Old News – St. Patrick’s Day (2 of 2)

This set of articles about St. Patrick’s Day includes an article about the British royals handing out shamrocks on the day in 1915. They still do this. In 2014 Princess Kate was the member of the family giving out shamrocks as shown in the picture..


Friday, March 12, 1915

The Wearing of the Green

Irish Guards Are Decorated With the Shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day.

Princess Kate in 2014

Princess Kate in 2014

With the improvements in the relations of Irishmen and Englishmen, due to the enactment of the home rule law. the unifying influences of the fighting side by side in the Boar war and the great European struggle and other causes, the Irish shamrock is in a fair way to take its place with the English rose in the esteem of men and women on the eastern shore of the Irish channel. No longer is the shamrock “forbid by law to grow on Irish ground.” And it displays its pleasant green now on Patrick’s day in London and Liverpool and Edinburgh as bravely as in Dublin and Cork.

On March 17 the Irishmen in the British army ass sprigs and bunches of shamrock to their customary badges. The men of the Irish guards, one of the crack regiments of the army, are especially distinguished, for they wear shamrocks presented to them by members of the royal family. For many years Dowager Queen Alexandra, widow of King Edward VII and mother of King George V, has presented specimens of Ireland’s floral emblem to the officers and men of the Irish guards. There is n fear that the guardsmen. although serving in the British army, will ever forget their national festival. St. Patrick’s day fro them begins with a church parade and distribution of the queen’s shamrocks. Shortly after midday they sit down to a substantial dinner, and the afternoon is devoted to a Gaelic football match–this in time of peace. War, however, works many changes.

Of course everything connected intimately with the regiment must be adorned with the trefoil. The flags are decorated, the drums ring out more clearly because they wear the green, and the regimental mascot, a noble Irish wolfhound, bears proudly in his collar a generous bunch of shamrock.

Ireland’s Stirring Song.

The origin of the unofficial anthem of Ireland, “St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning,” is most obscure. The earliest known copy appears in Rutherford’s “Country Dances.” published in 1749, but it is said to have been played by the Iris pipers at the battle of Fontenoy in 1745 and was probably current for some time before this. The tune is found attached to various rollicking old English songs.

St. Patrick an American Money.

Very few people know that for a long time copper pennies bearing the effigy of St. Patrick circulated and were legal tender in the land that is now the United States of America.

At the time the Confederation of Kilkenny levied troops and sent out ambassadors it also coined money, and some of the subsidiary coins found there way into the colony of New Jersey.

Mark Newby took to that colony a large quantity of Patrick’s halfpense, as they were called, and they were made legal tender in 1682.

Some specimens of these coins are preserved by the Kilkenny Archaeological society. On one side of them St. Patrick, wearing a miter and carrying the crozier, is represented as holding up the “seamrog” as the emblem of the Trinity. On the other side is a representation of a king playing a harp.

Old News – St. Patrick’s Day (1 of 2)

There were so many articles about St. Patrick’s Day in this issue of the newspaper that I am making two posts. First is an editorial about St. Patrick and then how to make a special green cake for the day.


Friday, March 12, 1915

St. Patrick
Written for the Catholic Journal by M. K. Fenelen.

ad-1915-03-12The Epic Drama that is called Ireland, is the story of the Shamrock, and the story story of the Shamrock is the story of St. Patrick. He is the greatest and most significant figure on the stage of Irish history. He stands out against the background of the centuries with the simple majestic history. the faint beginnings of the Ireland that we know. Behind him is a wilderness of myth and legend, a twilight of pagan gods, a wasteland in which the explorer stumbles along a narrowed paths leading to no sure highways. After him Ireland issues into the broad noonday sunlight, her face eager with a new indomitable purpose, armed with a message to a humanity that has no vision to light its way through life.

St. Patrick’s gift to Ireland was the gift of the Shamrock and all that it symbolized–the gift of faith, the gift of love, the gift of patience, the gift of constancy, the gift of suffering, in which the soul is burned to whiteness. In a word, the gift of a lofty ideal not to be surrendered to any conceivable combination of forces St. Patrick indeed has become for Ireland, the very incarnation of her idealism, her guiding star, her spiritual Tara.

St. Patrick’s message to Ireland, was not merely an appeal to the soul of the individual Irishman, it was an appeal to the souls of Ireland as a nation. The Shamrock that confounded the priests of paganism at Tara, was a symbol of the Trinity; which the pagans found hard to believe. It was also a symbol of the dream that is called Ireland, for the little trefoil had for centuries before his coming, been an object of reverence on the part of pagan Irish, and in using the plant so dear to their hearts and so characteristic of the soil of Ireland, St. Patrick consummated that intense and intimate union between Faith and Fatherland which has never ceased to be the dominant feature of the story of Ireland.

