Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Sarah Jane Lee nee McConnell

The Pittsburgh Daily Post, 12MAR1902, pg 5
I'm continuing on with my Lee family posts. I've got a number of them in the works and hope that by preparing and sharing them I'll find that piece that links them in my tree. Even if I don't find it now I'm sure it will present itself at some point.

"LEE - On Monday, March 10, 1902, at 4:20 p.  m., Sarah Jane Lee (née McConnell), wife of Thomas Lee, in her 70th year.

Funeral from her late residence, 42 Melrose avenue, Allegheny, on Thursday morning at 8:30 o'clock. Requiem high mass at Church of the Annunciation at 9 o'clock. Friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend."

The Pittsburgh Daily Post, 11Mar1902, pg 3
"Mrs. Sarah Lee

Mrs. Sarah Lee, 73 years old, died yesterday at her home, 73 Melrose avenue, Allegheny. For some time she had been troubled with slight ills, owing to her advanced age, but was not taken seriously ill with pneumonia until Thursday. Mrs. Lee was born in Blair county, near Altoona, and came here about 50 years ago with her parents, settling in Allegheny at the time. She was soon married to Thomas Lee, who survives her besides five children."

Her obituary starts out pretty well, but then it fizzes out. We start to get a lot of information about her early life (although the names of her parents would be nice) and then she's married and has five kids. End of obit. It's like it was hurried. I know her surviving children are Frank, Edward, and Carrie Lee, Gertrude Menges, and Grace Laughlin. I know that Charles isn't mentioned here either but was in the 1880 census and then dropped off the planet. I'm assuming he died, but I haven't found anything to confirm that yet.

Another thing I noticed about the obituary is that it says she was 73 when the death notice says 70 (and her tombstone confirms 70) and it has 73 for her address when the death notice has 42 (and if memory serves me correctly this was the number in her hubby's obit too). It really adds to the sloppiness of the obituary, but I won't complain too much. I'm glad to have one at all!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wedding Wednesday - David Menges and Gertrude Lee Get Hitched

The Pittsburgh Dispatch, 20SEP1891, pg 12
Well if I ever figure out where to place the Pittsburgh Lees in my family tree I'll have wedding information for David and Gertrude!

"Thrown wide open were the portals of St. Peter's Pro-Cathedral, Allegheny, last Tuesday evening to admit Mr. David Menges and Miss Gertrude Lee, who had decided to enter the matrimonial state. The bride was attended by Miss Annie Walsh, while Mr. Charles Lee, a brother of the bride, acted as best man. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. F. F. O'Shea. A reception was held at the residence of the bride's parents."

Talk about an embellishment of an article! No mention of the groom's parents or siblings nor of the bride's (at least not by name), but the article will give me a wedding date and place...and something else.

There's mention of Gertrude's brother, Charles. Charles wasn't mentioned in her obituary. A good assumption is that he passed away before she did, but he could have been left out in error or due to an unknown family conflict. It does give me another sibling to look for though.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Thomas and Sarah Jane Lee nee McConnell

Photo taken by Bill Bodkin and added to FindAGrave by Liz Freeman.
When you've got ancestors with a surname like Lee you don't hold much hope for easy discoveries. You generally get too many results. I've been lucky recently because between the Pennsylvania death certificates going online and subscribing to I was able to narrow down my search parameters enough to find the death certificates and obituaries for Thomas (past post) and Sarah Jane (future post). In those gems I saw that they were buried in Calvary Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA. I was not only surprised to find there were memorials for both of them in the cemetery on FindAGrave, but there was a photo for their tombstones.

