Member Spotlight

Get to Know Our Members-David Coats

David

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

Hello- My name is David Coats and live in Eaton Rapids Michigan and have all my life except for the military and 4 years of college.

How long have you been researching your family tree?

I have been doing research since sometime in the 70’s.

Who is your favorite ancestor?

Sophia Decker my 2x Grandmother, born in Montgomery Co, New York and died in Eaton Co, Michigan.

Describe one of your brick walls.

That is really hard due to the many brick walls but I would say finding information on when & where Sophia Decker and Reuben Coats married. Supposedly in Niagara Co, New York.

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

Some of the surnames are Decker, Coats, Smith, Birdsall, Taylor and Platt. I have applied to S.A.R. under 3 of these.

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

That a married took place between cousins. About 5th cousins different last names and in a different state than where they were born.

What are some of your favorite online resources?

NCGS, Ancestry, Family Search, NARA and many many County Genealogical and Historical Societies.

What are some of your favorite local resources?

Michigan State Library, County Courthouse and Historical Societies.

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

Listening. Listen to the fellow Genealogists you meet.

Have you had you DNA tested?  If yes, which websites?

Yes, through Ancestry and 23andMe.

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

It is very important to take good notes and organize your information. Whether it is paper file folders or computer files, organize, organize. The man reason is to plan a research of one ancestor and take their file with you. It is very easy to get side tracked when you are reading through documents or reading obituaries searching for a particular ancestor and that is okay. What I do is make notes about the book and name for another time and move on. Other Genealogists you may meet at a library or courthouse talk to them you may be very surprised at what you can learn.

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

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

NCGS library notes

Niagara Wheatfield Yearbooks

This past month we received a donations of yearbooks from Niagara Wheatfield Senior High School and Edward Town Middle School.

It was fun looking through these particular yearbooks as they were for the years that my parents (Jan Johnson and Jeff Sheliga) and aunt (Linda Johnson) went to Niagara Wheatfield.

Of course the fun quickly ended when I found my 6th grade yearbook picture!!

Jeanette Sheliga, 6th Grade… 

Did nobody tell me to comb my hair?  Who picked out those glasses?  LOL

If you’d like to look through our yearbook collection, please visit 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 and we are open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1 – 4:45pm. 

If you do not live close to our library, you can become a member of our Society and take advantage of our Look-up Program.  The Look-up services is available to members only.  Members are entitled to one FREE 30-minute Look-up in the Library’s holdings.  After the free Look-up, additional are available for a nominal fee.  Look-ups for the membership year need to be requested by December 14th.  You can apply for membership right from our website at: http://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 library notes

The Descendants of William Leete

Compiled by Edward L. Leete – 1884, second edition 1934

One of the Family History books we have in our NCGS Library is The Descendants of William Leete.

I did an Ancestry.com search for the Leete surname in Niagara County in their US Federal Census Collection and there were over 100,000 results of Niagara County Leetes.  I did a similar search in Find A Grave and found 13 results of Leetes buried in Niagara County.

If you have Leete’s in your family tree, come visit our NCGS Library.  You can look at our Descendants of William Leete book along with our many other family histories that we have.  Our library is located on the 2nd floor of the Niagara County Historical Society located at 215 Niagara St., Lockport, NY  14094 and we are open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1 – 4:45pm. 

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

Spotlight on our Vertical Files – Barns/Barnes

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 particular file also includes some copies from an old family bible.

If you have family group sheets, pictures, newspaper clippings, 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

If you are unable to easily visit our library to check out our Vertical Files, 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 and Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club.

NCGS library notes

Spotlight on our Vertical Files – Bower/Bowers

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.

If you have family group sheets, pictures, 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

If you are unable to easily visit our library to check out our Vertical Files, 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 and Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club.

