Sunday, June 30, 2013

Driver's License Information

1923 - 1924
Nathan Gardner 
216 Mt Eden Ave., NY City
Born 1882; 5' 5"; WHT ML; 156 lbs; BLK eyes; BLK hair

Do you have a driver's license for your relative? This New York State driver's license belonged to my maternal grandfather, Nathaniel Gardner. Look at all the information it gives. Fortunately my grandmother saved this one & the one below. They were a bit of a surprise because I did not know they had a car. Nathaniel was NY City born and raised and I though he used public transportation only. He worked for the Western Union so perhaps he used a company car.

Read more about drivers' licenses and what you can learn from reading them. As early as 1910 NYS had photos on licenses. Read the New York Times article below.

Nathan Gardner
2856 East 197 Street, Bronx
Born 21 July 1882; White male; 149 lbs; 5' 5"; black eyes; black hair
This one includes his signature.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Report: Families of Cork

Michael C. O’Laughlin’s book, Families of County Cork, was a gift from one of our daughters for Mothers’ Day this year. The book includes: maps of the county, a short history of the county, a long list of the surnames associated with the county and checklist for doing research in the county.

I had the book on my wish list because of my mother’s Irish roots. Her great grandfather, Daniel Mullane [c 1838 Cork, Ireland – 1930 Tipperary, Ireland] was born in County Cork. I found our family in the town of Kanturk in Slater’s National Commercial Directory of 1846. Later the family moved to the neighboring County of Tipperary where they remained for decades.

I was hoping for any information on the family and information on how to research this area. This is what I found:

MULLANE, Mullan.
A name found centered in Cork for several centuries, and linked with Macroom there.

This does reinforce that my family began in Cork before heading to Tipperary. I was hoping for more. I intend to follow up on the resources listed in the Addendum. Who knows where that may lead?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Census Sunday – County Census Records

This week I went to my local County Clerk’s Office with a good friend to search for
records for her ancestors. You can read about our trip together in my previous post. We were able to uncover immigration and marriage records that added information to my friend’s family story.

I was happily surprised to discover that our county had conducted its own census! I have searched federal and state census reports of New York State but had no idea Rensselaer County had these records tucked away in the basement of the county clerk’s office.

The books are massive cloth covered volumes that we could barely lift off the shelves. They are not indexed in any way. Each of the census years are in two volumes: the City of Troy and the Towns of the county.

I have searched census records on microfilm, on line and in books with transcribed records. I had never held the actual census books before; the books where the census takers listed the names of the families they visited. I was glad that helping my friend had led me to that unique opportunity.

Those census reports included: names, sex, race, ages, place of birth; marital status, number of years in the area, type of house [brick, frame, etc.] & value of house.

We found my friend’s family in 1855 & 1875. Because we already knew the Ward Number where they lived [from US census records] it was not too difficult to go page by page and locate them. The records gave my friend new information for her family tree.

From now on I plan to look for similar records in areas where my ancestors lived. Who knows? Maybe I will uncover something as exciting as my local county clerk’s office.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Three Generations of the Lawrence Family:

1.    Robert Lawrence, c 1680 VA – 1744 NC, son of John & Mary Lawrence. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John & Elizabeth (Osborne) Nicholls. Robert & Elizabeth are my 7th great grandparents. They had eight children: John, George, Humphrey, Thomas, Robert, Elizabeth, Martha & William.[1]

2.    Humphrey Lawrence, c 1726 – 1722 NC, son of Robert & Elizabeth (Nicholls) Lawrence. He married Ann Ashley, daughter of Thomas & Ann (Hicks) Ashley. They had five children: Frederick, Reuben, David, Anne & Nathaniel. Humphrey was a goldsmith in Bertie County, NC.[2]

3.    Anne (Lawrence) Dillon, c 1762 NC – c 1830 MS, daughter of Humphrey & Ann (Ashley) Lawrence. Anne married Richard Dillon, son of James Theopilous & Mary Dillon. They had nine children: Joanna, Nancy, Lawrence, Charkston, Willis D., Mary, Theophilous, Clara & Sarah. Richard served in the Revolutionary War. [3], [4], [5], [6]

