4 Get Me Not Ancestry http://www.4getmenotancestry.com Your Ancestors Want Their Stories To Be Told Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:31:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 My 15 Grandmothers: A Story of Crypto Jews with Genie Milgrom http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/my-15-grandmothers-a-story-of-crypto-jews-with-genie-milgrom/ http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/my-15-grandmothers-a-story-of-crypto-jews-with-genie-milgrom/#comments Sat, 31 May 2014 18:17:42 +0000 http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/?p=1159 Read More ]]> Last week on the Forget-Me-Not Hour, Genie Milgrom joined me to talk about her fascinating story of genealogical research and spiritual discovery, which she shares in her book My 15 Grandmothers. Genie was born and raised in a Catholic family, exiles from Cuba. As an adult she converted to Orthodox Judaism and began to seriously research her maternal ancestry. She discovered that she descends from Jews in Spain who hid their Jewishness from the Spanish Inquisition by becoming Catholic. These people are variously called Crypto Jews, Converso Jews, or Marrano Jews.

Genie talked about the customs her grandmother passed on to her that turned out to be clues that the family was Converso Jewish. One of the signs was sweeping debris to the middle of the room and not out the door, where on the doorframe a mezuzah would be located in an openly Jewish household. A mezuzah contains

verses from the Torah. Genie also received a Star of David earring when her grandmother died.

Genie shared how a family can determine through the documents in Spain if they have Converso Jewish ancestors and what she is doing to help those who are embarking on this journey now. Genie explained how finding out about this hidden Jewish past in a Catholic family can be upsetting to some family members.

In addition to My 15 Grandmothers, Genie wrote another book on how to find your Crypto Jewish ancestry.

Picture genie (1)

Genie Milgrom, author of “My 15 Grandmothers.”

You can order the books from Genie at her website http://www.geniemilgrom.com/

Listen to Genie’s fascinating story here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/janeewilcox/2014/05/22/my-15-grandmothers-a-story-of-crypto-jews-with-genie-milgrom

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Roll of Honor in Center Moriches, Suffolk County (Long Island), New York http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/roll-of-honor-in-center-moriches-suffolk-county-long-island-new-york/ http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/roll-of-honor-in-center-moriches-suffolk-county-long-island-new-york/#comments Sun, 25 May 2014 16:49:22 +0000 http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/?p=1142 Read More ]]> The following names are on the Roll of Honor at Main Street and Lake Avenue  in Center Moriches. They include those who served in World War I and World War II. Asterisks mark the names of the men who were killed in action.

These names, who include my family from Center Moriches, start the list. The others will be added in July.


World War II
James Daves

Eugene Davis

Warren Dayton* (U.S. Air Force, my father’s first cousin who was shot down over Germany)

Warren Dayton, killed in action over Germany.

Warren Dayton, U.S. Army Air Force. Killed in action over Germany.

Douglas De Bruler

Philip De Carlo

Prescott De Gumoens…

Richard Johnson (U.S. Air Force, my father’s first cousin)…

Francis Voelker

Theodore Walsh

John Wight

Arthur Wilcox (U.S. Navy, my father’s brother)

Arthur Wilcox, U.S. Navy.

Arthur Wilcox Sr., U.S. Navy.

Joseph Wilcox (no relation, high school P.E. teacher)

Lloyd Wilcox (U.S. Army, my father)

Matthew Wimbush

Catherine Dayton in Africa.

Elizabeth “Betty” Dayton, U.S. Army nurse in Africa. Not on the Roll of Honor.

Richard Johnson, U.S. Air Force.

Richard Johnson, U.S. Army Air Force.

Lloyd Wilcox, U.S. Army, Armored Division.

Lloyd Wilcox, U.S. Army, 4th Armored Division.

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NGS Richmond Recap with Jan Alpert http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/ngs-richmond-recap-with-jan-alpert/ http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/ngs-richmond-recap-with-jan-alpert/#comments Sun, 18 May 2014 14:17:41 +0000 http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/?p=1128 Read More ]]> Last week the Forget-Me-Not Hour was broadcast live from the National Genealogical Society’s annual family history conference held in Richmond, Virginia this year. I interviewed conference co-chair Jan Alpert as we sat outside the exhibit hall at the Greater Richmond Conference Center — so you will hear a little audio background noise.

