23 July 2014

Today in History: Roger Sherman dead of typhoid

Roger Sherman died of typhoid in New Haven, Connecticut today back in 1793. He was 72. Sherman was a Connecticut Patriot, who sadly I must admit I had never heard of until he popped up on "Today in History" on the History.com page. Sherman was the only one among the Patriots of the American Revolution who signed all four documents that gradually assigned sovereignty to the new United States: the Continental Association of 1774, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution. The National Park Service offers a nice write up on Sherman as well.

Photo: NPS

22 July 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Joseph J Sushinski

Joseph J. Sushinski
1925 - 2003
buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery
Valley Township, Chester County, PA
About Joseph:
Joseph was born 18 June 1925. He enlisted in the US Army on 3 September 1943. He passed away on 25 August 2003.

20 July 2014

Sunday's Obituary: Panko Hruszczak

Panko Hruszczak (Ruczhak), 75, of 274 New Street, Coatesville, died at his home Thursday afternoon. He had been in failing health for four years.

Hruszczak, who was the husband of Bessie Matys Hruszczak, was born in Galicia, Austria, and had resided in Coatesville for 55 years after coming to this country as a young man.

He retired from Lukens' Steel Co. approximately 11 years ago where he was employed in the die shop of central maintenance for 15 years. He was formerly employed by Bethlehem Steel Co.

Hruszczak was a member of the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Coatesville.

Surviving besides his wife are five sons: Joseph Ruczhak, Theodore Ruczhak, Nicholas Ruczhak, Paul Ruczhak and Peter Ruczhak, all of Coatesville; and four daughters: Katherine, wife of Chester Wiker of Coatesville; Mary, wife of Michael Senn of Drexel Hill; Helen, wife of Jack Prybylinski of Chester; and Ann, wife of Jack Peazzoni of Downingtown. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Note: This was published in the Local on 28 January 1968.

18 July 2014

Follow Friday: PolishRoots.org

Follow Friday is, for me at least, one of the more difficult Geneabloggers' prompts to write. Today however, I hopped online and found one that was perfect for where I am now in my research on my MATYS line and I had to include it!

My great grandmother - Bessie Matys - came from Fraga. It has been a most difficult place to find information out about.

PolishRoots.org is an awesome resource. This particular post, "How to Write a Letter Requesting Records in Polish" is timely and a God-send, for me at least. In it, are examples of phrases to use so that anyone essentially can write a letter requesting information.

The site itself is a wealth of information. It covers land records and maps and tips. It covers the history of Poland as well. It is a "must check out" for anyone doing Polish or Ukrainian research.

17 July 2014

A Somber Anniversary: the Romanovs

Tsar Nicholas II of Russian and his family were executed at Yekaterinburg today (17 July) in 1918. Born Nicholas Alexandrovich Romanov in 1868, he was the last Tsar of Russia. He, his wife Alexandra Fyodoronova, daughters Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, and their son Alexey were executed by the Bolsheviks.

Hoping to save his country from the violence that was occurring, Czar Nicholas abdicated in February 1917. The abdication did little to calm the revolutionists though and after the Bolshevik Revolution in October, he and his family were exiled to Siberia under house-arrest. It was there, in a basement, the still young family was lined up in the basement and shot. Their bodies were discarded by the Bolsheviks in an unmarked grave.

Today, the Romanov family are saints of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Royalty and martyrdom were joined together, O blessed ones,
In your death for righteousness and right belief, O wise Sovereigns,
Nicholas and Alexandra, with your five children.
Hence, Christ our God counted you worthy of thrones in Heaven;
And with twofold crowns of glory,
You reign forever, adorned with grace divine.

Throwback Thursday: Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade
Coatesville Area Catholic Elementary School
Coatesville, PA
First (Bottom) Row: Gina DeFazio, Bridget Fuller, Theresa Hanna, Bronwyn Zappacosta, ?, ?, Maureen Doyle
Second Row: Helen, Marissa Buttaro, Susan Pacana, Steve, Deanna Skowood, Greg Ramaley, Stephanie Palmer, Audrey
Third Row: Bridget, Michael Jason, Barbara Larkin, ?, Brenda, James Huff, Cindy, Brian Blakely, Kim Karmilowcz
Top Row: Kathy, ?, me, Steve Dovidio, ?, Jason, Peggy, Tony Previte, Mrs. Karen Tatela

16 July 2014

Workday Wednesday: Blacksmithing circa 1900

Blacksmithing was an essential trade. The blacksmith made and repaired the iron parts for farming implements. He crafted carriage wheels and shod horses. His work, by the early 1900's, had grown to include repairing all types of manufactured, horse-drawn farm machinery. He repaired wagons, carriages and sleighs and sharpened plows, saws and other tools. In some areas, he even doubled as the local veterinarian. Over time, new technology led to horses being used less and less in the fields and for transportation. Many blacksmiths either found themselves out of business, learning to repair automobiles, or taking up another trade.

My great grandfather Pierson George Still was a blacksmith and farmer in Chester County around 1900. When he met Mary Kilpatrick, he was a blacksmith on the Main Line (outside Philadelphia). They married in 1908.

Born in 1886, he is only 14 in the 1900 census and living therefore with his parents on the family property in East Fallowfield, Chester County. In 1910, he still resides there but now he is married (wife Mary lives there too) and he lists blacksmith as his occupation.

The 1920 Census shows him as owning his own blacksmith shop on Main Street in Unionville Village, East Marlboro Township, Chester County. At that time, he was a 34 year old widower with nine and five year old sons. A housekeeper lived with them as well.

Now by 1930, he lists only a Poultry Farmer on the census. At that time, he was a 44 year old widower with one son (Uncle Jim) already on his own and a 16 year old boy (my grandfather) at home.

Ten years later, in 1940, he has joined Uncle Jim in Colorado and is again farming. The census shows he was still in Chester County in 1935 so the move West was sometime between 1935 and 1940. Though I'm not sure why the difference, he is listed as a farmer while Uncle Jim is listed as farmer help. They are living in Clark, Routt, Colorado.

Many living history experiences include blacksmithing demonstrations. Landis Valley Museum, for example, is one such place. Landis Valley recreates an authentic early German village and includes a blacksmith shop. Today's (16 July) events include: Blacksmith Demonstration, Visit the 1800s Landis Brothers House, Tour the Gun Shop, Leatherworking Demonstration, Visit the 1900 Country Store, Open Hearth Cooking in the Tavern, and Visit the Craft Barn.

Photos: Dreamstime

15 July 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Fedoryk

Catherine 1900 - 1978
Nicholas 1893 - 1974
buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery
Valley Township, Chester County, PA