Historic Places

Three places in Monroe County were recently nominated for the New York State and Federal Registers of Historic Places. That status will make them eligible for a variety of state grants and tax credits to help in local historical preservation.

Brockport Cemetery on High Street in the Village of Brockport was established in 1829. It is the earliest resting place for residence of the Village including Hiel Brockway, for who the Village is named. The cemetery is well maintained especially for a cemetery in a busy Village.

Pittsford Village Historic District has a boundary increase since it was first listed in 1984. The district is being expanded with 536, mostly residential, properties, which illustrate how village residents adapted to the change of becoming a suburb community.

Thomas L. Hulburt House is an 1853 Greek Revival. It was the primary residence of Thomas L. Hulburt (1836-1919) who was a lawyer and developer and who played an important role in the growth and development of the Village of Fairport during the late 19th century.





Bye Bye FTM

family-tree-makerYou probably have already heard that Ancestry.com has decided to discontinue their Family Tree Maker genealogy software. This is the official announcement. They will stop selling the software at the end of 2015 and stop supporting it at the end of 2016. The online trees will NOT be effected and you will be able to continue to sync between the software and the online trees until the end of 2016.

So what do you do now? First, don’t panic. You can wait to find some new genealogy software. FTM will probably work the same well into 2017 and beyond. There are already rumors that in the future Ancestry may allow other software to sync with their online trees.

Eventually there will come a time when you should transfer your precious family data to another program. You can use the GEDCOM exporter that is built in FTM to transfer out your data. Because the GEDCOM data standard has not been updated in many years, some of the data will end up in your new programs “notes.” Then you will have to fix all those problems. If you have a few thousand people in your FTM file then it will take you a lot of time to make corrections in your new software.

When people ask me what genealogy software to buy I always say that they should download trial versions of Legacy Family Tree and RootsMagic and see which they like best. I ended up buying RootsMagic. There a lot more genealogy software programs available. See this comparison of genealogy software on Wikipedia that has a table of the features of the software. You will want new software that is being updated regularly.

Some genealogy software sellers are seeing the demise of FTM as an opportunity to find new customers. These are some of the promotions so far:

  • RootsMagic has this special offer for FTM owners. You get the software pkus the book “Getting the Most out of RootsMagic” for the special price of $20 plus shipping. Offer for a limited time.
  • Legacy Family Tree has this offer. The regular price is $29.95 but you can get $10 off but only to the end of 2015.
  • MacFamilyTree has this 50% off offer. You can get this genealogy software for your Mac for only $24.99. No time limit specified.
  • Family Historian 6 has this 20% off offer. That makes the download only $37.20.

There will probably be more offers coming from other software manufacturers.

Want other ideas of which direction to go? DearMyrtle did a webcast yesterday called “Is There Life Beyond Family Tree Maker?” that you can view. I think it may be helpful to you. It runs a little over an hour.


Greenvale Cemetery Damage

greenvale-2015This afternoon I went to Greenvale Cemetery in Fairport. I wanted to see the damage done by an old tree that fell last Friday. Half of the tree fell to the east and the other half went west. The tree is gone but there is a 8 foot circle of orange fence that surrounds some roots and a hole that is at least 4 foot deep. There was also an electrician next door to the cemetery putting back up electric wires running to the house.

As far as I could tell, there were only six tombstones that suffered damage. Knocked down were Myron Guile (died 1862) and another Guile family member who I and other people cannot read the first name of (d. 1861). Then the tombstone for Eugene Guile (d. 1862) was hit so that it was leaning backwards. The tombstone for Warren Ayrault (d. 1908) suffered the worse damage. It was broken in half. Caroline Howell’s tombstone had been knocked off the base. It appears that it just needs to be picked up and put back on the base. Then the tombstone for Elihu Wanzer (d. 1877) had a chip off the top. What is amazing is that right next to his tombstone is an 18 inch depression that didn’t knock down the tombstone. His tombstone has been out of its base for years and is propped up with an old stick.

All of the damaged tombstones have photos on Find A Grave (see: Greenvale Cemetery listings. Paul G. Healy took photos of about 80% of the tombstones in this cemetery in 2007. I noticed that there are other tombstones laying flat in the cemetery that when Mr. Healy took photos in 2007 were standing upright. I also noticed another tree that had rot up about 5 foot from it’s roots. Who knows when that will come down.

These are photos of the damaged tombstones:

Myron Guile; died Nov. 21, 1860

Myron Guile; died Nov. 21, 1860

(unknown) Guile; died July 2, 1861

(unknown) Guile; died July 2, 1861

Eugene Guile; died March 3, 1862 aged 5 years

Eugene Guile; died March 3, 1862 aged 5 years

Warren Ayrault; died April 14, 1908 aged 75 yrs.

Warren Ayrault; died April 14, 1908 aged 75 yrs.