[1] Creel, Bevin J. A Patriot's Legacy: The Family of Richard Dillon and Ann Lawrence From Bertie County, North Carolina To Southern Mississippi and Louisiana. Franklinton, Louisiana: Privately Printed, 2002.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Conerly, Luke Ward, Source Records from Pike County, Mississippi: 1798-1910; 1798-1910; South Carolina, Southern Historical Press, 1989.
[4] Pedigree Chart & Family Papers assembled by Zelda Marie (Alford) Fortenberry, 1994.
[5] 1820 US census, MS, Pike, NARA Roll M33-58, page 110; Richd. Dillon family.
[6] Pension Application for Richard Dillon, #2959; State of Mississippi, Pike County; Copy from National Archives Record Group #15A, R. 2959.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Local County Clerk

I live in the same part of New York State as many members of my family but when I search for my ancestors I have to travel. Before 1940 no one lived in this area of New York State.

I have used the New York State Library & the State Archives. However, yesterday was the first time I visited my local County Clerk’s Office. I have been helping a friend to trace her roots and her family has here 100 years longer than mine. So yesterday we spent a few hours at the County Clerk’s Office in Troy, New York.

Stepping into the main office we signed in and were led down to the basement to a small room that had ancient record books stacked around the walls, a small wood desk and a couple chairs. We were allowed to browse to our heart’s content without any restrictions. No white gloves, no ‘pencils only’ restrictions, nothing. We also had no guidance and discovered where thing were by just pulling ancient volumes off the shelves and looking through them.

The first thing we wanted to examine was the immigration records. The website said we would find Naturalization & Petition Certificates and Declarations of Intent, both 1844 – 1949. We found those in large red binders with the pages in plastic sleeves and a modified index in each volume. The handwritten index had a page for each letter of the alphabet where names were listed randomly.

We happily found two of my friend’s ancestors in the Volumes of ‘Alien Declarations.’ Both made their declarations in 1868. We searched for the Letters of Intent next. The usual rules of genealogy research stepped in here. There were volumes of records from the early 1800s till 1850 and from 1900 onwards. Naturally, the years we wanted were missing.

Next we looked through marriage records. The internet had told us there were several volumes of a marriage index for the years 1908 – 1935 and marriage books. I had listed three marriages that fell in that time period in the county. These marriage books were originals with no protective sleeves. We found my friends grand parents’ marriage records and a great aunt’s marriage record. The details on the marriage record gave my friend new information on her great grandmother, her maiden name.

The internet had also told me census records were located in the basement room of the clerk’s office. I didn’t think we would take the time to look at those. I had searched for US Census records & New York State census records on line already. However, we were delighted to discover that Rensselaer County had conducted its own census every five years! We found her family in 1855 & 1875 with a list of family members full of useful information!

When we emerged from the basement we were pleased with our findings. I was glad to know that my county clerk’s office has those research gems in its basement. If you haven’t been to your local offices, check them out with a good friend and enjoy your day!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Alphabetical Ancestors L

L is for learning more about these surnames. If you share
 one of these names, let’s communicate. I have more information and sources for these names. 

L is for these Surnames…

Guy Lackey married Linda Diana Mark [1955 OH], daughter of Charles Joseph Mark & Rita Jane Charron. Linda was my 2nd cousin, once removed.

Henry Laudenslager married Katie Ritter, daughter of Peter H Ritter [b 1848 PA] & Caroline Shankweller. Henry & Katie had four children: Minnie, Carrie, Marie & Milton [b 1881].

I have several Lawrence family members in my tree. My 9th great grandfather [sources are admittedly few here] was Robert Lawrence b in London & d in VA. Two generations later Robert Lawrence was b c 1680 in VA & d 1744 in NC. Two more generations later Anne Lawrence [b c 1762 in NC & d c 1830 MS] married Richard Dillon c 1776. They had nine children: Joanna, Nancy, Lawrence, Clarkston, Willis D., Mary, Theophilous, Clara & Sarah.

