Dear members and friends of CCGS,
It is time for members to step up to a leadership role in CCGS. Election season is upon us and all of us are tired of the same old leadership, and those same old leaders are tired. Why is it so important to keep local genealogical societies alive and well? We have distributed enough material to libraries to keep researchers busy for years. Can individuals not learn about their family history in Chautauqua County on their own, as well as with the help of society membership?
While I ponder these questions, I am faced with the sadness of losing two very important members of our society. Phyllis Quackenbush and Dr Elbert Phillips were, and are, testimony to the worth of CCGS membership. In their quest for knowledge of ancestors, these two touched many of our lives and gave us help and encouragement in our own searches.
If Phyllis Quackenbush had never become a member of CCGS, I would never have come into possession of priceless family photos and other artifacts. Phyllis married into a connection of a family that had a connection to my family. She recognized my family name on an envelope in a box ready to be thrown away. These items and photos that had no meaning to her family, but because of our CCGS surname list, she knew they would be important to me. Though we will not see her again at a monthly meeting, each time I look at my photos, or even at the images in the Personal Ancestral File on my computer, I send kind thoughts in her direction. I know each of you could tell such a story of the valuable networking that takes place in every local genealogical society.
I never met Dr Phillips in person, but felt a close acquaintance with him and his family. To my knowledge, he was never able to attend one of our meetings. But he was an ever present working member and contributed so much to all of us. Many of us talked with him by telephone or communicated by e mail. He contributed articles for our newsletter, and placed many families histories in our library. He was tireless in looking up information for those who asked questions. He never expected or accepted compensation for his work, but we all gave him our sincere gratitude. I hope you had a chance to read his obituary. This impressive chronicle of a full and useful life appeared in many papers in the communities that he touched. I want to include here just one paragraph from that obit the way it was submitted by his family. His love of family and history inspired him for over 30 years to research his family genealogy ("collecting dead relatives"). He spent his retirement years doing wood working, reading, bird watching, gardening, and enjoying grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Genealogists will smile when they realize that every one of the newspapers who published the obit omitted the information in parentheses. We include it here as our special memorial to Elbert. His family requested that memorials in his honor be sent to CCGS. We are touched and very grateful for this opportunity. We are making plans to use these funds to edit and prepare his family histories for publication in sturdy bindings. These will be made available for research by others. His families included: Phillips, Warner, Crowell, Gibbs, Clark, and probably others still to be collected from his computer files.
Virginia Barden takes Society to Press
No one is more responsible for the success of CCGS publications than Virginia W. Barden. Our first publications flyer featured two flagship offerings: A Guide to Chautauqua County Cemeteries and Burial Sites, and Earliest Holland Land Company Sales in Chautauqua County, New York. The primary author of each of these was Virginia W. Barden. The success of this first offering led to a flurry of publication activity and to the current CCGS listing of 65 titles.
Long before her association with CCGS publications, Virginia was at work collecting family history information for the benefit of others. Her readings of several cemeteries and extractions of church records were already in local libraries. She had peered into every corner of the county court house to produce a card file of genealogical gems. These projects were updated by CCGS to produce her books: Town of Ripley Cemeteries, Gleanings and Gleanings II.
It was Virginia, with Jack Ericson, who located and went after permission to extract the records from the early days at the County Home and Infirmary. This work resulted in the two volume publication: The Chautauqua County Alms House and Asylum and its companion, Emigrants Aided in Chautauqua County, NY 1853 1876.
It was Virginia who, determined to make more accessible the nine scrapbooks that Clayburne Sampson had donated to the County Historical Society, spent two years at her computer organizing the information from these clippings of obituaries, wedding announcements and other family highlights into her book, Mostly Ellery.
And it was Virginia who got husband Paul (and a couple of other volunteers) to go through and organize those boxes of school records stored in the attic of the county History Center at McClurg Mansion. Then she insisted that we get started extracting the valuable genealogical information contained therein. This prodding has led to 18 books of extractions of these records with four more nearly ready for publication. These records, covering the years 1878 through 1908, have become a valuable alternative to the missing 1890 census. Three of these: Ripley, French Creek and Sherman were completed by Virginia.
During her tenure as Publications Committee chairman, Virginia has led us to choose one cemetery each year to read and record the inscriptions. A team would then explore other documentation for this cemetery and prepare it all for publication for the enlightenment of family historians. Virginia and Paul did this for Phillips Cemetery located just over the Pennsylvania state line in the township of North East. Though small, Phillips may be the most complete record we have for any cemetery.
