My First Conference: 2013 Mid Atlantic Genealogy Conference Wrap Up.

Yesterday, I attended my first Genealogy conference and it was packed with information! It was hosted by the LDS Church and admission was free!  It was an all day event 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.   I took advantage of some of the classes offered such as Irish genealogy, Immigration, Forensic Genealogy as well as local record resources, (Just to name a few!)  Many classes offered handouts with great informational website links. Vintage photo expert Maureen Taylor gave the key-note address on photo preservation and disaster preparedness planning for your priceless photos.  An especially important point due to recent local catastrophe’s such as Super Storm Sandy.

Lecture on Photo Preservation by Maureen Taylor

My favorite part of the show hands down was the New Jersey Chapter of The “Genealogy Roadshow” PBS airs a new show by the same name and it based on a similar premise.  On this day It allows the opportunity to sit with a professional Genealogist for 15 minutes to discuss a piece of research that is stumping you.

New Jersey Genealogy Roadshow

I eagerly waited in line and enjoyed a conversation with a fellow genealogist as eager to get an appointment as I was!  Due to child care issues my husband stayed back and watched the little one so I could attend, but I had to go alone.  The great thing about those interested in Genealogy is they are friendly and eager to share information with you.   I talked to a lot of great people who are passionate about family research!  I booked my appointment and returned at 12:15 to sit with Rich Venezia a Professional genealogist in the New Jersey area.  I brought to him just one of my biggest road blocks: The elusive Uncle Ted.  It was rumored on my maternal grandfather’s side that an uncle worked for the BBC when it was first founded in 1922 as the Station Director in Nottingham England. Inside my Great Aunt’s autograph book is a BBC document on letter head signed by “Uncle Ted” right before she sailed to the United States in 1925.

Early BBC Document

I haven’t been able to confirm uncle Ted is an actual uncle as I have never been able to link him to either side of the family.  He suggested an interesting concept I hadn’t thought of before: Research the neighbors and try to find clues.  He also suggested I contact someone in the BBC (I had tried before and had no such luck) because he believes someone such as a BBC historian would be interested in such a document and historical information. I also have an unknown photograph of the BBC Riding the “Magic Carpet”  I am assuming this is referring to a radio show at the time.   As luck would have it, this morning I came across a BBC Historical site seeking artifacts from BBC history,  I jumped at the chance and sent an e-mail with information.  Fingers Crossed!

Here are some great Informational websites for genealogy research I learned of at the conference.

One of my favorite speakers was Deborah Large Fox.  If you are as stumped as I am when it comes to Irish Genealogical research this is the blog for you!http://irishfamilyresearch.blogspot.com

Others of interest:

http://www.italiangen.org/  If you are interested in researching family members who lived in any of the five New York boroughs this is the site for you!

National Archives and Records administration: http://www.archives.gov/

Search old photos and find lost family members at http://deadfred.com/

Wish me luck as I am going thrifting today!  I have been “striking out” lately on finding good Upcycle candidates, but am hoping my luck will turn around today!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend my lovely readers!

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The Genealogy Series: The Curry’s Of Richmond County: Part One

Recently, I took a trip to Staten Island, NY to visit some relatives and stopped by St. Peter’s cemetery where my ancestors and family members are buried.  It is a large Catholic cemetery not far from Silver Lake Park and located directly across the street from The Staten island Zoo.  My Grandparents, Great Grandparents and Great Uncles are buried there.  My Maternal Grandmother’s parents and brothers rest together in this cemetery.  I visited each ancestor, and left a small, handmade floral to pay my respects to each of them.

I would like to focus now on my Grandmother’s brothers.  My grandmother was the only girl in a family of five very larger than life brothers (seven if only two brothers had survived to adulthood.)  Today, I honor three of my great uncles: William, Joseph, and Edward.

William C Curry

William Charles Curry born October 13, 1896 “Uncle Willie”was the oldest child of Charles Curry and Julia O’Reilly.  As a young man he worked for a company called Gillespie Brothers 11 Broadway, NY, NY According to his WWI Draft Card Record.  His Eyes were brown and his hair was black.  According to family lore he was a talented amateur boxer.  He worked for years for the Staten Island Advance a local newspaper in Richmond County New York. He married Rose Zinicola born in 1909 and together they had three children, Mary, Joseph and Margaret.  William passed away in 1985 at the age of 89.

William C. Curry WWII Draft Card

WW2 Draft Card

Joseph Andrew Curry

Uncle Joe Curry

born November 29, 1905 was a decorated World War II veteran.  He was a radio operator for 20 years for the Exxon Corporation.  He worked on tankers and traveled the world.  He was a technical sergeant for the Air Corps from 1942-1945.  He received two distinguished flying crosses and two Air Medals for his service during World War II.  He never married, and in 1982 passed away after a six-day illness.  He was 77 years-old.  Joseph is buried with his brother Edward.

Joseph and Edward Curry

Edward Joseph Curry “Uncle Pie” was born June 18, 1899.  Family lore says he gained his nickname for winning a pie eating contest.  My great-uncle was a larger than life character known for his sense of humor and personality.  He worked as a dock hand for Viking Company in 1920, and Lived at 103 Monroe Avenue Tompkinsville, (Staten Island, NY) He was described on his draft card as medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair. He is rumored to have had a child, but he and the women never married.  Edward passed away in 1978 at the age of 79.

Prayer card

Edward “Pie” Curry’s Prayer card 1978

Thanks for reading about my maternal New York born Irish ancestors with the surname Curry,  More on the Curry’s to come!

Also looking forward to the Mid Atlantic Genealogy Conference coming up this weekend!  Hope to learn a lot at my first ever genealogy conference!