I was so happy when the memorials were transferred to me for care by Liz Freeman. She really made my day with that. As for the photo credit, Liz was helping Bill Bodkin to get his tombstone photos on FindAGrave and hasn't been able to get in touch with him for awhile. So I thank and credit Bill with this photo and Liz with her help getting it on FindAGrave and I hope that despite his email silence that all is well. Both of their efforts have helped this researcher with a very difficult line in her family tree.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Medical Monday - Hubert Brown

Cause of Death - Hubert Brown
In a previous Pennsylvania Death Certificate Appreciate Society Wednesday's Child post I talked about Alice Brown, a child of Thomas and Mary Brown nee Barrett, that I was able to neatly place into a fabled male-twin slot in my family tree. I also mentioned that when finding her death certificate online I also found another for a child my family knew nothing about and how he died. This is his story.

Thomas and Mary had six known children: Marian, Thomas Jr, Edward, Walter, Alice, and Hubert. Alice and Hubert were my newest discoveries. Hubert was born on November 10th 1915 and died on November 29th living only 19 days. His cause of death was listed as "enteritis and diarrhea." Gastro-enteritis causes diarrhea which can lead to severe dehydration, malnutrition, and death. How did this little guy get gastro-enteritis?

I found a book/journal excerpt on gastro-enteritis in infants (which works out well since those were the words I searched on Google) and I was pretty horrified at what I began reading. Written about 50 years ago the author of the piece chalked up infants getting this sickness to living in impoverished, filthy conditions. I've got to say that I got the impression that the author looked negatively upon those that had infants suffer and die from this. Did he say that? No, but reading "...In areas where poverty, poor housing, and malnutrition still go hand in hand with ignorance this scourge continues..." doesn't make you feel that he thinks much of the poorest of families. Regardless, it made me wonder what conditions my ancestors were living in. My great grandfather worked in the mines which wasn't the cleanest job in the world, but my great grandmother was a teacher. Hardly ignorant. My mother has nothing but good memories of her grandfather and the time she spent with him. All of the children that survived to adulthood earned bachelor degrees or higher (although I'm told my great grandfather didn't believe in women attending college, my great aunt Marian did anyway and excelled). Not exactly an ignorant family. So how did this infant come down with gastro-enteritis?

As I continued reading this excerpt something caught my eye. The word "giardia". It might not mean much to many reading this, but when I was growing up in Hazleton we would get boil advisories for giardiasis in the water. It was always a pain to have to boil our water before using it. Those advisories were during the 70s and 80s. I've moved away so I don't know if they still deal with these pesky protozoans, but I can imagine they do from time to time throughout the region. So if we were dealing with them when I was a child and the article mentions them is it possible that this was what may have caused the gastro-enteritis in Hubert? Giving water to babies wasn't unheard of. It still happens even with breastfeeding mums. We all know that formula is mixed with water, but when my boys were born (the youngest is nine years old) I had to specifically say to not give them water between breastfeedings. It wasn't because of any fear of water-borne infection, but because I didn't want anything interfering with my milk coming in. So if water is still sometimes given to infants it's certainly possible that it could have been given to one 100 years ago causing an infection. Giardia could have laid the whole family up with severe diarrhea and enteritis. When these things happen in infants they can be deadly while someone older and healthier could recover.

I won't ever truly know how Hubert got sick, but I do feel for his parents. They lost Alice in January of 1914 and then another child in November the following year. Alice and Hubert were their last children and both died. They had to have been devastated. Like Alice and most of her family, Hubert was buried in St. Gabriel's Cemetery in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. I haven't been able to find a marker for him yet and I don't know if one exists, but I created a memorial for him on FindAGrave. Rest in peace, Hubert.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wednesday's Child - Alice Brown

Excerpt of Alice Brown's Death Certificate
Thank goodness for the Pennsylvania Death Certificates being online! I was able to discover that my great grandparents, Thomas and Mary Brown nee Barrett, had two children that I didn't know about previously. Today's post is about one of them.

I came across Alice Brown's death certificate accidentally. I was actually searching for Barretts who died in the Hazleton, PA vicinity and she popped up because her mom's maiden name was Barrett. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. We never knew about her. My mother's middle name (and the name she goes by) is Alice, but we have several Alices in the family tree that she could have been named for. This discovery added another possibility and was certainly interesting news to my mom.

