Friday, July 21, 2017

Lt. Frank McConnell Park - Richmond Hill, Queens, NY

On Thursday morning, Donald and I found ourselves sitting in a park on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard in Queens while waiting for a diagnosis on our car from a new mechanic. While we were waiting I realized that there was a memorial of some kind at one end of the park and Donald went over to investigate.

He discovered that this park was dedicated to the memory Lt. Frank McConnell, the first Richmond Hill resident killed in World War I who gave his life, according to a city parks website, on July 26, 1918 in the second battle of the Marne.



Although the monument is dedicated to all of the Morris Park (neighborhood boundaries in Queens are very fluid) residents killed in the Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, the Korean Campaign and the Viet-Nam Campaign, only those killed in WWI are listed.




Last year I shared the WWI memorials in Rockville Centre, NY where I live. Rockville Centre is a village in Nassau County, about a half hour drive from this park. RVC is just a village and Queens is a city county, but I am struck by the difference in the number of casualties between Rockville Centre and just one Queens neighborhood, even 100 years ago.

Anyway, I hope that this post may enable another genealogist to find their relative on this memorial. As listed on the plaque, those killed in action are:

Charles F. Albrecht
Louis E. Ammarell
Edward M. Anderson
Charles G. Baird
Mortimer Benjamin
George B. Burling, Jr.
Robert J. Burtis
Edward Cater
Frederick A. Clark
Harold J. Cokeley
George M. Coleman
Charles. F. Cook
Albert M. Dow
Charles F. Gans
David E. Gladd
Robert Gray, Jr.
Eugene A. Griffith
George B. Hall
Joesph Hartel, Jr.
William F. Hausman
Herome Heime
Charles M. Hoerning
William B. Holler
Andrew J. Hummer
Johannes A. Jensen
Albert A. Justis
Henry Lerch, Jr.
Lewis Lichtenstein
Frederick Lippert
John W. Mark
Daniel C. McCauley
Frank W. McConnell, Jr.
Frank J. Menninger
John J. Mertz
Frank A. Meyer
Finlay W. Millar
Cuthbert C. Murphy
Frederick W. Neumeyer
George R. Nicholson
Bertram S. Noble
George F. Pettit
Louis Pine
Andrew J. Provost, Jr.
Frederick H. Reif
William A. Reihl
Bernard Ripoll
Archibald E. Robbins
Thomas R. Roberts
Paul E. Sallah
Arthur A. Schnorr
Frank L. Schweithelm
Joseph Sheridan
Frederick H. Shirs
John A. Smith
Arthur J. Struck
Stephen T. Sullivan
Adam H. Suttmeier
Frederick W. Sundermier
John Tallario
Dominick Trapasso
Charles L. Trinkard
John T. Vermaelen
George A. Weber
Lawrence Whalen
Harry J. Whitman
William A. Williams
Charles Worth
James P. Young
Peter A. Zeis
Alfred N. Dow

I will be adding this post to the Honor Roll Project.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Planting a Seed - Sharing Family Photos

For the past two months, I have been spending a good deal of my free time preparing for the Dean reunion which is now less than a month away.

Eva Maud Bean and James Louden Dean

I know that at least one cousin who is "into" genealogy will be there, but I am hoping, of course, that many more will be interested in hearing about the family history that my mother's generation remembers, the added details that Sherril and I have uncovered and in seeing the old photos that bring it to life.

But what is the best way to share the photos? I thought about a book, but I just wasn't feeling it, the time and expense are just not happening right now. And I know that when I do eventually start to write, I want to know more than I do now about our immigrant ancestors.

I would love to bring the originals; there's just something about holding that original in my hand, even in a protective sleeve, that really gets me and I'd love to share that feeling. But a 400-mile drive each way, two nights in a hotel and the fact that we would be gathering around food in a large group, no, I had to admit that sharing the originals would not be possible. And digital sharing isn't an option because I don't have a laptop and the farm is very rural and not internet friendly.

So, I have had prints made of all those cabinet cards, cartes de visite and tintypes, but there were 20th century photos that I wanted to share also and didn't want to have too many more individual prints made. Finally, while I was uploading the older photos to Snapfish (with whom I have no affiliation) I was reminded that they make collage prints in 4x4, 4x6, 5x7, 8x8 and 8x10. After experimenting a bit, I decided that this was the best way to share a lot of photos. I made a total of ten collages and I'm so happy with them that I am sure that I will be framing a few of them if they make it back from the reunion in good condition.

