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It’s been years in the making, but I finally have a date that the book should be delivered: October 2019.

Here’s the timeline:

  • Now until August – Finish, review, format, etc all parts of the book.
  • July 20 – get a count of number of pages, number of books to order, and finalize all the details on the book with the company that will publish it (more information below) This is also when my first deposit is due.
  • July 31 – August ? – Work with the company to get the book ready for the printer.
  • August/September – proof copy – last chance to correct any mistakes
  • October – delivery

I will be using Otter Bay Books. This company is known for its family history books and I have seen several samples. I also corresponded with another family genealogist who had a book published with them a couple of years ago. One of the advantages of working with them is the coaching and advice. Even though I don’t have a contract with them yet I have talked to Ann Hughes and Kate Boyer several times and they have helped me with some of the challenges of putting a book like this together.

Some details:

  • Foil stamped hard cover
  • Fully indexed
  • Fully sourced.
  • More than 500  pages
  • Lots of photos – (I haven’t counted but more than 200)
  • Title page will have a Celtic border designed by my niece Kate Forman Ortiz.
  • Two illustrations by Kate:
    • The Whelans in 25 Douglass Street.
    • The Colberts in East Harlem

Here’s a peek at  the book

Sample from book

A few pages from the book:  photographs of some things that belonged to Annie Shanley Whelan, a Chapter on the family of my grandfather’s mother; and a page from the World War II log of my Uncle Joe.

If you are interested, please complete this form This will be a one time printing, not a print on demand. I can’t buy or store extra copies, so once the order goes in there won’t be another chance to buy a book.
Please pass this information on to anyone you think might be interested.
As soon as I have the final details I will post here, and on Facebook. If you completed the form look for an email from my sister Liz, who is handling the book orders.
Thanks for your patience.
Mary

 

 
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Back to work

I had planned a post on “What’s Taking So Long?” to show some of the steps required to get the book ready for printing.

Before I started that there were a few delays:

Christmas

DSCN1661.JPG

Once December arrives Christmas preparation takes over. I did four Shutterfly photo books this year.

Sick Computercomputer

My computer has been ill and it seems to be a chronic illness which may require a visit to the computer doctor. It just refused to work, so I let it take a Christmas break and then did some cleaning and stuff to the extent of my knowledge (limited). It’s been working, but still shows signs of illness.

P.S. Does anyone know what that building is? It’s part of the Colbert family history. It was  torn down as part of the Columbia University expansion in Manhattanville. It’s on my screen because I had somehow hit a button in the picture and have no idea how to change it. I look at it and wonder what it was like when it was first built in 1896. I don’t think it was orange.

Details, details

There’s a lot to be done to put the book together. I’ve been cleaning up the index. I am a fan of indexes and always check the index of a non-fiction book. Some are good, some are bad. I used to be critical of some indexes. I’m not now, not after indexing my book. It is very easy and very hard. Tagging the names and places to be indexed is simple. Getting it perfect, not so much. Here’s an example:

index

See how Anne Getty is on two lines instead of combined into one. OOPS! I forgot to put a space between the b. and 1890. This one was simple to find and tedious to fix. (They’re all tedious to fix.) Some I will stare at, enlarge, and still not see the mistake. The fastest way to fix these is to delete the offending tag and do it over. 

The index is 11 pages long, and I finished the review and the fixing today. I’m sure if I check it again in a few days I will find something wrong with it. I apologize in advance for the mistakes in the index. 

 

 

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It’s getting closer – for real. What’s next?

  • In about a week I will print the “final” draft. Once that’s reviewed and updated
  • I will break the large document into sections, format, and insert the photographs.
  • The photographs: I have a lot and some of them are in poor condition. I will fix as many as I can, as best as I can.

My sister Liz and I have set up an email address just for the book: ColbertWhelanBook  AT gmail.com. Just change the AT to @ – I want to avoid spam. If you want to get email updates send an email or fill out the form at The Book

What’s in the book?

Here’s part of the Table of Contents.

Table of Contents

Plus

Table of Contents 3

But wait, there’s more:

Uncle Vincent Whelan wrote two letters in the 1980s describing his experience in the Army. I combined the letters. Here’s an excerpt:

You can’t image what a death wish our instructors had. Here we were guys from New York, all we knew about horses was that they were good for pulling coal, milk and vegetable wagons. The instructors knew that during daily drills half the troop was yelling, “Whoa boy, please whoa,” as the horses galloped through the state of Kansas. The other half were unseated just as they got on their horses. We could have shot our officers and our horses because we did not know how to shoot, let alone ride a horse.

Vincent Whelan Fort Riley

 

Uncle Joe Colbert joined the Navy before the war started along with two of his cousins, Bill Rogers and Gerard Rutan. He kept a log until March 1942  when, “A notice went up on the bulletin board to discontinue using a diary of any sort for the duration of the war while on this ship – so I’ll have to knock off. So long until after the war, 21 March 1942.”

At sea Sun – 9 Feb 1942 – We arrived in Jamaica Friday morning and left Friday night for a rendezvous at sea north of Cuba. There we will relieve a convoy of troop transports from two destroyers. Our duty will be to escort them to South America. Enroute we thought we had picked up a submarine but it was only a school of fish. I sure hope we do run into one tho. Boy wouldn’t I like to catch one of them on my fantail. FINIS

Joe Colbert white uniform

Back to work.

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I haven’t posted in a long time, but I have been busy. The book won’t be printed by my mother’s 100th birthday, but it will be well on it’s way to completion. I am now in “production” mode.

The draft is done and my sisters are reviewing it. I’m busy formatting the book. I finally figured out how to set up styles and templates in MS Word and have prepared a template. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, but I will have to be careful when I start transferring the draft into the template. It’s the kind of computer project where one change in one section can mess up other sections, and then you have to figure out where  you messed up. The good news is, I think I know where most of the mess ups can occur.

