Census 101 Class

Are you interested in learning about the U.S. Federal Census for genealogy research?  Yes?  Then sign-up for our class being held this Thursday, October 18.  Here are the details:

Census Records 101

Skill Level: Advanced

Requirements: Mouse, typing, and Internet skills

This is an introduction to using U.S. Federal Census records for genealogy research.  Learn the basics of census records and an overview of census resources available through the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System.

Time: 2-5 pm

Location: Central Library Computer Lab, 2nd Floor

Call to reserve your spot: 858-7132

Posted in Genealogy

National Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15 to October 15, 2012

During this time, we celebrate the rich history and culture of Americans whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

Interested in discovering your Hispanic family history?  See our Latin American and Caribbean Genealogy guide for genealogy resources in the Grosvenor Room.

For information on Hispanic-American culture and history in the Buffalo area, see the books listed in the above guide, and the following selected websites:

History of Hispanics in Buffalo, NY

Hispanic Heritage History Project

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New Grosvenor Room Guide

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Shakespeare in the park…the early years

On June 14, 1904 Buffalonians were treated to an amateur outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, complete with “electrical effects,” a Greek dance, and Mendelssohn music.  Presented as a benefit for the Charity Foundation’s Church Home (an orphanage & home for the aged), the performance took place in the extensive gardens of the Rumsey family, located at Delaware Avenue and Tracy Street.  A serendipitous scrapbook find, as this play is the current Shakespeare in the Park production!

The production featured a cast of Buffalo notables, with members of the Cary, Hamlin, Larkin,  Letchworth, Kleinhans, Rumsey, and Wilcox families participating.

Here is the glowing review and full cast:

Source: Charities in Buffalo Scrapbook, Vol. 1, pp.327-330, 332. Buffalo Collection *HV99.B86 B72

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The Library Cat Saga


In 1935, a  little black cat named Rosita found a home at the original Grosvenor Library, our predecessor and namesake.  We learned of this story while searching through the newspaper scrapbooks that were meticulously compiled by library staff over the years.  The Grosvenor Library was a public reference library that existed from 1871 to 1963, with extensive collections in American history and genealogy.  It was located at 383 Franklin at the corner of Edward, and later annexed the Cyclorama building.

The newspapers at the time regaled readers with witty stories on the “library cat” and even reported on her disappearance, happy return, and birth of kittens aptly named Cataloga, Medicala, Orderina, Perioda, and Referentia!


Margaret Richmond Fess, a Buffalo newspaperwoman, related the cat saga in the context of the Great Depression in her book, The Grosvenor Library and it’s Times:

During these dark and troubled times, the press snatched eagerly at any news which touched the lighter side of life. Rosslyn, alias Rosita, alias Blackie, the Grosvenor Library’s classical cat, received more space in the local papers in 1935 and 1936 than the most valuable gifts to the institution.

Source: Grosvenor Library Scrapbook, Vol. 6, unpaged. Buffalo Collection *Z733.B92 G8

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New Books in the Grosvenor Room

Bockstruck, Lloyd de Witt. Revolutionary War Pensions: Awarded by State Governments 1775-1874, the General and Federal Governments Prior to 1814, and by Private Acts of Congress to 1905.  GRO Ref E255 .B67 2011

Byrd, William L. North Carolina General Assembly Sessions Records: Slaves and Free Persons of Color 1709-1789.  GRO Ref E185.93.N6 B97 2001

Douglas, Althea. Time Traveller’s Handbook: A Guide to the Past. GRO Ref CS9 .D69 2011

Gingerich, Hugh F. and Kreider, Rachel W.  Amish and Amish Mennonite Genealogies.  GRO E184 .M45 G56 2007

Hatcher, Patricia Law. Researching Your Colonial New England Ancestors.  GRO Ref F3 .H28 2006

Jensen, Cecile Wendt.  STO LAT: A Modern Guide to Polish Ancestry.  GRO Ref CS872 .J46 2010

Koons, Bee Bartron. Teaching Genealogy to Young People. GRO Ref CS21 .K66 2004

Koons, Bee Bartron. Young People’s Workbook for Junior Genealogy Classes. GRO Ref CS15.5 .K66 2004

Leclerc, Michael J. Genealogist’s Handbook for New England Research 5th Edition.  GRO Ref F3 .N4 2012

Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Northern Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians.  GRO Ref CS442 .M39 2011

Merriman, Brenda Dougall.  Genealogical Standards of Evidence: A Guide for Family Historians.  GRO Ref CS83 .M47 2010

Pihach, John D. Ukrainian Genealogy. GRO Ref. CS862 .P54 2007

Riemer, Shirley J. The German Research Companion 3rd Edition, Revised & Updated. GRO Ref CS613 .R56 2010

Rising, Marsha Hoffman. The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried-and-True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors. GRO Ref CS14 .R57 2011

Rose, Christine. Military Bounty Land, 1776-1855.  GRO Ref CS49 .R665 2011

Stahley, Susan E.  Cattaraugus County New York Surrogate Court Abstracts: Guardianship Edition.  GRO F127 .C4 S73 2008

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New Grosvenor Room Guide

Calling all genealogists and historians!

Check out our new guide and learn about the resources available in the Grosvenor Room for researching adopted ancestors and orphanages: Adoption & Orphanage Resources for Genealogists and Historians.


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