|Nettie (Lamb) Baisley c. 1940|
|Baisley Farmhouse c. 1940|
|Nettie (Lamb) Baisley c. 1940|
|Baisley Farmhouse c. 1940|
|Grandma and her brother, Joseph Dabrowski, c. 1935|
I always called my maternal grandmother "Grandma." My paternal grandmother died years before I was born, so Grandma was the only grandmother I knew. I have several photos of myself and my brother visiting with her and my grandfather, but my memories are few. As sometimes happens with families nowadays, they move away and spread out. Sometimes they grow apart due to misunderstandings or biases from the previous generation. For us, my family moved from New Jersey to Idaho just before I started high school. I only saw my grandparents twice before they died. I was lucky enough to become interested in genealogy as a pre-teen and had the foresight to interview both of them many years ago. I still know very little about their families except for what I gathered from that interview long ago.
For a long time, that information sat in my files. Because my grandparents were Polish, I was somewhat intimidated, so I spent time researching my other family lines. It wasn't until the 1920 census came out that I pulled out those Polish records and tried to find them. Even though I knew they should have been in Connecticut, I could not find them. I got discouraged and put the files away again.
My grandmother died this summer at the age of 96. This event renewed my interest in the Polish side of my family. My grandmother was a first generation American. She was born in Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut in 1917, but her family went back to Poland when she was 3 years old. It wasn't until she was 17 when she came back to the United States, alone. I remembered her telling me how Grandpa was the one who met her when she arrived in New York, but otherwise she didn't talk much about her family.
Armed with renewed interest and a smattering of details, I began to research what I could find out about my grandmother, who I knew as Jean (Americanized from Eugenia) Chrzanowski, born 2 March 1917. Her maiden name was Dabrowski. The following narrative is a working version of the results of my research.
Genowefa Stefanja Dabrowska was born on 28 Feb 1917, in Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut. She was the second child of nine born to Frank Dabrowski and Stephanie Gorska. . She joined an older brother who was also born in Stamford. During their brief time in the United States, Frank and Stephanie Dabrowski became friends with the Chrzanowski family, who were also living in Stamford. They, too, were immigrants from Poland. As my grandmother conveyed to me, some family emergency had happened in Poland and her family had to return there. This must have happened around 1920 because another son was born in Stamford in 1919 who died in Poland about 1921. This was the reason I could not find them on the 1920 census; they were either enroute or already in Poland.
I don't know much about what happened while they were in Poland. Poland's politics were in unrest during the 1920s. The family owned land and during this time agrarian laws were enacted distributing land from the rich to the poor. I don't know if they received their land during this time or owned it prior–family lore says they were szlachta (upper class) and owned a large farm in Karwowo. The Polish-Soviet War was going on, which made sense to me since my grandmother had told me Russian soldiers came uninvited into their home. Poland also went from a democracy to an authoritarian government during this time. In 1933, Hitler seized power in Germany. In the following years, many anti-Jewish laws were passed in Germany, but by 1934, anti-Jewish violence was widespread.
Because she was a U.S. citizen, the decision was made to send my grandmother back to America. It was generally understood in our family that her older brother accompanied her, but according to the ship manifest of the SS Pulaski, Genowefa Stefania Dabrowska arrived alone in New York on 27 June 1934. She was going to live with a cousin, Stela Sokolski, in Stamford, Connecticut.  Unfortunately the manifest doesn't say who met her at the ship–Grandma always told me it was my grandfather, which is how they met.
My grandmother loved to dance and went to many dances with her older brother. She was a beautiful woman and she had her choice of escorts, but on 23 Jan 1937, she married Walter Chrzanowski in Jersey City, New Jersey.  They made their home on Woodlawn Avenue  and lived there for a number of years. Jean was employed as an operator in the cottons industry and was an excellent seamstress. One of my mother's memories is that my grandmother made almost every outfit she and her sister wore. She sewed money into the lining of clothing which she sent to her family in Poland to help them come to America.
|Walter & Jean Chrzanowski, 1937|
After raising two children, Walter and Jean moved to Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, in a house they lived in until Walter was moved into a nursing home in his senior years. Jean became a widow in 2003 and continued to live in her house for several years. She and Walter had been married for 66 years. I remember her telling me stories of the trips they went on. They loved to cruise and traveled the world. She made many trips to visit her family in Poland, some of which were extended stays for months at a time.
