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Off topic, but hopefully this might help someone in their research.....Happy
New Year everyone!
From: "Bill Blevins"
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2001 1:52 PM
Subject: Giving A Child A Name
Our ancestors often used the following naming procedure when choosing a name
for a new child. This will often give explanation as to why certain names
are very common in a given family. Watching these patterns can often be
helpful in genealogical research.
1st Son -- Father's Father
2nd Son -- Mother's Father
3rd Son -- Father
4th Son -- Father's Oldest Brother
5th Son -- Father's Second Oldest Brother or Mothers Oldest Brother
1st Dau -- Mother's Mother
2nd Dau -- Father's Mother
3rd Dau -- Mother
4th Dau -- Mother's Oldest Sister
5th Dau -- Mothers Second Sister or Father's Oldest Sister.
" We don't fully understand who we are - until we know the roots from which
Since the discovery of 400 long-abandoned suitcases at a former asylum,
researchers have been piecing together the owners' stories
By Michael Hill
December 27, 2001
SHE CAME to the asylum in the summer of 1930, sent with a suitcase stuffed
with hand-stitched baby booties and quilts.
She was worn out. At age 40, she had endured a miscarriage, the death of two
of her four children and a broken marriage.
The cloistered grounds of the Willard Psychiatric Center in the Finger Lakes
would be her home for the rest of her long life. By the time Willard closed
down in 1995, her story was forgotten, like those of thousands of other
Then they found her suitcase.
Workers combing through the center in its last days found the alligator-
bag 65 years after it was packed, sitting in a filthy attic jammed with some
400 other old trunks and suitcases that had been brought with patients.
The dingy cases turned out to be leather-bound time capsules packed with a
cornucopia of intimate items: letters, wedding photos, a dog figurine, a
windup alarm clock, a school cap, a diary, ice skates, dog tags, a curling
Researchers are piecing together the lives of the owners for a New York
State Museum exhibit that would tell their stories. It's a bedeviling task.
They know the patients' names, but cannot reveal them because of
confidentiality laws. How can the researchers capture the essence of people
who endured so much using only the likes of booties and trinkets? "It's like
a jigsaw puzzle but you don't have a clue what the picture is," says museum
curator Craig Williams.
Willard Asylum for the Insane opened in 1869 on the eastern shore of Seneca
Lake. Its mission: Treat the chronically insane with "gentle and kindly
understanding." At first blush, Willard looked like a bucolic world apart,
complete with sloping lawns, tall trees, a steamboat landing and a rail
connection (station stop "Asylum").
Patients took part in plays, parades, social dances and calisthenics. At
Christmas, a patient choir would wend its way through wards, singing carols.
They worked on Willard's farm, or in the tin shop or laundry.
Willard dropped "Asylum" from its name in 1890, being called in turn a
hospital and a psychiatric center. But it remained the sort of
mega-institution that was viewed as a dinosaur with the rise of
community-based mental health care and psychotropic drugs in the latter part
of the 20th century.
In a wave of institutional closings, New York handed over Willard to state
prison officials in 1995 for a drug treatment center, its current use.
That's when the suitcases were discovered.
Beverly Courtwright found them with a Willard co-worker as she rushed to
complete a final inventory of the center. The attic of an old workshop
building was a last stop. Nothing much was up there, but the women did find
a metal-clad door sealing off one end of the attic.
They pulled the door open with a whoosh and saw it: a vista of neatly racked
cases and trunks, coated with dust and pigeon droppings. Shafts of light
from the attic windows shone through, and Courtwright swears she felt some
kind of energy under the rafters that day.
"It felt sacred and hallowed to me," she says. "I didn't want to disturb it.
I didn't want anyone to disturb it. It was all that was left of them. I was
like: 'Let them rest.'" Courtwright told Williams, who was there to save
pieces of Willard's history.
