23 April 2014

English High Tea Set for Historic Preservation Trust Courtyard

The courtyard at the Historic Preservation Trust headquarters at 123 North Prince Street will be the setting for an English High Tea on Saturday, 10 May from noon to 4 p. m.

“The courtyard at the Preservation Trust is a beautiful venue and quite appropriate for a tea in the tradition of European teas,” said Donna Lussier, owner of La Petite Patisserie and hostess for the event. “Proceeds from the tea will benefit the Preservation Trust’s countywide initiatives to identify and protect homes, barns, bridges, mills and other structures that are historically significant.”

According one account, Anna Maria Stanhope (1783-1857), a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria and known as the Duchess of Bedford, is credited as the creator of afternoon teatime. Because the noon meal had become skimpier, the Duchess suffered from "a sinking feeling" at about four o'clock in the afternoon. At first the Duchess had her servants sneak her a pot of tea and a few breadstuffs. Adopting the European tea service format, she invited friends to join her for an additional afternoon meal. The menu centered around small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets, and tea. This summer practice proved so popular, the Duchess continued it when she returned to London, sending cards to her friends asking them to join her for "tea and a walking the fields." The practice of inviting friends to come for tea in the afternoon was quickly picked up by other social hostesses.

The tea will feature a variety of teas, scones with lemon curd & crème frache. chilled strawberry soup with chocolate Balsamic drizzle, asparagus crostini, fresh baked Parmesan cracker with Basil cream cheese, ham & cheese en croute, spinach soufflé, turkey & presto pinwheels, French macarons, lelmon tea cake, Miesse chocolate, mini éclairs with orange pastry cream and raspberry and almond cheesecake petit four.

The cost is $35 per person. Reservations are required by calling 717-424-1631.

About the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County
Founded in 1966 to “stem the rapid destruction of historic properties in Lancaster County,” the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County’s mission is to encourage and facilitate historic preservation countywide. The trust has been directly involved in preserving important Lancaster County landmarks and has provided advice, assistance and guidance in the protection of others. The trust is a member-supported, 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in the historic Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House (1787) at 123 North Prince Street in downtown Lancaster. Visit www.hptrust.org for additional information.

The above article is a press release from the Historic Preservation Trust in its entirety.

Historic Preservation Trust

22 April 2014

DNA proves Eastern European Heritage

My niece (my husband's niece to be more specific) got me the Ancestry DNA kit and I finally got back the results. Big surprise here ... wait for it ... I am 100% of European descent! Like I couldn't figure that out, right? But what I did find interesting is the breakdown of each ethnic background.

I am from - according to the results - 35% Eastern Europe, 29% Great Britain, 17% Ireland, and 14% Scandinavia. Trace regions showed also 3% Western Europe (which includes Germany), 1% Italy/Greece, and les than 1 % (so literally a trace) of European Jewish.

The Eastern Europe did not surprise me at all figuring I am after all half Daddy and half mom and Daddy is all Slavic. It would have been interesting if the DNA test could actually distinguish between Polish and Ukrainian and Russian blood for example.

Great Britain is primarily considered England, Scotland and Wales. It did surprise me that the number was higher than my Irish. Although Ireland here is defined as Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Mom's mother was 100% Irish and mom's paternal grandmother was from Ireland so I sort of expected that number to be a tad higher.

Scandinavia is considered Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

The results also show what one is not. So, for example I have zero percent African or Native American in me. The latter is good to know especially when I test the hubby. His family believes they are Native American but I can not document such information. The person in question always shows up as white and shows as being born in New York. So, if the hubby or kids test as having Native American blood, then that will finally be answered ... I think I know what I want for Mother's Day! As for my DNA, I am still reviewing the information and the potential contacts.

Thank you, Michele, for the kit!

