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November 2001


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Daniel Hinckley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 6 Nov 2001 17:55:58 -0800
text/plain (103 lines)
Julia, Welcome to the list. I am concentrating on
northern NYS in my own research, so I can't give you
any specific answers, just encouragement. My little
country schools' records were probably not archived
anywhere. Yours, once you find out the names of
schools in the borough, will no doubt be kept in good
detail and available. There are Who's Who books you
can check, published every couple of years in which
you might find your people. I discovered thru the
1909-1910 one that I was (very) distantly related to
the architect of Central Park. They give the parents'
names often and a record of their accomplishments.
  While I must count on finding an off-hand death or
marriage item in some almost unique copy of a county
newspaper, your names may appear in the NY Times or
other indexes, available in every major library.
  The task is to familiarize yourself with the City at
the turn of the century. Look for concentrations of
your surnames in certain boroughs in the censuses. You
will have to use one of the pay services, as they do
not have indexes for the 1900 census available in
print. But the censuses themselves are available in
several sources.
  If they really were "high" society, then there will
be careful records kept by some great-aunt or doting
mother, and as carefully preserved.  Probably your
joining the New York Historic and Genealogical
Society, which concentrates heavily on NYC and NJ more
than upstate matters and western NY matters would be a
good idea. All of the over 100-year issues are kept
and well indexed in some large libraries, and of
course for a fee, they can look up things for you.
  Since there have been "society pages" devoted to the
rich and famous for many years, the papers that
included such articles should be scoured for those
time periods. If one was a law school or medical
school graduate, then those schools would have
records, and try to keep up on the (successful)
alumnae. The AMA publishes obits of their members;
probably the law associations do, too.
  Just some encouraging words from someone who won't
find any of his direct ancestors anywhere but on the
pauper's lists or those having their farms sold at
public vendue. Familiarize yourself with the City of a
century ago, narrow it down to certain boroughs, do
som homework, and all those rumors will be proven or
will lead you into other directions.
  Good hunting! Daniel

--- Julia <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Good afternoon.
> I have joined this list because I am currently
> working very hard on a
>... collection of "lore" which
> contains no references to
> accurate names and dates.
> I know, for example, that the family was considered
> a "high society" family,
> one whose children attended so-called "society
> schools" in the early 1900's,
> and even a well-known art school in the 1930's,
> though I do not know which
> school(s).
> I know that one gentleman was a relatively
> well-known organist in New York
> City around the turn of the century, but that this
> was not his profession,
> as he held a law degree and was in the banking
> business.
> I would guess by now that my problem is quite clear.
>  The sorts of
> information I have are nonspecific in nature for the
> most part, and leave me
> with little ability to fine tune my research.
> My question to the list is whether anyone might have
> some suggestions or
> guidance for me with regard to specific resources
> which I might do well to
> consult for further research.  For instance, were
> their directories which
> made reference to the "high society" of New York
> City in the early 1900's?
> I am seeking any sort of resource which might allow
> me to engage more
> readily in the research using the vast amount of
> "lore" I have available to
> me.  (I do have surnames, etc., but did not know
> whether it would be
> appropriate to print them here.)

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