Did you know that you can use Ancestry.com for free in the Local History & Genealogy Division? Ancestry’s recent blog post offers suggestions for how to get the information you gather for free at the library home to your own files:
As I shared in my previous blog, genealogy has become a great passion of mine. As great as online resources like Ancestry and FamilySearch are, some of the best information on my family has come from Google. Here are some Google tips:
-Use quotation marks and lots of ORs.
If I’m doing a search for my great grandfather, here’s what I’ll put in the search box:
“Irving Aloysius Peers” OR “Irving A Peers” OR “Irving Peers” OR “Peers Irving”
To narrow the results, I could add Rochester OR “Monroe County” OR “Monroe Co” to the search box.
-Tell Google what particular websites you want to search.
Since I have a number of ancestors from Upstate/Western New York, the following websites have been very useful:
For those that have family who worked at Kodak, this website is a goldmine: mcnygenealogy.com/book/kodak/
To search one of these websites for the specific terms I’m looking for, here’s what I’d put in the search box:
“Irving Aloysius Peers” OR “Irving A Peers” OR “Irving Peers” OR “Peers Irving” site:fultonhistory.com
Here’s another example:
As you can see, the search criteria leads to great results. Because old papers and records are being scanned and put on the web at an accelerating rate, repeat the same Google searches a few months apart. Last week I found out when some ancestors of mine were married just by searching what I had already searched months ago. Best of luck!
-Jesse Peers, Library Assistant
In our continuing series on some of the more “colorful” publications of our city, one has stood out for me as a particularly decorative one. It wasn’t something commonly seen on newsstands but rather an in-house organ, touting the achievements of what was once the world’s largest manufacturer of meteorological equipment.
Taylor Instruments was founded as Kendall & Taylor in 1851, in a single room over the Post Drug Store on Exchange Street. Kendall had come from a thermometer family; his father, Thomas Jr., founded one of the very first thermometer factories in the U.S. With Taylor’s business acumen, they aimed to make a superior and inexpensive instrument that would equal the then-currently available expensive imports. One hundred years later they had a 400,000 square-foot factory on Ames Street employing 2,000 people (now an empty space of course). By 1968, they had merged with Ritter Pfaudler to form Sybron, and continue to this day, after a variety of sales and mergers, to operate out of Oak Brook, Illinois. (A good thumbnail history is available at http://www.taylorusa.com/taylor-about).
“Tycos” was a trademark of Taylor in the early part of the twentieth century, used to differentiate their products from subsidiary companies that had their own trademarks. It was also used as the title for their journal for a couple of decades until the trademark was phased out. Early issues of the publication showed a stylish graphic sensibility on par with other Art-Deco-inspired magazines of the day. Herewith, we present a sampling of covers from this lovely forgotten serial (click on image to make larger).
A couple of lovely interiors:
And who doesn’t love a dancing thermometer:
The last issue:
Other Taylor publications followed but they lacked the graphic style of those earlier issues, which demise can be seen by Tycos-Rochester’s finale.
Stay tuned for more lost publications from Rochester’s past!
—Bob Scheffel, Local History Division
Rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated! Follow the return of the Button Blog, and, better yet, visit the “Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button” exhibit at its new home in the High Falls Center and Interpretive Museum.
Fall in love with the blog all over again here!
Bonus: Consider dressing warmly during your visit to High Falls and braving the historic walking tour of the Brown’s Race neighborhood. Explore this old neighborhood, including the natural beauty of the gorge and falls, while basking in a downtown winter wonderland.
Afterwards, the High Falls Center and Interpretive Museum is terrific place to warm up from the cold!
The Center is now managed by the Office of the City Historian and the Rochester Public Library. It’s open from 9:30 AM until 5:00 PM, Tuesday-Saturday. Call at 585.325.2030 or visit the webpage!
~Jeff Ludwig, Historical Researcher
It’s that time of year, when we get together to celebrate the holiday season. The Local History Division celebrated in style, opting to have its holiday party in the Director’s board room. Plenty of food, lots of laughter, and a very special cheesecake ensured that all was merry and bright.