Tag Archives: family history

Free Research Offer For Bloggers

As part of a new design for the website we are going to be making an offer to some people with a blog to receive free family history research.

If you would like to know about your ancestors, and see records that provide information on their lives, homes, professions, immigration, etc, let us know. We may be able to perform the research in exchange for you writing about what you learned from us, which we will post on this website, and a link to that post from your own website.

If you have never thought about your genealogy before, understand that it is entirely possible for us to uncover specific newspaper articles with fantastic stories including your ancestors, Civil War records, Slave records and much more in the scope of this offer to you.

All interested bloggers should E-mail us via our contact page, and provide us with a link to your blog, as well as the information you already have on your family, to get us started. Hope to hear from you soon.

Hand Painted Family Trees – From Root to Branch With Love!

Are you one of those people who have spent hours on end looking for your ancestors? Or are you just close to your family?

Swedish artist and illustrator Anna Murgia
Swedish artist and illustrator Anna Murgia

Swedish artist and illustrator Anna Murgia at Genea Murgia can help you put together your family information into a beautiful family tree to hang on your wall. Imagine a gorgeous, hand-painted tree, printed on high quality canvas or artist paper, with illustrations and photographs from your family’s history. Preserve your history and turn your family saga into a beautiful tree! The painting will become a lovely complement to your family saga, and is made uniquely for your family. It’s a magnificent gift, a family heirloom for yourself and/or someone you hold dear – you can order more than one copy of your family tree. It will also be a living tree, as it is easily updated when your family grows, or you find new ancestors.

Hand Painted Family Tree
Hand Painted Family Tree

There are also smaller, standarized trees that you can fill out yourself. Please take a closer look at examples of trees already made under the following links: Unique large Family Tree, Medium-sized Tree, Small Tree, or take a peak in the Gallery to see more.

Anna Murgias Hand Painted Family Tree
Anna Murgias Hand Painted Family Tree

If you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact Anna on anna@geneamurgia.com. You are also welcome to follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard

Anybody with a Brooklyn Genealogy in the 1800’s stands a good chance of having a family member connection to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Ship builders, Iron Workers and other tradesmen found work in high numbers all the way up to its closing in 1966, employing upwards of 70,000 during it’s peak period of production during WWII. My own Great Great Grandfather was listed as an Iron Worker, Engineer, and Ship Builder in both the New York and US Federal Census reports throughout his entire adult life. His Son in law (my great grandfather) was listed as an Iron worker at the age of 16 on the 1900 census, until his death certificate in 1937 lists him as lifetime Iron Worker in the Navy Yard. My 2x Great Grandfather lived to be 84 years old, and outlived both of my Great Grandparents, and at least one of his Grandchildren, killed in Normandy. To illustrate how unique this was for the time, my other 2x Great Grandfather died in 1890, over 54 years earlier, leaving behind 5 children under the age of 10. I mentioned earlier my Great Grandfather was an Iron Worker by age 16, (as was his 17 year old brother) and knowing that he grew up right next door to the woman he would marry, it is entirely possible that my 2x Great Grandfather took a fatherly roll in the neighbors life and helped them acquire a job that would support them both until their deaths many years later. By all accounts the

My Great Grandfather was a lifelong employee at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, sometimes called the New York Navy Yard

Brooklyn Navy Yard plays a tremendous roll in my own family history, so I think it important to mention a few points for anybody interested in their family history, the history of Brooklyn, or America in general.

Brief History of the Brooklyn Navy Yard

The Brooklyn Navy Yard opened in 1801 on Wallabout Bay, part of New Yorks East River. It is on the site of the first European inhabited land on Long Island. Joris Jansen Rapelje first purchased over
300 acre’s of land at this location from the Canarsee Indians in 1637.

The site encountered it’s most disturbing period during the time of the America Revolutionary War when the British docked several ships in Wallabout Bay that housed many thousands of prisoners between the years of 1776 – 1781. The conditions the continental soldiers were kept in on board these ships led to the death of over 10,000 soldiers. While combat casualty numbers for the Revolutionary War are only estimates, it is generally thought that the 10,000 soldiers killed on these prison ships is more then the 8,000 total Continental Army combat fatalities.

Following the war the location was used for new ship construction. The land was purchased by the federal government in 1801 and soon after became an active Navy Shipyard as a result of President John Adams push for a strong Navy.

On January 1st, 1808 the United State made the importation of slaves Illegal, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard provided no fewer then 10 ships that patroled the waters off the coast of Africa starting in
1820 and ending with the U.S. Civil War.