An ad hoc rescue squad - many of them about to be laid off from Willard -
performed a sort of suitcase triage. They put on spare surgical masks and
gloves to bag up the dusty relics and seal them with surgical tape. Williams
recalls seeing the people dressed like surgeons and thinking: "They're
operating on people's memories." The suitcases were trucked to the State
Museum's hangar-sized collections warehouse near Albany - stored alongside
Shaker chairs, switchboard equipment, an iron lung and other historical
State Mental Health Commissioner James Stone gave the OK for a study of the
Willard suitcases in 1997. Williams was joined by Peter Stastny, a
psychiatrist at the Bronx Psychiatric Center and a documentary maker.
Of the 400 suitcases, about half were empty and another 100 contained maybe
just shoes or a coat. The last 100 were full.
Twenty were chosen for study.
Most had been packed between 80 and 50 years ago, by the patients or someone
else. They were probably carried up to the attic upon admission after some
choice items were plucked out.
Since Willard handled long-term cases, many trunks stayed there into their
owner's old age and beyond.
"These were the people who ended up in the bottom drawer," Stastny says.
"Willard was the last stop." Who were these people? A World War I veteran. A
photographer. A nun. An Italian immigrant. An amateur boxer. A World War II
Old case files reveal that the woman with the baby booties was a seamstress.
She was born near Ithaca in 1889 and was married at 18 to a plumber - a man
she said drank too much and ran with other women.
The years before her institutionalization in 1930 were marred by sickness,
the deaths of two of her children and finally, according to case files,
"My stars and garters, I was sick!" she told one doctor. "My daughter was
going to be married and I was just all tired out and had had just one thing
after another." The seamstress died at Willard in 1973. She was 83.
ONE SUITCASE with worn shoes and little else led researchers to a letter
written at mid-century by the case's owner, a German immigrant who dug the
graves at Willard's cemetery. The man asked administrators if he could leave
and be paid for the 400 graves he dug. He was denied. He went on to dig
graves for another 20 years until his death. (Altogether, almost 6,000
graves, most unmarked, cover a hillside by a lake at Willard.)
Another suitcase packed a bit of everything - pressed flowers, a little
Washington Monument thermometer, an English-German translation book,
pictures of people in traditional Ukrainian garb - and told the tale of a
talented artist with a troubled life.
Born in Poland in 1916, he endured labor on a farm in Nazi-occupied Austria
and life in a postwar displaced-persons camp before making it to the United
States in 1949 with his wife. After getting a job and a home, things fell
apart for him in 1951 when his wife died after a miscarriage.
Arriving at Willard in 1953, he eventually started painting a picture a day.
Williams found one of these paintings showing a Ukrainian village with a
church in the center - the use of color and perspective made him seem like a
kind of eastern European Grandma Moses.
These inanimate items have a powerful, almost haunting, effect on the people
studying them. Williams says he has trouble distancing himself from the work
at the end of the day. He has even dreamed about the Ukrainian artist.
Stastny likens the old attic where the suitcases were found to a spiritual
"There is this level of intimacy and closeness to these people - albeit
they're dead - because you're touching and working with very personal items,
Stastny says. "You feel a presence, a very close presence, of the person
through these items." The fact that many - if not most - of these people
would not face long-term institutionalization today adds to the sense of
poignancy. Some of the patients, like the seamstress, passed up chances to
One man, institutionalized since 1917, was told in the '60s that he could
He replied: "Where am I to go?"
Precisely how these lives will be presented when the exhibit opens in 2003
is still being worked out. Williams says the challenge of the exhibit -
will include items from the suitcases, and possibly patients' photos - will
be to let the people speak for themselves, finally.
Copyright (c) 2001, Newsday, Inc.
This article originally appeared at:
Visit Newsday online at http://www.newsday.com
Was hoping this might help someone in their research.......sorry if it's
Decoding the Social Security Number
(from "Social-Security-Numbers And Other Telling Information:"
by Simson Garfinkel, published in the Whole Earth Review, Fall 1989)
The first three digits of a person's Social Security Number indicate the
state that the person was living in at the time the number was assigned (see
table). The exceptions to this rule are numbers in the 700-729 range, which
were issued by the Railroad Retirement agency, the only such retirement plan
to have its own block of SSNs.
