31 May 2012

Opinions Wanted

Have you used Ancestry.com? Did you love it, or hate it? Share your experience: http://ancestrycom.knoji.com/via/jeanneeckman/

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Share your experiences!

29 May 2012

A Closer Look: Catharine Durkin Coogan

Catharine Durkin Coogan (1887 - 1933)
married James H. Coogan Sr.
had two children:
1. Catherine Coogan
2. James H. Coogan Jr.

In 1930 the Coogan family lived in a rented house on South Jardin Street in Shenandoah Borough (Schuykill County, PA). At the time of the census, James Sr was 48; Catharine was 43; young Catherine was 23 and young James was 21. James Sr. had been 23 when they got married; Catharine had been only 18. Hence the Coogans were celebrating their 25th anniversary that year. Everyone was born in Pennsylvania. The parents listed their parents as having been born in the Commonwealth as well. James Sr. was a tailor. Young Catherine was a teacher in a public school. Mother and son were not employed.

The 1920 census gave basically the same information. The only two differences were: James Sr listed his occupation as a merchant for men's furnishings; and the family lived on North Main Street.

The 1910 census gives a broader picture. The family is renting a place on North Gilbert Street. The census notes it is the first marriage for both of them. It also notes that Catharine has given birth to three children but only two (young Catherine and young James) are living. They have been married for five years at this point. James Sr. is a clerk in a department store. The glaring difference in this census is that Catharine now lists her parents as having been born in Ireland.

A Kate Durkin shows on the 1900 census. She is the daughter of Murt and Rose Durkin. Her birth is close: 1886 versus 1887 but I believe they may be the same person.

According to the 1900 census:
* Murt (Murtagh) was born in February 1856 in Ireland. He immigrated in 1856. It shows he is 44 years old and has been in America for 43 years. He is a naturalized citizen and is employed as a Fire Boss. I stumbled across his grave at Annunciation Cemetery in Shenandoah.
* Rose was born in January 1858. She immigrated in 1864 from Ireland and has been in America for 35 years. She has not yet become a naturalized citizen. It shows she has given birth to 10 children but only 9 are living.
* Mary, the oldest daughter, is a laundry lady. She was born in December 1877.
* Sadie was born in September 1879 and is not employed.
* Annie was born in November 1881 and is a dressmaker.
* Rose was born in December 1884 and is still in school.
* Kate was born in March 1886 and is still in school as well.
* Lizzie was born in March 1897 and was in school.
* Michael was born in June 1888 and was in school.
* Murt was born in November 1895.
* Nathan was born in November 1899.

On a side note - I did find young James (Catharine's son) on the Social Security Death Index (SSDI). It lists his birth as being 24 Jun 1908. He passed in April 1962.

28 May 2012

Military Monday: Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day set aside nationally for those who gave their lives in service to our country. Today, I would like to take a moment and thank all those who currently serve and those who have served. I would also like to commemorate those who have sacrificed everything for us at home.

Each year the local VFW comes around to the various cemeteries in and around Coatesville (Chester County, PA) and does a nice service and 21 gun salute. This past Sunday was exceptionally nice. The VFW had a nice showing when they came up to Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery and made their way to Ruth Buckle's grave. (For the last few years we have actually chosen a specific vet to have the service done at even though everyone is remembered and appreciated).

We have many veterans in our cemetery. Most served in World War II, like Ruth Buckle. Ruth served in the US Army Nurses Corps during the War. Her husband, Michael Buckle, with whom she is buried next to, also served. He served in the US Navy in the Phillippines.

Each of our veterans has a flag flying at their grave. Many also have some sort of notation on their tombstone as well.

Other veterans buried at Holy Ghost are:
  • Michael Bilinski
  • William Estes
  • John "Jack" Gbur served in the US Army during WWII.
  • Gary Lee Handoe
  • William Hanna was a Tec 5 in the US Army in WWII.
  • Joseph Hoczok served in WWII
  • John M. Kobylanski was a Pvt. in the US Army during WWII.
  • Joseph Kowalski
  • Joseph N. Kuciel
  • My uncle Paul Kurenda. Paulie is my grandmother's younger brother. He died in service.
  • Wayne Lauser served as an Aviation Cadet, Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force.
  • John Lebid served in the US Army as a staff sergeant and medic during WWII. He was in the European Theater and earned a Bronze Star for his service.
  • William Joseph Leveille served in the Marine Corps during WWII.
  • Richard Mace
  • Frank P. Masculli
  • Peter Max served as a Pvt. in the US Army during WWII.
  • Stanley Max
  • Harry Moran
  • Andy Panaski served as a PFC in the US Army in WWII.
  • Michael Panaski served in the US Army in WWII.
  • Joseph Procyson served in WWII.
  • My uncle Paul Ruczhak served in the US Army during WWII. He is one of my grandfather's brother.
  • Joseph Urban
  • Joseph T. Zubyk served in the US Navy during WWII and in Korea as well. He is actually buried at the Rosewood Memorial Park in Virginia Beach, VA.
  • George Zvodar
To those who have passed, we thank you and May Your Memory Be Eternal.

c. 2012

24 May 2012

Thankful Thursday - My Veterans

Thank you to all the veterans - mine and yours - out there. Many of us go about our days assuming we have certain rights, assuming we can bash our political system and our governement without retaliation, assuming that we practice our religion without fear, assuming we will go about life and tomorrow will be pretty much the same. Assuming ... Thank you veterans for making those constitutional rights - which many of us take for granted - possible. Thank you veterans for keeping us as safe as can be in a democratic society, both here and abroad. Thank you veterans for giving of yourselves in the many countless ways you do. Thank you families of veterans for all the crap you put up with so that we might live as we do. Thank you families of veterans for all that you do without so that we might live as we do.

