01 July 2019

US Postage Stamp Day

My Aunt Helen used to write me long letters about various family stories and information. Sometimes the letters were nothing more than a specific line's names and vitals. Sometimes she would include little stories about her mother or family stories she had heard growing up. Sometimes it might be a newspaper clipping she thought I'd enjoy. No matter what she sent, even if it was simply a birthday car, she always found the most interesting stamps.

Today, it is US Postage Stamp Day. The United States issued its first postage stamp on July 1, 1847. They were not mandatory thou until 1855. Today, not only are they mandatory, but they cost an arm and a leg.

To put this in perspective, Aunt Helen was actually my great grandfather's youngest sister. Born 24 August 1903, Helen Mae Still was the youngest of six children of Franklin & Sarah Jennie Van Horn Still. She was an incredible woman. She grew up on the family farm. All the Still girls were educated and Aunt Helen was no different. She attended West Chester State Normal School in West Chester, PA. At 21, she married Ellwood James Webster. They had two girls: Gloria and Janet. Gloria died in infancy, only two months old. Janet only recently passed away. She lived, as her mother did, in the old family farm for most of her life.

It was through Aunt Helen that I came to have letters from her uncle to her father (my 3rd great grandfather!). Her uncle - Benjamin Franklin Van Horn - had fought in the Civil War. After the War, he married a girl from Virginia and moved to California. Letters kept the brothers united. Today they serve as an insight into not just their relationship, but of the times. Again, each of their letters brought not just family stories but also the history of the United States through our postal service.

For more information on the history of the US Postage Stamp, visit the US Postal Service.

(c) 2019, Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman 

17 June 2019

Play Ball

1968 MS State University
Robert P Still
I found a Baseball Questionnaire today on Ancestry.com. I got excited because there is a family story that involves a local baseball team but this questionnaire was for the professional teams. So naturally I played with family names. I got a hit, even though I doubt he is of the same line.

Robert Philip Still was born 24 April 1949 in Georgia to Clinton H Still and Louise Cowan Still.

In May 1972, Robert Philip STILL filled out a questionnaire. He played for the Oneonta Yankees, a minor league team of the New York-Penn League.He played Third Base for the Oneonta Tigers.

Still was born in 1949 and lived down Decatur, Georgia. He graduated from DeKalb HS in Decatur in 1967.

That same year then, in 1967, he was drafted out of high school by the Cleveland Indians in the 27th round of the 1967 MLB June Amateur Draft, according to Baseball Reference. Three years later, the Baltimore Orioles drafted him in the 10th round of the 1970 MLB June Draft-Secondary Phase from Mississippi State University, MS. Finally, in 1971 the New York Yankees, in the 9th round of the 1971 MLB June Amateur Draft from Mississippi State University, MS drafted Still.

In May of 1971, when he filled out this questionnaire, he stated he did not have a steady job but rather worked whatever was available in the off season. He was married.His wife's name was Sally but they had no children at that time.

Robert died on 17 March 2004. He is buried in Loganville, Georgia. He was just 54 years old.


  1. Society for American Baseball Research (SABR); San Diego, California; U.S., Baseball Questionnaires, 1945-2005; Box Number: 555707 
  2. "U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012"; Yearbook Title: Reveille; Year: 1968 
  3. Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
  4. Find A Grave. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/74485905
(c) 2019, Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman

13 May 2019

Landis Valley Museum Remembers Inventor-Machinist William Chester Ruth of Chester County

William Chester Ruth, son of Samuel and Maria Louisa Pinn Ruth, invented several pieces of farm machinery. He was born 19 July 1882 in Ercildoun, Chester County, one of 12 children to Samuel and Maria Ruth. 

Ruth married Gertrude Miller on 6 June 1906. They moved to Gap, Lancaster County in 1917. He was, at that time, working for Midvale Steel in Coatesville. Six years later, Ruth opened Ruth's Ironworks Shop. 

Ruth became a well-known and capable blacksmith to the farming families of Eastern Lancaster and Western Chester Counties. Among his patents were a machine feeder used between the thresher and straw baler, a cinder-spreading truck, self-raising elevator, and other machines. 

Landis Valley Museum will remember Ruth on 6 June. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Landis Valley Christian Fellowship, next to the Landis Valley Museum. It will last until 2:30 p.m. After a light complimentary lunch, Dr. Leroy Hopkins will speak, putting Ruth's life and accomplishments in a historical context. He will touch on the Underground Railroad and displaced African Americans, Quaker ethics and abolitionism, Pennsylvania German agricultural and work craft technology, according to Landis Valley Museum's site. The presentation will conclude in the Bitzer Building where three of Ruth's machines are on display.

The program is possible through a grant from the H. F. Lenfest Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation. To register, call Cindy Kirby-Reedy at 717-581-0591.


Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

Brubaker, Jack. "The Scribbler: African-American inventor made farm work easier" Lancaster Newspapers. Retrieved from: https://dk-media.s3.amazonaws.com/AA/AU/salisburytwphistory-org/downloads/309309/The_Scribbler__Wm_Chester_Ruth-1.pdf

"Residents celebrate legacy of local inventor" (19 October 2016) Southern Chester County Weeklies. Retrieved from: https://www.southernchestercountyweeklies.com/news/residents-celebrate-legacy-of-local-inventor/article_16e68232-ffd1-507f-9f85-425954e108bf.html 

Wills, A. (2012, December 31) William Chester Ruth (1882-1971). Retrieved from https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/ruth-william-chester-1882-1971 

(c) 2019, Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman

30 April 2019

Coatesville's First Serial Killer

Young Alexander Meyer was a disturbed and angry young man with some major issues. He had failed sixth and seventh grade, and instead of having to repeat eighth grade again, he finally gave up on school. At age 16 he quit Downingtown Junior High. Meyer is not a relative, nor are his victims (that I am aware). I stumbled upon young Alex while reading Tortured Minds: Pennsylvania's Most Bizarre - But Forgotten - Murders by Tammy Mal.

On 11 February 1937 Alexander Thweatt Meyer killed young Helen Moyer as she walked home from school in Coatesville along Modena Road. She was not his first. The jury was out only three minutes after hearing Dr. Michael Margolis' testimony on the death of Helen Moyer. The jury determined Meyer had murdered Moyer and should be held for first degree murder. The jury also condemned the parole system which had released Meyer back into the public, after having served just 14 months in Huntingdon Reformatory, for the murder of two other girls - Anna Blasch and Viola Bauder - previously.

The people of Coatesville and Modena were outraged. Law officials, even the Governor of Pennsylvania, was concerned about the crowds. They all well remembered, according to Mal, the lynching of Zachariah Walker in 1911. Walker killed Edgar Rice, a policeman at the steel mill.

On 12 April 1937, Meyer  was sentenced to death in the electric chair. He was taken to Rockview Penitentiary in Bellfonte, Pennsylvania. Over 8,000 people, according to Mal, requested to drive up to Bellfonte to watch as Meyer's execution, which was set for 12 July 1937.

Alexander had been born in Germantown near Philadelphia on 2 August 1917. He was the son of Oscar Jackson Meyer, a wealthy farmer in nearby Wallace Township on Milford Road. His mother was Louise Peterson. He had a brother Jackson, who was four years older than him, and a younger sister Nancy, according to the 1930 Census.

Alexander was electrocuted on 12 July 1937. He was cremated just two days later.Mal states, in her book, that the Meyer family never revealed the final resting place of Alex's remains. His death certificate, as seen above, indicates his remains are in the Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Glenmoore.

Helen Moyer was buried on 23 February 1937, at the Hepzibah Baptist Church on Strasburg Road. Ironically, Edgar Rice, victim of another horrible crime, is also buried at Hepzibah.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2019

03 March 2019

My O'Flaherty Search Continues

Setting aside the to do list this to research my Irish female ancestors, beginning with my great grandmother Catherine . It is after all and

Catherine O'Flaherty
Catherine was born on 2 August 1880 to Dennis and Martha (Durkan) O'Flaherty in Phoenixville, Chester County, PA. This is confirmed through various records and family members, including my grandmother (her oldest child. Her marriage application however notes she was born on 2 October in 1885.

