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Living History Offers Opportunity to Step Back in Time

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to work the fields on a plantation during the Revolutionary War? Or stroll through an 18th century village? Or fight in battle during the Civil War? Living history offers an interactive perspective which incorporates historical activities and dress providing a sense of stepping back in time. So, how can YOU step back in time?
Rock Ford Plantation, in Lancaster County, PA, will be hosting a Volunteer Tour Guide Recruitment Event on Sunday, 22 March. They need tour guides for its upcoming tour season. Built circa 1794, Rock Ford was the home of Edward Hand and his family. Hand, an Irish immigrant and physician, served as Adjutant General to George Washington during the Revolutionary War.
Volunteer tour guides at Rock Ford bring the past to life for museum visitors. A tour guide can be any person aged 18 years and up. No experience is necessary, and training will be provided by the Curator. Printed materials are also provided so that all …
Recent posts

Remembering National Freedom Day

Did you know today - 1 February - is National Freedom Day? I had no idea, to be honest, until I was searching for an article for Black History Month (which is February by the way). It was on 1 February 1865 that President Abraham Lincoln signed the joint resolution - the 13th Amendment - abolishing slavery.

How did National Freedom Day come about then?

According to the Weekly Review, in Birmingham, Alabama, from 31 July 1948, Major R. R. Wright, Sr. organized the National Freedom Day Association in 1941. The purpose of the association was to establish a national Freedom Day.

Wright was born a slave in 1853 in Georgia to Richard Wright and Harriet Lynch.

The 1880 Census shows a R.R. Wright living in Cuthbert, Randolph County, Georgia. He was 27 at the time and an editor. He lived with his 23 year old wife and two children. According to the census, both his parents had been born in South Carolina. Other sources confirm his name is Richard Robert Wright and his wife's is Lydia Eliza…

Thaddeus Stevens at the Lancaster Convention Center

Within the Lancaster Convention Center (Lancaster, PA) is a small section dedicated to Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton Smith. The section is known as the Stevens & Smith Historic Site. It is scheduled for development this year. At the moment one can only get a glimpse of it through the Convention Center or by peeking in from the outside.

Here at Queen and Vine Streets in Lancaster City, Pennsylvania, Thaddeus Stevens had his law office. Stevens was an abolitionist. An abolitionist is a person who favors the abolition of a practice or institution, especially capital punishment or (formerly) slavery.

Stevens was born 4 April 1792 to Joshua Stevens and Sarah (Sally) Morrill in Danville Vermont. One of four children, he attended Vermont University from 1810 to 1812 when the War prompted its closure. He then went to Dartmouth, where he graduated in 1814. He then studied law and found himself set up in Gettysburg, PA in 1816. He practiced law there until 1828 when he found himself pul…

Kurenda Found in WWII Hospital Admission Files

Ancestry is always adding new content. One of their recent additions is "US: WWII Hospital Admission Card Files 1942-1954. Knowing my Uncle Paulie - Paul Kurenda - died in the War, I searched for him. I searched only by his surname.


The only entry matching his name, is most definitely him. There were a couple other similar last names, but only one Kurenda.

Race: White
Rank: Enlisted 
Admission Age: 22 
Born: abt 1922
Admission Date: Mar 1922
Discharge: Aug 1922
Military Branch: Infantry, general, or unspecified
Diagnosis: Tuberculosis, generalized military
Type of injury: Disease
Injured in line of duty: Injured in line of duty
Type of Discharge: Died
Length of Service: 1 Year 3 months
Service number: 33478954

The original database is: Hospital Admission Card Files, ca. 1970 - ca. 1970. NAI: 570973. Records of the Office of the Surgeon General (Army), 1775 - 1994. Record Group 12. The National Archives at College Park, MD. USA. To find this database, go to Ancestry's Card Catalog. Click on …

2020 Genealogical Goals

Everyone sets New Year Resolutions or Goals. I personally prefer goals. I set health goals (like I would like to loose 40 pounds this year), and I have financial goals (pay off cards, improve credit score, build savings, improve business revenue). I also set Genealogical Goals each year.

My genealogical goals are really five areas I want to focus on. This year, they are:

Matys line. ... nothing specific I just felt called to focus on that line this year.Walsh/Welsh descendants ... where are my Uncle Leo's kids and Uncle Gerry's kids? What happened to my great grandfather's siblings and their kids?Where is Michael Walsh? ... what happened to him? where is he buried?Anna Keating ... how did she get from Ireland to Ringtown? What happened to her siblings? How did she get from Ringtown to Shenandoah?O'Flaherty line ... How did they get here? When? Where in Ireland did they come from exactly? Who are Dennis' parents? Any siblings?

What are your goals - or intended areas …

Pear Harbor Remembrance Day

Every year, on 7 December, the United States observes Pearl Harbor Day. The "Day of Infamy" remembers and honors the 2,403 citizens who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on Sunday, 7 December 1941.

That Sunday, by all reports, began as a beautiful, tranquil morning. The morning was soon devastated. The Japanese bombed the ships that were in port. Explosions. Fires. Sirens. Sounds and smells no one ever expected.

Our Navy bore the brunt of the attack, obviously. The US National Park Service has compiled a list of those killed in action that day. They are: Navy, Marines, Army, and Air Force. In addition, 68 civilians lost their lives that day as well.

Vichnaya Pamyat.

Sources:
"Military Casualties," National Park Service. https://www.nps.gov/valr/learn/historyculture/military-casualties.htm

Wortman, Marc. "The Children of Pearl Harbor," Smithsonian Magazine. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/children-pearl-harbor-180961290…

Great Great Grandfather Got Lost in the Coal Strike

My great great grandfather, Michael Walsh, got lost in the coal strike. The United Mine Workers of America demanded higher wages, shorter workdays, and union recognition in eastern Pennsylvania. On 12 May 1902, the coal miners laid down their pickaxes, hammers, chisels, and pans. At this time most homes in America were heated with anthracite, that is hard coal. It lasted through October that year. In the end, the miners' demands were met. It was also the first time in American history that the federal government stepped in as an arbitrator to negotiate. Most important to me personally is that it was due to this strike that I lost my Michael Walsh.

Now, to clarify, when I say I lost him to the strike, I do not mean that he died in the mines. I do not mean that there was an argument on the streets and he died. No, I mean I lost track of him at that point.

It was reported by Commissioner of Labor Carrol D. Wright, at that time, that there was 147,000 strikers. Of those men, he estima…