31 May 2013

Lancaster County Archives offers classes

While researching a marriage this morning, I stumbled upon this great resource:
(taken verbatim from Lancaster County website)

New Course!
Searching Deeper: Untraditional Geneaology Sources at the Lancaster County Archives
Fridays, March 8th and November 8th
(same class offered two different dates)
9am - noon
Lancaster County Government Center Annex: Room 102/104
Plus:Take a tour of the Lancaster County Archives Department!
Also, Lancaster Central Market is open on Fridays and just a block away!

Discovering Your Roots: Genealogy Sources at the Lancaster County Archives
Fridays, February 8th, May 3rd, July 12th, and October 4th
(same class offered four different dates)
9am - noon
Lancaster County Government Center Annex: Room 102/104
Plus:Take a tour of the Lancaster County Archives Department!
Also, Lancaster Central Market is open on Fridays and just a block away!

Homemade History: Researching Your Historic Home at the Lancaster County Archives
Fridays, June 7th and September 13th
(same class offered two different dates)
9am - noon
Lancaster County Government Center Annex: Room 102/104
Plus:Take a tour of the Lancaster County Archives Department!
Also, Lancaster Central Market is open on Fridays and just a block away!

Courses are free and available to everyone.
Please reserve your seat and register
by calling Lancaster County IT at 717.299.8257
and press "1" for the non-technical nature questions.
Registration is available Monday-Friday, 8:30am until 5pm.

NMAM: Herbert Eckman

As May comes to a close, this is our last National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM) entry until next year. We will continue to highlight our servicemen and women on Monday's as GeneaBloggers promote Military Mondays. Today we randomly chose World War II veteran Herbert Eckman of Lancaster County, PA

Herbert served in the Army from 31 August 1942 to 8 December 1943.

He was born 19 May 1913. Herbert was six when the 1920 Census was taken. He was at home with his parents -  Frank M & Nevada - and his siblings: Emlyn S., Ray, Beluha, Dorothy, and Delmar.  The 1930 Census shows Herbert - then 16 - living with his parents and his older brother Delmar, age 18. Frank was a automobile salesman. Delmar was a laborer in a pickle plant and herbert was still in school.

His wife is Dorothy M. Eckman. The 1940 Census shows he and Dorothy living on a farm in Drumore Township, Lancaster County, PA. Living with them was a hired hand by name of Warren Boyd. Boyd was 20 at the time.

He passed on 13 Feb 1983 at the age of 69. He is buried in Quarryville cemetery, in Quarryville, Lancaster County, PA.

Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Veterans Burial Cards, 1777-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

30 May 2013

NMAM: John Frederick Eckman

John Frederick Eckman served in the Navy in WWI. He served from 23 September 1918 until 30 September 1921.

He was born on 20 February 1897 to William Aldus and Annie E Stively Eckman in Quarryville. The 1910 Census shows the then 13 year old John at home in Lancaster City. He was one of five children, although his parents had lost a child by the 1910 census. His father was a commercial traveler in the carpet cleaning industry.

In 1918 when he registered for the draft, John was living in Detroit, MI, working for a sales company. His father, who was listed as his closest kin, was still in Lancaster County, PA. The 1920 census includes John as a lodger with the Trapp Family in Detroit. He worked as a machine operator in the auto industry.

He passed on 20 January 1985. He is buried at the New Providence Mennonite Cemetery, New Providence, Lancaster County, PA with his wife Helen May Moore (1895-1971).

29 May 2013

NGS announces 2014 conference

NGS has announced the 2014 Family History Conference will be held 7–10 May 2014 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and Marriott Hotel located in downtown Richmond, Virginia.
Below is their press release issued today:
Conference highlights and contact information for conference hotels can be found in the Announcement Brochure, which can be downloaded at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/galleries/new-gallery/2014_Announcement_Brochure.pdf. The conference theme, Virginia: The First Frontier, will explore the records and history that draw so many back to their roots in the Old Dominion. Lecture topics will also include migration into, within, and out of the region down the Great Wagon Road, over the Appalachian Mountains, and across the south to Texas and beyond. 

Genealogy conferences in Richmond, Virginia, are always well attended, so plan to make your reservations early. The five conference hotels will accept reservations beginning 1 June 2013 and the special conference rates apply three days before and after the conference. The hotels offer a variety of amenities and dining options, so choose the one that best fits your needs. The convention and visitors bureau will be providing shuttle buses between the convention center and the Crowne Plaza, Omni, and Holiday Inn Express hotels, which are a few blocks away, while the conference is in session. For more details please see the NGS conference website at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/accommodations. Consider arriving early to experience one or more historical tours in and around Richmond provided by Richmond Discoveries’ Tours on Monday afternoon 5 May 2014 and Tuesday morning and afternoon 6 May 2014. Details can be found at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/tours. Tour reservations will be accepted beginning 1 December 2013. 

The four-day conference will include more than 150 lectures by nationally known experts on topics including the history, records, repositories, and ethnic and religious groups in Virginia and the neighboring states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The program will also feature broader genealogical categories including military and other federal records, the law as it relates to genealogy, methodology, analysis, and problem solving. There will also be an emphasis on the use of technology (GenTech) in genealogical research including genetics, mobile devices, and apps.  

