30 January 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Jeannette Still

Jeannette Still was my aunt. Her brother Pierson George Still was my great grandfather.



Janette S Still, 94 of Mortonville died Friday afternoon at the Harrison House in Christiana, where she had resided for the past two and one-half years. She had been in failing health during that time.

She was born in Mortonville, daughter of Franklin and S. Jennie Van Horn Still, and resided there for the past 19 years. Miss Still was a graduate of the Women's Hospital of Philadelphia and was a registered nurse in Michigan and Pennsylvania for 50 years, retiring at age 75. She was a nurse at Wilkes-Barre City Hospital for several years, a head nurse at Women's Medical, Surgical and Obstretics Hospital, worked in the children's ear nose and throat ward at the Allegheny Hospital, Pittsburgh, was assistant and relief assistant for three years at Grace Hospital, Detroit, Mich., and instructor and assistant for many years at Grace. She also worked as a private duty as a nurse at Ford Motor Co., in Michigan.

After retirement, she returned to Mortonville. Miss Still was a member of the Old Doe Run Presybyterian Church.

Surviving are two sisters Alice Rodgers of Anaheim, Calif. and Helen Webster of Mortonville, and several neices and nephews.

Services will be at the Maclean Funeral Home, Fifth Avenue and E. Lincoln Highway, Coatesville at 10:30 a.m. Monday. Internment will be in the Old Doe Run Presbyterian Church.

28 January 2011

Funeral Card Friday -- Michael J Welsh

Michael J Welsh was my uncle. Specifically he was mom's mother's father's brother. His remembrance card - in addition to offering his brith and death dates - also alludes to his residence and religion. The funeral home - Worrell & Kuzo - is THE funeral home in Kennett Square, Chester County, PA. The quote on his card is that of Cardinal Newman, indicating he was a practicing Roman Catholic.

His obit to the right of the car shows that he did in fact live in Kennett and attended the Church of St Patrick in Kennett. The church is a Roman Catholic parish within the Archdiocease of Philadelphia.

The obit reads:
Michael J Welsh, 75, died Monday night at his home, 503 Magnolia St., Kennett Square.
Mr. Welsh was born in Shenandoah, PA, the son of the late Michael and Anna Keating Walsh. He had been a resident of the Unionville-Kennett area since 1941. He formerly resided in Phoenixville.
He was last employed as an attendant at the Devereux School, West Chester. He retired in 1963.
Mr. Welsh was a member of the Church of St. Patrick, Kennett Square.
Surviving is a niece, Mrs.Lloyd Still with whom he resided, and several other nieces and nephews.
(A requim mass) for Michael J Welsh was celebrated at the Church of St Patrick, Kennett Square, yesterday by the Rev. Richard B. Ward, pastor.
Interment was in St Patrick's Cemetery. Bearers were Raymond C. and Joseph M. Welsh, James Donahoe, Thomas G. Still, Joseph P. Ruczhak, Jr., and Dennis O'Flaherty.

26 January 2011

Working on those New Year Resolutions

Earlier (December 31st actually) I had listed my (genealogy related) New Year Resolutions. # 4 is -- Obtain the parents names and information for MARGARET STILL. She was mother to my great great great grandfather GEORGE DAVID STILL (b. 1808 in East Fallowfield Township, Chester County, PA). The story goes that she had George out of wedlock and that her father put her up on a farm but that he was not necessarily from East Fallowfield.

Well - today I went to the Chester County Archives Online (http://dsf.chesco.org/archives/cwp/view.asp?Q=609990&a=3) and in the Orphans' Court Estates, 1714-1923 I found my Margaret!

The "Decedent Index" shows Margaret died in 1874. Then I went to "Index to Wills and Administrations 1714 - 1923" which shows Margaret died in 1872 and she left a will and she was a WIDOW!!!

After George was born in 1808 (see above) she did have a second son - David. She lived with David in her last years. She also left him the majority of her land (George did get a nice portion earlier).

A widow! I also finally got David's death certificate which lists his father as David Still so maybe that explains the last name. But was David Sr. also George's father? Was the david Sr a mistake?

