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Spotlight: Florida Obituary and Cemetery Indexes

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Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

Obituary Index, Genealogical Society of Collier County, Florida


Collier County is located on the southwestern coast of Florida. Naples is the county seat. Volunteers from the Genealogical Society of Collier County indexed obituaries and death notices published in the Naples newspapers. There are nearly 60,000 records in the index, which covers the period from July 28, 1927, to January 2008. Some unspecified periods are missing from the microfilm and, therefore, have not been indexed.

 

Click on the link above the first paragraph to access the database. You can search the database by clicking on the search link, or you can browse the alphabetical database records list by clicking on the ‘List All’ link. The database can be searched by surname, given name, date of death, and newspaper date of issue and page number. You can also search by keyword and sort the results by any of the data fields.

 

Obituary Database, Lee County Genealogical Society, Florida


Lee County is located on the southwestern coast of Florida, just north of Collier County. Fort Myers is its county seat. The Lee County Genealogical Society has made an obituary database available on its website. Click on the Lee County Deaths link in the contents list to access the alphabetical database. There are more than 65,000 records in the index from the Fort Myers News-Press. You can search the database by last name. The data fields include last name, first name, age, newspaper title, date of death notice, and date of obituary. Click on the eye symbol under the actions header to open the detailed record page. Additional data fields include age, town, newspaper section and page number, photo, obituary publication dates, and a notes / comments field.

 

St. John’s Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida


Pensacola is a seaport located in the Florida panhandle. It is the county seat of Escambia County. St. John’s Cemetery is located in Pensacola. The cemetery was established in 1876. The Friends of St. John’s Cemetery Foundation has made a burials database available on its website. Click on the ‘About’ link to learn the cemetery’s history. Click on the Burials link to access the database search page. The search fields include last name, birth year, and death year, as well as section and lot designations. The data fields in the search results include name, birth date, death date, section, lot, space, maiden name, spouse’s name, birthplace, and comments. Click on the name link for additional information. Click on the Section link to open the St. John’s Cemetery Locater Map. To zoom in on a location on the map, click once and move your cursor over the image or double click on the map to open a new page and click again to enlarge it. Click on the Heritage link in the menu bar to access lists of burial records by categories including clergy, government, journalism, prominent citizens, and medical.


A Note from the Editor: The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Last Saturday marked the grand opening of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center’s state-of-the-art new quarters on the third floor of the Boston Public Library's historic McKim Building in Copley Square, Boston. The Map Center was created in 2004 in an unusual public-private agreement between the BPL and map collector-philanthropist Norman Leventhal. This partnership has enabled public access to the 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases in the Library's collection.

 

The Boston Public Library is located at 700 Boylston Street, just two blocks from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Through December 31, the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center presents the exhibition Torn in Two: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. “This multimedia display takes a geographic and cartographic approach to exploring and illuminating the causes of the conflict, the conduct of the War and how the War was remembered in later years. It showcases fifty historic maps interwoven with forty photographs, paintings, prints, diaries, political cartoons, music and press of the period, all from the Boston Public Library's special collections.”

 

Many of the Norman B. Leventhal’s Map Center’s resources are available online. Visitors to the website can view the extensive collections and browse by location, subject, date, publisher, author, and projection. Collection highlights include maps of colonial Boston and New England, of the Golden Age of Dutch cartography, and of the American Revolution. Also featured are nineteenth-century county and town land ownership maps, urban fire insurance and real estate atlases, and bird’s-eye views. Three virtual tours are also available: “Boston and Beyond: A Bird's Eye View of New England,” “Faces and Places,” and “Journeys of the Imagination.”

 

Maps can be downloaded (in moderate and high .jpeg resolution), and copies of maps published prior to 1923 can be purchased; these fine art reproductions are printed with archival inks on archival paper. When viewing a map, you can click on the Buy a Map link. Your choices will include four different print sizes as well as a mug or mousepad.

 

***

 

Final Thoughts on “Tax Photos”

 

With this issue of The Weekly Genealogist, we conclude our look at taxable property databases that include photographs. Two readers have provided additional websites.