An Exhibit Hall with more than 100 vendors will be free and open to the public from Wednesday through Saturday at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, directly across from the Marriott Hotel. Exhibitors will include genealogy database and software providers, booksellers, genealogy societies, providers of genetic testing, and much more.  

Sign up for the NGS Conference Blog at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org so you do not miss any of the conference news or announcements. Conference registration opens 1 December 2013.

NMAM: Oscar Eckman

Oscar's headstone is a simple stone. His name is included on the family stone and he also has an individual stone that reads "Oscar D. Eckman, Mec. USA Amb. Cps. Unit 583."

He was born on 21 April 1878 to John Henry and Catharine Kezia Cresswell Eckman, one of 11 children. The family attended the Zion UCC in Providence Township. His brother Charles is my husband's great grandfather.

28 May 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Ann Harris

Ann Harris
14 June 1904
11 January 1978
buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery
Valley Township, Chester County, PA
Photo by Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman

NMAM: James Deyoe

Private James Deyoe served in the 120th Regiment, Co B in the Civil War. He enlisted on 8 August 1862 in  Shandaken, Ulster, New York.

James was born 8 Jul 1822 in Lexington, Greene Co, New York to John and Mary Schermerhorn Deyoe. He was one of six children to the couple. The 1880 Census lists Eliza Lane as his wife. She is 35, he is 57. They also have a 73 year old servant - Smith Griffin - who is a farm laborer.

He passed on 21 November 1890 and is buried at the Deyoe Family Cemetery in Lexington, NY.

One of James' siblings is Daniel G. Deyoe. Daniel married Louise Sharp and their son Moran G. Deyoe was my husband's maternal grandfather.

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.

27 May 2013

Memorial Day dates back to just after the Civil War

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Originally called Decoration Day, its exact origins have been blurred over the years. The day itself was officially proclaimed by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic on 5 May 1868.

It was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday in 1873. After World War I, the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress and - sadly I might add - placed on the last Monday in May. Moving the day to a Monday like any other federal holiday diminished its true relevance. Memorial Day is - and should be remembered as - a National Day of Mourning.

Memorial Day is not about barbeques and sales at the mall. It is a day when we should remember those who gave their lives in service to the nation. So how should one celebrate Memorial Day? It is suggested that one visits cemeteries and places flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes. Visit memorials and fly  our nation's flag at half-staff until noon. Fly the 'POW/MIA Flag' as well. Participate in a "National Moment of Remembrance": at 3 p.m. to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day. Finally, renew a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our fallen soldiers, and to aid the disabled veterans.

This month Genealogical Gems had been focusing on a different veteran each day in honor of National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM). Although this month is coming to a close, Mondays here are (okay most Mondays!) Military Mondays. It is a blog prompt by GeneaBloggers in which we focus and highlight on a military personnel or something in general military related. I encourage you to visit back here on Mondays, especially if you have enjoyed the NMAM posts.

To all who have served - THANK YOU.

26 May 2013

An Eckman ancestor fought in the Revolutionary War

Exciting news to share .... while looking up Sunday's NMAM piece, I confirmed that Martin Eckman, who fought in the Revolutionary War and is buried in the Eckman/Kunkle Cemetery,  is my husband's 4th great grandfather!

Actually John Martin Eckman is his full name. He is the son of Jerome Hieronimous (1718 – 1784) and Barbara Slaymaker (1724 – 1796) Eckman!

John Martin Eckman married Elizabeth Sides. They had nine children:
  1. Mary
  2. Susanna
  3. Henry
  4. Martin
  5. Elizabeth
  6. Hieronimous
  7. Daniel
  8. Sarah
  9. Jacob

Elizabeth Eckman married (yes a cousin) Henry Eckman. They had eight children:
  1. Daniel
  2. Catharine
  3. John Henry
  4. Lydia
  5. Ann
  6. Martha
  7. Elizabeth
  8. Mary

John Henry Eckman married Catharine Kezia Cresswell on 7 January 1858 in Providence Township. They had 11 children!
  1. Clara
  2. Charles Henry
  3. Dora H.
  4. Margaret Estella
  5. John Grant
  6. Darius J.
  7. Martha Ann
  8. Winona Sue
  9. Kate Bernice
  10. Oscar Dale
  11. Edith Alberta

Charles Henry Eckman married Rosa T. Kirchner from Lancaster City. Their son, John Charles Eckman, is my husband's grandfather!

NMAM: Eckmans in the Revolutionary War

There is so much information provided in Civil War records and the two World War records but not so much for those soldiers who initially fought for our freedoms here in the States. The "Pennsylvania, Revolutionary War Battalions and Militia Index, 1775-1783" includes entries for a couple Eckmans, though I am sure more served.

The Index includes a John Eckman, a Martin Eckman and a Henry Eackman. There are also many Heckmans and Hickmans that came up in a simply search by surname. Both John and Martin are listed under "Associates and Militia". John is a Lieutenant and Martin is a Private. Henry (not shown) is a Lieutenant and is also listed under "Associates and Militia." My search parameters had merely been Eckman, born and lived in PA.

While John was tough to track down with certainty, Martin was relatively easy as someone else had taken a photo (at right) of Martin's grave - with the Revolutionary War grave marker - and uploaded it to Ancestry.com. Apparently he is buried in the Eckman/Kunkle Cemetery.

Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Revolutionary War Battalions and Militia Index, 1775-1783 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

25 May 2013

NMAM: Jacob Eckman

This month we have been honoring a different veteran each day. Today's randomly chosen veteran is Jacob Eckman who served in the War of 1812. He enlisted on 25 August 1813 and served as a Private in Capt. Stansbury's Co 38 US Inf. He was discharged 30 April 1814.

Jacob was born 30 September 1791 in Loudon, Virginia to Peter and Elizabeth Eckman. According to a fellow researcher, Peter was a son of Hans Jacob Eckman and was born in 1751 in Pennsylvania.

His first wife was Margaret Lind (1801-1834). He married Mary Raney (1792-1875) in 1844. He passed away on 10 September 1877. They lived in Cleves, Hamilton County, Ohio. He fathered five children between the two wives. They are: Addison Shannon Eckman (1820-1860); George Washington Eckman (182-1877); Peter L. Eckman (1824-1867); William Henry Eckman (1828-1884); and Eliza Eckman Geeding (1840-1924).

He is buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Cleves, Hamilton County, OH.

Ancestry.com. War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2010.

Ancestry.com. Web: Ohio, Find A Grave Index, 1787-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

Sorting Saturday: Attempting some organization

Lately I feel like I have been running in several different directions at once. Normally I am very organized and everything has its place. However, as my life gets more stressful, my desk has become cluttered in one large pile. Friday it was cool enough to do some cleaning and rearranging upstairs.

My work area is quarantined to a small section of my incredibly small bedroom. I began by emptying out everything onto my bed. My cat was not happy with me! To help organize things I put everything in its own pile: a writer's magazines pile; miscellaneous magazine and pamphlet pile; a diabetes info pile; a running and fitness pile; a church pile; a pile for my work at Hospitality Basket; and finally what was left on my bed should be genealogy related.

As I'm going through the piles and piles of things I came across an article  from the NGS Quarterly volume 82 # 4 from December 1994 . to article titled " Tracking a Soldier Between Enlistment and Discharge:  the Example of Private Charles Plucker" by Elizabeth Kelly Kerstenens.   She defines genealogy as "the story of nation or society on a personal level." What really neat definition!

This month – May – Genealogical Gems has highlighted various veterans in recognition of National Military Appreciation Month . Each of these men and women highlighted have given of themselves in ways some of us can only imagine.  They have each left their own personal mark on our nation  and our society.  Sometimes we forget that as we trace our family histories, that are genealogy is more than just the sum of dates and figures and places and names, but rather a story woven into the communities across our nation,  a story about our nation  on very personal levels.

By sorting through everything I also was able to organize my genealogy information sorted into Surname Files. This is something I started doing a long time ago. The Surname Files are information I have found along the way on a specific person that I just can not place. I go through the files every so often and can often piece together family members that I previously could not. Often it helps find an extended line.

I also found some things that I really do not need, like the wood buildings from The Cat's Meow and Hometown Collectibles. I just have to figure out where to best sell them. I have available:
  • Fieldcrest Apartments - Brethren Village, Lancaster PA (4th in the Brethren Village series) c.2000 The Cat's Meow
  • Village Townhouse Apartments - Brethren Village, Lancaster PA (5th in the Brethren Village series) c. 2000 The Cat's Meow
  • Grace Lutheran Church, Lancaster PA c. 1998 Hometown Collectibles
  • St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, Lancaster PA c.2000 Hometown Collectibles
  • Masonic Temple, Coatesville, PA c. 1997 Hometown Collectibles -- this one is numbered 291/500.

Maybe next Saturday I can sort through a Surname Folder one by one.

In addition the organizing my genealogy files and information, I found several reference items to be used for various other articles - mostly health related and most of which will be useful for publication on Examiner.com or on Facing Diabetes. I also found some information that will be useful for a church related book I am considering attempting. I also found several ideas and prompts for prepper related articles.

In the end, I feel less cluttered. There is a lot of work for me but I feel I can tackle it better now. And the best part ... Alice has her perch back and seemed pleased with the changes!


24 May 2013

Today in History: First Night Game in Baseball Played

Tonight the Philadelphia Phillies lost to the Cincinnati Reds 78 years ago. It is not historical that the Phils lost (sorry fans). What makes this event historical is that - in 1935 - this game was the first Major League Baseball game held at night!

While I certainly do not recall this event, I do remember many nights when I stayed over at my maternal grandparents and we all fell asleep listening to the Phils on the radio. I was never really into baseball - except when a guy I liked back in middle school played - so I do not recall the players or how well the team played. I simply rmember cuddling up with my grandfather and listening to the game. He was such a baseball fan!

The Phllies were actually formed back in 1883. Their first game was 1 May 1883 at Recreation Park on the corner of 24th Street and Ridge Avenue.

NMAM: Ellis Eckman

Ellis Eckman is our featured veteran today as we come to a close of National Military Appreciation Month. Ellis served in the Civil War in the 13th Infantry.

This (above) pension application reveals that Ellis served in the H 13th US Infantry and the Rec. Party Gen. Ser. USA. He applied initially for his pension on 30 August 1894. His widow - Emma J. Eckman - applied on 28 August 1897.
Ellis and Emma are such common names in the Eckman Family and since I randomly chose him from a database on Ancestry.com, I simply cannot - at this moment - confirm any additional information.
National Archives and Records Administration. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments, June 1821 - December 1916; Microfilm Serial: M665; Roll: 144.