We (my family and my husband's side of the family) have had our share of veterans and have seen some of the residual effects of all that you go through. There are simply too many to mention (that and I don't want to forget anyone!) but thank you all.

22 May 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Walsh

Last summer we took a family day and went to Shenandoah in northern PA to look for my Walsh/Keating family. I found the Catholic Cemetery -- Annunciation BVM Roman Catholic Cemetery
-- in Shenandoah and lots of Michael Walshes but sadly, not mine. This Michael Walsh (1861-1918) is buried here with Mary (1843-1916) and Martin (1876-1937).

21 May 2012

Military Monday: Paul Kurenda

PFC Paul Kurenda was only 22 when he gave his life for our country. He became ill fighting in Europe during WW2. He was brought back to the States and finally was transferred to Valley Forge General Hospital where he died.

He was buried in the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery in Valley Township, Chester County sharing a plot with his parents. His father had predeceased him and is buried to the other side so that Paul is between his parents.

He was born in 1922 to John and Frances (nee Skrabalek) Kurenda. Paul had two brothers: Peter and John. In addition, he had three sisters Mary, wife of Andrew Sokso; Catherine, wife of John Yuzwiak; and Anna, wife of Joseph Ruczhak. (Anna & Joe were my grandparents).

17 May 2012

Thankful Thursday: Aunt Helen

Next to my grandmother, my Aunt Helen was the single most family member who got me interested in genealogy. She was so helpful and so excited that a "young person" was interested in the family.

Aunt Helen was born in East Fallowfield Township in 1905 which of course made her the oldest living relative I had growing up. She passed in 1995, having lived a full life. The daughter of Franklin Still and Sarah Jennie VanHorn Still, she was my great grandfather (Pierson George Still)'s sister.

In 1924 she married Elwood James Webster. They had two girls. One died shortly after birth. The other daughter is still with us. In 1995 when Aunt Helen passed away, the church at Old Doe Run was packed. She had such an impact on so many lives. 

07 May 2012

Mystery Monday - Peter VanHorn

I recently received this email and thought - since it is a mystery atm I would include it here as well! ...

"I read somewhere on line that you might have information on the name Vanhorn of NJ, near Hunterdon County. An ancestor on my family tree, Mary Jane Heath, was married to a Peter Vanhorn in 1865. She was his first wife and they had two children, Cora and William. After she died c. 1874, He went on to marry two or three times more and died in 1915. Do you have any information on these particular Vanhorns and where they might have lived in NJ or PA? Or where they might be buried?" inquired Nancy Heath Dallaire.

First I have to apologize to Nancy. The email was dated January of this year but it went to an old email that I do not actively use.

I do not show a Peter VanHorn in my specific tree but will look in my "VanHorn" folder. This is a folder that holds information on people that I know sooner or later I will piece them in but just can not yet.

I found VanHorns in Hunterdon County, Bergen County in NJ and Bucks, Philadelphia and Chester Counties, PA. I did find one Peter (so far) but he shows too early. The Peter Barentsen Van Horn I found is the son of Barent Christiansen Van Horn and Geertje Dircks. He was born 19 April 1686 in Bergen, NJ. He died in 1750 in Bucks County, PA.

Incidently, my VanHorns begin with Sarah VanHorn who married my grat great grandfather Franklin Still. Sarah's parents were Chrispin Peirson VanHorn (1839-1902) and Maria Rice. Chrispin's parents were George VanHorn (b. 1815) and Jane Dudbridge (b. 1811). George's parents were John and Jane VanHorn. I've traced them to Philadelphia County, PA. The Dudbridges do show up on census records in Hunterdon, NJ.

I will keep looking and ask that if you are reading this and know of any Peter VanHorn that might tie in, please respond!

04 May 2012

Discover Americas Hidden Gems in New York

Castle Garden. NPS PhotoNew York has many historical parks and landmarks to interest anyone in either American heritage or specifically New York history. May is National Preservation Month and the theme this year is "Discover America's Hidden Gems". This month go visit your local historical landmarks. Each landmark has its own personal story to tell in relation to the history of your local area.

Click HERE to read the full article as it appeared on Knoji. The article also has a section on CASTLE GARDEN, the immigration meca before Ellis Island!

National Preservation Month Encourages Americans to Discover Our Hidden Gems

May is National Preservation Month and the theme this year is "Discover America's Hidden Gems". This month go visit your local historical landmarks. Each landmark has its own personal story to tell in relation to the history of your local area. The Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado tells a story of the Ancient Pueblo people. The Concord Point Lighthouse in Havre de Grace, Maryland tells a maritime story. Each story is a chapter in our American history and heritage.

Click HERE to read the full article as it appeared on Knoji.
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.