 

J. Hansen writes: “The "Property Search" link on the auditor’s website for Hamilton County, Ohio (which includes Cincinnati), allows for searches for specific addresses. Be sure to follow the directions and DO NOT put "street," "road," etc., in the search box, just the name of the street where indicated. DO put in E, W, N, S, in the appropriate box. If you click on the various links on the left, you can access a current image, find information about ownership and taxes, and use a zoomable map. The more you explore this site, the more there is to see.”

 

Another reader writes: “I frequently use the Directory of Iowa Assessors website. I believe 66 of Iowa's 99 counties have information online. Many provide photos of homes and include the years they were built (at least in Fayette County). Some counties may be searched by name or address. The upper right-hand corner contains links to similar databases for a few other Midwestern states, but Iowa seems to have the best coverage.”

 

More databases of this type are no doubt available. I recommend checking auditor and assessor websites for ancestral towns, cities, and counties of interest.


This Book Belongs To ___: The Lost Art of Bookplates

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

A new volume on bookplates leads to musings on the history of these miniature works of art.

Love of Family History Drives Tennessee Man to Alaska in Quest for Gold-Searching Ancestor

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

A genealogist traveled to the remote Alaska burial site of his ancestor who died in 1899 on a gold rush expedition.

Science and Genealogy Unite to Profile Typical Irish Person

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Genealogical Society of Ireland plan to build an “Irish DNA atlas,” which “will map individual families to their ancestral homes, but will also show up the subtle genetic differences between being from Bantry as opposed to Ballinasloe.”

This week's survey: Printed family history

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Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Last week’s survey asked where you had done genealogical research. The results are:

 

95%, Cemetery

86%, Local library

82%, City or town clerk’s office/county courthouse

76%, Genealogical society

76%, Family History Library/Family History Center

70%, Local or state historical society

60%, State archives

58%, Site of an ancestor’s home or business

53%, National Archives

52%, Church/religious archives

39%, University library

33%, Special library

21%, Other

 

This week's survey asks whether you have published a printed family history. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: SIERRA NEVADA

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

SIERRA NEVADA (usually f): In 1860, six children in the U.S. bore this name: Sierra Nevada Cummings, ae. 6, b. Calif., of Ward 3, Sacramento, Calif.; Sierra Nevada Ogan, ae. 6, b. Utah, of San José, Calif.; Sierra Nevada Bloomfield, ae. 4, b. Illinois, of Prairie City, Cumberland Co., Illinois; Sierra Nevada Lorenzo, ae. 1, b. Indiana, of Posey, Switzerland Co., Indiana; and Sierra Nevada Sperry, ae. 7, b. Ohio, of Ravenna, Muskegon Co., Mich., were all little girls; on the other hand, Sierra Nevada Solomon, ae. 2, b. Ohio, of Fostoria, Seneca Co., Ohio, was not.

Spotlight: Statewide Resources: Cleveland, Ohio

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

The city of Cleveland is located in northeastern Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie. It is the county seat of Cuyahoga County.

 

Woodland Cemetery Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio

 

Woodland Cemetery was dedicated in 1853. Its name, which was selected by the Cleveland city council, is said to represent “not only the trees but also a romantic description of an unseen Cleveland, part of a popular 1803 pastoral poem, ‘Pleasures of Hope,’ by Scottish poet, Thomas Campbell.” The first burial took place in June of that year.

 

Among the well-known individuals buried in Woodlawn Cemetery are two Ohio governors, John Brough and Reuben Wood; a number of Cleveland mayors; and Civil War Brigadier General Gershom Barber. To learn more about these individuals and others buried in the cemetery, click on the History link in the menu bar to open a drop down list, and then select Who’s Who. Click on a name link to open a page with biographical information. There is also a collection of historical photographs of the cemetery that can be accessed via the History link.