Tombstone Tuesday: Johnny Zomolski

Johnny A. Zomolski
27 February 1942
5 July 1955
An angel visited the green earth
and took a flower away.
buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery
Valley Township, Chester County, PA

18 April 2014

Pennsylvania death certificates are available online

Pennsylvania State death certificates are available online now through Ancestry.com.  The range available is 1906-1924. I lost half my morning already when I saw these were available!

I was surprised how few people I have who passed between these years but I did find some. Some admittedly I already had the hard copies. Some were like ... "wow!"

The death cert here at right for example is that of Martha Durkin O'Flaherty - my great-great grandmother. When I first got her certificate (it was one of the first I had actually ordered) I was so excited ... and so in despair! Her mom was a Murphy! A Murphy in Ireland ... that should be easy to find, right?

Martha Durkin and Dennis O'Flaherty had eight children. One of whom was Hugh O'Flaherty. Hugh married Katherine Dee and they had six children ... and now - thanks to this database - I have all but one of their names! Five of the six passed between 1906 and 1913, the oldest of whom was 9 years old at the time of death. One son, Dennis O'Flaherty, lived for 65 years and mom was close with those cousins growing up.

I can't wait to get some free time ... Monday maybe! ... to search the hubby's family. I typed in "Eckman" born in "Lancaster County, PA" and got over 2,500 results. And yes, I will be going through each one! Did so earlier with mom's Still line and had a surprise there as well.

I found a death certificate for a John S Still who died 6 May 1910. I have a John S Still who died on 7 May 1910. My John was 77 when he died, having been born in 1832. This John is 78 although his birth info is not known. My John was married to Edith Naylor but I do not know when she died. This John here is a widower. Sounds great, right?

Not my John. My John is buried at the Hephzibah Baptist Cemetery. This John is buried at Doe Run Presbyterian Cemetery - which incidentally is where a branch of my Stills are buried. The major difference/surprise though is ... this John is "colored". This opens up so many questions and a something to research for a future Mystery Monday!

If you have Ancestry.com, go to http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=5164.


17 April 2014

Today is Ellis Island Family History Day

Historically, 17 April marks the day in 1907 when more immigrants were processed through Ellis Island than on any other day -- 11,747 people. Today, more than 40% of US citizens -- 100 million Americans – can trace their roots back to the 17 million brave and hopeful immigrants who took their first steps towards freedom and opportunity by going through the “Golden Door” of Ellis Island.
Ellis Island Family History Day was first celebrated on April 17, 2001 to commemorate the opening of the American Family Immigration History Center® at Ellis Island and its companion website: www.ellisisland.org.

Like many Americans, I can trace some of my immigrants as coming through Ellis Island.

My great grandfather Panko Hruszczak came into Ellis Island on 20 April 1911 by himself at the age of 18. He came over on the S.S. Volturno (seen here) from Rotterdam, Holland. He had listed his ethnicity as Austria, Ruthenian. On his shop manifest he lists that he is coming to Coatesville PA where his uncle Onifer Romanko will receive him. The manifest also reveals that he left behind his father - Ted Hruszczak - in Austria.

My great grandmother (and Panko's wife come 1915) Bessie Matys came through Ellis Island on 28 October 1912, also by herself and at the age of 18. She listed her ethnicity as Ruthenian-Austrian. She lists that her brother, Frank Matys, would receive her in Coatesville, and that she left behind her father, Joseph Matys, in Austria. Frank and his wife and eldest daughter all did come through Ellis Island as well.

They were my paternal grandfather's parents (that is Gigi's parents). I have not found Baba's mother yet. Her name is Frances Skrabalek. Baba's father, John Kurenda, came in through Baltimore.

I doubt any of my mom's line came through Ellis Island. I have one immigrant great grandmother on her side - Mary Kilpatrick. I have not found her immigration information yet but am thinking - through process of elimination - that she may have come in Philadelphia with her sisters and brothers. The next generation back on her mom's side, that is my great-great-grandparents immigrated before Ellis Island even opened. While I have not found the four of them yet, I think I will find them either at Castle Garden or Philadelphia. They are: Walsh, Keating, O'Flaherty, and Durkin.

