NCGS library notes

New Additions to our Library

This past weekend we added some books to our NCGS library shelves – particularly our Pennsylvania collection.  These were all books that had been donated to our library.

1. History of Centre & Clinton Counties, Pennsylvania

2. History of the County of Westmoreland, Pennsylvania

3. Genealogies of Pennsylvania Families

4. History of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania

5. Pennsylvania Births, Bucks County 1682-1800

6. Pennsylvania Births, Northampton County 1733-1800

7. Pennsylvania Births, Montgomery County 1682-1800

8. Index to Pennsylvania’s Colonial Records Series

9. The German Immigration into Pennsylvania

10. History of McKean, Elk, Cameron, and Potter Counties, Penn. Vol 1 & 2

11. History of Clarion County, Pennsylvania

Thank you to those that donated books to our library!

Our library is located on the 2nd floor of the Niagara County Historical Society located at 215 Niagara St., Lockport, NY  14094.  We are open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1 – 4:45pm or you can reach us by e mail at: comments@niagaragenealogy.org

If you are unable to easily visit our library to research in our holdings, remember that your membership to the Niagara County Genealogical Society entitles you to one FREE 30-minute Look-up in our Library’s holdings.  More information about our Society, membership and other benefits can be found at: http://niagaragenealogy.org/membership.html.  (Psst: You can apply for a membership and renew online from our website!)

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club, a member of APG (Assn of Professional Genealogists) and the National Genealogical Society.

NCGS Adventures

Our Visit to the Niagara Peninsula Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society

On Sunday, January 19th, Board Member Joann Stoll and I (Jeanette Sheliga) crossed the Canadian Border to visit our Niagara Peninsula Branch friends of the Ontario Genealogical Society.  You can find their websites here: 

Ontario Genealogical Society: https://ogs.on.ca/ 

Niagara Peninsula Branch: https://niagara.ogs.on.ca/ 

We first met our OGS hosts at the St. Catharines Public Library – Central Library Branch at 54 Church St., St. Catherines, ON L2R 7K2.  The library’s website can be found here: http://www.stcatharines.library.on.ca/.

The St. Catharines Central Library Branch has a large Special Collections room on the second floor of the library which houses their Local History, Genealogy, and Norval Johnson Heritage Centre collections.  Right outside of the Special Collections room is Ontario Genealogical Society Collection:

After we explored all of the wonderful resources they had at the library (directories, family histories, OGS publications, surname indexes, cemetery transcripts, and so much more!), we headed to offices of the Niagara Branch located right near the locks for the Welland Canal (50 Chapel St. S, Thorold, ON L2V 2C6).  They share a space with the Thorold and Beaverdams Historical Museum and the Lock 7 Viewing Centre.

Ontario Genealogical Society President, Steve Fulton, showed us around the museum and let me have some fun with an old phone switchboard:

We drove around the Welland canal locks (so much bigger than our set here in Lockport!) and then had a really nice dinner with a group of Niagara Branch members.  At the dinner we learned about their upcoming OGS Conference & Family History Show taking place in the Hamilton Convention Centre on June 5-7, 2020.  You can visit the conference website here: https://conference2020.ogs.on.ca/.  I registered to attend!

After dinner, they gave us a gift for our NCGS library.  It is a collection of stories outlining the lives of men and women who found themselves in the midst of battle in the War of 1812. 

Here are some of the names of the people featured:

We had such a great visit and truly appreciate their hospitality and kindness.  We are very fortunate to have so many nice neighboring societies near us and loved crossing the bridge to visit and learn from our Canadian friends.  

I am very much looking forward to attending the OGS Conference this June!

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club, a member of APG (Assn of Professional Genealogists) and the National Genealogical Society.

