Saturday, May 28, 2016

Honor Roll Project - Veterans Memorial Park, Rockville Centre, NY

The Honor Roll Project is an effort to transcribe and photograph military honor rolls.  The transcribed names make the soldiers available for search engines, so that descendants and family members can find them on the internet.  It is a simple, but very rewarding project.  If you would like to participate, leave a comment at, or an email at

In my last Honor Roll Project post I transcribed the names of eleven Rockville Centre, NY residents killed in World War I. The memorial is in two huge plaques on the front of what is now South Side Middle School. My curiosity piqued, I have been doing some additional research and along the way rediscovered Veterans Memorial Park also here in Rockville Centre. The park has memorials to Rockville Centre residents killed in both World Wars, Vietnam and Korea.

This is the area of the park that holds these four memorials. They are set in a semi-circle inside the shrubs so you can't see them from this vantage point.

The one stone that you can see from here is inscribed with these words from the Gettysburg Address: 
                                                                                                    A. LINCOLN.

Behind this stone and the hedges in back of it there is a fountain. Either it is no longer working or it has been turned off for the winter. I don't pass by this park very often, so I'm not sure. Maybe we can find out when we come down for the parade on Monday which ends here.

These two memorials are to the left of the Lincoln stone:

 Robert Garrison
James Donato
Harold Fiske
Louis Langdon
Winona Martin
Joseph Murphy
Reginald Rinder

Milton Griesbach
Leo C. Higgins
August Mauer
Edwin Miller
Francisco Molisse
Warren Stein
Robert VanCott

Edward Abrams
Landon Abrams
Daniel Johnson
John J. Lott
D. Herbert O'Dowd

Thomas J. Casey
John H. Ferril II
Adam D. Knecht
Richard A. Marfurt, Jr.
Raymond C. Meehan
Gerald Sorrentino

And to the right of the Lincoln Stone are the other two memorials:

Bertram Audley
Hobart R. Gay
George A. Murray, Jr.
Walter Fred Strohm
William J. Tschuschke

Paul F. Barber, Jr., Joseph Baselice, Robert H. Bates, Robert Brown, Richard A. Burke, Thomas G. Cain, Joseph S. Casella, William L. Chambers, Henry N. Clagett, Walter E. Corbeil, Charles W. Crabbe, Eugene W. Davis, Robert W. Davis, Daniel W. Dawson, Joseph Dawson, Edward C. Digan, John G. Dwyer, Alfred N. Edwards, John J. Eichmann, James R. Ell, Joseph J. Fasolino, Frank J. Fassanella, Erwin J. Fehr, Herbert W. Funk, Jr., Earl K. Griffen, Frank C. Haggerty, John C. Harvey, Stanley B. Helfenberg, David H. Hornstein, Joseph H. Hughes, James Husser, Gene C. Isaac, George E. Jenkins, Ebert B. Johnson, John G. Kearns, William A. Klostermann, Jr., Jerome J. Kobel, Leonard Leder

John A. Leighton, Sommers D. Levermore, Norman Levine, William M. Lickel, Alexander McKinlay, Oliver K. McMahon, Frederick E. Neipp, Jeremiah E. O'Brien, Gerald M. O'Connell, Jr., Anthony H. Oswald, Edward G. Pettit, John S. Phipps, Charles B. Quantrell, George D. Randall, William C. Rathbun, William R. Reddington, Jr., Thomas F. Reynolds, Jr., James W. Riddick, Kenneth F. Robertson, Ralph O. Sankin, Paul W. Schmidt, Benedict G. Schmitt, Carl F. Schmitt, Harry W. Scott, Jr., Raymond W. Seedorf, Robert M. Sepin, Clarence F. Simmons, Jr., George R. Smith, Henry C. Smith, Baptist A. Sorrentino, William C. Sullivan, John C. Veibrock, Herbert Waxberg, Herman G. Wenzel, Jr., William F. Whelan, George B. Wilkens, Willard W. Williams, Jr.

Some time next week I will share more about my research of the Middle School memorial.

Friday, May 27, 2016

It's my 4th Blogiversary!

 Four years ago today (it seems like longer somehow) I wrote my first post about my second great-grandfather, Benjamin Smith.

