Wednesday, August 31, 2016


     The Digital Public Library of America1 describes itself as a “Wealth of Knowledge”and invites viewers to “explore 13,997,962 items [as of 30 August 2016] from libraries, archives and museums.” A simple search box is provided. Access to the collection is free.
    About eight months ago (in January 2016), I searched DPLA for “Marks family” and found an item that featured a pair of spectacles made by Edmund Hughes, my 3X great-grandfather, a silversmith in Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut. The identifier is “Eyeglasses of Lucy Marks,” which are in the collection of the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis.2 The complete description is “Eyeglasses worn by Lucy Marks, mother of Meriwether Lewis. A portrait of Lucy Marks shows her wearing the spectacles (see 1936 030 0002).” Edmund Hughes is not mentioned. The portrait, painted between 1830 and 1842 by American artist John Toole, is in the collection of the University of Virginia Art Museum.3
    The Missouri History Museum’s identification of the eyeglasses includes the name of the maker/creator, Edmund Hughes, but only “Lewis, Meriwether, 1774-1809" and “Marks, Mrs. Lucy” are listed as subjects. Not very helpful for someone interested in the Connecticut silversmith who plied his trade for over 50 years. Of course, a search for him on DPLA was negative.
    I was unsuccessful in retrieving Lucy Marks's eyeglasses in a recent search for “Marks family” that returned only nine items and wondered how I stumbled upon them in the first place. I did find them by searching for “Lucy Marks.”4 Obviously, for a surname such as Marks (which returned 39,524 results), I would like to have the option of limiting the returns to items that are associated only with the surname, thereby eliminating maker’s marks, trade marks, “x marks the spot,” etc.
    Since there is no advanced search and item descriptions are brief, I wondered whether genealogists and family historians would be able to locate much of interest via DPLA.
     On second thought, however - without DPLA, would I have known that the market for Edmund Hughes's eyeglasses reached from Connecticut to Virginia?

   The photographs are of Hughes spectacles in the writer’s collection. Crafted of coin silver, they are similar to those in the Missouri museum.

   1Digital Public Library of America.
   2“Eyeglasses of Lucy Marks,” Missouri History Museum (St. Louis).
    3“Lucy Meriwether Lewis Marks,” Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Charlottesville VA).
   4"Lucy Marks," DPLA.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Connecticut Probate Records

From CT State Library's website
    The Connecticut State Library in Hartford has a collection of early Connecticut probate packets. Available on microfilm from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, they contain a wealth of information: Wills, inventories, distributions, releases, signatures, lists of family members, and other treasures for genealogists.

Read the rest of this post 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Thomas Ranney and Mary Hubbard

    Thomas Ranney was born, probably in Scotland, circa 1616 and died in Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut, on 21 June 1713, aged 97 years.  He married in Middletown in May 1659 Mary Hubbard, who was born in Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, on 16 January 1641, daughter of George Hubbard and Elizabeth Watts, and died in Middletown on 18 December 1721.

Read more of this post

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

From The Master Genealogist to Legacy Family Tree

   Going on two years ago, on 31 December 2014, Wholly Genes Software discontinued The Master Genealogist. The software, developed by Bob Velke, remains functional for now, but no new updates are being created and no official tech support is available. I began using TMG at its inception back in 1993, and initially decided to stay with it. 
   But - was it smart to add new data to TMG? Suppose some unforeseen catastrophe happened. Suppose it wouldn't be compatible with a new version of Windows. Then what?
   A short while later, RootsMagic announced that its software had been reconfigured so it could import TMG directly; that is, without a GEDCOM. I bought RM, installed it, and imported one of my data sets. Everything seemed to work and it did not appear that I had lost much data. But I found the program completely different from TMG and I didn’t like some of the reports. I continued to use TMG.
   In July 2016 I came across a comparison of some of the leading genealogy programs and saw that Legacy Family Tree was deemed the best (RM was fourth). I downloaded LFT’s basic version, which is free, and imported (via a GEDCOM) TMG’s sample database. At first glance, the program seemed to be easier to use than RM and the reports were more to my liking. I decided to give it a try.
   Via GEDCOM, I imported one of my databases into LFT. I immediately discovered that witnesses to events, such as censuses, were missing. And so was my research log. Totally unsatisfactory! What to do?
   GEDCOM is not programmed for witnessed events or research logs; however, RM’s new version was designed to accept both directly. It had imported TMG’s witnessed events as shared events and the research log as a to-do list, all properly linked to individuals, events or sources. Since LFT supports shared events and has a to-do list, could I import my RM file into LFT via a GEDCOM? 

   Yes! The new LFT database seems okay - all the shared events are there and so is my old to-do list. I purchased the deluxe version and am using it instead of TMG. There is a rather steep learning curve, but the online documentation is detailed and there is a PDF user’s guide for when I’m completely baffled. I miss TMG, though.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

What Became of Mary Bartley?

    David Bartley and his first wife, Margaret Burnes, had four children, the first born in Ireland, the others in New York City. John died, unmarried, at 26 years of age in 1867 and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Woodside, Queens County, New York. Both Robert (born in 1843) and David (born in 1845) married and had children. They have living descendants and their lives and families are well documented. 
    The fourth child, Mary Bartley (born circa 1846) was enumerated in her parents’ household in 1850, 1855 and 1860. She was not buried in either of her father’s two plots in Calvary Cemetery, so it is likely she married, rather than died, before the 1870 census.
    Robert’s daughter, the writer’s grandmother, often talked about her uncle David, but she never mentioned John and Mary. Since John died eight years before she was born, it would not be surprising had she not known of his existence.  But what about Mary?