We were surprised that she was never mentioned especially since my grandfather (her brother) would have been about 5 when she died. He would have remembered her. What was more surprising was that she was a twin.

We knew that Walter Brown (another child of Thomas and Mary Brown nee Barrett) had a twin that died and everyone believed the child had been stillborn...and was male. Well as it happens I was updating great uncle Walter's information on his FindAGrave memorial right before beginning this post and had just put in his birthdate of February 3rd 1911 when I looked at Alice's death certificate and saw that was her birthdate as well. She was the twin of family legend.

Alice died of pneumonia on January 16th 1914 at 4 a.m. and was buried in St. Gabriel's Cemetery. There is no known tombstone for her although I did create a memorial for her on FindAGrave. This little great aunt...was always remembered because of her twin and we remembered her without a name and as the wrong gender. Now we can remember her properly and someday maybe I can discover where in Saint Gabriel's cemetery she is buried.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mystery Monday - Figuring Out my Lees

I previously posted the obituary for Gertrude Menges nee Lee. I said that I knew she had to be a relation...a cousin...because the clipping was in a family scrapbook. Not the strongest way to make a connection, but I was able to discover more on when I searched the Hazleton papers for Quirk and Lee.

The Plain Speaker, 05SEP1903, pg 6
 "Miss Lee, of Pittsburg, is visiting the Quirk family at Jeanesville. Miss Lee has been spending her vacation at Atlantic City."

So I know that one of the Lees, Grace or Carrie, were visiting my relatives. Edward Lee was still alive at this point as well and living with the William Quirk family in Jeanesville. Although I'm sure her main purpose was to have fun with the girls! I did find it amusing that the Hazleton paper also mentioned that she had been vacationing in Atlantic City. I don't know that would have been relevant to anyone reading it, but it does make the blurb a bit longer.

The Plain Speaker, 02OCT1903, pg 6
"Miss Carrie Lee, of Pittsburg, and Miss Katherine Quirk, of Jeanesville, are the guests of friends at Harwood."

Another short and sweet clipping, but I know that Carrie Lee and one of my Quirk relations are visiting someone together. Harwood wasn't really that far away so I'm not sure why this was in the paper. My great grandfather lived in Jeanesville and worked in the Harwood mines so they were close. I'm guessing it made the news because of Carrie Lee being out from Pittsburgh and they included Katherine. Either way it helps me to firm up that connection.

Something else I was curious about after seeing this clipping was that the date was barely a month after the previous. Was Carrie the person visiting in the first clipping and it was just a rather long visit or was is a separate visit? It doesn't matter too much but I was surprised at not even a month passing between the two.

The Plain Speaker, 18SEP1903, pg 6
"The following Jeanesville young people at a party held in Jeanesville last night had their photographs taken by Photographer Heiser, of Hazleton: James Collier, Philip Coll, John Dougherty, Robert Brennan James Martin, Jetta Coll, Katie, Ella, Bessie and Mary Quirk, Katie and Margaret Brennan and Anna Martin and Carrie Lee, of Pittsburgh."

Another page six clipping from The Plain Speaker! I'm beginning to think that this was one long visit by Carrie Lee. I don't know who Anna Martin is though. Perhaps Carrie was vacationing with a friend. I mean a vacation alone isn't all that fun and she was in Atlantic City during this trip. Staying with the Quirks that long or visiting that frequently if it wasn't a long stay does help solidify a connection. It doesn't tell me where to place them in my tree, but it does reinforce that they belong...somewhere.

Give me time. I'll figure out where!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Thomas Lee

Pittsburgh Daily Post, 26APR1906, pg 12
Last Sunday I shared an obituary for Gertrude Menges nee Lee. In that post I also shared the discovery of her parents' names. As I'm trying to discover the connection between the Lees of Pittsburgh and my Lees of Jeanesville, Pennsylvania I figured tackling her father, Thomas, this week would be a great way to continue.