Harris-Stowe State University to Host African-American Genealogy Workshop

Harris-Stowe State University is hosting the second annual conference themed “Genealogy from Cradle to Grave: Researching the African-American Family over the Generations,” in conjunction with the St. Louis African-American History and Genealogy Society. The conference will be held Saturday, February 19, 8 am - 4 pm at Harris-Stowe State University’s William L. Clay, Sr. Early Childhood Development/Parenting Education Center, 10 North Compton Avenue.

The keynote speaker for the event is Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D., a past-president of the African-American Genealogical Society in Cleveland, Ohio, and a retired professor of Counseling from Cuyahoga Community College. Dr. Abbott will address the crowd on “Leaving a Legacy: The Storytelling Imperative.” Workshop speakers include a number of renowned authorities on the topic including: Dr. Patricia Johnson, Dr. Diane Smoot, Dr. Robin Hanson, Dr. Shelia Johnson Smith, Susan Anderson, La Donna Garner, Janis Minor Forte, Michael Melendez, James A. Vincent, and Julius Crouch.

Topics to be covered during the day include: DNA Tests and African-Americans — Using Genetic Research to Identify the Undocumented Past; Making Family Connections Online; Beyond the Basics: Vital Records and Related; Health Interventions in Early Childhood: Preventing Chronic Diseases; One Record Leads to Another and Another; What’s New in Family Search; C.S.I. Cemetery Records; Using Nontraditional Sources to Identify and Trace Slave Ancestry; How to Get Kids Involved in Genealogy; Unlock Your Family’s Past, Be a Photo Detective; and Beginning Genealogy.

Registration fees are $40 for St. Louis AAHGS members, $45 for nonmembers, and $50 for day-of registration. To pay online or for additional information, please visit www.stl-aahgs.com.

Wordless Wednesday

The VanHorn Family of Pennsylvania


*Wordless Wednesday* – a great way to share your old family photos!

25 January 2011

Tuesday's Tip -- Make the Call & use Timelines

Make the Call ... the phone call that is. With all the online resources available, it is easy to forget that personal touch. A phone call yesterday saved me time and confirmed some info.

I am trying to find information on an uncle. Years ago my grandfather - the oldest of nine children - told me that in fact he was the second child born to Panko and Bessie Hruszczak. The first - named Theodore - was born in 1916. My grandfather did not know exactly when Theodore passed but instead simply said that his mom had been making Easter dinner when Theodore crawled into a pot of boiling water she had set on the floor. While the story itself is hard to believe, finding this boy is even harder!

A timeline is helping narrow down my search.
1915 - church records show Panko & Bessie wed in Coatesville, Chester County, PA.
1916 - Theodore was born (I do not have an exact date yet)
1917 - the family lived in Columbia, Lancaster County, PA (as per Panko's WWI reg signed in June).
1918 - my grandfather (Joseph) was born in January in Coatesville.
1919 - Panko & Bessie had another son also named Theodore (since 1st had passed by now)

I know that baby Theodore is not buried in our church cemetery in Coatesville. I called a public cemetery in Coatesville and was told no one with that name in that time frame is buried there. In fact no one with that last name is buried there. This eliminates that cemetery for this research and future research as well. Many public cemeteries have offices with a staff - limited as they may be - who can look up possible burial.

So admist all this technology - do not overlook the obvious phone call. In addition use a rough timeline to help limit your search parameters. Good luck!

24 January 2011

How to use Ancestry.com to aid in your family history search | eHow.com

Genealogy, tracing one's family tree, is a growing hobby worldwide.The researcher can make it as lineal or branched out and as they want. In searching Ancestry.com, start very specific and work your way back to general.

Read more: How to use Ancestry.com to aid in your family history search | eHow.com

22 January 2011

How to Publish a Genealogy Book | eHow.com

You've done all that research on your family. You finally found your immigrant ancestor and even crossed the pond. Now it's time to share it with the family. A printed genealogy can be dates and rote facts or it can be extended to include family stories. Self-publishing has become a popular printing option for family genealogists.
How to Publish a Genealogy Book | eHow.com

21 January 2011

Funeral Card Friday - Martin Welsh

Funeral cards are not always correct.
My great grandfather's card (seen here) had the wrong date for his passing. Someone had gone thru and corrected the date of his death to read August 15, 1933. I have no way anymore of knowing if the funeral home did this upon realizing a printer error or if a family member did so realizing the wrong information was given.

