Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ragu Challenge: 3-2-1 Cite

Dear Myrtle ( issued a challenge designed to encourage genealogists to realize that "we are bigger than our genealogy programs." Instead of habitually plugging data into our programs, the challenge encourages us to use put the concepts we've been learning in Mastering Genealogical Proofs into practice. She calls it the Ragu Challenge: 3-2-1 Cite. Use 3 documents, write 2 paragraphs (at minimum), and tell about 1 event, citing our sources. Ragu because "it's in there." What follows is my attempt at this challenge.

I never met my grandfather, who died when my father was a child. Family lore says he was an orphan born in Brooklyn who lied about his age to join the Navy, and had an older sister, Helen Carman, who lived in California, now deceased. My research challenges some of those assumptions, but supports the basic facts and answers the research question, When and where was the birth of Albert H. Pastoor, who was living in Peekskill, New York, in 1940? Who were his parents?

Although more documents and paragraphs will be required to fully answer my research question, to meet this challenge, I've decided to use the following three documents:

1. The U.S. Navy personnel records for Albert Herman Pastoor;

Compiled service record, Albert H. Pastoor personnel file, service no. 1521327, (discharged 1921); Official Military Personnel Files, World War I; Enlisted Personnel, 1885 - 1951, United States Navy; National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis; photocopies supplied by Center without citation. Above photo, from the service record, is the affidavit of Mrs. Helen Pastoor Carman, sister to Albert Herman Pastoor.

2. The marriage certificate of Albert Pastoor and Margaret Westerman;

New York Borough of Brooklyn, New York City Department of Health, marriage certificate 15863 (1920), Pastoor-Westerman; Municipal Archives, New York City.

3. The birth certificate of Andrew Pastor;

Borough of Brooklyn, New York, birth certificate no. 1312 (1898), Andrew Pastor [Albert Pastoor]; Municipal Archives, New York City.

All three documents are original records. The Navy personnel records contain Albert's original enlistment papers of 7 Jun 1915. His sister, Mrs. Helen Pastoor Carman, signed an affadavit stating she was his sister and guardian and that Albert H. Pastoor was born 30 Jan 1898 in Brooklyn, New York. Elsewhere in the document, the names of his parents were listed as unknown. Although the information here is primary, meaning it is eyewitness information, I use it guardedly; Helen was older and likely present at her brother's birth, but she would have been very young and her information would therefore be questionable. However, the fact that it is a notarized affidavit, sworn to before the United States Navy officer performing the oath, gives it a bit more weight. This document provides direct evidence of the birth of Albert Pastoor.

The second document, the marriage license and certificate, is dated 17 Nov 1920. Albert H. Pastoor and Margaret Westerman were married in Borough Hall in Brooklyn by the deputy city clerk. Although the clerk officiated the ceremony, Albert is likely the informant, making the marriage information primary; but his birth information is secondary since he couldn't have been an eyewitness at his own birth. However, the information agrees with that on the Navy records. This document also names his parents as Albert [the surname Pastoor is implied] and Anna Kolb. His sister, Mrs. Helen Carman, is a witness to the marriage. This document provides direct evidence of the birth of Albert Pastoor.

The third document, the birth record, at first glance appears to be unrelated because of the different given name of Andrew instead of Albert. However, Andrew "Pastor" is the third child born to Anna Kolb on 30 Jan 1898 in Brooklyn, NY. Albert "Pastor" is named as the father. The date and location of birth, as well as the names and ages of the parents agrees with that given on the marriage license. The physician who attended the birth signed the certificate as the informant, presumably with information given to him by the mother and/or the father, making it eyewitness information or primary information about the birth.

There is an obvious conflict with the given name of this child. Further research (beyond the scope of this challenge) has revealed that the parents, Albert "Passtoor" and Anna Kolb, had a daughter who was born and died in childhood. She was born before Helen, which is in agreement for Albert (aka Andrew) as the third child named on the birth certificate. The 1900 census information (see below) for the Albert Pastor household, living at the same address as that of the 1898 birth record, is also in agreement concerning the name and date of birth of Albert (son), the names of his parents, and the number of childen born to the mother. No other candidate for Andrew Pastor has been found. This birth record provides direct evidence of the birth of Albert Pastoor, aka Andrew Pastor. (The conflict in the 1900 census of the given name for Helen as Engalena has been resolved and is for another challenge.)