Searching on for "Thomas Lee" and narrowing it down to Pennsylvania and the Pittsburgh papers I was able to quickly find a death/funeral notice as well as an obituary.

"LEE - On Wednesday, April 25, 1906, at 5:30 a. m. at the family residence, 42 Melrose avenue, Allegheny, Thomas Lee, in his 78th year.

Funeral on Friday morning at 8:30 o'clock. Solemn high mass of requiem at the Church of the Annunciation, Charles street, at 9 a. m.  Friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend."

Short and sweet and it gives me his death and burial dates and locations to add to my tree...when I can add him to my tree. The death notice was nice, but the obituary was better.

Pittsburgh Daily Post, 27APR1906, pg 4
"Thomas Lee, 78 years old, of Allegheny, is dead at the family residence, 42 Melrose avenue, after a short illness of pneumonia. Mr. Lee was born in the parish of Drumgool, County Cavan, Ireland, and came to Allegheny in 1844, where he had since resided. He was married to Miss Sarah Jane McConnell, who died several years ago. Mr. Lee was a charter member of the Church of the Annunciation, Charles street, Allegheny, and a member of St. Vincent De Paul society, and also of the society's church committee.

He is survived by two sons, Frank and Edward Lee, and three daughters, Miss Carrie, at home; Mrs. James Laughlin, of Washington, D. C., and Mrs. David Mangis (sic). The funeral will be held this morning at 8:30 o'clock. High mass of requiem will be celebrated at the church of the Annunciation, and interment will be made in Calvary cemetery."

The obituary was broken into two columns in the newspaper so I had to merge them together to look all pretty. Some things of note in the obituary was that Thomas and Sarah's son, Charles, is missing. He was in the 1880 census, born between Edward and Gertrude. He also was the best man at Gertrude's wedding to David Menges (that's in a future post). I'm assuming he died before his dad, but I haven't been able to find any obituary yet. There could be other reasons for him to not be mentioned, but death is the most obvious.

Thomas Lee's death certificate
I didn't know that Grace Laughlin and her family were in Washington D.C. This obituary will make it a little easier to try to find them in census records. I don't know if they stayed there or not, but it is a starting point. Also from this obituary I get a better maiden name for Sarah than I did from Gertrude's death certificate. "McCorel" just didn't look right and now I know it was McConnell. I have a possible year of emigration as 1844, but in the 1900 census he lists 1846 which I'm more inclined to believe because my Edward Lee listed 1846 as well. It's not confirmation, but it's one heck of a coincidence!

That last glorious tidbit..."parish of Drumgool, County Cavan, Ireland" is enough to really excite me. My mother had mentioned that she thought some of her Irish ancestors were from County Cavan, but couldn't remember which ones. If this Thomas and Edward Lee are related (and right now I'm thinking brothers) then Edward was from the same place. Now that parrish records for Ireland are going online I may be able to find them. Edward's death certificate listed his parents as "unknown" so I'll have to try to find other records to connect them as brothers.

On Thomas' death certificate I see his parents listed as Michial (sic) Lee and Catherine Brody. Those names aren't familiar to me, but hopefully I'll come across them again in the future as I try to figure this out!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Wednesday's Child - Ann Brown

Ann Brown is buried with her grandparents in St. Gabriel's Cemetery, Hazleton, PA

My mother, aunt, and uncle knew that they had a sibling named Ann who died in 1950 and was buried with their grandparents, Edward and Alice Quirk nee Blanchfield. Still seeing the details in a death certificate can also make you realize just how lucky the mother was to have survived the birth. A premature breech delivery isn't optimal even today and Mary's mother died shortly after childbirth so I'm sure that was a concern. In fact my mother tells me this Mary (her mother) was obsessively worried about childbirth. When my mother had her first child they deliberately didn't let her mom know she was in labor so she didn't freak out.