Jan gave a great recap of the conference, the first one to have live streaming of a few of the lectures. (You can still hear the ten lectures. They are available until 31 May by registering here:  http://www.playbackngs.com/774-ngs-streaming-packages.html)

Jan talked about some of the sessions and tracks from the four days of the conference, as well as research at the nearby Library of Virginia, where I had a wonderful discovery about my one and only Virginia line. Jan also gave the names of the NGS award winners for publications, articles, and work in the field of genealogy, and she shared the story of the Nottoway Court House Bible that a NY Civil War soldier “saved” in 1864 and that was returned to its native soil at the conference when it was given to the Library of Virginia — a very touching start to the conference.

Audience at a National Genealogical Society 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia

Audience at a National Genealogical Society 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia

We discussed why it’s important for any genealogist to attend a conference like this, and Jan shared some “aha” moments experienced by some of the conference attendees. Hearing about the breakthroughs is always fun for me.

See you next year in St. Charles, Missouri from 13-16 May.

Listen to Jan’s inteview here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/janeewilcox/2014/05/10/ngs-richmond-recap-with-jan-alpert

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Our Ancestors, Our Stories — South Carolina African American Stories by The Memory Keepers http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/our-ancestors-our-stories-south-carolina-african-american-stories-by-the-memory-keepers/ http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/our-ancestors-our-stories-south-carolina-african-american-stories-by-the-memory-keepers/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:02:08 +0000 http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/?p=1118 Read More ]]> Last week on The Forget-Me-Not Hour, I welcomed four of the five co-authors of the book Our Ancestors, Our Stories to the show. Joining me from different parts of the country, Bernice Bennett, Harris Bailey Jr., Vincent Sheppard and Ellen Butler talked about their collaboration on the book that tells the story of their African American ancestors who lived in the Old Edgefield District of South Carolina. The fifth co-author is Ethel Dailey.

Like he does in the book, historian Harris Bailey, the only author without ancestors in Edgefield (his wife is the one with Edgefield ancestry), talked about the history of the area and set the historical context. He took us from slavery to Reconstruction.

Bernice, Vincent and Ellen then shared their journey of discovery, talking about their genealogical research that took them all to

Edgefield, South Carolina.

Edgefield. They shared some of their ancestors’ stories and some of the surprising and significant things that they found in the process of their research. All three successfully traced their Edgefield ancestors back into slave times, a particularly challenging (and rewarding) accomplishment for African Americans. Each then shared what was most difficult in terms of genealogical research in the Reconstruction era and later.

As Bernice mentioned on the show, the book is a wonderful legacy for their descendants, as well as a beautiful tribute to the ancestors who lived in Edgefield, South Carolina. Listen to the rest of the show here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/janeewilcox/2014/04/17/our-ancestors-our-stories-of-sc-african-americans-with-the-memory-keepers-1

Find the book, Our Ancestors, Our Stories here: http://thememorykeepers.net/

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Baptists in New York with Rev. Wayne Brandow http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/baptists-in-new-york-with-rev-wayne-brandow/ http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/baptists-in-new-york-with-rev-wayne-brandow/#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 16:34:50 +0000 http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/?p=1110 Read More ]]> This week I interviewed Rev. Wayne Brandow, pastor of the Bible Baptist Church of Galway in Saratoga County, New York. Wayne was a lecturer on Baptist history at the Northeast Branch of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Schenectady, NY, and I met him when I was tracking down those elusive Baptist church records for a client whose ancestors settled in Saratoga County in the early 1800s.

Wayne began by explaining the history of the Baptist movement in Europe, from its start as Anabaptist on the continent in Holland. University theology students there started to promote baptism for adults who could make the decision to embrace their faith — rather than baptism as infants who had no choice in the matter, a practice other Protestant denominations and Catholics both espoused. From continental Europe the Baptist movement took hold in England about 1638 and made its way to New England with Roger Williams in Providence Colony and John Clarke in Newport.

