29 April 2016

Funeral Card Friday: Mary Ruzchak

While going through my cousin’s papers, I came across the funeral card of his mother, Mary Ruzchak. Born Mary Chernecky, she is – to me - the wife of my uncle.

My aunt’s funeral card is quite simple. The front is an image of Christ. The back reads:
            Prayer for the deceased
            Mary Ruzchak
            Birth March 17, 1917 
Death March 15, 1997

O God of spirits and of all flesh, You trampled death, and broke the power of Satan, and granted life to Your world. Now grant rest, O Lord to the soul of Your servant in a place of light, joy and peace, where there is no pain, sorrow nor mourning. As a kind and gracious God, forgive every sin committed by them in word, deed or thought, since there is no person who exists and does not sin. You alone are without sin, Your justice is everlasting justice, and Your word is truth. For You are the resurrection, the life and the repose of Your departed servant, O Christ our God, and we glorify You together with Your eternal Father and Your all-Holy, gracious and life-giving Spirit. Amen.

The funeral home used was the Maclean-Chamberlain Funeral Home in Coatesville. She is buried at the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery in Valley Township, Chester County.




Funeral Card Friday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.


© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

24 April 2016

Sunday’s Obituary: Little Nellie Still

Nellie Reed Still was barely a year old when she died. The poor child died Monday, 1 July 1901. The paper claimed she was only 11 months old.

Her obituary, which ran in The Morning News, reads:
Mr. and Mrs. Still Bereaved
Nellie Reed Still, the eleven-month-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Judson Still died at Elysburg, Monday afternoon.

When I did a search for her father, Judson Still, I was not really expecting anything. Wow. Adoniram Judson Still was already in my family tree, albeit distantly. He is, according to Ancestry, my 2nd cousin 4x removed. That makes Little Nellie my 3rd cousin 3x removed.

Nellie and her brother Ralph were born in Danville in Montour County. Their mom was Dora Kneibles and of course Judson was their father. Little Nellie lived just long enough to be included with Ralph and their folks on the 1900 US Census. That year the Census also revealed the month and year of birth. Nellie had been born in February of that year. Now, that would make Little Nellie 16 months old when she died.

Judson (1856-1917) was the son of Amos Still and Hannah Deen. He is buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Danville. Amos Still was born 13 October 1823 in Chester County! His 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


George David Still
Amos B Still


Franklin Still
Judson Still


Pierson George Still
Nellie Still


Lloyd Pierson Still



Mom



Me



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.

Sources:
Morning News. (Danville, Pennsylvania), 3 July 1901. Page 1.



Sunday’s Obituary is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.


© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

23 April 2016

Surname Saturday: George Still of Lehigh County

My Still line had had me at a blockage for years. I am able to get back to the late 1700s but I have not left Chester County. I do not where the family came from originally or even who is my immigrant. As such, I have taken to tracing random Stills from time to time to see if I can connect them. Most I have been able to remotely connect. On Sunday, I posted a Sunday’s Obituary piece of little Emma Still. She was just a year old when she died.

The Allentown Leader announces death of Emma Still.
Her obituary, which ran in The Allentown Leader, reads:
Emma G., the young daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Still, died at 7:30 last evening of pneumonia, aged 1 year and 4 months. The funeral will take place Friday at 9 a.m., from the parents’ residence, No. 532 North Court Street. Internment in Highland Cemetery. Rev. Dr. J. F. Pollock will officiate.

Pennsylvania began keeping death certificates on a state level that year and I found her death certificate. That started me down a genealogy rabbit hole!

From her obituary, I learned that Emma G. Still was born on 26 March 1905 in Pennsylvania to George Still and Emma Johnson, both of whom had been born in New Jersey. Emma died on 17 July 1906 at 532 Court Street, in the 9th Ward of Allentown in Lehigh County, of pneumonia. She was buried 20 July 1906 in Highland Cemetery. Her death certificate also revealed that Emma was colored.

The 1900 US Census revealed George Still was born in August 1859.
I found a George and Emma Still living on Court Street in Allentown in the 1900 US Census. George is listed as the head of house. He is a black male, born in August 1859. George was 40 years old. He was married within the year. He, and his parents, were born in New Jersey. He listed his occupation as “Boot Black.” His wife Emma – his very young wife Emma! – was a black female born in August 1880. She was just 19 years old. Married less than a year, she already mothered two children, one of whom had already died. George and Emma also had a five month old son, born January 1900. The son George was born in Pennsylvania.

The 1910 US Census offered more information about George Still and his family. George, now 51, indicates this is his second marriage and that he and now 31 year old Emma have been married for 11 years. This is her first marriage. She had mothered three children but only two are living. Little Emma who died in 1906 would be their third child. Their son George Jr. is now 10 and they have an eight year old daughter Florence. Ancestry transcribes his occupation as “Board Maker” and his industry as “Street”; however, reading the census myself, it looks like it could again read “Boot Black,” like in 1900.