23 May 2013

NMAM: William C Eckman

William Chester Eckman served in the US Army during World War I. Today we honor him as we continue our National Military Appreciation Month.

He registered for the draft in June 1917. He was single at that time, according to his Draft Registration. He served in the Army from 27 May 1918 to 20 January 1919. PFC Eckman was assigned to the Dep Brig Rec Detachment. He served in Co K 314 Inf WWI.

William was born 20 February 1889 in Cochranville, Chester County, PA. His parents were Henry E. and Phoebe Ella (nee Fox) Eckman. The 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 Censuses show William, still single, living in East Fallowfield with his parents and siblings. His siblings were Anna Lecritia (b. September 1891), George Henry (b. March 1898) and Jacob Derwood (b. 1903). Henry was 21 and Ella was 19 at the time of their marriage in 1888. Everyone was born in Pennsylvania. Ella does appear in the 1940 Census as a widow. None of the children live with her. Instead she has a 20 year old lodger named Naomi Burns.

At the age of 89, he passed on 19 May 1978. He is buried at St. Cecila's Cemetery in Coatesville, Chester County, PA.

St Cecila's is one of the Roman Catholic churches in town. It closed down a few years back though the cemetery is still obviously used and maintained. The parish fell under the Archdiocease of Philadelphia.

Parental Note:
Henry was born 13 June 1862. Phoebe was born 17 May 1869. Henry and Phoebe Fox applied for their marriage license on 17 December 1887 in Chester County.

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

Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; State Headquarters: Pennsylvania; Microfilm Series: M1951; Microfilm Roll: 82.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards, 1929-1990; Archive Collection Number: Series 2-2; Folder Number: 596.

22 May 2013

Wordless Wednesday: SS Volturno

SS Volturno
this is the ship my great grandfather Panko Hruszczak came over on in 1911
at just 18 years of age, he arrived at Ellis Island on 20 April 1911
the port of deaprture was Rotterdam, Holland
The ship burned at sea just two and half years later.

NMAM: Charles W Eckman

Charles W. Eckman served our country during the Civil War. He served as a Colonel in the Pennsylvania Infantry. After the War, he petitioned for his pension on 22 October 1879. His wife Sophia filed as his widow on 29 May 1906.

Charles and Sophia were married in 1867. They lived in Mayberry, Montour County in 1900 with their three grown children: Catherine G. (26), Hettie R. (24), and Elisabteh B. (20). Charles (62 then) was a farmer. Sophia (then 53) kept house. All of them, and their parents, were born in Pennsylvania. The 1900 Census lists one's birth month and year. Hence we know that Charles was born June 1837. Sophia was born January 1847. Catherine was born March 1874. Hettie was born January 1876 and Elisabeth was born June 1879.

The 1880 census shows three girls but the oldest is Mary. Most likely her name is Mary Catherine. Their home is shown as Danville, Montour County, PA. Charles was the postmaster! They had one boarder living with them as well. He was 23 year old Edward Gerhart, a laborer.

The most helpful resource in searching Charles W. Eckman has been Find A Grave. I copied verbatum the entry there.
Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania VOLUME I, Chicago, J. H. Beers & Co., 1915
COL. CHARLES WESLEY ECKMAN, now deceased, was a noted man in every
avenue of life. He was born June 27, 1837, at Punxsutawney, Pa., where he received
the meager educational advantages of its public schools at that day. He was first
educated to more peaceful fields. His youthful lost its attractions. An an early date he
came to Danville, Pa., to reside with an uncle. At the age of nineteen years, Garfield-
like he trod the towpath of the now abandoned Pennsylvania canal and became a boatman. At the tocsin of Civil war he enlisted, becoming a private in Company H, 93d Regiment of Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, and for a time was lost as a private soldier in the ranks of the Union army. But only for a time, for the retiring boy climbed rapidly from the musket way up into the shoulder- straps of military distinction.