In addition to her books, Virginia authored, or played a part in developing, several of the more important features that have appeared in our quarterly, The Chautauqua Genealogist.
In the 20 years of CCGS, only one Life Membership has been awarded that in 1991 to our much revered former president, Jack Blodgett. Today, October 4, 1997, we award the first Life FAMILY Membership in the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society to Virginia and Paul Barden. So far, we have listed the accomplishments of Virginia, but all of us know they are a team. Through it all, Paul has been more than chauffeur and gofer. He has been there helping and supporting. When things slowed down and the roadblock seemed insurmountable, his cheerful, "You can do it Gin," would get the project going again. CCGS says thank you Virginia and Paul Barden for putting our society on the map and into hundreds of homes and dozens of libraries.
Elizabeth L. Crocker...........was the county's first historian, and continued to serve in that capacity for more than 30 years after her appointment in 1965. .......... Through the years, she also served as secretary and president of the New York Association of County Historians.
As both a historian and genealogist, she spent many hours assisting teachers and others engaged in historical research. She committed time and energy to helping place historic buildings and areas on the National Register of Historic Places. She also worked to remark the graves of more than 60 Revolutionary War soldiers from Chautauqua County.
She was very proud of the cooperation and accomplishments of the 38 municipal historians who are appointed by municipal governments across the county. The local historians meet twice a year and are responsible to their state and local governments for annual reports.
She was extremely active in the Daughters of the American Revolution, having served as the New York state librarian and New York state chair of public relations. Before her death, she was the registrar of the local Benjamin Prescott Chapter of the DAR, where she had spent considerable time assisting members with genealogical research.
She was the author of a series of books called Yesterday in and around Pomfret, and wrote numerous articles to assist others researching local history and genealogy.
Before becoming county historian, Miss Crocker also served as Pomfret town historian. Her colleagues in the community recognized her many times and declared Nov. 11, 1975 as "Elizabeth Crocker Day.” , The Zonta Club of the Dunkirk Fredonia had honored her as "Woman of the Year." She also was presented with the American Legion' , “Americanism Medal" and a certificate of commendation from the American associations for state and local history.
A life member of the Chautauqua County Historical Society since 1948,
she devoted many hours of research at the historical society's McClurg
Museum in Westfield. She spent many of her
Jack Blodgett always used the signature, John A. deL. Blodgett to honor the ancestors for whom he was named. He has been noted by early CCGS members as "the best president we ever had,” and is the only person to date honored with a Life Membership in CCGS.
Jack joined our Society in 1978 when he retired from a 30 year career at the New York Public Library in Manhattan. Born in Sheridan and veteran of WW II, he returned to his home county to continue his lifelong interest in genealogy and spent the rest of his life continuing professional research for hundreds of correspondents, collecting information and building an extensive genealogical library. He often amazed companions, when a casual conversation turned to family history, by putting pencil to paper (sometimes a cocktail napkin) to produce a pedigree chart, complete with dates and places, from his unbelievable memory .
During his lifetime Jack donated dozens of valuable books to the Barker Museum's Genealogy Library. These gifts included the entire collection of census indexes and the extensive heraldry collection. At one time a library spokesman declared that 75 percent of the contents of the room was donated by Jack Blodgett. At his death, his collection of valuable periodicals came to the library. And, though the card file of extractions of deaths and marriages from the Fredonia Censor was started and completed by other CCGS members, one will find more than half of these cards lovingly written in Jack's unique hand.
The Life Membership for Jack Blodgett was approved early in 1990 and we waited hopefully for Jack to be able to attend a meeting at which he could be publicly honored. Unfortunately, this did not happen and the award was presented at his home by then CCGS president, Dale K. Davis in January of 1991 three months before his death on April 19. Jack, we remember, and we honor you still with the continuation of your work.
11/4/2004 - James Woodcock WESTFIELD - James ''Jim'' A. Woodcock, 65, a resident of the Waters of Westfield, formerly of Ellicott Estates, Brocton, Fredonia, and Sheridan, died Tuesday (Nov. 2, 2004) in the Waters of Westfield.
He was born Dec. 3, 1938, in Fredonia, the son of the late Arthur J. and Marie H. Schrader Woodcock. He had been employed by Farmer John's Fruit Farm for 25 years working in the vineyard and orchards.
