Archives for November 2014

More NYS prison records added to has recently added two new databases, Sing Sing Prison Admission Registers, 1865-1939 and Clinton Prison Admission Ledgers, 1851-1866, 1926-1939.

Sing Sing Prison, located in Ossining, opened in 1826. Early registers recorded the inmate’s name, county tried in, crime, dates of conviction and admission, sentence, alias, and county received from. Personal details may include age, place of birth, marital and family status, residence, physical description, and identifying markings (e.g., scars, tattoos, etc.). Literacy, language spoken, religion, habits, and occupation were also noted.

Later years included more detailed descriptions and incarceration history and forms were expanded to include details such as parents, nativity, immigration, military service, and more.

Clinton Prison, located in Dannemora, opened in 1845. The earliest registers included the prisoner’s name, date and county of conviction, crime, sentence, and physical description. The receiving blotters asked for more information and grew more detailed after 1931. They can include details about the inmate’s personal and criminal history and some information about his family:

-prisoner name, alias(es), and number
-sentencing and receiving dates
-county of conviction
-city or town where the crime was committed
-charges, plea, and sentence
-accomplices and whereabouts
-birth date and place
-mental health diagnosis
-nativity and date and port of entry of immigrants
-whether naturalized and when
-parental nativity
-age of prisoner when parents died
-whether prisoner had siblings
-marital status and number of children
-physical description
-whether literate and able to speak English
-employment history
-name and address of nearest relative
-criminal history
-possessions at time of admission to stop its photoduplication service

Photoduplication services at will be discontinued as of Dec. 5, 2014, according to a statement on the wiki. As of Dec. 5, existing orders will be completed but new orders will not be accepted.

In the statement, it is noted that many books and microfilm have been digitized and are available on the site and can be printed.

To find resources that are digitized, go to the FamilySearch catalog at:

If a microfilm or book has not been digitized, and it is available on microfiche or microfilm, it can be ordered and sent to a local family history center where you can then view it. The cost is $7.50 per roll.

For listing of the nearest family history center, go to:

Genealogy TV show concludes on Tuesday

The final episode of “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” Season 2 will take place on Tues. Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. on PBS stations.

This episode will feature Jessica Alba and Deval Patrick. DNA analysis will reveal that the family trees of each of the guests contains a more diverse range of culture and races than they thought.

Gates and his team will use genetic genealogy to make discoveries about the past including being able to identify tribal Native American ancestry, solve paternity mysteries and pinpoint the geographic origins of hidden ancestry.

There is a companion website to the program at:
and a companion Facebook Page at:

Jewish genealogy group to meet this Sunday

The Jewish Genealogy Group of Long Island will meet this Sunday, Nov. 23, from 2- 4 p.m. at the Mid-Island Y-JCC.

The program will be “The Name Remains the Same: Adventures Finding Sid Caesar’s Grandmother.” The speaker will be Robin Meltzer.

When Sid Caesar died in February 2014, many press reports repeated the myth that the family’s name had been “changed at Ellis Island” on their arrival from Austria. Careful research proved that the family’s surname remained unchanged from the time they lived in Galicia through their immigration to the United States. This presentation will explain the search techniques used to find the embarkation list and passenger manifest for Sid Caesar’s grandmother and great-uncle and how others can apply these methodologies to their own research.

For more information, go to the club’s website at:

Patchogue genealogy group to meet Saturday

The Patchogue-Medford Genealogy Research Group will meet this Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Patchogue-Medford Public Library.

The Help Session will be from 9:30-10 a.m. and the program will be from 10-11:30 a.m. The topic will be “Finding Spicy Stories of New York Ancestors in Newspapers Online.” The speaker will be Terry Koch-Bostic.

The Patchogue-Medford Library is located at 54-60 E. Main Street. For more information, go to the library website at:

Free webinar to discuss passenger list research

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service will present a free live webinar on Friday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m.

The topic will be “Back-Dated Arrival Records : Nunc Pro Tunc (“Now for Then”) – Examinations at Ellis Island – 1911- 1921.”

After 1911, many immigrants living in the New York City area found they could not naturalize and become US citizens because there was no record of their lawful admission to the United States. Almost all of these immigrants arrived after 1905 and before 1921. This presentation will focus on official arrival records created for those immigrants when they later visited Ellis Island for belated examination under US immigration law. Those records supported the immigrants’ eventual naturalization petitions claiming arrival on ships where their names cannot be found on the passenger manifest.

To join this live webinar, go to: then scroll down the page until you see “Records Found” Case Studies then click the “attend session” link for the Nov. 21 webinar.

Free webinars to take place on Wednesday

There are three free webinars taking place this Wednesday, Nov. 19. Take advantage of one, two or all three.

Legacy Family Tree webinars will present “Using Evernote for Genealogy” at 2 p.m. Presenter Lisa Louise Cooke will discuss how to use Evernote for note taking, how to clip items from the Internet, use OCR technology to search your digitized documents and find the best apps that work with Evernote.

You must register for this free webinar. To register, go to:

The Georgia Genealogical Society will present “What’s a Palatine Anyway?” at 8 p.m. Presenter James M. Beidler will discuss this specific area of Germany. Mr. Beidler is the author of the recently published “Family Tree Guide to German Genealogy.”

You must register for this free webinar. To register go to:

The Southern California Genealogical Society will present “The WWI Draft Card: Don’t Do Research Without It” at 9 p.m. Presenter Tim Pinnick will discuss how World War I draft registration cards can provide valuable pieces of information that can become leads in solving some genealogical roadblocks for researchers.

You must register for this free webinar. To register, go to:;jsessionid=abcTy_O5TIsS2afTRF_Mu

Free access to World War II collection

The website is offering free access to its World War II Collection through November 30.

Some of the more popular titles in the collection include:
Missing Air Crew Reports, World War II U.S. Air Force Photos, World War II diaries and the World War II “Old Man’s Draft” Registration Cards.

To access this collection, go to:

Huntington Historical Society to meet Wednesday

The Huntington Historical Society will meet this Wednesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m.

The topic will be “Fact, Fiction, or Fishtale? Proving Family Stories.” The presenter will be Kathleen McGee.

The meeting will take place at the Conklin Barn, located on the SW corner of New York Avenue and High Street in Huntington. Parking is behind the house.

For more information, call the historical society at 631-427-7045.

Free webinar to focus on using Google Earth

The Wisconsin State Genealogical Society will present a free webinar on Tuesday, November 18, at 8 p.m. entitled “Time Travel with Google Earth.” The presenter will be Lisa Louise Cooke.

Get ready to experience old historic maps, genealogical records, images, and videos coming together to create stunning time travel experiences in the free Google Earth program. Topics will include automated changing boundaries and historic maps that are built right into Google Earth.

You must register for this free webinar. To to: