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.

Top Hit Songs of 1967 – #2

The Buckinghams hit the top of the charts in 1967 with “Kind of A Drag.”It was the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 record chart for the weeks of Feb. 12 – 25, 1967. This was the group’s only number one hit, although they did have some other hits that came close to the top like, “Don’t You Care,” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” and “Susan” (all in 1967).

The group formed in 1966. The name of the group was picked to make them sound like they were a British group even though the members all came from the Chicago area. The group dissolved in 1970. The group has in recent years done some shows in casinos around the US with two of the original members.


Wilkinson Scrapbook Article – #16

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 George Eastman memorial. That is on the west side of Lake Avenue just north of Ridge Road. It is outside the fence around Eastman Business Park (formerly Kodak Park) so you can stop at any time and visit Mr. Eastman.

The Eastman memorial stands at the Lake Avenue entrance to Kodak Park. Erected within the shadow of the immense manufacturing plant built by Mr. Eastman. The monument is reached by three broad flights of steps leading down sloping banks to a large circular plaza paved with Georgian rose marble. In the center of the plaza is a circular pedestal. A bronze urn, containing Mr. Eastman’s ashes, occupies a niche in the pedestal which is surrounded by a cylindrical block of pink Georgia marble, 8 feet high, on which are carved two figures in bas-relief. The figure on the west side is that of a man heating a retort over a flame, representing physical science; the one on the east side (shown above) is that of a woman holding aloft a torch, symbolizing aspiration. The inscription bears the words: “George Eastman 1854 – 1932.” He still lives. If you would seek his monument, look about you.

Old News Special – Geo. Washington’s Birthday

George Washington was born 285 years ago, today. Delegate to the Second Continental Congress from Virginia (1775), Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army (1775 – 1783) and President of the US  (1789 – 1797). He retired to his home at Mount Vernon.

The sculpture discussed in the old article is in the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia.


Thursday, Feb. 22, 1917

First Washington Statue by Houdon

In Washington’s diary for Oct. 3, 1785, he writes that about 11 o’clock, after they were in bed, Mr. Houdon and his three young men assistants arrived, coming by boat from Alexandria.

During the sculptor’s two weeks’ stay Washington sat for a bust that was modeled in clay, writing in his diary a full account of the method of mixing that plaster of paris and the making of the molds, a process in which he was greatly interested. He also submitted to the unpleasant operation of having a life mask made of his features in order to insure a perfect likeness. In the presence of Mr. Madison exact measurements of his figure were made and full details of his uniform were noted to enable the sculptor to complete his work.

The clay bust was then left by the sculptor at Mount Vernon, where it is one of the most highly valued of all Mount Vernon’s relics of the Father and His Country. But the life mask and molds of the bust Houdon himself took to Paris, not trusting them to the hands of his assistant, “for,” said he, “if they are lost in the ocean I am determined to perish with them.”

One day during his stay at Mount Vernon Washington was looking at some fine horses with a view to their purchase, but the high price asked by the groom in change so incensed him that the man was promptly sent away. Houdon, who witnessed the transaction saw with an artist’s eye in Washington’s pose and expression the very thing needed for his statue and made memorandum of it. On Oct. 19 Washington writes: “Mr. Houdon, having finished the business which brought him hither, went up Monday with his people, work and implements in my barge to Alexandria to take passage in the stage for Philadelphia next morning.”

The statue, according to agreement, was to be finished in three years, but was not completed until 1789. Jefferson saw the work as it progressed and was enthusiastic over the likeness and characteristics attitude that the sculpture had caught.——H. A. Ogden in St. Nicholas.