Henry Lattimore Lea [ 1899 LA – 1956] married Ruby Blades in 1941 LA. They had a son and a daughter.

Edgar H Leber married Rhea Emma Louise Weihau. Their son, Delbert Karl Leber [b 1928 OH] married Joanna Grace Maurer [b 1934 OH] in 1952 OH. Delbert & Joanna had four children, all born in OH.
John Adam Lobaugh married Christine Wolf [1857 PA – 1908]. Their children were: Jonas, Sarah, William, Elmer, George, John & Ottilia.

Ernest Elliott Lowe [1884 OH – 1966 OH] married Lillian Vera Moore [1884 OH – 1967 OH] in 1906. Their daughter was Jessie Mary Lowe. Ernest was a farmer.

Thomas Lynch married Catherine Brady [b 1893 Cavan, Ireland] in 1921 NJ. Their children were born in New Jersey.

Other ‘L’ surnames in my tree: Lang, Lautzenhiser, Laux, Lee, Leissinger, Lentz, Leonard, Leser, Lewis & Long.

Monday, June 10, 2013

35th Anniversary

10 June 1978    Don & Colleen (Brown) Pasquale

For a change in pace, this post is not about our ancestors or other family members. Today is our 35th Wedding Anniversary. Don & I were married 10 June 1978, Columbia Co., NY. The photo above was taken at Olana State Park, once the home of Frederick Church, Hudson River landscape artist. We've had many blessings in our lives since that lovely day: three charming children to share our lives; a loving family to share tears & laughter; opportunities to travel and marvel at the wonders of our world; and friends who who love us for our true selves. We are looking forward to sharing many more of life's adventures together. 

With Our parents:
Delbert K & Alberta J (Gardner) Brown and Thomas & Ann (Palilla) Pasquale

Our Wedding Party

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Census Sunday – 1925 Pasquale

State & National Census Reports are filled with information for genealogists. Both the population & nonpopulation schedules give us insights into the lives of our ancestors. What have you found that is Surprising? Reassuring? Bewildering? Write your own Census Sunday post.

State Census reports are very helpful, especially if you can’t find the federal report for a family. The 1905, 1915 & 1925 NY State reports are great because they fill in the gap between the federal reports.

I recently found my husband’s family in the 1925 NYS Census, ED 1, AD 2, Page 3. Frank “Pasqule” [Pasquale] was 35 years old. He had been born in Italy and was in the US for twenty years. He was a chauffeur living in Somers, Westchester County. His wife was Jennie. She was 25 years old and also born in Italy. She had been in the US for 13 years. They had three children at that time. Augustine was five years old. Thomas, who would become my husband’s father, was two years old. Their youngest was their daughter, Grace.

Thomas, 11 years old was listed as ‘brother’. Frank did not have a brother named Thomas. However, Jennie did have a brother named Thomas. The age is right for a match. Jennie and her husband were distant cousins, with the same last name. Therefore, Thomas fits in nicely. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Three generations of Kenningtons:

1.    Edward Kennington, my 5th great grandfather, was born c 1715. He had at least three children: twins: Edward, bc 1740; William, bc 1740 & John, bc 1745. Land records show Edward owned land in Craven Co., South Carolina in 1756.[1]

2.    John Kennington, my 4th great grandfather, was the youngest son of Edward Kennington. John lived in South Carolina & served as a captain in the Revolutionary War[2]. “After the Revolutionary War, John Kennington received 630 acres from the state of South Carolina that was located on the waters of Flat Creek and Wild Cat Creek.”[3] John & Martha had seven children: William, Edward, John, Marian, Catherine, Sarah & Violette.
Moss, Bobby Gilmore. Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009. Chapter K, page 529.