The Woodland Cemetery Foundation maintains a database of all burial records through July 2001. Click on the Burial Info link in the menu bar to access the database. Select the Search Database link to open the search page. The database can be searched by name or by burial date. To search the database by name, click on the Search by Name link. Enter at least the full or partial last name into the search box. Entering a first name or first initial is optional. The data fields in the results returned are last name, first name, burial date, section, lot, tier, and grave numbers, and details. Click on the Details link to open a detailed record on the deceased. Information provided in the detailed record includes record number, interment number, last name, first name, middle name, address, death date, burial date, age, race, sex, native of, cause of death, grave location information, grave direction, remarks, additional notes, undertaker, and occupation. To conduct a search by burial date, click on the Search by Burial Date link, which will open a new search page. Select month, day and year from the dropdown list and click submit to run your search. Under the Burial Info link you will also find a link to cemetery maps. These include an Overview map and section maps.

 

You may request cemetery records via snail mail; the address and the information to be included in your record request is on the website. In addition, if you would like a digital photograph of a headstone, the Foundation will try to accommodate your request.

 

Lake View Cemetery

 

Lake View Cemetery was founded in 1869. More than 105,000 people are buried there. According to the website, the cemetery was modeled after the garden cemeteries of Victorian England and France.

 

Click on the Search Records link above the text to open the search page. The records may be searched by first name and last name. The search results returned comprise the following: full name, date of death and burial plot location. In some cases an individual’s title (Mrs. or Dr., etc.) is included with the name. There is also an Obituaries link. This database may also be searched by first name and last name. With both of the searches, you can click on the ‘more information / condolences’ link to open a new page with the obituary, and additional information such as memories, pictures and life stories, if it has been uploaded to the site.

 

There are links to points of interest within the cemetery, information about famous people buried there, and a photo gallery in the contents bar on the left side of the homepage. In addition there is a Genealogy link that opens a new page with information on how to request a copy of an interment record. The interment record may include: date of death; place of death; last place of residence; date of birth; place of birth; cause of death; and parents’ names. In some cases an obituary is also included.


A Note from the Editor: Following Up on Recent Columns

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Many readers were interested in Julie Helen Otto’s analysis of the name Mahala last week. Mel Wolfgang of Nassau, New York, wrote with additional information about the name. 

 

This name appears fairly often in Virginia/West Virginia/Kentucky families. For example, a quick online census search locates about 2,600 Mahalas or Mahalias or variants of the name in the 1850 census of Virginia and more than 2700 in Kentucky — but only about 700 in Massachusetts during the same year. Surprisingly, a search also locates 633 women in 1850 Vermont with the name.

 

More important, however, is the appearance of the name in the English census of 1841. Since there are more than 6300 women in the 1841 census with that name or a similar variant, it is much more likely that the name would be derived from the Bible than from any Native American language (the English not being much given to the use of Native American names in this — or any — time period). In fact, the name is found (albeit fleetingly) in the Old Testament’s Book of Numbers, Chapter 36, in reference to the daughters of Zalaphahad.

 

While more modern translations often render the daughters’ names as “Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milkah, and Noah,” the 1792 Alexander Geddes translation clearly shows the name as “Mahala.” Here’s the passage:

 

“As the LORD gave in command to Moses, so did the daughters of Zalaphahad: for Mahala, Noa, Hogla, Micha, and Thirza, the daughters of Zalaphahad, married paternal cousins, of a family descended from Manassah the son of Joseph: and thus, their inheritance remained in their paternal tribe.”

 

Of equal interest is the fact that the name of Mahala’s sister “Thirza” also got used a lot in England (1700+ uses in the 1841 census) and the spelling was usually the same as that used by Geddes. “Thirza” was far less common in the United States, with only 27 instances in the 1850 census in Virginia, for example.

 

***

 

In the October 5 issue of The Weekly Genealogist, we featured an article on New York City tax photos. I asked whether readers knew of any other similar databases for other cities. Two people let us know about two other databases in that feature property photos

 

Wayne Straight of Sykesville, Maryland, wrote: The Cook County, Illinois, Assessor's Office also keeps a photographic archive of all taxable county properties for the same purpose. I've used it to very good effect during my genealogical research and in writing genealogical articles about my family in Chicago.

 

Click on the property search tool, then select on the 'Search' button at the top of the page. This will take you to a 'Property Search' page with several search options. Click on the 'Search by Address' button to search for an address.

