Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Wednesday's Child - Edward and Alice Quirk's Second Daughter

I swear that I posted this before, but I couldn't find it. Senility at 43? Either way it's important enough to share. Alice and Edward were my great grandparents. They were only married for three years when Alice died after the birth of their second daughter. The little girl apparently also died, but so far I can't find her in the Pennsylvania Death Certificates. As far as we can tell she wasn't stillborn:

News clipping from a family scrapbook

"A Baby Girl.

A baby girl has arrived at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Quirk, of Park View. Mrs. Quirk is reported to be in a serious condition."

I tried various searches in the Pennsylvania Death Certificates and still could not find anything. I removed bits of information, used wildcards, and even misspelled Quirk as Zuirk because sometimes people that transcribe seem to forget what an old-cursive "Q" looks like. Nothing worked, but I was able to submit a transcription correction for someone that spelled another Quirk with a "Z". I also noticed that there were death certificates for stillborns so there should be one for this little girl.

I can't look in the local Hazleton newspapers either. 1915 falls into the abyss of missing microfilmed newspapers. Luckily I have some newspaper clippings that I scanned from a family photo album. No dates on them, but that's OK. I know they're local Hazleton papers and this was obviously from September 1915. If they can find missing Doctor Who episodes behind filing cabinets throughout the world I can hold hope for Hazleton newspapers.

I will have to contact Annunciation Parish/St. Gabriel's Church and see if they know anything. The little one deserves to be remembered which is why this post is so important. All the better to remember her with a name as well.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Medical Monday - Annie Bronsevitch

I suppose this post could have gone under a Wednesday's Child post, but as I've been reviewing death certificates I have posts I want to write that involve more than just children. Since many people care about the medical aspect in genealogy (is there insanity in my family? Alzheimer's? Breast cancer? Any cancer?) I decided to start a "Medical Monday" series. I'm not a medical professional, but most genealogists aren't. There is a lot of great information that can be found online when you can actually make out what the cause of death is. Often times it's illegible and the terms are dated or confusing. Doing a little research may answer some of these questions.

I was going through the Pennsylvania Death Records online (you've probably noticed a trend in many of my posts by now) and I was looking for records for my Bronsavage/Bronsevitch line. It was more painful than I expected. With a surname search for "Bronsavage" I got hits for my grandmother, Florence, my great uncle's wife, Helen, and my 1st cousin once removed, Nancy May, who died when she was about five. There was one other hit for someone I had never heard of...Julia Dagis...her mother was also Julia and her maiden name was Bronsavage. Could be a relative, but I have no connection yet. What I was looking for was my great grandparents, Anthony and Cecelia Bronsevitch (I should probably mention that Bronsavage is a variant), but didn't find them. Boy is that another post because sometimes these unusual names don't produce the easiest results.

Birth information
Anyway, I changed my search parameters, did some tweaking here and there with what information I included and what I omitted and I came across the record for an Annie Bronsevitch.

When I looked at the certificate I saw that she was definitely a Bronsevitch/Bronsavage of mine. Of course as far as I know almost any from Hazleton/West Hazleton should belong to me. Seeing her parents (my great grandparents) confirmed it. She was the daughter of Anthony and Cecelia Bronsevitch nee Kozlowski and she lived to be 7 months old.

Seeing stuff like this always makes me sad. To experience the loss of a child is not something any parent should have to experience, but we all know it happens and it is heart-breaking. My mind immediately turned to why she died.

Cause of death
When my mother and I saw the cause of death as "auto-infection or (self poisoning)" we were confused. Did the baby get into something that she shouldn't have? No doubt baby-proofing homes wasn't at the standard of today. Sometimes I'm amazed we all survived our childhoods. As I sometimes do I fixated on the "auto-infection" and stopped reading. I need to retrain my brain to quit doing this. Still, when I researched auto-infection I was rewarded with some good information:

-An infection by disease organisms already present in the body but developing in a different body part.
-A reinfection by microbes or parasitic organisms."

That made me feel better than the child having ingested poison. As is par for the course it was then that I continued analyzing the rest of the diagnosis and saw the mention of cholera. Even though I had a definition of auto-infection that seemed satisfactory I adjusted my search and focused on cholera infantum:

"Cholera infantum
A nonspecific term meaning either:
-Summer complaint - An obsolete term for severe, prostrating gastroenteritis in infants occurring in hot weather and caused by unknown pathogens, possibly Shigella and Salmonells spp; or
-Infantile gastroenteritis."