NCGS library notes

AmericanAncestors.org Access at NCGS Library

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Don’t forget that our library is a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and we have access to their online record collections.  You can search many different ways, but you may want to start by browsing their Databases A-Z.  Do do so, mouseover the Search tab at the top of the AmericanAncestors.org website and then when the window opens up, click on Browse Databases A to Z:

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You can see from just this screenshot that AmericanAncestors.org has over 465 databases that include records from all over the world:

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You can access AmericanAncestors.org from our computer or with your own device if you are linked to our Wi-Fi.

Our library is located on the 2nd floor of the Niagara County Historical Society located at 215 Niagara St., Lockport, NY 14094.  We are open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1 – 4:45pm or you can reach us by e mail at: comments@niagaragenealogy.org.

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club, a member of APG (Assn of Professional Genealogists) and the National Genealogical Society.

NCGS library notes

Volunteers Needed for a Library Work Day!

Saturday, February 15th

1pm – 4pm

Niagara County Genealogical Society Library

215 Niagara St., Lockport

The Niagara County Genealogical Society (NCGS) is looking for volunteers for an afternoon to help us create some guides for our library. We would like our guides to list our library holdings in certain collections (ex: cemetery books, yearbooks, church records, etc.). These guides could then easily be accessible to patrons of the library and also placed on our website for researchers planning a visit.

We would like to create our guides similar to ones that the Grosvenor Room has in the Buffalo Public Library. You can click here to see an example:
http://www3.buffalolib.org/sites/default/files/pdf/genealogy/subject-guides/CemeteryRecords2014.pdf

What’s involved? We would like to start with our cemetery books. We need for each book to be looked through and then report the name of the cemetery, where it is located, and the range of burial years that are listed (ex: 1862-1944).

Many hands make light work! If a good number of volunteers attend, we could easily accomplish one library guide, if not two!!

Please join us! We promise to play fun music and have treats!!

NCGS library notes

NCGS Membership

It’s that time of year again!  If you haven’t yet renewed your Niagara County Genealogical Membership, you can do so online here: http://niagaragenealogy.org/member_renewal.htm

If you are not currently a member and would like to join us, please do!  You can do so online here: http://niagaragenealogy.org/new_member_app.htm or you can print an application to mail in from here: http://niagaragenealogy.org/pdfs/ncgs_membership_app.pdf.

Our membership calendar year is considered January 1st through December 31st.

NCGS Membership comes with the following privileges:

  • Newsletter: NCGS members will receive a quarterly newsletter. This 8-page newsletter contains genealogical material and records relating to Niagara County as well as Society news. Members may also post free queries in the newsletters. Newsletters are available through your choice of e-mail or postal mail.
  • Look-Up Program: NCGS has a Look-Up service available to members only. Each membership in the Society entitles you to one FREE 30-minute Look-Up in the Library’s holdings OR one Obit Look-Up in the Lockport Public Library. After the free Look-Up, additional Look-Ups are available for a nominal fee. Look-ups for the membership year need to be into our library by December 14th.
  • Society Meetings: Meetings are open to all and are generally held at 7pm on the last Wednesday of each month except January, February, and sometimes March are held on a Saturday afternoon (no meetings in July, August, November & December). Our programs are usually at the Niagara County Historical Museum meeting room. Meeting topics are listed in the quarterly newsletter and here on the website. Topics have covered areas such as computers & genealogy, ethnic groups, local families, travel and research hints. Our local members, who have e-mail, will receive a notice of meetings approximately one week before the meeting.

In addition to those privileges, your membership dues help us maintain and grow our Library!  We have a wonderful collection of books and vertical surname files.  Our society is a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and we have access to their online record collection at our library.  We are also a FamilySearch affiliate library and have access to locked images in their catalog.  Please visit our library at 215 Niagara St., Lockport on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1 – 4:45pm and take advantage of our collections!

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We’ve started some Special Interest Groups (SIG) for Members this past year.  The two SIGs we are running right now are a Book Discussion Group and a Webinar Discussion Group.  Our next SIG is the Book Discussion Group on March 9, 2020 at 6:30pm at the Sanborn-Pekin Free Library (5884 West St., Sanborn).  We will be discussing the book: The Family Tree Irish Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Ancestors in Ireland.