You can see that Ann was not stillborn. She was born on November 20th, 1950 and lived for 2-1/2 hours. It had to have been heart-breaking. How could it not be?

Ann Brown, child of Edward and Mary Brown nee Quirk

I can't make out all the details in the cause of death, but I'm curious. If anyone else can make it out or even has an idea, please comment below. This is all I can make out and some may very well be wrong:

"Premature (8 mos) breech - (unknown) - spontaneous pressure on chord - utra uterine (unknown) to (unknown) resperatory (sic) movements no bronchial obstruction"

Ann Brown - Cause of death

It's always heart-breaking when a little life is cut short. I take today to remember my Aunt Ann. She will never be forgotten by our family.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - I Danced on My Ancestor's Grave

Thank you for adding your copyright to MY photo BillionGraves!
But it was all in the name of genealogy! I swear they would have approved! The dancing was unintentional. I've been stomping on the grave of Edward and Susan Lee nee Philips for years without results...I guess that doesn't sound much better.

OK. Take a look at the photo to your left. Ignore the BillionGraves copyright at the bottom right because that is MY DAMN PHOTO they copyrighted and I'll use it when and where I like! Grrrrr. Oops...sorry...back to my point. So you can clearly see the birth and death years for Edward. For Susan you can only see that she was born in 1821. The death year isn't particularly visible in the photo, but it's there and it says 1883.

This tombstone and those of my ancestors neighboring it are being eaten by the earth. Hazleton was a coal mining community back in it's heyday, but this isn't due to a subsidence. This is due to ants and lots of them! There is apparently one heck of an ant mound (or multiple mounds) right there and it has made the ground too soft for this heavy tombstone. In past years I've visited and tried pressing down the earth (ahem...stomping) with my foot to no avail. This summer my mom and I went out prepared.

I don't know why I hadn't thought of bringing a small shovel with me before. Perhaps I didn't want to look like a grave robber, but this was a hand shovel so there was no chance of anyone thinking that. This time we brought one and gloves. So I went in for what needed to be a quick operation, but there's no such thing as quick when you trod on an ant mound. That's where the dancing came in. I'd lean in and dig at some of the grass and dirt and then I'd be dancing and stomping around making sure that the ants never made it farther up my legs than my sneakers. It took a few tries, but I managed it. I snapped the photo after and made note of the year in case the photo didn't turn out well. I'm delighted I did since it didn't. I'm sure I looked quite odd to the few people in the cemetery that day, but I was finally able to get a year for Susan's death and that made it all worthwhile. Now if the tombstone sinks more or disappears entirely the picture and information will be preserved on BillionGraves, FindAGrave, in my family tree, and on my blog. Susan and Edward would approve!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Medical Monday - William Barrett's Cause of Death

William Barrett's Death Certificate
William Barrett died at the age of 36 and left behind his wife, Carrie Barrett nee Bittenbender, and three little children: Marie, William Jr, and Thomas.

The first thing that came to mind when I saw "regurgitation" was that he drank too much and vomited in his sleep. I never realized that regurgitation could be associated with the heart. Vomiting was all that I thought of. The contributory cause "ordema (sic) of lungs" seems to me like it should be edema which is fluid in the lungs.

I searched ordema of lungs just in case and Google promptly guided me to edema. That doesn't make it right, but I then decided to type in "regurgitation with edema of lungs secondary cause of death" and I got a top hit of "Mitral regurgitation." Mitral certainly looks like the first word under the cause of death here. So his mitral heart valve wasn't working properly for three months causing blood to leak back into the heart thus causing it to work harder. From what I've read on pulmonary edema it seems that it can be brought on by heart problems so the connection isn't surprising. Small leaks caused by the mitral valve not working properly aren't supposed to be a problem, but larger ones are and will weaken the heart resulting in heart failure if not treated. From the website I was reading it seems that aside from monitoring a person's condition treatment involved to repair or replace the mitral valve. Just a guess, but I don't really think that was much of an option in 1915.

