Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Finishing Phase I of my Cornelia Bresee search

I spent several weeks in March trying to find the parents of Cornelia Bresee (1780-1840) in online records and databases. The "To-Do" list is at and the Index for my completed searches is at .

I have been lax in completing this To-do list, so I decided to do it today.

1) Number 16 on my list is to search Google Web for web pages that might mention the Bresee/Bries families of the Hudson river valley area, especially in Columbia and Rensselaer Counties. I tried:

a) Searching for ["cornelia bresee"] leads to 198 hits on Google for postings of mine on the web and message boards, plus many mentions of my search at the web sites of other researchers.

b) Searching for [bresee family rensselaer york] results in 233 hits - none of them fruitful for my purposes.

c) Searching for [bresee family columbia county york] results in 970 hits - none of them fruitful for my purposes.

I also tried Bries, Brazee, Brazie, Brissy, and Brees using the same counties, and received no useful hits.

2) Numb er 8 on my list was to search Google Books for the Bresee (and variants) surname and also for County records. I tried the same searches as above, and did find one interesting book that at least mentioned the Breese family - in "Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Berkshire County."

In addition, I tried [rensselaer county church records] and [columbia county church records] and found several references that might be helpful, but the reference is sometimes to a single page of the book.

3) The last unfinished item is #17 on my list - searching the "Making of America" database at I input the Bresee (and variants) surname, and found many documents with the names, but few were from New York and most of them I had seen in the previous book searches.

As far as I'm concerned, my online search for the "low hanging fruit" that might lead me to the parents of Cornelia Bresee is completed. There is the chance that someone will respond to my message board or blog posts that can add to my Bresee family knowledge.

I have created a database in FamilyTreeMaker, based on the data gleaned during my online search. Of course, this database was created from derivative sources - the LDS IGI, Rootsweb WorldConnect, message board posts, etc. The challenge now is to go find the original source material to verify the collected data and perhaps to find unique records that define Cornelia's parents.

So the path is clear now - go search the more "traditional" genealogy resources for Bresee (and variant spelling) family data. I will make a to-do list for that too!


Miriam Robbins said...

Randy, I've enjoyed your postings in your search for Cornelia. They're inspirational and informative. I like how you've left no stone unturned, as well as pointing out that web resources (with the exception of scanned images) are derivative sources and/or secondary information at best. Looking forward to your posts as you start searching through original, non-web sources.

Happy Hunting!

rottenralf said...

Randy - You need to look at Arthur Kelly's books (Kinship Publishing). He has transcribed a lot of the Columbia and surrounding county old church records.

Adrian Brisee

ebrizzie said...

Randy, Have you looked under the spelling of Brusie? New York in the revolution shows a Andries b. 1753 D. 1823 in Columbia County, Johannes J., and a Nicholas C. Brusie. Now I don't know the exact connections here, just that there appears to be one. There also appears to be an Andries Brusie b. 1688 in Albany apparently the son of a Christoffel Brusie b.1645 Holland. Christoffel may have came from Gelderland, Holland, but our family lore has it that our ancestor was French, probably a Huguenot. Hopefully this helps, my dad, who still lives nearby may actually go down to Columbia county soon to check things out also.

Anonymous said...

Would you mean Cornelia Bresie, baptized in 1725 in Linlithgo, daughter of Andries Brusy (born 1688 indeed in ALbany) and Engeltje Clauw?

Andries' father was not from the NEtherlands but from France. He came via New France as a soldier in the régiment de Carignan.


Olivier Le Dour

Olivier Le DOur