She was the youngest of eight known children. Her siblings (in birth order) are:

  1. James - 1868 to 1870. Twin to Mary Theresa.
  2. Mary Theresa - 1868 to 1945. Twin to James. Married Patrick Rogers. They had five children. Through Ancestry.com, I have connected with one of her descendents. 
  3. Hugh - 1869 to 1947. Married Katherine Dee. They had six children.
  4. Michael - 1871 to 1904.Married Margaret McQuade. He died just two years after they married, leaving no children.
  5. Dennis - 1871 to 1894. At only 21, he died unmarried.
  6. Margaret - 1877 to 1895. At 19, she too died unmarried.
  7. Martha - 1879 to 1897. Martha too died unmarried at age 19. She died of consumption.

Back to my Catherine ...
The 1880 Census was conducted in June 1880, thus Catherine does not appear on it. Her father, Dennis, is a 45 year old white man born in Ireland and now working in the Iron Works in Phoenixville. Martha, her mother, was a 41 year old white woman, also born in Ireland. She, like meany women the, was "keeping house". Her siblings listed were Mary (age 12), Hugh (age 11), Michael (age 8), Dennis (age 7), Maggie (age 3), and Martha (age 1).

Since Dennis - her father - died in 1894, I had to switch to searching for Martha. I found her, and Catherine, in the 1904-05 Boyd's Chester County, PA Directory. It shows them, along with Hugh, living now at 203 Emmet Street in Phoenixville. Catherine's brother Michael is living on his own at 212 South Street. There is one other Hugh listed living in town at 353 Hall. Side note: The 1902 City Directory lists widow Martha and Hugh living at 203 Emmet, and Michael living at 212 South. There is no mention in 1902 of Catherine or the Hugh on Hall.

By 1910 (the date of the census is 16 April 1910), Catherine was the only one left at home with her mother at this time. Martha reveals she had 10 children, only three of whom is still living. (The three were Mary Theresa, Hugh, and Catherine). It also states that she immigrated in 1870. (See note on side about that.) Catherine (spelling her name Katherine) is 23 and is a sewer at at shirt factory. The census enumerator also incorrectly states that both of Catherine's parents were born in Pennsylvania. They were both born in Ireland.

Within just a few days of that census, Catherine would become Mrs. Martin J. Welsh. The story - as my grandmother and some of her siblings told it - was that Martin played on a baseball team up in Shenandoah (Schuylkill County, PA) where he had lived with his parents. His team came down to play in Phoenixville and there he and Catherine met. I don't recall anyone mentioning how long the courtship was or how they actually met each other. The marriage application lists both Martin and Catherine living in Phoenixville. In any case, they met and on 21 April 1910 were married in Phoenixville, presumably at St. Mary's of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church. The parish is right down the street from where Catherine lived with her mother. It was the first marriage for both. Under occupation, he lists he is a laborer, while Catherine states domestic.

Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968 [database on-line]. 
Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.

Just 10 years laters, in the 1920 census, Martin and Catherine - both listing their ages as 35 - now reside on Marshall Street. He is a laborer in the Iron Works and she is at home. And no wonder she is at home! They already have five children. They have also lost three children at this point, although the census does not account for them. The five surviving are:

  1. Mary Rose - my grandmother
  2. Joseph Martin
  3. Leo Francis
  4. Raymond Charles
  5. Gerald Aloysius

The 1930 census, provides a little more info on Catherine and her parents. Until now, her parents birthplace was simply listed as Ireland. Now, in 1930, it is listed (and Martin does the same for his parents) as "Irish Free State".

The Irish Free State was comprised of 26 of Ireland's 32 counties. Since I already knew both Catherine's parents and Martin's parents were Catholic, this only slightly narrows down their ancestral homes.

Back to the census ...
Catherine and Martin now have six children. Since the 1920 census, they had two children actually: James and Loretta, both born in 1921. James died the same year, although I do not know the circumstances.

On 14 August 1933 at 10:50 EST, Catherine became a widow. Martin's death was ruled accidental. He died from "injuries received while engaged at work at the Phoenix Iron Co, due to falling on railroad tracks and being struck by a truck," according to his death certificate. Catherine was the informant.

In 1937 my Uncle Leo married Ruth Miller. All the siblings and Catherine posed for this photo below. I am extremely grateful to my cousin for providing me a copy of the photo. It is, I am told, the only photograph of all the siblings together. I include it here because of course Catherine is in it. The photo was taken at the wedding.

