05 March 2015

Fearless Females: Meeting up

Lisa A Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist started the Fearless Females prompts for Women’s History Month. Throughout March, each day will feature a different female ancestor. Today’s prompt is: How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents? 

My parents met at a local dance. My mom was there with her cousin, “Aunt Denise”. I forget who Daddy went with that day. She introduced them. They hit it off. 

I have no clue how mom’s parents met. Daddy’s parents (that's them in the photo circa 1943) actually met when they were in grade school. Baba was a year older and could speak a little English so she helped Gigi learn English.
 

Fearless Females is a daily prompt throughout March celebrating Women’s History Month 
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Graduation

 

I graduated Octorara Area High School on 7 June 1987.
Octorara is located on the Lancaster/Chester County Line, along Route 41.
 
 
The lamp symbolizes the lamp of knowledge. The shaft of wheat symbolizes the agricultural background of the community. The chains represent the municipalities that make up the school district. The arrows represent the Native Americans who once lived throughout the area.
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015


On This Day: Miners burned

Sad new reached Shenandoah On This Day in 1897. An unknown number of miners burned in mine No 44 in Huntington, Arkansas after an explosion, according to the Evening Herald. At least two miners are confirmed dead. 

Source:
The evening herald. (Shenandoah, Pa.), 05 March 1897. 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

04 March 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Bessie and me

 
My great grandmother Bessie Matys Hruszczak holding me.
1969
 
Wordless Wednesday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.
 
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

Fearless Females: Bessie gets married

Lisa A Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist started the Fearless Females prompts for Women’s History Month. Throughout March, each day will feature a different female ancestor. Today’s prompt is: Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one. 

I have a (very poor) copy of my great grandparents’ marriage record from the Church register. Panko Hruszczak and Bessie Matys married on 24 July 1915 in the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Coatesville, Chester County. She would have been 20 at the time. 

My late cousin Catherine Matys Rothermal was one of the flower girls at the wedding. Catherine would have been seven when Panko and Bessie got married.

Bessie had arrived in Coatesville just three years before that, in 1912. Bessie had lived with Catherine’s family before she married.  
 
 

Fearless Females is a daily prompt throughout March celebrating Women’s History Month 

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

On This Day: Alabama man lynched

An Alabama man has been lynched, reported the Shenandoah Evening Herald On This Day in 1892. George Adams assaulted two white women near Rivington, Alabama. A posse caught him. On the way back to the jail, the officers were overtaken and Adams was lynched.

He – Admas that is – had gone to a farmhouse where the two women were home alone. He demanded money. They refused and he beat them “into insensibility.”  

Source:
The evening herald. (Shenandoah, Pa.), 04 March 1892. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87078000/1892-03-04/ed-1/seq-3/> 

 

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

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

03 March 2015

Fearless Females: Unique names and naming patterns

Lisa A Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist started the Fearless Females prompts for Women’s History Month. Throughout March, each day will feature a different female ancestor. Today’s prompt is: Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree. 

To my knowledge, I am the only Jeanne on either side of my family. Mom said she chose my name because it had to smooth the rough sound (her words) of Ruczhak. It also (I was raised Roman Catholic, Latin Rite) had to be the name of a saint or a derivative of one. Jeanne d’Arc was the natural patron saint then. She lived a short life, 1412 – 1431. When I converted to Orthodoxy, I chose St. John Climacus, also known as John of the Ladder. His Icon speaks volumes to me. I have a small one on the wall above my desk. 

Two of my three girls were named for family members. Our oldest – Mary Theresa – was named specifically after my maternal grandmother Mary Rose Welsh Still. Theresa was a favorite saint (St Theresa the Little Flower), as I was still Catholic at the time. Anna Mabel is named after my paternal grandmother, Anna Kurenda Ruczhak, and hubby’s grandmother, Mabel Eckman Eckman.  

Our other daughter – Zorina Katherine - has a unique name. I was so sure the twins were a boy and a girl that we had a boy’s name picked out. We had agreed on Joseph Frank. Joseph is the name of both my dad and his father. Frank is my father-in-law’s name. I did not like the name Frances Josephine even though both are family names. Frances is Baba’s mother, who I never met and Josephine is the name of hubby’s aunt. Frances also made me think of the talking mule! She was “Baby B” up until the SSN paperwork had to be filed. Hubby picked out Zorina from a character in a book he liked. Katherine was one of the names we had discussed for the child we lost. It also flowed well with her first name. 

The girls all had saints’ names without trying. Mary of course is the Theotokos. Anna is the mother of Mary. Zorina is a derivative of Zoe - St. Zoe  Zoe means “life” so it seemed fitting on that level as well. 

You would think that Zorina is the most unusual name in the family. However, hubby’s great grandmother is Apolina Morrill. According to a baby name site, Apolina means “gift from Apollo.” The most unusual name on my side is my 3rd great grandmother Knapy Penelope. Knapy was the name listed on her daughter’s - Anna Keating- death certificate but it is the only place I have been able to find the name Knapy. 

What is YOUR most unusual name? Have you come across mine in your travels or searches?

 


Fearless Females is a daily prompt throughout March celebrating Women’s History Month 
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Ella Doner Eckman


Her stone, which sits next to her husband Darius Eckman, is a simple one. It reads: “Mother. Ella Eckman. 1873-1939.”  

Ella is the daughter of Abraham and Esther Ann Brubaker Doner, of Salisbury Township, Lancaster County. Abraham was a farmer there. She was one of at least six children. She was born 26 July 1873. 

She and Darius Eckman married 2 November 1897 and they lived in Lancaster City. She died of cancer on 29 December 1939. She was buried on 1 January 1940 at the Zion UCC Cemetery is New Providence, Lancaster County 

 

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

On This Day: Philly cop acquitted of murder

The Lancaster Daily Intelligencer reported, On This Day in 1881, that William Shields, a Philadelphia policeman, was acquitted. He had been charged with the murder of Francis Burk, who died as a result of being shot by Shields last May. 