As I've mentioned before with these medical posts, I'm no doctor so it's difficult for me to make even an educated guess as to what happened, but it would have been nice to know what caused the heart problem to begin with. He was being treated for it for just over three months but did he have it for much longer and it was just diagnosed late? Possible, but that's terrible luck to live with something for 36 years only to die from it right after diagnosis. A heart attack, calcium build-up, and infections such as rheumatic fever could have weakened the heart and caused the problem with the mitral valve. This certainly seems more feasible and could account for the death a few months down the road. What bothers me is that no infection or previous heart issue was listed as a contributory cause of death. To me it certainly would have been, but I don't know what they knew about the heart in 1915.

I know there is little point in wondering why the mitral issues occurred. It occurred and no amount of wondering changes that. It's cases like these when someone was taken at such a young age that I want to know why. Why did it happen and force him to leave behind three children under 5 years of age? I can't change those things, but I do tend to obsess over them and my heart always goes out to the family.

William Barrett was my 2nd great uncle. He was the son of Patrick and Bridget Barrett nee Farley. He was born on June 4th 1878 and baptized in St. Gabriel's Roman Catholic Church. He was 36 when he died as confirmed by the 1880 census and his baptismal record, not 33 as the death certificate states (without a date of birth listed). Tragedy would strike again in another 10 years.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Gertrude Menges nee Lee

The other night I started trying to unravel the mystery that is my Lee ancestors. Edward and Susan Lee nee Philips and their daughter Mary Quirk nee Lee are the only Lee ancestors in my tree. One newspaper clipping stuck in an old family album (dubbed "The Quirk Album") made me realize that there were other Lees from that family in the U.S.

Clipping from a family scrapbook
"Mrs. David Menges

Mrs. Gertrude A. Menges, aged 42, wife of David Menges of the Philadelphia company, is dead in he (sic) home, at 2701 Leland avenue, North Side. She was one of the oldest members of the Ladies' Catholic Beneficial association, No. 590, of the North Side and was a member of the Annunciation Roman Catholic church. She leaves her husband and five children, Lee, Vera, Hazel, Edward and Estella Menges; two brothers, Frank Lee, special police officer at Allegheny police station and Edward Lee, general manager of the Lutz & Schramm company, and two sisters, Carrie Lee, and Mrs. Grace Laughlin, all of the North Side."

The first time I saw this clipping in the album I got excited and thought that Edward Lee and my Edward Lee were one and the same. There was no date on the clipping so I figured it was possible. What can I say? I was new to genealogy when I made that deduction and was far too excited at the possible connection. My Lees were in eastern Pennsylvania, not Allegheny county. This was not my Edward.

That didn't dash all of my hopes though because the clipping was in my family scrapbook so it meant something to my Lee/Quirk ancestors. There were only a few news clippings glued into that scrapbook of photos so this being saved meant that it had to be a relation. Not a direct line, but a cousin.

Thanks to I was able to find an article that was 99% identical to the clipping I have. So now I know the date of publication. Mine would have been the same date or within a day or two.

Pittsburgh Daily Post, 01OCT1912, pg 2
There's some great information in this obituary. It may be short and sweet and not mention her parents names, but I've got her siblings and children. I can tell you that if you search for Frank Lee in the Pittsburgh newspapers on you'll find so many articles related to his service as a police officer. Not genealogically relevant, but quite interesting.

Knowing this was published in 1912 tells me that I should be looking in the Pennsylvania Death Certificates for her death record. Maybe her parents will be listed and maybe something will be familiar.

I did just that and easily found her, although there was nothing familiar in the information on there.

Parents of Gertrude Menges nee Lee
Thomas Lee and Sarah McCorel don't mean anything to me, but perhaps they will someday and it's great to have the information. I've got her date of birth now as well as her date of death. So I'll be doing some searching on Thomas and Sarah to see if any connection can be found. If it can't, well I'll keep digging.