From its North American roots in Rhode Island, the Baptist movement gained momentum with the First Great Awakening, which

Baptist church record book from the Bible Baptist Church of Galway

Baptist church record book from the Bible Baptist Church of Galway

brought the faith to New York. Wayne talked about some of the beliefs that separate the Baptists from other Protestant faiths such as the Congregational/Independent and Presbyterian churches.  He also talked about what a genealogist can expect to find for records at a Baptist church and where to find the records, including the Baptist archives in Atlanta, Georgia and Nashville, Tennessee.

Listen to the show:


Photograph: Bible Baptist Church of Galway



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New York Track at NGS Richmond http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/new-york-track-at-ngs-richmond/ http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/new-york-track-at-ngs-richmond/#comments Sat, 29 Mar 2014 14:37:01 +0000 http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/?p=1084 Read More ]]> Last week the presenters of the New York Track at the National Genealogical Society’s 2014 family history conference in Richmond, Virginia, joined me on the show, live from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) office in Midtown Manhattan. The presenters of the NYG&B-sponsored track include Naomi Joshi, Terry Koch-Bostic, Joan Koster Morales and myself. We had a ball!

Terry started the show by explaining why the NYG&B sponsored a track this year, and then we all took turns talking about the exciting lineup of New York genealogy topics at this year’s conference. Topics include “Misspelled, Misunderstood or Deliberate? Are Your New York Ancestors’ Records Hidden Under a Surname Variation?” by Terry, “Navigating the Past: Gazetteers and Genealogists” by Naomi, and “New York’s Confederate Prisons: Elmira and New York City” by Joan. Naomi closed the lineup, telling us about the NYG&B Luncheon talk, “How to assemble a weighty genealogical tome and survive the experience!”

I asked each presenter what we would learn from her talk, what inspired her to do the talk, and what unusual things she discovered in the course of creating the talk. Terry then shared how to register for the conference and how to access the first-ever streaming of several lectures from the NGS conference if you can’t make it to Richmond.

Due to Skype connection difficulties, we lost the tail end of Joan’s discussion on the Confederate prisons and all of Terry’s discussion

New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer book cover, New York Genealogical and Biographical Society

New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer book cover, New York Genealogical and Biographical Society

of her “Upside Down Migration: South Carolina to Nova Scotia to New York” and my discussion on “Looking for Your New York Tenant Farmer: Little-Used Resources.” The broadcast breaks on three occasions, but resumes almost immediately, creating a 45-minute show.

Join the New York presenters at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia on Thursday, 8 May 2014. The conference runs from 7-10 May. Find out more about the NGS conference here: http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/

Listen to the NY Track radio show here:

Photo: Fort Lafayette (Confederate prison), by Deloss Barnum, NY Public Library, Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs

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New York Loyalist Land Confiscations http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/new-york-loyalist-land-confiscations/ http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/new-york-loyalist-land-confiscations/#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 16:55:36 +0000 http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/?p=1076 Read More ]]> This week on the Forget-Me-Not Hour, my guest was author and genealogist Bill Ruddock. Bill talked about the New York Loyalist land forfeitures and confiscations during and after the American Revolution, how genealogists can use the records that were generated from the confiscations, and his new book on the forfeitures in Putnam County, New York.

Bill explained that the Act of Attainder that permitted the recently-formed state of New York to confiscate the property of landowners who supported the King of England in New York was passed in October 1779. (See the act here: http://archives.gnb.ca/Exhibits/FortHavoc/html/NY-Attainder.aspx?culture=en-CA) A number of high-profile Loyalists, all apparently political enemies of act-writer John Jay, were targeted and their property was subsequently confiscated by the state. Commissioners were appointed to oversee the confiscations.

What is a great resource for genealogists from these land forfeitures is the deeds that were generated upon the sale of the lands. Much of the land was owned by Beverly Robinson and Robert Morris in Putnam (then

Author Bill Ruddock talks about New York Loyalist land confiscations and how genealogists can use these records.

Author Bill Ruddock talks about New York Loyalist land confiscations and how genealogists can use these records.

Dutchess) County and by Frederick Philipse in Westchester County. The deeds were recorded in the Dutchess and Westchester county deed books.

Bill has taken the deeds in current-day Putnam County, found in Dutchess County Deed Book 8, and extracted all the names of the buyers and the neighbors mentioned in the property description. Many of these people were former tenants of Robinson and Morris. In addition to an all-name index, the book has 19th century maps showing where all the properties were located. Bill has overlayed these maps onto current-day ordinance maps so the reader can locate the property today.