I am still confirming many of Mom's father's side. For example, I have traced my Still line to 1760 but am still (no pun intended) in Chester County, PA! Other lines I am working on are: Rhoades, Bing, McWilliams, VanHorn, Dudbridge, Rice, and Williams.



15 April 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: John & Mary Zomolski

John ( 13 November 1914 - 31 December 1985)
Mary (7 April 1920 - 5 February 2005)
buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery
Valley Township, Chester County, PA

13 April 2014

Historic Preservation Trust Accepting Nominations

The Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County is accepting nominations for the annual awards for excellence in historic preservation. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, 4 July.

Lancaster has one of the largest inventories of historic homes, barns, bridges, mills and other structures of any place in the United States,” said Lisa Horst, president of the board of directors for the Historic Preservation Trust.  “The annual historic preservation awards recognize those in our community who are helping to keep historic Lancaster County historic through their exceptional work to save, preserve, restore and celebrate the beauty of structures built by our forefathers. Recipients will be honored at our annual awards program on Tuesday, November 11.”

The historic preservation award categories are:

Leadership -- presented to individuals or organizations that have demonstrated the vision, wisdom and perseverance necessary to incorporate historic preservation into their long-range planning.

Sustainabilitypresented to the owner of any historically significant structure that has demonstrated over a significant period time a commitment to historic preservation through exemplary maintenance practices.

Preservation – presented to projects that comply fully with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties

Restoration/ Adaptive Re-use -- presented to projects where the historical character of a structure is maintained through thoughtful and sensitive additions and/or restorations.

Community Revitalization -- presented to projects that enhance a historic area and contribute to overall neighborhood improvement.

Master Craftsman -- presented for the meritorious efforts to save a historic structure through master level building skills and knowledge.

Nomination forms are available at the Historic Preservation Trust, 123 North Prince Street in downtown Lancaster, 717-291-5861 or joepatterson@hptrust.org.  Office hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.  Forms also are available at www.hptrust.org.

This is directly from a press release from the Historic Preservation Trust 

The Historic Preservation Trust was founded in 1966 to encourage and facilitate historic preservation countywide. The trust is a member-supported, 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in the historic Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House (1787) at 123 North Prince Street in downtown Lancaster. 

Sunday’s Obituary: Thomas H. Tracy

Thomas H. Tracy of Exton, passed away on June 18, 2013, at his residence after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 70 years old. Born in Chester on June 15, 1943, he was the son of the late Thomas and Sophie (Matys) Tracy. He was an avid golfer and had retired five years ago allowing him to spend time near Myrtle Beach, N.C. enjoying the game he loved. Tom served two years as an Army captain during the Vietnam War and later served in the Army Reserves. He was awarded an honorable discharge for his dedicated service to his country. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Kathleen A. "Kathy" (McConville); his three daughters, Brenda J. Tracy, Barbara J. Tracy, and Kelly A. (John) Livingston; and by five grandchildren. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, John Tracy. Relatives and friends are invited to his viewing 10 a.m. to 12 noon Monday, June 24, followed by his prayer service at 12 noon from the Logan Funeral Home, 698 East Lincoln Highway (at Ship Rd.), Exton, PA 19341. Interment is private. In lieu of flowers donations in Tom's memory may be made to Chester County Hospital, Foundation 701 E. Marshall St., West Chester, PA 19380. www.LoganFuneralHomes.com.

NOTE: Published in The Daily Local on 21 June 2013. Acquired from Ancestry.com.  

Thomas Tracy was born 15 June 1943. I am interested in his mother – Sophia Matys. 