Although I didn't post much early in this blog, I always enjoy sharing my ancestors and other relatives here. Thank you for following, reading and commenting (something I haven't been doing enough of lately), it really means a lot to me. It's always good to know you aren't talking to yourself!

Finding a few cousins along the way has also been very rewarding, I certainly hope that will continue as I post about more ancestors and relatives and get their names out there.

That is the great thing, the journey always continues, there is always more to learn and I hope to be sharing it here with you for many more years!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tresure Chest Thursday - Camp Pemi

Over two weekends last September, Donald and I went through my step-mother's basement, finding many hidden treasures from my Dad's family in the way of Bibles, books, furniture, documents, photos, negatives, china and silver. After months of airing-out I am trying to devote at least an hour every week to scanning and photographing these items and sharing them with you on Treasure Chest Thursday.

My father grew up in Chicago but was lucky enough to spend summers visiting relatives in New England, including Cape Cod, traveling with his parents to places like Colorado and Mackinac Island, Michigan and attending Camp Pemigewassett in New Hampshire's White Mountains as both a camper and counselor. I still have some work to do to establish which summers he attended, but I know from this scrapbook that he was there at least the summers of 1947 - 1950.

We've seen a lot of his personality in the previous scrapbook/albums that I have been sharing and this one is no exception, in fact this one shows it off the most.

Camp Pemigewasssett 1947-1948-1949-1950

The Franconia Range and
surrounding territory
The dotted blue line shows the route of the trip.

The Franconia Trip

Sunday, August 13, 1950 began no differently than
any other Sudnay at Camp Pemigewassett. I, along with my
cabin mates, got up, washed, and went up to the mess hall
early (I was a waiter) to set up my table. The breakfast also
was like any other camp Sunday breakfast: ice cold orange
juice, half raw cerial, toast, soggy pancakes and tepid milk.
Then it happened! During the announcement period, Al [Fal?e],
in his blue shirt, got up and said, "All seniors be ready at
9:30 A.M. to go up the Franconias!" "Hot dog," thought I
"This is the trip we all have been waiting for."
Thus, according to instructions, we got on the blue truck
at 9:30 and arrived at Lafayette Place Campground at noon.
After lunch, we started the assent of Mt. Lafayett, 5239', via the
Old Bridle Path Trail.

we noticed was a member of the hut crew called "Foof"
who was taking a string of six mules down to the town of
Franconia, N.H. for supplies.
When he was gone, we entered the hut. It was a
good sized hut containing two bunkrooms, a kitcen and a
dining room from whose windows once could see a wonderful view
of the Franconia Range.
After taking a swim in a mud pond near the hut we ate
dinner. After dinner, Al Batchelder suggested that we climb
the remaining thousand feet to the summit of Mt. Lafayette
to see the sunrise. And that we did. After we descended
to the hut, we all went to bed.

The plaque on the front of the hut.
The back door of the hut
The sign says "Mountain Hospitality"

The front of the hut showing
the picture window and the entrance
to the boys bunkroom
Mt. Lafayette, 5249', taken through the front
window of the hut.

The kitchen of the hut showing one
of the hut crew making dinner and one of
the campers looking on.
The dining room of the hut. This table
is located in front of the picture window.

Four boys watch the sunset from the top of
Mt. Lafayette. The mountains in the distance
are in Vermont.
The following morning, we awoke to find the day
was perfectly clear. Right after breakfast, we began the 
ascent of Mt. Lafayette (some of us for the second time).
When we reached the top, before us unfolded a beautiful
panorama of mountains, lakes and towns.
The town of Lafayette as seen from the top of Mt. Lafayette.

Greenleaf Hut (arrow) as seen from the top
of Mt. Lafayette. The cliff in the back-
ground is on Cannon Mountain and some of its
rocks help to form the Old Man of the Mt.
Lafayette Place Campground as seen from
Mount Lincoln.

Part of the Franconia Range. The
peak in the left-center is Mt. Liberty.
After walking over the Franconia Ridge Trail for about
1 1/2 miles we came to the junction with the Liberty
spring trail. Here we began our descent of the mountain.
After going down for 3/4 of a mile we came to Liberty
Spring and the Liberty Spring Shelfter. After pausing
there for a drink and a look around we resumed
our descent. Near the end of our journey we came to
the Flume Gorge. The Flume is a stream which has
carved itself a canyon, at some places one-hundred feet
deep, through solid rock. After passing through the Flume,
we were me by our camp truck and we were hurried
back to camp, thus completing a wonderful and unforgettable trip.