The card itself thou is entrancing. Perhaps I've always liked it because it was handed down to me since I never knew my grandmother's father. Perhaps it is because I have always though black and white has a more classical look. Whatever the reason the card speaks to me. It holds my attention.

While the card mentions nothing of the circumstance of his death, he died after an injury at work. He worked at the iron mill in Phoenixville, PA and one day was hit by one of their trains at work, according to my grandmother who had to identify him. She was the oldest and my great grandmother was evidently not up to theat assumably gruesome task.

Genealogy Projects for Math

accepted "Genealogy Projects for Math" as an article ... any suggestions? I need a minimum of four (I'd like a few more) suggestions and of course references/documentation. I have a few ideas but ... Thank you!

20 January 2011

This year is the 90th anniversary of the Clinton County Historical Society in Lock Haven, PA. The Historical Society is housed in the Heisey Museum, which is a brick Federal farmhouse built about 1831. It was used as a tavern for a while until Dr. William J. Henderson practiced medicine there in 1852. Two years later William Fearon, Jr bought the house and expanded it. The house went through several families until 1962 when Cora Frey Heisey donates it to the Clinton County Historical Society. After Agnes flooded the town in 1972, the Society restored the house as it was after the Civil War when Lock Haven was a booming lumber town.
Theses two pictures are of my girls years ago. We went up for the Annual Regatta and stopped in the Heisey Museum. They enjoyed it. I loved it.

16 January 2011

Sunday Obituary -- Lancaster Historian John Loose Passes Away

Lancaster historian John Loose passed away. Anyone who has ever remotely tought of history or genealogy in Lancaster County has heard of Mr. Loose. What an incredible man. May His Memory Be Eternal.
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14 January 2011

Funeral Card Friday - Ruczhak

My grandparents - JOSEPH & ANNA RUCZHAK - had simple cards. The same funeral home was used by both but on the bottom you can see the name change. Robert Harris brought on a partner - Kevin Mountain. My paternal great-grandparents used this same funeral home as well. The prayer on the back of the card is a choice as well. While we chose to have the Our Father, my uncle has Psalm 27:1 on the back of his. A friend had the Resurrection Prayer. Keep in mind when looking over your cards that it is the family member - the next of kin - who decides all this - unless there is a prepaid/pre planned arrangement with the funeral home.

In choosing the remembrance cards, it amazed me how easy that part was. The funeral home has different packages of cards - Orthodox (ours), Catholic, other Christian, non-denominational, etc. In our case, our funeral cards are well known icons in the Church. In this picture three are basically the same - the Theotokos (Mother of God) - while the fourth (bottom left) is Christ the Teacher.

12 January 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Ruczhak


My grandparents - JOSEPH & ANNA KURENDA RUCZHAK - were married 16 July 1939. They had planned to marry sooner but Baba's father - JOHN KURENDA - passed away 27 February 1938. They were married at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (now Ukrainian Orthodox) in Coatesville, Chester County, PA.

11 January 2011

Tuesday Tombstone - T. Edgar Rice

Edgar Rice was murdered in August of 1911 by Zacharia Walker. His murder caused a riot in an ethnically tight Coatesville (Chester County, PA). Tensions between whites and blacks were always well tense but when a black man murdered a white cop things got out of control fast. A mob of men, women and children, walked to the old Coatesville Hospital and drug Walker from his bed - still handcuffed to the cot. Walker was lynched soon after Rice's death. The lynching (they burned Walker at the stake) is said to be the only lynching ever in the state. This lynching made headlines not just locally but in the NY Times and beyond. It drew the attention of the NAACP to put a stop to lynching everywhere.
Rice's grave - as seen here- is a simple one - very plain. Nothing to indicate his role in history. He is buried in East Fallowfield Township at the Hephzibah Baptist Church.

10 January 2011

How to Request Copies of C-Files for Genealogy Research | eHow.com

C-Files are naturalization certificate files. These files came into existence with the Basic Naturalization Act of 1906 and the creation of the Federal Naturalization Service (FNS). The job of the FNS was to collect and maintain duplicate copies of all court naturalization records. Everyone who was naturalized between 1906 and 1956 has a C-File, which includes a copy of the declaration, petition and certificate of naturalization.

