01 May 2016

Sunday’s Obituary: Judson Still’s obituary reveals ancestral homeland

Judson Still lived a long life. He was a well known resident of the Danville area.

Obituary of Judson Still
His obituary, which ran in The Morning News, reads:
A Judson Still, a widely known resident, died at his home, East Market Street, just before the dawn yesterday morning after a painful illness of three weeks. He was afflicted with cancer of the stomach, in addition to which on November 1st he sustained a stroke of paralysis, which made it necessary for him to take his bed and which was probably the direct cause of death.

Mr. Still belongs to an old Pennsylvania family of Swiss origin, the emigrant ancestor having come from Switzerland and settles in what was then the province of Pennsylvania. A Judson Still is one of numerous descendants, who for the most part reside in the southeastern part of the State.

The Rev. Amos B Still, the father of the decedent, was a widely known divine of the Baptist church. By a coincidence his death occurred on Sunday morning, four years ago yesterday.

A Judson Still was born December 25, 1855, in Huntingdon County and received his education at the various places where the family lived as his father’s duty necessitated. When he was sixteen years old his health failed and he took up gardening to recuperate doing that kind of work in New Jersey for five years. In 1886 he came to Danville, where he followed gardening for 8 years, after which he was in the employ of The Welliver Hardware Company for five years. Mr. Still along with his family has always been an interested and effective worker of the Baptist church. He was a man of inflexible honesty and enjoyed the coincidence and esteem of all who knew him.

Mr. Still is survived by his widow and one son, Ralph A Still, who is a newspaper man employed on the Evening Ledger of Philadelphia. The funeral will take place from the late residence at 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon. Internment, which will be private, will take place in Odd Fellows’ Cemetery.

Judson (1856-1917) was the son of Amos Still and Hannah Deen. Amos Still was born 13 October 1823 in Chester County. Amos’ parents are Charles Still Jr. and Catherine Seltenreich. Charles Jr. is one of my Margaret’s brothers! Charles and Margaret’s parents are Charles Still and Margaret Rhoades.

Charles Still
& Margaret Rhoades

Margaret Still
Charles Still Jr.

George David Still
Amos B Still

Franklin Still
Judson Still

Pierson George Still

Lloyd Pierson Still



Margaret is my 4th great grandmother. She is my Black Sheep. She is my matriarch. She is my mystery woman. She is my first Still in East Fallowfield Township in Chester County. When she 19 years old, still unmarried, she got pregnant with my 3rd great grandfather George. I have absolutely no clue who his father is yet.

Judson Still’s obituary excites me for two big reasons. First I have connected him to my Still line. Second – and extremely exciting – I have documentation (albeit a newspaper article) announcing from where the Still family actually emigrated!

Switzerland – wow! I asked mom once what we were and her answer was Irish, German and Dutch. Her maternal great grandparents all immigrated from Ireland. Her father’s mother was from Ireland too. That left her Still line, which she always assumed was German. Franklin Still married Sarah Van Horn, from whom she assumed (correctly) our Dutch heritage came, but … Switzerland!

I feel like a whole new world has emerged!

Morning News. (Danville, Pennsylvania), 29 January 1917

Sunday’s Obituary is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

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