Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.

28 March 2015

Fearless Females: Best Friends

Today Fearless Females Challenge is: Do you remember your mother’s best friend? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share? 

Although my mom has passed, her best friend is still very much a part of my life. “Aunt” Gloria is my godmother. She and mom met through Girl Scouts, I believe. They became friends as school girls. They also went to Bishop Shanahan High School in West Chester together. 
 
 

Fearless Females is a daily prompt throughout March celebrating Women’s History Month initiated by Lisa A Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist  
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

Surname Saturday: The Barr Family of Lancaster County

The Barr line, though admittedly the one I am the least familiar with, is ironically one that I am the furthest back on. Ancestry.com indicates the majority of people with the Barr surname is Scottish or from Northern Ireland. England, Great Britain and Germany follow. Finally the New York Passengers List shows several from Switzerland as well, though comparatively not many. 

The Barr name, at least in my husband’s case, is a Pennsylvania German name. Pennsylvania German names were generally either personal names, occupational names, or derived from whence they came or lived. Barr is an example of a personal name. Barr is derived from Berhard, according to “Early Life of the Pennsylvania Germans” by A. Monroe Aurand, Jr. 

Susan Barr was the first Barr I came across in my research. She was born 15 May 1792 to Martin Barr and Maria Herr. She died in Providence Township, Lancaster County on 27 March 1849. She married John Longnecker and they had six children, including Elizabeth who married John Henry Eckman. 

Martin Barr, father of Susan, was born 29 January 1747. He appears on the 1772 Tax & Exoneration Lists for Conestoga Township, Lancaster County. He married Maria Herr (1751-1816). Martin died on 15 June 1815.  

While I am not certain of Martin’s mother’s name since his father was married twice, his father was Jacob Barr. Jacob was born in January of 1723 and died sometime between March and November 1803. The “Abstracts of Lancaster County Pennsylvania Wills 1786-1820” show he dated the will on 15 March and that it was executed on 1 November of that year. His will names his wife as Anna but that would be his second wife. His will names his children and states which wife they were born to! His children (of his first wife) are Martin; Jacob; Christian; Abraham; Elizabeth, wife of Daniel Keehnports; and Barbara, wife of Christian Forry 

Jacob is the son of Martin Barr and Anna Elizabeth Groff. Martin was born in 1680 and died in 1758.

Martin was the son of Martin Barr (1660 – 1757) and Anna Magdalena Mayer. 

Martin was the son of Felix Barr (born about 1620) and Berchtold Staehl. This last fact information from a fellow researcher and I have not yet independently verified it. 

While searching through the Barr Family today, I did find many others who I simply cannot place yet. A trip to the County Archives is definitely in my future!



Surname Saturday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.  

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

On This Day: Accident reported at TMI

Before TMI meant Too Much Information, many living in Central Pennsylvania felt TMI did not offer enough information. TMI, of course, stands for Three Mile Island. On This Day in 1979, in the early morning hours as many area residents were either still asleep or early birds were putting on coffee, a pressure valve in a reactor at the nuclear power plant failed to close. It was – and still is – the worst nuclear accident in US history. 

TMI was only five years old when the pressure valve failed to close and the cooling water drained into that open valve. The cooling water was contaminated with radiation. When the water drained, the core began to overheat. 

For those who have never seen a nuclear plant, imagine rods – kind of like large pipes – which must remain within a certain temperature range. Water in the tank cools the rods to keep them in that acceptable safe temperature range. When the water drained, obviously then the water level lowered, exposing the rods and causing the core to overheat. 

In an incident such as this one, the emergency cooling pumps automatically start up and force a cool down, essentially. However in this case the operators misread the readings – keep in mind nuclear power was still in its infancy – and turned off the emergency system. It was not until that evening, about 8 p.m., that operators recognized the need to get water back into the core and to restart the pumps. Once they did this, the temperature came back down and the emergency was soon resolved and important lessons were learned. 

From a public information viewpoint, it was a nightmare. Not enough information was provided to the people who needed the info. Too much incorrect information was given publicly. Families were concerned, wondering if they need to evacuate. Some did. Most stayed.  