Had she chosen the lower road of spiritual compromise, Ireland might long ago have reached material greatness but she chose the higher and harder way and at the cost of her material prosperity she “plucked the flower of victory in the kingdom of the soul.”

It has been given to no other nation to achieve a dream, an ideal so high as that which Patrick gave to Ireland; and no other nation has been given such suffering in its pursuit. From the centuries of material and spiritual martyrdom she has not emerged unscathed; she has retained the faith which Patrick preached but she has lost some of the vestments of that nationality which he so loved and honored. and she will not have regained the shamrock crown with which he dowered her, in all its freshness, until she is mistress of her own destinies, living her life according to her own philosophy and evolving from herself the very best that she can give to the sum total of human achievement.

How to Make Emerald Cake.

To make a cake that is especially fine on St. Patrick’s day cream one cupful butter, add two cupfuls fine granulated sugar and cream again. Add one-half cupfuls sweet milk, three and one-half cupfuls of flour, in which sift four level teaspoonfuls baking powder. Lastly, fold in whites of seven eggs beaten stiff and dry, enough green vegetable coloring to tint a delicate green and one teaspoonful almond extract. Bake in layers. When cool put together with a boiled white icing filled with chopped raisins, currants and nut meats. Cover the outside with icing tinted green. Place a wreath of chopped pistachio nuts on the top and sides. With a cornucopia trace a shamrock vine around it.

Monroe Co. GenWeb and Google

google-logoGoogle is the most popular search site in the US and many other countries. I get spam messages every day that tell me that they can move the Monroe County GenWeb up in search results. The truth is that nobody knows the formula that Google uses to determine ranking. The ranking isn’t that important for me. I’m happy that it comes out about the 700,000th most popular website in the US.

Google does provide me, as the webmaster, some tools to help improve the website. It tells me that when I duplicate titles on pictures. It tells me the top search terms that people who come to the website have searched for. It even tells me that Ancestry has 451 links to my web pages.

A couple of weeks ago Google sent me and lots of other websites an email. That email said that we should make the website more friendly for mobile devices. They also mentioned that if that I don’t fix the web pages the website would end up lower in search results. Lots of other webmasters are complaining that Google is putting pressure on them to fix their websites. I don’t look at it that way. I think that the website should be able to be read on any device; whether it be a 4 inch phone or a 60 inch TV.

Google sent me a link to a video that tried to explained the steps to make the website more friendly for mobile devices. They said I only had to add one line of code to each of my 535 web pages that had errors. I started to fix those web pages last week and quickly found that it wasn’t as simple as Google said. Any of the web pages with pictures needed extra coding to make the pictures fit smaller screens. I still haven’t figured out what to do with web pages that have a table of data that are full width of page. They just won’t fit small screens. The amount of time to fix each each page varies greatly. I have some that  only took a couple of minutes to fix. One page took 45 minutes to fix. I completed about 45 web pages so far. If I am doing this right, you shouldn’t see anything different on your computer but should better on smart phones.

This blog uses WordPress software for the display. WordPress is updated quite often and I found that it is very mobile friendly. That means I don’t have to make any changes here.

Talk on Orphans

abandonedThis Tuesday at 7 p.m. is a talk by Michael Keene titled “Abandoned: The Untold Story of Orphan Asylums.” Mr. Keene presents eye-opening, true-to-life tales of the Five Points area of New York City and the desperation of a million Irish immigrants who hoped to find better conditions in New York after leaving behind the famine they experienced in their homeland in 1848. Unfortunately, after arriving in Lower Manhattan, they found squalor, gang violence, and disease. As a result of this crisis, the Age of Orphan Asylums began, culminating in one of the most improbable and audacious episodes in American history, known as the orphan train movement.

Michael Keene is the author of “Folklore and Legends of Rochester,” “Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” “Mad House” and “Abandoned: The Untold Story of Orphan Asylums” that was published in 2014. He has combined his interests in local history, writing and film making in order to explore unique and fascinating chapters of 19th century Western New York folklore and legend.

The talk is presented by Greece Historical Society at the Greece Public Library, 2 Vince Tofany Blvd, Greece, NY.  The public is welcome, reservations are not necessary, Greece Historical Society members FREE.  A $2.00 donation is appreciated  from others.



