31 March 2013

Church Record Sunday: Local Newspapers

When searching for your family, search for the church history as well. Not all churches made the paper often but from time to time, the local newspapers carried information about a church that included family information!

I attend the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Coatesville, PA. Daddy went here until he and mom married and he converted to Catholicism shortly after I was born. His parents were baptized here and married here and were buried here. Their parents all went here as well. My great grandfather's (Panko Hruszczak) uncle and aunt (Onifer & Rose Pomanko) attended here before that. However, we did not all attend the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Over the years, the church itself has changed.

Newspaper accounts from the Daily Local, the now defunct Coatesville Record and Village News all shed light to the parish's history over the years. The Chester County Historical Society keeps clippings of all the churches, surnames, and various other information throughout the county. It is a service one must visit to enjoy but if you are in West Chester, I highly reccommend stopping in.

The parish dates back to 1908 when 25 to 30 Ukrainian families united in worship as a Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Four men specifically were instumental in the parish's founding: W. Wolownik, H. Mokry, W. Kozachyszyn, and L. Lukasierircz. At that time we met up on Gibbons Avenue. In 1917 a new church was built in teh 300 block of Charles Street - our current location. On 28 October 1940 the charter of the church was changed to read "Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Holy Ghost of Coatesville, Pennsylvania".

Many articles include various parishoner names as well. In 1958, Mrs. Tekla Patanasky was president of the Sisterhood and Mrs. Mary Maskula was her vice president. The choir director was Professor Theodore Tyminsky. The president of the church committee (as it the board was called) was Joseph Ruczhak (my grandfather). Miss Katie Peck was secretary.

Newspaper articles are only as good and as accurate as the information provided them sometimes. For example, a 1963 article in the Coatesville Record discussed the "50th Anniversary". Fifty years prior would have been 1913. Clearly if the church were founded in 1908, then this would have been the 55th anniversary. The "anniversary" was celebrated by a visit from His Eminence, Archbishop John Theodorovich. Michael Panaski was president at that time.
A collection of articles about incoming and outgoing priests also were available at the Chester County Historical Society. Father Michael Kashuba passed at age 63 while in service here. He was, according to a 1954 article about his passing, born in Turnapal, Galicia.

Sometimes though the people clipping and organizing do not always sort properly so be sure to check other similar folders and information as well. For example, next to the articles on Father Kashuba's (pictured in the middle at left here) passing are articles of Father John Pavlik (pictured on the far left). Father Pavlik was the priest at Holy Ghost Greek Catholic Church but the church was in Philadelphia. The priest in the the far right of the photo here is Father Theodore O. Forosty. He came in 1954 after Father Kashuba passed. Father Forosty was born in 1913 in Western Ukraine, immigrating in 1938. His wife was Anna Czorny Forosty and their three children were: Ariadna, Zenon, and Lydia.

As with any research, not all will be favorable but in a parish that is over a century old, one can expect some rough spots. In 1931 the congregation and the priest - Faher Joseph Dzendzera - has some differences and difficulties that could not be resolved. The priest anded up resigning. Father Peter Dmytryk was sent to replace him.

Despite the sad note concerning the 1931 incident, the information provided in the local newspapers over the years is as invaulable as the church records themselves sometimes when looking at the bogger picture!

Note:
Sadly, I must remind readers that the site is copyrighted and therefore none of the information on here may be used without written permission or properly attributed.

29 March 2013

Sorting Saturday: Sorting through the tears


My morning started off pretty rough. We were scheduled to clean the church cemetery  - Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery - and so I got everyone up at 6 a.m. on their day off and we were in the car by 7ish so we were at the cemetery by 8 a.m. We were ... no one else was. So I walked around and took the photos I needed yet and I realized we have so many verterans in our parish. So many men - and some women too - gave their youth - and in at least one case his life - four our country and our freedom. I thought about this as I waited ... and waited ... and then called someone from church who the cleaning was - half awake - told me that the cleaning that was scheduled that morning had been cancelled.

As I drove us all the 20 miles back home, the girls all fell asleep in the back seat and I cried. I cried for so many reasons. I cried because I want so desperatley to serve our parish family and everything I have asked to do lately has been shot down. I cried because my part time job is not doing so well and things are getting financially tighter as I try to figure out how in the world to put the twins through college in a few years. They have so much potential. I cried because as I thought of their potential I realized why my mom hated me so very much. I cried because I realized what a disapointment I was to her. I am sure Daddy loves me but I am not sure my mother did. As I listened to the radio on the way home and thought about the morning news, I cried some more. Not because of the news itself but because I could have ...

I could have been someone who made a difference. I'm not sure if life got in the way or the biological clock started too early or if I was just scared. Scared to be alone in life. Scared of failing. Scared of disapopointing everyone more. Scared of succeeding ...

Those men and women in our cemetery with flags and markers at their graves ... I'm sure they were scared from time to time. Their stories though should be told. And so ... as I drove home I decided on a book idea. I have been playing with it for some time but I had not beed able to come up with a specific story.
Back home I listened to the news and read various media reports from Russia and England and China and Korea as well as ours here. I started an article for Examiner.com, where I write diabetes and prepping articles. This article is so much tougher than it should be. It is hard because I keep thinking of that book idea and because I am by no means a military expert. I had to google who was who in some of these Korean stories. However I do know about prepping and I know how to write in an informative tone.

Korea ... my thoughts though today keep going back to my late Uncle Pete. Peter Ruczhak fought in Korea. He was my granfather's youngest brother. The others who fought did so in World War II. Uncle Pete was born on 16 October 1932 in Coatesville, Chester County, PA. Uncle Pete enlisted on 10 February 1953 and served in the Korean War. He was released on 22 December 1954. Returning home, he was employed - like many young men in the Coatesville area - at the steel mill. He married Marianne Sherman in February of 1956 at St. Cecila's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Coatesville, Chester County, PA. They had two daughters. He passed on 19 April 2002.

And now that my thoughts have returned back round to the news concerning North Korea, I must finish my article! Although as I go to save this it dawns on me that despite the girls having off today, it is only Friday! I really liked this entry though and the title so my Sorting Saturday is done a day early ...

28 March 2013

Those Places Thursday: Middletown

Middletown was found in 1755. It is Dauphin County’s oldest community. Originally inhabited by the Conoy and Ganawese Indians, the Scotch-Irish were the first white settlers. These early settlers, being of the Presbyterian faith, fled Scotland to avoid persecution. They fled to Ireland but, not wanting to live under an Irish Catholic rule, they soon migrated to America and made their way to Middletown along the Susquehanna River.

Laid out in 1755 by Quaker George Fisher, Middletown served as a port where the Pennsylvania and Union Canals joined. This ideal location gave growth to flour, iron and lumber industries.