Image: Chronicling America, Lancaster Daily Intelligencer, 3 March 1881



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

                

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

02 March 2015

National Archives provides info on Civil War soldier


My 4th great uncle, Benjamin Franklin Vanhorn served in the 90th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Infantry. He is a collateral relative but he fascinates me, being the only family member thus far I can confirm actually served during the Civil War on my side of the family.

A single man, he would have been 20 years old when he enlisted on 2 September 1863 as a Private. The 90th PA Infantry spent its days in Virginia. He fought at Mine Run, Wilderness, Laurel Hill, the Spotsylvania Court House, Petersburg, and the Weldon Railroad. It was at the Weldon Railroad, on 20 August 1864, that he was captured, taken prisoner, and confined at Liberty Belle Island in Richmond. 

The National Archives recently shed a little more light on that day. 

 
Benjamin was admitted at the Regimental Hospital on 18 August 1864 for “diarrhoea”. How embarrassing right? I suppose though it would be hard to march or fight while you constantly stopping to go to the bathroom. In any case, he was cleared to return to duty on 20 April 1864. 

He did survive the War. He was released from Liberty Belle Island on 15 June 1865. 

 
He came home to Pennsylvania. He married a Margaret Hensel. They moved first to Virginia then made their way west, settling in San Jose, California.
 

 
Military Monday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

On This Day: Dr. Seuss Reads Across America

Today we celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Born Theodor Seuss Geisel, he was an American writer and cartoonist. He created The Cat in the Hat and The Grinch as well as many other beloved characters. He first used the pseudonym “Seuss” while attending Dartmouth College. By the time he passed in 1991, he had written and illustrated 44 children’s books. 

Children around the world love his books and their characters. It is no wonder then that National Read Across America Day occurs on Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  

The National Education Association (NEA) in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, celebrates the 18th annual “Read Across America Day” today. It has grown, according to the NEA, into the nation’s largest reading observance with more than 45 million participating. It is sponsored by NEA with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Random House, and more than 30 national partners. 

For more information about NEA’s Read Across America, visit www.nea.org/readacross 



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

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

01 March 2015

Fearless Females: Margaret Still

Lisa A Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist started the Fearless Females prompts for Women’s History Month. Throughout March, each day will feature a different female ancestor. Today’s prompt is: Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check. 

I’m not sure that Margaret Still is my favorite female ancestor but she is certainly the one I obsess over the most.  

Margaret is my 4x great grandmother. She got pregnant out of wedlock and her father, Charles Still, put her out on a farm in Goosetown, East Fallowfield Township, in Chester County. In a nutshell, I want to know who got her pregnant.  

What I know:
Margaret was born in 1788 to Charles and Margaret Rhoades Still, of Uwchlan Township, Chester County. She has three brothers: Charles, Henry and Jacob.
TIMELINE:
1788 - born in PA
1808 - son George born May 3rd
1823 - son David born
1827 - court records show David Phillips committed fornication against her.
1828 - as per Sheriff Deeds (online) she purchased 3 lots from the Kennedys in East Fallowfield Twp.
1830 - son George marries Sarah BING Dec. 30th
1830 - land records show Margaret sold son George 37 acres, a bldg, a horse and a cattle
1845 - son David marries Agnes Armstrong April 16th
1850 - census shows her living w/David and his wife and their son William in East Fallowfield Twp.
1851 - 23 Jan. she sold George land purchased on 2 Feb 1829
1870 - census shows her living w/David in Marshalton, East Fallowfield Twp.
1871 - 4 Dec wrote will
1872 - died in East Fallowfield Twp., Chester County, PA
1872 - 15 Aug. will executed 

Goals:
I want to know who fathered my 3rd great grandfather, her son, George David Still and his brother, David Still. I want to know who my 4th great grandfather is. I also want to know more about Margaret’s parents and brothers. 

Potential Sources:
The Chester County Archives and the old local newspapers may be of great help. 

Fearless Females is a daily prompt throughout March celebrating Women’s History Month 
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

Genealogy Do Over Week 9: Cluster research


This week’s prompt is conducting cluster research. Cluster research, as defined by Thomas MacEntee is, “When you research the friends, associates and neighbors (aka F.A.N. club) who were part of the community of your direct line ancestors. Most times this means focusing on the geographical area where your ancestors lived or the locales from and to which they migrated.” What a great definition!

I did this without even realizing it when I started researching my Hruszczak line and my parish family. Many Ukrainians in Coatesville lived in Rock Run and many of them worked at the steel mill together. In this particular case, it helped me more understand the family dynamics within my parish more so than any specific information about my family. 

For example, the 1930 census shows my great grandparents and their family living next to the Zydnsky family. They lived next to the Urbans who were next to the Maskulas. I did find a nephew living with the Maskula family who I had not hear of before – a Joseph Dakrun. Literally the sheet could be a church membership roster instead of federal census.  

Looking back at this small sampling, it does also remind me of one very important thing I gained from cluster research. The names I mentioned – and obviously mine – are all very ethnic names. Since I know the other names (the families still attend the same church, just as I do), the cluster research helps decipher spellings and names. 

Looking back:
Week 8 – The value of collateral research
Week 7 – Software and digitizing
Week 6 – Evaluating Evidence
Week 5 - Research and Citations
Week 4 – Managing projects
Week 3 -  tracking research and conducting research
Week 2 - set research goals, self interviews, and family interviews
Week 1  

 

Genealogy Do-Over is a 13 week challenge from Thomas MacEntee, of GeneaBloggers.  
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015