WDYTYA – Julie Chen

Julie Chen

Julie Chen

Who Do You Think You Are? returns to the TLC channel on Sunday, March 8th at 10pm (EST). The first person to look for ancestors this season is TV celebrity Julie Chen. She revealed on The Talk last year that her grandfather, Lou Gaw Tong, was a polygamist with 9 wives and eleven children. On WDYTYA she finds her grandfather started a school in his village in China after his mother was kidnapped and killed by a group of bandits. Julie also takes a trip to China and where she finds some new cousins.

Top Songs of 1965; #4

Tempts-mygirl-coverThe next song to hit the top of the record charts in 1965 was “My Girl” by the Temptations. The song was written and produced by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White. The inspiration for the song was Smokey’s wife, Claudette Rogers Robinson who was a member of The Miracles. This became the first number one song for The Temptations.

The lead vocal on the song was David Ruffin who only stayed with the group for 3 years. Other members of The Temptations on “My Girl” were Eddie Kendricks, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams and Otis Williams. Only Otis Williams still is with the current Temptations.

My Girl” was on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 record chart for the week of Feb. 28 – March 6, 1965. The song only made it up to number 2  on the Cash Box chart but it there for the week of Feb. 20 – 27 and then again for the week of March 7 – 13.

The Temptations website has a history of the group, photos, things to purchase, etc, It is one of those websites that starts playing music when you go there. You can also buy The Temptations songs from Amazon (for a low price).


Find My Past – Free Weekend

Find my past logos.inddFindmypast, genealogy website. is offering free access this weekend to billions of historical records including their US, UK and Ireland records. You do have to sign up for a free account but as far as I can tell, they don’t send you any emails after you sign up. This access expires at 7 a.m. (EST) on Monday March 9th. This is to celebrate International Women’s Day on Sunday.

Some of the records available are:

  • Over 900 million census records from across the UK, USA and Ireland
  • Passenger lists for ships sailing to and from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA
  • Birth, marriage and death records dating back to the 18th century, and the largest online collection of UK parish records
  • The most comprehensive collection of UK military records anywhere online and US records back to the Revolutionary War
  • The largest collection of Irish family history records available online
  • Historical newspapers from across the world, including more than 10 million British newspaper pages from as long ago as 1710

I searched through newspaper records and found an obit of Homer Halsey, my grand-uncle, from 1971. It was his death that got me started in genealogy as he had no children and I was found as a missing heir. The thing that I didn’t like about the online newspapers was that I couldn’t zoom up enough to read the tiny print. Instead I ended up downloading each page and then zoomed the downloaded image page.

Findmypast has this special page with more details and a link to a free webinar on Sunday dealing with finding the women of your family.

Findmypast last month announced that they have formed a partnership with the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B). Findmypast will host the newly expanded Digital Library of the NYG&B. When launched, that will give Findmypast members access to the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, the publication of NYG&B that goes back 145 years. There will also be NY State vital records, bible extracts, cemetery transcriptions, and more. The records of NYG&B are more oriented to downstate but if you have NY City area ancestors it might be something to look into. An annual subscription to Findmypast for the US and Canada collection is currently$99,50 but they occasionally have sale prices. You can also get a monthly subscription for $9.95.

Old News – Church Conference

An up-coming church conference for boys is sponsored in part by the Rochester YMCA.


Thursdays, March 4, 1915


A Conference for the Church Boys of this County to be Held in Rochester.

ad-1915-03-04That the Older Boys’ Conference idea for organizations doing religious work with boys is gaining in popularity is evidenced from the number of county conferences that are being planned. Since the Western New York conference was held in Buffalo, last November, conducted by the State Committee of the Y. M. C. A., a number of counties have held district meetings. The largest in this part of the state was the Orleans county conference held last month with 325 boys in attendance.

A conference for the church boys of Monroe county is being planned by the Buffalo delegates and the Young Men’s Christian Association. All of the churches and Sunday schools in Monroe county are being invited to send boy delegates to this meeting who are fifteen years of age or over, and must be of Christian character. There is no limit placed on of delegates a church may send, but each group must be accompanied by an adult leader. The conference will be but a one day session and will be held in the Central Presbyterian church, Rochester, Saturday, March 20th.

Registration will begin at 2 o’clock and the opening session will be at 2:30.

The following program will be carried out:

2:30—Opening session; Henry D. Shedd, chairman Boys’ Work Committee of the Rochester Young Men’s Christian Association, presiding; song service and devotional period led by John Tagg, general secretary Batavia Y. M. C. A.

3:00—Introduction of officers.