The town served its young country well during the Revolution. Middletown served as a supply depot for the Revolutionary Armies. General Sullivan's boats were built here. Local farms provisioned his troops. The Swatara Ferry House (Old Fort) is reported to have housed Hessian prisoners.

As with any older town, Middletown went through changes through the years. The Scotch-Irish traveled West and German immigrants moved in. People have changed over the years, many leaving their mark on the small community. Businesses have opened and closed. Wars have been fought and soldiers have left Middletown to stand up. Presidents have visited the community.

Like most communities, Middletown has one infamous story that just will not go away.

On 28 March 1979 - 34 years ago today - Middletown and the world watched and waited in horror and confusion as radioactive steam leaked from Three Mile Island . A series of events occurred causing what has become known as the worst nuclear accident in US history.

NOTE: Photos are from Ebay.


26 March 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Malamon

 
 
MALAMON
Yvan 1871 - 1955
Horpyna 1883 - 1962
 
Buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery
Valley Township, Chester County, PA
 
The 1940 Census shows a John (Yvan) and a Horpena (Horpyna) Malamon living on Irish Lane in Valley Township, Chester County. They are both from Austria. They have a 21 year old daughter Dorothy (born 1919) and an 18 year son Michael (born 1922). Dorothy is a dressmaker. She is the only one employed at the time. Michael is still in school. John (Yvan) is also noted as having his "first papers" when you mouse over the citizenship column.
 
 
The 1930 census shows two older Malamon children: 18 year old Catharine and 16 year old Nick, in addition to Dorothy (then 12) and Michael (then 10). John (age 60 in 1930) was 30 years old at his first marriage, Horpyna (age 49) was 19. Hence this was - according to the census - their first and only marriage each. All the children listed Pennsylvania as their birthplace. John and Horpyna however list Ukraine. John worked at the steel plant in 1930. They were both still aliens in 1930, having immigrated in 1910, according to the census.
 
A Horpyna Malamon appears on a 1906 ship manifest coming to Coatesville, PA to see her husband Yvan Malamon. If she were 21 in 1906, that would put her birth year as 1885. She sailed from the Port of Trieste to the Port of New York, arriving 31 December 1906 on the ship Guilia.  (Note line 16 below).
 
 
Yvan arrived in new York on 2 May 1906 on the Ship Gerty. It also departed from Trieste and several passengers, including Yvan, were on theri way to visit family members in Coatesville, PA.


25 March 2013

Civil War: 25 March 1865



Fort Stedman, Virginia - a Union fort - got attacked today in 1865. In a last ditch effort of the war, Confederate General Robert E Lee attacked Fort Stedman today. The attack was led by Lt. General John B. Gordon. During the early morning hours Gordon led the Confederate troops quietly advancing on the Fort. They captured it just before dawn. However the Union forces drove back the rebels and secured Fort Stedman for the Union. Just two weeks later, Lee surrendered thus ending the Civil War.

The photo above is from the 100th Regiment, Pennsylvania, Veteran Voluntary Infantry who were there. The 100th was called "The Roundheads." Two men from the 100th were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions at Fort Stedman that day: Charles Oliver and Joseph B Chambers.

 Oliver, a sergeant with Co. M, is cited with capturing the flag of the 31st Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.). His MOH was awarded on 3 July 1865. He passed in 1920. Originally from Alleghany County, he is buried (see photo at right) at the Richland Cemetery in Dravosburg, PA. Chambers, a private with Co. F, is cited with capturing the colors of the 1st Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.). His MOH was awarded on 27 July 1871. He is buried at Oak Park Cemetery in Lawrence County, PA.

Photo Credits:
100th Regiment, Pennsylvania, Veteran Voluntary Infantry
 http://www.100thpenn.com/fortstedman.htm

Military Monday: Pfc. Paul Kurenda

I have many family members who fought in WW2. Baba's brother Paul - whom she affectionatly always called Paulie - was one of those family members. He saw action in the European Theater. Uncle Paul was KIA (killed in action).

He enlisted as a Private on 1 January 1943 in Philadelphia. At the time of enlistment he was a welder at Lukens. He lived at home, up Rock Run, with his mom, Frances. His father, John, had predeceased him.




He died on 11 August 1944 in service to our country. His obituary was published in the now-defunct Coatesville Record.
Coatesville Record
August 12, 1944

PFC. Paul Kurenda, aged twenty-two years, of 1047 Rock Run, died last night in Valley Forge General hospital after a long illness. He was taken ill while in England where he served with the army for one year after training in this country. Brought back, he was treated at hospitals in Charleston, S.C. and Martinsburg, W. Va., before being transferred to the Valley Forge institution.

Funeral services will be held on Monday morning at two 0'clock with High Mass at Holy Ghost Greek Orthodox Catholic church. Interment will be made in Ukrainian cemetery.

PFC Kurenda, who worked as a welder at Lukenweld before entering the service, is survived by his mother, Mrs. Frances Kurenda, of Rock Run; and three sisters, Mary, wife of Andrew Sokso, RD 1; Catherine, wife of John Yuzwick, Rock Run; and Anna, Wife of Joseph Ruczhak, Rock Run.

He is included on the "World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel for Chester County PA". It is transcribed by Tammy Clark. It is part of the Pennsylvania Genealogy Trails. New info: his serial number! His number was 33478954.

While his obituary does not include it, Baba & Gigi had told me that Uncle Paulie had developed gangrene in Europe and that his death was due to that. Gangrene - according to dictionary.com - is "necrosis or death of soft tissue due to obstructed circulation, usually followed by decomposition and putrefaction."

Paul was the baby of the family. He had two brothers: John and Peter; and three sisters: Mary, Catherine and Anna (my Baba). He was born in Coatesville in 1922. He is buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery in Valley Township with his parents.

23 March 2013

The Civil War: 23 March 1863

23 March 1862 was the First Battle of Kernstown. It was a rare day. Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was defeated by the Union troops. Jackson's mission was to keep the General Nathaniel Banks and his Union troops actively involved there in the northwest. This way Union General George McClellan would have fewer troops to advance to Richmond.

Surname Saturday: O'Flaherty

Dennis O'Flaherty .... where did you come from? Born around 1834-1839 somewhere in Ireland, Dennis is not easy to find in his early years. For better or worse, O'Flaherty is a common Irish surname.

I have no record of his parents identity or them immigrating with him. Thus I can safely assume he either came over with older siblings as a child or came by himself as an older teen or young adult. Unfortunately that does not narrow down my search for his immigration records. I do know he and Martha Durkin were married here and the kids were all born here. Since James and Mary were born in 1868, I can probably assume that Dennis and Martha were married circa 1866.

