Rochester Music

rochester-maidThe Rochester Public Library has uploaded a new digital collection of old sheet music. The collection has music published in Rochester, sold in Rochester and about Rochester. All are dated from the 1890s to the 1920s. The music has been scanned and placed on the RPL website as PDF files. This collection is so new that the library hasn’t yet created a web page listing all the titles. Instead you can view this directory page of the titles with links to each title.

Kodak Movie Film Deal

Kodak Vision3 movie film

Kodak Vision3 movie film

Kodak competitor Fujifilm stopped making movie film last year. Kodak also was thinking of stopping the manufacture the film that was once used by most Hollywood studios. Sales of film stock have dropped from over 12 billion feet in 2006 to an approximate 450 million feet this year. That is a 96% decrease. Recently Kodak and some Hollywood studios reached an agreement in which the studios will buy a minimum amount of film over the next several years. It helped that some major directors including Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow and J.J. Abrams had lobbied for a reprieve for movie film. The studios that have have signed on to the agreement are Warner Bros, Universal, Paramount, Disney, and the Weinstein Co.

It is easier to film digitally than on film stock but many directors agree that there is a richness on film that is not on digital. Most films are now distributed in digital format and that means that the studios are not making multiple copies of films to be sent to theaters. Film stock is still needed for archiving old films. Hopefully this agreement will help Kodak to continue to be able to afford manufacturing movie film for the foreseeable future.

Old News – Accidental Death

This news from the past is about an accident in Fairport

Fairport, NY

Thursday, August 6, 1914


Edward Patterson Killed Thursday–Victim’s Mangled Remains Scattered for Yards Along Railroad Tracks.


“Edward Patterson, who had recently taken a position as chef at the Kirkwood Hotel, was struck and instantly killed, Thursday afternoon shortly before 3 o’clock by the westbound Empire State express, while walking upon the railroad tracks west of Main street in this village.

Mr Patterson was seen at the hotel a few minutes previous to the accident, and it is nut known how the man happened to be upon the tracks where his mangled remains were found scattered for several yards, shortly after the passing of the train.

Undertaker H. R. Relyea was called and Coroner T. A. Killip notified. The latter upon investigation granted a certificate of accidental death.

Mr. Patterson came to Fairport Tuesday from Rochester to accept the position at the hotel. He was accompanied by his wife and it is said leaves no other relatives in this country, his home being in England.

WDYTYA – Tomorrow

Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams

This week on Who Do You Think You Are? the star being profiled is Rachel McAdams. Rachel is best known for her roles in the movies Mean Girls and The Notebook. Rachel was born in Canada but now works mostly in Hollywood.

This episode of WDYTYA is different because Rachel travels on her genealogical adventure with her sister Kayleen, a celebrity make-up artist,. They discover an English ancestor who lived and worked as a footman to the privileged class. As they unravel the mystery of their Canadian heritage, they then connect with relatives uprooted by war and uncover the harrowing circumstances that brought their family to Canada.

WDYTYA airs on the TLC channel at 9 p.m. (eastern & western time zones).

Misleading Data

There are many websites that will give you give you addresses, phone numbers and even birthdays of living people. Some that I know of are: Intelius, Spokeo,  Zaba Search and Pipl. These can be useful to find records of your distant cousins that you may have lost track of. All of the previous are pay websites and will give you some data for free and then eventually ask for money for more detailed information. I usually stop when they ask for money. FamilySearch has a collection that has some of the same information as the commercial websites. The description of “United States Public Records, 1970-2009” says that the “records were generated from telephone directories, property tax assessments, credit applications, and other records available to the public.”

I did some searching through a lot of these public record websites and they all have problems. I looked up Reginald W—-. who died in 1985. His last name is unique and only one person with his name has ever existed. I found records stating that he was living in Virginia from 1995 to 2007. I wonder how that record ended up in both the FamilySearch and commercial websites?

I looked my sister up and found a record that she lived in South Dakota from 2005 – 2007. She never lived there. There were also records of her living in La Mesa, CA in 1986 and 2000. That is another lady with the same name that got confused with my sister. Just one website, Been Verified, had her old address here in NY state. She and her family left NY in the early 1980s. That was a plus for that website. Then I also saw a record on another website that said she was born in 1900. That is only 37 years off. That is is big minus.