Gertrude's death certificate lists her place of burial as N.S. Cath. Cem. I searched FindAGrave for all cemeteries in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania and there was one possible match...Christ Our Redeemer Catholic Cemetery. Why is this a match? Well it was also known as Northside Catholic Cemetery which would explain the "N.S. Cath. Cem." on her certificate and we know from the obituary that she lived on the Northside. There is no memorial for her there on FindAGrave at the time I'm writing this post, but I'll be contacting the cemetery and seeing if she is in there. I might as well ask for her hubby while I'm at it for a matching set. You can be sure that as soon as I get a positive response I'll be creating that memorial and requesting a photo of the tombstone!

So, Gertrude, you and your family are being difficult to place, but I know you belong there somewhere. I'll figure it out. Who knows...maybe some of the Lee descendants from the Pittsburgh area will find this post and be able to help me out!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Robert and Ethel Turnbach

Robert Turnbach was the third of nine known children of Abraham and Mary Turnbach nee Blanchfield. He is also my first cousin twice removed. I had gotten most of my information on my Turnbach cousins from Bill Turnbach Jr., but as I continue to work through my family tree and add citations and fix errors I  also know that I need to add other sources to the family tree he gave me. I'm sure the information he gave me was correct, but good research is more than just taking what you're given. In doing just that I came across the FindAGrave memorials for Robert and Ethel Turnbach nee McQuilken in Greenwood Cemetery in Allentown. There's also a memorial for Robert in Grandview Cemetery in Allentown....and, yes, it's the same Robert Turnbach (no memorial for Ethel in Grandview, but that doesn't mean she's not buried there).

I didn't find this second memorial immediately. I found it quite accidentally. I was continuing my research on Robert and Ethel on Ancestry and checked out the Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards since I knew from Robert's obituary and his tombstone that he served in World War II. That record states that he's buried in Grandview.

So what do I do now? Where is he really buried? Obviously he was supposed to be buried in Grandview, but did that change? Could the memorial have been created accidentally in the wrong cemetery and the pictures placed in there? The cemetery names are similar enough that a mistake could have easily been made, but where? The best thing for me to do is to try to contact Grandview and see if Robert is buried there and if Ethel is with him. Since Ethel doesn't have a memorial in Grandview I'll wait until I get confirmation for where they are before creating one for her.

Either way I'm taking today to remember Robert and Ethel. Separated from each other too soon, but reunited again. Rest in peace.

*A very special thank you to Chuck Schubert for kind permission to post his photos of the Turnbach tombstones on my blog.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Mystery Monday - Died on Voyage

I've mentioned before that I've been working hard during the periods when I'm not in school to get through my family tree and attempt to cite and/or correct the information in there. I was rather sloppy in citing my research when I first started this addiction called genealogy about 15 years ago. While I know I'm not the only one that starts out this way it can be very frustrating when trying to clean that mess up.

So I was reviewing a post on Eugene Villers' tombstone and I included the names of his children in that post. I actually have dates of birth of each of those five children...with no citation for where I got that information. If I only had a time machine I could go back and give my younger self a piece of my mind. I have no idea where I got these dates. None. I can't recreate any search that would give me the information on Ancestry and I know that's where I would have gotten it. I did find the passenger list on the Trumbull in 1856 and it listed most everyone I had in my family tree. It did, however raise a few questions that I hope someone can help me answer.

Trumbull passenger list - Departed Antwerp, Belgium. Arrived New York, New York 22APR1856

You can see where the Eugene Villers family begins at line 113. His wife's name looks something like "Felix" but I'm actually not hung up on that. I've seen other passenger lists from Belgium where the mother's name was given as her maiden name and one where every child had it's mother's maiden name next to it. I'm not concentrating on that today though. I see Martin on line 115 and then two Maries/Marias (apparently twins and they did have different middle names), but no son for Eugene...named I have in my tree.

