(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Erie Post Office (Postcard Series)

Postcard; post marked 1914; collection of the author.

Postcard; post marked 1914; collection of the author.

This beauty was demolished in 1937, and replaced with the U.S. District Courthouse that now sits on South Park Row at the corner of State Street. Built in 1887 under the direction of renowned American architect Mifflin Elmen Bell, it opened in 1888, and functioned as both a post office and federal courthouse.[1]

For more information on the construction of the building, see Debbi Lyon’s post, “Old Federal Courthouse Was Majestic,” over at Old Time Erie.

Wordless Wednesday is a weekly blogging prompt sponsored by Geneabloggers.


[1] Erie Federal Courthouse, “History of the Federal Judiciary,” Federal Judicial Center (http://www.fjc.gov : accessed February 2016).

Are You Thinking About Joining a Lineage Society?

Being accepted into a lineage society is a goal of many genealogy researchers. There are myriad reasons for belonging: it’s an honor; it’s a means by which to test the quality and veracity of your work; it puts you in touch with potential family and other like minded people; and, it preserves your research for those who come after you.

There are many different types of lineage societies. Some are associated with ethnicity, a specific war, or residency in an area of the country during a particular time period. To qualify for one, you need to prove you are directly descended from an ancestor who meets that society’s criteria for eligibility. Three which are popular with people whose ancestors were in Northwest Pennsylvania in the early 1800s are: Daughters [and Sons] of the American Revolution (DAR/SAR); The Society of the War of 1812; and, First Families of Pennsylvania.

The application process can seem daunting. You will need to document the birth, marriage, and death facts for many generations, and your trace your lineage back to your eligible ancestor. In my experience, the best way to begin is to use a worksheet that mimics the society’s application. This will help you stay focused and will reveal holes in your research.

Here is a PDF of a worksheet you can download and print to keep track of your research:
Lineage Society Worksheet

The most critical part of the application is the proof between generations. The earlier you go back, the less likely you will find vital records with direct evidence of parentage, so you will likely need to locate a variety of records which, when take together, will connect the generations. Many lineage societies have local chapters with registrars or membership helpers who can help guide you through the process.

Here are some links to societies that you might be interested in:

National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution
National Society, Sons of the American Revolution
General Society War of 1812
First Families of Pennsylvania
First Families of New York

You will also find links to many more societies at Cyndi’s List.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Erie County Courthouse (Postcard Series)

Postcard; postmarked Erie, 1947; collection of the author.

Postcard; postmarked Erie, 1947; collection of the author.

Erie’s County Courthouse, located at 140 West Sixth Street, was erected and opened for business in May 1855.

Erie County was established 12 March 1800, but for its first three years, it was attached to Crawford County. The very first Erie court was held in 1803, at Goerge Buehler’s hotel at the corner of French and Third Streets. The first official courthouse was erected on the West Park, north of the soldier’s monument, in 1808. That building, and its entire contents, burned 23 March 1823. A new building, built on the footprint of the first, took two years to complete, and served as the county seat for thirty years.[1]

Wordless Wednesday is a weekly blogging prompt sponsored by Geneabloggers.

[1] Samuel P. Bates, History of Erie County… (Chicago: Warner & Beers, 1884), 512-514.