The O'Flahertys are found mainly in Tipperary, Limerick and Clare. (1) The texts I have will be helpful once I get a location. On all his records - that I have found so far - simply state "Ireland" as his birthplace. He was never specific.
Ancestry.com includes immigration records. One record is a potential match. There is a 19 year old Dennis Oflaherty who immigrated 16 April 1853. This would put him born about 1834. Before last week I would have been quick to question this one since my Dennis was born around 1839. However, in a webinar about Irish genealogy on Ancestry.com, the speaker pointed out that names were common in Ireland, O's and Mc's were randomly added or dropped, and people did not worry so much about specific years or ages. 

This Dennis (on the passenger list at right) is from Ireland, having left from the port in Liverpool, England. He came to New York. He was a laborer. The ship was the Ship Universe. (2) No other O'Flahertys were listed on the passenger list.



Once here, his life is pretty easy to document. Census records show the family living in Phoenixville, Chester County. The 1870 census lists Dennis and Martha with only Mary and Hugh living at home with them. Assumeably James has already passed. They also hve an Irish boarder living there - a Patrick Hannegan.

The 1880 Census lists Dennis' age as 45, putting his birth circa 1835. The 1880 census includes the person and his/her parents birthplace but no other immigration information. Both Dennis and Martha were born in Ireland. The children include: Mary, Hugh, Michael, Dennis, Margaret, and Martha. At this point Catherine had not yet been born and James had already passed.

The Boyd's Chester County, Pennsylvania directory, 1904-05 for Phoenixville lists Martha, Katie and Hugh. I fact there are two Hughs listed. Martha is listed as a widow at this time. Hence, we can note that Dennis passed sometime between 1885 (when their last child was born) and 1904. (note - the coloring is Ancestry.com's doing, not mine). The second Hugh is a new name for me.



I remain at the same spot I was - still looking for Dennis' immigration information.

Dennis O'Flaherty married Martha Durkin
1. James (b 1868 twin to Mary)
2. Mary (b 1868 twin to James) - married Patrick Rogers
3. Hugh (b 1869) - married Katherine Dee
4. Michael (b 1871) - married Margaret McQuade
5. Dennis (b 1873)
6. Margaret (b 1877)
7. Martha (b 1879)
8. Catharine (b 1885) - married Martin Walsh/Welsh



Sources
1. Begley, Donal F. " R. E. Matheson's Special Report on Surnames in Ireland" Irish Genealogy A Record Finder, pp 225.
2. Year: 1853; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 124; Line: 5; List Number: 260.

21 March 2013

The Civil War - 21 March 1863

Union General Edwin Vose Sumner died today in 1863. He was awaiting reassignment to the far West. He died only months after he led his corps at the Battle of Antietam in Maryland.

  • 1793 ... born in Boston to Elisha and Nancy Sumner
  • 1819 ... joined the Army in the 2nd Infantry
  • 1822 ... married Hannah Foster
  • 25 January 1825 ... promoted to first lieutenant, he remained in the infantry
  • 1838 ... became an instructor at the Carlisle Barracks in PA
  • 1842 ... assigned to Fort Atkinson, IA
  • 1846-1848 ... served in the Mexican War
  • 1850s ... served in Kansas
  • 1861 ... escort for president-elect Abraham Lincoln
  • commander of the Department of the Pacific
  • March 1862 ... given command of II Corps in the Army of the Potomac
  • early 1863 ... tired of infighting among the troops and military leader he requested transfer and again was named commander of the Department of the Pacific though he never made it West again
  • 21 March 1863 ... died in Syracuse, NY


Amazon.com offers "General Edwin Vose Sumner, USA: A Civil War Biography" by Thomas K Tate. The list price is $35 but Amazon offers it for $23.62 as a pre-order discount. The book is scheduled to be released in July 2013.

Those Places Thurday: New Paltz, NY

New Paltz was founded in 1678 by the French Huguenots. The name of the town is said to have been suggested by Christian DEYO  in 1675. The name he gave was probably that found in the record of the first meeting of the New Paltz Reformed Church in 1683.  Deyo - and his son Pierre - were among the "Twelve Men of the Duzine" acquired the royal patent of over 33,000 acres, which stretched all the way from the Shawangunk Mountains to the Hudson River. The other patentees were Louis DuBois and his sons Abraham and Isaac, Simon and Andries LeFevre (brothers), Jean and Abraham Hasbrouck (brothers), Antoine Crispell, Louis Bevier, and Hugo Frere

The early settlers built their homes along the area now known as Huguenot Street. That area today is home to seven museums, an old cemetery, library, archives and more. The area is home to several historic houses of those "Twelve Men of the Duzine." They include: The LeFevre House, The Jean Hasbrouck House, The Deyo House, The French Church, The DuBois Fort Visitor Center, The Bevier-Elting House, The Abraham Hasbrouck House and the Freer-Low House. The Deyo house - seen at left - was built in 1692 and was remodeled in 1890.

New Paltz is located in Ulster County. Ulster (in yellow at right) adjoins Greene County and Columbia County to the north. Our DEYOE line comes from those three counties.

The town was incorporated in 1785. The first post office was established in 1810. The Huguenot Historical Society was formed in 1894.

Historic Huguenot Street, a National Historic Landmark District, will be holding an information session about volunteer opportunities on Wednesday, April 3 at 7:00 p.m., Deyo Hall, 6 Broadhead Ave., New Paltz. Attendees should enjoy working with the public and have an interest in local history, architecture, culture, archaeology, art and/or antiques.

Volunteer opportunities include Visitor Center Greeters and Tour Guides/Docents. Training begins mid-April for the museum season May through October. Perks for volunteers include free tours and discounted admission for events and lectures. RSVP for this session is not required.

Parking is available adjacent to and across from Deyo Hall. Light refreshments will be served. For additional information, please call Rebecca Mackey, Director of Visitor Services at 845-255-1660, ext. 105 or email rebecca@huguenotstreet.org.  
 
Sources:
Historic Huguenot Street
 www.huguenotstreet.org

New Paltz
http://www.newpaltz.org/

20 March 2013

Antiques 101: Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Antiques

Antiques 101: Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Antiques is part of the "History on Tap" program being offered by the Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, PA.  The program is free to the public.
H. L. "Skip" Chalfant will discuss the 10 things everyone should know about real antiques in today's virtual world.  Chalfant has been at the forefront of American decorative arts collecting and dealing for 40 years, and his business H.L. Chalfant American Fine Art and Antiques was 2011 Best of Main Line Winner for Early American Antiques.
 