I have not yet found Catherine on the 1940 census records.

The war (World War II) stretched from 1939 to 1945. America tried to stay neutral until Pearl Harbor was destroyed on 7 December 1941. It was then that we joined the War - officially. In May 1942, construction began on the Valley Forge Army Hospital in Phoenixville. It was completed the following year and Catherine went to work there. She was a House Mother for the nurses there her health deteriorated. Catherine suffered strokes.

She died on 20 August 1949 at 2:40 a.m. EST at the Phoenixville Hospital, according to her death certificate. Loretta (now Loretta Kaba) was the informant on the certificate. The death certificate confirms much information but does not reveal any new information, aside from official cause of death.

Her birthdate is confirmed as 2 October 1885.Her parents are confirmed as being Dennis O'Flaherty and Martha Durkin. She was living on Vanderslice Street in Phoenixville, which I know from other sources to be Loretta and Stephen Kaba's house. Husband is confirmed as Martin Welsh. Her COD (cause of death) was cerebral thrombosis.

A cerebral thrombosis is a type of stroke that, according to John Hopkins University, occurs when "a blood clot forms in the brain's venous sinuses. This prevents blood from draining out of the brain." This results in the blood leaking into the brain, causing a hemorrhage. She suffered the cerebral thrombosis for two days, according to her death certificate. It was due to arteriosclerosis. Diabetes mellitus was listed as another condition she suffered.

She was buried at St. Mary's of the Assumption on 23 August 1949. She is there with her husband and one of her grandchildren, Mary Kathleen Still (Mary Rose's daughter).

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2019

20 January 2019

Found a Wife

I found a wife! Not for me (my husband is work enough!) but for my Uncle Jim! Years ago, my great Aunt Helen (Still) Webster told me a story about my Uncle Jim (James Franklin Still) having a son. By the time we all came along, Uncle Jim was back East living with his brother/my grandfather (Lloyd Pierson Still). He spoke of working on ranches but never mentioned a wife or a child. 
Searching on Ancestry.com today, I found a marriage record for James Still born 1910 to a Julie Riddle on 14 April 1931 in Deep Creek, Routt, Colorado

The 1930 US Census shows Uncle Jim, obviously single, still living in East Marlboro, Chester County, PA. The 1940 Census shows him living in Clark Township, Routt County, Colorado. The 1940 Census also reveals he lived there in 1935 as well but now his father, Pierson George Still, has moved out with him and Uncle Jim is single. In fact, it shows that the two of them are living by themselves on a farm. 

I found land records for Uncle Jim, dated 15 September 1942 in Routt, Colorado. He received 649 acres on which to homestead. Whatever happened to that homestead land? I'll trace the land another time. For now, back to Julia ...

Julie Riddle is not easy to confirm. So, when I am stuck, I found timelines help.
1930 - Uncle Jim was still in Chester County, PA, so they had not yet met.
1931 - On 14 April, Uncle Jim and Julia Riddle were married. 
1940 - He is single in Colorado; she is married in Missouri as a hired hand with an 8 year old son!

In both the 1930 and the 1940 Census, Julia is a servant or hired hand to Jack and Pear Eckstine. It would appear that when Jack moved from CO to MO, Julia went with him and, at that point, took her son with her. Uncle Jim stayed in CO. The 1940 Census is the last available census at the moment, so tracing Julia and her son Billy Joe Still forward must find other sources. The 1950 Census will not be released until April of 2022.

Billy Joe Still - my second cousin (Ancestry says he is my 1st cousin 1x removed) - was born 3 August 1931 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He attended Creighton High School, in Creighton, MO. Social Security records show he dies in February (what is it with my family and February?) 1990. He died in Albany, Gentry County, Missouri. 

© 2019, Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman

17 June 2018

Family Day at Historic Huguenot Street

Today (Sunday, 17 June) is Family Day at Historic Huguenot Street.. Admission is free and includes the historic house tours and exhibits. Tours will be done on a first come first serve basis with a limit to 12 people per tour. You are welcome to bring a blanket and bagged lunch and have a picnic on the grounds. 

Learn about the families who founded New Paltz, including Pierre Deyo. The Pierre Deyo House, built in 1692, is one of the house on the tour.

