31 July 2011

Sunday's Obituary -- Agnes Still

(from the Village Record 13 March 1860)
In East Fallowfield, on the 24th ult, Mrs. Agnes Still, wife of David Still, aged 41 years and 1 month.

That's it - short and simple. However, one can still gleam a great deal of knowledge from this announcement. 1. "In East Fallowfield" -- Obviously, her location. East Fallowfield is a township in Chester County, PA.
2. "on the 24th ult" -- she actually passed on February 24th.
3. "Mrs. Agnes Still, wife of David Still" -- wife not widow so therefore David is still living, presumably in East Fallowfield.
4. "aged 41 years and 1 month" -- she was born January of 1819.


30 July 2011

Traveling Tip

Occassionaly we have to travel outside of the "day trip" range for our quests! How do YOU decide where to stay? What site do you use to get the best deal?

I stumbled across otel review recently. You can search a variety of different ways - price, type, etc. It is essentially a hotel comparison site and it offers loyalty discounts. I have not had the opportunity to do anything more than "day trips" recently but I plan on one soon and am looking forward to using this. Try it and let me know how it works for you!

29 July 2011

Newspapers Make Mistakes Too

The Chester County Historical Society has a row of file cabinets just for news clippings. The files are organized by subject (Still, C. -- for example) alphabetically and many contain copy of newspapers no longer in existence. Often valuable finds are discovered here. Sometimes mistakes are too.

I discovered one of those mistakes on Wednesday. An article dated 29 December 1900 from the Local is titled "An Old Copy Book." It reads:
Catharine Shimer, of Birchrunville, Chester County, has an old German copy book which belonged to her grandmother. It is well preserved and bears the date of 1795. It contains this memorandum: // Catharine Sheldrake, daughter of David and Mary Ann (Laubaugh) Sheldrake, born July 21, 1784, married 10th December 1800 to Charles Still, who was born September 6th, 1779, son of Charles and Margaret (Rhoads) Still. Charles Still, Jr., served his country during the Revolutionary War, the son Charles being born while he was in service. David and Mary Ada Sheldrake removed from Chester County in 1814, to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, along with their four daughters and one son, the oldest two daughters Catharine Sheldrake Still and Rebecca Sheldrake Kearns, remaining in Chester County, PA. Mary Ann Laubaugh was a daughter of Johannes and Ann Cathaine Laughbaugh, natives of Holland, Europe. They removed to America prior to the Revolutionary War and settled in Pikeland, Chester County, on a farm recently owned by the Fegley's, and the Joseph J. Tustin farm. Catharine Sheldrake Still had twelve children, all of whom are now dead, but Mrs. Catharine Shimer of Birchrunville, now in her 95th year, and Rev. Amos B. Still, residing at present in Phoenixville. // By her granddaughter, Catharine E. Shimer
Now clearly, Charles and Catharine could not have married in 1800 if she had been born 1784 and he in 1779. Also if the book bears the date 1795, it can safely be assumed this note was included well after the fact and simply by someone's memory. Hence the names and places are probably correct but not the dates. Also Charles Sr. would have been the one in the War not Jr.

While not entirely accurate, it does confirm Catharine's maiden name as well as Charles' mother Margaret's maiden name. If Charles Sr. was in fact in the Revolutionary War that also gives another place to look. It also - since he is father to my great-great-great-great grandmother - potentially gives me a shot at DAR membership (Daughters of the American Revoltion).

27 July 2011

26 July 2011

Tombstone Tuesday -- my own

My own ... that sounds kind of morbid I realize but as often as we go visit cemeteries, have you ever stopped to consider what YOU want YOUR tombstone to look like and what info to include?

Otche spoke the other Sunday about last wishes (his actual talk was to remind everyone that if we did not include him on the visitation list and the "allowed to speak to" list then the doctors and medical staff might not make him - or any other priest - aware of any grave illnesses). It got me thinking.

While my family has all been told what I want, I have not put my wishes in writing. As for my tombstone ... I would like simply my name and stats. I would like my name to include my maiden name so therefore it should read: Jeanne nee Ruczhak Eckman or maybe just hypenate it. I really - even after seeing and visiting as many tombs as I have - have NO clue what kind of stone I would like for myself.

My great grandparents have a rather simple stone:
The only decoration - for lack of a better word - is our cross and praying hands and some ivy.  He is on the left and she on his right.