That ties in well with the contributory causes of "Season, climate, food." I suppose this wasn't completely unheard of in the early 20th century and it's certainly something we take for granted today although it is still cause for concern in countries where sanitation is primitive.

So with this post and what was initially a surprising cause of death I remember Annie. She is buried in Ss. Peter and Paul's Lithuanian Catholic Cemetery in Hazleton, Pennsylvania along with her mother, father, and a brother.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Adele Hermans nee Nellis

Clipping from family scrapbook*
Earlier I had been researching all of the information I had on the Nelis family. Because I had several clippings with that surname. Because most weren't in my family tree and I wanted to see if they belonged. This one was an easy post to do because I already had Adele Nelis in my family tree. I didn't have her location/date of birth or death. I didn't have her children. One clipping brought me a lot of information.

Taking where Adele was buried (Saint Joseph's Cemetery, Champion, WI) and I was able to search FindAGrave to see if there was a tombstone to check out. There wasn't, but there were memorials for Adele, George, and their daughter, Irene. I took the information created in the memorials and searched Ancestry.com for death records. I've now got potential death dates for Irene (09APR1961) and for George (22MAY1975) that I can use to pull obituaries and try to verify this potential information.

One small clipping can have enormous potential.

"Mrs. George Hermans

LUXEMBURG - Mrs. George Hermans, 80, Luxemburg, died suddenly Sunday evening at a local hospital. She was born Feb. 21, 1886 in Dyckesville. The former Adele Nellis married Mr. Hermans, Oct. 17, 1906 at St. Louis Church, Dyckesville.

Survivors include her husband; one son, Gouldie, Luxemburg, Rt. 2; one daughter, Mrs. Joseph (Myrtle) Vincent, New Franken, Rt. 1. One daughter, Irene, died five years ago. Seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; one sister, Mrs. Norman (Laura) Ropson, Algoma; five brothers, Anton and Jule, both of Algoma; Goldie, Forestville; William, Champion; John, Green Bay.

At the McMahon Funeral Home, Luxemburg after 7 this evening. Rosary 8 tonight and tomorrow night. Funeral 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph's Church, Champion, the Rev. H. E. McDonnell officiating. Burial in the church cemetery.

(handwritten Nov 27, 1966)"

*Clipping was taken from a family scrapbook. Date and paper of publication is unknown, but most likely was taken from the Green Bay Press-Gazette. The handwritten date refers to the date of death not the date of publication.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - The Sisters of Mercy

I was walking through Saint Gabriel's cemetery in Hazleton, Pennsylvania in June snapping pictures for my research and canvassing one section of the cemetery for BillionGraves when I saw this memorial. My mother actually pointed it out to me. She knows that I like to take pictures of the graves of the priests and nuns whenever possible because they don't have descendants. While I'm certain many are remembered by their nieces, nephews, and all those whose lives they've touched I try to remember them as well.

I usually try to create a memorial on FindAGrave if they don't already have one, but in the case of this memorial it's not possible to create an accurate one. They have no surnames and the names on here are their assumed names when they became nuns. I suppose I could created memorials for each and leave out the surname, but I think that would just confuse. Either way I want to memorialize them now for all the good works they did with the Sisters of Mercy.

Sister's of Mercy memorial in Saint Gabriel's Cemetery, Hazleton, PA (side 1)

Sister M. Austin - died 1922
Sister M. Evangelist - died 1893
Sister M. Clare - died 1882
Sister M. Benedict - died 1889
Sister M. Angela - died 1883
Sister M. Desales - died 1886
Sister M. Joseph - died 1885
Sister M. Josephine - died 1902
Mother Agnes - died 1903
Sister M. Isabel - died 1911

Sister's of Mercy memorial in Saint Gabriel's Cemetery, Hazleton, PA (side 2)

Sister M. Francis - died 1913
Mother De Chantal - died 1914
Sister M. Anthony - died 1915
Sister M. Patrick - died 1918
Sister M. Rose - died 1920
Sister M. Liguori - died 1922
Sister M. Camillus - died 1927
Sister M. Theresa - died 1928
Sister M. Agatha - died 1946

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Military Monday - SGT Herbert S. Phillips

SGT Herbert S. Phillips - Simonstown Cemetery, Greentown, PA
Not a part of my Phillips family. At least as far as I know. Greentown is too far from Hazleton and Phillips too common a name for me to try to make any connection. I was plotting/photographing the legible tombstones in Simonstown Cemetery on BillionGraves and I saw this tombstone and just wanted to share it.