As a Union soldier his term of service was long. He enlisted at Danville, Pa., Sept. 15,
1861, and constantly continued in the service until he was mustered out at Danville, Va., June 27, 1865. As already stated, his rise was rapid. He was promoted on the field twice in a single day for meritorious services, and at the close of the war he was in command of the 1st Brigade of the 2d Division of the 6th Corps of the Army of the Potomac — said to have been "The finest corps that ever faced a foe." He was assigned to the head of his corps (6th) at the grand review of the Army of the Potomac at Washington, D. C., after the sunset at Appomattox. He was then tendered the rank of brigadier general in the regular army service, which he declined with the modest remark that he had "seen enough of war." He was wounded three times in the battle of the Wilderness, but he never left the field until the end of that long and doubtful struggle. At the battle of Cedar Creek he had two horses shot under him in less than twenty minutes and was himself almost mortally wounded in the side by a bombshell that tore the head off his horse and the pommel off his saddle. He led that matchless charge up Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg and received special recognition from President Lincoln. He took part in the following battles fought by the Army of the Potomac : Siege of York- town, Va., April, 1862; Williamsburg, Va., May 5, 1862; Fair Oaks, Va., May 31, 1862; Malvern Hill, Va., July I, 1862; Chantilly, Va., Sept. i, 1862; Antietam, Md., Sept. 17, 1862; Fredericksburg, Va., Dec. 13, 1862, and Marye's Heights, Va. ; Salem Heights, Va., May 3, 1863; Gettysburg, Pa., July 2-3, 1863; Rappahannock Station, Va., Nov. 7, 1863; Mine Run, Va., Dec. 2, 1863; Wilderness, Va., •May 5-6, 1864; Spottsylvania Court House, Va., May 12-13, 1864; Cold Harbor, Va., June 1-2, 1864; before Petersburg, Va., June 18. 1864; Fort Stevens, D. C, July 17, 1864; Charlestown, Va., Aug. 21, 1864; Bunker Hill, Va., Sept. 13, 1864; Opequan, Va., Sept. 19, 1864; Flint Hill, Va., Sept. 21, 1864; Fisher's Hill, Va., Sept. 22, 1864; Cedar Creek, Va., Oct. 19, 1864; Winchester, Va., Oct. 19, 1864; before Petersburg, Va., March 25, 1865 ; before Petersburg, Va., April 2, 1865 ; Sailor's Creek, Va., April 6, 1865 ; Lee's surrender, April 9, 1865. At the close of the Rebellion Colonel Eck- man returned to Danville, Pa., where he was engaged in the mercantile business for the term of three years. In 1866 he, with other business associates, purchased the Danville Oil Refinery, which he operated for about three years. Meantime he was also engaged in other business pursuits. In 1869 he was appointed postmaster of Danville, Pa., which position he held continuously for seventeen and a half years. He then removed to the city of Reading, Pa., where he resided for about one year, thence removing to the city of Harrisburg, Pa., where he first became the superintendent of the Lochiel Iron and Steel Works and afterward superintendent of the Coleman blast furnace at that place. He then returned to Danville, Pa., where he became a manager of the Danville Bessemer Steel Company.

On July 3, 1866, Colonel Eckman married Sophia Starker Gearhart, a daughter of Mayberry and Mary Catherine Gearhart, and who still resides at the Roaring Creek home. Three children also still survive him:

Miss Katharine G. Eckman, who resides at home;

Miss Elizabeth Boone Eckman, a graduate of the Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, formerly superintendent of the Bryn Mawr Hospital, and of the Good Samaritan Hospital at Lexington, Ky.;

Hester R. Eckman, now the wife of George W. Darby, of the city of Harrisburg, Pa., and who, in turn, have two children, Elizabeth and Christine Darby.

Declining years lured Colonel Eckman back to the soil, and he spent his last years in his Roaring Creek home. The roar of a mountain stream called another Cincinnatus back to the plough. His home life was ideal. To know him there was to love him. He had no enemies. His friends were everywhere. In vanishing army circles they still affectionately call him "the old war horse of the 93d" — the regiment of four flags. The camp of the Sons of Veterans at Danville, Pa., still bears his honored name. He was the soul of honor and the badge of integrity.

He never left a duty and he never betrayed a trust. He was a modest man. The world never saw his scars. He told no story of matchless conflict. For years he suffered in silence the renewed pangs of Cedar Creek and then there fell on his wasted brow the breath of the eternal morning. He died May 3, 1906, regretted by all who ever knew him and to all of whom his life is still a gentle memory. "Sedgwick," his faithful steed, has long since ceased to graze along the shady hillside. A bridle without a rein and an old saddle, once flecked with blood and foam, still hang empty on memorial walls. But his magnificent sword — the gift of his soldiers — is still as spotless as his life. Time has tarnished neither. In the City of the Silent he sleeps as modestly as he lived. His monument is a reunited nation.

Colonel Eckman was a Freemason, belonging to the blue lodge and commandery at Danville, and to the chapter at Bloomsburg. He also held membership in the G. A. R. post at Danville.

He was active in politics for years, working long and effectively in the interest of the Republican party, in which his influence did much to shape local affairs.

He was brought up in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Colonel Eckman was a grandson of John Eckman, a native of New Jersey, who settled with his family at Kline's Grove, Northumberland Co., Pa., where the family is still represented. He was a farmer all his life.

Isaac Eckman, son of John, and father of Colonel Eckman, was born Nov. 8, 1809, in Northumberland county, and died Nov. 3, 1874. He was a carpenter by trade and also followed farming.

Charles passed away 3 May 1906. He is buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Danville, Montour County, PA.

Ancestry.com. Web: Pennsylvania, Find A Grave Index, 1682-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

National Archives and Records Administration. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Mayberry, Montour, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1445; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0103; FHL microfilm: 1241445.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Danville, Montour, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1160; Family History Film: 1255160; Page: 123A; Enumeration District: 196; Image: 0401.

21 May 2013

NMAM: Charles T Eckman

As part of National Military Appreciation Month, today we recognize Charles T Eckman. He served in the Civil War. He filed for his pension in 1884. His widow Rosa B. Eckman filed in 1891.

National Archives and Records Administration. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.

Tombstone Tuesday: John H. Yuzwiak, Jr.

John H. Yuzwiak, Jr.
Born 22 November 1949
Died 16 July 2002
Vichnya Pamyat
buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery,
Valley Twp., Chester County, PA

John was born in 1949 to John and Catherine Kurenda Yuzwiak. Catherine is my Baba's (Anna Kurenda Ruczhak) sister. He had a brother Steve who had three children. John was very active in the Church and served in various positions, including Parish Board President.