I remember spending a week with my grandparents one summer when I was just a kid. My grandmother was always well groomed and well dressed. She and my grandfather followed many of the old Polish traditions, were devout Catholics, and often spoke Polish together, especially when they didn't want me to understand what they were saying. I learned a few naughty words in Polish that way. Their house seemed very grown up to my child's eyes; white carpets and fancy furniture that children were not allowed to play around. My brother and I had to obey strict rules and watch our manners at the formal dining table. One of my fond memories is of my grandfather teaching me how to make "big pancakes" and Grandma showing me how to slice a grapefruit for breakfast and sprinkle it with sugar and place a cherry on top.
I only saw them twice after we moved to Idaho. On one visit, my grandmother went hiking and fishing with us. It was the playful side of her I rarely saw and the only time I saw her wearing jeans. She was a strong woman, having conquered breast cancer and having had a double mastectomy. Her childhood was also a difficult one; she didn't talk about it much. The only story she told me was the time after they had returned to Poland. Grandma remembered her mother saying the rosary while she rocked her little brother who was very sick. My grandmother remembered him reaching out for his mother while he died in her arms. She also had a younger sister who died at age 11. Although she visited them frequently in Poland, her parents never immigrated to the United States and rarely visited. They remained in Poland where they died and are buried. It must have been difficult to live so far away from them.
Grandma lived alone well into her eighties. Sometime around 2009, she moved into an assisted living facility in Connecticut, where her sisters and extended family lived in and around New Britain. When she could no longer live alone, she was moved to St. Patrick's Nursing Home in Framingham, Massachusetts, where she could be closer to her youngest daughter, Stephanie and her family. My grandmother lived out the remainder of her life here, and died on 8 Aug 2013, at the age of 96, having outlived all of her doctor's expectations. She is buried next to her husband in Sacred Heart Cemetery, in New Britain, Connecticut. 
Genowefa Stefanja Dabrowska and Walter Frank Chrzanowski had two children, both daughters, one who lives in the northeast and one who lives in the northwest. They each have spouses and two children.
 Fairfield, Connecticut, birth certificate no. 319 (1917), Genovefa Dombrowski; Stamford Town Clerk, Stamford. The birth certificate is notable for the numerous given name and surname mispellings which were crossed out and rewritten.
 "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," online images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Sep 2013), manifest, SS Pulaski, 27 Jun 1934, p. 204 (stamped), Genowefa Stefanja Dabrowska, age 17, Gdynia, Poland, to New York, New York; citing NARA micropublication T715, roll 5506.
 Walter Chrzanowski (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey), interview by Karin Coppernoll, 3 Sep 1994; transcript privately held by Karin Coppernoll, Monroe, Washington; Walter, the interviewer's grandfather, spoke from personal knowledge about his family.
 1940 U.S. census, Hudson, New Jersey, population schedule, Jersey City, enumeration district (E.D.) 24-129, sheet 6-A (penned), p. 1325-A (stamped), household 110, Jean Chrzanowski in Walter Chrzanowski household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Aug 2012); citing NARA microfilm T627, roll 2,404.
 Obituary, "Jean Chrzanowski," The Record/Herald News, 17 Aug 2013, online obituaries (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/northjersey/obituary.aspx?n=Jean-Chrzanowski&pid=166468016 : accessed 19 Aug 2013).
If you've been reading my blog, you'll know that in the last several months, I've switched from using Family Tree Maker 2012 to Legacy. I've been very happy with my decision. I was a long-time Family Tree Maker user and I still think they make a good product. However, the emphasis on syncing and online trees coupled with some of the technical issues caused me to look at other programs. Legacy seemed to be more research-oriented with tools that helped guide that research. So far, I really like the features and their ease of use. I will still use FTM for my Ancestry online family tree, but my main file will now be in Legacy. Here are the top ten reasons why I made the switch to Legacy 8.0:
Tagging. Legacy has nine labels or tags that I can define however I want. I can tag my direct line ancestors and have the option to include other spouses and/or siblings. I can tag entire family lines, or only the ancestors, or the descendants. Tags can used to delete multiple people--specific people I choose, or those that meet a certain criteria. I plan to tag all of the veterans in my file and, since I am in the process of cleaning up my citations, I'm using a tag to indicate which people still need their citations cleaned up.
