January 2010 Making Connections

January 2010 Making Connections

Readers respond to Family Tree Magazine about finding ancestors' places, resources for early immigrants, requesting family heirlooms and more.

Street Smarts
In support of Ian Frazier’s suggestion in the November 2009 Branching Out to “go anyplace that was important to the person,” I recently wanted to find the place in Belleville, NJ, where my grandparents William and Catherine Mahon Clark had lived in the 1930s and ’40s. It was a big apartment on the second floor of a house on Washington Avenue. It had an enclosed front porch that faced east, toward New York. I remembered there was a firehouse across the street, slightly north of them. I got on Google Earth and, using Street View, went up the street until I found the firehouse. Then I turned the view to see the other side of the street, and there was the house—still standing and still next to a post office. Travel can be expensive, but Google Earth is an interesting substitute.

Ellen Powers Geisler » via e-mail
Express Tips

I read the first example in Rick Crume’s “Express Shipping” (November 2009) with much interest, because I have been researching my early New England families online as well.
One valuable resource Crume didn’t list is a set of four volumes by James Savage, originally published in the 1860s, titled A Gene­alogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of Farmer’s Register. Some years ago, I found it online through the Essex County, Mass., GenWeb site. It doesn’t matter what part of New England you might be searching—this book covers it all, with the exception of Vermont. It also includes some entries for Long Island and sections of New York City. The Family History Library has it on microfilm.

Out of curiosity, I looked up John Gallop/Gallup and found him—including his wife, Christobel; sons John, Samuel and Nathaniel; and daughter Joan and her spouse.
Sharon Rollins » via e-mail
Editor’s note: A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England is also on Google Books (check it out in our library) and at <www.usgennet.org/usa/topic/newengland/savage>.

In “Express Shipping,” the author mentions purchasing his own copy of a microfilmed newspaper. I have long wanted to do this, but haven’t been able to figure out how to do it or where to purchase them. How can I do this?
Kathleen Billingsley » via e-mail
Rick Crume responds: You often can buy microfilmed newspapers from state libraries, historical societies or private companies, but the fees are usually so high that’s it’s more practical to borrow the films on interlibrary loan. An even better option? See if the newspaper has been digitized. Ancestry.com, Accessible Archives, GenealogyBank and Google News Archive have large historical newspaper collections.

Affair to Remember
I love your magazine and read it cover to cover the minute it comes in the mail. But I was totally disgusted with the article “Estate Affairs” in the November 2009 issue. My mother taught us that it’s extremely rude to ask for things, and I absolutely agree with her. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, or just maybe your staff is of the “me” era and think it’s OK to be rude. If anyone is ever rude enough to ask me for a particular item, you can bet your life they won’t get it when I die. The objects of interest will be left to someone with manners. Please don’t ever write another article like this one—it makes your magazine look bad.
Maxine Smith » via e-mail

Your magazine almost always talks about something I have encountered, especially the November 2009 issue.
The article “Estate Affairs” brought to mind the matriarch of my brick-wall family, who stipulated in her will that all family records and portraits be destroyed upon her death. Fortunately, my grandmother had made several visits to this family and took photographs each time, which she labeled and left in photo albums for me—all I have to go on.

Also, we have a “Usual Suspect” in our family. In the early 20th century, one cousin murdered another cousin. It was quite the trial in Little Falls, Minn., involving Charles Lindbergh’s father as an attorney, and was meticulously detailed in the newspaper.

The Weyer­haeuser Museum’s excellent genealogy facilities had a large file on the trial, and the staff copied it all for me. The cousin was convicted and sentenced to life in the state penitentiary. St. Paul’s genealogy center had a file containing letters between the murderer, his family and the warden. The cousin eventually became “unmanageable” and was sent to the state mental hospital for the remainder of his life. I was able to get a copy of the extensive file documenting this—Minnesota’s genealogy centers are wonderful.

Alice Jablonski » Centennial, Colo.
From the January 2010 Family Tree Magazine

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