• New York
  • May10

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    Yesterday while in Manhattan with my family, we took a minute to take a fun photo.

    First, an abbreviated back story: A few years ago when I started researching my great-grandfather Michael Tierney and family in earnest, I obtained his work records from the New York City Police Department. While working on that information and finding them in the various censuses under any number of poorly enumerated spellings and transcriptions, I also began scanning all of our family photos. In my brother’s album I found a single photo of Michael, standing on a rooftop in uniform circa 1904.

    A few days later, I experienced an amazing instance of serendipity – browsing in my local library I flipped open a copy of The New York Irish and saw an 1887 photo of a group of policemen standing in front of the spanking new precinct on 67th Street.

    One of them looked familiar.

    To find out more, see my first two posts on great-grandfather in Michael Tierney – NY Policeman, Part 1 and the creatively titled, Michael Tierney – Policeman, Part 2.

    Below is the result of our photo expedition. A surreal experience to stand in exactly the same place as your ancestor 127 years later.

    For those of the historical architecture mindset, I suggest this interesting post about the precinct house at the Daytonian in Manhattan blog: The 1887 19th Precinct Station House — 153 East 67th Street.
    For more detail, you can read the 1999 NYC Landmark Preservation Commission Report here – it is actually much more interesting than you might think! (It is for the 19th precinct, but was originally the 25th.)

    Police Station.1887 Opening.67th Street.FADE

  • May7

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    Baby Racing!

    Posted in: Fun, New York

    Today, my friends, a reminder to get your babies in shape since baby racing season will soon be upon us. And be aware that with 18 children under he belt (so to speak), your baby will need to get up VERY early in the morning to beat Mrs. Minafo’s 7 month old.

    Of course, babies tend to get up early anyway.

    If you read the article, you will find that these are indeed actual baby races (to some extent at least) with prizes up to $50 for each of the three scheduled runs. er, toddles. um, crawls?

    But, it was all in the name of teaching young mothers the importance of helping children build their bodies, and all of the babies were given doctor checkups prior to the race. Plus, there were apparently “milk stations” along the route.

    Anyway, enjoy. AND I’VE GOT A SAWBUCK ON THE MINAFO KID.

    BABY RACES! 1913
    You can read the original stories on the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America newspaper site here:
    The evening world., July 17, 1913, Final Extra, Image 3

  • Jan31

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    It is probably not news to genealogy folks who research that, as the New York State Archives site says, “Several New York repositories have formed a partnership with Ancestry.com to digitize family history records and make them available on line for free.”

    For several months I have accessed those records on Ancestry, probably most often the 1915 and 1925 NY State censuses. The only trick was that these records are officially free to New York State residents, and once logged into Ancestry, I would visit the URL http://www.ancestry.com/newyork, enter my NY zip code, and thus would get in.

    However, this weekend I found that no longer worked – it is still a search page titled “New York State Records”, but the zip code submission field is gone. If you use that search form, it returns results from the Archives partnership – but if you try to view the images it brings you to the ubiquitous “Choose a membership to get started” sign up page.

    Annoyed by that, a little follow up googling brought me to the NYSED.gov Archives page outlining the partnership. Thankfully, on this page the zip code form field exists. Using it brings you to Ancestry’s “New York: Where History Goes on Record” page, where you can again search the records and click through the results to view the images. (You are still required to have at a free Ancestry login to view images.)

    Again, here is the URL for the NYS Archives site:
    http://www.archives.nysed.gov/a/research/res_ancestry.shtml

    I think it is disappointing that this change occurred, since it makes original NY State landing page more of a funnel to the subscription page, and while there are “free for all” collections listed in the “New Collections” section at the bottom of the page, it does not mention anywhere that many of the collections are free to NY residents!

    More than a bit confusing.

  • Sep25

    4 Comments

    I have been helping a friend lately by looking to see what I could put together for her family tree. Luckily for her, almost immediately a torrent of records began to pour from the online coffers, so the tree began to fill up quite nicely.

    As is often the case, there are a few records that may be for parallel persons of similar name, so definitely some work to do on locking those down as properly vetted and assessed.

    XBut, in the short run I found an interesting thing: both her great grandfather, and his father both seemed to have served in the Fighting 69th volunteer infantry – although the elder was before the Civil War, and the younger in World War I.

    While looking at information for what appears to be the younger Francis Kearney’s stay in a a “National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers”, I found something slightly puzzling.

    His history at the home lists him as being “Admitted” on May 4, 1925, and then on Oct 31, 1926 his Cause of Discharge is “Dropped.”

    Francis Kearney Military Home Record DetailThe images for these records come in pairs of pages, and I quickly noticed that the next fellow’s record has many entries for “Discharged” and “Transferred”.

    Anyone out there in the genealogosphere have any knowledge on the term “Dropped” in this context? Hmm.

    Record Citation:

    “United States National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-21051-37678-11?cc=1916230&wc=MMRT-VYX:n30335972 : accessed 25 Sep 2013), Togus, Maine > Register no. 18000-19499 > image 262 of 771.

  • Sep11

    3 Comments

    I visited the NYC Police Museum a few years ago when my son was about 7 years old. He was very interested in the 9/11 exhibit there, but was tough talking with him about it.

    Our thoughts are with all that were lost 12 years ago.

    Son at 9/11 Exhibit at NYC Police Museum, 2010
    The Old Slip police station, N... Digital ID: 120399. New York Public Library

    That museum is a great one to visit – the exhibits are well done and it is located in the Old Slip police station near the South Street Seaport. Sadly, it has been closed since Hurricane Sandy – hopefully it will open again soon.

    Thanks to the NY Public Library “The Pageant of America” Collection for the image of the Old Slip Police Station.