SourceWriter. This is probably the feature that totally converted me. I've struggled with the citations in Family Tree Maker for quite some time. Although FTM has templates based on Evidence Explained, in order to get them into the proper format, I had to do a lot of editing, which made the copy feature cumbersome. SourceWriter is very simple to use. It has a great step-by-step way to choose the correct standard format. As I enter in the source and detail information, I can see the citation being created as I type. When I copy the citation, it copies exactly as I've entered it without my having to do any editing. It has made standardizing my citations a breeze.
Share Event. Not only has SourceWriter helped with my citations, I recently learned how to use the share event feature. When I am adding a record which includes several people, such as a census, I can choose to share this event with other members in the household. At the click of a button, I choose the people from my fie, define their role (household member) from a drop-down menu, and without any copying or pasting, the entire household on that census record is cited and linked together. This saves a lot of time.
Event Notes. Another feature, which I use in conjunction with the Share Event feature, is the event notes. Family Tree Maker has this as well, but I like the user interface in Legacy better. When I add an event, such as a census, notes about that event can be added. This is where I write the details in the census entry. With each event, Legacy has a customizable narrative sentence which you can see as you enter in your data. When I view an individual chronology report, not only is the event listed, but also the event notes. I think this feature will be a huge timesaver when I get around to creating my family history book. It saves time now because it pulls all of my information into one place for ease of analysis.
Chronology Report. This is where all the hard work for data entry pays off. The chronology report ties together all of the life events of one individual in a chronological sequence. There are many ways to customize this. I find it helpful to see the age of my ancestor at each life event. This can highlight any errors with dates or places, such as a child's birth before a marriage, or a land transaction as a minor. And, as long as I use the SourceWriter, event notes, and share event feature, a beautiful report is created with no extra work. This is a HUGE time saver. I used to create these reports by hand or in the notes feature in Family Tree Maker; but it is not as powerful a tool as the one in Legacy.
Problem Indication. There is a little red icon that pops up if I have some kind of problem with the data for a person, without running a report. It could be simply transposed numbers in a date, but it might be that the dates of children are before their parents' marriage, or that there are too many years between the births of children. This feature is also customizable so I can change the parameters or override the indication if I know my information is correct. Not a big deal, but a nice little visual to catch those potential problems I might otherwise miss.
Index and Views. I know most genealogy programs have these features, but I must say that I like how Legacy has done this. In the index, all the names are on one full-screen page with the option of searching using a RIN, a given name or a surname. I can customize what information I see, such as birth date and place, death date and place, and tags. Changing Views is as easy as clicking tabs to see pedigrees, family groups, descendants and chronology of an individual. One feature I recently discovered is the Name List. Similar to the Index, but on the right hand side I can view all the events or information about that individual. It also shows the parents, spouse and children. I can even make edits from this screen. This is very helpful when I want to make sure I've got the correct individual and want to make a quick check or change.
Options. Legacy 8.0 is loaded with options. Changing color schemes, formatting, or preferences is easily done with the click of mouse. There are so many options, there is even an index to all of the customizable features. I particularly like the option which allows me to add the wife's married name to the name index. The female is then indexed twice, once with her maiden name and once with her married name, which makes finding her in the index much easier. I also like that I can choose to add any or all of my event notes to any report and even color code each of my ancestral lines.
Clipboard. This feature is what makes data entry a breeze. It can be used to simply copy one citation and paste to another event or someone else's event; however, an even more useful way to use the clipboard is to set it up first. Choose an event to cite and add the source and detail information. I like to add my event notes and media files as well. Then I save to the clipboard. The next time I need this source and details, I just click and paste at the click of a mouse. I can save multiple sources this way. I didn't find this feature to be as intuitive as the others; it was more difficult to figure out how to use it, but once learned and used with SourceWiriter, this feature is a huge timesaver.
Split Screen. I keep my entire family tree in one file. I use another file for those people who I am fairly sure are related, but haven't confirmed yet. Using split screen allows me to compare two different legacy files side-by-side or two different views of the same file side-by-side.
