30 July 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Roman & Mary Timozek


 
Roman Timozek  14 December 1872 to 30 May 1936
Mary Timozek 1 March 1887 to 19 June 1956
buried at the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery
Valley Township, Chester County, PA
 

28 July 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Cyrus James Eckman, Sr.

Cyrus James Eckman, Sr., 67, of Cherry Hill Road in Peach Bottom, died peacefully at his home Sunday, January 6th.

Cyrus was born in Rising Sun, Maryland, the son of Ruth A. Weaver Eckman of Christiana and the late Cyrus E. Eckman. Cyrus and his wife, Pamela Joyce Keeble Eckman, had celebrated 45 years of marriage in December.

A truck driver his whole life he last drove for J.F. Energy Co. in Lancaster and previously drove for C.R. Leffler Co. Cyrus enjoyed growing roses and photography.

Surviving besides his wife and mother is a brother, William R. Eckman of Holtwood; a stepson, John M. Wilhelm Sr., husband of Jane L. of Peach Bottom; and brother-in-law, Sidney Keeble of Peterbough, England. A son, Cyrus James Eckman Jr., and stepson, Barry A. Wilhelm Sr., preceded him in death.

A Memorial Service will be held at Dewald Funeral & Cremation Services, 227 W. 4th St., Quarryville on Monday, January 15 at 6:00 p.m. Friends may visit with the family immediately following the service. Interment will be Tuesday morning at 11:00 at the Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church, Pilottown Road in Peach Bottom. Please omit flowers; contributions may be made to Hospice of Lancaster County, PO Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604-4125. www.dewalds.com


NOTE: The obit appeared in the Lancaster Newspapers.

26 July 2013

Happy birthday, Mums!

 
Today - 26 July - is my maternal grandmother's birthday.
 
She was born Mary Rose Welsh in 1911 to Martin and Catharine O'Flaherty Walsh in Phoenixville, Chester County, PA. She told me once they changed from Walsh to Welsh because there were some other Walshes in Phoenixville but they were trouble and her family did not want to be associated with them! The photo above shows her with my grandfather (obviously her husband) Lloyd Pierson Still. The photo was taken in Unionville, specifically in Uncle Tom's kitchen. It was their anniversary but I do forget which one. She passed away on 20 May 1989. She would be 102 today!

23 July 2013

Book Review: How to Archive Family Keepsakes

How to Archive Family Keepsakes by Denise May Levenick provides suggestions on preserving family photos, heirlooms and genealogical records. The text is divided into three sections. The first section is "I inherited Grandma's Stuff, Now What?" The second is "Break the Paper Habit" and finally the last section is "Root Your Research in Strategies for Success."


Regardless of the "stuff" left behind, someone has to sort everything and organize it all. Levenick identifies three roles: the curator, creator and the caretaker. These roles, and how you see yourself, will factor in to how things get organized. The curator organizes items like a museum would - both preserving and exhibiting. Creators may create scrapbooks, pedigrees, biographies and family medical histories. A caretaker simply does not necessarily organize the collection but rather simply archives it. Recognizing your role is an important aspect to archiving family keepsakes.

Inventory the archives.
Label and identify not only what the item is, but also where you acquired it from and when it was first acquired. Keep a log of what you inventoried, where you put it and where it should ultimately go. For example, a box of your great uncle's military information and stuff may be grouped together and given to his oldest son.

Storage
Storing items in a proper manner will keep them preserved for future generations. Store your information in cabinets and avoid plastic bins. Closets in interior walls are good; whereas, closets in a kitchen or bathroom are not a good choice. Levenick gives a useful comparison on storage possibilities.

Spread the wealth
There is no rule that says one person must maintain everything! If you so choose, utilize family members to store and take care of different aspects. For example, one person may keep ahold of the family cookbooks. Another may retain the family bibles.

Where to go with it all!
Levenick offers insight to donating items - in full or in part - to historical societies, museums, and other such places. She warns that often the value of an item is more sentimental than monetary.