I have to start out by saying that I was so terribly disappointed in how Simonstown Cemetery was being taken care of, but I'm not going to go too far into detail about that. I've got pictures and plan on writing up another post. I hadn't brought anything with me to clean/dust off any tombstones. I really need to get a cemetery kit together and keep it in my car right next to my camera bag and hiking gear. As it was I had a walking stick with me and that was all. The tombstones are all getting overgrown and covered in lichen. I've seen a big change in just over the past 5 years and I wanted to share this before it become completely unreadable.

"SGT Herbert S. Phillips
Co. M. 393rd Regt. 99th Div.
Born Nov. 8, 1913
Killed in Action in Belgium
Dec. 17, 1944
At rest in
U.S. Military Cemetery, Belgium
Son of
Mr. & Mrs. Charles H. Phillips"

Rest in Peace, SGT Phillips. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Mary Brown nee Barrett

Hazleton, PA newspaper*
Yet another obituary that I had no idea I hadn't shared. No idea until the other day when I was doing some research into my Barrett line and tried using this obituary to narrow the search down a bit. You see Mary was a Barrett and she had 5 siblings: Edward, William, Hugh, Walter, and Alice.

I know that Edward moved to Buffalo, New York with his family and most likely died there. His wife, Esther Corrigan, is buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery (Cheektowaga, Erie, NY) and my guess is that Edward is most likely buried there too. Sadly, there was a problem with my photo request on FindAGrave and it appears that her tombstone is overturned and unreadable so I can't see if her husband is on the stone with her. There was no memorial for Edward on FindAGrave, just Esther so I'll most likely contact the cemetery and see if they have a burial for him. I have a date of birth, but only know that he died after 1944 because of this obituary. Edward is mentioned as surviving his sister. I have a few possible dates of death for him which I will try to check in the local Hazleton newspaper when I go back home. Since he was originally from the area chances are something made it in there.

Now the obituary names her sister, Alice, as surviving her, but William, Hugh, and Walter are left out of the mix. From searching the online Pennsylvania Death Index I can see that William died in 1915 and Walter died in 1910. Walter never married. William did (to Carrie Bittenbender) and had three known children: Marie, William Jr., and Thomas.

In my research I had been trying to find Hugh and Alice. Both moved from Hazleton and became fairly elusive. Neither married and both have common names. At least when Edward moved to the Buffalo area I was able to track him down because I knew the names of his wife and children. I couldn't do that with Hugh and Alice. With Hugh I can see that he isn't mentioned in his sister's obituary so that most likely means that he died before she did. I also know that Alice out-lived her sister. Aside from that it's a dead end.

I'll dive deeper into some possibilities with Hugh and Alice and some documents I found in another post. Until then I'll share the obituary and funeral notice for my paternal great grandmother:


Mrs. Thomas J. Brown

Mrs. Thomas J. Brown, of 3322 West Broad street, this city, died at 3:15 this morning at her home following eight weeks' illness. She was born here and spent her entire life in Hazleton. Her maiden name was Miss Mary A. Barrett and her parents were the late Patrick and Bridget Barrett.

Mrs. Brown was a member of St. Gabriel's church and the Altar and Rosary Society. In her younger days she was a school teacher in Hazle township.

Surviving are her husband and the following children: Marian and Edward Brown, city school teachers; Sergeant Walter Brown of the army air forces stationed in the South Pacific and Thomas Brown, Jr., of Elmira, N. Y. One brother, Edward Narrett (sic), of Buffalo, N. Y., and one sister, Miss Alice Barrett, a registered nurse of New York City, also survive.

The funeral will be held at 9:30 Friday morning. Services will be conducted at 10 a.m. in St. Gabriel's church and interment will be in St. Gabriel's cemetery."

