WDYTYA – Scott Foley

WDYTYA-bannerActor, director and screenwriter Scott Foley will investigate his ancestor on tonight’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? He finds that his 5th great grandfather, Simon Wardwell, was one of George Washington’s “Life Guards” (AKA security) during the Revolutionary War. Scott also finds that he has a connection to the Salem witch trials (1692-3).

Scot visits the Daughters of the American Revolution Library (DAR) in Washington, D.C. and also the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston for his information.

WDYTYA airs at 9 p.m. (eastern and western times) on TLC.

Old News – New Church

This article is about a new church being built for the Holy Rosary parish on Lexington Avenue in Rochester. The church didn’t make it to one hundred years. The church was closed in March 2008 as most members had moved to the suburbs. The church was re-purposed as a community center. The rectory, convent, and school were all converted to low priced apartments. The article New Life for Holy Rosary Church & Neighborhood (from 2014) has both an account of the renovation and some great pictures of the church and other buildings.


April 7, 1916


Ground will be broken in a few days at Lexington avenue and Finch street for the new church and rectory for Holy Rosary parish, of which Rev. A. A. Hughes is pastor.

The illustration shows the church and rectory connected by a cloister. they will be of Spanish mission design, constructed to harmonize with modern conditions, built of warm, gray rough-texture brick and trimmed with a red Spanish tile roof.

The church will have the customary mission bell tower over the rear cloister. The chief features of the front are its mission rose window and triple entrance, embellished with faience tile and stone carving, with niches with statues at either side of the main entrance.

The church can be described as having a large vestibule with circular ends, one for the baptistry and the other with stairs running to choir gallery. The nave is of great width, with ambulatory aisles separated by brick piers, which support the clear story walls above. The pews are placed in the nave between the piers, thereby giving an unobstructive view of services. Side chapels are situated each side of the triumphal arch. The sanctuary has ambulatory passages on both sides, and next to these on either side are the vestry and sacristy. The main ceiling is vaulted, of wood and plaster, with ornamental wood brackets.

The aisles, vestibules and sanctuary are of marble and tile. The walls will be decorated in a scheme to harmonize. The windows will be of stained glass. The seating capacity will be between 750 and 800.

There is a side entrance from Finch street; also a side front entrance to the church office at the church end of the front cloister. The rear cloister connects the sacristy to the rear entrance hall of rectory.

The rectory is of sixteen rooms. It has large living rooms, reception rooms, etc., on first floor, with studies and sleeping rooms on the second floor. The third floor is given over to servants quarters.

The buildings will be built after plans prepared by Cornes, Kauzor & Eldridge, architects of this city, at a cost of $60,000, exclusive of furnishings.

Kodak Potpourri

kodak-mag-1930-01I uploaded nine new Kodak items. Three are magazines for US employees. Four are magazines for Kodak Canada employees. Then there are two magazines for people that used Kodakchrone film in the 1940s.

The Jan. 1930 issue of the The Kodak Magazine you may find has some objectionable content. That issue reports on a minstrel show that was held over 4 nights in December. It featured singing, dancing and corny jokes. Most of the cast was in black-face makeup. At that time, it was common to have minstrel shows and some vaudeville acts in black-face. We all know now that those kind of shows are no longer appropriate.

These are the titles of the new Kodak items and links:


monroe-hs-1927I have it under good authority that the Rochester Public Library is scanning more of their school yearbooks. It is the second most used collection of the library (the city directories are first). The way this works is that the actual scanning is the least time consuming to make the digital images. It takes much longer to edit the images and make a completed PDF file. So it may be takes month before they post the yearbooks to their website.

RPL does already have some old yearbooks online. Currently they have Charlotte High School (1919 & 1922 – 1940), East H. S. (1909 – 1930), Kodak H. S. (1923-5), Monroe H. S. (1927-40), West H. S. (1906 -1940). The earliest yearbooks don’t have pictures of the seniors. Note also that some of the schools graduated a class in January and another in June. Visit this web page to see their current collection of yearbooks and other books related to area schools and some pictures of schools.

Top Songs of 1966 – #8

Nervouss-breakdownThe next song that ended up on the top of record charts in 1966 was “19th Nervous Breakdown” by The Roiling Stones. The title came first to Mick Jagger and the he and Keith Richards wrote the song around the title. It was recorded in December 1965 in Hollywood after a tour of North America.

“19th Nervous Breakdown” was the number one song on the Cash Box record chart for just the week of march 27 – April 2. It never was able to push “Ballad of the Green Berets” out of the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 110 chart. It did remain at number two for three weeks (March 13 – April 3) before beginning to fall back down that chart.

The Rollings Stones played in Havana, Cuba on March 25th to approximately 1.3 million people. That wrapped up their tour of Central and South America. The best place to find when they will tour again or get other news of the group is on their official website. Or if you want, for a small fee, you can download individual songs on Amazon.com.

WDYTYA Returns

Photo courtesy of TLC

Photo courtesy of TLC

The TLC series Who Do You Think You Are? returns for another season this Sunday at 9 p.m. (eastern & western times). The first celebrity to dig into their roots is Aisha Tyler. She is currently one of the hosts on The Talk and also the voice of Lana Kane in the animated series Archer.

Aisha learns about her great-great-grandfather, Hugh Hancock, whose story had been lost over time. Some people thought that he may have been the son of General Winfield Scott Hancock. As you will see in the episode that turns out not to be true. Instead, Hugh Hancock turns out to be a son of a Congressman from Texas.

Even though Aisha thought all her ancestors were from the east coast, she travels to the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio and also to Texas to discover her ancestor’s story.

Other celebrities to be featured on WDYTYA this season are: Scott Foley, Lea Michele, Chris Noth, Molly Ringwald and Katey Sagal.


Edited: 4/3/2016

Old News – Poorhouse and County Hospital

This article tells the amounts for support of the Monroe County Poorhouse (Almshouse) and the County Hospital. It also tells of overcrowding at the Hospital. It wouldn’t be until 1933 that the current Monroe Community Hospital would be opened.


April 1, 1916


ad-1916-03-02The annual report of Superintendent of the Poor, Thomas J. Bridges, gives the following statistics and information which will be of interest to people of this vicinity; Number of inmates in the Almshouse during the year ending September 30th, 1915, chargeable to the Town of Hamlin, two; chargeable to the Town of Sweden, ten. This is out of a total of 1,201 inmates.

Total number of inmates at county hospital for the year 2,273.

Total amount to be assessed upon the towns and the city of Rochester for the support of the poor in the Almshouse during the year ending September 30, 1915—$26.801.36. Total amount to be assessed for the support of the poor in the county hospital during the year ending September 30, 1915 is $4,887.86.

Superintendent of the Poor Bridges recommends that an estimate of $39,000 be made of the amount necessary for the support of the Monroe county poor in the Almshouse Hospital and Out Door Relief Dept. during the ensuing year. That fifty acres be added to the Almshouse farm as the acreage is inadequate. That something be done to relieve the urgent need for more beds at the County Hospital as more cases than ever before had to be refused during the past year for lack of room. That the enlargement of the hospital should be such that it would provide for at least fifty additional beds and that a separate wing be considered for the confinement of ‘disturbed cases.” He states that for the past three years the Almshouse has been greatly has been greatly over crowded and for months at a time over ninety inmates were obliged to sleep in the halls. This crowded condition might result in the loss of lives in case of fire. The system of housing the employees connected with the Almshouse and Hospital is not only expensive but entirely inadequate to these institutions and the erection of a separate building to be used as a Nurse’s Home is recommended