January 24, 2015

Lambert Van Valkenburg in the New World

Official Seal of New Netherland
My 9th great-grandfather Lambert Van Valkenburg was born in the Netherlands circa 1614. With his wife Annetje Jacobs, Lambert sailed for the New World of New Netherland (present day New York state). 

From his son Jochem Lambertse Van Valkenburg, there are 10 recognized branches of the Van Valkenburg family (one for each of Jochem's children with his wife Eva Vrooman) and I descend from two - his son Isaac Jochemse (with wife Lydia Van Slyke) and Isaac's sister Jannetje Jochemse (with husband Isaac Van Alstyne)
Records found for Lambert indicate he was in New Amsterdam as early as Jan. 1644. Since it is unlikely the ships sailed in the winter, he was probably in New Amsterdam in the summer or fall of 1643. Existing records indicate he purchased land in July 1644. That 1644 plot of land  is now the site of the Empire State Building in New York City.

29 July 1644: Deed. Jan Jacobssen to Lambert van Valckenburgh, of house and plantation on the island of Manhattan, near Fort Amsterdam. [Register of Provincial Secretary Vol. II p. 121] [Source: Calendar of Historical Manuscripts in the office of the Secretary of State, Albany NY edited by EB O'Callaghan]

16 March 1647: Patent. Lammert van Valckenborch; lot south of Fort Amsterdam, Manhattan Island. [Land Papers Vol. G.G. p. 192] [Source: Calendar of Historical Manuscripts in the office of the Secretary of State, Albany NY edited by EB O'Callaghan]

Court records are a wonderful resource. Those of us with ancestors in early New Netherland are lucky for the Dutch kept meticulous records. It was a litigious time period and settlers were frequently in court suing their friends and neighbours. Lambert is found many times in the court records for New Netherland. Here is one of the more volatile examples:

Source:"Minutes of the Court of Fort Orange and Beverwyck 1657-1660", translated and edited by A.J.F. Van Laer, Vol.2, Albany, 1923. Page 9:
"Ordinary Session held in Fort Orange, January 9 Anno 1657


"President, J. La Montagne, Rutger Jacobsen, Jacob Schermerhoorn, Andries Herbertsen, Philip Pietersen

"Lambert van Valckenborch, plaintiff, against Henderick Claessen and Gerrit Willemsen, defendants.The plaintiff complains that the defendants beat him and his wife in his own house. The defendants deny it and claim that the plaintiff chased them with a naked rapier out of his house and pursued them to the center of the fort. The court orders the parties respectively to prove their assertions."

In 1659 Lambert was appointed to the Rattle Watch. The Rattle Watch was responsible for walking the streets at night, watching for crimes or fires and from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. they called out the hour every hour as well as ringing their rattles.

Source:"Minutes of the Court of Fort Orange and Beverwyck 1657-1660", translated and edited by A.J.F. Van Laer, Vol.2, Albany, 1923: Page 209-210:"Extraordinary Session held in Fort Orange, August 8 Anno 1659

"Instructions issued by the honorable commissary and magistrates of Fort Orange and the village of Beverwyck for the rattle watch, appointed at the request of the burghers to relieve them of night-watch duty; to the rattle watch of which place Lambert van Valckenborgh and Pieter Winnen were appointed the 6th of July of this year 1659, on condition that they together are to receive for the term of one year one thousand and one hundred guilders in seawan and one hundred guilders in beavers.

Read more about Lambert from the Court Records online at Lambert Van Valkenburg in The New World This was first published as "Lambert Van Valkenburg: His Life in the New World as Revealed in Court Documents and Other Primary Source Records From 1644 - 1664" by Lorine McGinnis Schulze in The National Association of the Van Valkenburg Family of America serialized beginning in the Fall of 1999

January 23, 2015

Earl G. Gregory's WW2 Navy ID Tags Need to Go Home (Case #24)

Sue wrote to Olive Tree Genealogy with a request for help sending a WW2 Navy ID Tag back to family
Earl G. Gregory's WW2 Navy ID Tags Need to Go Home (Case #24)
I would like to find a home for the attached dog tag.  My father ran a wrecker service in DeKalb, Illinois and found this in a car many years ago.  It is for Earl George Gregory.
After receiving Sue's email I did some research. The first thing I noticed was that this was a Navy ID Tag (USN on the tag)

A search on Ancestry.com found this record for Earl:

Earl George Gregory
Service Info.: CWT US NAVY WORLD WAR II
Birth Date:18 Dec 1916
Death Date:11 Jun 1990
Cemetery:Thomason Cemetery
Cemetery Address:Main St Wayne City, IL 62895

Find-A-Grave shows his wife as Anna, buried with him.