 

I have to avoid the temptation to research, but who could resist the newly uploaded indexes to Archdiocese of New York’s baptisms and marriages? And what did I find, after 40 years of looking? my grandmother’s baptism, with her birth date. I should have had this information years ago. I called St. Augustine’s and they told me they couldn’t find anything for her.

CR Josephine Ryan098

Johanna (Josephine) Ryan Colbert, born January 4, 1888, baptized January 11, 1888, at St. Augustine’s Church, Bronx

For now I will prepare the photographs for input into each section. I’ve scanned most of the old photographs, but I have to photograph objects – like my Aunt Nan’s christening gown, and my grandmother’s accordion. For that I need my tripod and that requires a search of my house. It’s in a safe place, but I know not where.
I can do basic fixes on Photoshop Elements. I can’t fix everything, and I can’t make the pictures look new, but I will try to improve them.

Working on Aunt Joan

Here’s one I’m working on. This is my Aunt Joan, I think it’s her high school graduation picture. Most pictures in the book will be black and white, so that means converting photos that have any color.

James Whelan compare

James Whelan, 1907. This one could use more work, but it’s complicated. At least you can see him better.

 

John Colbert compare

John Colbert (1858-1899) A third cousin fixed this one for me.

For more damaged photographs I may use a wonderful Facebook page where volunteers help to restore old photos.

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“The Book” is progressing and on schedule. I finished the citations and now I am scanning, and locating photographs, illustrations, maps, and charts.

Task List - Book

Going through the photographs is enlightening. The Whelans, probably Aunt Nan or Uncle Jimmy, had a camera in the 1920s. There are a lot of snapshots and they are in pretty good shape.

WS Vincent Peggy and Thomas

Vincent, Peggy, and Thomas

WS the kids

“The Kids” – Billy, Thomas, Vincent, and Babsie

My grandmother took the children for studio portraits to send back to her mother in Ireland.

WS Angela Communion

Angela – First Communion

The Colberts didn’t take studio portraits. There is only one – of my father’s First Communion. It’s possible they took pictures of the other kids, but they didn’t survive.

They didn’t have a camera, but someone took pictures and gave them copies. There are a few snapshots, but they are in bad shape.

Colbert 053

Joe and Larry, around 1918.

Micky, Joan, Jackie and friends

Micky, Joan, Jackie and friends, around 1930.

In 1939 my Uncle Joe bought a camera and loved taking candid shots, writing detailed information on the back of each picture.

Colbert_0125

Joe – around 1939

Colbert_0126

Joe went to the fair with his brother Larry, and their cousins Bill and Jim Rogers.

Nan Whelan went on to become a photographer and in the 1940s she took a lot of family pictures and printed them out herself, usually on 8 x 10 paper.

In December of 1942 Uncle Vincent, who enlisted in the Army right after Pearl Harbor, came home on leave. He’d gone through almost a year of training and was going overseas.

Nan took pictures of him, in uniform, with as many family members as she could.

 

WS Bill Annie Vincent and Jimmie

Billy, Vincent, and Jimmy with their mother, December 1942

 

WS Vincent and Peggy Anne 164

Vincent and Peggy Anne

It never hit me until scanning them that she, and the rest of the family were worried that  he might not come back. He did, but he never saw his father or brother Jimmy again. He returned in April on compassionate leave because of the death of his father, only to learn after he arrived home that his brother had died a few weeks earlier.

 

 

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The Museum of the City of New York has a wonderful collection of photographs, maps and prints many of which are now available online.

I thought I would see if there were any pictures which showed what Harlem might have been like when our Colbert family lived there.

John Colbert arrived in the U.S in 1843 and was in Harlem by 1850 – he lived on East 119th Street, near Avenue A (now Pleasant Avenue). After his marriage he lived on 116th Street and Avenue A.

He died in 1865 and his widow, Mary Coleman Colbert, leased a lot on East 121st Street, between Avenue A and 1st Avenue. She had a one story framed house with a store, possibly the same house John had built on 116th Street. The Colberts had a horse and wagon and possibly a cow and other animals. They were milk dealers.

Did John Colbert’s horse and wagon look something like this?

This picture is in the Museum of the City of New York, but not online. I took it in 2008 at the exhibit on the 200th Anniversary of the Archdiocese of New York.

This picture is in the Museum of the City of New York, but not online. I took it in 2008 at the exhibit on the 200th Anniversary of the Archdiocese of New York.

Here are some pictures I found online – you can see the animals wandering around.

Harlem squatter settlements in 1858.

The Colberts lived on 116th Street at this time. Is this what their area looked like? There were so many hogs in  Harlem that the area around 125th Street was called “Pig’s Alley”

Squatter Settlement in Harlem

116th Street and 4th Avenue

This is the south east corner of 116th Street and 4th Avenue in 1889. Our family lived at 116th Street and Avenue A (Pleasant Avenue), about 4 blocks east of here from about 1855 to 1865.
[South east corner of 116th Street and 4th Avenue.]
This is the south west corner of 116th Street and 4th Avenue in 1895.
[South west corner of 116th and 4th Avenue.]

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This is for all those on the Facebook group – Ryans and Roches of Commonealine, County Tipperary.

The file is too big for Facebook. Click on the picture and you will see the chart and then zoom in. I only include information to my parents’ generation, because of privacy.

Descendants of Michael Roche and Mary Wallace

Descendants of Michael Roche and Mary Wallace

This may not be up to date, it’s the one I posted when I started the blog:
Family Group Sheet Ryan Roche

Check out the other posts in this blog – I have other information on the Ryans and the Roches.

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