In later years the Navy Yard saw it’s greatest boom during WWII, and finally closed in 1966.

Ships Built in the Brooklyn Navy Yard

There are many ships built in the Brooklyn Navy Yard worth mentioning, and this list is certainly not going to cover all of them, but instead will include just a few of the more notable and historic vessels built there.

      • Launched in February 1855, the USS Niagara was used to lay the Transatlantic telegraph cable over the years of 1857 & 1858
      • The USS Monitor constructed in just 3 months during the winter of 1861 – 1862, was the first Ironclad Warship commisioned by the US Navy. It is most famous for surving several key battles during the civil war.  It’s new design however, was not perfected and the ship sunk during a storm in the waters off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on December 31st, 1862
      • The USS Maine was launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1890. An exposion aboard the Maine caused it’s sinking in Havana Harbor on February 15th 1898. This event led to the U.S. entering what would become the Spanish American War, even though the explosion was, and is still widely believed an have been an accident

        Pearl Harbor
        Taken aboard the USS Missouri in 2001. The USS Arizona memorial is visible in the background. Both Vessels were built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
      • The USS Missouri, currently a museum in Pearl Harbor, was constructed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard between the years 1941 – 1944. It became the site of the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender in Tokyo Bay on September 2nd, 1945.  Signed by then Japanese General Yoshijirō Umezu, as well as represenatives of at least 9 Allied Nations.
      • The USS Arizona launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1916 and was sunk on December 7th, 1941 during the attack on Pearl Harbor Hawaii.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard Museum

Today, you can visit the museum located in Building 92. Check for a schedule of bike and walking tours, and for museum hours. From the Bldg 92 website:

BLDG 92 is located at the intersection of Carlton and Flushing Avenue at 63 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is located on Brooklyn’s waterfront between the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges and surrounded by DUMBO/Vinegar Hill, Fort Greene and Williamsburg sections of Brooklyn.

How to Start Your Family Genealogy Research

How to Start Your Family Genealogy Quest

The most important quest you will ever take is the one in which you delve into the origins of your family history. Seeking to know more about your relatives and ancestors is a great way to learn more about who you are in this big world. The family tree also provides some fascinating hidden stories that may intrigue and surprise you. To begin your journey into the past you need a good starting point. There are several ways to gather information.

What Do You Know?

You already have some knowledge to use as a starter guide. Begin by recording details about your own life. Add your name to the family tree first. Include the names of your mother, father, spouse, children, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. There may be some gaps due to lack of information. That’s okay. You are off to a great start.

Ask Family Members

Inform your relatives that you are working on the family genealogy and ask them for details about relatives they knew growing up. Many times an older relative will have vivid memories of their childhood days spent listening to elders tell stories.

This can give you lots of good material. Take detailed notes or bring a digital recorder with you to record the conversations.

Look for Vital Records

Put your detective hat on and search for important records such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, school reports, diaries, old letters, old photos, family bibles and treasure boxes. Some of these items may be stored away in the attic or basement. Get permission from relatives to look through their stored items. These searches can uncover some golden nuggets.

Check the U.S. Census Records

The Federal U.S. Census has decades of information about people from across the country. Every person that ever appeared on a census can be found in this massive database. Use the information you already know about your family and look for familiar names. Match the names to known residential areas and dates.

Download Family Tree Software

There are forms online available for easy download that let you fill in the names as you discover family connections. Forms allow you to keep track of all the different generations. You can also stay better organized and see where there are gaps to fill in.

Double Check Names

Names are tricky when doing genealogy research. Some names may sound similar but be spelled completely different. One incorrectly spelled name can lead you down the wrong path. You could end up including a person not related just by getting one letter wrong. So, be sure to double check the spelling of each name as you look through old records.

Include Your Sources

It is important that you record the source of all information included in your genealogy research. That means that you create a citation by writing down exactly where you got a relative’s specific information. For instance, if you found out from reading an old newspaper that your great grandfather held an important position, you would record the name and date of the paper.

Citations are a valuable resource that you may need to see again to double check facts.

Researching and recording your family history is time consuming, but ultimately a richly rewarding experience.

Derek is currently blogging for GTL DNA, a DNA diagnostics center that provides home DNA testing kits. He enjoys helping people with their genealogy and genetic testing questions.

Thank you,

Derek W.

 

Thanks to Derk W for this guest post.