We went awhile back, not on Family Day but just a regular day. My husband is descended from Jacobus "James" Deyoe (1760-1819) and Annatje "Hannah" Walker (1764-1835). The Deyoe and the Deyo families are of the same family. 

Those interested in tracing their family lineage to one of the 12 lines may also be interested in this (from a March 2018 press release):

Thanks to a grant from the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) has digitized records from the Reformed Church of New Paltz dating back to the 1680s and early 1700s. Two volumes of records, consisting of over 100 pages, document the community’s first marriages and baptisms, revealing the growth of the town and the social relationships between the French and Dutch settlers during the early colonial period. 
“These records contain illuminating information, and scanning them supports their long-term preservation,” said Josephine Bloodgood, Director of Curatorial and Preservation Affairs. “Prior to the digitization, access to the books was limited to those able to visit the HHS Archives in-person. Now scholars, researchers, genealogists, and general audiences from around the world can discover and study their contents.” 
Both volumes have been digitized and uploaded online in their entirety, courtesy of the Reformed Church and through the efforts of HHS staff members and interns. The documents have been uploaded to Hudson River Valley Heritage, a digital library that provides visitors with free access to search and browse historical materials. The records can be accessed by searching for “first register” and “second register” at hrvh.org/hhs, as well as by searching for names that appear within.

Historic Huguenot Street encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres comprising the heart of the original 1678 New Paltz settlement. Seven are stone houses which date to the early eighteenth century. Historic Huguenot Street was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve the nationally acclaimed collection of stone houses. Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York Department of Education, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, preserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families from the seventeenth century to today.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2018

25 May 2018

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is is a day set aside in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. While I am appreciative of everyone who has served - both in war and in peace - this weekend is for those who died while serving ... like my Uncle Paul.

Paul Kurenda - Paulie as Baba always called him - died while serving in World War II. He had been serving in Europe and came down ill so the Army sent him stateside, first to South Carolina then to West Virginia then finally home to die. He passed away 11 August 1944 at the Valley Forge Army Hospital in Phoenixville, Chester County, PA. His official cause of death was "tuberculosis, pulmonary, acute, military, bilateral." He was just 22 years old when he died.

His obituary was published in the now-defunct Coatesville Record.
Coatesville Record
August 12, 1944

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

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

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

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

So this weekend, my thoughts - as they often are - are with my Uncle. May His Memory Be Eternal.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2018

12 March 2018

Baptism Records Discovered

Baptismal records for four of the O'Flaherty family were found on Find My Past recently by my cousin's husband (Thank you, Ed!). His wife is descended from my 2nd Great Aunt Mary Theresa O'Flaherty Rogers. I do tend to rush into talking when I'm excited about a new discovery or new documentation so let me back up a moment.

Patrick O'Flaherty and Martha Durkin are my 2nd great grandparents. That is to say, they are my great-great grandparents. They married here in America, settled down in Phoenixville, Chester County, PA and had eight known children. 

Those children are:
1. James
2. Mary Theresa
3. Hugh
4. Michael
5. Dennis
6. Margaret A
7. Martha M
8. Catherine <-- my great grandmother

Today, I am going to talk about four of them: Mary Theresa, Hugh, Martha, and Catherine.

Mary Theresa, born 31 March 1868, married Patrick Rogers in 1891, at the age of 23. Patrick was born in Ireland and had immigrated in 1885. They had five children and lived in Philadelphia, where Patrick was a fireman boiler (according to the 1900 census). After her husband passed in 1935, Mary Theresa lived with her son, Joseph, who was also a fireman for the City. Mary Theresa passed on 1 May 1945, at the age of 77.

Cousin Ed found her baptismal record at St Mary's of the Assumption Church in Phoenixville. Well, he found the record on Find My Past but she was baptized at the church. Hers is probably the more difficult to read, in my opinion, due simply to the handwriting. While I cannot make out her male sponsor, her godmother was Anne Durkin. 

Hugh was born 31 March 1869, exactly a year after his elder sister. He married Katherine Dee and they had six children, one of whom sadly was stillborn. His baptism record (below) confirms his parents, date of birth, and date of baptism. Note the spelling of Dennis! I've seen Atty with Martha's name before on other records. His sponsors - in the Roman Catholic tradition the sponsors should both be Catholic as well. In addition, sponsors were someone you essentially entrusted your child to in the event of your passing, so they were generally someone close, like a family member. I have never seen a connection before with a Patrick Bradly or Maria Lynch. The baptism records also note the priest who performed the Sacrament of Baptism.