How to Request Copies of C-Files for Genealogy Research | eHow.com

How to Trace African-American Ancestry | eHow.com

Genealogy is the study of families or the history of a particular family. For blacks, it is often more difficult a search than for their white counterparts. Black researchers often need to research other families as well. From 1619-1869, often the only record of a black person's existence was the notes of his slave owner.

How to Trace African-American Ancestry | eHow.com

How to Organize Your Genealogy Records | eHow.com

Genealogy is a hobby in which one can easily get lost for hours--even days. However, without a good organizational system, you are going to find yourself doing the same research over and over.

How to Organize Your Genealogy Records | eHow.com

How to Include Your Genealogy Research in Your Will | eHow.com

While a monetary value cannot be placed on your genealogical research, it is still something that could be of interest to other family members and future generations.
How to Include Your Genealogy Research in Your Will | eHow.com

08 January 2011

Surname Saturday - Walsh/Welsh

There were many Walshes in Phoenixville (Chester County, PA) where my maternal grandmother grew up. Her parents were MARTIN and CATHERINE O'FLAHERTY WALSH. They were a large Irish Catholic family attending St. Mary's RC Church near their house. While Martin and Catharine kept their last name as Walsh, the children all took the surname WELSH.

My grandmother once told me it was because there was a family - unrelated - and that they were not ... of the same caliber. So, she and her siblings all changed their names to Welsh.

07 January 2011

Double check those dates ...

Double check your dates. This seems really obvious but worthwhile saying - especially today. Why today? Today is Christmas! Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Christmas? No, I haven't been asleep the last two weeks! And yes - Santa did come on the 25th of December. However, I am Ukrainian Orthodox and we are - liturgically - still on the "old calendar". While having two Christmases is cool, it has created some challenges in my genealogical searches.

For example, my grandfather was born 5 January 1918. However, his baptismal record shows him born 18 January 1918 - 13 days later! When Gigi (my grandfather) was born, the Old Calendar - or the Julian calendar - was still used. It is the only place I have found this discrepency for him, although I have found instances for other family members as well.

Best of luck in your genealogical searches! Merry Christmas!

06 January 2011

How to Start a Search for Family Medical History | eHow.com

Knowing your family medical history can be just as important as knowing simply your own. A family medical history can help you understand the past as well as guide the present.
Read more: How to Start a Search for Family Medical History | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_7703703_start-search-family-medical-history.html#ixzz1AFfQgy43How to Start a Search for Family Medical History eHow.com

How to Put Census Records in a Family Tree Maker | eHow.com

How to Put Census Records in a Family Tree Maker eHow.com
I also like to print out the images as well as save them on my hard drive. That way I have back up copies and documentation.
How to Preserve A Family History with Quilts
Quilting is a great way to preserve your family history or to remember a specific person. Individual squares contain pieces of family members’ lives. The squares might be a patch of fabric from your grandmother's apron or your baptismal dress. Woven within the quilt could be names and birth dates of family members. Each individual square is chosen with care and a reverence preserving the family history from one generation to the next. For the full story go to: http://www.ehow.com/how_7733275_preserve-family-history-quilts.html

04 January 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - POMAHKO

When I first saw this stone in our church cemetery (Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery in Coatesville, Chester County, PA), I had no idea it was family. I simply thought it would be nice to have a stone similar when it's my time. I like the simplicity of it - a simple Orthodox cross (note the footrest versus the T shaped cross of many other Christians).
Turns out - Onifur Romanko is my grandfather's uncle.

When my grandfather - PANKO HRUSZCZAK - immigrated he had to list who he was coming to see or stay with here. That is how I connected the two. He listed Onifur Romanko as his uncle living in Coatesville. Onifur's wife was Rosalia (or Rose). These two were married in 1917.
Under their vitals is a phrase we use for those who have passed -- Vichna Pam'yatʹ. Translated it means "Memory Eternal". May their souls rest in eternal happiness and may their memory live in God’s Kingdom from generation to generation. 