This book is a great resource for family historians with ancestors in Putnam County during the time of the American Revolution and into the 19th century.  To order Bill’s book: http://heritagebooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=HBI&Product_Code=101-R5385&Category_Code=

Listen to the whole radio show here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/janeewilcox/2014/03/05/new-york-loyalists-land-confiscations-with-william-ruddock

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Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE from London http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/who-do-you-think-you-are-live-from-london/ http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/who-do-you-think-you-are-live-from-london/#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2014 21:58:05 +0000 http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/?p=1065 Read More ]]> Last week I had the pleasure of doing two half-hour interviews at the Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE event in London at the Olympia London venue on 20-22 February. American genealogy blogger Dick Eastman was making his annual visit to the show and stopped to chat with me on Friday about the show from an American’s perspective.  WDYTYA? LIVE sales manager David Showler took a some time from his busy show schedule to talk with me as well on Saturday, the last day of the show. Both interviews were a lot of fun!

Jane Wilcox and Dick Eastman at the My Heritage booth at WDYTYA? LIVE in London on Friday, 21 February.

Jane Wilcox and Dick Eastman at the My Heritage booth at WDYTYA? LIVE in London on Friday, 21 February.

Dick Eastman has attended every show since its inception eight years ago. He likes it so much, he keeps coming back for more. He likened the show to an expo and shared why non-Brits would want to come to the show. He gave me, a first-timer, some tips to navigate the show, which routinely draws up to 13,000 people — not all at once, I learned. The show is designed for one-day attendees or three-day attendees. I was a two-day attendee on Friday and Saturday.

The interview with David Showler had some technical difficulties with the Skype connection and the broadcast comes in and out, fortunately more in than out. What David shared in his interview is worth hanging in there to the end. David explained that the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I, or The Great War as the Brits call it, starts in August this year. David told us about The Lives of the First World War project (http://www.livesofthefirstworldwar.org/) that has been launched. It’s a chance of anyone with a Great War participant to share the story. WWI was very much in evidence at WDYTYA? Live this year.

I attended some of the lectures, including one by a law professor who talked about illegitimacy, marriage,

Olympic silver-medalist Colin Jackson talks about his TV experience on WDYTY? at the Celebrity Theatre in London.

divorce and bigamy during the WWI years and how genealogists can use the data to understand what they may learn about their ancestors during this period. I also attended the session with Olympic silver-medalist Colin Jackson who was featured in one of the WDYTYA? episodes on TV.  Colin’s story took him to Jamaica where he learned about his slave ancestry.

Listen to Dick’s and David’s interviews here:





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Twelve Years A Slave: Solomon Northup Before and After in Upstate New York http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/twelve-years-a-slave-solomon-northup-before-and-after-in-upstate-new-york/ http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/twelve-years-a-slave-solomon-northup-before-and-after-in-upstate-new-york/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2014 15:30:12 +0000 http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/?p=1046 Read More ]]> This week Solomon Northup biographer David Fiske joined me on the Forget-Me-Not Hour to talk about his co-authored book Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of “Twelve Years a Slave.” David joined me on the show from Saratoga County, New York, where Northup, born a free black man in New York, was tricked and then kidnapped into slavery in 1841. Northup was sold as a slave in Washington, D.C. and was taken to Louisiana where he lived in bondage for 12 years.

The Fort Edward House

The Old Fort House in Fort Edward, N.Y., where Solomon lived before moving to Saratoga Springs. The Fort House still exists and is part of a museum complex in Fort Edward, on the Hudson River in Washington County.

David recounted Northup’s early life in upstate New York, where he was educated and taught to play the violin. Like many of his Washington County, New York neighbors, Northup worked a variety of jobs to make a living for his family. He farmed, he did carpentry, he logged, he rafted on the canals. He had a number of skills, which helped him survive the ordeal of slavery. He also knew how to swim, which saved him on one occasion in the water moccasin- and alligator-infested waters of Louisiana.

