Guide – Adoption Records

Orphans at a picnic – 1922

I uploaded a new chapter to the Genealogical Guide on adoption records of Monroe County. The old records of larger organizations still exist; Rochester Orphan Asylum (now Hillside) and the 3 Catholic orphanages. The old Asylum records were moved to the University of Rochester many years ago. In the last few years all the catholic orphanages’ records have been moved to an archive that actually shares those records.

I have found that there were many small organizations that also had orphan children. Most of those disappeared in the 1920s when NY State started requiring agencies to be licensed.

Seeing as NY State says that adoption records are closed forever, the chances of finding any records are stacked against you.  That doesn’t mean you should give up. Even the non-identifying information that is available may be of help. Other states have opened the adoption records. Maybe some day New York will do the same.



Old News – Ladies’ Fashions

No news story this week; just an interesting ad.

Fashion of the day for ladies dictated that they wear those awful tight corsets The corset could be pulled in to create what people thought would be the ideal shape. The ad says that the lady should select her frame to get In the proper fit. The profiles across the top (and last on the right side) are:

  • Tall Slender
  • Short Slender
  • Tall Heavy
  • Short Heavy
  • Large Above Waist
  • Large Below Waist
  • Curved Back
  • Short Waisted
  • Average Figure


Thursday, Feb. 1, 1917

1931 Webster HS Yearbook

Anita Nixon & William Sherman

I uploaded the 1931 Reveille yearbook for Webster High School. This class had 49 seniors graduating. The yearbook also has pictures of every classes from kindergarten to 11th. There are standard sports pictures, school activities and a bunch of ads in the back.

On pages 72 and 73 there are baby pictures of 38 of the seniors. You have to turn to page 104 to see the names of those pictures or as I did print out the page with the names.

Earlier yearbooks had pages of updates on members of previous classes. This issue only has biographies of eight alumni, including one that has moved to Australia.

I have just one more yearbook from Webster to scan and then a few from Rochester high schools.

Rootstech 2017

Save the dates of Feb. 8 – 11 for watching free online genealogy sessions from the 2017 Rootstech Conference. The sessions will be available on the homepage of the Rootstech website. Wednesday is set aside for new technology from what they call the Innovator Summit. Every year companies with new genealogy products compete for prize money. The rest of the days of the conference have more general interest genealogy sessions. It looks like there is something for everyone. I will give more information on each day’s session on the day before they are given.

I changed the times to eastern time zone

Wednesday – Feb. 8th
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – Innovator Summit General Session – Speakers: Steve Rockwood, Liz Wiseman

12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m. – Industry Trends and Outlook – Speakers: Craig Bott and Guest Panel

1:30 p.m.–2:00 p.m. – Innovation—Best Practices and Applications – Speaker: Cydni Tetro

Thursday – Feb. 9th
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – RootsTech General Session – Speakers: Steve Rockwood, Jonathan and Drew Scott

1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. – Getting Started in Genealogy – Speaker: Kelli Bergheimer

2:15 p.m.–3:15 p.m. – DNA: The Glue That Holds Families Together – Speaker: Diahan Southard

3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. – DNA Matching on MyHeritage – Speaker: Dana Drutman

5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. – Jewish Genealogy: Where to Look and What’s Available – Speaker: Lara Diamond

6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. – Family History Is Anything but Boring – Speakers: Crystal Farish and Rhonna Farrer

Friday – Feb 10th
10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – RootsTech General Session – Speakers: Levar Burton, Special Guest Panel

12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m. – RootsTech Innovator Showdown Finals

2:15 p.m.–3:15 p.m. – Mothers, Daughters, Wives: tracing Female Lines – Speaker: Judy Russell

3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. – Censational Census Strategies – Speaker: Mary Kircher Roddy

5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. – Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, findmypast, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage – Speaker: Sunny Morton

6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. – Cross the Atlantic with Religious Records – Speaker: Jen Baldwin

Saturday – Feb. 11th
10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – RootsTech General Session – Speakers: Cece Moore, Buddy Valastro

1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. – Journaling Principles That Work – Speaker: Steve Reed

3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. – Don’t Just Be a Searcher, Be a Researcher – Speaker: Crista Cowan

5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. – Creating Google Alerts for Your Genealogy – Speaker: Katherine R. Wilson

B&L Booklet

John J. Bausch & Henry Lomb

I uploaded the booklet, The Story of Bausch & Lomb. It is only 25 pages with 2 pages about the founding of the company. The rest of the booklet is a description of the kinds of optical glass and how that glass is made.

I think this booklet was made in 1940 as it refers to WWI as just the World War. I checked on WorldCat and found that it is only two libraries; University of Rochester and Indiana University. Now it is online for the whole planet to see.

Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #15

The other day I posted about wolves in the area in 1917. I didn’t know that this week’s scrapbook article was also about wolves. 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 what was supposedly the last wolf in Monroe County.

In the early 1800s so many wolves infested the Genesee country that the “wolf at the door” was an ever present menace. By 1830 they were believed to be extinct. But that year great excitement was caused by the news that one was at large in Irondequoit. So on a winter’s day a hunting party of about a hundred people gathered and went to Irondequoit to hunt the wolf. The hunt lasted for five days culminating in the killing of the wolf. He was brought back to Rochesterville and exhibited. He was five and one-half feet long. The skin stuffed and for many years the last wolf of the Genesee country stood before a hat store opposite the Arcade, snarling silently at passers-by. The wilderness had been conquered and its fiercest menace served tamely as an advertising sign for all to see. This was a great relief to early Rochesterians as even the graves of the departed were not immune from wolves. This was over 100 years ago.

Old News – Wolves

A hundred years ago they were seeing wolves around this area. Within the last few months coyotes have been in the area. We think that both have left the region for good but occasionally they wander through.

The ad at the bottom is a strange one. Why does someone that sells shoes also sell farm implements? At least they are ones that were made right in Honeoye Falls


Thursday, Jan. 25, 1917

Wolves Seen In This Vicinity

If one were judge of current rumors these days this thickly settled region seems to be lapsing into a state of wilderness again. Only two or three weeks ago one of a pack of wolves roaming in Ontario county, was shot near Naples, and three others were seen on the Bristol Hills. The Ontario county board of supervisors have evidently taken the matter seriously, a proposition having been offered by one member that the county pay a bounty for scalps. Evidently the beasts are headed into Monroe county

two large timber wolves were seen in Mulheron’s woods. located east of this village, by Frank Malone and a farm hand employed by him, on Monday of this week.

Both men took up the hunt and continued throughout the day out without any luck.

It has been reported from a reliable source that eight of these big fellows were seen near Wm. Ryan’s farm which is in the town of Victor.

A number of farmers living in that vicinity, including experienced men formerly in the employ of the United States government, have taken up the chase and it is expected that something exciting will turn up in a few days.

Tuesday’s Rochester papers report the attack of a man in Victor, James Cooke, an employee of the Locke Insulator plant, who while on his way home at 10 o’clock at night from overtime work, was set upon by two ferocious wolves, as he drove across the overhead bridge near the village. He managed to beat them off and turned his horse back to Victor at top speed and nervous and excited related his experience.

A daughter of William Ryan living two miles east of the village of Mertensis (Town of Farmington) on Sunday morning saw from her windows a pack of seven hungry looking wolves cross the flats and disappear in the woods.

Monday morning a posse of 20 men armed to the teeth set out on a hunt and were joined by thirty others from Mertensia. It was a fruitless search for the falling snow driven by the wind made it possible to track the creatures.