My Legend of Sleepy Hollow

On a recent visit to my sister in New Jersey, I twisted her arm to take me to the cemetery where my research showed that our 2x great grandfather (on our fathers’ side) and his family are buried. This information was found from a book in the wonderful stacks of the SAGHS library, complete with a map of the plots, although the book only listed the graves of the three young sons.[1] The cemetery is the Old Dutch Burying Ground of Sleepy Hollow in North Tarrytown, New York. If that sounds familiar, yes, it is the location fictionalized by Washington Irving in the Tales of Sleepy Hollow.  We found our ancestors tombstones (John Knowles, his wife, Charity Knowles, and their sons George C., Charles W., and Sydney P. (children who died in their youth) and Joseph Knowles, a Civil War veteran. The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, associated with the cemetery, was founded in 1685 and was an added treat to visit. But we couldn’t help but wander around the cemetery and soon came across the tombstone of Catriena Van Tassell, who was probably Mr. Irving’s inspiration for one of the main characters (Katrina Van Tassell) in his tale.
The serendipity of this find is that as a pre-teen, my immediate family and I drove past this cemetery once a month for the four years my older brother was at the seminary in Garrison, New York (23 miles north of Sleepy Hollow). None of us were aware that our ancestors were so close. My Dad’s father died when my Dad was a teen, and he knew very little (and shared less) about the family. So my next adventure is to delve even more into the life of these and subsequent ancestors, with or without the aid of Ichabod Crane.
from member Barbara Holmes
[1] William Graves Perry, Old Dutch Burying Ground of Sleepy Hollow in North Tarrytown, New York (Boston, Mass.: The Rand Press, 1953).

Our Heritage: WWI Centennial Anniversary Issue

2017 is the 100th anniversary of the United States entry into World War I. SAGHS will commemorate this milestone by dedicating the January 2017 issue of Our Heritage to articles about the war and our ancestors who served their nation, both abroad and at home. One article concerns Alfred John Ruby, the father of Carol Ruby Loven of San Antonio. Carol mentioned her father’s service to Dorothy Perez, and at Dorothy’s suggestion, Carol came to our library and related the story of her father in the war. She has a collection of wonderful artifacts from what was undoubtedly the greatest experience of his life, including a diary and items from his uniform. See the upcoming Our Heritage for Alfred Ruby’s first-hand account of his experiences.
Carol Ruby Loven Alfred Ruby and friends
Carol with her father’s campaign hat Alfred Ruby (front, right) and friends, Camp Grant, Illinois, just before he shipped out to France

New DNA Books at the SAGHS Library

SAGHS is excited to announce the arrival of two new guides to using DNA in genealogical research. Both books are authored by authorities in the field, and they reflect up-to-date theory and practice.
  • Genetic Genealogy in Practice by Blaine Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne
  • The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine Bettinger
Be sure to stop by and consult these new resources!

New SAGHS Cemetery Book!

Buy war savings stamps poster
SAGHS is pleased to announce its latest publication, San Antonio's City Cemetery 3, Cemeteries of Bexar County, Texas, Volume 9, compiled by Julia B. George, PhD and Anthony Barbieri. City Cemetery 3, in the cemetery district on the East side of San Antonio, has burials beginning in the late 1800s. The names from all legible grave markers are listed by section, row, and plot. Additional information when available from death certificates or from the sexton’s list of burials is included. The sexton’s list contains many names not found on legible grave markers and are included in the appendix. The book features a full name index with women listed by both married and maiden names, where identified. Soft cover: 177 pages. Pre-publication price: $24, after 30 September 2016 $27.

9 November
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Family Tree Maker Workshop
Moderator:  Scott Atkinson. This workshop assists in answering questions or solving problems in the use of this computer software. Laptops are encouraged but not required to attend. Contact Scott Atkinson for questions at Please register by calling SAGHS at 210-342-5242.   This is a member benefit for SAGHS members, but we ask a $5 contribution from non-members. ...

13 November
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
This class is changed to the next Sunday, November 20, 2016 from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM.    

20 November
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
DNA Class
Speaker:  Kurt Kneeland. Besides a review of the basics, this class will focus on some intermediate to advanced approaches to making those autosomal cousin connections. Topics will include the X factor (matching segments on the chromosome), and 3rd party analysis tools (GEDMatch), triangulation, circles, and cousins-in-common.   Please register ...

23 November
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Thanksgiving Eve Library Hours
Please note that the SAGHS library closes at 4:00 pm on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 23, 2016. The library re-opens on Saturday, November 26, 2016 with regular hours from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.