If you can help find Earl's family, we can add this to our solved cases with a happy ending. There is probably a family member who would treasure this item, let's help find Earl's family and send it home.  

January 22, 2015

More Rescued Postcards 1900-1918 Added to Lost Faces

Recently I rescued 28 vintage orphaned postcards from antique shops. They range in date from 1900 to 1918. 27 are from United States and 1 is from Ontario Canada. 

I have scanned and added more of these postcards to Lost Faces and will be adding the rest of these wonderful cards over the next month. I hope descendants will see these postcards and recognize an ancestor.  

  • Bowman To "Dear Friend" Mr. Oland Bowman, Hammond New York from Cassie W. 1912
  • Bennet Pte A. Bennet, Port Sanitary Hospital, New Ferry, Cheshire from B.R. 13 Sept. 1918
  • Dunmire To Mr. Claire Dunmire, Punxsutawey, from Charlotte A. 1913

January 21, 2015

What Happens To Your Genealogy Research When You're Gone?

Have you thought about what will happen to your genealogy research after you are gone? I don't know about you but I have several filing cabinets full of genealogy papers and records that I have compiled over the years. It's unlikely that any one person would be willing to take all these home and start going through them.

What Plans Have You Made For Your Genealogy Research When You're Gone?
Often there is only one genealogy addict for each generation. I'm the one in my generation and have been for over 30 years. That means no one else is very interested. Oh sure they like the occasional interesting story of an ancestor but to scroll through reel after reel of microfilm or puzzle over a census record for clues - nope. 

After we've done all that work for the past 10 or 20 or 30  years, it is human nature to want to see it passed on and not discarded as if it had no meaning or importance.

Perhaps you have an appointed person who will pick up the torch and carry on after your demise. But even if there is one person you hope will do this, do you think they really want your boxes or drawers full of papers to sort through? I'm an avid genealogist and can never get enough. But when my mother died I took 4 filing cabinet drawers full of her genealogy research and put them in boxes to bring home. I've never gone through it and it's been 6 years. Every time I look at the boxes full of miscellaneous notes and papers and records I am overwhelmed at the task of sorting, analyzing and figuring out what to keep and what to toss. 

So what's the solution? How do we find and prepare a suitable torch-bearer and how can we get our genealogy research into a state that will make it easy for the next generation to carry on?

What Plans Have You Made For Your Genealogy Research When You're Gone?
I've approached this in different ways. One thing I've been doing for a few years now is creating hard cover "coffee table" books on Shutterfly. Here's a tutorial on how I create them:

Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly (Tutorial 1 of 3)

Each book is about one family. I like to keep them 25 pages or less and they are meant to highlight the family with stories, photos and some of the documents I have obtained.  For my McGinnis family  I created 4 different volumes, one for each generation starting with mine. These are given to each of my children in hopes that they will find their way down to my grandchildren and perhaps continue to be passed on. 

The second method I'm working on is putting all my copies of original records - vital registrations, wills, census and so on, into binders (one per family) which also contain a pedigree chart for that family. In my mind it is a summary of the family with documentation and I am hopeful it is something that anyone remotely interested in the genealogy would be happy to take to their home and keep. 

I also am currently working on getting all these papers digitized, put on flash drives and given to my children. That's a big job and it's not high on my list since technology changes so quickly the day will almost certainly come when the data cannot be retrieved. Remember those big floppy discs for computers? Or the smaller ones? Who can read them now? 

Digitizing the papers is important though because then you can save them in the cloud and on your computer.  It's a great back-up method for your work but I don't see it as viable for passing on to family. 

Don't be fooled into thinking the local genealogy society or library or museum will want your papers. They may happily accept a book about your families but loose papers are unlikely to be given a home.

What's your plan?  Share your ideas here and let's see what plans and projects we can come up with.




Names of Ontario Teachers Retiring 1871-1879

Names of Ontario Teachers Retiring 1871-1879
A little known source for information regarding teachers in early Ontario Canada is the series of booklets called "Annual Report of the Minister of Education, on the Public, Separate, and High Schools, Also on the Normal and Model Schools, of the Province of Ontario"  

This series contains detail on retired teachers (their names, county they taught in, how much money they received, and more), names of individuals granted teaching certificates and more. Olive Tree Genealogy has been gathering and transcribing when possible, the various record sets and publishing them on the Early Ontario Education Records
section of my website. 