Insurance
Levenick also brings up a good and often overlooked suggestion of considering insurance. You may want to consider having your collection appraised for not only monetary value but also historical, cultural and artistic value.

Photographs and Artifacts
Photography dates back to 1839 with the daguerreotype. Storage and organization tips for the various types of photography make up essentially a chapter in and of themselves. Artifacts includes art, china, glass, furniture, musical instruments, quilts, clothes, uniforms, jewelry, toys, dolls, tools and other collectibles.

Going Digital
Scan your papers and save them electronically. You can scan everything from photographs to certificates to letters and everything in between. Not only will this save physical room but it will also make it easier to share information with other family members.

All in all, this text is a useful helpful reminder of storage techniques. The book is priced at $24.99. I obtained a copy at my local library and quite honestly I think I would have felt cheated is I paid almost $25 for something so obvious. That said, much was obvious because I've been doing this for over 25 years. If I were just starting out then yes this book would be a must have.

Source:
Levenick, Denise May. How to Archive Family Keepsakes. Cincinnati, Ohio: Family Tree Books, 2012.

Tombstone Tuesday: Alek & Mary Pelehart

 
Pelehart
Alek 1880 - 1944
Mary 1877 - 1957
buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery
Valley Township, Chester County, PA
 
 
Alek, Mary and their first-born John immigrated from Poland. The four other children were born here in the States. They were: Stella, Josephine, Mary and Esther.

21 July 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Stephen L Eckman

Stephen L. Eckman, 55, died Wednesday evening at home. He was the husband of Yolanda "Joan" Eckman. Born in Lancaster, he was the son of Robert Eckman, Dillsburg and Lois Kemrer Eckman, AZ.

Steve graduated from Penn Manor and was employed as the maintenance supervisor at Nissan Foods, Lancaster. He previously worked as an owner-operator trucker. He loved his grandchildren, especially taking them to see trains of all kinds. He also enjoyed riding his motorcycle. Steve will truly be missed by his family.

In addition to his wife are his children, Cindy Peters, Ironville; Justine Peters, Marietta; Dana Peters, Conestoga; Riki Shiffler wife of Scott Scheffler, Marysville; 10 grandchildren; brothers, Mark Eckman, Marticville; Norm Eckman, AZ.

Funeral services will be held from the Clyde W. Kraft Funeral Home, Inc., 519 Walnut St., Columbia, PA on Wednesday at 11:00 AM with the Rev. Mark S. Kopp officiating. Interment will be held at the convenience of the family. Friends may view at the funeral home on Wednesday from 9:30AM until the time of service. Kindly omit flowers. Contributions in Steve's memory may be made to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure at ww5.komen.org.

Note: This obit was clipped (and then transcribed) from the Lancaster Newspapers in May 2012.


 

20 July 2013

Society Saturday: Knights of the Golden Eagle

My great great great grandfather Chrispin Pierson Van Horn (Chrispin - Sarah - Pierson George Still - Lloyd Pierson Still - mom - me) belonged to the Kenilworth Castle #12 of the Knights of the Golden Eagle, according to his personal records. Aside from being a fraternal organization, I have been able to find little on this organization.

From his correspondence, I found that Castle (similar to a Masonic Lodge) #12 was in Philadelphia, which makes sense since he had lived there a while before settling in Mortonville, Chester County. There was a Castle (#9) in Coatesville but he opted not to transfer his membership. I learned from the Chester County Historical Society that the fraternal organization was founded in Baltimore, Maryland 6 February 1873. It was introduced in Pennsylvania on 1 October 1875. Chrispin incidentally lived 1839 to 1902.

A recent search led me to a family historian who wrote of the KGE on her blog "My Ancestors and Me." She linked to a reference from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, titled "Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection of lodge records 1731-1936." The general purpose of the organization was, according to the HSP, to provide moral and intellectual guidance, to provide relief to the sick or unemployed members and give survivor benefits to widows and orphans.