1860 NYC, Ward 4, p. 776, dw 22, fam 294, David Battel [sic];
   According to the 1860 census, Mary’s middle name was Jane; however, that added clue hasn’t helped the writer locate her.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Pruning a Family Tree

Joseph Limburg-Caroline Louise Rupp Family Tree1


     According to this tree, Caroline Louise Rupp was born in Buffalo on 26 February 1852, daughter of George Martin Rupp and Barbara Haas, and she died there on 31 July 1928. Her husband was Joseph Limburg, with whom she had thirteen children between 1872 and 1889: Frank J., Alvin George, Cora, Cora (2nd), William Henry, Elizabeth L., Edward, Edward Allen, Frederick, Viola, Lora, Laura Christine, and Clara. 
     Caroline Louise, her parents and her siblings appear as Rupp-Haas “Family Members.”2 Of interest is sister Caroline (1855-1909), who married Oscar H. Becker.      
     It does happen that parents, especially those of Germanic origin,  will have two or more living children with the same first name (typically Johann, Anna, Maria, etc.), who are generally called by their middle names. The two Carolines should make one wonder, however. 
     Six censuses (1850, 1855, 1860, 1865, 1870, and 1880)3 show that George Martin and Barbara Rupp were enumerated at various times with the following children: George A., 1836; Henry M., 1842; Barbara D., 1845; Michael, c1848; Charles A., 1850; Caroline, 1855; and Edward M., 1857. Obviously, a daughter Caroline born in 1852 and alive until 1928 was not a member of this family.
    Since Caroline Louise’s parents were not George Martin Rupp and Barbara Haas, who were they? Fortunately, there were death notices for Joseph F. Limburg4 and Caroline Limburg.5 According to both, Caroline’s maiden name was Rapp, with an A.
I’ll leave the identity of Caroline Louise Rapp’s parents to be discovered by those interested in the Limburg-Rapp family.
Forest Lawn Cemetery, 2013
     As for the Rupp-Haas daughter born in 1855, Caroline, her baptismal record clearly places her in this family and her parents were her sponsors.6 She married in Buffalo on 30 January 1883 Oscar H. Becker.7 George M. Rupp’s five surviving children and their addresses were listed in his probate file, which included a waiver from Caroline Becker,8 who as Caroline F. [sic] Becker (died 4 December 1909) was buried in the Rupp plot in Buffalo’s Forest Lawn Cemetery.9
     1Joseph Limburg (1849-1911 • L7NC-HRJ) and Caroline Louise Rupp (1852-1928 • L285-Q5C), FamilySearch family tree ( : accessed 11 July 2016).   
    2George Martin Rupp (1813-1887 • LKGF-Q7J) and Barbara Haas (1814-1900 • Barbara Haas (1814-1900 • 9H8F-CDF), Family Members, Limburg-Rupp FamilySearch family tree ( : accessed 11 July 2016).
      3Censuses, Erie County, New York, population schedules: 1850 U.S., Buffalo, Ward 4, p. 295, dwelling 807, family 847, George Rupp; 1855 N. Y. state, Buffalo, Ward 5, Southern E.D., dwelling 142, family 174, George Rupp; 1860 U.S., Buffalo, Ward 5, p. 6, dwelling 41, family 40, George Rupp; 1865 N. Y. state, Buffalo, Ward 5, 1st district, no. 475, George M. Rupp; 1870 U.S., Buffalo, Ward 5, p. 648B, dwelling 1867, family 2775, George Rupp; 1880 U. S., Buffalo, Ward ?, ED 127, p. 231B, dwelling 297, family 509, George M. Rupp. 
      4“Joseph F. Limburg,” death notice, Buffalo (New York) Courier, 19 March 1911, p. 1, col. 6; digital image 0948.pdf, Fulton History (accessed 11 July 2016)]
     5“Caroline Limburg,” death notice, Buffalo (New York) Evening News, 1 August 1928, p. 29, col. 2; digital image 3234.pdf, Fulton History (acc 11 July 2016).
      6St. Paul’s Evangelical Church, Buffalo, New York, parish registers, volume 3 (baptisms), p. 3, no. 22, Caroline Elisabeth Rupp, 1855; original manuscript; Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society (now Buffalo History Museum), Bufffalo.
     7Erie County, New York, marriage records, volume 4, page 35, no. 16, Oscar Becker and Caroline E. Rupp, 1883; original books, Erie County Clerk’s Office, Buffalo.
      8Erie County, New York, probate file 19056, George M. Rupp, 22 April 1887; original documents; Erie County Surrogate’s Court, Buffalo.
     9Forest Lawn Cemetery (Buffalo, New York), “Lot Registers,” Section A, p. 68, lot 132 (Charles A. Rupp, 7 April 1893), grave 12, Caroline F. Becker, 1909; WNYGS microfilm. Photograph by buffalogen, July 2013.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

From Buffalogen's photo collection

Cheektowaga NY Baseball Team - circa 1915

Top:  Butch Pelloth, Geo. Pelloth, Supervisor Frank Wildy, Reuben Rupp

Middle:  Cy Neibert, Ray Myers, John Meininger, Ben Wagatha, Wm. Anker

Bottom:  Art Reiman, mascot, Al Reiman, Rowland Rupp 

Who was the mascot?

Bob Hauser, Photographer
Buffalo, NY