There are many more features of Legacy 8.0 that I could talk about. I didn't even touch on the excellent customer support that is both friendly and personal or the Research Guide. I chose only the top ten features I was excited to learn how to use. I am aware that some long-time Legacy users may not share my views of the new version. However, as Family Tree Maker seemed to be moving to emphasize online trees, mobile access, and syncing with Ancestry.com, I was looking for something different. While I understand the importance of sharing our research, I wanted a genealogy program whose focus was to organize and guide my research. When I'm ready to share my work, Legacy has that capability as well.
The more I use Legacy, the more features I discover. I just found the little clock on the lower right corner next to the identification number boxes on the family view. When I clicked it, I was able to set up a little reminder or alarm to remind me to go to bed! Who knew? So what are your favorite features? I'm interested in hearing what you think about the new version. What features are your favorite or what changed that you don't like? Is there another program you like better?
Emily Outhouse was born on 26 Aug 1840 in Croton Lake, Westchester County, New York, the first of nine children born to Jacob Outhouse and Elizabeth Losee. Not much is known about her early years. She was born 57 years after the American Revolution ended. Barely a generation had passed since the United States was born. The new country was at war in Florida with the Native American Nation of Seminoles and, when Emily was 6 years old, the Mexican-American War began.
When Emily was 21, she married a farmer named Jacob Lamb, probably at the Reformed Dutch Church of Cortlandtown. They were just starting out in their married life together when the Civil War began. Her husband doesn't appear to have fought in the war. There are some indications that he was sickly or had a physical ailment which may have prevented his joining. Over the next 15 years, Emily would give birth to four children, three sons and one daughter. The country was undergoing enormous changes in its social and economic structure. During this time, the transcontinental railroad was completed, Susan B. Anthony was leading women's sufferage, and Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone while Thomas Edison invented the phonograph.
Emily was widowed in 1901 and briefly lived with her youngest son, Stewart. By 1910, when she was almost 70, Emily Lamb, began a career as a housekeeper for an immigrant German family. The head of the household was a widower, and she continued to work for this family well into her late 80s. It was then she apparently became ill and moved in with her son, Stewart and his family, for the remainder of her life.
Emily was a strong woman used to the hard demanding work common to housewives during the late 19th century. She had grown up on a farm and then raised four children. She helped work the farm they rented and kept house during a time when housework was harsh physical labor. Then, when most people are retiring, she continued to work as a housekeeper, and was a member of the Ladies Aid Society, often hostessing their meetings. One of the stories I grew up hearing was how Emily lost all the fingers of her left hand. As the story goes, Emily was in the home of the family for whom she kept house. One of the sons was cleaning his gun. Emily continually cautioned him about "taking care" with the loaded weapon. One day, after she had warned the son, his gun misfired and struck her in the palm of her left hand. She lost all the fingers on that hand. This accident apparently didn't prevent her from continuing to work as a housekeeper.
Emily was 92 years old when she died on 22 Oct 1932. She was survived by all four of her children, and left a legacy in 23 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Emily rests beside her husband in the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Montrose. She lived her entire life within a few miles of Montrose, New York.
Jacob Lamb (b. 6 Oct 1840; d. 8 Mar 1901) and Emily Ann Outhouse (b. 26 Aug 1840; d. 22 Oct 1932) had the following children:
1. Winfield S. Lamb – born abt. 1863 and died bet. 1932-1940; married Alida Boyce;
2. Alonzo Lamb – born 30 Jun 1870 and died 12 Feb. 1943; married Caroline Baisley;
3. Jeanette Lamb – born 6 Oct 1873 and died 6 Oct 1954; married 1st Jacob Baisley and 2nd James Baisley;
4. Stewart Lamb – born 5 Nov 1880 and died 23 Jan 1968; married Kathleen Terhune.
Mattingly, Elsie. Letter. 27 Apr 1993 to Karin Coppernoll. Privately held by Coppernoll, Sultan, Washington.
New York. Peekskill. The Evening Star.
New York. Westchester. 1850 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2009.
New York. Westchester. 1860 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2009.
New York. Westchester. 1870 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2009.
New York. Westchester. 1880 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2010.
New York. Westchester. 1900 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2004.
New York. Westchester. 1905 New York state census, population schedule. Digital images. FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org : n.d.
New York. Westchester. 1910 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2006.
New York. Westchester. 1915 New York state census, population schedule. Digital images. FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org : n.d.
New York. Westchester. 1920 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2010.
New York. Westchester. 1925 New York state census, population schedule. Digital images. FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org : n.d.