The fourth and fifth digits indicate the group number. The sequence is
reported to be odd numbers from 01-09, then even numbers from 10-98, then
even numbers 02-08, and finally odd numbers 11-99. All numbers issued before
1965 are either odd numbers between 01 and 09, or even numbers between 10
and 98. The last four digits are the "serial number," and run from 0001 to
001-003 New Hampshire
035-039 Rhode Island
050-134 New York
135-158 New Jersey
232-236 West Virginia
232 N. Carolina (1)
237-246 N. Carolina
247-251 S. Carolina
501-502 N. Dakota
503-504 S. Dakota
525 New Mexico
585 New Mexico
577-579 Washington, DC
580 Virgin Islands
580-584 Puerto Rico
586 American Samoa
586 Phillipine Islands
700-729 Railroad Retirement
(1) Number 232, with middle digits 30, has been allocated to North Carolina
from West Virginia.
I found this one quite interesting, also! (Sorry, I couldn't resist passing
it on! <g>)
Gathering Information from Tombstones
by Elaine Powell
One way to help find the era your ancestor was buried is to examine the
material from which the tombstone is made. If your ancestor has a stone
made of slate or common fieldstone (except wood used by pioneers), chances
are the stone dates from 1796-1830.
* If the stone is flat-topped hard marble, dates are about 1830-1849.
* If the "mystery" stone is round or pointed soft marble with cursive
inscriptions, look for a date of 1845-1868.
* Masonic four-sided stones began in 1850 and are still in use today.
* Pylons, columns and all exotic-style monuments are usually dated
* Zinc monuments date from 1870-1900.
* Granite, now common, came into use about 1900. If the writing is too
faded to read, use a 75 watt black light bulb in any lamp that casts light
directly on the written message. The writing will miraculously appear.
You can take photos of tombstones to record the information. Be careful not
to take the photo with a flash and stand directly in front of the
tombstone. It might cause a "flashback" and you will have a large white
spot in the middle of your photo and you won't be able to read the
information on the stone. The best condition to take the photo is with
light behind you, using no flash. However, some older stones don't
photograph well, so you might want to take some tombstone rubbings.
I received this from another list that I am on, and though some of it is
rather simple, I still thought it was worth sharing! <g>
Subject: A Glossary of Genealogical Terms.
>From Nicholas Wagner of Genealogy-Geneology.net...
GLOSSARY OF GENEALOGICAL TERMS
The following is provided freely for redistribution, by Dan Burrows
ABSTRACT - Summary of important points of a given text, especially deeds and
ACRE - See measurements.
ADMINISTRATION (of estate) - The collection, management and distribution of
an estate by
proper legal process.
ADMINISTRATOR (of estate) - Person appointed to manage or divide the estate
of a deceased person.
ADMINISTRATRIX - A female administrator.
AFFIDAVIT - A statement in writing, sworn to before proper authority.
ALIEN - Foreigner.
AMERICAN REVOLUTION - U.S. war for independence from Great Britain
ANCESTOR - A person from whom you are descended; a forefather.
ANTE - Latin prefix meaning before, such as in ante-bellum South, "The South
before the war"
APPRENTICE - One who is bound by indentures or by legal agreement or by any
means to serve another person for a certain time, with a view of learning an
art or trade.
APPURTENANCE - That which belongs to something else such as a
building,orchard, right of
ARCHIVES - Records of a government, organization, institution; the
placewhere records are
ATTEST - To affirm; to certify by signature or oath.
BANNS - Public announcement of intended marriage.
BENEFICIARY - One who receives benefit of trust or property.
BEQUEATH - To give personal property to a person in a will. Noun --bequest.
BOND - Written, signed, witnessed agreement requiring payment of a specified
amount of money on or before a given date.
BOUNTY LAND WARRANT - A right to obtain land, specific number of acres of
public land, granted for military service.
CENSUS - Official enumeration, listing or counting of citizens.
CERTIFIED COPY - A copy made and attested to by officers having charge of
the original and
authorized to give copies.
CHAIN - See measurements.
CHATTEL - Personal property which can include animate as well as inanimate
CHRISTEN - To receive or initiate into the visible church by baptism; to
name at baptism; to give a name to.
CIRCA - About, near, or approximate -- usually referring to a date.
CIVIL WAR - War between the States; war between North and South, 1861-65.