Then I looked up records of Sonoe W—-. I found a birth date in 1945 when she was actually born in 1929. There were a lot of records of address including some which overlapped. An address record from the 1990s matched information that I had when I wrote to her in that time. Then according to other records, she lived 2006 – 2009 in Utah, 2007 – 2009 in Florida and 2007 in California. The big problem is that she died in 2006.

These kind of records all contain a small amount of errors on birth dates, addresses and relationships. There are also some spelling errors. A couple of other records couldn’t decided on which was a first name and a  middle name. It would be best to use all these websites as just clues for further research on your part.

Old News – World War I Begins

Major news from the past. After a month of negotiations had broken down, on July 28th 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany and Russia mobilized on the 30th. Germany declared war on Russia on August 1st. Here some reports from the first couple of days when everyone thought that it might be possible to keep the war within just a couple of countries.


Thursday, July 30, 1914


holman-ad-1914-07Moment Austria Crosses Servian Frontier Russia Will Fight.

Well Informed Corespondent States That Russia Took Preliminary Mobilization Steps the Moment Council of Ministers Decided That Servia’s Sovereignty Must Be Protected–German War Office Shows Great Activity.

London, July 29.–The St. Petersburg correspondent of the Morning Post says he is in a position to state positively that the moment the Austrians cross the Servian frontier, Russian mobilization orders will be published and Russia will take the field with all the consequences involved in such action.


Quietly Preparing to Meet Any Emergency That May Occur in Coming Conflict.

London, July 29.–Austria’s forma; declaration of war against Servia cannot be said to have disappointed expectations, although it shattered some over sanguine hopes.

Nothing has yet reached London as to actual operations. Rumors of the occupation of Belgrade and the invasion of Servia via Mitrovitza are not confirmed, but official confirmation has been received of the seizure of Servian ships on the Danube.

As regards the general international situation it may be said that while it is still necessarily extremely grave it can be said that hope of restricting the quarrel to Austria and Servia has not yet been lost.

Germany’s and Austria’s courteous rejection of Sir Edward Grey’s efforts to prevent an international struggle has banished the idea of an ambassadorial conference, but this has been superseded by direct negotiations at St. Petersburg between Russia and Austria.

These negotiations according to Russian dispatches are going on with such smoothness that well informed circles in London last night hoped that it might be possible to prevent the trouble overstepping its present limits.

It is reiterated in London that Austria has made it clear that she does not aim at territorial conquests in the Balkans and this is regarded as good ground on which to build the hope that Russia will refrain from military interference.

Great Britain, while abstaining from anything which would be provocative of alarm on the part of Austria and her friends, is quietly making preparations for any contingency that may bring her within the scope of the continental troubles. There is great activity at the war office and the admiralty.


Reservists of Both Austria and Servia in this country Preparing to Return.

New York, July 29.–The announcement that Austria had declared war upon Servia gave impetus to the activities that for the last three days have kept the members of the two consulates in this city working early and late transacting official business and keeping their respective countrymen informed as to the situation and as to what is expected of them in the event of a call to arms.

Acting under instructions from the war office in Vienna, the Austria consul general made preparations to transport the several thousand reservists in this who are expected to answer the call to the colors within the next two weeks. More than a score of officers, who have been called back by cable, are expected to sail before the end of the week.

No instructions came to the Servian consul and he was kept busy informing inquirers not to get excited until events have worked themselves out to some extent.

Professor Michael I. Pupin of Columbia university, who is the acknowledged leader of the 100,000 Serbs in this country, motored to town from his summer home in Connecticut and immediately entered into conference with Paul M. Paviovitch, who is in charge of the Servian consulate. It is understood that Professor Pupin has already sent hundreds of telegrams to his countrymen asking them for funds to equip and maintain additional troops.

WDYTYA – Tomorrow

Jesse-Tyler-Ferguson-2014On the next episode of “Who Do You Think You Are” (WDYTYA) Jesse Tyler Ferguson will look for information on his ancestors. Jesse is known for portraying Mitchell Pritchett on the ABC sitcom “Modern Family,” That role has garnered him 5 Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.

Jesse ends up following the path of his great-grandfather took on the Alaskan trail in 1898. It appears that the expedition was part by boat and part by pack horse. It was at that time when many people were headed to Alaska because of the discovery of gold. Temperatures in Alaska can and did change quickly dooming many expeditions of people who were no prepared for the trip.