This brief 30 minute program begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, 26 March, and will be followed by discussion, Q & A, and good conversation. This program will be held in the upstairs bar at Doc Magrogan's Oyster House, where space is limited to 50 on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be refreshments and food available for purchase. History On Tap brings history to you in the casual atmosphere of your favorite local bar or restaurant. Doc Magrogan's Oyster House is located at 117 E. Gay St., West Chester. The program is free for the community to enjoy.
 
This History On Tap also celebrates the 31st annual Chester County Antiques Show held at the Phelps School 5 - 7 April in Malvern. Chalfant has been a participant in the show for all 31 years.

Source:
Chester County Historical Society

19 March 2013

The Civil War - 19 March 1865

General William T Sherman continued his march through the Carolinas, despite Confederate Gerenal Joseph Johnson's attempt to stop him at what has become known as the Battle of Bentonville, in North Carolins.
After Sherman's famous March to the Sea in late 1864, he stayed in Savannah, Georgia before turning north into the Carolinas. His army crushed everything in their path, further demoralizing the South. Sherman thought that the Confederate forces in the Carolinas were too widely dispersed to offer any significant resistance. Johnston however assembled 17,000 troops and attacked at Bentonville on March 19.

The Confederates had the advantage of the surprise and succeeded in driving them back until a Union counterattack halted the advance. Night fell and the fighting men of both sides rested. The next day, Sherman was joined by more Union troops, giving him a nearly three to one advantage over Johnston. Johnson withdrew north on 21 March when a Union force threatened to cut off the Rebel's only line of retreat.

The Union lost 194 men killed, 1,112 wounded, and 221 missing, while the Confederates lost some 240 killed, 1,700 wounded, and 1,500 missing. Johnston surrendered his army to Sherman the following month.

Photo Credit:
National Park Service (NPS).

Source:
The Battle of Bentonville: Caring for Casualties of the Civil War
http://www.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/69bentonville/69bentonville.htm
This Day In History
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-bentonville-north-carolina

 

Tombstone Tuesday: George D. & Ida C. Groce Still


Still
Ida C Still
1872 - 1937
&
George D. Still
1875 - 1922

buried at the Hephzibah Baptist Church
Chester County, PA

1930 Census:
The widow Ida is living with 27 year old son Robert, 21 year old daughter Isabella, her 84 year old father, widower George W. GROCE and 27 year old boarder Albert Vick. They are living on South Fifth Avenue. Robert is a truck driver and salesman for the Bond Bread Co. and Vick is an enginer atthe Boiler Works.

1920 Census:
George was a retail merchant at a grocery store in Coatesville. His 17 year old son, Robert W. Still, was a truck driver for a grocery store. George and Ida's 11 year old daughter Isabella attended school. The family lived on Fifth Avenue.

1910 Census:
The family lives on Woodland Avenue in Coatesville. George is a milkman. Robert is in school. Isabella is just eight months old. The family lives next door to the widow Albina Still and her son 30 year old Alban, a clerk at the steel mill. Albina is 56 and has two children, both of whom are living. (see the 1880 census below)

1900 Census:
The young couple was living in East Fallowfield Township. They had been married just two years, having been married in 1898.

1880 Census:
George is a mere five years old. His brother Alban is just eight months. His parents are Robert Still and Albina (see the 1910 notes). Robert, who is 40, is a farmer. Albina is 26 in 1880. The family lives in East Fallowfield Township  next door to John, 47, his wife Edith, 39, and their two year old daughter Clara.

18 March 2013

The Civil War - 18 March 1862

Today the Confederacy reorganized. Confederate President Jefferson
  • Davis moves Judah Philip Benjamin from the War Department to Secretary of State. Many Southerners blamed Benjamin for the war progress. He was born in 1811 in the West Indies to observant Jewish parents. This was another cause of concern from many Southerners. Benjamin was raised however in Charleston, South Carolina. He attended Yale Law School at age 14. Upon graduation, he practiced law in New Orleans. He was a member of the Louisanna House of Representatives. After the South fell, he moved to England and began a second legal career. He retired in 1883, when he and his wife and child moved to Paris.
  • Benjamin replaced R. M. T. Hunter, who left for the Senate.
  • George W. Randolph of Virginia is appointed Secretary of War.
  • Gen. Thomas Bragg was replaced by Thomas Watts.

Sources:
Civil War Interactive & Blue Gray Daily http://www.civilwarinteractive.com
Jewish Virtual Library. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Benjamin.html 

Military Monday: George Groce


George W. Groce
Co. F
6th Penn. Calvary
1846 - 1933

George would have been young when the Civil War broke out. He and or his family received assistance from the State while he was actively serving. The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a law on 15 May 1861 that created a board of relief for the support of the families of volunteer soldiers for the duration of the “current hostilities”. There are several Groce famioly members listed in the papers. They all lived in East Caln although the database does not list how they are all related. They were: Carolyn, George, John, Miles and Phelby Jane. They are all on the same voucher - #93 - indicating one family.

There is also a George Groce (no middle initial given) who shows up on the Bounty Lists. This George (be it the same or not) is listed as being in Co. E of the 97th Regiment in 1863 - 1864. Three other Groce men are listed as well: Charles, Ellis P. and Thomas B.
George Washington Groce passed on 13 December 1933. He fought in the Civil War, according to the Veteran's Burial Records, 1885-1979. The County paid for the burials of those who were honorably discharged and had served during wartime but “died without sufficient means to defray the necessary burial expenses.”

George is buried at Hephzibah Baptist Cemetery in Chester County, PA, next to his wives. Elizabeth J. Groce was born 3 July 1844 and passed 15 April 1910. Sarah A. Irwin Groce lived 1858 - 1928. Both ladies had their own individual stone and both read, "wife of G. W. Groce." According to the Chester County Archives, George was 60 when he and Sarah married. They were married 20 April 1921 in Parkesburg, Chester County, PA. I found no record in the online archives of a marriage to Elizabeth.

The Hephzibah Baptist Church, which sits along Strasburg Road, is 293 years old. In the beginning, 1707, the minister and the faithful would meet at John Bentley’s house in Laural, Newlin Township. After he passed, the meetings were held at his son's house. His son, Jeffrey Bentley, who gave a lot of ground to the congregation in 1752 and built a meeting house. The church grew and soon realized the need for a larger meeting place. In August of 1792, laid the first stone for the meeting house. It was finished in May 1793.

The small group broke from their mother church, the Brandywine Baptist Church, and, on 20 May 1810, the church located at McWilliamstown became Hephzibah. Area maps in 1883 began to show that area of Chester County not as McWilliamstown but rather now as Hephzibah. Today the church remains the Hephzibah Baptist Church.