The newest set of records includes the following: 

* Teachers Retired From the Profession in 1871-1872 No. 1-181
* Teachers Retired From the Profession in 1873-1874 No. 182-341. Includes names of widows and representatives of deceased teachers who are owned money 
* Teachers Retired From the Profession in 1875 No. 342-515
* Teachers Retired From the Profession in 1876 No. 516-685
* Teachers Retired From the Profession in 1877 No. 686-870
* Teachers Retired From the Profession in 1878 No. 871-1068
* Teachers Retired From the Profession in 1879 No. 1069-1291

January 20, 2015

Rescued Postcards 1900-1918

Recently I rescued 28 vintage orphaned postcards from antique shops. They range in date from 1900 to 1918. 27 are from United States and 1 is from Ontario Canada. I have scanned and added 6 of these postcards to Lost Faces and will be adding the rest of these wonderful cards over the next month. I hope descendants will see these postcards and recognize an ancestor. 

Index to Family Postcards

  • Larson Mrs. Amanda Engell Larson, 210 Eagle st., Dunkirk NY from "your cousin Mildred Wallin. 1914 (found in 1940 census Dunkirk,Chautauqua, New York . She was born ca 1871 in Sweden and is a widow, living with her married daughter Ellen Pruss)
  • Duttweiler Miss Dorothea Duttweiler, Alden, Erie Co. New York, Genesee Road, from Ella? 1913 (1900 census Alden, New York age 1, daughter of Fred & Ella)
  • Duttweiler Miss Dorothea Duttweiler, Alden, Erie Co. New York. from "your friend Minnie F." 1914
  • Roth Mrs. Jacob Roth, North East, Pennsylvania.To "my dear Audie, with love to all and a kiss to you, Jake July 8, 1918
  • Roth Master John Roth, North East, Pennsylvania. For his first birthday. From Aunt Pena? and Uncle John. Can't read date
  • Roth Master John Oldach Roth, North East, Pennsylvania c/o Mrs. Johanna Oldach. to "Dear Hans" Birthday greetings from "Aunt Bessie and Uncle Herman. 1912

January 19, 2015

Fenian Raids 1866 Meeting of Committee of Safety Online

Fenian Raids 1866 Meeting of Committee of Safety Online
The minutes of the Committee of Safety were found by Barbara Wilson Smith, a descendant of Isaac P. Willson (Secretary of the meeting). These unpublished and previously unknown documents from 1866 (6 numbered legal size pages plus 3 unnumbered letter size!)  had sat in an attic for over 130 years. 

They turned out to be the minutes of a 17 hour meeting (beginning at 5 p.m. June 1st, ending at 10 a.m. June 2) in the Welland area of Ontario in the 24 hours preceding the Battle of Ridgeway

These are extremely important historical documents from the Fenian Raids. 

See the full documents at Committee of Safety Meeting page on Olive Tree Genealogy website. These include 2 pdf files of the Committee Meeting of Safety and the list of men in the Volunteer Patrol Guards. 





January 18, 2015

MacNeil Clan Suprised by DNA Findings of Viking Ancestry Not Niall of the Nine Hostages

MacNeil Clan Suprised by DNA Findings of Viking Ancestry Not Niall of the Nine Hostages
For centuries the MacNeil clan living on the Hebridean island of Barra have proudly claimed to be descendants of Ireland's greatest King, Niall of the Nine Hostages. However DNA testing has proven this story a myth. 

DNA swabs taken from Barra MacNeils as far away as Canada and Australia have shown no trace of Irish ancestry. Instead the DNA indicates Viking (Norse) ancestors.
"We can say we can re-write the history of the Clan MacNeil," said genealogist Vincent MacNeil, from Nova Scotia, Canada. "We don't have one participant from Barra that matches the O'Neills of Ireland. Source: Herald Scotland
Continue reading the full story at Macneil clan shocked as DNA checks force rewrite of history

January 17, 2015

Diary of Herbert Kearse, WW1 soldier

Olive Tree Genealogy has added the diary of WW1 soldier  Herbert Kearse to the Canadian Military Heritage Project website.


Diary of Herbert Kearse, WW1 soldier War Graves Register
War Graves Register for Herbert Kearse
Herbert Kearse was born August 27, 1888 in Burford England. He moved to Burlington Ontario in October 1910. On September 3, 1915 he enlisted in the CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force). His unit was the 86th Battalion. 

Herbert became a Lance Corporal in charge of a Lewis Gun Crew and was killed on April 28, 1917. He left a wife and two young songs.

His diary began September 13, 1915 and ends 6 days before his death in 1917. The complete diary is published with permission of the owner and is available online for your personal use.