Poor George ended up in the County Home in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, according to his death certificate. Aside from the date of birth, everything else does match. I do not know who the informant was so it is possible they were incorrect in the actual birth date. I found a married black man named George Still, born 15 November 1858, whose regular occupation had been a “Boot Black.” He died 14 October 1923 of Bright’s Disease. He had been born in New Jersey. His father (new info!) is listed as James Still, also born in New Jersey. There is no record of his mother’s name. George was buried in Fairview Cemetery on 17 October 1923.

The Allentown Leader reported the death
of Emma's earlier child.
My rabbit hole did not stop there. A further search for “George Still” in the Allentown paper led me to an article date 22 October 1898. The article is titled “Terrible Agony and Death of a 15 Month Old Colored Child.” The child – Agnes Johnson - resided with the family of George Still at 532 Court Street. Her mother was Emma Johnson! Little Agnes had died on the 21st after drinking carbolic acid and literally burning her throat. The funeral was a private one and internment was at West End Cemetery.

This last find, of course, simply raises more questions. In any case, I doubt these Stills have anything to do with my Still line but it has been interesting falling down the rabbit hole with them!

Sources:
Allentown Leader. (Allentown, Pennsylvania), 18 July 1906. Page 1.

Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Allentown Ward 5, Lehigh, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1429; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0065; FHL microfilm: 1241429

Year: 1910; Census Place: Allentown Ward 5, Lehigh, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1363; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0141; FHL microfilm: 1375376



Surname Saturday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.


© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

20 April 2016

Wedding Wednesday: Still weds Ranck in Sunbury

My search for potential Still connections continues. On 18 August 1913, the Harrisburg Telegraph announced the wedding of Violet Still.

from the 18 August 1913 Harrisburg Telegraph
The announcement – as transcribed:
Ranck – Still Wedding
Special to the Telegraph
Sunbury, Pa., Aug. 18 – William F. Ranck, of Milton, and Miss Violet Still, of Sunbury, were wedded at the First United Brethren Church here. The Rev. C. A. Mutch, the pastor, tied the knot. Following a wedding trip they will live at Milton, Pa.

The marriage announcement appeared on page two of the Harrisburg Telegraph. The wedding occurred in Sunbury, which is located in Northumberland County.


Wedding Wednesday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.


© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

17 April 2016

Sunday’s Obituary: Little Emma Still

Any death is sad but especially that of a young child. Emma Still was just a year old when she died.

from the Allentown Leader on 18 July 1906
Her obituary, which ran in The Allentown Leader, reads:
Emma G., the young daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Still, died at 7:30 last evening of pneumonia, aged 1 year and 4 months. The funeral will take place Friday at 9 a.m., from the parents’ residence, No. 532 North Court Street. Internment in Highland Cemetery. Rev. Dr. J. F. Pollock will officiate.

At only one year, I doubted I would find much information about little Emma. However since she died in 1906 – the year Pennsylvania began keeping death certificates on a state level – I found her death certificate.

Little Emma G. Still died on 17 July 1906 at 532 Court Street, in the 9th Ward of Allentown in Lehigh County. Her birth date was listed as 26 March 1906 although her age clearly states 1 year 4 months. She died of pneumonia. She was born in Pennsylvania but both her parents had been born in New Jersey. They are listed as Geo Still and Emma Johnson. She is also listed as colored. It also appears someone went back and wrote Black above the word Colored. It is in a different handwriting and appears to have been added at a later date. She was buried 20 July 1906 in Highland Cemetery.

Sources:
Allentown Leader. (Allentown, Pennsylvania), 18 July 1906. Page 1.



Sunday’s Obituary is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.


© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

12 April 2016

Tuesday’s Tip: Explore those Ancestry hints

I had no focus last night but I still wanted to work on my Still family. While exploring various hints on Ancestry.com, I came across one for Agnes Armstrong Still. She was the wife of my 4x great grandfather’s brother David. Her hints however took me to a Civil War soldier who fought in the Colored Troops.

Her first hint took me to the Romansville United Methodist Church in Chester County (on Find A Grave) where I knew her to be buried. She died in 1860. Her husband – my 4x great uncle David Still – remarried and lived until 1907. That led me to a hint from the Gerberich Collection which confirmed her burial on 24 February 1860 at Romansville.

The Gerberich Collection is a collection of old Pennsylvania church records. She was included under the Romansville Methodist Episcopal Church. I still need to confirm if these are two separate churches or if there was a name/denomination change at some point during the years. Her entry notes that Agnes Still was the wife of David. She was 41 and was buried on 24 February 1860. She is one of only two Stills included.

The other is Osborn Still. His undated entry reads “Co. C, 22 U.S.C.T.”  USCT stands for United States Colored Troops. I have never seen that combination of letters together for anything else and since it also notes his company, I have no reason to think it means anything other.

So then who is Osborn? And is he related?

I will see what I can dig up on him for next Monday’s Military Monday post. In the meantime, today’s hint is simply … explore those Ancestry hints and see where it takes you.