17 March 2013

The Civil War - 17 March 1863

During the 1862-1863 winter, the Union and Confederate calvarys broke up the dull cold winter camp life with  many raids and skirmishes. The Confederate Calvary generally performed better than the Union Calvary. Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart's men were simply better and more experienced riders. Until 17 March 1863 that is. Today - at  Kelly's Ford, Virginia - was the largest these skirmishes.

On 17 March, Union cavalry officer William W. Averell forced a crossing at Kelly's Ford. He drove back the counterattacks of Fitzhugh Lee. This forced the Confederate cavalry back several miles. Confederate artillerist John Pelham was killed during the skrimish.  Averell, despite a win being within reach, lost his nerve and withdrew. Despite Averell's actions, the battle showed that the Union cavalry was a force to be noted and respected.

Many of the soldiers in the Civil War - despite being on different sides - knew each other. Brothers fought brothers and schoolmates found themselves on different sides as well. Like many others, Averell and Lee were friends from West Point. Lee incidently was the nephew of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Averell had served in outposts in the west, attended Cavalry School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and fought Native Americans in the southwest for two years, prior to the Civil War. He graduated West Point in 1855 and was assigned to Fort McIntosh in Texas. By December 1855 he was assigned to the Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania under the command of C A May. He remained there in 1857 when he was transfered out West again.

He was commissioned an officer in Company S, Pennsylvania 3rd Cavalry Regiment on 12 Oct 1861. The following fall, on 26 September 1862, he was promoted to Full Brig-General, mustered out, and then commissioned an officer in the U.S. Volunteers General Staff Infantry Regiment all on that same day.
In 1863 - on this very day - he was promoted to Brevet Major. He was promoted several time until finally being promoted to Brevet Major-Gen on 13 Mar 1865 before mustering out a few days later. 


On a personal note, Averell was born 5 November 1832 in Cameron, Steuben County. According to a researcher on Ancestry.com (I could find no immediate documentation to confirm or deny) the General was married to English-born Kezia HAYWARD on 24 September 1885. It was her second marriage and she had two children in that first marriage. He died in Bath, New York on 3 February 1900.


William and Kezia had no children of their own. He did however have at least one sister: Lucy Lovinia Averell. Lucy married George Washington Henica. They had a daughter, Frederica Kezia Henica, born 20 August 1871.

Sources:
  • Ancestry.com. Web: New York, Find A Grave Index, 1660-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi: accessed 1 February 2013.
  • Civil War Trust. http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/kelly-s-ford.html 
  • Historical Data Systems, comp.. U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.
  • National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Returns from U.S. Military Posts, 1800-1916; Microfilm Serial: M617; Microfilm Roll: 183.

Church Record Sunday: Holy Ghost

Church Record Sunday is a weekly prompt for GeneaBloggers which describes a specific church record or a set of records held by a church or denomination and how they can assist genealogists. I wish that today - being St Patrick's Day - I had some great records to share from my Irish ancestors. Sadly I really do not.

I do have the baptismal records from both my paternal grandparents and my Uncle Nick as well as marriage records for my great grandparents at the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Church. Church records are especially helpful on Daddy's side of the family.

The Baptismal Register reveals that Gigi (my grandfather) father is Pantalemon Hruszczak and Pelagia Matys. It lists Gigi's birth as 12 January 1918 and his baptism as 20 January 1918. Gigi was actually born on the 5th but the use of both the Julian and the Gregorian calendar here explain the date discrepency. It also reveals that my great grandfather (referrred to as Panko) is from Prusy, Sambor in Galicia Austria. Bessie (as Pelagia went by) was born in Fraha, Rohatya (the handwriting is difficult to read here) in Galicia Austria. Gigi's name is recorded as Josephus (Joseph). His sponsors were: (again handwriting is difficult to read) Sophronius Mliczko and Catherine Zywcryn. The priest was Rev. A. Symko. The baptism register is in Latin.

Uncle Nick's baptism certificate confirms he is the som of Panko Hruszczak and Pelagia Matys and that he was born in Coatesville. It also reveals that he was born on 26 March 1921 and baptized on 3 April 1921 by the Rev. Andrew Symko. Uncle Nick's sponsors were: Stephen Martynyuk and Catherine Zadorozna. His certificate of Baptism was actually issued on 20 October 1941 using information "from the Baptismal Register of this Church" by Rev. Wroblewsky.

Panko and Bessie's marriage record is in Ukrainian. I can not read it but a former priest translated for me and told me they were married July 1915.

One thing I learned long ago and am so grateful I did this as I gathered these records ... always get a photocopy and document the source when you see it. Do not ever assume these records will be again made available. In our parish for example the records are kept by individual parish members as they have been over the years. Before computers everything was hand written in ledgers.

St Patrick's Day

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.



This was an Irish Prayer my grandmother always said to all of us.

16 March 2013

Sorting Saturday

Today I continue to clean my computer files out. So today, I continue to sort through my various collections hoping to organize things. I came upon this 1930 Census.

Just a quick tip - when using Ancestry.com for your research, it allows you to save the document you are looking at to the relevant person in your tree. I also save a copy to my hard drive and label it something like (in the case below) "1930_Kurenda." For this one it was easy. They were the only Kurendas here so far that I have found. My Irish ancestors are a bit tougher since they all have similar names. In that case I might have used husband and wife's names together or something to indicate better who it referred to.


The 1930 Census of the KURENDA family reveals them living on Sandy Hill Road. John is 43 and his wife Francis is 48. They were 22 and 30 respectively when they got married. They both list Poland as their place of birth. Living with them is son Pete, age 21; daughter Mary, age 20; daughter Catherine Yuzwiak, age 19 (she was married at age 18); daughter Anna, age 13; son Paul, age 8; and  son-in-law John Yuzwiak, age 25 (married at age 24; his parents were from Poland too). John Kurenda owned his home, which was valued at $2100. Both John and Francis are still aliens in 1930 but the census does reveal that he immigrated in 1910 and she did so in 1912. John, Pete and John Yuzwiak all were laborers in the steel mills.

The Civil War ... Today

It dawned on me this morning that I should learn more about the Civil War, since I have a few family members who particiapted in one way shape or form. Since admittedly it was not an area of history that came up much in my schooling, I will be refrencing History.com quite a bit to start with with. I truely believe to understand genealogy one has to at least appreciate history! And so begins my attempt ...

On this day in 1865, Union General William T. Sherman and his army encountered resistance as it trounced through the Carolinas on its way to join General Ulysses Grant's army at Petersburg, Virginia. Confederate General William Hardee tried to block one wing of Sherman's force, commanded by Henry Slocum, but his Rebel force was swept aside at the Battle of Averasboro, North Carolina. In the end, The Union army lost approximately 95 men killed, 530 wounded, and 50 missing, while the Confederates lost about 865 total and Sherman continued on his march.