 

When you fill in the data, take care not to put the street name in the right hand block (which is actually an option for entering a range of addresses.) The street name goes beneath the house number. You don't need a pin to access the data. Your results will include an image. The date of the photo appears at the bottom of the image.

 

Bill Horder of Seattle wrote: King County in Washington State, which includes Seattle, has a similar program: King County iMAP: Interactive Mapping Tool.

 

Click on the START iMAP button. You can zoom in on a parcel and then click the "i" button for information on a parcel. Once you've selected a parcel you can get a photo of the structure, by clicking "Get Assessor's Report" at the bottom of the page. On the Assessor's page you can click on Property Detail for more information. On the property detail page there will often be a link to more photos of the building.

 

If you know the address or parcel number of the property, you can skip the iMap interactive page and find information on the property by searching directly on the eReal Property section of the King County Department of Assessments.


On the Shelves: Visiting Strangers' Libraries

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

The author of this op-ed piece writes about a tour of private libraries in Concord, Mass., and muses on the power of the book and the passionate devotion of “book people.”

Genealogical Mystery in Newport News Solved

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

“It took a series of coincidences for the gravestone of William C. Marrow — which probably had been lying in an industrial warehouse for decades — to find its way home.”

Reporting Your Family Story: A User Guide

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

 CNN managing editor Mark Whitaker discusses his new book, My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir, and offers strategies for interviewing relatives and finding information.

This week's survey: Research repositories and sites

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Last week’s survey asked what types of manuscript sources you’ve used in your research. The results are:

 

84%, Cemetery transcriptions

81%, Compiled family genealogies

76%, Family papers

75%, Church records

73%, Bible records

73%, Town records

54%, Diaries and journals

30%, School records

29%, Organization records

27%, Other

27%, Business records

 

This week's survey asks what places you’ve visited to do genealogical research. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Gershom

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

GERSHOM (m) (Hebrew ‘stranger in a strange land’): GERSHOM is famous as a marker name for the Walter Palmer family of Stonington, Connecticut. The first GERSHOM among the Palmers was a second-generation son (ca. 1644–1718) of Walter Palmer and his second wife, Rebecca Short. Palmer daughters (of whom there were many) transmitted the GERSHOM given name into many neighboring families.

 

A “marker name” is sufficiently unusual as to suggest (not prove, in itself) descent, by blood or marriage, from a family that used it in previous generations. (Another famous ‘marker name’ is HATEVIL, found among descendants of the Hatevil Nutter family of Dover, New Hampshire, a Puritan name instructing the bearer [and hearer] to hate evil.)


Spotlight: Statewide Resources: Minnesota and Oklahoma

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Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

MNopedia: Minnesota Encyclopedia

MNopedia is the prototype of an online encyclopedia about Minnesota created by the Minnesota Historical Society. It is a work in progress. You can use it to explore the places your Minnesota ancestors lived and discover what life was like for them during various time periods by reading the site’s essays on a number of topics. The topics included on the site are African Americans, agriculture, American Indians, architecture, business and industry, cities and towns, education, environment, health and medicine, immigration, labor, politics, religion and belief, sports and recreation, technology, the arts, transportation, and women. You will find resources in text, image, audio, and video formats. There are links to related articles, chronologies, bibliographies and related resources. The eras will be Pre-Contact to 1650; Contact and Fur Trade, 1600-1810; Early Settlement and Statehood, 1810-1860; Industrial Era, 1865-1914; World Wars I and II, 1914-1945; Post-World War II to Present.

 

On the homepage you will find links to Recently Added Articles and links from a map titled History Near You. Click on the topic links in the thumbnail images on the homepage to view related articles.

 

Click on the Topics link in the menu bar to open a new page with links to the various topics. Click on a topic to open a new page listing articles on the topic with a snippet description. From this page you have the option to limit your search by era or choose a different topic from the drop down lists. Click on the title link to view the article and associated images and resource information.

 

The Minnesota Historical Society is looking for feedback on the beta version of the MNopedia website. They are in the process of “testing, improving and expanding a small working model” to a more robust site. If you create a MNopedia account you can contribute to the process of improving the website.