References:
HSP - http://hsp.org/sites/default/files/legacy_files/migrated/findingaid0905lodges.pdf
Phoenix Masonry - http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/fraternalism/kge.htm
 

16 July 2013

15 July 2013

Matrilineal Monday: Anna Kurenda Ruczhak

Thirteen years ago today my Baba - Anna Kurenda Ruczhak - passed away. She was an incredible woman and I am thankful every day that I got to know her and appreciate her and my grandfather while they were both still here with us. Often I still feel her presence and am calmed by that feeling.

The photo at right is Baba (on the left) and one of her sisters but I am not sure which one.

I am grateful for the time I spent at her place each summer growing up, though admittedly at that time I went with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I wish I had paid more attention when we would go round visiting all the aunts.  She was one of six children - three brothers and two sisters. We'd also visit my grandfather's four sisters too. She spoke so often of her younger brother Paul. She called him Paulie and he was killed in World War II. The photo below at left is the two of them.

Baba was born Anna Kurenda on 12 August 1917, just as World War I was entangling Europe. Her father, John Kurenda, worked at as a roll setter at Bethlehem Steel (later Lukens), as so many men in the Coatesville area did. Her mother, Frances Skrabalek Kurenda, stayed home and tended to the family, like most women of that time. The Kurenda family lived in Sadsburyville on Sandy Hill Road. She was baptized in the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (now the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Church) in Coatesville. Her Godparents were Nicholas Sawcsyn & Anastasia Morus.

She married Gigi (my grandfather) - Joseph Ruczhak - on 16 July 1939 in the Holy Ghost parish in Coatesville. They had planned to be wed the year before but her father passed 27 February 1938. The family was in mourning and so she had to wait a year before she could wed. They went to the World Fair on their honeymoon!

Baba told us a story once of how they had actually met years earlier. She was almost a half year older than him. They met at Rock Run School. Gigi's parents did not speak English - or at least not well. The teacher there asked Baba to teach Gigi English and help him with his studies!

Her and Gigi had two sons - my dad and my Uncle John. She worked several jobs over the years. She had worked at Cardinal Cotton & Maytown Sewing Factory, the Friendly Grocery Store, Ann's Steak Shop and Burrough's Corp.

She was active at church and was a member of the Sisterhood. She was also an Auxiliary member of the West End Fire Co. in Coatesville.

Gigi passed 18 August 1997 at home. He had a heart attack. Baba fell ill later and passed 15 July 2000. They are buried together in the church cemetery.

14 July 2013

Sunday's Obituary: J. Howard Eckman

J. Howard Eckman, 62, of Middletown, passed away on October 1, 2011 at the Community General Osteopathic Hospital. He was the husband of 34 years of Phyllis A. Drake Eckman. Born in West Grove, PA, he was the son of the late Ross E. and Stella Miller Eckman.

Howard had worked at Estes Freight Lines as a truck driver and was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving during the Vietnam War. He was a member of Emmanuel United Methodist Church, Royalton, Middletown Moose Lodge, #410 and the Teamsters Local 776. Howard was an avid motorcyclist, enjoyed working on cars and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Surviving in addition to his wife are his children, Teri Over of Middletown, Veronica Gipe (Dan) of Oberlin, Gregg Eckman of Mount Joy and Howard Jay Eckman (Nicole) of Hummelstown; his brother, Ross Eckman (Pam) and his sister, Kathryn Pierce, both of Peach Bottom; his grandchildren, Ryan Lawson (Whitney) and Audree Colvin, both of Harrisburg, Ashley Keane (David) of Colonial Park, Danny Gipe of Middletown, and Alyssa and Ava Eckman, both of Hummelstown; his great-grandchildren, David, Alexis, Mikaela, Danny, Cliodhna and Haydyn. He was preceded in death by his son, Tracy Lawson.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend Howard's Life Celebration from the Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 500 Penn St., Royalton, PA on Thursday at 11am, with the Rev. Richard Creamer officiating. Interment will be in Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens.

