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!