Hazleton, PA newspaper*
"The funeral of Mrs. Thomas J. Brown, of 832 West Broad street, was held at 9:30 this morning with the blessing at 10 o'clock in St. Gabriel's church by Monsignor D. J. Kane, who also gave the blessing at the grave. The pallbearers were: Daniel Meehan, Michael Welsh, John McHugh, Michael Conner, John O'Donnell and Charles O'Donnell. Interment was in St. Gabriel's cemetery."

*The clippings were taken from the Hazleton, Pennsylvania newspaper. It is called the Standard Speaker, but was once The Plain Speaker, The Standard Sentinel, and possible something else. Problem is that when I printed these clippings from microfilm I didn't source my information properly...bad, Cherie...I know, I know! I just wrote 04APR1944 on the back and that is actually her date of death not the publication date. I've improved in my sourcing since then...

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Family Reunion Friday - Cayemberg Family 1959

Well it's not the most detailed of the Cayemberg reunion articles, but at least it was put in the newspaper. I always like seeing the number of people in attendance although it was missing from this clipping. It gives you an idea of any fluctuations throughout the years especially in a reunion that has been going on as long as the Cayemberg reunion has been (80 next year).

Using attendance statistics can reassure a reunion committee that down cycles may be normal. They can also show you what changes in a reunion may have brought about those down turns and help you to fix a potential problem before it becomes too big. Of course you don't necessarily need to find this in a newspaper article. Attendance records and changes to family reunion itinerary should be found in the minutes of your committee and those minutes should be kept forever.

"Family Reunion of Cayembergs Held 22 Times

(Handwritten '1959')

Officers of the Cayemberg family were elected recently at the 22nd annual reunion held at Pamperin Park.

The group to plan next year's reunion includes: Pat Cayemberg Sr., Green Bay, president; Mrs. Harvey Maureau (sic), Green Bay, treasurer; Mrs. Lucy Anderson, Green Bay, trustee; Mrs. Lewis Lemens, Tonet, secretary.

Mrs. Elmer Guillette, Casco, and Mrs. Ben Matuszak, Algoma, served as chairmen of this year's picnic attended by 131 members of the family.  The group agreed to hold next year's reunion at the same location on June 19.  Mrs. Lewis Lemens and Mrs. Wallace Guillette, Tonet, will serve as co-chairmen.

Among communities represented by the family are Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Green Bay, Tonet, Algoma, Casco and two families from Michigan and Minnesota."

The clipping was taken from a scrapbook handed down to me by my mother in law.  No newspaper name was given, but other reunion articles were from the Green Bay Press Gazette.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - John and Viola Vania nee Cayemberg

Tombstone of John and Viola Vania nee Cayemberg in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Algoma, Wisconsin

I shared Viola's obituary previously and thanks to Jenni Lewerenz I new have the tombstone for John and Viola to share! I don't have much on John because he's not the one related to my husband. From the SSDI I have that John was born on March 31, 1894 and passed away sometime in November of 1980. Looking deeper into his passing I found in the Wisconsin Death Index that he died on November 1, 1980 and his middle name was Fred. He married Viola on March 4, 1924 in Algoma (according to her obituary). Viola was born on August 2, 1904 in Lincoln, Kewaunee County, Wisconsin (birth certificate found at the Wisconsin Historical Society) and died on November 21, 1994. Together they had eight children: Gladys, Mae, James, Lloyd, Gloria, Raymond, Donna and John. They are buried in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Algoma, Wisconsin. Viola is my husband's first cousin twice removed.

*A very big thank you to Jenni Lewerenz for permitting me to share the photos she posted on FindAGrave!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Kate Dart nee Jadin

Clipping taken from family scrapbook
I blogged about Kate's husband, Charles Dart, previously and noted that in his obituary his wife's name was given as "Desira." It's not though. It's Kate and has been in every document and census record that I've come across. I'm sure that obituary went over like a lead balloon when the family saw it.

The obituary has some great information in it too. Dates for her birth and marriage as well as the date her husband passed away. It would have been nice to have her parents' names, but I'm not tracing back past Kate so it's irrelevant to me, but could be useful for another researcher.

Kate is buried in St. Martin's Cemetery in Tonet and has a FindAGrave memorial to visit.