3.    Violette (Kennington) Fortenberry, my 3rd great grandmother was the daughter of John & Martha Kennington. Violette was born in 1786 and died 18 May 1858 MS. She married William Jasper Fortenberry and was the mother of ten children. These children were born in SC: Gasua Chapman b 1805; Calvin K. b 1806; Euseba b 1809; Isabella b 1812; William J. b 1814 & Olevia b 1817. These younger children were born in MS: Burrell T. b 1820; Alfred b 1823; Hollis H. b 1825 & Willis J. b 1829.
"The first pair as we know it, was William Fortinberry, 1776-Feb.1, 1842 and Violette Kennington, 1786-May 18, 1858.  They had a beautiful romance which never gave out.  On their honeymoon, they traveled in as ox-cart from Lancaster, South Carolina about 1812 to southern climes and found contentment in hard work and rearing a large family.  From that union, our grand-sires emanated 10 in actual count."[4] 

ViViolette’s husband died c 1840.[5] In 1850 Violette was still in MS.[6]

[1] Criminger, Adrianne Fortenberry, The Fortenberry Families of Southern Mississippi; 1677-1984; South Carolina, Southern Historical Press, Inc.,1984.
[2] Moss, Bobby Gilmore. Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009. Chapter K, page 529.
[3] Criminger, Adrianne Fortenberry, The Fortenberry Families of Southern Mississippi; 1677-1984; South Carolina, Southern Historical Press, Inc.,1984.
[4] Fortinberry, G. K.  Abstract History of the Fortinerry Family; 1795-1940's; Family History Center Microfilm #1036152.
[5] Conerly, Luke Ward. Source Records from Pike County, Mississippi 1798 - 1910; South Carolina, Southern Historical Press, 1989.
[6] 1850 US Census, MS, Pike. page 10. Viletta Fortenberry family.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Family Treasure: An Enduring Birthday Gift

8 June 1908 OH – 18 Sept 2003 NY
Daughter of Thomas Kenneth Mark & N. Regina Gruissy

When my paternal grandmother turned 90 [1998] our family had a cookout at beautiful Clermont State Park on the Hudson River, organized by Roy & Nicky Brown. The day was cool and cloudy but the rain that threatened held off. We moved picnic tables together and spread out our food. Younger cousins ran around the trees and rolled down the hills. Small groups walked the trails.

Larry & Babs (Engel) Brown sign the Birthday Quilt

I brought along a gift for my grandmother. I had sewn the top for a lap quilt for Grandma. It was intentionally unquilted. It was a signature quilt & first needed to be signed by the family. I draped it across a picnic table and asked everyone to sing their names and a birthday message. I had brought along special fabric markers. I got about 25 signatures. Some people had fun and wrote funny notes.

Great Grandchildren add their signatures.

Delbert K Brown, oldest child of Ivy, wrote: Your No. 1 Child, 
Delbert Keith
Leo D Brown, second child of Ivy, wrote: Happy 90th Love, Leo

Genevieve (Brown) Wieland, daughter, wrote: Psalm 23, King James, Thanks for Everything, Jenny


Larry L Brown, son, wrote: Happy Birthday Mom from Your Favorite Kid, Larry
Robert A Brown, son wrote: Happy Birthday, Your Smartest, Robert A.
William Brown, son, wrote: Happy Grandmaw Day, Mom, Bill
Viola (Mark) Nothstein, sister, wrote: Hope you had a Nice Birthday, Lots of Love, Viola C Nothstein

My father, Delbert K Brown, adds his signature.

Grandma was not able to join us at the park that day. After we had our meals we packed up the left overs, all the children and the cake. We drove over to the nursing home where all 90 candles on the cake were lit and we sang Happy Birthday. I asked Grandma the secret of living to 90 years of age. She said, “Don’t pay attention to the years.”

Close up of Signatures

After the party I finished the quilt and gave it to my grandmother. The colors were bright enough for her poor eyesight. The quilt and the love in the messages kept her warm. After her death the quilt was returned to me. Some of those who signed the quilt have died. Children who signed with unsteady hands have grown up and some have children of their own. The quilt is a wonderful snapshot of the day, showing who we were on that wonderful day.  

Ivy (Mark) Brown with four of her children, enjoying birthday cake

My paternal grandmother would be 105 years old on June 8 if she were still with us.

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