 

Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department’s Genealogy Section

 

The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department has announced a new feature on its website, which assists visitors seeking to research their ancestry in Oklahoma. The Genealogy Section guides website visitors through family history research destinations and resources from throughout Oklahoma. The resources in the genealogy section are organized by county. Click on a county on the state map to open a new page containing a brief overview of the county’s history with links to websites of points of interest within the county. Below the overview you will find links to organizations and repositories where resources can be found.

 

For Cimarron County, which is in the northwestern part of the state, the resources include contact information for the Cimarron County Courthouse and a list of the types of records they hold, a detailed county map, a list of existing towns with links to their Wikipedia pages, a list of ghost towns, a list of cemeteries with links to their Find a Grave pages, a list of libraries, historic newspaper archives, additional online resources (i.e. OKGenWeb), and a list of places to visit while researching your family history. The resources for Logan County, which is in central Oklahoma, are organized into the same categories, and includes historic schools in Logan County. Logan County has both a genealogical and a historical society. There are links to the societies’ websites in the additional resources section.

 

In the upper right hand side of the page there is a photo exhibit. Click on the View All Photos link to view the other photos in the collection. On each page you will find the photograph, a brief description, and one or more links to other web pages on the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.


A Note from the Editor: A Name Origin Case Study

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

We recently received a query from Margaret DeMarco of Lynchburg, Virginia, who asked about a name origin. She wrote, “I would like to know more information regarding the female name ‘Mahala.’ It does not appear in my reference book, Who's Who in the Bible. I did find it in 35,000+ Baby Names, which indicated the name is of Arabic derivation, meaning ‘fat, marrow, tender,’ or of Native American derivation, meaning ‘powerful woman.’ I am wondering why an early nineteenth-century family in Shaftsbury, Vermont, would use an Arabic or Native American name for their daughter.”

Although we normally do not research name origins upon request, Mahala proved to be such an interesting example that we have made an exeption and offer Julie Helen Otto's analysis here. — Lynn Betlock, Managing Editor

* * *

 

I don’t trust baby-name lists not prepared by language scholars. It’s healthy to suspect ANY name labeled generically as “Native American” (rather than as a specific tribe or language). There’s no single “Native American” language; rather, there are thousands, in dozens of language families that developed millennia ago over two continents.

 

If the parents were Bible readers, this MAHALA may derive from “MAHALATH,” daughter of Ishmael and wife of Esau — or (depending on when this child was born) a novel whose readers liked the character, or her name. People (especially girls) have been named from novels from the time the form arose. For much of the nineteenth century, people also favored names coined for “euphony” [i.e., it sounds pretty].

 

In the world’s thousands of languages, words or names may form, coincidentally similar to words in completely different languages spoken hundreds or thousands of miles away. A Wikipedia article on this word notes that in several Balkan languages “mahala” means “quarter” or “relatively independent sector of a town or village,” from the days of Ottoman Turkish rule (ca. 1525 to the early 19th century), derived from Arabic through Turkish — an unlikely name source for someone in Vermont. The article later mentions the American given name, alleging a meaning of “Woman: Tenderness,” and repeats the “Native American Indian” origin, sourced from a baby-name site.

 

I turned to www.native-languages.org, the website of Native Languages of the Americas, a Minnesota-based nonprofit run by Laura Redish and Orrin Lewis, Native Americans who study these languages and have given name questions much thought. I found the website very informative and refreshing in its correction of errors (especially Internet-spread ones) about Native American culture and Amerindian languages — including popular child-naming notions:


www.native-languages.org/wrongnames.htm


www.native-languages.org/baby.htm

 

To me, their entry for MAHALA rules out a Native American angle for the reader’s Vermont ancestor. The tribes and languages referred to are Southern, so would not be relevant to the Northeastern languages of that time. Here is their analysis:

 