I found a Sophia Matys, age 19, living with her parents in 1940. This would put her birth year as 1921. The Census that year shows her parents to be Harry, age 55, and Constance, age 47. Her siblings were Walter, 23; John, 21; Eugene, 17; Emil, 15; and Vera, 10. They lived in Chester in Delaware County, PA. Harry and Constance both list their birthplace as Poland. He was a naturalized citizen and she was still an alien. The family lived on Third Street. 

The 1930 Census lists Harry and Constance’s birthplace as Austria. There is, aside obviously from the dates, no difference in Sophia and her siblings. Harry was a laborer at a silk mill. Harry and Constance list immigration as 1910 for both. 

Sophia’s father – Harry Matys – registered for the WWII draft in 1942. At that time he was unemployed and living at 614 McIlvaine Street in Chester. He lists his birth as 19 August 1883 in Austria. He describes himself as being 5’6” weighing 150 pounds. He had gray eyes, brown hair and was light complexion.

The 1920 Census lists Harry and Constance as both aliens having immigrated in 1909. They both list their birthplace as Ukraine Rus. Two sons are listed: three year old Vladimir (Walter), and one year old John. Harry was a furnace man for the steel foundry. The young family lived on West Third Street, Chester. 

His WWI Draft Registration, dated 1918, lists his birth date as the 18th instead. He is a non declared alien and lists his citizenship as Austria Ukrainian. He was a laborer at the Penn Steel Co. His home address then was 3031 W. Third Street, Chester. He describes himself as medium height with a slender build. He had blue eyes and dark hair. 

Harry passed on 5 January 1976. Constance passed on 6 June 1949. They are buried together at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Cemetery in Linwood, Delaware County, PA.

12 April 2014

2014 Gourmet Gala to be at Historic Mylin House

The 2014 Gourmet Gala, the annual fundraiser for the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County, will be held on Sunday, 18 May, from 4 pm to 7 pm at the historic Mylin House (1787) and the Cultural Center at Willow Valley Communities in Willow Street.

"The venue is ideal for the gala which has become Lancaster’s premier food and beverage social and our primary fundraiser,” said Lisa Horst, president of the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County Board of Directors. “The Mylin House will be the gala’s centerpiece while food and beverage will be in the adjacent and beautiful Cultural Center at Willow Valley Communities.  The care that has been taken in preserving and restoring the Mylin House is a must see and the reason why this venue was chosen for the 2014 Gourmet Gala.”

The recipient of a 2013 historic preservation award by the Preservation Trust, the Mylin House was built in 1787 by Martin Mylin III and his wife Barbara Baer (granddaughter of Christian and Anna Herr, the 1710 immigrants who built the 1719 Hans Herr House).  Mylin III was the third generation to live on and work the farm.  Mylin III’s German grandfather, Martin Mylin I was one of the first Mennonites to settle in Lancaster County.  Mylin I is credited with inventing the Pennsylvania Long Rifle in a gun shop on the original Mylin homestead.

More than 30 of the area’s best restaurants, caterers, bakeries, personal chefs, wineries and coffee companies will be serving their specialties. A Gourmet Gala ticket costs $75 for members of the Historic Preservation Trust or the Central Pennsylvania Preservation Society or $85 for non-members.  A block of 10 tickets may be purchased for $650. 

Horst said Gala sponsors are being sought to join Willow Valley Communities, Lancaster County Magazine, PPL Electric Utilities, Discovery Map, RPLS Architects, CCS Building Group, Despard Associates, LLC, Donegal Insurance , Kline’s Services and Senator Lloyd Smucker.  “Auction items are needed too because we have both live and silent auctions that are popular,” she said, adding that current auction items include vacation, entertainment, food and beverage, antique and art items.

The above article is from a press release from the Historic Preservation Trust

The Genealogy of Governor Curtin

Andrew Gregg Curtin was born 22 April 1817. He married Katharine Irvine Wilson (1821 – 1903). Katherine was born to William Irvine Wilson (1793 – 1883) and Mary Potter (1798 – 1861). They had seven children: Mary, Myron, Katherine, Bessie, Jane, Martha, and William. 