We stayed. It was a Wednesday. Daddy went to work as normal. I went to school. My mom and sister (she would have been too young yet for school) stayed home as usual. Life went on as normal.  

Do YOU remember this incident? Did it affect your normal routine?

 

On This Day is a prompt I started this month to further explore historical events.
                

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

27 March 2015

Follow Friday: A Hodgepodge

 
This week I have to admit genealogy took a back seat. It was my first full week back to work (I work seasonally at a nursery – LOVE IT!) and my kids had some medical issues (one still does actually) but I did get some reading done.

EIN Presswire sent me a news release concerning a new online Jewish database. The Knowles Collection links generations of Jewish families from all over the world. It has reached its one-millionth record milestone and is now easily searchable online. The vast majority of new contributions are coming from families and private archives worldwide. The free collection can be accessed at FamilySearch.org/family-trees.

The National Genealogical Society conference is 13-16 May 2015 in St. Charles, Missouri. The early bird registration deadline is this Monday, 30 March 2015. For more information see the registration brochure.

Blog posts worth reading:

  • Dear Myrtle has finally published a How To that makes Hangouts easier to navigate. If you plan on attending Mondays with Myrt, her post this past Tuesday is a must!
  • Diane Haddad wrote of Angie Harmon’s recent appearance on “Who Do You Think You Are?” in her Genealogy Insider blog. Harmon is one of my favorite actresses and I found her Revolutionary Veteran, Michael Harman, most interesting. Harman (spelled with two As on the show but I noticed Haddad spelled it like Angie’s) wintered at Valley Forge … as did my husband’s 6th great grandfather, Jacob Eckman! (Side note: my Jacob was one of the few men to have actually died at Valley Forge – 20 May 1778 – as this was an encampment. There was no fighting at Valley Forge.)

My New Follows at Twitter:

To clarify, these are new people I followed this week.


  • @JohnHouchins – a fellow genealogist
  • @Angie_Harmon – yes, the actress!
  • @Originsnetuk – British & Irish resources
  • @Irish_Genealogy – an Irish family historian
Follow me

 

Follow Friday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers
                

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

On This Day: Hershbergers keep hotel in Christiana

Christiana will soon have new hotelkeepers, it was reported On This Day in 1880. J. Hope Hershberger and his wife would be moving to Christiana, Lancaster County, “in a few days” to keep hotel. The Hershbergers are currently the host and hostess of the Kennett Square hotel. 

About the Hershbergers
From 1867 to 1872, Hope held a tavern license for the White Horse Inn (White Horse Hotel) in Londonderry. He then held a tavern license for the Kennett Square Hotel, in Kennett Square (Chester County), from 1873 to 1879. 

By June 1880 they were in fact at the hotel in the then Village of Christiana in Sadsbury Township. He was 53 at that time. His wife was 42. Living with them was his six year old niece Bertha Cox, four borders and two servants. 

The 1870 Census shows Hope as being a farmer in Cochranville, Londonderry Township, Chester County. His wife, Vienna, keeps house. They have a domestic servant and a farm laborer living with them. 

Vienna passed away on 6 November 1891. Hope passed on 1 March 1893. They are buried together at the Upper Octorara Cemetery in Parkesburg, Chester County 

Sources:
Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  

Chester County Tavern Petitions, 1700 – 1923. http://www.chesco.org/DocumentCenter/View/4010  

Lancaster daily intelligencer. (Lancaster, Pa.), 27 March 1880. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. 

Year: 1880; Census Place: Sadsbury, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1143; Family History Film: 1255143; Page: 498C; Enumeration District: 174; Image: 0699 

Year: 1870; Census Place: Londonderry, Chester, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1323; Page: 336A; Image: 672; Family History Library Film: 552822 

 

On This Day is a prompt I started this month to further explore historical events.
                

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

26 March 2015

On This Day: Salisbury remembers George Boots

Salisbury Township recalled George Boots On This Day in 1880. The Intelligencer’s correspondent writes of the death of Boots, one of the area’s oldest citizens.  

Boots is described as being colored, living on Welsh Mountain, and peculiar. He has “claimed that he had seen 150 returns of Christmas Day,” although his exact age is unknown. Boots had been able to recall the Revolutionary War as well.