David talked about how he first learned about Northup at the Old Fort House and how his interest in Northup’s story led to the collaboration with Clifford W. Brown and Rachel Seligman on the book. The book focuses mainly on Northup’s life as a free man before and after slavery, leaving the slave years for Northup to tell in his own book Twelve Years a Slave, which he published shortly after his rescue in 1853.

David explained how Northup was rescued and how the trials of his kidnappers and sellers unfolded. During the second trial — that of the kidnappers, newspapers erroneously ran stories that Northup allowed himself to be sold into slavery in collusion with the two men who pocketed the money from his sale. Northup vehemently denied these allegations, and David noted that unfortunately today people on the Internet are continuing to spread this falsehood.

There is evidence that Northup worked with a minister in Vermont to help escaped slaves make their way to Canada on the Underground Railroad.  Listen to the whole story from David Fiske: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/janeewilcox/2014/02/05/12-years-a-slave-solomon-northup-before-and-after-in-upstate-ny 

Unfortunately, the call was ended abruptly at the end; however, we were just wrapping up the interview so nothing but David’s ancestry was lost on the air.  Both of David’s family lines came to America from England in the 1600s. Fiskes settled in Rhode Island, and Peleg Fiske took his family to Killingly, Conn. in the 1830s. On the maternal side, it’s Fogg, and a Daniel Fogg was an early settler of Scarborough, Maine.

Find David’s book here http://solomonnorthup.com/

David Fiske, co-author of "Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of 'Twelve Years a Slave.'"

David Fiske, co-author of “Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of ‘Twelve Years a Slave.’”

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Wall Street Walks: Financial District Tour and History with Annaline Dinkleman http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/wall-street-walks-financial-district-tour-and-history-with-annaline-dinkleman/ http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/wall-street-walks-financial-district-tour-and-history-with-annaline-dinkleman/#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 19:25:52 +0000 http://www.4getmenotancestry.com/?p=1011 Read More ]]> We had a fun show on the Forget-Me-Not Hour on 15 February when Annaline Dinkelman joined me to talk

Annaline Dinkelman, owner of Wall Street Walks, the first guided walking tour company in New York City to focus exclusively on the stock market and financial history.

Annaline Dinkelman, owner of Wall Street Walks, the first guided walking tour company in New York City to focus exclusively on the stock market and financial history.

about the history of Wall Street in lower Manhattan and how our ancestors were impacted by some of the more significant developments in the banking industry and stock market from the early days of the federal government. Annaline is the owner of Walk Street Walks, the first guided walking tour company in New York City to focus exclusively on the stock market and financial history. Before the show aired, Annaline gave me a private tour of the area in preparation for the interview.

Annaline started out by giving an audio tour of the famous street. Wall Street was originally a wooden stockade fence at the northern edge of New Amsterdam and was erected in 1653 — much later in New Amsterdam’s Dutch history than I had imagined. One hundred thirty plus years later, Wall Street was the site of George Washington’s inauguration as the first president of the United States. The building where the ceremony took place was New York City Hall, which was renamed Federal Hall when it became the seat of the federal government. Washington’s Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, lived on Wall Street and conceived the plan for the federal banking system. Stock market trades took place under a tree on Wall Street, just down the block from Federal Hall. The stock exchange had a few different locations over the years.

New York Stock Exchange today.

New York Stock Exchange today.

Our ancestors were impacted financially during and after the Revolutionary War when they were given IOUs as payment for horses, food and other things that the army needed to fight the war. Soldiers were given land in western New York and in Ohio as payment for their services. The IOUs lost their value, so speculators like Abigail Adams, bought the IOUs at 1/3 of their value. When the federal government paid the IOUs, they paid in full. Annaline told us more about Abigail Adams and her investment savvy.

Annaline talked about how the stock market news was communicated in the early days (think flags, fires and pigeons) and when our commoner ancestors started to trade in the stock market. (The stock market was once only a rich-man’s world.) When the stock market crash of 1929 occurred, more of our ancestors than ever before in the history of trading were impacted because of the wide-spread encouragement of the federal government to buy bonds.

Find out more about the history of the stock market, Wall Street, the federal banking system, the oldest standing buildings in Lower Manhattan that have survived from the 1700s and early 1800s and the women of Wall Street here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/janeewilcox/2014/01/15/wall-street-walks-financial-district-tour-and-history-with-annaline-dinkleman

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