1900 U.S. census, Kings, New York, population schedule, New York City, Borough of Brooklyn, enumeration district (ED) 166, sheet 15A, p. 190 (recto), dwelling 89, family 289, Albert Pastor household; digital images, ( accessed 6 Nov 2013); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1,050.

All documents are in agreement with the birth date and location of Albert Pastoor. Although his enlistment papers state that the parents are unknown, the other two documents naming the parents are in agreement. It may be that in the enlistment papers, Albert and Helen omitted the names of their parents for personal reasons. Reseach has revealed that their mother had died six months before Albert joined the Navy, and their father had died four years earlier in an institution, under what would be considered shameful circumstances at the time. They likely did not want to reveal such personal information so soon. Since they obviously knew the names of their parents (as shown on the 1920 marriage certificate), it calls into question the reliability of the Navy affadavit despite the agreement of its information.

The conflict regarding Albert's given name is more of a mystery. It is possible that the name was recorded incorrectly on the birth record because of a misunderstanding (German was their native language) or it is just as likely that they decided to call him after his father and neglected to change the name on the birth record. I think the fact that my grandfather used the same given name as the father named on the birth record and marriage record lends credibility to the idea that he was named after his father.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

2014 First Quarter Checkpoint

Earlier in the year, I came across a blog by Janine Adams called Organize Your Family History, in which she mentioned how she decided to break the year into quarters and research one branch of her family each quarter. I thought her idea was wonderful so I incorporated her ideas into my research goals for the new year. Now that the first quarter is over, I'm reviewing my progress.

I decided to research my mother's side of the family first since both of my grandparents were Polish and I didn't know much about their families. I created a notebook in OneNote for the two surnames of interest, Chrzanowski and Dabrowski. I've decided to keep separate correspondence logs for each surname, so the first thing I did was create a log and start collecting vital records. Then I decided to use the notebook system to file my hard copies using the marriage record identification numbers, or MRIN, generated by my Legacy program. The scanned copies are filed in a surname folder on my computer after I add the citations electronically to them and then I link them to the appropriate citations in my Legacy program. I'm trying to decide if I want to create a virtual notebook in OneNote like my hard copy notebook where I would store my photos, scanned documents and research notes.

In focusing only on my Polish branches this quarter, I was able to make lots of progress. I've received all the vital records available for everyone, except for two. Since my great-grandmother, Stanislawa (Makowski) Chrzanowski, died in 1981, her death is too recent for state law to allow me to get her death certificate. I am also unable to find the marriage record for my Dabrowski great-grandparents, who were supposedly married in Connecticut. Their first three children were born there, so I suspect they were married there, though I need to consider they could have been married before they arrived in the United States. I did find ship manifests for my both my Chrzanowski great-grandparents, and also for my grandmother, Genowefa "Jean" Dabrowski, but so far the Dabrowski's remain mostly elusive.

I split my time between research, organizing my files and entering data into Legacy. I now have a research plan for each direct ancestor, complete with research questions--something I never wrote down before. Each direct ancestor also has a biography (their story so far) and a research log in the research notes section of the Legacy program.

In addition to working my genealogy files, my other genealogy goal was continuing education. For the past 10 weeks, I've been part of a study group working our way through Mastering Genealogical Proof. This has been a great complement to this year's genealogy goals because I'm incorporating what I'm learning into my genealogy research. As I obtain a new document, I spend some time analyzing it. Each ancestor's research notes has information about the record: whether it is an original or derivative, whether the information is primary, secondary or indeterminate, and whether it is direct, indirect or negative evidence. I then write about my observations and my opinion about it. I also enter them into a new program, Evidentia, which will eventually help me write my proof summaries and proof arguments.