Source:
Lancaster daily intelligencer. (Lancaster, Pa.), 26 March 1880. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. 

 

On This Day is a prompt I started this month to further explore historical events.
                

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

25 March 2015

On This Day: Father of dead baby charged

George Shultz was charged with fornication On This Day in 1880. Shultz fathered the dead female baby who had been discovered the week prior. The mother was Christina Denning. She had placed the child in a box. 

The deceased decomposing infant was discovered on the 17th when an unpleasant odor was discovered. Denning had been imprisoned until she was cleared of any criminal intent. The child had been stillborn.  

Source:
Lancaster daily intelligencer. (Lancaster, Pa.), 25 March 1880. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. 

 

On This Day is a prompt I started this month to further explore historical events.
                

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

24 March 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Walter & Christie Winter

  
Walter H. Winter (6 August 1860 – 22 February 1934) and his wife Christie G. (11 September 1857 – 6 September 1946) are buried together at the Zion Reformed Cemetery in New Providence.

The Winters, according to the 1900 US Census, married in 1883 but had no children yet at that time. They lived in East Drumore, where Walter was a farmer. They had two boarders living with them: Roy Eckman, and Harry Miller. The 1910 US Census shows they employed a 12 year old servant girl, Grace Moss. Grace was the daughter of Jeremiah and Emma Moss, who were neighbors of the Winters, according to the 1900 Census. 

By 1920, the couple sold the farm and lived by themselves in Providence Township. Walter was now a laborer in a garage.  

In 1930, Walter and Christie are still in Providence but he is now a foreman. Living with them is their 19 year old daughter Lyndelle Aulthouse and her one year old son William G. Aulthouse. Lyndelle married when she was 17 and the 1930 Census still shows her as married but no husband is listed. 

Walter is the son of Cyrus and Kate Winters, of Strasburg, according to the 1880 Census. Walter’s death certificate lists his parents as Silas Winters and Catherine Marks. The cause of death was myocarditis. His wife Christie was the informant and lists her maiden name as Kauffman. 

Source:
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.  

Year: 1880; Census Place: Providence, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1143; Family History Film: 1255143; Page: 420D; Enumeration District: 170; Image: 0545  

Year: 1900; Census Place: East Drumore, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1423; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0086; FHL microfilm: 1241423  

Year: 1910; Census Place: East Drumore, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1353; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0033; FHL microfilm: 1375366 

Year: 1920; Census Place: Providence, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1584; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 118; Image: 975 

Year: 1930; Census Place: Providence, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2059; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0106; Image: 29.0; FHL microfilm: 2341793

 

Tombstone Tuesday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers. 
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

On This Day: Puddlers strike at Safe Harbor

The puddlers at the Safe Harbor iron works went on strike for a wage increase. The works are, On This Day in 1880, are now closed and 150 men are now without employment.  

A puddler involved the manufacture of iron. Puddling was a process converting pig iron into wrought iron using a reverbatory furnace. Hence, a puddler was one who puddled.
 
The Safe Harbor iron works is located in Southern Lancaster County.

Source:
Lancaster daily intelligencer. (Lancaster, Pa.), 24 March 1880. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

 

On This Day is a prompt I started this month to further explore historical events.                 

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

23 March 2015

Fearless Females: A timeline

March is Women’s History Month and as such, today’s prompt focuses on my paternal great grandmother, Bessie Matys Hruszczak. The prompt for the Fearless Females Challenge is: Create a timeline for a female ancestor using your favorite software program or an online timeline generator such as OurTimelines. Post an image of it or link to it.  

I am a strong believer in timelines so I thought I would love this one. Not so much. The program asks for a name ad birth and death year. It provides world events. The timeline that OurTimelines created for Bessie is: http://www.ourtimelines.com/cgi-bin/makehist.pl  
 
 