3:15—Four papers by boys (seven minutes each); discussion led by G. H. Roehrig, community secretary, Medina. 1. “Why are so many boys outside the Sunday School?” Sheldon Howell, Westminster Presbyterian Sunday school. 2. “What kind of teaching do boys want in the Sunday school?” Oswald Wall, Webster. 3. “Jobs for boys in the Sunday School,” Charles Muhl, Grace Presbyterian Sunday school. 4. “What a boy has a right to expect from the Sunday School,” Donald Harris, Fairport.

4:15—Address: “What are we here for?” Rev. A. W. Beaven, Lake Avenue Baptist church.


6:00—Conference supper. Address: “What are we going to do about it?” Rev. F. J. Kennedy, Cornhill M. E. church.

7:45—Closing meeting; song service led by John Tagg.

8:00—Address” “Get Bust,” A. H. Whitford, general secretary, Y. M. C. A., Buffalo.

8:30—Farewell service.


It is expected that 350 delegates will be present at the conference. Those desiring further information may secure it by addressing F. E, Gugelman, Y. M. C. A., Rochester, N. Y.

Top Songs of 1965; #3

Gary-Lewis-&-the-PlayboysThe next song to go all the way to the top of the record charts in 1965 was “This Diamond Ring” by Gary Lewis and the Playboys. The song was written by Al Kooper, Bob Brass, and Irwin Levine. It was first recorded by Sammy Ambrose but his version was not a hit.

Gary Lewis, the son of comedian Jerry Lewis, started the band with four friends when he was 18. The group auditioned for a job at Disneyland, without telling them about Lewis’ celebrity father. They were hired on the spot, audiences at Disneyland quickly accepted them, and the Playboys were soon playing to a full house every night. Record producer Snuff Garrett set the group up with a recording session and brought along the song “This Diamond Ring.” None of the Playboys are playing on the song. Instead, the music was performed by a session group called  The Wrecking Crew.

The group had a string of hit songs through 1968 but “this Diamond Ring” was the group’s only number one. In January 1967 Gary Lewis was drafted into the U. S. Army. After being discharged Gary tried but was unable to regain his group’s earlier success. He still tours. mostly on cruise ships. The tour schedule can be found on the group’s website. Note: That website starts playing music on opening.

“This Diamond Ring” was the top song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the weeks of Feb. 14 – 27. It was on the top of the Cash Box record chart for only the week of Feb. 21 – 27.

More Genealogy on TV

The TLC channel is having a show this weekend on adoption stories. Long Lost Family has two adoptees teaming up with hosts Chris Jacobs and Lisa Joyner to embark on an emotional journey that sees them through the ups and downs of trying to track down loved ones they’re so anxious to meet.


  • Christopher Hanson hasn’t seen his mother in 30 years. After being left in a grocery store parking lot when he was only 6-years-old, Christopher has been haunted by this memory for most of his life and has always longed to reunite with his mother. Eventually adopted by a loving family, Christopher is desperate to unlock the mysteries of what happened on that day and discover exactly why he never saw his mom again.
  • Paula, a 54-year-old grandmother of 10, knows very little about her biological family. She is longing to meet them and find out why her parents kept her for a few days, only to give her up and never reach out again.

This show is on TLC on March 1st at 10:00 pm (eastern).

WDYTYA-bannerThen a week later Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA) returns for another season  this tie with 8 episodes. This series profiles celebrities and this season they are traveling even more around the world than before to the stories of the ancestors of those celebrities. The schedule for this season is:

  • March 8           Julie Chen travels to China to learn more about her grandfather.
  • March 15         Josh Groban discovers his 8x great-grandfather was a highly educated and renowned scientist that studied astronomy, and was quoted by Isaac Newton himself.
  • March 22         Angie Harmon turns back the clock to explore an ancestor connected with George Washington.
  • March 29         Sean Hayes jets to Ireland to celebrate his Irish roots.
  • April 5              Tony Goldwyn is familiar with his prestigious paternal Hollywood lineage, but knows little about his mother’s side of the family. In his episode, he comes to learn about his 3x great-grandparents, who fought for women’s rights and westward expansion
  • April 12            America Ferrera brings the series to Honduras for the first time ever, learns about the father she barely knew, and unravels her great-grandfather’s role in the violent Central American political system
  • April 19            Bill Paxton visits a Revolutionary War battle site to walk in his ancestors’ steps.
  • April 26            Melissa Etheridge heads to Quebec to trace the history of her paternal side, learns about the scandalous marriage of her 6x great-grandparents.

For a preview of this season visit this web page. WDYTYA airs on the TLC channel 10 pm (eastern).