Valuable Research Sources
The following reference sources are those I found particularly useful in this research. I am including them for those who might not be aware of their potential.
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According to the BBC, the Belfast News-Letter has the longest history of any English language newspaper in the world. Founded in 1737 its unbroken history stretched “to almost 270 years by 2005” (“Your Place & Mine.” British Broadcasting Corporation. London. 2002-2205.).
Available, online, is an index to the Belfast-News Letter compiled by John C. Greene. In his acknowledgments, Dr. Greene relates that the index was compiled over the course of five years (1983-88) by a team of indexers under the aegis of The Institute of Irish Studies of The Queen’s University of Belfast in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The search site, “The Belfast Newsletter Index, 1737-1800,” may be entered via http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/bnl and clicking on “Click here to do a search.” I would advise the reader to familiarize themselves with all topics on the database search page. It goes without saying that the researcher might need to utilize surname variations while conducting the search.
Today Brooklyn is known as a borough of New York City; in 1646 it was established by Dutch settlers and known as the town of Breuckelen.
“The first Irish immigrants came to America in 1643. They were the war slaves sent out by Cromwell after his devastation of the Irish provinces” (Brooklyn Eagle. Jan 28, 1894; Section: None; page 16). “By 1855, nearly one third of Brooklyn residents had been born in Ireland, with the area Southeast of the Navy Yard (51.7%) and Red Hook (47.7%) holding the highest concentration” (“Genealogy and Immigration History Information,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online (1841 – 1902). Brooklyn Public Library. 2004.
Today there exists an online search site, a project produced by the Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Collection and funded by the Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, that permits an online search for various topics: individuals, history, death notices, and immigration topics.
The online web site may be entered via http://www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/eagle Click on ‘enter the site.’ Once again I would suggest the researcher familiarize themselves with the web site: ie. The navigation bar, or search tabs at the top of the window.
Permit me to share some of my research experiences –
From a death certificate, I knew my great grandmother, Hettie Lockwood Breakey, died in Brooklyn on 7 January 1891. I found her death notice in the 8 January 1891 issue of the Brooklyn Eagle.
During one of my research forays I entered the surname ‘Breakey’ and a particular ten-year span. The results indicated eight reports of the surname, and provided the exact date and page number of the paper in which the surname appeared. I then submitted the surname ‘Brakey,’ with four results. The most difficult part of this exercise, after obtaining the desired issue and page notations, and indicating the desired issue via the ‘date’ search tab, was to then read the whole page of the issue once it was brought into view on my browser, and find the name. (The control key plus ‘F’ does not work as ‘find’ for the page in view). Perseverance is the key!
Another invaluable source of information is the above-mentioned entry. There are links to such categories as Births, Deaths, Cemeteries, Directories, Disasters, Marriages & Indices, Land Patent Records, Historical frames of Reference, Maps, Social & Civil topics, Court records, etc.
The Brooklyn Genealogy Information Home-Page may be entered via http://www.bklyn-genealogy-info.com/index.html
After I somehow learned that Hettie Lockwood Breakey was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, my research led me through the following exercise.
Via a google search I learned about Greenwood Cemetery, now known on their web site as Green-Wood Cemetery. “Founded in 1838 as a rural cemetery in Brooklyn, New York,
the cemetery now spreads over 478 acres and encompasses 600,000 graves; it is currently in use (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green-Wood_Cemetery with many notables buried there.
The highest point on cemetery grounds, and in Brooklyn, is Battle Hill atop which stands the Battle Hill Monument of “Minerva saluting the Statue of Liberty, commemorated in 1920 to mark the Battle of Brooklyn, the first battle of the American Revolution on August 27, 1776” (www.savethevista.org/). The cemetery was granted National Historic Landmark status in 2006 by the U.S. Department of the Interior” (Wikipedia.org).
The online search site may be entered via www.green-wood.com. At the bottom of the page you will find a selection of topics. Click on ‘burial inquiry.’
Once again the use of surname variations is recommended. It is in this manner that I found Hettie and the infant son that predeceased her interred in the same burial plot.