"(Handwritten Feb 7, 1963)

Mrs. Kate Dart

LUXEMBURG - Mrs. Kate Dart, 81, Luxemburg, Rt. 3, died Thursday afternoon in a Green Bay hospital after an extended illness. The former Kate Jadin was born April 29, 1881, in Tonet, and married Charles Dart on Sept. 12, 1902 at St. Martin Church, Tonet. Her husband preceded her in death on June 10, 1935.

Survivors include one son, Fred J., Luxembourg, Rt. 3; one daughter, Mrs. John (Libbie) Jandrin, Algona, Rt. 1; six grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren; three sisters, Mrs. Josie Jacques, De Pere; Mrs. Louise Dart, Green Bay, and Mrs. Lena Dart, Luxembourg.

Friends may call at McMahon Funeral Home, Luxemburg, after 8 p.m. Saturday. The Rosary will be recited at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Martin Church, Tonet, with burial in the church cemetery."

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Wedding Wednesday - Brown-Tabor Engagement

Standard Speaker, 30JUN1964, pg 15
Mommy! Yeah...my mom's a babe. I love this picture. I had never seen it until I came across it searching newspapers. I'm so glad I found it though!

"Mr. and Mrs. Edward J. Brown, 576 West Green street, announce the engagement of their daughter, Alice, to Paul C. Tabor, son of Clarence P. Tabor, and the late Mrs. Florence Tabor, 230 East Broad street, West Hazleton.

Miss Brown was graduated from Hazleton High School in 1962 and attended Marywood College, Scranton.

Mr. Tabor was graduated from Hazleton High School in 1960 and is employed by Allied Egry Business Forms, Philadelphia, as cameraman."

You know when I got married I didn't even think to put anything in the newspaper. Not the news in Hawaii nor the news back in Hazleton, PA. Maybe if I remained in my hometown it would have been something I thought of. Being stationed elsewhere, well, it never even crossed my mind. If it didn't cross my mind for my marriage I can tell you that it certainly didn't for my engagement. I also didn't do any engagement photos. I had a photographer at my wedding, but those pictures were for family, not for the papers.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I disagree with the tradition. I love it in fact. I regret not thinking about it. If I had I most certainly would have done it. Now that my hubby and I are civilians and (hopefully) not moving much anymore I will certainly be making sure that there is something in the local papers when my sons are married. For their engagement that will depend on who they marry. Traditionally it was just the woman that got her picture in an engagement announcement, but it's a little different now. Sometimes you've got the couple in the picture. I'd actually like to see that.

Right now I'll live vicariously through my mom and her beautiful photo in her engagement announcement.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Anton and Matilda Hermans nee Lameroux

Tombstone of Anton C. Hermans in Holy Cross Cemetery
Two Rivers, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Anton Hermans married Mathilda Lameroux on October 13, 1903 in Tonet, Kewaunee County, Wisconsin.

On their marriage certificate her name is spelled with an "H" and without on her tombstone. Her last name on the marriage certificate doesn't quite look like it's spelled "Lameroux" but I have no training in French so I'm siding with the general family tree consensus here. To me it looks like Lamourenx, but that just looks odd.  I'm posting an excerpt from the marriage certificate that has her name on it below if anyone would like to give it a go. When I get the opportunity I'll try to find her in a census before she married Anton and see if it sheds some light on the spelling.

Tombstone of Matilda Hermans in Holy Cross Cemetery
Two Rivers, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
The tombstones only give the birth and death years for both individuals so that doesn't help me find an obituary. Several family trees did have Anton as passing on February 21, 1950 so I can use that and the location of their burial to try to find one. Perhaps her maiden name and date of death will be in his obituary. A genealogist can hope!

Anton is the son of John Baptist (Jean Baptiste) Hermans and Antoinette Dart. He was the 7th of 8 known children.

Rest in peace Anton and Matilda!

*Thank you to Nona Forrest for permission to use her FindAGrave photos.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Matrilineal Monday - Finding Nancy

We all have brick walls and brick walls with female ancestors can be particularly painful especially if you don't know their maiden names. A maiden name wasn't the issue with this particular ancestor though. Neil and Nancy Brown nee McCoy were born in Ireland (although I don't know where) and were the parents of six children....eight by some accounts because it appears they may have adopted two boys, Patrick Timmoney and Michael Brown. When I couldn't go farther back in this line than Neil and Nancy I did as much research as I could on their children. Who did they marry? When did they die? What children did they have? It was this lateral research that helped me eventually find out more information on Nancy. That and a little help from others.