“MAHALA: This name is usually said to mean "woman" in an unspecified Native American language, or sometimes a more fanciful meaning like "eyes of the sky" or "tender fawn." Those translations come from 19th-century romance novels and are fictional; however, Mahala does have at least two distinct Native American sources. One is that "mahala" (pronounced mah-hah-lah) was a slang word for an Indian woman in 1800's California. It came from a Mission Indian mispronunciation of the Spanish word "mujer" (which means woman.) As far as we know no Indian women have this name, but it is used in some place names in California, and "mahala mat" is another name for the plant also known as "squaw carpet." This is probably where the idea that Mahala means "woman" came from. It is less derogatory than the word "squaw," but is not really a native word. The second source of this name is the woman's name Mahala (pronounced mah-hey-lah) or Mahaley, which was fairly common among the southeastern Indian tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, etc.) during the 1800's. Unfortunately the origin of this name isn't clear; the word "mahala" does not have any meaning in any Indian language of the southeast. It may have been one of many Indian variants on the name Mary, or possibly a variant of Michaela. Or it could have been a corrupted or shortened form of a longer Indian woman's name or names. In the Tutelo and Saponi languages (two closely related southeastern Indian languages that are extinct today), the word for "woman" was "mahei," so it's possible that a name or set of names including the word "mahei" got corrupted into Mahala at some point in time. Or it's also possible that the name might have had African origins (many of the southeastern Indian tribes, especially the Saponi, were known for taking in African-Americans).”

 

Again, credit for this information goes to Laura Redish and Orrin Lewis of Native Languages of the Americas.


Prologue: Pieces of History

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

The National Archives blog highlights interesting stories and images from the repository’s vast collections.

Jacksonsville Woman Finds Family Again Through Genealogy Website

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

A two-week trial subscription on Ancestry.com led to a reunion of seven siblings who had been separated as young children.

A Hero’s Legend and a Stolen Skull Rustle Up a DNA Drama

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine used DNA testing — and a variety of other methods — to determine whether a stolen skull was the missing skull of Australian outlaw and folk hero Ned Kelly (1854–1880).

This Week's Survey: Types of manuscript sources

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Last week’s survey asked whether you’ve used manuscript sources in your research. The results are:

 

77%, Yes

23%, No

 


This week's survey asks what types of manuscript sources you’ve used. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Udney

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

UDNEY (m): This name is used in certain Vermont families with ties of friendship to Col. Udney Hay (1739–1806), a neighbor of Ethan Allen. “Born in Scotland in 1739, [Udney Hay] established a good lumber trade in Quebec, but gave it up because his sympathies were with the American colonists. During the Revolution, he was deputy commissary general for the Northern Department of the Continental Army, a member of George Washington’s personal staff, and a confidant of Ethan and Ira Allen. He came to Underhill [Vt.] about 1796 . . . He died in Burlington on 6 Sept. 1806, and was buried in [Underhill]” (Lorraine S. Dwyer, The History of Underhill, Vermont: The Town Under the Mountain [1976], p. 95).

 

A search at ScotlandsPeople for the given name Udny or Udney brought up 24 children so christened before 1855. Earliest was the future Col. Hay — christened (at Belhelvie, Aberdeenshire) 7 May 1740, son of James Hay of Shiels, likely a small place within the parish. “Alexr” [Alexander] Udny “of that Ilk” (i.e., of Udny, indicating landed status) was a witness. (OPR Births 174/00 0020 0059 Belhelvie) The parish of Udny, Aberdeenshire, lies about seven and a half miles inland from Belhelvie. There was an Udny family both at Belhelvie and, no surprise, at Udny, also in the Lothians around Edinburgh. The given name Udny is extremely localized, with all but a few occurring on the eastern coast of Scotland, centered on coastal Aberdeenshire, and in the Lothians.

 

Namesakes are Udney Hay Penniman (1796–1862), only son of Dr. Jabez and Fanny (“Montresor”? alias Brush) (Buchanan) (Allen) Penniman; Udney Hay Everest (1785-1845) of Shoreham, Vt., who had a son, Udney Erastus Everest (1829-1839); and Udney Hay Blodgett, b. Georgia, Vt., 2 Nov. 1797, probably the son of one “Sardias” Blodgett who had children recorded there in the 1790s.


Spotlight:Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Representative

Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio

 

Two different individuals recently mentioned the Spring Grove Cemetery website to me. The site is well worth a visit, particularly if you had family who lived in Cincinnati. Cincinnati is located in southwestern Ohio. It is the county seat of Hamilton County.