Member Spotlight

Get to Know Our Members

Name/Location and any other credentials/background that you would like to provide:  My name is Carol DiPirro-Stipkovits, I am the Niagara County Genealogical Society President, a Member and have a monthly genealogy column in the Niagara Gazette and Lockport Union -Sun and Journal. I was born in North Tonawanda but now live in Cambria.

How long have you been researching your family tree? I’ve been dabbling since before the internet, when it was Microfiche at my local library in my teens. I started back at it about 15 years ago. but when my sister gave me my maternal grandmother’s notebook where she kept dates, recipes, grocery lists, etc. …i was hooked. I needed to know more about her life.

Who is your favorite ancestor? I admire my paternal grandmother, Estella Giardino Rosso, very much. She traveled from Italy for weeks on a ship with her two small children (2 & 3 years old) shortly after the death of her oldest child, to join my grandfather in the US. Upon arriving she was held in the Ellis Island infirmary for 2 more weeks waiting to be released to my grandfather. They eventually went on to own a home and raise 10 children with very little. They achieved the American dream.

Estella Giardino Rosso

Describe one of your brick walls – My great grandmother, Nellie Constantina. After my grandfather was born, her husband, Francesco Rosso/Russo, left for America never to return to Italy for his family. I struggle to find records on her.

What are some of the surnames in your family tree that lived in our Western New York area? Giardino, Cote, LaPlante, Rosso, Russo, Rossow,

What was something surprising that you discovered while researching your family tree? My Mom’s ancestors have deep roots in Canada dating back to the founding of it as New France in the early 1600’s. Many of their names are listed on a commemorative plaque of Quebec’s earliest pioneers.

What are some of your favorite online resources? I upgraded my Ancestry subscription to Full Access and LOVE it. Depending on the region I am researching my favorites are Patriomoinequene.ca, familysearch.org, italiangen.org, hungaryexchange.com, findagrave.com, Fultonhistory.com, genealogiequebec.com, fold3.com, newspapers.com and I love chat boards (yes, they still exist!) for particular branches of research. I have about 35 Google alerts set that have helped me too. I am also a member of many societies, via online, in countries and states that are significant in my research. Genealogists are so eager to help each other.   Facebook groups are amazing in that way too.

What are some of your favorite local resources? Our NCGS library, of course, is not only a great resource for records but the librarians are very knowledgeable. Joining local societies really kick started my research. The people I interact with at programs make me feel like a newbie! So much to learn if you just reach out and ask.  The local historians office is a great resource too. They know the history of your area, old street names and clues about the people who lived there.

What are some of your favorite ways to educate yourself to become a better genealogist? I read so much! Not only about genealogy standards and research but the history of where my ancestors originated which gives me a better understanding of the world’s timeline. Look for anniversary books from historical societies in your area of research. For $15 I purchased a 200 year history of the small town in Canada my maternal grandparents were from and found biographies of so many ancestors. I also try to attend as many local/regional seminars as possible every year and take online courses in the cold winter months.

Have you had you DNA tested?  If yes, which websites? Yes, I did the Ancestry DNA test. When I only vaguely understood my results and everything that went with it, I offered to teach a DNA class at our society. This forced me to figure it out and it was the best thing I could have done! I now consider myself a bit of a DNA guru. I’ve also found new cousins which is a bonus!

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

Talk to your elderly relatives now. I put it off and its a big regret. Take a recorder and ask them questions, let them talk. Years from now when you’re tree is leafy, listen to these recordings and you’ll recognize the people in your tree.

Don’t add anything to your family tree without a source attached and don’t trust anyone’s info unless you see the source yourself.

Take your time. Genealogy research is so much more than copying and pasting facts. Learning who your ancestor was when alive will add so much to their story.

Find your tribe! Join a genealogical society and get involved, you won’t regret it.

NCGS library notes

Spotlight on our Vertical Files – Campbell

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.

If you have family group sheets, pictures, 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

If you are unable to easily visit our library to check out our Vertical Files, 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 and Organizer of the North Tonawanda Library Genealogy Club.