New York. Westchester. 1930 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2002.
New York. Westchester. 1940 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2013.
New York. Death Certificates. Town of Cortlandt, Town Clerk's Office, Cortlandt Manor.
"Find A Grave." Database and images. http://findagrave.com.
Wikipedia:The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia Foundation, Inc.
I know it's cliché, but I can't believe how quickly 2013 slipped by. It just seems like yesterday that I was saying the same thing about 2012. There's something about the passage of time that makes me want to set New Year's Resolutions. I think it's the idea of a fresh start or clean slate.
I made only a few resolutions this year, most of them centered around genealogy. I've decided that 2014 is the year I go digital. I took the scary step of going paperless for all my banking, credit card and other household invoices. My current system relies on receiving paper invoices and bills. I started paying bills online some time ago, but never took that next step. I took some time and figured out a system to keep track of my paperless bills, scan all my documents and reciepts and then file (store) them. Going paperless has extended to my genealogy, too. If my document is already in digital format, I just save it, name it and file it. When I get a hard copy of a document, it will go through the same treatment, but I will also scan it and save it in digital form.
Another resolution is to make sure all my citations are complete and accurate. I've just switched programs from Family Tree Maker to Legacy, and I'm loving Legacy. It has a wonderful SourceWriter feature built in that makes keeping this resolution a breeze. I find it so much easier to come up with the correct citation format. Legacy's tagging system helps me keep track of whose citations I've already cleaned up.
Following on the heels of that resolution is one for continuing education. I'm looking forward to deepening my knowledge of all things genealogical. I joined a study group to study the tome, Mastering Genealogical Proof. The group starts mid-January, so look for some blogs about that. Once the study group is complete, I plan to take the National Genealogical Society's Family History Skills course. I figure brushing up on my skills can only help me become a better genealogist. I have left the option of a third (and maybe a fourth) course of study open depending on where my interests are mid-year. If you have a favorite course, let me know in the comment section below.
Although I have a tendancy to make too many resolutions, I'm stopping at these three. It's a doable list, and, given my passion for genealogy, should be easy to keep. So what's on your list? Tell me about your New Year's resolutions. Oh, and if you can recommend a good genealogy book, tell me about that below as well.
Happy New Year!
One of the first things I learned when beginning to research my family history is to begin by collecting all the information you can from your living relatives. I started gathering information from them what I was twelve, and I'm glad I did. As I grew older, other pursuits got in the way of my research. Life became more complicated as I went to college, got married, and raised a family. My research was put on hold; my files gathering dust. Now, as I'm reaching the half-century mark, I find that I have more time to devote to research, but most of those family members are gone. The information I gathered years ago is helpful, but now with an adult perspective, there is so much more I would like to ask.
The holiday time is a perfect time to reminisce and talk about family. I like to ask open-ended questions, such as, "What was she like when you were growing up?" Family photos are also a great memory jogger and are usually an enjoyable way to learn little family details. It's amazing how much a person will recall about the circumstances behind the taking of that photograph. My mother could remember the color of every single item of clothing in every photo. It's also a great time to find out how Cousin Allen is related to you. "Is he Grandpa's or Grandma's nephew?" "Who were his parents?" "Whose house is that in the background?" "What street was it on?" Not only is it fun to learn these tidbits, all the answers give clues for research as well as enriching the family history.
I have learned to keep asking the same questions; each time I learn a little something new. Over the years, I can't tell you how many times my dad and I spoke about his father, who had died when my dad was a boy. I'd update him on what new bit of information my research revealed. Only recently during one such conversation did my dad mention that he had his father's Boatswain's pipe from World War 1. All those times talking and something I said that time sparked a memory so he could remember to tell me that he had that pipe!
Sometimes a sad event, such as a funeral, will prompt family stories. Recently, my maternal grandmother died. Although I had seen photos of my dad as a child, I didn't have any of my mother. After attending the funeral, my mother came home with a box full of photos. After going through them with her and learning about the other family members in the photos, she revealed that she's had her baby book all along. Amazing! Inside that baby book is a list of people who visited and gave gifts, as well as a small family tree.
So, a lesson I've learned — keep asking questions about family. Sometimes, something you talk about will make that memory connection in your relative; you may wind up with a box full of memories to serve as clues for research, as well as wonderful stories that will make your family history come alive.