RootsMagic and Ancestry.com

RootsMagic genealogy software has made a major update to their program. They already had the ability to do a search within the program on FamilySearch, MyHeritage and FindMyPast. Now they have added the ability to share facts with Ancestry and also to search on Ancestry. In order to get full benefit you would have to have a subscription to Ancestry. In the past, I had a guest membership that I used for those free weekends that Ancestry has every so often. Also there are a few databases that Ancestry has open for free all the time (like the 1940 US census). I decided to join Ancestry again after many years to get new family records. The new RootsMagic to Ancestry connection has been active for only a few days so I haven’t had time to do an extensive search. I found that I already have 95% of census records for my family but am missing some other facts.

There are two main parts to the new RootsMagic/Ancestry portion. First you to match a RootsMagic database to a single Ancestry tree. I had to create a new tree on Ancestry. Then “Treeshare for Ancestry” will show differences in the two databases. You can move dates, places, notes or images in either direction.

TreeSahe for Ancestry

The second part of the update is “Ancestry WebHints.” Within that are record hints that are to records facts and may or may not have images. You can accept those hints or reject them if they aren’t for the right person. Then there are also hints from other member’s trees. Those are real hints as they may have useful facts, may just be a guess or records that are completely wrong. You will have to decide.

Ancestry WebHints

I have just touched on how RootsMagic is capable of connecting with Ancestry. Plus I am still learning myself. If you want more information, go to the RootsMagic and Ancestry web page. That page also has a 36 minute video that I found very helpful in getting started. If you don’t already own a copy of RootsMagic that same web page has offer to buy it for only $20. That is well worth the money.

Canada Day – 2017

Today is a special Canada Day to our neighbors to the north. It has been 150 years since the Canadian Confederation of 1867 when the four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were combined into one nation. Later expansion extended Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean. The last area to be added was Newfoundland in 1949.

Canada and the US have been at peace since the War of 1812 ended in 1815. It is the longest peaceful border on the planet.

Canada has two official languages; English and French. They use British spellings in Canada. English speakers have they their own accent with minor variations from Atlantic to Pacific coast. The Francophones also have their own accent which isn’t exactly like Parisian french.

Canada has always been a country of immigrants. They still accept immigrants from many nations which makes them have one of the most diverse ethnicity of any country.

The now familiar maple leaf flag was only adopted in 1965. Before that the Canadian flag had the British union jack in the upper left corner.

A great place to visit but expensive place to live. Taxes are higher but it pays for things like universal health care and a welfare system that provides well maintained housing.

Happy birthday, Canada!

Life at McCurdy’s

Angelina Madalena, Merchandise, Secretary

I uploaded seven issues of Life at McCurdys. It was a small magazine for employees of the department store company.

The store was started as McCurdy and Norwell Co. in 1901 in downtown Rochester. McCurdy’s opened their first suburb store in 1953 at Nothgate Plaza in Greece. Gilbert McCurdy would be a major backer of Midtown Plaza which opened in 1962. At the height of the business the company had 7 stores. Financial problems had the comapny sold to the May Company in 1994. They in turn would sell 4 of the stores to The Bon-Ton in 1995.

The seven issues available are:

Most issues have three drawings of employees that were drawn by artist Florence Linhos. Also most issues have a monthly birthday list that also indicates the position the person had in the company.

Cemetery Adventure

Rebecca (Simpson) Morgan, died Jan. 22, 1851

Last Saturday I went to find relatives in cemeteries in Steuben and Allegany Counties.

The first person I wanted to find was Oscar Halsey, my great granduncle, that died in the Civil War. He was home on a furlough because he had been sick and died at home. He is buried in the Scherer Cemetery in the Town of Howard, Steuben County. There is a photo of his tombstone on FindAGrave but I thought that I might be able to take a better photo. The cemetery is on a dirt road and there are about 60 tombstones. I looked at each tombstone twice but wasn’t able to  find his tombstone.

Next cemetery was Fremont Center Cemetery in the Town of Fremont. There I was looking for graves of the Travis family.  They are somehow related to my great great grandmother, Lovina Travis. I still am not sure how they are related. Besides another online researcher was also interested in the Travis family. I took pictures of 14 Travis family members and uploaded those to FindAGrave as none had pictures before now on there.

Next cemetery was also in the Town of Fremont; Harding Hill Cemetery. The cemetery only has 10 tombstones. Ones I was interested in finding were Ira and Mary Travis, who I think might be the parents or grandparents of my Lovina Travis. The description of the cemetery is that it is overgrown, and 650 feet from the road. The description says that in .2 mile from another road. So I figured out in which field it was in but I must have walked at least a mile around the edge of a clover field and couldn’t find the cemetery. Right near the entrance to the field that the farmer uses was a slab that is part of looked like a half of a tombstone. The only thing that I could read on it was the number “25.” I’m not sure if that was an age or a date.

Then I went to the Fairview Cemetery in Almond, Allegany County. That cemetery was very easy to find as it has over 1000 burials and is right along side of a road. I easily found the tombstone of my 3 great grandmother, Rebecca Morgan, who died in 1851. As you can see in the picture her tombstone is broke in half and the inscription is difficult to read. Luckily some did tombstone transcripts for the cemetery many years ago. I did see a tombstone from 1820s and the little cemetery has a few recent burials

Rebecca’s husband, Samuel, is buried in the Farnum Cemetery in West Almond. The description of the cemetery that I found online says that the cemetery is very overgrown and a little way from the road. It was easy to find but  getting into the cemetery was difficult. Tall weeds including burdocks, thistle, wild roses and other sharp weeds ended up scratching my legs. To make it worse I wasn’t able to find Samuel’s 1842 tombstone. A neighbor says that the Town does cut the weeds every few years but doesn’t maintain the cemetery very well. A few tombstones were propped up with decaying tree branches.

The last cemetery I visited was the huge Rural Cemetery in Hornell, Steuben County. That has well over 50,000 burials. I visited the grave of my grandfather and his mother. I also wanted to find the graves of my granduncle, Ben Halsey, and his family. The last time I saw his grave was in the early 1970s and I thought I knew where his family graves were. I searched for a while but the cemetery is so large that I ended up giving up. Oddly enough, I did find two graves of distant relatives of my mother tat I forgot were buried there.

You never know if you will be able to find old tombstones. Next time I sure won’t wear shorts in old overgrown cemeteries.

Top Hit Songs of 1967 – #12

In 1967 Aretha Franklin gets major “Respect” for her hit song. She had only modest success with her career from 1960 until she changed over to Atlantic Records Company in 1967. “Respect” rocketed her to success. She has become the most charted female artist in the Billboard chart’s history. Aretha won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and has sold over 75 million records worldwide. She had her voice declared a Michigan “natural resource” in 1985. She was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. She received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. Then in 2005 she was bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Over the last 20 years health problems have had her cancel some scheduled performances.

“Respect” was written by Otis Redding who also recorded it but his version was nowhere as popular as the version by Aretha. Aretha’s version also has some different lyrics that make more of a song about a woman demanding respect from a man. It has become an anthem for the Women’s Rights movement. Those background singers on the song are Aretha sisters; Carolyn and Emma. Aretha won two Grammy Awards in 1968 for “Best Rhythm & Blues Recording” for “Respect” and “Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance, Female.”

“Respect” spent the weeks of May 28 – June 10 at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. On the Cash Box record chart it was at the number one spot for the weeks of June 2 – 17, 1967.