Thursday, September 19, 2013

Genealogy Bank

I am now in love with the Genealogy Bank site! For over 20 years my family and I have been looking for my great-great grandfather with no luck. At one point someone was even hired to try to locate him. We were told nothing could be found. After 5 minutes of searching for him in the newspaper archives at Genealogy Bank I was able to find his obituary. He died less than a month before his daughter was married in New York. Today seems the perfect day to find this as it is the anniversary of her marriage. I guess it is fitting to type up a little bio about him.

Samuel Miles Shick(s), was born in March of 1882 in Delaware to Daniel Shicks and his wife Emma R (Emaline) Shafer. Both Daniel and Emma were born in Pennsylvania. They had five children that I know of: Jemima (Mima), born about 1876 in Pennsylvania, she married Mert Warren in 1895, Lincoln, DE, moved to Hamilton, NJ; Frank M., all I know about him is he was born in PA and was alive when his mother died in 1923; Samuel Miles; George W., born 10 May 1884 in DE, died 23 September 1890; and William Baker, born about 1885, married as her second husband, Mary Bennett-Moore in 1930, Milford, DE, in 1925 he was living in Camden, NJ but died in DE in 1944, Smyrna, DE.

Samuel married Edna Rose Deputy, daughter of Benjamin Burton Deputy and Annie Meriah Warren. Their license was filed in Milford in May of 1905. In December of that year my great-grandmother, Mary Burton Shicks, was born.

The couple was listed together in the 1910 census but living with his mother in 1910 was Samuel as well so they may have separated around that time. Samuel would end up living in Trenton, NJ by 1918 when he had a WWI draft card filed. That was around the time Mary last saw him and the only time she ever remembered him. Her mother took her to Trenton on the train where Mary remembered seeing the bridge sign "Trenton Makes the World Takes."

According to an article in the Trenton Evening Times from 3 May 1919 Samuel was arrested as a material witness when the woman who ran the boarding house he was staying at and a pawnbroker were arrested for selling a firearm to a minor. He was still a resident of her boarding house in the 1920 census.

The Trenton Evening Times of 24 August 1925 has an obituary posted for Samuel. He was still living at the boarding house and had apparently been at the shore the night before. It was stated that he returned home around 9pm the night before, ate a big meal and retired for the evening. Jennie Harris, the boarding house owner, said the next morning she heard a thud from above but did not get up to investigate. Upon arising she found him dead on the floor of his room. The coroner said he died of apoplexy. They were notifying his brother William of Camden of his death and were awaiting instructions on what he wanted to do. Samuel was only 44 years old. Nothing else could be found. My next trip will be to obtain his death record to locate where he was buried.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Some Great New York Resources

These are probably not new to anyone but I just thought it would be worth listing some of the resources I use on a regular basis in my NY research. Of course, is one of the top but is so popular I do not see a need to type about it.

  • Fulton History- This is without a doubt the best site for NY newspapers out there. A good search option that I ran across for this site. go to google and type in your search then (i.e. Bennem It works wonders! You can do this search with any site you want but I find it most helpful here.

  • Family Search- I love this site! They currently have 32 databases specifically about New York. Not all are searchable so will not come up when you do name searches. The most important databases for me are the land and probate records, both browse only. They do have indexes to most counties but some of the indexes are only chronological by first letter of surname. So Beware, it can take a while to find what you are looking for. Along with the 1892 and 1905 state censuses you can search the 1915 and 1925 and chose to go view the image at They have "New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935" that is searchable but not 100% complete and does not include NY City.

  •  The Municipal Archives- This resource is not online yet as I am typing this post. They house a lot of important collections for genealogists based in the NY City area. One of those is the jury census for NY City for 1816, 1819 and 1821. The surviving schedules are: 1816 (wards 1-3, 5, 8, 10) and the 1819 (wards 1, 2, 4-6, 8-10). Information included  is as follows: Name, house number, street name, occupation, freeholder value, personal estate value, age, reason for jury exemption (see below), total number of eligible jurors in house and number of inhabitants. People who were exempt from service were also included. These were: women, people of color, aliens, the aged, military personnel, journeymen, firemen and professionals - such as lawyers. These records are invaluable if you have NY City ancestors from this time period as they include more information than can be obtained from the 1810 and 1820 Federal censuses. For more information about the censuses you can view them at the Municipal Archives website. As you can see if you are able to it is definitely worth paying them a visit. I could spend days lost in records!

  • This last resource may take a while to explain. I have used this to answer a LOT of questions about my family and it even helped correct a previously posted erroneous portion of a book written that included one of my families. The New York State Bible Records housed at both the Schwarzman branch of the NYPL and the DAR library in Washington DC. I haven't viewed the collection in Washington so I am not sure how it is kept. It is a collection of unpublished Bible Records transcripts, many of which more than likely no longer exist. The NYPL has a main index but not an every name one. The DAR does have an every name index you can search through their site. Here's how: go to and click on genealogy, once there on the left chose the online research tab and click grc search overview, in the new window click the GRC at the top of the topic to go to the search page. put in your information and chose New York for the state. From the search results you are looking for unpublished Bible records or unpublished bible and family records. It will say "NY DAR GRC Report" for title. The volume and page numbers are the same as the one you are looking for at NYPL. The only issue I have run into with it is it is only for Bible Records obtained in NY. So a family from NY whose Bible Record was obtained by DAR from another state will not be included in this collection. The DAR library does have records from other states but the NYPL does not. The great thing about this collection is it does not only include DAR eligible people. It was anyone willing to let them transcribe a Family Bible they had in their possession. I even found mention of an ancestor who worked for the British Army while they occupied New York during the Revolution.

This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of records available in the area. It is just a few I believe are worth noting at the moment.

I know I said I would type out information about David Read's children but I am gathering some more information about one of them. There are a lot of questions I have about his daughter Amanda that I am trying to make sense of before I post. I am going to skip them for now and talk about a family next that hit me hard while researching.