A Look Back … With Thanks

On the last day of the year, rather than wax melancholy over missed research opportunities (and they are legion, dear readers), I choose to think, more positively, about the people and organizations who opened new doors for me in 2010.

Here’s a toast and some parting gifts for some of those good angels and kind souls:

To  John Martino and the volunteers of the remarkable New York City Vital Records database project: A donation, and many thanks for the hard work that helps those of us with NYC ancestors find our genealogy needles in that immense haystack.

To Find A Grave: Some graves. Also, some pictures. Hope they help somebody, or at least provide some of the same browsing entertainment I get from this fascinating site.

To the Troy Irish Genealogy Society: A donation. Plus, thanks for letting me crash your monthly dinner meeting in October. Plus, thanks for all your transcriptions, databases and lively observations on the indispensable NY-TROY-IRISH-GENSOC list. Inconsiderately, my ancestors settled on the  Watervliet side of the river. But they crossed over enough to Troy that I can pretend I’m cool like you guys.

To Pat Connors, whose treasure trove of Irish, Troy and Troy/Irish data I wrote about a few months ago: A click on your PayPal button, and fervent thanks.  I found a naturalization entry on your site which saved me a LOT of grief at the Rennselaer County courthouse. And you just keep on updating. How do you do it??

To Tom Hanley, archivist and (NY) (Baseball) Giants fan who kindly tracked down multiple 19th-century baptisms in Watervliet when I visited this fall, and to the kind staff at Holy Trinity in Cohoes, who found my great-great-grandparents’ marriage record: May you have a productive and blessed New Year. Also, may you ever get record requests with exact dates and correct church names.

To Tom Tryniski and the amazing New York State newspaper database he oversees: A screaming, 96-point headline saying THANK YOU and a donation. I have found so much stuff about my family at your place, I keep thinking you’re running a scrapbook on them.

To everybody who took the time to give a shout-out or leave a comment about something on the blog: Thank you each and every one. May the coming year be full of solved mysteries.


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