While I have a spot for my husband available next to me, he has not told me his last wishes. At one point he wanted to donate his body to science. Some days I would like to donate him but that is not a feasible Orthodox solution. When we have a funeral Liturgy we will be laid out under the Icon of Christ the Teacher - that same Icon where we were baptized and for many married and where we receive Communion.

I would love to find a way to design something that would include my Orthodoxy, my Slavic heritage and my Irish heritage!

Printing Your Genealogy

Are you ready to publish your family history? Or even parts of it? Sometimes breaking down a huge project is easier and less costly. Another way to save is with vistaprint coupon. Vistaprint also does business cards and reunion gifts such as photos on mugs or caps or even shirts!

NARAtions » Are You Preparing for the 1940 Census? We are!

NARAtions » Are You Preparing for the 1940 Census? We are!

Mark your calendars -- April 2, 2012 the 1940 US Census will be available! According to the National Archives it will be available FREE ONLINE!

25 July 2011

Matrilineal Monday -- Margaret Still

Wednesday I am dropping my girls off in Coatesville to head for the UOL/JUOL Annual Convention and then afterwards, my husband and I are headed to either the Chester County Histrocial Society or the Chester County Courthouse or both for some more hands on research.

Last time we were at the Courthouse Archives we found the Inquest records for Margaret Still against David Phipps. The charge was fornication which beget a male bastard child. That charge was in April 1827. Her second son David was born in 1823 so that could explain him. However, my great-great-great-grandfather George David Still was born in 1808. Was David Phipps his father as well?

I did also confirm that the boys - George and David - were both born in Uwchlan Township.

In 1829 Margaret purchased three lots of lands from the Sherriff of Chester County over in East Fallowfield. She later divided the land between the two sons - not evenly - and resided with the younger.

My search on Wednesday will hopefully delve into Uwchaln Township where I hope to figure out who exactly was Margaret's parents. I do believe I might have found a couple brothers thru courthouse records. Those brothers showed up as having run taverns without licenses!

20 July 2011

findmypast.co.uk Publishes Over Half a Million British Militia Records

LONDON, (PRNewswire/) -- Findmypast.co.uk, the leading family history website, has published the records of over half a million men who served in the British militia, the precursor to the UK's Territorial Army. The Militia Attestation Papers, covering 1806 to 1915, were made available online for the first time to coincide with British Armed Forces Day on 25 June 2011.

The records colourfully portray what the British militia looked like, detailing the height, weight, chest size, complexion, eye colour, hair colour and distinctive marks of each recruit. Arthur Wilson's distinguishing marks included an acrobat and dots tattooed on his left forearm. Similarly, Albert Smith, born in India, was recorded as having teeth that were 'defective but enough for mastication'.

Debra Chatfield, marketing manager at findmypast.co.uk, commented: "These records provide rich insight into our past and show how the everyday man, such as your local shopkeeper, found himself fighting for his country. In the absence of photographs, these records can help you imagine what your ancestors looked like, containing details which are largely unavailable elsewhere. Our easy to use website means you can unearth even more fascinating and detailed information about your ancestors at the click of a mouse."

Like today's Territorial Army, the militia was made up of men who held everyday jobs, but took part in military exercises and on occasions fought for their country. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, these typically included shoemakers, woodchoppers, butchers, bakers, coal miners and millers.

The Militia Attestation Papers are the only set of their kind available online and have been published in association with The National Archives and in partnership with FamilySearch. The records show that the soldiers who made up the militia during that period hailed not only from the UK itself, but also from around the world. Some recruits had been born in Italy, Ceylon, South Africa and even as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

David Rencher, chief genealogy officer at FamilySearch, added: "The publication of the Militia Attestation Papers fills another critical gap in the family historian's toolkit. The digitisation and indexing of this rich collection will make it easy to find the regiment an ancestor served with and also when and where he was born. Family historians will quickly realise the value of this information, particularly when the record of an ancestor's birth has been elusive or impossible to find elsewhere."

19 July 2011

Tombstone Tuesday -- William P. Walsh


William P. Walsh
Pennsylvania
Pvt US Army
World War II
Nov 26, 1909   Dec 26, 1971

Annunciation Cemetery
Shendoah, PA

16 July 2011

Today's tidbit - in 1833 george king got $2 to dig a grave according to the will of Charles Still.

14 July 2011

Those Places Thursday: New Providence, PA

Providence Township was formed out of Martic Township in 1853 however the area had been settled as early as the 1720s. Several sources indicate early settlers were mostly German-Swiss descent. During its hayday, Providence was home to such industries as Martic Furnace and a Woolen Mill as well as many grist mills. It was also home to many saw mills, a natural progression since the land was full of hardwoods.