 

Spring Grove Cemetery, the second-largest cemetery in the United States, was established in 1845. The first interment was on September 1, 1845. The name was officially changed to "Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum" in 1987. The cemetery’s website contains useful resources for genealogists. Click on the Cemeteries link to open a new page with a link to the burial database. Click on the Locate a Loved One link to open the search page.

 

The burial database can be searched by name or by location. To search by name, you can enter the deceased’s first name and/or last name. The data fields in the search results include burial ID, deceased name, interment date, garden name, section, lot, space, and lasting legacies. The Lasting Legacies field is a link to a page where, for a fee, members can create a family history with photographs and genealogical information, and upload it to Spring Grove’s registry.

 

The burial ID is a link to detailed information about the deceased. For those who died before 1979, clicking on this link will open a PDF file containing an image of the burial record file card for the deceased. To view the PDF files, you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. The detailed information on the card may include some or all of the following: full name, record number, place of birth, late residence, age – birth date, date of decease, public vault, interment date, disease (cause of death), parents’ names, lot owner, size and kind of grave, undertaker, ordered by, place of death, marital status, charges, and when removed. Similar information is provided on a webpage for burials from 1979 to the present. To search by location, you will have to first select the Garden in which the individual is buried from the dropdown list and then enter the section and lot numbers.

 

Click on the Heritage Foundation link to find information about notable individuals buried in the cemetery. The links to notable burials may be found under the History link on the Heritage Foundation homepage. There is a list of Baseball Notables with about fifty individuals, including Charles Phelps Taft, son of President Taft. In addition to background information, in many cases, there is a link to the player’s ‘Stat Card.’ Click on the player’s name, not the words “View Stat Card,” to access a site with the statistics. In the Notable Burials section you will find lists of Civil War generals, Revolutionary War soldiers, and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, as well as individuals like Major General Joseph Hooker and Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury under Abraham Lincoln.


A Note from the Editor: New York City Tax Photos

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Last week, when I was fact-checking an American Ancestors column, I visited the website of the New York City Department of Records and Information Services to learn about ordering New York City vital records. My attention wandered to a subject heading toward the bottom of the left-hand navigation column: tax photos. Wondering what a tax photo was, I clicked on the link and discovered an amazing collection.

 

In the 1930s, New York City began to use photography as a tool for appraising real property for taxation purposes. Between 1939 and 1941, the city photographed every house and building in the five boroughs. The result was 720,000 35mm black-and-white pictures. From 1983 to 1988, after the city decided the earlier photos needed to be updated, every property in the city, including vacant lots and tax-exempt buildings, was photographed in color. Over 800,000 additional photographs were taken. 

 

The Municipal Archives received grant funding to duplicate and microfilm the 1940s negatives. Researchers can view photographs from the 1940s collection on microfilm in the Municipal Archives reference room. And low-resolution copies of the 1980s tax photographs have been digitized for viewing on computer monitors at the Archives. However, it is not necessary to visit the Municipal Archives to order a copy of the tax photographs of a house or building. You can order a copy online or by mail using the forms provided on the website.

 

Other local governments used photography for tax purposes during this time frame. If anyone is aware of another collection like this one that has been made available to the public, please let us know.

 

Another photo collection available through NYC.gov/records is the Municipal Archives Photo Gallery, which includes sixteen thematic groupings, including celebrities, crime and criminals, parades, street scenes, and WPA. These images can be purchased online. Text on the website notes that plans are underway to move tens of thousands of digital images currently available only at the Municipal Archives online in the near future.


Digging Deep Into History: Archeologists, Students Join Forces to Search for Irish Immigrants’ Past

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Production Editor

 Students and faculty from the UMass Lowell and Queen’s University in Belfast worked together on archeological digs in Lowell and County Tyrone, to study Irish pre- and post-immigration lifestyles.