Viewing will be held on Wednesday at Coble-Reber Funeral Home, 208 N. Union St., Middletown from 7-9pm and again on Thursday at his church from 10am until time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to his church at the address listed above or to Pinnacle Health Hospice, 2645 North 3rd St., Suite 300, Harrisburg, PA 17110-2037.


NOTE:
Obituary originally published in the Lancaster Intelligencer

13 July 2013

Society Saturday: Grange

It is only fitting to cover the Grange this Society Saturday since today - 13 July - is Grange Day! The Grange is a fraternal organization known as The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. The Grange was founded in 1867 to promote the economic and political health of the agricultural community. It is therefore the oldest agricultural advocacy group.

Oliver Kelly was commissioned by then President Andrew Jackson to access the situation of the Southern farmer after the Civil War. Many Southerners did not trust Kelly but, using his Masonic connections, he was able to meet with many farmers and came to realize some sort of organization was needed to unite farmers across the mending nation. The Grange was that answer.

The first Grange Hall was Potomac Grange #1 in Washington, D.C. It was founded by seven men and one woman. Kelly was one of those founding members. The lone female founding member was Caroline Hall, Kelly's niece. Having women members was unusual at this time but the Grange not only admitted women but required four of the elected officers be women!

Over the years the Grange was instrumental in many areas, especially those of concern to the agricultural community and to women. They are credited with pushing through rural free mail delivery, Granger Laws, regulating railroads, regulating grain warehouses, and women's suffrage.

11 July 2013

Those Places Thursday: Lancaster

Like many cities and towns, war took its toll often on our young cities. While Lancaster did not directly see the war and her battles, the then borough still felt its effects. Goods were manufactured to aid the militia. Those goods included the Conestoga Wagon and the Lancaster Rifle. The Lancaster Rifle is also known as the Pennsylvania Rifle and is sometimes called, in error, the Kentucky Rifle. When the British occupied Philadelphia from September 1777 to June 1778, the Pennsylvania government called Lancaster home. The prison held British soldiers yet their officers were paroled to be allowed to rent space from Lancastrians in their homes.

Some notable dates in Lancaster:
1744 - the Indian treaties were negotiated at the courthouse in Lancaster
1760 - Union Fire Co. #1 formalized
1763 - the Conestoga Indians were mascaraed by the Paxtang Boys on 27 December.
1763 - the Juliana Library opened her doors
1777 - the Continental Congress met in Lancaster on 27 September
1794 - Lancaster Journal started
1799 - Lancaster Intelligencer started
1839 - the two papers merged

To keep up and house the various visitors to Lancaster, due to the state government running out of Lancaster, many hotels grew and flourished for a time.
* Sign of the Leopard Tavern - northeast corner of Duke and King
* Sign of the White Swan - southeast corner of Queen and Center Square

Presidential visits:
* George Washington visited Lancaster at least four times.

Note: This article is a continuation of the 27 June article on Lancaster.

Source: Loose, John Ward Wilson. The Heritage of Lancaster. CA: Windsor Publications, 1978. Chapter II: Lancaster Goes to War, 1760-1817.
Note: borrowed from the Manheim Twp. Public Library (917.815 LOO)

09 July 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Mankow

 
MANKOW
 
John 1877 - 1956
Mary 1877 - 1949
buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery
Valley Township, Chester County, PA
 
John was born in Poland and worked at the Lancaster Steel Office. According to his World War II draft registration, he had a paralyzed hand. The 1940 Census shows the Mankows living in Caln with their two sons: Joseph (b. 1915) and Peter (b. 1918). In 1940, John - who was a pitman at Lukens Steel Mill - was naturalized; however, Mary - also born in Poland - was still an alien.

08 July 2013

Military Monday: Liberty Belle Island

Liberty Belle Island was a Prisoner of War (POW) camp during the Civil War. My great-great-great- grand-uncle, Benjamin Franklin Van Horn, was captured at Weldon Railroad Yard and held at Liberty Belle from 19 August 1864 to 15 June 1865. He served with Company H, 90th Pennsylvania Volunteers. Today that 54 acre island serves as a city park in Richmond, Virginia.