I am grateful to Janine Adams for her wonderful idea. It has really transformed my genealogy research. I feel on top of my research and I've made enormous progress in just one quarter. Just knowing that I will get to the other family branches helps me focus on my current tasks. While I still have some odds and ends to do on my Polish family, I'm tucking them away and moving on to my father's paternal side, those elusive Germans. With this system, I know that those odds and ends won't be lost; I will be returning to them next year.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Nettie (Lamb) Baisley [52 Ancestors in 52 Wks]

Nettie (Lamb) Baisley c. 1940

My great-grandmother, Jennette Lamb was born about 6 Oct 1873 in Montrose, Westchester, New York. She was the third child and only daughter of Jacob and Emily (Outhouse) Lamb. Along with her parents, two older brothers, Winfield and Alonzo, and a younger brother, Stewart, in 1880, she was living in Cortlandt, Westchester County, New York [1], where the Lamb family had deep roots.  Jennette’s great-grandfather, also named Jacob Lamb, was a veteran of the American Revolution.

Not much is known about the early years of Jennette Lamb. By 1900 “Nettie” was married to Jacob Baisley, a man almost 10 years older than she, the son of James and Caroline (Scoutin) Baisley, and four children were living with them [2]. Although I have been unable to locate any marriage record, they were apparently married around 1889-1891.  A child “Fannie” was enumerated with them in 1900 having a birth of July 1889; but no birth record for Fannie (or other name variation) has been located, neither has any death record for a person of that name been located. I did find a birth record for a son, Alonzo Van R. Baisley, born 3 Jun 1891 to them [3]. He was known by the nickname of Van Allen or “Vannie.” One theory is that this “Vannie” is the “Fannie” enumerated on the 1900 census, even though the sex of the child was incorrect. On that census, Nettie is the mother of 4 children all of whom are living, and all four are accounted for.

1. Fannie/Alonzo Van R.  “Vannie,” born 3 Jun 1891 in Oscawana, New York;
2. Edna, born 26 Dec 1892 in Crugers, New York [4];
3. Florence, born 21 May 1895 in Montrose, New York [5];
4. Franklin, born 25 May 1897 in Montrose, New York [6].

I cannot find the family on the 1905 New York state census, but in 1906, Jacob and Nettie Baisley are named on a Westchester County deed [7] for the distribution of the estate of Nettie’s father-in-law. Also in 1906, Nettie’s brother, Alonzo, married Jacob’s sister, Carrie Baisley, which may have caused some family tension considering that the deed is the last document where Jacob and Nettie are named as husband and wife. Sometime between 1906, where they are named on the deed, and 1909, when another son, Raymond, is born, Jacob and Nettie split up.

In Ossining, New York, on 27 Oct 1910, Nettie married James Baisley[8], the son of Jacob’s brother, George. On this marriage certificate, Nettie states this is her first marriage; yet she has four children from her previous marriage living with her and her new husband on the 1910 census[9], as well as two additional children:
5. Bessie, born about 1901 in New York;
6. Raymond, born 9 May 1909 in Peekskill, New York [10].
The census also states that Nettie was the mother of 7 children, 6 of whom were living. This again brings up the question of a missing child. Is this missing child the Fannie named on the 1900 census? (If so, where was Van Allen, who was born in 1891, and not enumerated with them?) Or was there a child born between the births of Bessie and Raymond who didn’t survive? According to family tradition, there is no “Fannie” and Bessie is the daughter of Jacob Baisley and Raymond was the son of James Baisley, but I have no documentation for any of them. It is clear that Raymond was born before Nettie and James were married so my next step would be to obtain both his birth certificate and Bessie’s to confirm their father.

Nettie’s second marriage must have strained family relations and caused a family scandal. At any rate, it seems this second marriage of Nettie’s caused a rift in the Baisley family that resulted in estrangement lasting even to present time. My father knew nothing of his grandfather, Jacob Baisley, and it appears that even Jacob’s own daughters never visited him or attended his funeral when he died in 1943.

James and Nettie Baisley raised three more children, all born in Peekskill over the next few years, where they lived through most of the 1930s:

7. James, Jr. born 28 Mar 1911;
8. Elsie, born 2 May 1913;
9. Dorothy, born 31 Dec 1917 [11].

Baisley Farmhouse c. 1940
By 1940, the family had moved to Wappinger’s Falls, Dutchess County, New York [12] and established a farm. My father remembers visiting this farm many times throughout his early years. He remembers helping buck bales of hay and seeing all the farm equipment and the acres of crops. The family had a truck with the name “Baisley & Sons Produce” printed on the side in which they trucked their farm goods into town. I have several family photos of the big white farmhouse where all the Baisley clan gathered. Nettie was known to be quite strict, very old fashioned and very religious. She loved being surrounded by all of her children. Not only did she raise 9 children by two husbands, she also helped in raising her son Raymond’s children and her daughter Dorothy’s children [13].