These two signs that appeared at the
junction of Franconia Ridge Trail and
Liberty Spring Trail.

Looking down the Liberty Spring Trail
Pausing for a drink out of Liberty Spring

The entrance of Liberty Spring Shelter
The inside of Liberty Spring Shelter

I'm so happy to have found these scrapbook/albums and the narration on this one is just priceless. When I was little, my parents were perennial members of the Appalachian Mountain Club although we never visited the Appalachians. I am very grateful for this look into the beginnings of his love of nature, hiking and climbing.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Honor Roll Project - South Side Middle School WWI Memorial

I grew up in Rockville Centre, NY on Long Island. I've lived here most of my life. I went to South Side Middle School here for two years some number of years ago. I don't remember ever being aware before a few months ago that the building was also a World War I Memorial.

I noticed these plaques on either side of the front of the building one morning when Donald and I were out walking our dog. I guess I'm just more interested in older buildings now than I was when I was fourteen.

I should have taken photos when I first made this discovery. Now there are leaves on the trees directly in front and some construction going on which blocked some access and made taking photos from a good angle a bit challenging.



WORLD WAR 1917-1918

I've been doing some research about these plaques but I'll save that for another post. I'll let this post stand as it should as a memorial to those who gave their lives for their country.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy has created the Honor Roll project to help people find their ancestors and relatives in local memorials and honor rolls. You can learn more here.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Elusive Organizing Ideal

My head is still spinning from the season finale of The Blacklist, so I hope I can write a lucid post!

I've realized as I've thought about this post throughout the day that it is going to be at least as much about theory as it will about my actual organizational conventions. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?

When I started scanning these slides of Dad's with the old scanner a few years ago I hadn't had any exposure to the many organizational techniques and ideas of my fellow GeneaBloggers and other genealogists. I just filed them on my computer in a way that made sense to me at the time, which was by carousel (that's the slide holder that fits into the projector and, in my case, has capacity for 140 slides). Although I have modified my file naming somewhat, I am still doing it this way and it turns out that this is something of an archival method of organization because I am organizing them the way that I got them. This, according to this post by Sue Adams, which I found referenced in this post by Tony Proctor, is an archival arrangement; grouping records according to their creator and in the same order as their creator. Of course, real archival organizing is much more complicated, but at least Tony Proctor's post, and the others he refers to within, gave me some assurance that this was a valid way to organize my images.

My Epson Perfection V370 gives me the following screen when I'm ready to scan:

At the purple arrow I'm telling the program where to save the image files and at the green arrow I am giving all of these files the same prefix, in this case "Car1." which will then be followed by the number of the slide's order in the carousel. This file name doesn't tell me anything about the image itself, only which carousel it came from and which slide number it was in the carousel. Metadata will tell the rest of the story.

This is what that looks like on my Mac. Tags go in the box on top at the red arrow, if there were people in this slide (Pennie was my dad's Collie, not a person) I would have used additional tags like their Dollarhide number and last name. The file name is filled in automatically at the blue arrow and I use the comments box to add my name and copyright as well as details about the photo. All of this information is searchable.

Organization is one of those things that is very personal and what makes sense to me may not make sense to you and vice-versa. That is why there is no one way to do this, there is no ideal way except for each of us.

I will probably continue to use this method with at least some of my other image files. The posts I referred to above are full of good ideas and things to consider but I do also want to keep things relatively intuitive and simple. I hope this system will stand the test of time, but as they say, only time will tell.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday - Vacations III

Over two weekends last September, Donald and I went through my step-mother's basement, finding many hidden treasures from my Dad's family in the way of Bibles, books, furniture, documents, photos, negatives, china and silver. After months of airing-out I am trying to devote at least an hour every week to scanning and photographing these items and sharing them with you on Treasure Chest Thursday.

For the last two weeks I have been posting photos from Dad's scrapbook/album:

We are now up to the last trip in this album, Concord, Massachusetts. I've never been there myself, but seeing what my dad put together in this album after his visit, probably about 1951, makes me want to get in the car and visit right now.