20 May 2013

NMAM & Military Monday: Alan F. Kirchner

Alan F. Kirchner served in the Air Force during Vietnam. His name caught my attention as I am still searching for some Kirchners on my husband's side. Alan is buried at St. Joseph's RC Church in Lancaster, which is where our Kirchner family members attended.

His obit reads:
Alan F. Kirchner, Sr., 53, of Lancaster, died Monday, September 5, 2005 of malignant melanoma.

He was the husband of the late Dorothy E. "Dottie" Brooks Kirchner, who died in 1991.

Born in Lancaster, he was the son of the late Edward W. and Mary E. Rampulla Kirchner.

He was a graduate of Lancaster Catholic High School, a veteran of the United States Air Force during the Vietnam Era, attaining the rank of Sergeant before being Honorably Discharged. He was a tradesman printer, but also a former bartender with past memberships in several local clubs including the Union Home Association, the Active and Alert Clubs, and the American Legion. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was of the Catholic faith. Those who knew him know he loved his wife and children dearly.

Surviving are five children: Alan F. Kirchner, Jr., Francesmary E. Kirchner, Melvin A. Kirchner, Trinda L. Hunter and Harold E. Zeamer, Jr. as well as several grandchildren. Also surviving are five brothers and sisters; Edward Kirchner, Jr., married to Mary Ann, Carl Kirchner, Roger Kirchner, married to Judy, Jean M. Robertson, and Carol A. Hughes, married to Joseph.

Mass of Christian Burial from St. Joseph Catholic Church, 440 St. Joseph Street, Lancaster, PA on Friday, September 9, 2005 at 10 AM with Rev. Msgr. Thomas H. Smith as Celebrant. Interment will be in the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery Bausman, PA at the convenience of the family. Friends may call at the church on Friday between 9 and 10 AM. Kindly omit flowers. Memorial Remembrances can be made in Alan's memory to Hospice of Lancaster County, 685 Good Drive, P.O. Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604-4125. Arrangements Entrusted to the Andrew T. Scheid Funeral Home, 320 Blue Rock Road, Millersville, PA 717-872-2266.

Lancaster New Era 9/7/2005

Source: Lancaster New Era 7 September 2005

19 May 2013

Church Record Sunday: Henry & Kezia Eckman

The Smithville Church of God in Smithville, Lancaster County recorded Henry and Kezia's burial in their small graveyard. Henry was born 13 September 1826 and buried on 17 Mar 1904. Kezia was born 1 November 1828 and was buried on 17 September 1884. Kezia's note reads: "w of Henry".
About Henry Eckman: 
I found a Henry & Kezia Eckman in 1860 (on the 1860 Census) in Providence Township, Lancaster County, PA. He was 33 years old and a laborer. Kezia was 31. Living with them was four year old Albert Martin. The 1860 Census however does not record relationships among household members. Henry registered for the US Civil War Draft in 1863. His age, as of 1 July 1863, was 35. It reveals only that he is white, lives in Providence Township, is a laborer and was born in Pennsylvania.
I found the three again on the 1870 Census. Henry of course was 43; Kezia was 41 and Albert was 14. Also living with them was three year old William Zittle and 26 year old Elizabeth Gochnauer. Henry was a farm laborer. Kezia was keeping house. Elizabeth was a domestic servant. She was white. There is no relationship listed for the two boys.
The 1880 Census answers some questions posed by the earlier censuses. Henry, now 53, and Kezia, 51, are still living in Providence Township in Smithville. With them is his mother-in-law Lydia Gochnauer, 74, and 13 year old nephew William Zittle, as well as nine year old niece Annie Lanions. The children were at school. Henry was a laborer. The two older women kept house at home. All were born in Pennsylvania, as were their parents.
The 1850 Census does include 23 year old Henry Eckman, a single man. He was at home in Little Britain Township, Lancaster County. The head of household was 38 year old Daniel Eckman, assumably his older brother. Also living there was 68 year old Susan Eckman (assumably his mother), 27 year old Hironomous, 22 year old Susan, and 19 year old Catherine. A Thomas Henry, age 23, also lived with the family.
Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 1000.

NMAM: Paul Kurenda

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. Today the VFW is scheduled to visit Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery. Each year a specific veteran is selected and it is at this graveside that the VFW performs their service. Today is supposed to be Paul Kurenda. 

Paul Kurenda is Baba's brother Paul - whom she affectionately always called. He enlisted as a Private on 1 January 1943 in Philadelphia. At the time of enlistment he was a welder at Lukens. He lived at home, up Rock Run, with his mom, Frances. His father, John, had predeceased him. He saw action in the European Theater. Uncle Paul died on 11 August 1944 in service to our country. 

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." He was sent to the government hospital in Martinsburg, WV before he was transferred home to die at Valley Forge. Gigi once told me that Paulie would often write and said that all it did in England was rain. It was hard sometimes to find a dry space to even sleep.

Paul was the baby of the family. He had two brothers: John and Peter; and three sisters: Mary, Catherine and Anna (my Baba). He was born in Coatesville in 1922. He is buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery in Valley Township with his parents. Both his parents are my immigrant ancestors.