Originally known as Broad Rock Island, it is believed that the island was first explored by Captain John Smith in 1607. Over the years, the island has housed a fishery, a nail factory of the Old Dominion Iron and Nail Company, even a village home to a school, church, and general store.

During the Civil War the island was a POW camp. Accounts differ on the exact number of prisoners but it is safe to say that approximately 30,000 Union soldiers were confined there between 1862 and 1865. Conditions at the camp were horrific. The daily meal was often simply corn bread and some rice soup. The men were said to have suffered chronic diarrhea,  scurvy, frost bites, general debility, and starvation. Many men simply went crazy, forgetting not just current times but also their lives before the War stole their souls.

While he was imprisoned, Benjamin Van Horn's regiment consolidated with the 11th PA Infantry on 26 November 1864. The 11th PA Infantry was Mustered out of service on 1 July 1865.


07 July 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Edna Eckman

Edna M. Eckman, 98, a life-long resident of Quarryville, entered into rest after a brief illness on Thursday, October 20, 2011 at Hospice of Lancaster County in Mt. Joy. Born in Quarryville, she was a daughter of the late Jacob C., and Nora (Groff) Snyder. She was married to the late Delmar Eckman.

Edna was a manager at the former Quarryville Tidy Products Sewing Factory. She was a member of St. Paul’s Church and past president of the former Solanco Independent Seniors Club. Edna was nominated for the 1989 Jefferson Award for Outstanding Community Service. She was an avid Phillies fan and enjoyed playing bingo. Every year, Edna looked forward to entertaining friends and family during the Solanco Fair Parade.

Surviving are 2 nephews: Joseph Carroll, husband of Sally of Lancaster, Barry Carroll, husband of Wanda of Quarryville; a niece, Debbie, wife of Timothy Shrom of Quarryville; and a sister-in-law, Thelma Snyder also of Quarryville. Edna was preceded in death by 2 brothers: Roy and Charles; and 3 sisters: Fannie, Lillian, and Eleanor.

Funeral Services will take place at Dewald Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc. 227 West Fourth St., Quarryville, PA on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Larry Rineer officiating. Interment will follow in Quarryville Cemetery. The viewing will be from 10-11:00 a.m. Kindly omit flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Lancaster County, P.O. Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604. To offer a note of condolence, please visit: www.dewalds.com

Obituary was published on Dewald's website.
Tombstone Photo: from Find A Grave.
Note: Delmar was the son of Frank M. & Nevada V. Eckman. His older brothers were Emlyn and Ray. His older sisters were Beulah and Dorothy. He also had a younger brother Herbert.

04 July 2013

Nine Pennsylvanians signed Declaration of Independence

Nine Pennsylvanians signed Declaration of Independence and Lancastrian attorney George Ross was among them. He was in fact the last representative from Pennsylvania to sign the Declaration.

Born 10 May 1790 in Newcastle, Delaware, he was a son of the Reverend George Ross, rector of Episcopal Church, and Catherine Van Gezel. Ross was admitted to the Philadelphia Bar at the age of 20. The following year (1751) he began his own practice in Lancaster, where he was well liked and respected.

On 14 August 1751 he married Ann Lawler, daughter of the widow Mary Lawler. The two had three children: George, James and Margaret.

He was elected to represent Lancaster in the Pennsylvania Assembly (1768-1776) and the Continental Congress (1774, 1776-77).  He was vice president of the Pennsylvania constitutional convention in 1776 and a Judge of the Admiralty Court of Pennsylvania in 1779. He was also a member of the Saint Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia, a society dedicated to protecting Scottish immigrants in the city.

Locally, he was also a member of the Lancaster County Committee of Observation.

He served as a Colonel in the Continental Army in 1776.

He passed on 14 July 1779 from gout. He is buried at Christ Church in Philadelphia. The graveyard - which is the final resting place of fellow Declaration signers Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Hewes, Francis Hopkinson, and Dr. Benjamin Rush - is open March through November, weather permitting. The hours are: Monday-Saturday 10-4, and Sunday 12-4.