His hobby was genealogy and was a former member of the Chautauqua County Genealogy Society. He had done the genealogy of his family and helped others do the same with their families. He also worked with Dr. Douglas Shepard on several projects with old county maps and records. He enjoyed woodworking and making decoupages that he displayed and sold at local craft shows. He loved his cat, Pogo.
He is survived by a brother, Kenneth Woodcock of Norfolk, Va.; and a sister, Karen Brisley of Brocton.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Joyce Johnson, who died in 1984.
The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Morse Funeral Home, Brocton. The Rev. Larry Morrison, will officiate. Interment will be in Webster Street Cemetery, Fredonia.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday in the funeral home.
James Woodcock To the core members of the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society, Jim was our "diamond in the rough". Most people won’t have noticed him in the room. He would spend many hours donating his spare time helping others in the Garland Room of the Barker Library. For many years, he was a volunteer at the LDS Branch Library in Fredonia helping researches at that facility. A statement made in the Post Journal:
"His hobby was genealogy and.....He had done the genealogy of his family and helped others do the same with their families. He also worked with Dr. Douglas Shepard on several projects with old county maps and records. He enjoyed woodworking and making decoupages that he displayed and sold at local craft shows. He loved his cat, Pogo."
CCGS has had no better friend than Paul Barden. Paul and Virginia were already members of CCGS when we joined in 1986. Their membership number (40) indicates that they joined at an early date. They were our first couple designated honorary life family members. This memorable presentation occurred at our 20th anniversary celebration in 1997.
In the early years, Paul's participation consisted of helping Virginia with the research for the several books and articles published. He spent many hours visiting cemeteries reading, checking, then visiting the court house re checking records before the final product appeared. These works included Earliest Holland Land Company Sales, Cemetery and church records for the towns of Ripley and Westfield, Estate Inventories; later The Guide to Chautauqua County Cemeteries and Burial Sites, then Gleanings and Gleanings n, Cemeteries of the Town of Ripley, Phillips Cemetery, and more.
When Paul took over as Treasurer for CCGS, he decided to invest some of our funds and would play games with the "girls" at the bank to get the highest rate on a CD. His efforts gained several hundred, if not thousands, of dollars of extra income for our ventures. He held this position off and on for more than eight years and taught us how it should be done.
Some of us who were the lucky recipients of Paul's daily phone calls would complain to him that all those stories of the wonderful grandchildren gave us a "numb ear," but how we miss those calls and miss hearing about the exploits of the golf pro, the international banker, the Washington diplomat, the varsity basketball player, the computer chip tycoon. Forget the ancestors, this is a great group of descendants that Paul and Virginia have produced.
Because of Paul's love for silver, we learned a lot about local families from his silver collection; He dreamed up and sponsored our very successful "Cow Jumped Over the Moon" contest in 1998. Last year, our library holdings were increased by more than one hundred books from the Barden Collection. Several dozen other books from this valuable collection were given by the Barden's to the County Historian.
The World, CCGS, You and I, had no better friend that Paul Barden. We miss you Paul.
HENDERSON, N.Y. - Dr. Elbert Warner Phillips, 72, of Henderson, formerly of Buffalo, died Saturday (Aug. 21, 2004) in St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse. He was born Nov. 26, 1931, in Gowanda, the son of Warner Charles and Lois Anna Miller Phillips.
He was a 1949 graduate of Gowanda High School and a 1953 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy with a bachelor's of science in biology and a minor in chemical engineering. In 1956, he joined the Army Reserve at 1st Army Headquarters on Governor's Island, New York City, as a second lieutenant. He earned his medical degree in 1957 from Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse. He completed his rotating internship at Fitzsimons General Hospital in Denver as a first lieutenant in 1958. He completed his residency in general radiology, including radiation therapy and nuclear medicine at Fitzsimons General Hospital as a captain in the regular army medical corps, and also completed his special training in nuclear weapons ordinance, Sandi Base, Albuquerque, N.M., Nuclear Weapons Depot in 1961. He was an active member of the Nuclear Emergency Team, and chief of radiology, U.S. Army Hospital, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, from 1963 until he retirement in 1965 with the rank of major. In June 1965, he began his practice at Deaconess Hospital in Buffalo. He designed and equipped a new diagnostic radiology office for Century X-Ray Associates in 1973. During the merger of Deaconess and Buffalo General Hospital, he also designed the X-ray department for the new hospital. He was an associate professor of radiology at the state University of Buffalo medical school for 25 years and collected extensive teaching files for radiology. In 1985, he became chief of diagnostic radiology at Buffalo General Hospital. He led a consortium of seven hospitals and their radiology group to purchase the first 1.5 testa super-conducting MRI in Buffalo. He retired from from Buffalo General Hospital in July 1990, and donated his teaching files to the UB medical school. His work was published in medical journals and presented at conference. He was also a member of numerous medical organizations.