Sadly, I have to admit I had no clue where Averasboro, NC is so I Google Map'd it (see above). It is south of Raleigh and a tad north of Wilmington. It is also called Averysborough, Smith's Mill and Black River.

This was the first tactical resistance to the infamous Sherman's march. The battle was fought on the plantation lands of the John Smith family four miles south of the Cape Fear River town of Averasboro, according to the Averasboro Battlefield & Museum site.

It was due to the Battle of Averasboro that First Lieutenant Henry I Smith, of Company B, 7th Iowa Infantry, was awarded the Medal of Honor. His act of valor was that he voluntarily and under fire rescued a comrade from death by drowning at Black River, NC, 15 March 1865. Smith had entered service at: Shell Rock Fall, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Smith was born 4 May 1840, in England. His Medal of Honor was issued 7 September 1894, according to the Averasboro Battlefielf & Museum site.

Sources:
Averasboro Battlefield & Museum. http://www.averasboro.com/

Confederates swept aside at the Battle of Averasboro. (2013). The History Channel website. Retrieved 7:04, March 16, 2013, from http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-averasboro-north-carolina.

15 March 2013

Funeral Card Friday: Michael J Welsh


 
Michael J Welsh
Born 31 March 1893
Died 16 December 1968

Michael J Welsh, 75, died Monday night at his home, 503 Magnolia Street, Kennett Square. (Note: this was actually my grandparents house but at any given time they had one or two other family members living there with them.)

Mr. Welsh was born in Shenandoah, PA, son of the late Michael and Anna Keating Welsh. (Note: the name was originally Walsh but it was a common name and - according to my grandmother - there was another family with similar names but the children were all trouble makers so we changed from Walsh to Welsh). He had been a resident of the Unionville-Kennett area since 1941. He had formerly resided in Phoenixville.

He was last employed as an attendant at the Devereux School, West Chester. He retired in 1963.

Mr Welsh was a member of the Church of St Patrick, Kennett Square. (Note: this is a Roman Catholic church)

Surviving is a niece, Mrs. Lloyd Still, with whom he resided, and other nieces and nephews.

A Christian Mass for Michael J Welsh was celebrated at the Church of St Patrick, Kennett Square, yesterday by the Rev. Richard B. Ward, pastor.

Internment was at St Patrick's Cemetery. Pallbearers were Raymond C. and Joseph M. Welsh, James Donahue, Thomas G. Still, Joseph P Ruczhak, Jr., and Dennis O'Flaherty.

14 March 2013

Find A Grave

I finally joined the Find A Grave network!

I hate writing bios. I always feel so self concious but I did finally come up with this:
I am searching Ruczhak/Hruszczak, Matyz, Kurenda, Skrabalek, Romanko, Still, Welsh/Walsh, Kilpatrick, Durkin, O'Flaherty, Keating, VanHorn, Rice, Bing, Way, Williams, and Dudbridge. I am slso searching Eckman, Miller, Kirchner, Herr, Slaymaker, Kuhn, Deyoe, Schermerhorn, and Sharp.

As you can guess my research has taken across many counties, states and nations. I look forward to being an active member here. Feel free to check out Genealogical Gems at http://genealogybyjeanne.blogspot.com/.


If you need photos in Lancaster or Chester Counties you can request it through the Find A Grave site. I am listed there under my full name: Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman. Thanks!

Those Places Thursday: Historic Huguenot Street

My husband's DEYOE line is from Greene County, NY. In researching that line, I came across the Historic Huguenot Street (HHS). According to their site, a dozen men from the Bevier, Crispell, Deyo, DuBois, Freer, Hasbrouck, and LeFevre families met with the Esopus Indians in 1677 and purchased 40,000 acres of land stretching from the Shawangunk Mountains to the Hudson River. It is this DEYO line that hubby is descended so I follow the HHS and their activities with the hope that someday we will actually be able to make it up there.

Earlier this week, I got an email from the HHS about their popular archaeology camp. The camp will be held in July and is run by experienced HHS staff. Campers conduct a dig on site including excavating, cleaning and cataloging archaeological finds. The campers will learn the importance of understanding past cultures and the basic principles and practices of archaeology. How I wish we were closer. I think my girls would love that!

There is also extra time for historic crafts, indoor and outdoor games, related educational activities and tours of the museum site. The week will end with an exhibit of artifacts the campers found during their dig.

The camp runs Monday, 15 July through Friday, 19 July from 9 am to 3 pm daily. It is limited to 12 registrants, aged 9-12. Preregistration is required and space tends to fill up quickly. The cost is $300 per week/$275 members of HHS. Thre is a 50% refund available for written cancellations received by 15 June.

To learn more, please contact Rebecca Mackey, HHS Director of Visitor Services via email rebecca@huguenotstreet.org or call 845-255-1660 ext. 105.

12 March 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: William Still

William
Still
1864 - 1916
his wife
Isabella
1844 - 1904
thier daughter
Carrie B.
1880 - 1894
STILL

William, his wife and their daughter are buried at the Hephzibah Baptist Cemetery.

11 March 2013

Mystery Monday: Mary Kilpatrick Still

Mary Kilpatrick Still is my great grandmother and is hard to find information on since she was not here all that long.

12 November 1887 - born in Ireland (as per Chester County marriage records)
1907 - Immigrated (as per 1910 Census)
5 June 1909 - Married Pierson George Still in Mortonville (as per Chester County records)
1909 - 1st child Margaret Nora Still born (appears on 1910 census but did die in infancy)
5 September 1910 - 2nd child James Franklin Still born
1912 - 3rd child Dorothy born
1913 - Dorothy dies of whooping cough
24 March 1914 - 4th child (my grandfather) Lloyd Pierson Still born
17 February 1916 - died in childbirth (child stillborn)
February 1916 - buried at Doe Run Presbyterian Cemetery in East Fallowfield, Chester County, PA

My "Mystery" is where exactly Mary Kilpatrick was born. I had been told County Mayo but have not found any documentation to prove or disprove that.

I also am still searching for immigration information. I have searched through Ancestry.com as well as the website for Ellis Island. It is possible she came into Philadelphia instead of New York. Her sisters worked in Philadelphia and in fact she was workingon the Main Line when she and Pierson met. He was a blacksmith and came to do work for the family she worked for at the time.
 

