she desired to reach.

It is understood that her mission was to get the signature of a certain woman who was stopping at the home where she went, and that she express some doubt about her greeting when she should arrive. Report has it that failing to be admitted to the house she took her station in a chair on the front porch and remained there till morning. It seems that the woman with whom she had the personal business knew of her presence and decided not to admit her, but the woman head of the household knew nothing of the presence of the distinguished visitor until the next morning. Whether the doctor succeeded in her mission does not appear, but certain it is she again proved her persistence and resourcefulness. She returned to Syracuse the next day.


Beginning Genealogy Series

think-genealogyOver the last few years Rochester Public Library has had a series of beginning genealogy classes on Sundays. The library will no longer be open on Sunday so the series has a new day and a new title: “Think Genealogy It’s Saturday.” Also new for this series of classes is they will be using the new 55-inch Collaboration Station of the Walter F. Becker Digital Center in the Local History & Genealogy Division of the Library. These classes begin this Saturday in the Rundel Building at 115 South Avenue in downtown Rochester. Classes begin at 10:15 (and the building opens at 10:00).

The schedule of classes and subjects:

  • September 26 – “Starting at Home” – Take a tour of the Local History and Genealogy Division resources hidden in plain sight on the library’s website.
  • October 24 – “Discovering Your Roots – International Edition” – All day immigration and international research workshop, partnering with the Rochester Genealogical Society. (More details coming.)
  • November 28 – “The US GenWeb Project and RootsWeb” – Not sure how to approach your research outside of Monroe County? The US GenWeb Project is a valuable resource run and maintained by local volunteers, committed to providing free genealogical informatio for every county of every state in the US. RootsWeb (also free) has many tools and links to help your research.
  • December 26 – “Heritage Quest & Open Forum” – Heritage Quest is all new and updated in 2015 with many additional resources. This is great new because you have FREE access to the website from home or any computer with your Monroe County Library System library card. This month we will show the expanded features and have time for your questions.

NY Family History Conference, 2015 – #1

NYS-fam-hist-confLast weekend I attended the NY State Family History Conference in Syracuse. This is the third year for the conference that is sponsored by the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society and Central NY Genealogical Society. The first day of the conference (Thursday) was more geared to administrators of genealogical societies. Friday and Saturday were for the genealogical researchers. There were three lectures running most of the day and there was always one that was for people researching in New York State. Those are the ones that I attended. Over the next week, or so, I will try to write brief reviews of the talks that I attended.

First lecture was by Karen Mauer Jones on “Patroonships, Manors, Patents, Rent Wars, and Land Companies.” Ms. Jones is the current editor of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record.

Ms. Jones explained that a patroon was an owner of a large tract of land that were in the Dutch colony of New Netherland. The patroon had to get 50 settlers and establish a church on the land within the first few years. The settlers would only lease their land and have to pay a yearly rent usually in the form on bushels of crops. The largest patroonship was Rensselaerswyck. Records were kept by the land owner and rent ledgers for the larger patroonships exist at the NY State Archives.

When the English took over New York from the Dutch in 1664 the system was modified only slightly but the estates were then called Manors. The system existed until 1840s when there were rent wars and the land owners were forced to sell the land to the renters. See the “Land Patents” page from the NY Archives for tips on research in this period of NY history.

Starting in 1791 Military tracts were set up in central NY that covered 1.8 million acres of land granted to Revolutionary War veterans. A great share of these veterans sold their land without ever setting foot on the land. The Balloting Book and Other Documents Relating to Military Bounty Lands in the State of New York (1825) gives a full listing of those that were given military bounty lands and also who those lands sold to others. Start by looking at this index to the volume.

Ms. Jones concluded by talking about the Phelps and Gorham land purchase and Holland Land Company purchase. Those are two land purchases that were in western New York and both could be a full hour talk for each. Land purchased from those companies are found at the respective County Clerk’s office.

Top Songs of 1965 – #20

Bob_Dylan_-_Like_a_Rolling_StoneSo how do feel? Maybe; Like A Rolling Stone. That was the song by Bob Dylan that was to top a record chart in 1965. At 6 minutes and 13 second the distributor didn’t want to release the song as a single. But it was purposely leaked to a few radio station and it started climbing the charts. On 25 July 1965 Dylan performed the song at the Newport Jazz Festival and many in the audience yelled at him for using an electric guitar. The song was on his ground breaking album Highway 61 Revisited on which Dylan used rock musicians as his backing group. At an auction in 2014, Dylan’s handwritten lyrics to the song fetched $2 million.

Like A Rolling Stone was the top song on the Cash Box record chart for just the week of Sept. 12 – 18. It only made it to the number 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the weeks of Aug. 29 – Sept. 11. Just the same, Rolling Stone magazine put the the song as number one song on their “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list.

The official Bob Dylan website has tour dates but it appears he is only doing concerts in the foreseeable future.

Download Bob Dylan songs (for a small fee) from