CODICIL - Addition to a will.
COLLATERAL ANCESTOR - Belong to the same ancestral stock but not in direct
line of descent; opposed to lineal such as aunts, uncles & cousins.
COMMON ANCESTOR - Ancestor shared by any two people.
CONFEDERATE - Pertaining to the Southern states which seceded from theU.S.
in 1860 -1861, their government and their citizens.
CONSANGUINITY - Blood relationship.
CONSORT - Usually, a wife whose husband is living
CONVEYANCE - See deed.
COUSIN - Relative descended from a common ancestor, but not a brother or
DAUGHTER-IN-LAW - Wife of one's son.
DECEASED - Dead.
DECEDENT - A deceased person.
DECLARATION OF INTENTION - First paper, sworn to and filed in court, by an
alien stating that he wants to become a citizen.
DEED - A document by which title in real property is transferred from one
party to another.
DEPOSITION - A testifying or testimony taken down in writing under oath of
affirmation in reply
to interrogatories, before a competent officer to replace the oral testimony
of a witness.
DEVISE - Gift of real property by will.
DEVISEE - One to whom real property (land) is given in a will.
DEVISOR - One who gives real property in a will.
DISSENTER - One who did not belong to the established church, especially the
England in the American colonies.
DISTRICT LAND OFFICE PLAT BOOK - Books or rather maps which show the
location of the land patentee.
DISTRICT LAND OFFICE TRACT BOOK - Books which list individual entries by
DOUBLE DATING - A system of double dating used in England and America from
1582-1752, because it was not clear as to whether the year commenced January
1 or March 25
DOWER - Legal right or share which a wife acquired by marriage in the real
estate of her husband, allotted to her after his death for her lifetime.
EMIGRANT - One leaving a country and moving to another.
ENUMERATION - Listing or counting , such as a census.
EPITAPH - An inscription on or at a tomb or grave in memory of the one
ESCHEAT - The reversion of property to the state when there are no qualified
ESTATE - All property and debts belonging to a person.
ET AL - Latin for "and others".
ET UX - Latin for "and wife".
ET UXOR - And his wife. Sometimes written simply Et Ux.
EXECUTOR - One appointed in a will to carry out its provisions. Female
FATHER-IN-LAW - Father of one's spouse.
FEE - An estate of inheritance in land, being either fee simple or fee tail.
An estate in land held of
a feudal lord on condition of the performing of certain services.
FEE SIMPLE - An absolute ownership without restriction.
FEE TAIL - An estate of inheritance limited to lineal descendant heirs of a
person to whom it was granted.
FRANKLIN, STATE OF - An area once known but never officially recognized and
consideration from 1784 - 1788 from the western part of North Carolina.
FRATERNITY - Group of men (or women) sharing a common purpose orinterest.
FREE HOLD - An estate in fee simple, in fee tail, or for life.
FRIEND - Member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.
FURLONG - See measurements.
GAZETTEER - A geographical dictionary; a book giving names and descriptions
usually in alphabetical order.
GENEALOGY - Study of family history and descent.
GENTLEMAN - A man well born.
GIVEN NAME - Name given to a person at birth or baptism, one's first and
GLEBE - Land belonging to a parish church.
GRANTEE - One who buys property or receives a grant.
GRANTOR - One who sells property or makes a grant.
GREAT-AUNT - Sister of one's grandparent
GREAT-UNCLE - Brother of one's grandparent.
GUARDIAN - Person appointed to care for and manage property of a minor
orphan or an adult incompetent of managing his own affairs.
HALF BROTHER/HALF SISTER - Child by another marriage of one's mother or
relationship of two people who have only one parent in common.
HEIRS - Those entitled by law or by the terms of a will to inherit property
HOLOGRAPHIC WILL - One written entirely in the testator's own handwriting.
HOMESTEAD ACT - Law passed by Congress in 1862 allowing a head of a family
to obtain title to 160 acres of public land after clearing and improving it
for 5 years.
HUGUENOT - A French Protestant in the 16th and 17th centuries. One of the
reformed or calvinistic communion who were driven by the thousands into
exile in England, Holland, Germany and America.
