30 August 2014

Society Saturday: A day at the Lancaster Historical Society

Thursday, I had the day off from the Nursery so instead of housework or other work, I naturally headed to the Lancaster County Historical Society.

First I looked up an obituary for Sue Fuller Graham for someone else. Piece of cake! Facebook is really great for making connections in places one has no access to and this was just that case. A guy mentioned in a group that he was looking for this particular obituary from 1991. It is old enough that the local paper here would only give access if you have a paid subscription. I mentioned I was heading over to the Historical Society this week and could look it up on their microfilm. He knew the exact date that the obit was published so that made the search quick and easy.

My next project was admittedly a brick wall. I was asked to find out information about a Laura Manley Seats. The person making the request knows little about the woman except that she passed away sometime around 1961 due to complications after an operation. Needle in a haystack! I have found that Laura was born to Robert W. and Elizabeth M. Donnan Manley, who were married about 1930. She was one of four children and the family lived over in Columbia, Lancaster County. Laura does not show up on the 1930 census with her newly married parents. She also does not appear yet in the 1940 census, though her two older brothers do. Hence, she was born shortly after the 1940 census, perhaps even the next year. While at the Historical Society, I did find her father's obituary.

The onto the Eckman family ... and there the trouble began. Hubby's great grandfather (Charles Eckman) is still being elusive. He is the only direct lineal ancestor who I do not know much about. I did however find his wife!

His wife is the former Rosa T. Kirchner, the daughter of John and Barbara Kuhn Kirchner. Rosa is an interesting person indeed and even more interesting is that she left a paper trail. Her obituary, published in the Lancaster Daily Intelligencer Journal on 27 June 1928, did not photograph well but it read:

Mrs. Rosa T. Weber, 69, of 429 St. Joseph Street, widow of Peter W. Weber, died yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock in St. Joseph Hospital, of complications. She was born in Lancaster, a daughter of the late John and Barbara Kirchner, and was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Third Order, and Altar Society. The children survive: John P. Eckman, Philadelphia; Mrs. Willis McCauley, Lancaster; Ella, wife of Homer Buffington, Ill.; Irene, wife of Paul Massing, Lancaster; and Charles, of Lancaster. Fiftenn grandchildren and two brothers, John and Phillip Kirchner of Lancaster, also survive. Funeral arrangements are being completed by Cannon and Long.

Thursday was not as successful as some days and was more successful than others. The day did leave me with an even longer To Do list!

The Lancaster Historical Society is a great resource. It is located at the corner of President Avenue and Marietta Avenue in Lancaster. It is adjacent to, or perhaps more accurately on the grounds of, Wheatland - home of President James Buchanan.
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.