Monday, November 10, 2014

A Great Day But...

Last week I took a field to the Maryland Historical Society, specifically to the library for a research session.  My mom tagged along.  She is retired and has expressed a lot of interest in the family research.  So I asked her if she would like to join me, and she did.  I also thought maybe she would like to cruise through the museum.
So, after signing in we headed to the library.  We walked in, I showed Mom where things were and she was content to browse some family history books.
Meanwhile, I have had one specific focus, finding more information on my 4th great grandfather Charles Henry (see my previous post:  Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are).  Since the discovery of his death notice I have come no closer to finding him.
Among the library's resources, the Historical Society has funeral home records for mainly one funeral home.  By no means does this guarantee a find, but it was worth a shot.  Unfortunately, I did not correctly read the finding aid on-line and failed to notice that Charles Henry's year of death (1883) was not included in the collection.  Not at all a surprise considering my problems finding any information about Charles. AHHHHH!
OK, well, while I am here, let's see if I can find anyone I "know" in the index.  I searched all my normal surnames; Henry, Bull, Carman, Bensel, Blatchley, Burk and Pisani.  Name after name I came up with nothing...until Pisani.  Several family member of Egisto Pisani, including Egisto himself, were listed.
As I talked about briefly in my post Who was Massimo?, I believed that Egisto was my 2nd great grandfather's brother.  Egisto, Massimo (and Antonio) were all fruit dealers in Baltimore City in the mid-late 1800s. Early city directory listings had them living near each other and sharing or having very close business addresses.  Also, Massimo's death certificate listed his father's name as Egisto Pisani.  Therefore, I don't think it is a stretch to think that at least Massimo and Egisto could be brothers.  I had found Egisto's obituary (no mention of parents or siblings) and found him in the Baltimore County, Maryland death index (have not been to the Archives to pull the certificate). 
I requested the volume that contained Egisto's funeral record.  Before I opened the book I spent a few minutes talking with mom about what I knew, what I thought and why I was happy to find that Egisto was listed in these records.  Both Mom and I were excited as we flipped through to the correct page.  We got to the page and I skimmed down the page.  All the information was interesting but I was particularly interested in his parents' info.
All excitement was lost when I saw his parents' names.  Not even close to what was listed on Massimo's death certificate.  Under my breath I said, "Damn, they are not brothers".  Now, I know that I can't take either Massimo's death certificate or Egisto's funeral record as the last word.  And, there is still no reason to think that they weren't related at all, I was just hoping for a closer relationship.
We made notes, took pictures of the pages and looked at a few more records.  Then it was lunchtime.
We went and got some lunch and had a nice walk to and from Tio Pepe's.  After we got back we toured the museum, which took up the time we had left in the afternoon.
So, I would sum up the day as a great day because I got to spend the day with my mom, sharing an interest.  The day could have gone better if we had been able to find some new or confirming information, but I still wouldn't trade the day I had.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Gettin' My Learn On

This past Saturday I attended a seminar that was jointly hosted by the Maryland Genealogical Society and the Maryland Historical Society called "Finding You War of 1812 Ancestors".  The seminar is just a small part of many events celebrating the anniversary of Maryland's involvement in the War of 1812.  There were several speakers and it was very informative.
Although I have yet to identify an ancestor that was involved in the War of 1812 I am so glad I attended.  Not only did I learn a lot about specific events of the war and Maryland's heroes, records and resources available for the participants, but I found both the museum and the library of the Maryland Historical Society FASCINATING!!
I am embarrassed to admit that this was my first visit to the Maryland Historical Society. It definitely will not be my last! 


The museum had some great exhibits.  One of the new exhibits is "BEARINGS of Baltimore, Circa 1815".  University of Maryland Baltimore County researchers have created an interactive display of Baltimore in 1815.  It does not show everything, but it does include many Baltimore landmarks.  You can zoom around and overlay Baltimore in 2014 as well.  Again, the 2014 doesn't show everything but enough to get your bearings (ha ha). 
Then there is the library. WOW!!!  I am definitely taking a couple vacation days to spend time researching there.  I was lucky enough to be seated at a table with a nice lady who had visited many times and offered to show me around during the lunch break.  I would have investigated anyway, but she gave me some great hints and showed me where specific items were located.
I already have identified some things I will be searching for on a trip there soon.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Little "Break"

I don't really have anything family related to talk about as I have not done any research during June.
The reason...on June 1st I was hiking with some friends, fell crossing a stream and broke my finger.  It sounds harmless enough but it is my middle finger on my right hand.  Of course I am right-handed.  So with a splint that basically immobilizes my entire right hand, using the computer, writing, or doing anything has been a challenge.
The x-rays taken at the time also revealed an enchondroma (benign bone tumor) in the knuckle.
That means surgery in July, so more recovery time.  Sigh!
Today I am actually finally able use the mouse and type a bit with my right hand (trying to do this left-handed was UGLY!!!), so I thought I would post a quick update.
I'm trying to gather some paper files that I can sort through until I can get some dexterity back in my hand. Seems like a great time to catch up on filing.  I hate filing...which was apparent when I opened my file cabinet!
Gotta get to it...