My cousin, Nancy O'Donoghue nee Brown, helped me with why I couldn't find Nancy in records and why this "Annie" chick was living my 2nd great grandfather...Nancy's husband. Who the heck was this "Annie"!?!?! Nancy explained to me that Ann or Anna or Annie was a common nickname/diminutive for Nancy and that it was the same person. Sort of like John = Jack, James = Jim, Richard = Dick/Rick/Rich. That small bit of intel really helped my sanity. Nancy and I collaborated on our family trees up until she passed away. Just before she passed I was able to share with her the location of Neil and Nancy's tombstone. It was in Saint Gabriel's Cemetery in Hazleton, Pennsylvania where we knew it must be. We just hadn't been able to find it until we got some more help.

The caretaker for the cemetery, Rick, was on the premises when my mother and I visited in 2010 so we got to ask him if he could confirm if they were in the cemetery and where their tombstones were located. He was able to do both. There were several tombstones for various Browns and Neil Browns in the cemetery. He pulled out his binder and we were able to see when someone was buried. I knew Neil died before the 1900 census. There was someone that matched and he walked us right to the tombstone.

She was listed as Nancy on her tombstone, but not her death certificate!
The tombstone helped to confirm what I knew. Neil did pass after the 1880 census and before the 1900 census. Nancy passed after the 1920 census. So I (eventually) went to the Pennsylvania Death Certificates that were online to look for her.

If you have family from Pennsylvania and you haven't used this resource you really need to...and it's free! Well, from what I can see it's free to Pennsylvania residents here (start by entering your zip code at the bottom of the page) and is included with an Ancestry membership here. Either way with how much I've discovered it's paid for the membership I have many times over. Moving on....

So after seeing the tombstone (and unless there was a mistake on the stone) I knew Nancy/Annie died in 1926. Move a head a few years and being able to access the Pennsylvania death certificates online and I came up with a possible match:

Excerpt of Nancy/Anna Brown nee McCoy's death certificate
It was even the top hit. I didn't search for "Nancy" or "Annie" but I did search for the surname Brown in Luzerne county with a death year of 1926. This Anna Brown had a husband named Neil, was born in Ireland, and died in the right year. Was that proof enough for me that it was her? Not necessarily. She is listed as being married on the certificate and I know Neil died many years before she did. I also know that putting married instead of widowed is a common mistake on death certificates as well as census records.

I looked further into the death certificate and saw that she was buried in Saint Gabriel's Cemetery which was one of my family cemeteries, but it's a huge one and that wouldn't confirm much. Then I saw the informant on the death certificate was Owen McElwee. Now that's a name in my family tree! Owen was the husband of her oldest daughter, Bridget. I went on to look at the 1920 census to check out the address and found that she was living with Bridget and Owen before she died. 

Excerpt of Nancy/Anna Brown nee McCoy's
death certificate
Now how correct is the rest of the information on the death certificate? It wasn't given by her daughter, but by her daughter's husband. The information could certainly be wrong, but so many of these records for my ancestors simply state "unknown" for the person's foreign-born parents that seeing something at all makes me very hopeful. I'll have to verify it in some way, but it's information I didn't have before. Finding Nancy's death certificate didn't give me an exact date of birth, but it did give me her death date and possible parents. 

This is the point in my blog post where I would normally say that the next time I'm in Pennsylvania I'll pull her obituary, but I can't. There is no microfilm for the Hazleton newspapers at the public library for that year. The Hazleton Standard Speaker has some of the years missing at the library in their vaults, but I don't have access. I'm hoping that Newspapers.com will get them to share at some point in the future and maybe I'll find the obituary, but it's not happening yet. I'll still enter it onto my research calendar, but with little hope of finding it any time soon.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Mary Hermans nee Laurent

The Luxemburg News, 12DEC1924, pg1
Well there were two ways for me to show this obituary. Too small to read and OH MY GOSH huge. I went with huge because at least others will be able to read it in case I made any transcription errors.