ILLEGITIMATE - Born to a mother who was not married to the child's father.
IMMIGRANT - One moving into a country from another.
INDENTURE - Today it means a contract in 2 or more copies. Originally made
in 2 parts by cutting or tearing a single sheet across the middle in a
jagged line so the two parts may later be matched.
INDENTURED SERVANT - One who bound himself into service of another person
for a specified number of years, often in return for transportation to this
INFANT - Any person not of full age; a minor.
INSTANT - Of or pertaining to the current month. (Abbreviated inst.)
INTESTATE - One who dies without a will or dying without a will.
INVENTORY - An account, catalog or schedule, made by an executor or
administrator of all the goods and chattels and sometimes of the real estate
of a deceased person.
ISSUE - Offspring; children; lineal descendants of a common ancestor.
LATE - Recently deceased.
LEASE - An agreement which creates a landlord - tenant situation.
LEGACY - Property or money left to someone in a will
LEGISLATURE - Lawmaking branch of state or national government; elected
group of lawmakers.
LIEN - A claim against property as security for payment of a debt.
LINEAGE - Ancestry; direct descent from a specific ancestor.
LINEAL - Consisting of or being in a direct line of ancestry or descendants;
descended in a direct line.
LINK - See measurements.
LIS PENDENS - Pending court action; usually applies to land title claims.
LODGE - A chapter or meeting hall of a fraternal organization.
LOYALIST - Tory, an American colonist who supported the British side during
MAIDEN NAME - A girl's last name or surname before she marries
MANUSCRIPT - A composition written with the hand as an ancient book or a
modern book or music.
MARRIAGE BOND - A financial guarantee that no impediment to the marriage
existed, furnished by the intended bridegroom or by his friends.
MATERNAL - Related through one's mother, such as a Maternal grandmother
being the mother's mother.
Link - 7.92 inches
Chain - 100 Links or 66 feet
Furlong - 1000 Links or 660 feet
Rod - 5 1/2 yds or 16 1/2 ft (also called a perch or pole)
Rood - From 5 1/2 yards to 8 yards, dependingon locality
Acre - 43,560 square ft or 160 square rods
MESSUAGE - A dwelling house.
METES & BOUNDS - Property described by natural boundaries, such as 3 notches
in a white oak tree, etc.
MICROFICHE - Sheet of microfilm with greatly reduced images of pages of
MICROFILM - Reproduction of documents on film at reduced size.
MIGRANT - Person who moves from place to place, usually in search of work
MIGRATE - To move from one country or state or region to another. (Noun :
MILITIA - Citizens of a state who are not part of the national military
forces but who can be called into military service in an emergency; acitizen
army, apart from the regular military forces.
MINOR - One who is under legal age; not yet a legal adult.
MISTER - In early times, a title of respect given only to those who held
important civil officer or
who were of gentle blood.
MOIETY - A half; an indefinite portion
MORTALITY - Death; death rate.
MORTALITY SCHEDULES - Enumeration of persons who died during the year prior
to June 1 of 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 in each state of the United States,
conducted by the bureau of census.
MORTGAGE - A conditional transfer of title to real property as security for
payment of a debt.
MOTHER-IN-LAW - Mother of one's spouse.
NAMESAKE - Person named after another person.
NECROLOGY - Listing or record of persons who have died recently
NEE - Used to identify a woman's maiden name; born with the surname of.
NEPHEW - Son of one's brother or sister.
NIECE - Daughter of one's brother or sister.
NONCUPATIVE WILL - One declared or dictated by the testator, usually for
persons in last
sickness, sudden illness, or military.
ORPHAN - Child whose parents are dead; sometimes, a child who has lost one
parent by death.
ORPHAN'S COURT - Orphans being recognized as wards of the states, provisions
were made for them in special courts.
PASSENGER LIST - A ships list of passengers, usually referring to those
ships arriving in the US or Canada, from Europe.
PATENT - Grant of land from a government to an individual.
PATERNAL - Related to one's father. Paternal grandmother is the father's
PATRIOT - One who loves his country and supports its interests.
PEDIGREE - Family tree; ancestry.
