NCGS library notes

New Additions to our NCGS Library

This past week we’ve added some new books to our shelves that were donated to us.  Here is a list:

1. Maryland Records Vol.1 and Vol. 2 by Brumbaugh

2. Some of the First Settlers, First Reformed Church of Easton, Penna. by Kieffer

3. History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield [Connecticut] Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (Parts 1 & 2) by Jacobus

4. Early Connecticut Probate Records, Hartford District Vol. 1 – 3 by Manwaring

5. Inheritance in Ontario by MacNamara

6. The Pilgrim Church Register, Plymouth Congregational Church, Lockport, NY

Come look at these books in our NCGS 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 on our website!)

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga is Board Chairman and 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

Spotlight on our Vertical Files – Zimmerman

Throughout the years, our librarians and volunteers have clipped and copied loads of news articles and filed them by surname in our library.  Files like these may also include pedigree charts, family group sheets, pictures, and more if members have donated them.

This folder also included a copy of an old family photo and a copy of a death certificate from 1895!

If you have family group sheets, pictures, pedigree charts, newspaper clippings, funeral cards, etc. that you would like to donate to our Vertical Files, please contact us!  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 is Board Chairman and 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

Please Share Your Funeral Cards With Us!

We have hundred of surname folders in our Vertical File collection in our Library:

We would love to add to that collection in many ways, but with one of them by adding copies of Funeral Cards.  Here is an example of Stephen Niziol’s Funeral Card:

Look at what Carolyn Epps brought us to make copies of this past fall!  Imagine how many we would have if we all did that!

You can e mail scans of the Funeral Cards to: comments@niagaragenealogy.org or stop in during our library hours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1-4:45pm and one of our librarians can make copies of the Funeral Cards on our copy machine.

We appreciate the help to preserve our Niagara County ancestors!

Contributor: Jeanette Sheliga is Board Chairman and 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

New Additions to our NCGS Library

This past weekend we added some books to our NCGS library shelves.  We visited the Historical Society of the Tonawanda’s and made a few purchases for our library shelves:

1. City of North Tonawanda Centennial Celebration 1897-1997

2. Centennial Magazine 1865-1965, North Tonawanda, NY

3. The Rand Family Left a Lasting Imprint on North Tonawanda — and the World!

4. Civil War Veterans of the Tonawandas by Stuart R. Brown (updated 2005)

The website for the Historical Society of the Tonawandas can be found here: https://www.tonawandashistory.org/index.html 

Come look at these books in our NCGS 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

Our Community

Town of Pendleton Historian: Carissa Smith

This past Saturday, the new Historian for the Town of Pendleton stopped into our Library.  Her name is Carissa Smith and you can contact her at: CSmith@pendletonny.us. Carissa, very kindly, agreed to let me send her a couple of questions so we could all get to know her better!  Here are her responses:

1.  Please tell us a little bit about yourself:

My mother’s paternal side came to the Southern Niagara/Northern Erie area around two hundred years ago from Germany. Here I am (many generations later) raising my son in the town I had grown up in.


2.  What made you interested in becoming a Town Historian?

It was on my bucket list. No joke!  From early childhood, I was as curious as a cat. When I would hear a story from an elder, it was followed by a plethora of questions. There’s a romance to local history especially sleepy little Pendleton. It deserves an audience and to ignite passion in others is the aim. Yes, one can relate to it (as history has a tendency to repeat itself). The key figures/situations change but the theme(s) remain the same.



3.  Can you tell us a brief history/overview of the Town of Pendleton (when did it become incorporated, average population, churches, cemeteries, etc.)?

Pendleton is the founder’s mother’s maiden name. Sylvester Pendleton Clark was originally from Rhode Island. He was a war of 1812 veteran with an adventurous spirit. A natural leader, he became the self appointed governor of Grand Island but his victory was short lived. His community of squatters, along with Clark, were forcibly removed from Grand Island via Sheriff Cronk and his militia. It’s true it wasn’t owned but that meant little. Just about everyone fled to Canada but Clark and another family made their way down here to Niagara County. 

After several years of gathering land and building structures, the village of Pendleton was made official in 1827. There was three parishes erected within a short time of each other – Saint Paul’s Evangelical, Good Shepherd Roman Catholic and the First Methodist Episcopal Church (all 1850s). 

We have several cemeteries – some obvious and some not so obvious. A couple are on private property so its best to ask for permission (naturally). On Bear Ridge, there’s four but only two accessible to the public (Bear Ridge Ridgeville-Foote and Saint Paul’s Evangelical Protestant Reformed Bear Ridge #2 ). The King and Clark cemeteries are on private property (access with permission/ respect). There’s more but I don’t want to bore you!



4.  What genealogical resources should we look for if we had ancestors that lived in the Pendleton area?

Oh, that’s a loaded question. Many of the elderly residents are a good start (if they were interested early on). They can point you to people that knew descendants of the founding families. We have a tendency to downplay oral tradition but it can be quite valuable (for instance, with Richard III’s remains and their legendary whereabouts ). The Niagara County Genealogical Society is another fine place to dissect family history. It has a collection of helpful individuals. A short dash from here is the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village. Don’t let the quaint exterior fool you – it houses a delightful archive (complete with microfiche).  

Of course, websites like Ancestry.com, Fulton History, the National Archives and other databases can surprise you with its contents. Before you set out, try to organize your thoughts in a journal. If you’re at a dead end, don’t let the disappointment set in. Take a break, regroup and focus. Last but not least, send me a message. I will do my best to assist you (worst case scenario, I’ll be a student along with you!) We have only to gain.



5.  Do you have a favorite ancestor in your tree that you would like to share a story about with us?

My great 2x grandfather, Henry G. Smith, was from England. He arrived in Fort Erie, Canada to work as an apprentice to his grandparents at their butcher shop. Quite the ambitious man, he climbed the corporate ladder (he was the secretary for Cleveland Steel – his brother Thomas was Vice President). He went from living in a rough part of London to being a well made man in America. There’s a short write up about him in Elroy McKendree Avery’s “A history of Cleveland and its environs; the heart of new Connecticut”. He’s buried in the town of Pomfret (by Fredonia). A day trip was in order one weekend and I had my picture taken next to his stone. It was a full circle moment.



6.  Anything else that you would like to share…

Preservation is up to us therefore it should be addressed as a whole, not a part. The best way to ensure that future generations cherish our local history is to get them involved now and get their creative gears firing. What have you always wanted to know? What would you like to see? There’ll always be a storyteller, a gate keeper but it is done out of a sense of obligation (not woefully but beautifully). Our past is a teacher, for better or for worse, and it is vital for our growth. It is open to all. If you’re new to Pendleton, your story is just another thread in our vivid tapestry. Welcome to the family!

Thank you so much to Carissa for letting us get to know her and the Town of Pendleton a little better!!

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

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!!