"The Minute Man Statue"
"The inscription on the back of the statue"

I love that Dad included this in his album. It is transcribed at the bottom of the post.

"A plaque on the Concord battlefield"
"By the rude bridge that arched the flood..."

"Old Manse
The home of Ralph Waldo Emerson
It was from here that Emerson's
grandfather watched the famous battle"
Sadly, that is the last trip in this album. I have one more album to share starting next week.

The Concord Hymn
Ralph Waldo Emerson

          By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
               Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
          Here once the embattled farmers stood,
               And fired the shot heard round the world.

          The foe long since in silence slept,
               Alike the conqueror silent sleeps,
          And Time the ruined bridge has swept,
               Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

          On this green bank, by this soft stream,
               We set today a votive stone;
          That memory may their deed redeem,
               When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

          Spirit, that made those heroes dare
               To die, and leave their children free,
          Bid Time and Nature gently spare
               The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

More about Scanning

I don't remember how I found Miriam Robbins' blog and the ScanFest she used to host every month, but I still follow her guidelines for scanning whether I am digitizing photos, slides or negatives. You can find them all here.

I wear cotton gloves whenever I am handling slides, negatives or photos. I bought them at an archival supply but I don't remember which one. I only scan on a flatbed, never with a scanner that has a feeder and I place my originals on the glass as carefully as possible, never sliding them around. I make two scans of each image, each in a different file format and I'm going to share my thought process about this with you to hopefully help you decide what process would work best for you.

In the various genealogy groups that I belong to on Facebook, I have seen some debate between TIFF and JPEG files and which is the best way to save digital scans. JPEG files are compressed each time you edit the file, so some digital information is lost each time. Some say this is no big deal and point to the larger file size of the TIFF file as a serious drawback, but I would rather do everything I can to ensure that my images will survive as far into the future as possible with as little data loss as possible. That being said, if I want to share my images, TIFF files can be a problem with some programs, such as Blogger, and are usually too large to email. TIFF files can always be converted to JPEGs when needed; Photoshop and Photoshop Elements can do it, the photo editor on my Mac can do it and I understand that there are free websites and software available online that can do it. I prefer just to scan my images twice from the get-go and have them available in both formats when I need them or want to share them.

When I scan my images the first time, I use:
  • the automatic color restoration
  • the dust removal tool
  • sharpen the image
  • save it as a JPEG at 300 dpi
I then scan a second time:
  • without color restoration
  • without image sharpening
  • but still with the dust removal
  • I save that image as a TIFF file at 600 dpi
I save the JPEG at fewer dots-per-inch and with the color correction because that file is meant to be useful. I save the TIFF at a higher dots-per-inch with no color correction because that file is meant to be archival.  I realize that scanning the archival copy with dust removal is modifying the image from its original form (which is why I don't color restore the TIFF file) but dust removal using photo editing software is a long, tedious and imperfect process while letting the scanner do it is just one click and works very well.

So this is what it looks like on-screen.

First I have to tell the scanner what kind of original I am scanning (red arrow) and then I can get a preview (blue arrow).

 Then I'll see the images and I can start making adjustments. First I correct orientation (red), then choose an output size which is generally 4 x 6 for slides (green) and resolution (blue) , then sharpen (purple), color restore (pink) and remove the dust (yellow). Psst, when using the dust removal tool on your scanner, you won't see dust disappear in the preview scan. The tool works with the light somehow so that can't be previewed. Just because you can't see it here doesn't mean it isn't working!

Once I have done that, I choose Scan, which will bring me to this screen where I will choose the folder to which the scans will be saved (purple), the prefix for the file names (green), and the file type (pink). I'll share a bit about my file naming and organization in a post on Friday.

So, once I have done all this and scanned the images twice as I outlined earlier, I get output like so:

This is an auto color-restored image in .jpg format at 300 dpi with auto sharpening and dust removal. Although I'm usually very happy with the colors in the auto color-restored images, these slides that had a pink cast to them at the beginning, didn't turn out as well. For my purposes, I'll probably leave them as they are, but if I really wanted to play with the colors, I could still do that with photo editing software.

So, I have a Treasure Chest Thursday post ready to go for tomorrow, and I will wrap up this little scanning series on Friday with a post about my file organization and naming.
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