16 May 2013

NMAM: Salute to Veterans

Rep. Steven Mentzer will continue "Salute to Veterans" event begun six years ago by former state Rep. John Bear. The 2013 “Salute to Veterans” event will take place on Monday, 27 May at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Each veteran and his or her guest is invited to join the two men for a Lancaster Barnstormers game, which will begin at 7 p.m. Both will receive free admittance to the ball game. There will be an on-field ceremony beginning at 5:30 p.m., which will feature performances by the Manhattan Dolls and the Washington Memorial Pipe Band, along with an artillery salute by members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and a flyover by a B-25 bomber from the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum. The emcee for the evening will beVietnam War veteran Dick Hoxworth.

Seating is limited for the event, so reservations are required. To register, call the district office, anytime between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at (717) 626-1776, or click here to complete the online registration form.

14 May 2013

NMAM: Jacob Eckman

After the Revolutionary War that has gained our young country independence from Britain, there were still many unresolved issues. The War of 1812 was again between the United States and Britain but this time land was not an issue. The causes of the war, according to History.com, were trade restrictions, the Royal Navy's impressment of American seamen and America's desire to expand its territory. The war lasted 32 months. Jacob Eckman enlisted on 25 August 1813. He was discharged on 30 April 1814.
He served as a Private under Captain Stansbury in Co. 39 US Infantry. He claimed to have served as a substitute for another but does not name that person.

Jacob married Mary Raney that same year (1814) in Cleveland, Ohio. He died in 1877.

Ancestry.com. War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.

Tombstone Tuesday: Michael & Helen Bilinski

Michael 10 Feb. 1922 - 11 Feb. 1997
Helen 18 Jan. 1926 - 3 April 2001
buried together at
Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery
Valley Township, Chester County, PA

10 May 2013

NMAM: Cpl Kenneth Wayne Eckman

I first read of Cpl Kenneth Wayne Eckman on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial while simply researching Eckmans in general. He was with D CO, 5TH BN, 7TH Calvary, 1ST Cav Div, USARV. He was, at just 19 years of age, KIA.

He enlisted in the Army on 3 May 1967. He was stationed in Germany when he volunteered to go to Vietnam. His tour of Vietnam began on 29 March 1968 and ended in Thua Thien Province on 10 July 1968 after being mortally wounded in battle. He died of a grenade explosion. He is honored on the wall on Panel W52, Line 12.

Born 6 February 1949, he is originally from Philadelphia, PA. There he was born at the Women's Homeopathic Hospital, the son of Joseph P and Mary Jane Steed Eckman. He grew up in Layton, Utah, having graduated from David HS. Eckman, who died young at age 19, was never married. He attended a Baptist Church.

He was interred at the Memorial Gardens of the Wasatch in South Ogden, Utah. According to his obituary, he was survived by his parents, two brothers and a sister, Thomas Lind, Layton, Seaman Joseph E. on duty overseas with USN, Mrs David A (Martha) Crowther, Ogden, grandparents Harvey E Steed, Luray, Va. and Mr and Mrs A. S. Eckman St Cloud Fl.

Photo Source:


09 May 2013

NMAM: William Raymond Prom

 At just 20 years of age 18 December 18 December on  18 DecemberMay has been designated by Congress as National Military Appreciation Month. As such, Genealogical Gems is featuring a veteran or current member of the military each day. Yesterday, I first heard of William "Billy" Raymond Prom when I received an email from the PA General Assembly concerning HB 349. HB349 designates the bridge located over Washington's Landing and the Allegheny River, commonly known as the 31st Street Bridge, in Pittsburgh,  as the William Raymond Prom Memorial Bridge.

Prom enlisted in the US Marine Corps reserve on 8 December 1967. He received his basic training at Parris Island in South Carolina and his combat training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina before being sent. to Vietnam in June 1968. While in Vietnam, he served as an ammunition man,
assistant gunner, machine gun team leader and a machine gun squad leader. On 1 September 1969, he was promoted to Lance Corporal.

Lance Cpl. Prom was returning from Operation Taylor Common on 9 February 1969, when his unit came under attack from the North Vietnamese Army. His platoon became separated and several Marines were wounded in the attack. Lance Cpl. Prom immediately assumed control of  one of the machine guns and returned fire, disregarding his own personal safety. His actions gave the medics the time they needed to administer to  the wounded men. Lance Cpl. Prom advanced, continuing to fire. His actions gave his men time to regroup. At some point during the exchange. he  himself was injured. He continues to push on and fight until he was mortally wounded. His actions inspired his men to continue and  launch an assault which ultimately destroyed. the enemy.

For his actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign. He is included on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 32W, Row 2. In addition this bill - HB 349 - once passed will name the bridge commonly known as 31st Street Bridge in his hometown of Pittsburgh is now designated as the William Raymond Prom Memorial Bridge.

Prom was born in Pittsburg in 1949 to Fred Charles and Finbola Prom. He had one brother Fred Charles Prom and one sister Clara Prom. They lived in Reserve Township, where he attended the the Millville High School, where most people knew him as Butch.

He was laid to rest in the Allegheny County Memorial Park. Pittsburgh.

Photo Credits:
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
Find A Grave

08 May 2013

NMAM: Elmer M. Eckman

I stumbled across a World War 2 POW Archive which includes several Eckmans. All were in the Army. I have no clue if any of these Eckmans are related (yet!) but I thought the source was interesting and being National Military Appreciation Month, I thought it was appropriate.