Amazing Maps — And Those Who Love Them

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

This audio story on WBUR’s On Point celebrates maps and map devotees. Listen to the story, view maps, and access a blog featuring unusual maps

Family History Seen Through Tenement Rooms: Moving Up and Out of the Lower East Side

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Jean Powers

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

A book reviewer calls The Archaeology of Home: An Epic Set On A Thousand Square Feet of The Lower East Side by Katharine Greider, “a kind of conversation with those who once called the block [East Seventh Street between Avenues C and D] home; it is both a rewarding historical chronicle and a juicy real estate story.”

This week's survey: Manuscript material

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Managing Editor

Last week’s survey asked whether you’ve paid for genealogical research. The results are:

44% No, but I would consider it.

39% Yes, between one and five times.

9% No, I would never consider it.

8% Yes, more than five times.

 


This week's survey asks whether you’ve used manuscript sources in your research. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Selissa

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

SELISSA (f): Selissa Scott (b. 1789), daughter of Samuel and Selah (Ballou) Scott of Bellingham, Mass., apparently married there 16 June 1831 Asa Hall, Esq. Her name may have been a variation of SELAH (her mother’s name), derived by adding the archaic Greek suffix –issa to create a fancier version of the name. Other “archaizing Greek” names include CLARISSA (from CLARA), MELISSA (from adding “issa” to “mel-”, the Greek root for “honey”), etc. The original names need not be Greek.

Spotlight: Charlotte County, Florida, History Collections

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Visitor Services Representative

Charlotte County History Collections

 

Charlotte County is located in southwestern Florida. It was formed from DeSoto County and established in 1921.

 

The Charlotte County History Collections website contains genealogical records, family histories, historical photographs, “Florida-themed postcards,” newspaper articles, and many other items. Click on the Browse the Charlotte County Florida Genealogical Society Collection link to view them. The website includes the following:

 

Charlotte County, Florida, Marriages, 1921–1941


This guide to Charlotte County, Florida, marriages was compiled and published as a project of the Charlotte County Genealogical Society. The guide covers the period from 1921 to 1941. There are two alphabetical indexes in the volume, one organized by groom’s surname and one by bride’s surname. The data fields in the indexes are groom name, age, and residence, bride’s name, age, and residence, and marriage date.

 

Charlotte Harbor Cemetery, 1992


This volume is a compendium of available records and transcriptions for local cemeteries, which were compiled by the Charlotte County Genealogical Society. The records are organized alphabetically by surname. The data includes full name, date of birth, date of death, and location of burial plot. There is also a roster of veterans’ burials.

 

Indian Springs Cemetery in Punta Gorda, Florida, 1886–2004


There are more than 2,000 burials at Indian Springs. The records are organized alphabetically by surname, by section of the cemetery. The records include birth and death dates and, in some cases, a transcription of an obituary.

 

Charlotte Memorial Gardens, Interments & Inurnments, 1959–2001


Charlotte Memorial Gardens Cemetery was established in 1959, and the Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, within the cemetery, was established in 1987. The data in this volume was drawn from cemetery records and obituaries collected by the Charlotte County Genealogical Society. The information in the record may include name (plus maiden name) and age of the deceased, date and place of birth, date and place of death, funeral home, date and place of burial, survivors, veteran status, and the name and date of the newspapers in which obituaries appeared.

 

Lt. Carl A. Bailey Memorial Cemetery and Other Early Black Burials


This volume published by the Charlotte County Genealogical Society is a compendium of records and transcriptions of the Lt. Carl A. Bailey Memorial Cemetery in Cleveland, Florida, and other early “black” burials in Charlotte County. There is an alphabetical listing of those buried in the cemetery by surname, which includes full name, birth date and death date. There is a military veterans’ roster and some burial listings from other cemeteries.

 

The Cemeteries of Fort Ogden, DeSoto County, Florida


This volume contains burial information for three different cemeteries in Fort Ogden: The Fort Ogden Cemetery, The Ziba King Family Burial Ground, and two Jernigan family plots. The records are organized alphabetically by surname by cemetery. The data includes full name, date of birth, date of death, and plot location information. There is also a roster of military/veteran’s burials.

 

There is also a collection of genealogical articles from various years that were written by Society members and published in the Sun Herald Newspapers, as well as individual family archives.


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