As I was working on my Hermans line I came across the marriage certificate for Mary Laurent and Desire Hermans and noticed that I already had both in my tree. Different branches of my husband's family but they merged in some places. They weren't necessarily related to each other. They were from lateral lines. Still I've been noticing that with a number of the marriages in his Belgian line. If you think about it you'll realize that it makes sense. Traveling great distances wasn't common. You knew your neighbors and your neighbors were also generally the same ethnicities. People came over to America and settled within micro ethnic communities. So if you were going to get married to someone it was going to be someone that lived nearby. A neighbor.

Perhaps a brother was courting the girl down the street and she had a sister. Maybe his other brother started courting her and then they both end up getting married. It happened quite often. That's why it can be important to check out the other people on a census page because you may find that they are also in your family tree.

It's quite sad to see a parent die at the age of 47. It was quite a long obituary. They really wanted to memorialize her. It's got some great information too. Her kids' names and who the daughters married. Even the children who predeceased her are in there. The brothers and sisters in the second to last paragraph could be cleaned up a bit more and it would have been nice to mention her parents' names (Philippe and Theresa Laurent nee Francart), but it's a really great obituary for 1924 and it made the front page.

Now this article was published on Friday, December 12th and it said that she died "last Monday" so I'm assuming that was the 1st not the 8th because I figured that they'd just say "Monday" if it was the 8th. Well, in the body of the obituary it does say on Monday so which is it? The 1st or the 8th? I'm going to put the 8th in my tree with a note about the confusion next to it. Since her obituary was the day before the article was published it's likely that the Monday they were referring to was the one closest to it too. Sometimes not, but perhaps something else will turn up in the future to firm this up for me. With death certificates getting more and more expensive I won't be requesting that unless I need it for other research.

Mary is buried in St. Martin's Cemetery in Tonet, Wisconsin. You can check out her FindAGrave memorial here.

"Tonet Resident Passed Away Last Monday

Mrs. Desire Hermans Dies Following Lingering Illness

(unk) Forty Seven Years of Age

Funeral Services Were Held Thursday Morning.

TONET - Mrs. Desire Hermans, nee Mary Laurent, answered the final call of death Monday morning at the hour of 11:00 o'clock following an illness of nine weeks. Deceased suffered with a goitre (sic) and had been confined to the St. Mary's hospital at Green Bay for a period of seven weeks, returning to her home about two weeks previous to her untimely death. Her death is attributed to Heart Failure.

Mrs. Hermans was born in the town of Luxemburg on April 26, 1877, having reached the age of forty-seven years, seven months and twelve days up to the time of her death. She had been a resident of the town of Luxemburg until her marriage to Desire Hermans in September 1897, which was solemnized in the St. Joseph's Catholic church at Champion. To this happy union nine children were born, two who preceded their mother to death, namely, Mrs. Louis Dubois and Fred Hermans.

Mrs. Hermans as a resident on a farm at Tonet was well known throughout the vicinity. She was known to be a hard worker in the interest of the family, a kind mother, a good christian, and a woman who loved to do kind and helpful works for others. Her death takes away one of the kind citizens and will be missed throughout the community.

Beside her husband the deceased is survived by the following children: Frank, Henry, Joseph, William, Mrs. William Vanderveet, Agnes and Josephine of Tonet, and the following sisters and brothers, Mrs. Nestor Debeck, Anton and Victor Laurent of Luxemburg; Mrs. Norbert Delcore of the town of Green Bay; Desire Laurent of Bay Settlement; John Laurent of Green Bay; Joe Laurent of Niagara, Wisconsin.

Funeral services were held Thursday morning at ten o'clock from the St. Martin's Catholic church at Tonet. Revered L. A. Dobbelsteen officiated at the last sad rites. Interment took place in the parish cemetery."

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Funeral Card Friday - Edith Dart

Memorial Card - Edith Dart (reverse)
Memorial Card - Edith Dart

Last week I shared the memorial card for Eli Dart. Edith is Eli's wife, but I don't know her maiden name. As I mentioned I'll be pulling their obituaries whenever I get back to Wisconsin to check for a maiden name, but it's not always there. It's always frustrating to a genealogist to see someone listed in an obituary as "Mrs. Insert-Husband's-Full-Name-Here" and then no mention of who she was before she married him. I know it was how things were done, but it was stupid even back then (cue the righteously indignant). I'll stick with that though because people that may have known a woman in her childhood and didn't know who she married would have no idea that it was someone they wanted to pay their respects to when an obituary was posted in the newspaper. So I get that it was the norm for certain periods, but I'm going to exercise my right to grumble about it anyway.