The other signers from the Commonwealth were: George Clymer, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, John Morton, James Smith, James Wilson, and George Taylor.

Photo Credit: "Signers of the Declaration" USHistory.org.

02 July 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Harry & Helen Monko

 
MONKO
Father Harry 1868 - 1954
Mother Helen 1878 - 1944
buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery
Valley Township, Chester County, PA

The Future of Lancaster Armory

The PA National Guard Armory, located at 438 North Queen Street in Lancaster City, is being sold. There will be a public meeting tonight - Tuesday, 2 July - to discuss the Armory and the upcoming sale. Staff from the PA Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs will be on hand to explain the process of disposing of the various state armories and to answer any questions from the general public. They will provide information about the advantages of acquiring armory property under a historic preservation covenant. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the Lancaster City Council Chambers, 100 South Queen Street. The meeting is slated to last 45 minutes.

The Lancaster Armory sits on .6 acres and is approximately 27,300 square feet. It was built around 1927 and is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. This means the buyer would have tax benefits but he would also have specific requirements that must be maintained for a historical building. The building was last appraised at $626,000.

01 July 2013

Military Monday: Battle of Gettysburg

150 years ago this week the most critical and the bloodiest battle of the Civil War happened in Gettysburg. This three day battle in 1863 was the result of an ambitious invasion of the North by General Robert E. Lee. He was met in Gettysburg by the Union Army of the Potomac, under the command of Major General George Gordon Meade. The Union Army showed a new energy born out of desperation. The Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg resulted in Lee's retreat to Virginia. It was also the final break of the Confederate spirit and will.

During the days of the battle anniversary, with July 4 focusing on the battle's aftermath, the park will offer the following interpretive program opportunities, free of charge:

Living History Camps - Two full battalions of Union and Confederate infantrymen accompanied by artillery and other supporting units will present demonstrations and programs near the Pennsylvania Memorial and at Pitzer's Woods throughout the day to illustrate the life of the Union and Confederate soldier and demonstrate the tactics used by both armies in the Battle of Gettysburg. (PLEASE NOTE living history events are July 1-3 only.)

Key Moment Programs - Each day of the battle and on July 4, Park Rangers will present ranger guided programs at locations where key events occurred during that particular day of the battle, or during the battle's aftermath.

Overview Hikes - Each day of the battle, and on July 4, Park Rangers will present 60 minute overview hikes covering different phases of the battle and its aftermath. These will involve more walking than Key Moment programs.

Battlefield Experience Programs - Park Rangers will provide special programs that allow visitors to experience critical moments of the battle at the approximate time they occurred 150 years ago. This will include a July 3 Commemorative March across the field of Pickett's Charge, with visitors organized by NPS rangers to represent the Confederate brigades that participated in the attack and the Union soldiers that defended against it.

Voices of the Battle - Every evening at 7:30 p.m. visitors can gather and listen to the voices of soldiers and civilians describing their experiences during the battle and aftermath.

Special Junior Ranger Patch - Continuing throughout 2013, kids can earn a special 150th Anniversary Junior Ranger patch by completing an activity book associated with the battle anniversary activities.

"Kids and Family" Activities Tent - For children we will have a "Kids and Family" programs tent just outside the Visitor Center with activities throughout the day. We will also have a special interactive Signal Corps station July 1 through 3 near Meade's Headquarters.

Park Ranger Programs at the Museum and Visitor Center - Park Rangers will present Battle Overviews, Civil War Soldier, Care of the Wounded programs on a regular schedule in the Museum and Visitor Center or at Interpretive Program stations outside the building. In addition to programs in the museum, the park will offer some programs at sites including the Cemetery, Little Round Top and the Angle.

A full list of programs is available in a commemorative event guide at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center information desk, and is also available at the website at http://www.nps.gov/gett/planyourvisit/150th-anniversary-index.htm.

Photos courtesy of National Park Service.

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