Now if you look closely squeezed in between line 119 and 120 is another Eugene Villers. At the end of the row for the person above him it says "died on the voyage." My mystery is did they squeeze this other Eugene Villers in there because they missed him by his parents? According to the unsourced information I have Eugene was born on January 19th, 1855 so he would have been an infant on the trip from Belgium. So if they were squeezing him in there and not by his parents was it because he too died on the voyage?

According to the manifest the Villers family's destination was Wisconsin, but so far I haven't been able to find them in the 1860 census. I'm certainly going to keep looking, but so far...nada. In the 1870 census this Eugene wasn't listed with his mom and dad and he would have been around 15. Mom and dad both died in the 1880s and so far the only obituary I could find for daddy-Eugene was a blurb saying he died. Only about two sentences long. I'm not hopeful about finding any other detailed obituary, but miracles do happen.

The other thing about this passenger list is that Pierre Louis Villers is missing. The unsourced information I have has his DOB being November 1853. Could Louis and Eugene be one and the same person? I'm thinking they could be especially since I did such a bang-up job in failing to cite my sources. Louis is in the other census records and they were close in age. Someone could have mistaken them for two different people...or they could have been two different people (sigh).

Either way, little-Eugene seems to have disappeared after the voyage and Louis appears. If this Eugene did die on the ship were death certificates created? If they where would they be found? Eugene (jr) isn't a direct ancestor for my husband and children, but it's still a mystery and researching lateral lines can lead to important breakthroughs...and my OCD side doesn't like a mystery. What do you think?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Alice Quirk nee Blanchfield

Another casualty of either my 43-year-old-going-on-103-year-old-brain, disorganization in tracking my posts, crappy blog-search skills, or a combination of all three. Take your pick. Either way it's time to share and if it turns out that it was previously shared, well then I'll just conclude with she's that darned important.

Hazleton area news clipping from a family album
"Laid to Rest.

Many sorrowing friends assembled for the funeral of the late Mrs. Edward Quirk, of Park View, whose remains were laid to rest in St. Gabriel's cemetery, Hazleton, this morning. The funeral was attended by residents from the entire region, and was evidence of the esteem in which the deceased was held. The cortege moved to McAdoo, where a rquiem (sic) mass was offered up in St. Patrick's church, after which the funeral proceeded to Hazleton by trolley.

Handwritten: Died Sept 23, 1915 buried Sept. 27."

I was surprised that the mass was held at St. Patrick's in McAdoo and not St. Gabriel's in Hazleton, but I'm told that McAdoo would have been closer to Park View where they lived. Perhaps this was where they attended mass regularly. It does make me wonder if my grandmother, Mary Quirk, was baptized in St. Patrick's or St. Gabriel's. I'm pleased they didn't bury her in St. Patrick's Cemetery though because it's now closed off and many tombstones have gone missing including one for another Quirk family member. Perhaps the cemetery was closed to burials by 1915. Either way I'm just happy that I can still visit her grave in Saint Gabriel's when I'm in Pennsylvania.

It is disappointing that Alice's first name or maiden name wasn't mentioned in the article. Perhaps it was in her obituary. As I've previously mentioned in blog posts 1915 microfilm for the Hazleton newspapers is MIA from the Hazleton Public Library and so far not on I know that the Pennsylvania Archives and the Standard Speaker itself has rolls that are not included in the library's collection. I will have to check to see if September 1915 is held by the archives and check for an earlier article.

Alice died from complications from the birth of her second daughter, compounded with hemophilia as a preexisting condition. I can only imagine that having been diagnosed with hemophilia for 20 years that childbirth was not looked upon as exactly good for her health. I know that her family wasn't happy with Edward after her death. Even blamed him for it. Things aren't fair when emotions run high, but I have no doubt he was heart-broken over her loss and the child's. My grandmother was doted on and spoiled by her aunts, uncles, and father. This shows me how much love there was.

Rest in peace, great grandma. You will always be remembered and you live on in us.