Some of our goals for the future are to rebuild our NCGS website (hopefully with a members-only area) and to accession books and records to build up our Niagara County Collection in our library.  It’s an exiting time!  Please join us!

NCGS library notes

Marriages from Buffalo, N.Y. Newspapers 1811-1884 1999 June Partridge Zintz

We are one of the many local libraries that has this wonderful resource of Buffalo Marriages from 1811 – 1884.  According to the book, it is a compilation of an index file located at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society.  The index file includes almost 14,000 marriages that appeared in Buffalo (English language) newspapers.  The author also consulted the original marriage records in the Erie County Clerk’s Office to obtain missing dates and maiden names (when available).  

You get an idea of the scope of this project just from the list of abbreviations alone:

Sample page:

There is also a Bride and Other Name Index in the back of the book.

Our library is located on the 2nd floor of the Niagara County Historical Society located at 215 Niagara St., Lockport, NY  14094.  We are open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1 – 4:45pm or you can reach us by e mail at: comments@niagaragenealogy.org

If you are unable to easily visit our library to research in our holdings, remember that your membership to the Niagara County Genealogical Society entitles you to one FREE 30-minute Look-up in our Library’s holdings.  More information about our Society, membership and other benefits can be found at: http://niagaragenealogy.org/membership.html.  (Psst: You can apply for a membership and renew online from our website!)

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club and a member of APG (Assn of Professional Genealogists)

Society Archives

Society Archives

The following is an article from one of our Niagara County Genealogical Society Newsletters:

Jan 1993

Volume #15

Issue #1

If you would like to become a member and receive our quarterly newsletter, please see our website to join our society!  http://www.niagaragenealogy.org/membership.html

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club and a member of APG (Assn of Professional Genealogists)

NCGS in the News

Stories of Residents of Glenwood Cemetery

On June 29th, 2019, the Buffalo News published an article about the financial difficulties of Glenwood Cemetery in Lockport, NY.  You can view the article here: https://buffalonews.com/2019/06/29/lockports-glenwood-cemetery-in-financial-peril-may-close-after-nearly-200-years/.

Our NCGS Chairman of the Board, Shelley Richards, is now writing a book that features historic Glenwood Cemetery.  Shelley recently authored a similar two-volume set on St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Lockport, NY.

Shelley is requesting articles from family and friends about Glenwood Cemetery residents.  Please keep submitted stories under 400 words.  It is suggested that each story focus on a single person or, preferably, a couple.  Shelley reserves the right to edit the submitted stories to fit the format of the book.  

Up to two photos can be submitted with each story.  Historical photos without stories can also be submitted and photo credit will be given in the photo section of the book.  

The book will include chapters of the stories, the cemetery history, special places in the cemetery, as well as maps of the various sections.  There will also be color photos of some of the outstanding monuments and mausoleums located thought out the cemetery.

As with her previous two-volume St. Patrick’s Cemetery books, Shelley is going to donate her portion of the proceeds from book sales to the Glenwood Cemetery Association to assist them with their current financial challenges.  She will be assisted by Lockport resident Mary Ann Cutter.

The book is tentatively scheduled for publishing in late summer/early fall 2020.  You can submit your stories and photos to Shelley at GlenCemBook@gmail.com until February 15th, 2020.  If you need any assistance creating your story, please contact Shelley at that e mail address and she will send you a sample biography to use as a guide.

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Here is the story that I (Jeanette Sheliga) submitted on behalf of my step-dad, Thomas Brauer.  Arthur Brauer was his grandfather:

Arthur W. Brauer was born in Lockport, NY on 12 Feb 1895.  He was the son of August Brauer and Minnie Greenwald who both immigrated to this country from Germany.  He grew up on the family farm on West Jackson Street in Lockport.