My simple timeline:
1895 – Bessie is born to Joseph Matys and Olena Vaspleship
1904-1905 – Russian-Japanese War
1912 – Immigrates to America in October (that April the Titanic had sunk); settled in Coatesville
1914-1919 – WWI (US entered in 1917)
1915 – Marries Panko Hruszczak
1916 – 1st son Theodore born
1918 – 2nd son Joseph born; 1st son Theodore dies in flu epidemic; Prohibition begins (thru 1933)
1919 – 3rd son (also) Theodore born
1921 – 4th son Nicholas born
1922 – 5th son Paul born
1925? – daughter Katie born
1926 – daughter Mary born
Bet 1928-1930 – daughter Helen born.
1929-1930 – Great Depression
1930 – daughter Ann born
1932 – 6th son Peter born
1939-1945 – WWII (sons Nick and Paul both served)
1950-1953 – Korean War (son Pete served)
1963 – US President John F Kennedy assassinated
1964-1975 – Vietnam Conflict (grandsons served)
1968 – husband passed
1972 – Bessie passed 

 


Fearless Females is a daily prompt throughout March celebrating Women’s History Month initiated by Lisa A Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist  
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

52 Ancestors: Same

I hold many things in common with my ancestors, the least of which is DNA, so this week’s 52 Ancestors Challenge was tough for me. Each week Amy Johnson Crow, of No Story Too Small, challenges fellow GeneaBloggers with her 52 Ancestors Challenge. This week’s prompt is:  What ancestor is a lot like you? What ancestor do you have a lot in common? Same name? Same home town? 

Hometown:
I am originally from Coatesville, though like many family members, I was born at Chester County Hospital in West Chester. Many of my family – on both parents’ sides – lived at one time or another in Coatesville. Family members who have lived in Coatesville at some point in their life are simply too numerous to name (that and many are still living).  

Religion:
I was raised Roman Catholic. Many family members on my maternal grandmother’s side were Catholic, or at least raised Catholic. Like many, I left the Catholic faith. Like many of my dad’s side, I now practice Orthodoxy. Specifically I am Ukrainian Orthodox.  

School:
Growing up, I attended Coatesville Catholic Elementary School. One of my cousins was in the same grade as me. At least three cousins and my sister attended there as well. After CACES, I went to Octorara High School. To my knowledge, only my sister and I attended there, although a cousin works there now. After high school, I attended Lock Haven State University. While I think I was the only one to attend LHU, my Aunt Helen (Helen Still Webster) also attended a State School. She attended West Chester State Normal School. 

Hobby:
Obviously my genealogy is my obsession! My Aunt Helen was such an asset. She provided so much information of family members she could recall. Her recollections, as well as copies from the family bibles, took me back several generations when I first started back in high school. 

There are so many similarities between myself and many family members. I also have many differences, which will be discussed in next week’s 52 Ancestors! Until then … 

 

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a weekly genealogical challenge issued by Amy Johnson Crow, of No Story Too Small.
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

On This Day: Commercial College opens in Lancaster

A commercial college is announced On This Day in 1880. The college will provide young men training in business education, penmanship, bookkeeping, and other related classes. The college will be held in the “new” Rhoads & Bro’s building on West King Street. The teachers are Messrs. Mosser and Weidler and the college is slated to open on the 29th 

Source:
Lancaster daily intelligencer. (Lancaster, Pa.), 23 March 1880. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

 

On This Day is a prompt I started this month to further explore historical events.
                

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

22 March 2015

My Family Calendar This Week

Birthdays
Happy birthday to Teddy Ruzchak! May God grant you Many Years. Teddy’s father Theodore and my grandfather were brothers. 

Memory Eternal
Today is the 209th anniversary of the passing of John Jacob Eckman. He is hubby’s 4th great grandfather. He was born in 1756 to Johannes Peter and Mary Magdalena Bushong Eckman. In 1782, he married Catherine When. They had seven children together.  

Jane W. Still Lewis is my 3rd great aunt. She passed away 86 years ago Monday. She was the daughter of George David and Sarah Bing Still. She married Benjamin Franklin Lewis, to whom she had one child, Sarah Lewis. 

Margaretta Still, born in 1836, she was too was the daughter of George David and Sarah Bing Still. Like Jane, she is my 3rd great aunt. She married Thomas Naylor. She had four children. 

My 2nd great uncle Hugh O’Flaherty passed away 68 years ago Tuesday. He was the son of Dennis and Martha Durkin O’Flaherty, who both immigrated from Ireland. Hugh married Katherine Dee in 1904. They had six children. 



My Family Calendar This Week will be a weekly feature.  
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015