10 March 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Frank R. Eckman, Sr.


Frank Eckman, Sr., Sadsbury chief
(note: my husband's father)

Frank R Eckman, Sr., 65, Sadsbury Township Police Chief died Sunday, January 16, at Lancaster General Hospital after a short illness.
He was the husband of Dorothy Marie Deyoe Eckman. They had been married 44 years.
Born in Philadelphia, he was a son of the late John C and Mabel Florence Eckman.
He had been involved in law enforcement for 34 years. He served as Sadsbury Township's police chief since 1982. He was also the township's emergency management coordinator.
Prior to his employment with Sadsbury Township, he served five years as a part time officer for both Colerain Township and Little Britain Township.
He moved to Lancaster County in 1975. Before moving, he worked for the Philadelphia Police Department beginning in 1957.
While in Philadelphia, he performed various assignments in the patrol and traffic dividions and was a member of the department's motorcycle drill team.
Mr. Eckman received the Philadelphia Police Department's Medal of Valor for his actions after he was shot in a raid in 1970.
He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, Philadelphia Lodge 5, the Lancaster County Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Lancaster County and national association of police chiefs and Christiana Fire Company. He was an honorary member of teh Atglen Sportsman's Club, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, and a master class target shooter, achieving status in the 2600 Club.
Besides his wife he is survived by two sons Frank R Jr., and Glenn A., both of Kirkwood; Wilma L., wife of William H LeMon, Sr., Eileen S., wife of Kenneth Walkling, and Lucille Bernardo, all of Philadelphia, and a sister Josephine F. Pelikowski of Atco, NJ, and 12 grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements by the Brown Funeral Home.

08 March 2013

My latest discovery: Rosenbaum Bank

Last night I stumbled upon the Rosenbaum Bank. Okay - not literally! I was searching various names on Ancestry.com and stumbled upon a HRUSZCZAK listed in connection to this bank in Philadelphia. Anytime I see my maiden name I get excited since it is not exactly Smith or Jones!

Now I can not place this Teodor. My great grandfather was Panko Hruszczak and he came into Ellis Island and stated his uncle Onifer Pomanko was waiting for him in Coatesville, Chester County, PA. Panko did marry in Coatesville in 1915 and settle there, and while I show him as having lived in Columbia, Lancaster County in 1917, he pretty much stayed in Coatesville. He never lived in Philadelphia. While his father was Theodore, I do not believe his father ever immigrated.

In any case, what caught my attention - in addition to the name - is the source! Panko was not Jewish. Nor is any direct lineal ancestors (while I do have some Jewish family members scattered here and there, none are direct ancestors.).

At the bottom of the screen, Ancestry.com provided the following description:
In the port cities on the east coast of the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century, many charitable organizations aided immigrants arriving from Europe. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) was one of those organizations. There were "ethnic" or "immigrant" banks in many port cities, usually conveniently located in the Jewish neighborhoods where newly-arrived immigrants tended to settle. These banks were commercial enterprises, started mainly by established German Jews, as a place where recent immigrants could save money and arrange to purchase steamship tickets to bring their families to the United States. HIAS preserved the original records of some immigrant banks formerly operating in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Blitzstein, Rosenbaum and Lipshutz/Peoples Banks.
So now I am curious ... were these banks for any immigrants? Did the bank patrons - such as Teodor Hruszczak - have to be Jewish?

The Rosenbaum Bank (shown at left) was located at 603-05 S. 3rd Street in Philadelphia's influential and busy banking district. The bank was more than just a traditional bank as we know them today. In addition to being a place for patrons to save money, the banks also served in the sale of transatlantic ship tickets. The Rosenbaum Bank serviced mainly German and Austro-Hungarian Jews, whereas the Blitztein Bank clientel were mainly Russian Jews. The Blitztein Bank was located at 4th & Lombard Streets. The banks continued to operate until the economic crash in 1929.

A plaque on the Rosenbaum Bank reads:
This building was
Morris Rosenbaum's private bank and steamship ticket office
1888 - 1933
This plaque given by
Col. Edward W. Rosenbaum
in respectful memory.

The bank records are preserved at the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center (PJAC). For a small fee - $18 - records are made available for genealogical research.

Suggested resources:

07 March 2013

Those Places Thursday: Shenandoah

Shenandoah is a borough situated in Schuykill County. It was first settled in 1835 by Peter Kehley, a farmer. He sold his land rights to the Philadelphia Land Company, which in turn laid out the town.

Anthracite coal was discovered in the 1830's in the area, which led to the town's growth and prosperity, especially during the Civil War when the need for coal was great. Incorporated as a Borough in 16 January 1866, the town served as a magnet for immigrants.

My Walsh/Welsh and Keating families are from Shenandoah. They - like many Irish immigrants - worked in the coal mines. In the 1870s many Irish settled in town. By the end of the decade, the immigration trend swtiched to more immigrants from the Eastern European countries, especially Lithuania, Poland, the Ukraine, and Slovakia. The immigrants were hard workers many of whom spent the better part of their lives in the coal mines.

Anthracite coal burned cleaner than soft coal and had become the main heating fuel in many cities and towns on the East Coast. On 12 May 1902 the miners in Shenandoah joined the Great Coal Strike of 1902, demanding better wages, union recognition and shorter hours. The PA National Guard was called into Shenandoah on 30 July after 5,000 strikers began to riot when scabs were brought in. Deputy Sheriff Rowland Beddall was stoned, three men were killed and many more injured during the riot. It took President Theodore Roosevelt intervening to get the issue resolved. Before it was resolved however, many of the miners and their families left the area. Some even returned to Europe. Commissioner of Labor Carroll D. Wright stated that of the 147,000 strikers, 30,000 left the area. He estimated that of those 30,000 who left, between 8,000 to 10,000 returned to Europe. The strike lasted for 163 days, ending on 23 October 1902.

The Greater Shenandoah Area Historical Society was organized in October 1998 to preerve the history of the town.
Shenandoah is the birthplace of the pierogie! In 1952, Mary Twardzik's son Ted used his mom's original pierogie recipe and launched the Shenandoah-based, brand Mrs. T's Pierogies'. After college, Ted returned home to Shenandoah to start his piergie business. He quickly outgrew his mom's kitchen and moved to his father's former tavern. The company today is run with the help of Ateeco Corp. Pierogies are potato-stuffed pasta pockets. Fillings can vary.

The Sixth Annual Kielbasa Festival
Shenandoah is known as the Kielbasa Capital of the Eastern Coast, thanks to kielbasa makers like Capital Food Store, Lucky’s Kielbasi Shop and Kowalonek Kielbasi Shop. The three businesses will be among those at the Sixth Annual Kielbasa Festival on Saturday, 18 May. Enjoy Eastern European foord, games and the Shenandoah All Star Polka Band at the Festival. There will be Polish Pottery and Matryoshka Dolls and an appearance from the Kielbasa Man! A kielbasa making contest is also scheduled. It will be held in the 100 block of N. Main Street (Route 924). The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is organized by the Downtown Shenandoah Inc.