  • Mary Wilson Curtin (March 1846 – 1927) married a physician George Fairlamb Harris (March 1843 – 1911) in 1871
    • Catherine Curtin Harris (1871-1936) married a bank cashier named John McCoy Shugart (1870 - 1924) in 1899
      • Infant son (1900 - 1900)
      • George Harris Shugart (b. 1 February 1903 – 23 June 1963) married Helen Cruse on 2 January 1937.
        • George Harris Shugart, Jr. (b. 4 January 1940 – 7 April 2013) married Elizabeth Russell on 12 December 1980.
          • Allison Elizabeth Shugart (9 May 1983 – 9 May 1983)
          • Ame Laurine Shugart (9 May 1983 – 10 May 1983)
      • Mary McCoy Shugart (b. 31 May 1907)
    • Adeline (b. circa 1878)
  • Jane Gregg Curtin (b. 17 January 1847 d. 11 November 1893) married William H. Sage, the son of Cornell University benefactor Henry W. Sage
    • Katharine Curtin Sage (b. 3 July 1871) married Ernest Ingersoll White on 22 October 1895
      • Jane Sage White (b. circa 1897)
      • Marayan Strong White (b. circa 1898)
      • Katharine Curtin White
    • Henry W. Sage (b. circa 1872)
    • Andrew C. Sage (b. circa 1874)
    • De Witt L. Sage (b. circa 1875)
  • Martha Irvine Curtin (b. circa 1849)
  • Myron Stanley Curtin (1854 – 1857)
  • William Wilson Curtin (b. circa 1851)
  • Katherine “Kate” Irvine Wilson Curtin (May 1861 – 1930) married Moses Dewitt Burnett (1854 – 1920) in 1888
    • Katherine Munro Burnet (1889 – 1973)
    • Margaret Barber Burnet (February 1890 – 1977)
    • An Infant (1892 – 1892)
  • Bessie Elliott Curtin (1865 – 1866) 
1850 US Census
1860 US Census
1870 US Census – surname as “Cartin”
1880 US Census
1900 US Census
1910 US Census

Meet Governor Andrew Curtin

Andrew Gregg Curtin was the Governor of Pennsylvania during our nation's Civil War.  The son of Scots-Irish immigrant iron founder Roland Curtin (1764–1830) and his second wife, Jean Gregg (1791–1854), he was born 22 April 1815 in Bellefonte in Centre County. He was the grandson of Pennsylvania politician and president pro tem of the U.S. Senate, Andrew Gregg.

Before becoming Governor, he served as schools superintendent. During that time, he started the state system of teacher training in "normal" schools - like Lock Haven State Normal School, now Lock Haven State University.

As a war-time governor, he did sponsor taxes to finance the war but managed to keep the state's debt low. More military units for the war were organized in Harrisburg than in any other recruiting point in the North. He organized "The Loyal War Governors' Conference" to foster support among fellow governors. It was this unified group of governors who suggested General George B. McClellan, commander of Union forces, be replaced. A two-term governor, he was known as "The Soldier's Friend."  After the war, Curtin led the repeal of the State Tonnage Tax. That repeal paved the way for the Pennsylvania Railroad to become the nation's largest transport system.

After his service as Governor, he was Minister to Russia until 1872. From 1872 - 1873, he served as a delegate to the 1872-1873 state Constitutional Convention.

He passed on 7 October 1894 and is buried in the Union Cemetery in Bellefonte. According to Find A Grave, four identical statues commemorate him: one in Bellefonte, one on the Pennsylvania State Monument at Gettysburg, one in the rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building, and one at the site of Camp Curtin, which was a military training camp during the Civil War.

Tomorrow - Sunday, 13 April, David Klinepeter will portray the Governor. The event is hosted by the Historical Society of Dauphin County and the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion in Harrisburg.

PHOTO: Find A Grave