Farming was another popular profession although many farmers - like Henry Eckman who settled here in 1817 - supplemented income with other related businesses. Many farmers quite naturally doubled as butchers and blacksmiths.

Providence Township was home to many one room schoolhouses during the 1800s. Many of the old schoolhouses do not have datestones and records were poorly kept over the years. Schools included Fairview, New Providence, Harmony, Pleasant Valley, Mt. Airy, Hickory Grove, Rising Sun and Clearfield. Today elementary students attend Providence Elementary School, part of the Solanco School District. There are also many Amish schoolhouses still.

Early settlers included Shenk, Eckman, Miller, Mylin, Bair and Herr families.

There are many churches and cemeteries - too numerous to do justice in this short entry. A seperate entry focusing on the churches and cemeteries will appear next Thursday. Until then ...

13 July 2011

Deyoe Family Cemetery

I have to begin by thanking Sylvia Hasenkopf and everyone who have provided this information. Sylvia does a great deal with a Greene County Mailing List and it was through that list that I stumbled upon this site which lists the graves in the Deyoe Family Cemetery.

Included on this list is John W. and Mary Schermerhorn Deyoe. They are the parents of Daniel G. Deyoe who fathered Morgan G. Deyoe - my husband's maternal grandfather.
  1. In small fenced area: John Deyoe, d. June 20, 1880, age 86y8m7d.
  2. In small fenced area: Mary Schermerhorn, wife of John Deyoe, d. June 15, 1881, age 87y.
While the site did not offer much new information, it did reiterate some information and help to paint a better family picture.

12 July 2011

Tombstone Tuesday

Walsh
Catherine J.  1870-1957
Mary Walsh Carroll 1897-1972
William J.  1867 - 1950

Annunciation BVM Roman Catholic Cemetery
Shenandoah, PA

11 July 2011

Descendants of Adam Draucher Eckman

1 Adam Draucher Eckman     
       b: 05 May 1856 in Lancaster County, PA       d: 04 November 1946 in Hull, IL
       +Mary Robbins       b: 11 December 1854 in IL       d: 03 May 1900
......2        Daniel Robbins Eckman     
       b: 21 May 1881 in Kinderhook, IL d: 07 January 1957 in Hannibal, Marion, IL
..........       +Lettie Elizabeth Brooks       b: 30 December 1882 in Hazen Pike, IL       d: 11 June 1975 in Hannibal, Marion, IL
...........3        Fay Brooks Eckman     
       b: 02 July 1907 in Hannibal, Marion, IL       d: 1952 in Los Angeles, CA
...........3        Mary Ethel Eckman     
       b: 04 November 1908 in Hannibal, Marion, IL d: 08 August 1985 in Warwick, Orange, NY
..........       +Raymond Willbord Boas     
       b: 09 February 1904 in E. Fork Twp., Montgomery, IL       d: 14 May 1984 in Glendale, Maricopa, AZ
.............4 Mary Evelyn Boas     
       b: 18 March 1930     
.............4 Raymond Wilbur Boas Boas     
       b: 14 July 1931     
.............4 Agnes Elizabeth Boas     
       b: 22 October 1945     
......................5 William Gregory Boas     
              b: 22 August 1981     
......2        George Cleveland Eckman       b: 1884     
......2        Henry W. Eckman       b: 1886 in Pike County, IL     
..........       +Clara Schaffer            
......2        Sarah Verna Eckman       b: 1890     
..........       +Thomas Jefferson Brooks            
...........3        Frances Nadine Brooks            
......2        Elmer Eckman       b: 1892       d: 1892
......2        Ella May Eckman     
       b: 29 March 1894 in Sechorn, IL       d: 15 November 1989 in Barry, Adams Co., IL
..........       +Earl Shepherd       b: 27 May 1892 in Hull, IL       d: 13 November 1954 in Quincy, Adams Co., IL
...........3        Robert Earl Shepherd     
       b: 29 March 1928 in Hannibal, MO       d: 14 September 1981 in Pittsfield, Pike Co., IL
................+Betty Joann Autery       b: 21 July 1933 in Pittsfield, Pike Co., IL     
..............4 Marlene BettyLou Shepherd       b: 17 June 1950     
..................+Larry Jolly            
.............4 Robert Lee Shepherd     
       b: 27 December 1951 in Scott Air Force Base, St. Clair, IL d: 07 August 1970 in Madison Co., IL
...............       *2nd Wife of Robert Earl Shepherd:            
...................+Laura McCallister            
.............4 Floyd Dean Shepherd       b: 09 October 1960     
............ 4 Tammy Lynn Shepherd       b: 20 January 1963

the above is from various resources I have used throughout the years. This particular note was one I had written to another Eckman researcher awhile back.