This one contains photos from my grandparent's wedding.


I love how this turned out so much that I ordered two so that I can frame one for myself and one for my mother. And it was easy to make. I just uploaded the .jpg files that I wanted to use, and let Snapfish format the photos for me. If I didn't like the auto arrangement it was fairly easy to swap photos within the collage or remove photos, although once or twice in the process of making all ten collages, I did just start over with fewer photos. You also have the option of choosing from their templates.

One word of caution about Snapfish. I'm not sure that I will use them again. I didn't like the fact that you can only use the coupon codes if you want to have the photos shipped to you and then you have to pay for shipping. So, depending on the size of your order, the coupon codes may not save you much money. The package arrived yesterday, two days earlier than their estimate. It was on my door  mat when I got home. The package (a standard shipping envelope) was not in good shape and there was a footprint on one side. That is the fault of the shipping company. But, the 8x10s and the envelopes of smaller prints were just thrown into the envelope with no stiff cardboard or anything inside to protect them. If you look carefully at the above photo you can see that two of the corners are bent. Four of these 8x10s arrived this way. That is Snapfish's responsibility. It has been about twenty hours since I contacted them as I write this and I haven't heard back yet.

Overall, though, I was pleased with the order. I have put the prints in protective sleeves and will start labeling them soon. I even decided to print a few backs to give everyone the feel of the old photos.


At least a couple of my grandmother's siblings were interested in family history and my mother and at least another cousin of her generation are also. I know that a cousin from my generation has a tree on Ancestry, but it seems to be in need of some attention. I'm hoping that we can snag someone from the next generation at this reunion. Or at least plant a seed.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Canada 150 Genealogy Challenge

As you probably already know, Canada celebrated the 150th anniversary of Confederation on Saturday, the day that the colonies were united under the Constitution Act.

I'm a bit late, but I am taking up Patricia Greber's challenge to list my Canadian ancestors living in Canada in 1867 when Confederation was accomplished. The challenge is to list their names, the year they arrived in Canada (can be approximate) and where they originally settled.

John Dean
Elizabeth Nimmo
Denison Minser Bean
Isabella Frances Parker (Center)


James Dean - 3rd great grandfather                               by 1837                 Harrington Twnshp, Quebec
Jane Irwin - 3rd great grandmother                                by 1837                 Montreal, Quebec

John Dean - 2nd great grandfather                                  b. 1839                 St. Patrick, Quebec

Elizabeth Louden - 3rd great grandmother                          1851-1856       Montreal, Quebec

Elizabeth Nimmo - 2nd great grandmother                          1851-1856      Montreal, Quebec

Mark Bean - 3rd great grandfather                                   b. 1806                Hatley Township, Quebec

Denison Minser Bean - 2nd great grandfather                 b. 1848                Hatley Township, Quebec

John Emery - 3rd great grandfather                                      1805-1829     Hatley Township, Quebec

Jane Louisa Emery - 2nd great grandmother                    b. 1850               Hatley Township, Quebec

George Lakin Parker - 2nd great grandmother                     1840               St. Angelique, Quebec
Lucy A. B. Hamilton - 2nd great grandmother                b. 1828                Montreal, Quebec

Isabella Francis Parker - great grandmother                     b. 1867               Manotick, Ontario


James Dean and Jane Irwin both came from Ireland, according to census records, and were married Montreal, Quebec in 1837 at a Scotch Presbyterian Church.

Oral family history says that Elizabeth Louden and her children, including Elizabeth Nimmo, came from Scotland. Census records say Ireland right up to Elizabeth Nimmo's last census, 1921, which says Scotland. I also may have found the family in the Scottish census in 1851 but that is to be determined. Elizabeth Louden first appears in a Montreal directory in 1856.

John Emery appears to have been born in Newbury, New Hampshire in 1805. He may have come as a child, but his first record in Canada, so far, is his marriage to my 3rd great-grandmother, Fanny Chamberlin, in 1829.

George Lakin Parker came to Canada as a child from Barton, Vermont so his parents may also have been alive and in Canada for Confederation, but that is yet to be determined, as is the status of Lucy Hamilton's parents in 1867.

I've made so many fascinating discoveries about my direct and collateral Canadian ancestors preparing for the Dean reunion next month, but putting this list together emphasizes how much I don't know. So much family, only 24 hours in a day!
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