Caroline A. Howell; born May 8, 1848; died Feb. 12, 1897

Caroline A. Howell; born May 8, 1848; died Feb. 12, 1897

Elihu Wanzer; born in Fairfield, Ct.; died in Fairport, N. Y. Apr. 21, 1887 aged 87 yrs.

Elihu Wanzer; born in Fairfield, Ct.; died in Fairport, N. Y. Apr. 21, 1887 aged 87 yrs.

Old News – Letters

Children have been writing letters to Santa for many generations. Here are some from 100 years ago.

The picture of the girl with her extra long Christmas stocking was almost a full page high. Do a right click on it and view it full size.


Thursday, Dec. 9, 1915

Letters to Santa Claus


Below are a few of the hundreds of letters received by the Association. The first is from a little girl in the Bronx:

Dear Santa Claus—Do you live far? Would you please come up my house Christmas day? I, Rose, ten years of age, wants a doll; John, seven, wants a engine; Alice, about five, wants a doll; Beatrice, just more than three, wants a set of dishes, and Andrew, not two yet wants a Teddy bear.

P. S.—I hope to get what I ask for. I am very poor, and my father is nor working. Your Little friend, ROSE——

This letter was received from a little girl whose home is on the west side not far from Times Square:

Dear Santa Claus—I heard about your great kindness to poor children, and I hope you will be good to us. I have a little cripple sister and a baby sister and brother. My little cripple sister is only five, and my papa has been out of work all summer. I hope you will answer soon and won’t forget us. Your little girl friend, HARRIET——

A six-year-old lad whose home is in a distant part of Brooklyn sent this letter to the general post office. The letter was forwarded to the Santa Claus Association:

Dear Santy—I wants a nice small train, not a expensive one—one that’s just strong and will last long time. This is all I want, and we can’t afford nothing this winter. Yours truly, DONALD——

A six-year-old lad whose home is in distant part of Brooklyn sent this letter to the general post office. The letter was forwarded to the Santa Claus Association:

Dear Friend Santa Claus—I am a very little girl, not ten years old, and both my parents are very poor, and they said they couldn’t bring me nothing this Christmas, and what I want is a pair of ice skates and, I what want is a pair of ice skates and, if you can spare them, also a pair of hockey boots. Your little friend, MABEL——

Little Miss Mabel’s seven-year-old sister, Ethel, also asked for a pair of skates and added that she would consider the gift “A beautiful and likewise a precious one.”

Most of the letters are pathetic, of course, but the Association also receives some very ludicrous requests.

Tombstones Damaged by Falling Tree

fairportOn Friday a very old tree split in half and came down in the Greenvale Cemetery in the Village of Fairport. Part of the tree ended up in the road and part broke some tombstones in this very old cemetery. It is not known how many tombstones were broken.

The cemetery began in 1826 and has not had any burials in about 20 years. Plots haven’t been for sale for even longer than that.

Village Manager Bryan White said the tree will be removed Monday. They want take care to make sure that they don’t do any more damage while removing the tree. The Village is responsible for the maintenance on the cemetery and it may take a while before the tombstones are repaired. Neighbors say that there have been broken tombstones in the cemetery for years that have not been repaired.

Top Songs of 1965 – #29

The Four Seasons had another hit record with “Let’s Hang On” in 1965. The song was written by Bob Crewe, Sandy Linzer, and Denny Randell. Bob Crewe was the producer for the Four Seasons and other groups. Frankie Valli sings the lead on the song.

The Four Seasons came together in 1960 and had many hit records in the 1960s. Later, Frankie Valli would also have some solo hits. Frankie Valli and The  Four Seasons still tour even though Frankie is the only original member. For shows in other locations, visit the Frankie Valli / Four Seasons website.

“Let’s Hang On” was the number one song on the Cash Box record chart for the week of Dec. 5 – 11, 1965. On the Billboard Hot 100 chart the song only made it to the #3 position.

Download Four Seasons songs (for a small fee) from Amazon.com.

Top Songs of 1965 – #28

The Byrds were back with their second number one song of 1965. “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” is a song written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s. The lyrics, except for the title which is repeated throughout the song, and the final verse of the song, are adapted word-for-word from Chapter 3 of the Book of Ecclesiastes. The song was originally released in 1962 as “To Everything There Is a Season” on The Limeliters’ album Folk Matinee and then some months later on Seeger’s own The Bitter and the Sweet.

The Byrds formed in early 1964, when Jim (later Roger) McGuinn, Gene Clark, and David Crosby came together as a trio. They all had a background in folk music and had worked on the coffeehouse circuit. Then drummer Michael Clarke and bass player Chris Hillman were added to the group.

“Turn! Turn! Turn!” was the top song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks (Nov. 28 – Dec. 18). It was on the top of the Cash Box record chart for the week of Nov. 28 – Dec. 4, 1965.

Download songs by The Byrds (for a small fee) from Amazon.