In Search of the Perfect Web Host

I realize there is no perfect anything in life but I'd like to fins a near-perfect web host for a small budgeted growing genealogy business. My husband used to actually host websites but got out of the business a few years ago due to health concerns.

I was reading an article at python hosting and I realized there are so many more choices out there now then when I was doing web sites before. So I thought I would throw our my question for your opinions!

Did you design your own site or is the host part of a package?
-- I intend on doing my own design and upkeep.
How do you update your site? Is it relatively painless?
Does your host require a long term contract?
What does your host charge?
Are you happy with your host?
Who do you use?

Thank you in advance to all who respond - either on here specifically or by email (jeanne.eckman@comcast.net).

09 July 2011

Supplemental Income

Many farmers supplemented their livelihood with other professions. Henry Eckman did just that. In 1817 Henry was a farmer, a butcher and a plasterer in Smithville. (Source: Hollinger, Paul R. "Now and Then in Providence Township" Lancaster, 1976)
Last wish of John Thompson of Schuylkill County - a CW vet - to die in his CW uniform sitting on his front porch. (Lanc News 6 July 1917)

06 July 2011

Happy birthday Dad -- Frank Raymond Eckman

He would have been 82 today -- my husband's father that is. Frank Raymond Eckman.
Dad was born 6 July 1929 in Philadelphia to John Charles and Mabel Florence Eckman. He had numerous jobs during his life including a truck driver but by far the most noteable - perhaps because it was his last or the one he dedicated most of his life to - was law enforcement.

At the time of his passing he was the Chief for the Sadsbury (Lancaster County) Police Department. More to the point - he WAS the police department. It was a one-man PD assisted by ride-alongs and other local one mans. He had accepted that position in 1982. As part of that position, he also served the township as its Emergency Management Coordinator.


Before becoming Chief he served as an officer for both the Colerain and the Little Britain Township PDs. He did that for about five years. He got involved in the departments after moving out from Philadelphia in 1975. However he was no stranger to law enforcement. From 1957 to 1975 he was an officer for the Philadelphia PD. During his tenure there he provided numerous services and held various jobs, including Highway Patrol and their drill team. He also worked with the City's Armory. In 1970 he received the Medal of Valor for his actions after he was shot during a raid.

He was 65 when he passed. He left his wife Dorothy Marie Deyoe (now passed as well), two sons Glenn (my husband) and Frank Jr (passed away in 2010), two daughters Wilma Lee LeMon (passed in 2005) and Eileen Walkling, as well as 12 grandchildren at that time. (We've added two since then).

From left to right: Dad Eckman, Wilma Lee, Eileen, Frank Jr., Mom Eckman, Glenn, me, my Mom, Noreen (my sister) and my Daddy.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

05 July 2011

Tombstone Tuesday -- Murt Durkin

I came across MURT DURKIN's tombstone in the Annunciation Cemetery in Shenandoah, PA.  There is no date on the stone itself. It reads only "Murt Durkin Phoenix Fire Co No 2 And Altar Society".

The 1930 US Census for Shenandoah shows 75 year old Murt Durkin with daughter Rose, son Murt and daughter Isabelle. The father Murt is not employed and the son is listed as a laborer in a coal mine. The 1920 Census shows mom Rose still living. Father Murt is a foreman in the coal mine while son Murt remains a laborer in the mines.

04 July 2011

Deyoes in the Civil War

Thanks to Ancestry.com I found my husband's great grandfather's brother in the Civil War! According to: New York State Archives, Albany, New York; Town Clerks´ Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War, ca 1861-1865; Collection Number: (N-Ar)13774; Box Number: 64; Roll Number: 35 ...
James Deyoe was the son of John Deyoe and Mary Schermerhorn (putting him brother to our Daniel). James was born on 8 July 1822 in Lexington, Greene County. He enlisted on 8 August 1862 in Shandaken, Ulster, NY. He was a Provate in the 120th Infantry with Company B. I also confirmed he was married at the time. I found several other Deyoes - most from Saratoga - but no mention of a Daniel yet.