Edith was born on July 10, 1899 and passed away on October 13, 1981 (FindAGrave memorialabout four months before her husband. They weren't separated for long. Rest in peace, Edith.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Thriller Thursday - Granny was a Bootlegger

Giovanna "Jennie" Trunzo nee Ferraro
Prohibition in the United States. It was called "The Noble Experiment" and many prohibitionists believed that banning the manufacture, purchase, and sale of alcohol would lower crime rates and boost the economy, but they found the opposite to be true. Gangsters profited greatly from the manufacture and sale of illegal alcohol. People suffered and died from drinking unsafe and unregulated liquor/spirits. Unemployment spiked as businesses that sold or manufactured alcohol closed. Is it any wonder why granny would bootleg liquor for some cash when it was so profitable for others? Of course granny was more likely than not to be the one to get busted for it. The big guys knew what they were doing.

My mom told me that some of her great-aunts bootlegged during Prohibition, but isn't that a typical family history story? Everyone had a bootlegger in the family. Not much by way of proof generally turns up though. That doesn't mean they weren't bootlegging it just means that we haven't proven it. I'm sure there were plenty of people that were ignoring that particular amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In the case of my step-dad's grandmother though we have proof.

The Indiana Gazette, 10JUN1930, pg 14
"The case of Jennie Trunzo, of Beyer, charged with selling and possessing intoxicating liquor was before the court when court adjourned at 5:45 o'clock and testimony was still being heard when court convened at 9:00 o'clock this morning."

Now I perused a page on Prohibition via History.com and learned a few things I didn't know. I didn't know that this movement had been underway for a very long time. There were states that had prohibition laws in place well before the 18th amendment passed and after the 21st amendment repealed the 18th there were some states that held on to their prohibition laws until the 1960s! I also didn't realize that the law didn't actually ban the consumption of alcohol. That was technically still legal. You just couldn't purchase, sell, or manufacture it.

The first article on granny Jennie (Giovanna Trunzo nee Ferraro) talks of her being in court for her prohibition violation. The second article gave me a chuckle at how light her punishment was. It almost wasn't worth the court's time...

The Indiana Progress, 09JUN1930, pg 1
"Jennie Trunzo, violation of the liquor laws - sentence suspended on payment of the costs."

Granny didn't get much punishment for her crime. The dates are correct on them both. Note that they are from different publications but the one that shows her punishment was printed a day prior to the newspaper that reported on her merely being in court. I guess it took the Gazette a bit to get that small story together.

Did everyone get off so easily? The other crimes listed on that page of the Progress showed assaults, destruction of property, and another liquor law violation. Jennie got off easily...no jail time. The others got time in the county jail ranging from 60 days to 6 months (three months for the other liquor violation). Why the difference in sentencing? Was it simply because she was a woman? Were there no facilities in the county jail for a woman? Did they take pity on her because her husband was no longer in America and she was taking care of her family alone? All of their children were grown, but I know that my step-dad would be living with her before the end of that decade. Whatever the reason what these liquor laws did was turn people that would have normally been law-abiding citizens into criminals.

Leader-Times, Kittanning, PA
09OCT1964, pg 17
What was the result on Granny Jennie's reputation? I doubt she was looked on as much of a hardened, dangerous criminal. She was buried on church grounds in St. Bernard's Cemetery and had more than one priest assisting in her burial mass. Not exactly a hushed up ceremony either. Good for granny though. She did what she had to do. I've posted her obituary previously, but I thought I'd share her funeral notice and FindAGrave memorial along with her court appearances.

"TRUNZO - Solemn requiem high mass for Mrs. Jennie Trunzo, Sagamore, who died Wednesday (Oct. 7, 1964) in Armstrong County Memorial Hospital will be intoned at 10 a.m. Monday by the rev. Carl P. Milano in Sacred Heart RC Church, Saxonburg. He will be assisted by the Rev. John Kavanaugh and the Rev. Nicholas Mitolo. Burial will follow in St. Bernard Cemetery, Indiana.* Friends are being received from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the Bowser Funeral home, Plumville."

*Indiana referring to Indiana town/city in Indiana county in Pennsylvania...not Indiana.