He married Esther M. Siebert on 2 Jun 1917 in the Town of Clarence, NY.  She was the daughter of John Siebert and Pauline Nagel and was born on 23 Jul 1897.  Arthur and Esther had 3 boys: Arthur Jr. (1918), Warren (1920), and Donald (1923).  

Over the years, Arthur worked both as a laborer and a farm laborer.  When he was younger he worked at Alum Soapalite Works.  His last job was for the International Railway Company.  On 24 Jun 1928, he got his foot stuck in a frog of a railroad switch and was struck by a train.  He died from his injuries at the young age of 33 years old. 

Pictured are Arthur Brauer and Esther Siebert on their wedding day:

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club and a member of APG (Assn of Professional Genealogists)

NCGS library notes

Illustrated History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, New York 1878, reprinted 1981

You can get an idea of what the book contains from the first page of the Table of Contents:

Here is a sample page from the book:

This book is available for free at Archive.org (https://archive.org/details/historyofmontgom00beer), however the quality of image is much clearer in the book on our shelf.  Compare for yourself.  Here are images from Archive.org:

Here are the same pages from our book in the NCGS Library:

Another great feature of this book is that it has an index!!

Our library is located on the 2nd floor of the Niagara County Historical Society located at 215 Niagara St., Lockport, NY  14094.  We are open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1 – 4:45pm or you can reach us by e mail at: comments@niagaragenealogy.org

If you are unable to easily visit our library to research in our holdings, remember that your membership to the Niagara County Genealogical Society entitles you to one FREE 30-minute Look-up in our Library’s holdings.  More information about our Society, membership and other benefits can be found at: http://niagaragenealogy.org/membership.html.  (Psst: You can apply for a membership and renew online from our website!)

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga of Lockport NY is Vice-President of the Niagara County Genealogical Society, Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club and a member of APG (Assn of Professional Genealogists)

Member Spotlight

Get to Know our Members – Joann Stoll


Pictured are Joann’s grandmother Ann (Silensky) Moskel, great-grandmother Nancy Duawitaka, Joann Stoll (baby), and her mother Sophie (Moskel) Gmerek

Name/Location and any other credentials/background that you would like to provide: 

My name is Joann Stoll.  I was born in Lockport and lived here my whole life with the exception of a few months downstate in the late 1980’s. 

How long have you been researching your family tree? 

Since 1988 when I was taking an anthropology course at NCCC and was asked to build a tree of my ancestors occupations and became hooked. 

Who is your favorite ancestor? 

I don’t have one favorite, it is usually the one I am currently researching. I enjoy feeling like I get a peek into what their lives may have been like – especially when reading old newspaper articles from their hometown. As a nurse I can say HIPAA was definitely not around back then. I enjoy reading what was considered ‘news’ then – such as who was visiting, coming to town or leaving on vacation. 

Describe one of your brick walls. 

My maternal ancestors prior to arriving in America.

What are some of the surnames in your family tree that lived in our Western New York area? 

Gmerek – my parents moved here from Pennsylvania. I have recently began my husband’s side of the family so will have a LOT more names that I can research locally – Stoll, Qualiana (Quagliano), Runfola, Chaplin. I am looking forward to having resources to search these names locally as they have been in the area for years. 

What was something surprising that you discovered while researching your family tree? 

My paternal great grandmother would go with the local doctor to deliver babies because she was able to speak and understand different languages especially the various the Slovak dialects. The family her mother worked for had allowed her to obtain an education with their daughter. Also, how ‘easy’ it was to change your name or the spelling of your name. 


What are some of your favorite online resources? 

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.

What are some of your favorite local resources? 

Niagara County Genealogical Society Library of course. 

What are some of your favorite ways to educate yourself to become a better genealogist? 

YouTube videos – especially Jeanette’s!

Have you had you DNA tested?

Yes.

If yes, which websites? 

Ancestry (but uploaded to the other sites).

What is some advice that you would share with a beginning genealogist? 

Source your data! I was eager to click leaves and add things to my tree when starting, hard to go back and verify information later.