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TIGS Monthly Meeting Notes
August 2005

Troy, New York

The regular monthly meeting of the Troy Irish Genealogy Society was held on Thursday, August 25, 2005 at the home of Bill and Cathy McGrath in Clifton Park NY. The following individuals were in attendance:'

Kay Brearton
Jeanne Keefe
Bill McGrath
Cathy McGrath
Doris Reilly Moak
Mimi Nicotina
Eileen Shea
Rick Shea
Lizette Strait
Janice Sullivan
Donna K. Vaughn

The meeting was called to order at 7:55 p.m. by Donna Vaughn, President. Donna welcomed Doris Moak and Janice Sullivan to the group.

A motion was made by Donna Vaughn and seconded by Lizette Strait to approve the minutes of the July 21, 2005 meeting. The motion passed. The minutes have been published on the TIGS website.


There was no report from the President. Donna thanked Bill and Cathy for hosting the meeting at their home.

The Vice President, Kristin Ayotte, was unable to attend the meeting.

Rick Shea, Treasurer, reported that there are currently twenty-one (21) paid members. Donna asked Rick to put a notice on the list regarding dues. The members discussed ways to encourage members to become paid members of TIGS. Jeanne Keefe will develop something for the website in this regard.

Webmaster, Jeanne Keefe, discussed the new setup for the TIGS website. The members all voiced their approval and noted that it is now easier to navigate the website. Jeanne has “cleaned up” the rootsweb files. Several people have responded to her request to send an e-mail address or word document to attach to their entry in the surname list. Jeanne pointed out that charts, photos, etc. can be attached to the surname entries; if they are mailed to her, she would be glad to put them up on the site. She will send out a message to the list notifying everyone that surnames without information attached to them will be dropped from the site.

The members discussed a suggestion from Joan Howe that photos be published on the list and members invited to help identify individuals in the photos. The members agreed that this would be a good idea and Jeanne will implement it as soon as possible. Periodically, a different photo will be published and input requested. The results will be published on the site and another photo will be published. Jeanne invited any suggestions for additions to the website. Donna Vaughn asked if the “resources” section of the website could be broken into different categories. Jeanne will look into it and see what can be done.

Lizette Strait reported there are currently 115 individuals subscribed to the TIGS List; seven in Digest mode. She is working to develop a master list of e-mail addresses of list subscribers.


The Rensselaer County marriage index project was discussed. Jeanne Keefe met at the Rensselaer County Clerk’s Office with several volunteers to develop a system to copy the marriage index records. Problems were encountered in interfacing the laptop computer with the scanner and the Photoshop program. Jeanne has determined what the problem was and will develop a set of instructions and meet again with the volunteers. She noted that saving the scanned copies as PDFs allows copies to be enlarged up to 200%. Bill McGrath noted that this is a very big project and it will require many volunteers and suggested that help be requested from individuals outside of TIGS. The members agreed. There are at least 30,000 entries which work out to 60,000 names; the bride’s name and the groom’s name would appear in the spreadsheet with a corresponding file number to match them up to the original record. Volume 2 appears to be missing, but Bill is hoping that it turns up once the project starts. Only the marriage index books will be copied. The index leads to the marriage record book which contains valuable information; e.g., address, age, occupation, names of parents, birthplace of parents, etc. The index has just the names of the couple and the date of their marriage.

Bill McGrath reported that the 1902 City Directory project is going well.

Lizette Strait shared a draft copy of the tri-fold booklet that she has developed that includes a bio of the TIGS organization, information about joining the list and the organization. The members thanked Lizette and agreed that the booklet looks good. Lizette will fine tune the booklet to include some suggestions made by the members. Bill McGrath asked that information be included indicating that the research projects done by TIGS members is not restricted to Irish names but to all nationalities who resided in the Troy area.

Mimi Nicotina reported that she has spoken to Ruth Sweet from the Troy Public Library and she was receptive to being a speaker at a TIGS meeting. Donna Vaughn suggested that the meeting could be held at the Library and Ruth would be able to show attendees the resources available in the Library. Mimi will speak with Ruth and determine if she would be available for either the September or October meetings.


A new project for TIGS has been suggested by Joan Howe. She has come into possession of a book published in 1925 entitled “History of Troy and Rensselaer County NY” containing biographies of prominent people. There is extensive information included about each of the people. The members agreed that this is worth looking into as an addition to the TIGS website.

Donna Vaughn asked if it is possible to add drop-down menus to the opening page on the website. Jeanne Keefe will check into it.

During the open genealogy forum portion of the meeting, Cathy McGrath, showed the members a unique sterling silver coated wine bottle which was a wedding gift from the priest who married her grandparents in 1914. The bottle was found in poor condition and almost disposed of; Cathy and Bill had the bottle cleaned and learned its history. She also shared information from the Rensselaer County marriage records for her grandparents. The record provided the name of the priest who married the couple, the names of both sets of parents, and the middle name of the grandfather previously only known as “R”; it was “Robison”.

The next meeting of TIGS will be held on Thursday, September 15, 2005. The site for the meeting will be determined later depending on Ruth Sweet’s availability.

Jeanne Keefe has a CD of the 1859 Troy City Directory and offered to do lookups. The members discussed the idea of putting one or more TIGS projects on a CD and offering it for sale as a way to raise funds for the organization. This is something that will be discussed in the future.


A motion was made by Donna Vaughn and seconded by Lizette Strait and Mimi Nicotina to adjourn the meeting. The motion was approved and the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

The members thanked the McGraths for their generous hospitality.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Brearton, Secretary


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