WDYTYA airs at 9 p.m. (eastern and western tomes) on the TLC channel.

Top Songs of 1964; #14


US Single cover

The Beatles are back on the top of the record charts in 1964. This time with “A Hard Day’s Night,” the title song to the movie of the same name. The song was written by John Lennon with only minor suggestions from Paul McCartney. The title comes from a malapropism attributed to Ringo Starr after a long session of recording music.

The song was the number one song on the Cash Box record chart for the weeks of July 19 – August 8. It was also at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart from July 26 – August 8.

The Beatles have their own website that has a link to iTunes which is the only official site that you can download Beatles songs.

NY Tax Assessments, 1799 – 1804

I discovered a new group of records on that has tax records for NY State. “New York, Tax Assessment Rolls of Real and Personal Estates, 1799-1804″ contains records for most of NY State except New York City (Manhattan). The records have the person’s name, value of real estate, value of personal property and tax to be paid. Some records have a description of the real estate like “house,” “farm,” “barn,” “mill,” etc. As I have many ancestors that lived in New York State in his time, I found close to 25 ancestors listed in these tax records. In a couple of cases , there was two generations listed of the family. It helped to indicate the family residence and the value of their farm.

The page, below, is from 1801 for the Town of Northampton, Ontario County. At that time, that town consisted of all the land west of the Genesee River except for what is now Steuben County. Duncan, Daniel and John Anderson each had property valued at $100 and had to pay 11 cents tax for the year 1801. William Barber only had personal property worth $36. His tax for that year was only 4 cents.

If you subscribe to you can use this direct link to search the tax records. If you don’t subscribe to you still can get free access to these tax records. You would need to start on this webpage from NY State Archives. Then enter any NY State zip code in the box provided and click on “submit.” This will take you to a special web page just for NY State records. Scroll down on the “included data collections” until you see “New York, Tax Assessment Rolls of Real and Personal Estates, 1799-1804″ and click on that. Then you can search for your NY State ancestors for free and see who you can find.


Old News – Picnics and Anniversaries

More news from the past. This time Rochester Catholic Church events.


Friday, July 24, 1914

City Parish News

ads-1914-07-24Interesting Budget of Happenings Gathered by Our Reporter

St. Boniface

The St. Boniface “Footlight Club” the dramatic organization of this church will hold their first annual outing Sunday, July 26th, at the Silver Lake assembly grounds. A special car will convey them to the lake and will be escorted by the well known “Giv and Ebs” Brass Band, all of whom are members of this club and who were given a big reception at their last public appearance.

A varied and amusing number of sports are on the day’s program as well as a baseball game between the “Juveniles” and the “Characters.” Mr. Edward Hettig will umpire this battle. A chicken dinner will await the actors at the Walker House immediately following the sports and distribution f prizes. A special committee was appointed for this occasion and through their zealous work the outing is sure to be a success.

The sixth annual picnic of the St. Boniface Young Mens club will take place Wednesday, July 29th, at Grand View Beach and the committees are making a special effort to have a program that will tickle the palate of gloom. As usual the “Zips and Peps” will cross bats and a long list of races are also carded. The chartered cars will leave from Cor. Gregory St. and South Ave. at 8 o’clock and the members are urged to be on time.

St. Bridget’s

The young Ladies’ Sociality held a basket picnic at Newport on Tuesday of this week, which proved to be a very enjoyable occasion.

Among the interesting events were a ball game; a fifty yard dash in which Miss Francis Kelly established herself the title of champion sprinter of the organization. The three legged race was won by Misses Molly Kelly and Helena Nelligan. The egg race was awarded to Miss Agnes Thibault and the prize for the broad jump was obtained by Miss Helena Nelligan.

Holy Family

Saturday, July 25th, the feast of St. James, our pastor celebrated the 39th anniversary of his ordination into the priesthood.

Holy Redeemer

Next Tuesday will mark the 26th anniversary of the ordination to the priesthood of Rev. Jacob F. Staub, rector of Holy Redeemer church in Hudson Ave. A religious celebration of the event will be held on Sunday morning, when the rector will conduct solemn high mass at 8:30 o’clock, at which members of the different societies of the church will attend in a body.

On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings receptions will be held in Concordia Hall by the people of the parish, in celebration of the parish, in celebration of the rector’s silver jubilee. Vocal and musical programmes will be given.