The year 1943 was a year of loss for Nettie. In February, her ex-husband, Jacob Baisley, died, and in October, her husband, James Baisley, died. Nettie outlived them both by 11 years. She died on her 81st birthday, on 6 Oct 1954 in Cold Spring, Putnam, New York. She is buried next to her husband, James Baisley, in Hillside Cemetery, Cortlandt Manor, New York. [14]

[1] 1880 U.S. census, Westchester, New York, population schedule, Town of Cortlandt, enumeration district (ED) 92, p. 37 (penned), 179-A (stamped), dwelling 317, family 394, Jacob Lamb household; digital images, ( : accessed 7 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 945. 
[2] 1900 U.S. census, Westchester, New York, population schedule, Town of Cortlandt, enumeration district (ED) 57, sheet 39-B (penned), dwelling 638, family 790, Jacob Baisley household; digital images, ( : accessed 15 May 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1,174. 
[3] Town of Cortlandt, New York, birth certificate no. 3178 (1891), Alonzo Van R. Baisley; Town of Cortlandt, Town Clerk's Office, Cortlandt Manor.
[4] Town of Cortlandt, New York, local birth certificate no. 3634, (1892), Edna Baisley; Town of Cortlandt, Town Clerk's Office, Cortlandt Manor.
[5] Town of Cortlandt, New York, , local birth certificate no. 4056 (1895), Florence Baisley; Town of Cortlandt, Town Clerk’s Office, Cortlandt Manor.
[6] Town of Cortlandt, New York, local birth certificate no. 4475 (1897), Franklin Baisley; Town of Cortlandt, Town Clerk’s Office, Cortlandt Manor.
[7] Westchester, New York, Deeds, 1768: 409, Charles W. Baisley and others to Harriet B. Foster, 12 June 1906 (recorded 15 Aug 1906); digital images, Westchester County Clerk, "pre-1967 Deeds," Westchester County Records Online ( : accessed 6 Jun 2012). 
[8] "New York, Marriages, 1686-1980," digital image, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 Apr 2012), marriage record no. 5472, James Baisley and Jeanette Lamb, 1910; citing New York Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, Albany. Microfilm of original records at the Municipal Archives of New York, New York City. 
[9] 1910 U.S. census, Westchester, New York, population schedule, Peekskill, enumeration district (ED) 10, sheet 18-A (penned), dwelling 284, family 383, James Baisley household; digital images, ( : accessed 14 Apr 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 1090. 
[10] Elsie Mattingly (Whittier, North Carolina) to Karin Coppernoll, letter, 27 Apr 1993; privately held by Coppernoll; Mrs. Mattingly is the daughter of James and Nettie Baisley. She spoke from personal knowledge about her immediate family.
[11] Mattingly, Elsie, letter to Coppernoll, 1993, Coppernoll Family Papers, Baisley file, information for children of Nettie (Lamb) Baisley, Mrs. Mattingly's mother. 
[12] 1940 U.S. census, Dutchess, New York, population schedule, Wappingers Township, Hughsonville, enumeration district (ED) 14-108, sheet 1-B (penned), household 30, Raymond Baisley household; digital images, ( : accessed 9 Aug 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T627, roll 2,525. 
[13] Mattingly, Elsie, letter to Coppernoll, 1993, Coppernoll Family Papers, Baisley file, information for description of Nettie (Lamb) Baisley, Mrs. Mattingly's mother.
[14] Doris Smith (1033 Oregon Road; Peekskill, New York) to Karin Coppernoll, letter, 19 Apr 1993; privately held by Coppernoll, [STREET ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE]; Doris Smith is the secretary of Hillside Cemetery and wrote the names and dates of burial of the Baisley's interred there.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Genealogy Lessons Learned

As a self-taught genealogist, everything I’ve learned, I learned through trial and error in bits and pieces. Citing my sources became more of a habit after learning about and reading Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills. But analyzing sources?  Wasn’t I analyzing a document when I decided if it belonged to my ancestor or not? I didn’t even know what I didn’t know! So I decided to become a participant in a study group for the book, Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones.