PENSION - Money paid regularly to an individual, especially by a government
as reward for
military service during wartime or upon retirement from government service.
PENSIONER - One who receives a pension.
PERCH - See measurements.
POLE - See measurements.
POLL - List or record of persons, especially for taxing or voting.
POST - Prefix meaning after, as in post-war economy.
POSTERITY - Descendants; those who come after.
POWER OF ATTORNEY - When a person is unable to act for himself, he appoints
another to act in his behalf.
PRE - Prefix meaning before, as in pre-war military build-up.
PRE-EMOTION RIGHTS - Right given by the federal government to citizens, to
buy a quarter
section of land or less.
PROBATE - Having to do with wills and the administration of estates.
PROGENITOR - A direct ancestor.
PROGENY - Descendants of a common ancestor; issue.
PROVED WILL - A will established as genuine by probate court.
PROVOST - A person appointed to superintend, or preside over something.
PROXIMO - In the following month, in the month after the present one.
PUBLIC DOMAIN - Land owned by the government.
QUAKER - Member of the Religious Society of Friends.
QUITCLAIM - A deed conveying the interest of the party at that time.
RECTOR - A clergyman; the ruler or governor of a country.
RELICT - Widow; surviving spouse when one has died, husband or wife.
REPUBLIC - Government in which supreme authority lies with the people or
REVOLUTIONARY WAR - U.S. war for independence from Great Britain 1775 -1783.
ROD - See measurements.
ROOD - See measurements.
SHAKER - Member of a religious group formed in 1747 which practiced communal
SIBLING - Person having one or both parents in common with another; a
brother or sister.
SIC - Latin meaning thus; copied exactly as the original reads. Often
suggests a mistake or
surprise in the original.
SON-IN-LAW - Husband of one's daughter.
SPINSTER - A woman still unmarried; or one who spins.
SPONSOR - A bondsman; surety.
SPOUSE - Husband or wife.
STATUTE - Law.
STEP-BROTHER / STEP-SISTER - Child of one's step-father or step-mother.
STEP-CHILD - Child of one's husband or wife from a previous marriage.
STEP-FATHER - Husband of one's mother by a later marriage.
STEP-MOTHER - Wife of one's father by a later marriage.
SURNAME - Family name or last name.
TERRITORY - Area of land owned by a country, not a state or province,but
having its own
legislature and governor.
TESTAMENTARY - Pertaining to a will.
TESTATE - A person who dies leaving a valid will.
TESTATOR - A person who makes a valid will before his death.
TITHABLE - Taxable.
TITHE - Formerly, money due as a tax for support of the clergy or church.
TORY - Loyalist; one who supported the British side in the American
TOWNSHIP - A division of U.S. public land that contained 36 sections, or 36
square miles. Also a subdivision of the county in many Northeastern and
Midwestern states of the U.S.
TRADITION - The handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs,
genealogies, etc. from generation to generation, especially by word of
TRANSCRIBE - To make a copy in writing.
ULTIMO - In the month before this one.
UNION - The United States; also the North during the Civil War, the states
which did not secede.
VERBATIM - Word for word; in the same words, verbally.
VTAL RECORDS - Records of birth, death, marriage or divorce.
VITAL STATISTICS - Data dealing with birth, death, marriage or divorce.
WAR BETWEEN THE STATES - U.S. Civil War, 1861 - 1865.
WARD - Chiefly the division of a city for election purposes.
WILL - Document declaring how a person wants his property divided after his
WITNESS - One who is present at a transaction, such as a sale of land or
signing of a will, who
can testify or affirm that it actually took place.
WPA HISTORICAL RECORDS SURVEY - A program undertaken by the US Government
from 1935 - 1936, in which inventories were compiled of historical material.
YEOMAN - A servant, an attendant or subordinate official in a royal
household; a subordinate of a sheriff; an independent farmer.
This is a Message Board Post that is gatewayed to this mailing list.
Message Board URL:
Message Board Post:
Hello - who are Mary Jane's parents -- if it's Henry CLay Hoops and Isabel Hall Hoops = I may just faint. Long story but will wait impatiently for an answer. This is a real long shot. Marge in washington state