Elmer M. Eckman is from Pennsylvania. His record reads:
NameElmer M Eckman
Ser. Number33088486
First Report03/30/1943
Last Report05/27/1946
Parent Unit0039
Unit TypeGroup Regiment Commands System
AreaNorth African Theatre Tunisia
SourceOfficial Sources
StatusLiberated Or Repatriated
Detaining PowerGermany
CampCc 59 Ascoli Picenzo Italy 43 13

The copyright for this site reads: Crafted Knowledge, Running "Edu Archive Site Suite V1.2" Ancestry.com also shares the same information. Their source is documented as: National Archives and Records Administration. World War II Prisoners of War, 1941-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

07 May 2013

NMAM: Peter Ruczhak

May has been designated by Congress as National Military Appreciation Month. As such, Genealogical Gems is featuring a veteran or current member of the military each day. Today, I selected my Uncle Pete.

Uncle Pete is my paternal grandfather's youngest brother. Born 16 October 1932 to Panko and Bessie Matys Hruszczak, he grew up and lived his life in Coatesville.

Peter Ruczhak fought in the Korean War. He enlisted in the US Army on 1 February 1953. He was released on 22 December 1954.

After the war, he returned home and married Marianne Sherman in 1956. They had two daughters. Uncle Pete passed away 19 April 2002 of natural causes. Aunt Marianne passed seven years later.

Tombstone Tuesday: Urban

Joseph Sr & Mary
Joseph b 15 July 1898 d 3 February 1974
Mary b 30 July 1899 d 24 February 1984
buried at the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery
Valley Township, Chester County, PA

03 May 2013

NMAM: Benjamin Franklin VanHorn

May has been designated by Congress as National Military Appreciation Month. As such, Genealogical Gems is featuring a veteran or current member of the military each day. Today, I selected Benjamin Franklin VanHorn - the brother of my great great great grandfather, Chrispin P. VanHorn.

On 2 September 1863, Benjamin was mustered into the Union Army at West Chester, PA. He served in Company H of the 90th Infantry. His term was a three year term. He was taken prisoner on 19 August 1864 at the Second Battle of Weldon Railroad in Virginia. On 26 November of 1864 the 90th Regiment consolidated with the 11th Regiment at the Siege of Petersburg. He was discharged at Annaplis, MS by General Order.

Benjamin was born 8 March 1843 to George and Jane Dudbridge VanHorn in Coatesville, PA. His enlistment paperwork states he was a stone mason. At age 20 he stood 5'8", had light hair, a fair complexion and hazel eyes. He married Margaret Hensel on 24 April 1867 in Philadelphia, with whom he had eight children: Virginia, Minnie J., George F., Benjamin, Theresa, William, Lemuel, and Hensel. He and Margaret moved to California after the War.

02 May 2013

NMAM: Nicholas Hruszczak

May has been designated by Congress as National Military Appreciation Month. As such, Genealogical Gems is featuring a veteran or current member of the military each day. Today, I selected my Uncle Nick.

Uncle Nick is Gigi's (my grandfather) brother. He served in World War II. He enlisted 1 August 1941 in Philadelphia. Cpl. Hruszczak served in the South Pacific in the Philippine Liberation with one Bronze Star.

Nicholas Hruszczak (he changed it later to Ruczhak) is the fourth son of Panko & Bessie Matys Hruszczak. He married Ann Petro, also of Coatesville, PA. Uncle Nick and Aunt Ann have three daughters.

Uncle Nick passed away on 05 Mar 2008. He is buried at the Russian Orthodox Cemetery in Valley Township, Chester County, PA.

01 May 2013

NMAM: Daddy

The month of May has been designated by Congress as National Military Appreciation Month. As such, Genealogical Gems will feature a veteran or current member of the military each day. Today, we begin with Daddy - Joseph Ruczhak, Jr.

Daddy fought in Vietnam and like many Vietnam veterans, he did not have the most positive experience, to put it nicely. I however am very proud of my father.

This is him at left. It's a picture from an old issue of Lukens Life, the company newsletter for Lukens Steel Mill in Coatesville. Daddy worked there, His father and his grandfather worked there as well. Many other family members did too as it was the largest business in the Coatesville area - still is although it has long been bought out by another company.

At the time of this photo, Daddy was a Specialist Four in the Army First Infantry Division. While I do not have a date for the article and photo, it was late 1965 or early 1966. Daddy arrived over there in 1965, having been drafted.

Growing up, Daddy rarely spoke of his military service. He still doesn't talk about it much and when he does, he is still quick to anger. I cannot begin to imagine how he felt when he came home from doing his civic duty only to have stones and tomatos thrown at him. No ticker tape parades for our Vietnam vets, sadly. I think those wounds and insults from our own people - from other Americans - left mroe scars than the battlefield did.

In my quest to find more information, I stumbled upon a <Journal of the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry "QuarterHorse"> in which he is of course listed as having served in South Vietnam. It lists his service there as June to September 1965. According to the site, the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry "Quarter Horse" is "one of the oldest and most decorated cavalry Units in the United States Army and has a rich history."

Before being drafted he was employed in the Inspection Department at Lukens. He had graduated Scott High School in 1960 and went into Lukens' labor pool.

Wordless Wednesday: Hruszczak

Uncle Paul, Uncle Nick & Gigi (Joseph)

Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.