In the last couple of years, I had been toying with the idea of becoming a certified genealogist. For years, I’ve been dabbling in family history research, but I began to realize my research was not up to professional standards. This study group seemed like a good idea. Let me tell you, it’s kicking my butt. I thought I understood original and derivative records; primary and secondary information; and direct and indirect evidence. Working through the exercises in this book has shown me how little I understand these concepts. So, in order to keep them front and center in my mind, I decided to blog about what I’m learning. These are not my ideas–they are the result of knowledge gained through reading Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones.

One of the notions I’ve learned is the importance of framing my research through appropriate questions. While I sort of had questions about my ancestors like, “Who was Jacob’s father?” “Were these people his siblings?” “Where was he living in 1880?” I never formally wrote them down. These kinds of questions point me toward sources where I might find answers and information that will lead to evidence. The questions need to be framed about a person whom I already have known or “documented” information about and then ask questions about their relationships, identity, and activities. The questions I’ve asked about my ancestors seem right on target, but I don’t write them down or make sure they are about a documented person.
The sources I consult are also an important part of my research. Sources can be original (those created at the time of an event) or derivative (those created based on other records). Original records are usually more credible and the records I strive to find. A new thought for me was that indexes and databases are not considered sources because they are finding aids that help locate sources.

Sources contain information that is either primary (first-person account) or secondary (hearsay). They can also be indeterminable which means I have no idea who gave the information. Of course, I really want information that is primary, but sometimes I have to settle for secondary. My great-grandfather’s death certificate gives me primary information about his death. Presumably his niece, who was the informant, handled the funeral arrangements and knew about his death, as well as the physician who attended him. But the birth information contained on that certificate is not primary information because his niece wasn’t there when her uncle was born. She only knew about it because he told her when to celebrate his birthday. And his death certificate reflects that because she didn’t know exactly the year he was born or how old he was. Even though this is secondary information, it does give me clues about his birth and helps narrow my research field.

And then there is the evidence that is either direct, indirect, or negative, which is where my research question comes into play. In the case of my great-grandfather’s birth, his death certificate is an original record that contains secondary information, but it directly answers the question of when and where he was born, so it is direct evidence of his birth. Evidence is not something I can touch or see; it is something I create in my mind based upon my interpretation of the information in a source. What a new thought! In the past, I would have considered my great-grandfather’s death certificate as evidence.

So how will studying this chapter change my research? Well, for starters, I’m going back to my grandparents and making sure I have all my information backed up by actual original sources and not just the word of my parents. I will begin with appropriate questions and start analyzing the sources I have. As difficult as I’ve found this chapter, I’m excited to be expanding my knowledge and applying it directly to my research. If you want to bring your genealogy up a notch, I strongly encourage you to delve into this book. It will change your research.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Genowefa Stefanja Dabrowska (#2 - 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series)

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. [1]. 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. [2] 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. [3] They made their home on Woodlawn Avenue [4] 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. [5]

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.


[1] 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.

[2] "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," online images, ( : 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.

[3] 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.

[4] 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, ( : accessed 1 Aug 2012); citing NARA microfilm T627, roll 2,404.

[5] Obituary, "Jean Chrzanowski," The Record/Herald News, 17 Aug 2013, online obituaries ( : accessed 19 Aug 2013).


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ten Reasons I Switched to Legacy 8.0

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, 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?


Thursday, January 23, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #1 Emily Outhouse Lamb

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. : 2009.

New York. Westchester. 1860 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. : 2009.

New York. Westchester. 1870 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. : 2009.

New York. Westchester. 1880 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. : 2010.

New York. Westchester. 1900 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. : 2004.

New York. Westchester. 1905 New York state census, population schedule. Digital images. FamilySearch : n.d.

New York. Westchester. 1910 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. : 2006.

New York. Westchester. 1915 New York state census, population schedule. Digital images. FamilySearch : n.d.

New York. Westchester. 1920 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. : 2010.

New York. Westchester. 1925 New York state census, population schedule. Digital images. FamilySearch : n.d.

New York. Westchester. 1930 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. : 2002.

New York. Westchester. 1940 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital images. : 2013.

New York. Death Certificates. Town of Cortlandt, Town Clerk's Office, Cortlandt Manor.

"Find A Grave." Database and images.

Wikipedia:The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia Foundation, Inc.