Martha was born two years later in 1879. She too died young, on 27 November 1897, at just 18 years of age. She never married or left home either. Neither her nor Margaret's death notices gave a cause of death. Both girls are buried at Black Rock Cemetery though.

Catherine is my great grandmother. She was the youngest of the O'Flaherty clan. She was born 2 August 1880. She married Martin Walsh (over time changed to Welsh). They had 10 known children, though one was stillborn and two died in infancy. She remained in Phoenixville, surviving her husband. She died 20 August 1949. Her baptism record below lists a Jacob Durkin as one of her sponsors. 

Family - please add your comments, recollections, or questions, either here in the comments or email or Facebook me and I will research, confirm, and post the answers! Thank you again, Ed. Now ... off to track down Jacob Durkin and Anne Durkin, as well as immigration records for everyone.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2018.

23 February 2018

My Dad

Daddy passed on 2 February. We buried him last Saturday - the 17th. Almost a week now. Still raw. But I will start writing again. It's been too long. For now ... his obituary, as published on the Wilde Funeral Home's website, is as follows:

Joseph P. Ruczhak, Jr., 75, of Christiana, PA, passed away on Friday, February 2, 2018 at the Brandywine Hospital. He was the husband of the late Barbara Still Ruczhak who died in 2013. They shared 45 years of marriage. Born in Rock Run, he was the son of the late Joseph and Anna Kurenda Ruczhak.

Joe was an area resident all his life and a 1960 graduate of the Coatesville High School. He served with the US Army in Vietnam. He was an UT Inspector at Lukens Steel Company/Arcelor Mittal. He retired in 2009 with 48 years of service. He was a member of Our Lady of Consolation Church.

He is survived by two daughters: Noreen Ruczhak of Christiana and Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman and her husband Glenn of Lancaster, three grandchildren; Anna and Zorina Eckman of Lancaster and Mary (Eckman) Soanes and her husband Ashton of Mount Alto, PA, two great grandchildren; Sasha and Celia Soanes. He is also survived by a brother John Ruczhak and his wife Anne of Coatesville.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, February 17 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Consolation Church, 603 W. 2nd Avenue, Parkesburg, PA followed by Interment at St. Malachi Chapel Cemetery, Cochranville, PA. A viewing will be held on Saturday morning from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at the Wilde Funeral Home, 434 Main St. Parkesburg, PA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his memory to the Wounded Warrior Project www.woundedwarriorproject.org

Online condolences can be posted at www.wildefuneralhome.com

Wilde Funeral Home in Parkesburg did a great job. I just want to thank everyone there.

© Genealogical Gems, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

29 May 2017

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to remember those who died while serving in our nation's military. There are three men buried in the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery (Valley Township, Chester County, PA) who were Killed In Action. They are: Andrew Buckle, William Grycky, and Paul Kurenda. Vichnaya Pamyat.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2017

05 January 2017

Photo A Day Challenge - Siblings

Today's Genealogy Photo A Day Challenge is "Siblings". This photo is of two of my grandmother and her siblings and their mother! 

My cousin gave me a copy of this, which is believed to be the only photo of all of them together. From left to right then: Uncle Joe, my grandmother Mary, Uncle Gerry looking awesome in his uniform, Uncle Reds (given name was Raymond), my great grandmother Catherine O'Flaherty Welsh, Aunt Loretta, and Uncle Leo. The photo was taken at Uncle Leo's wedding in 1937.

Tomorrow's prompt is "Cousins".

(c) Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2017

03 January 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Onifer Romanko

Onifer Romanko and his wife Rosalie are buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery in Valley Township, just outside Coatesville, Chester County, PA. 

Onifer is my great grandfather's uncle. I first "found" Onifer on the passenger list for my great grandfather (Panko Hruszczak). Panko had listed his Uncle Onifer as the person receiving him in Coatesville. From other records, I believe Onifer arrived in Coatesville himself in 1901. My goal is to determine when exactly he came over and where he actually came from! 

Tombstone Tuesday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

(c) Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2017