Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanks & Giving

It's been more than a month since I have updated and I won't let that happen again.  

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope that anyone reading this has had a wonderful meal with family and friends, with many things and people to be thankful for this season.  

Here are some things that I am grateful for:

My thanks to everyone who has been helpful and support of me in my pursuit of the people, records, photos and more that have built and continue to build my family trees. My sister Stephanie, is an enthusiatic sounding board. My mother and my Aunt Evie continue to offer historical context and help to sort fact from fiction.  I could write a whole post about the support and help I received from my beloved Aunt Nancy and plan to do that separately. I was inspired to start blogging about my genealogy experience after participating in Amy Johnson Crow's 31 Days to Better Genealogy Project on Facebook.  Several members took the time to read and comment and it was a positive and encouraging experience for me.  

I have mentioned before how cut off I often feel from the area where a good deal of my family history has occurred, since I have relocated to Florida. I can no longer walk the cemetery looking for clues and I can no longer run to the library's local history room to pursue a hunch.  I have had to change how I do my research.  This makes me very grateful for the Genealogical Society of Rockland County (GSRC) and their website for several reasons.  

In 2002, the GSRC published two books that I have used time and time again, in the Rockland Room of the New City Library, The Records of the A.W. Dutcher's & Sons Funeral Home, 1878 - 1965 and the Records of the George M. Holt Funeral Home, including Purdy and McKenzie, 1864- 1953.  These two volumes are critical to the North Rockland area, as these are the funeral homes that would have handled the death and burial of most residents.  

These books are chock full of vital statistics I could not verify any other way.  Not only do they list name, death date, funeral/burial date and place, most records also include birth date and place, maiden names, parents names and who received the bill (and their relationship to the deceased) for funeral services. They are especially helpful in narrowing down who is buried where- when every generation seems to have the same names (in my family its Jacob, William and Henry.)

Shortly after moving, I went to the GSRC website to see if I could actually purchase these two volumes, I missed them so much, and low and behold these two gems are searchable through the Society's website!

This is a resource I use every day, to verify a date or to try to discern one Sarah from another, it has become a critical tool and helping me document dates, places and people and I am very grateful to the hardworking and forward thinking volunteers at the GSRC, for not only transcribing and publishing these volumes back in 2002 but for including them on their website in a searchable and exportable format! I can't even count how many deaths and burials I have been able to document and I am grateful.