His love of family and history inspired him for more than 30 years to research his family genealogy. He spent his retirement years doing woodworking, reading, bird watching, gardening, and enjoying his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Elizabeth Jane Clark Phillips of Henderson, whom he married September 1955; three daughters: Linda Joy Prather of West Point, Ind., Judy Ann Phillips of Forestville and Sandra Lynn Kleftis of Lebanon, Pa.; three sons: Clifford Elbert and David Warner Phillips, both of North Tonawanda, and Brent Wesson Phillips of Clarence; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Colleen Jane Phillips; and a brother, Elmore Leon Phillips.
The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday in the St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, Forestville. The Rev. Gerald Sheehan, will officiate. Burial will be in Villenova Cemetery in the town of Villenova.
Memorials may be made to the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 404, Fredonia, N.Y., 14063.
December 27, 1924 - september 6, 2011
Norwood J. Barris, 86, of Park Avenue, Dunkirk, died Monday, September 5th, at the Chautauqua County Home. He was born in the Village of Forestville, on December 27, 1924, the son of the late Milton O. and Edna (Van Schoonhoven) Barris.
After he graduated from Forestville Central School, in 1942, he enlisted in the US Army, first joining the 75th Infantry Division, then the Army Specialized Training Program at Iowa State University. When ASTP was closed, to allow more manpower for the war in Europe, he went over-seas with the 97th Infantry Division as a Staff Sergeant and earned the Combat Infantry Badge & Bronze Star. The 97th was transported to the Pacific Theater in preparation for the invasion of Japan, then became part of the Army of Occupation.
After separation from the Army in 1946, benefits from the GI Bill allowed him to attend Rochester Institute of Technology, graduating in 1950. He then returned to the Dunkirk area to work for the former Bedford Products as Supervisor of Maintenance and remained with the company through the merger with the former Kraft Foods, retiring in 1986, when the plant closed. He was awarded the prestigious Kraft Jade Ring twice for his work on production and design projects.
In retirement, he followed his interest in genealogy by joining the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society, where he served many terms as an officer and was currently the Treasurer. Mr. Barris was a leader in many of the societyís projects and was instrumental in the publication of over one hundred books and CDís, which were useful to researchers with roots in Chautauqua County. He was also a past member of the Dunkirk Board of Education, the Dunkirk Industrial Club and the First Methodist Church, Dunkirk.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Lois (Mahle) Barris, of Dunkirk, whom he married on June 15, 1946, in the Fredonia United Methodist Church, 2 sons, Bernard (Rosalind Vacanti) Barris, of San Antonio, TX, Richard Barris, of Canandaigua, NY, 3 daughters, Joan Johnson, of Columbus, OH, Mary Jane (William) Ackroyd, of Dryden, NY, Elisabeth (Richard) Regateiro, of Cocoa Beach, FL and a sister, Winifred E. Barris, of Pasco, WA. Also surviving are 7 grandchildren, Brian (Margaret Milman) Barris of Pasadena, CA, Kathleen (Patrick) Dideum of San Antonio, TX, Karen (Kris) Ostrowski, of Clovis, NM, Dennis Johnson (Danielle Langfield) of Poughkeepsie, NY, Adrienne Johnson of Washington, DC and David Logan and Kelly Logan, both of Cocoa Beach, FL and 4 great grandchildren, Rose Harriet and Irene Lois Barris, Jason Tyler Ostrowski and Charles Thomas Dideum. Besides his parents he was predeceased by a brother Milton O. Barris, Jr and by an infant sister, Roberta Barris.
Family members will greet friends at their home, 755 Park Avenue, Dunkirk on Thursday from 2-4 p.m. and on Friday from 2-4 p.m. Private Interment will be at the convenience of the family in Evergreen Lawn Cemetery, Town of Hanover. Arrangements are by Riles & Woolley Funeral Home, Forestville.