03 January 2011

How to Put Census Records in a Family Tree Maker | eHow.com

Through the census, you can trace your families' lives---where they lived, who lived with them, occupations and and other vital statistics. Census records are great sources to keep copies of as you trace your family tree. You can save the information from the census in your Family Tree Maker by either writing the text as a Note or by inserting an image of the census record as a media file. A combination of both is wise as well.

For the full article, go to ... How to Put Census Records in a Family Tree Maker eHow.com

Matrilineal Monday -- Mary Kilpatrick Still

MARY KILPATRICK left her father James in Ireland and came to America to be with her four sisters and two brothers. Mary was born 12 November 1887 in County Mayo, Ireland. I cannot find a record of her immigration - yet. She was married in 1908 to PIERSON GEORGE STILL. She was working for a family along the Main Line (outside Philadelphia) and PG was a blacksmith who did work for some of the wealthier families down there. They courted a bit, married and he brought her home to East Fallowfield Township, Chester County.

* 1908 - Mary Kilpatrick married Pierson George Still
* 1909 - 1st child MargaretNora born in June, died in August
* 5 Sept. 1910 - 2nd child James Franklin born. He lived til 1979.
* 1912 - 2nd child Dorothy born
* 1913 - Dorothy died
* 24 March 1914 - 3rd child Lloyd Pierson born (my grandfather - passed in 1993)
* 1916 - Mary died due to complications in childbirth. The baby was stillborn. The two were buried together in one casket.

Mary had four sisters. They were: Theresa, Margaret, Martha, and Nora. Martha married a William Little. Nora married a Sam Battie. The two brothers - James and John - returned to Ireland.

02 January 2011

Black Sheep Sunday -- MARGARET STILL

Today Margaret would not be considered (by most) to be a black sheep. In 1807 however, Margaret got pregnant out of wedlock, according to my (now late) great aunt HELEN STILL WEBSTER. Aunt Helen said that her father told her that his grandmother (Margaret) got pregnant. No one knows who the father was. It is uncertain if Margaret knew or if that part of the story just did not get passed down. Anyway - Margaret's father put her up on a farm near Goosetown in Chester County, PA. That is how the family came to be in East Fallowfield Township, Chester County, PA.

What I do know about Margaret:
* 1788 born in Pennsylvania (1850 US Census)
* 1807 got pregnant at age 19 and got placed out on a farm in Chester County, PA.(as per family story)
* 3 May 1808 son GEORGE DAVID STILL was born in East Fallowfield Township, Chester County, PA.
* 24 July 1822 son DAVID STILL was born in East Fallowfield Township, Chester County, PA.
* 2 February 1829 she bought a messuage and two tracts of land in East Fallowfield Township, Chester County, PA from the Kennedy family.
* 1850 Census shows her living with son David and his family.
* 1872 MARGARET STILL died. She is buried in the Hephzibah Baptist Church Cemetery in East Fallowfield Township, Chester County, PA.

That indiscretion that would have labeled her a Balck Sheep back in 1807 simply proves her challenging today!

01 January 2011

Surname Saturday -- Ruczhak/Hruszczak

My great grandfather was Panko Hruszczak. He was born 05 Aug 1893 in Sambir, Galicia. On 20 April 1911 he immigrated to US aboard the Volturno from Rotterdam, Holland. His last known address was Prusy, Austria. He listed his ethnicity as Austria, Ruthenian. He was an 18 year old single white male. He lists that he was coming to see his uncle Onifer Romanko in Coatesville, PA, that his destination is Coatesville, PA and that a living relative back home was his father Ted Hruszczak in Austria. (Ellis Island Passenger Record).

He married BESSIE MATYZ in Coatesville and they lived their much of their married life. They also lived in Columbia, Lancaster County, PA in 1917 (as per Panko's WWI DraftRegistration card) and in Chester, Delaware County, PA in 1920 (as per the 1920 census). They returned to Coatesville and lived out their lives there. They had five boys and one daughter. The boys have all passed now.

My grandfather told me once that Panko immigrated by himself but that he had two sisters. Gigi (my grandfather) knew only that the two girls never immigrated and instead both married Frenchmen.

I have found a couple other people sharing the same surname but have not been able yet to connect them.