The Downtown Shenandoah Inc. also promotes the Downtown Shenandoah Kielbasi & Pierogie
Golf Open Tournament on 21 June. The Heritage Day and the Parade of Nations is scheduled for 24 August.

 

05 March 2013

Talented Tuesday: Anna & Zorina's Artwork

All three of my girls are artistic. Anna and Zorina have been exhibited at school art shows.

Zorina was just exhibited at the Lancaster County Youth Art Show. Her "Box" drawing is at right here. She normally does more geometric oriented pieces but this was a school art project from last school year. The way Manheim Township slecets artists to even be entered is a bit odd. The students are limited to specific assignments then get judged by the art teachers at school then those selected advance to the County level. In any case, Zorina did a great job Love her shadowing!

Below are some of Anna's drawings that I came across while cleaning recently. She has many more but these were on my system already. These were just her doodling that kind of went on to become something else. The drawings had nothing to do with a school assignment.

03 March 2013

Census Sunday: Anna Keating

Census Sunday is a GeneaBloggers weekly prompt focusing on census records. I chose to focus on Anna Keating (my great great grandmother) since this is National Irish American History Month and the Keatings are from Ireland!

The 1910 Census reveals that 56 year old Anna Welsh is living with 17 year old Michael Welsh on Lloyd Street in Shenandoah in Schuylkill County, PA. She is widowed at this time. The census reveals that she and her parents were born in Ireland. Anna had 11 children; six of them are living still in 1910. She is not employed. Michael is a laborer in the colliery industry. Colliery is the coal mine industry.

I came across an Annie Walsh in the 1900 census (at right) in Shenandoah, Schuylkill County. She is listed as a widow and has four sons living at home. The information is close to my Anna but not exact and since Walsh was such a popular name, I will save it as a possible match. This Annie Walsh is 49, born in February 1851. My Anna was born in 1855. This Anna has four sons: John, Martin, Mike and Thomas. The census reveals this Anna had 10 children and six are living, which again is close but not exact to information already confirmed. This Anna immigrated from Ireland in 1860. My Anna came from Ireland too but I have not determined the year yet. I really do not think this will turn out to be my Anna.

Finding my Anna Keating Walsh in the Census records is proving difficult. The 1910 one mentioned above is accurate. I know her husband Michael Walsh died sometime before 1910 but I have no date yet. The family story is that she immigrated with her family (maybe just siblings ?) to a farm on Ringtown near Shenandoah. The farm was - again as per the family story - taken by the government by eminent domain. However when I visited the Shenandoah Historical Society and the Ringtown Library they did not think the eminent domain story merited truth. So ... a temporary brick wall I have hit.

02 March 2013

March is Irish-American History Month

March has been Irish American History Month for many years. On Thursday, 28 February, President Obama finally proclaimed - as so many presidents before him - that March be Irish-American History Month!

The Proclamation reads:
For more than two centuries, America has been made and remade by striving, hopeful immigrants looking for a chance to pursue their dreams. Millions among them were born in Ireland, separated from our shores but united by their belief in a better day. This month, we celebrate the Irish-American journey, and we reflect on the ways a nation so small has inspired so much in another.

Generations of Irish left the land of their forebears to cast their fortunes with a young Republic. Escaping the blight of famine or the burden of circumstance, many found hardship even here. They endured prejudice and stinging ridicule. But through it all, these new citizens never gave up on one of our oldest ideas: that anyone from anywhere can write the next great chapter in the American story. So they raised families and built communities, earned a living and sent their kids to school. In time, what it meant to be Irish helped define what it means to be American. And as they did their part to make this country stronger, Irish Americans shared in its success, retaining the best of their heritage and passing it down to their children.

That familiar story has been lived and cherished by Americans from all backgrounds, and it reaffirms our identity as a Nation of immigrants from all around the world. So as we celebrate Irish-American Heritage Month, let us retell those stories of sweat and striving. And as two nations united by people and principle, may America and Ireland always continue to move forward together in common purpose.

As such this month, I will feature many Irish immigrants. Most obviously will be my own ancestors but often - if you are a regular reader here you well know - my research goes where it may. I often get sidetracked if something or someone happens to interes me! I will also feature Irish resources as I happen upon them and as I clean through files and books I have here.

Sorting Saturday - Backing up & Cleaning Out

Our systems are getting old and in need of a major update so we finally broke down and decided to get new systems. In doing so, I thought it was high time to sort thru the electronic mound of documents and photos. Some will of course be saved and some will be deleted no doubt.

CENSUS RECORDS ... This jpg (at right) is titled "1870 Census Mary Schermerhorn Deyoe". The census is for Lexington, NY. John & Mary Deyoe - ages 76 and 73 respectively - are living with Walter and Hannah George and their 11 year old son Leroy. An Effie Crispwell, age 7, also lives with the Georges. Walter, age 45, and John are farmers. Hannah, age 40, keeps house while Leroy and Effie are at school and Mary does not list an occupation. They were all born in New York.

Neighbors to the Georges was Walker Deyoe and his family. Walker is a 44 year old farmer. His wife is is 38 year old Caroline. She keeps house. Their 11 year old son Willie E. is at school. All are born in New York.

In 1850 (see Census at left) Mary is listed as Sarah - perhaps a middle name? Or a nickname? John, age 57, is a farmer. Sarah is 54 thus the assumption this is the wife not the daughter of the same name. The children are listed in 1850 as: Hannah, age 18; Polly, age 15; Daniel, age 12; and Christopher, age 10. All of them were born in New York. The census lists their residence as Middletown in Delaware County in the state of New York. Many of their neighbors were born in Ireland.

Now, I knew that on 2 April 1820 Mary Schermerhorn married John W Deyoe. They had nine children: James, Lucinda, John Walker (perhaps the one listed above?), Sarah, Christopher E., Hannah (the one mentioned above), Polly L., and Daniel G. (hubby's great grandfather).

Daniel was a farmer as well. He owned a farm in Lexington, Greene County, NY. The farm, according to the 1880 Ag Census, shows Daniel owned 60 tilled acres, 31 acres of meadows and pastures, and 19 acres of woodland valued at $2,500 at that time.

SPECIAL CENSUS .... New York conducted a special census (at right) listing those who died in Lexington in a certain year. John Deyoe was included as having passed between 1 June 1879 and 31 May 1880. This special census states John is 86, white, married. Both he and his parents were born in New York. He was a farmer. He died in January from an "enlargement of the heart." The attending physician is listed as E. L. Ford.

That seems to be it for the Deyoe related files at least the electronic files. I have a HUGE manilla folder to go thru yet but ... another day!

Happy Sorting!