I personally print out or bookmark or transcribe information like this find so that I can come back and follow the breadcrumb at a later time. It may not lead anywhere or it may open doors I never imagined existed.

Have YOU followed a hint and ended up in a different direction? What did YOU find?


Tuesday’s Tip is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

10 April 2016

Sunday’s Obituary: Jacob Deyoe dies in Kalamazoo

Jacob Deyoe died in Kalamazoo, Michigan, at the home of his daughter. His short obituary ran in the Detroit Free Press out of Detroit, Michigan on Monday, 10 January 1898.

His obituary reads:

Kalamazoo, Mich., January 9 – (Special) – Jacob Deyoe died to-day at the home of his daughter, Mrs. James Mills, from a stroke of paralysis, aged 80 years.

If Jacob died at 80 in 1898, then he would have been born in 1818 – give or take a year. Find A Grave puts his birth date as 11 July 1820.

However, I found a 59 year old Jacob Deyoe living in Kalamazoo in 1880. He was a farmer living with his 59 year old wife Cynthia, his 38 year old daughter Elizabeth Mills, a 38 year old “boarder” James Mills and seven year old grandson Harry Mills. Jacob and Cynthia were both born in New York.

Elizabeth’s death certificate notes that her parents – Jacob Deyoe and Cynthia Conklin – were both born in New York. Elizabeth and Jacob had both been born in Waterloo. Elizabeth was born in 1847.

Jacob’s death certificate shows he is now a widower who had been married 25 years. He was born in Seneca County, NY to William DeYoe and Hettie Clute. His parents were both born in Saratoga County, NY. He died of apoplexy and is buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Jacob may or may not be related to my husband’s Deyoe line. A branch did end up in Michigan but, to be honest, there are so many Deyoe family members that I have not traced all the side branches!

Sources:
Ancestry.com. Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1950 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

Detroit Free Press. (Detroit, Michigan), 10 January 1898.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Comstock, Kalamazoo, Michigan; Roll: 586; Family History Film: 1254586; Page: 62C; Enumeration District: 129; Image: 0126


Sunday’s Obituary is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

08 April 2016

Funeral Card Friday: Paul Ruczhak

I came across the funeral card of Paul Ruczhak while going through my recently deceased cousin’s papers. Paul is my uncle. He is my grandfather’s brother.

His funeral card is quite simple. The front is an image of Mary with her Son’s Crown of Thorns in front of her. The back reads:

            In Loving Memory of
            Paul Ruczhak

            Born
            September 18, 1922
            Coatesville, PA

Passed Away
January 8, 1995
Coatesville, PA

Resurrection Prayer

Most merciful Father, we commend our departed into your hands. We are filled with the sure hope that our departed will rise again on the Last Day with all who have died in Christ. We thank you for all the good things you have given during our departed’s earthly life.

O Father, in your great mercy, accept our prayer that the Gates of Paradise may be opened for your servant. In our turn, may we too be comforted by the words of faith until we greet Christ in glory and are united with you and our departed.

Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

The funeral home used was Robert A Harris Funeral Home in Coatesville. He is buried at the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery in Valley Township, Chester County with his wife, Ocie. 


Funeral Card Friday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

06 April 2016

Wedding Wednesday: Rev. Walsh unites Durkin and Duffy in marriage

My search for potential Durkin relatives continues. On 31 January 1871, the Evening Telegraph, based out of Philadelphia, announced the wedding of Ellen Durkin.

The announcement – as transcribed:

Duffy – Durkin. – At Pottstville, January 28th, 1871, by the Rev. J. Walsh, Mr. John Duffy, of Ashland, to Miss Ellen Durkin, of Pottsville.

The marriage announcement appeared on page five of the Evening Telegraph, a Philadelphia paper.


A John and Ellen Duffy appear in the 1880 Census as living in Butler, Schuylkill County. John, a miner, was 35; Ellen was 30. They had five children: Bernard, Thomas, John, Mary and Sarah. The 1900 Census confirms their marriage year as 1871. By then the couple had nine children, all living.
 
Wedding Wednesday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

05 April 2016

Tuesday’s Tip: Add a medical dictionary to your reference shelf

We all have various books on our reference shelf. They probably include books like “Genealogy Standards” and books on immigration or researching a specific ethnic background. My tip of the day – include a medical dictionary on your shelf.

I have a couple medical dictionaries. One is “Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary.” It was printed in Philadelphia by the F.A. Davis Company in 1958. The original copyright was 1940. Why is that important? Some medical terms have evolved over the years. Others are no longer used.

A great aunt of mine died when she was just 15. She suffered epilepsy all her short life. Her death certificate lists the cause of death as “status epilepticus.’ Taber notes “status epilepticus” is the “rapid succession of epileptic attacks without regaining consciousness during the intervals.”

The other is more recent. It is “The Bantam Medical Dictionary” and is copyrighted 1981. It provides a little more information on “status epilepticus.” It defines it as: “the occurrence of repeated epileptic fits without any recovery of consciousness between them. Its control is a medical emergency, since prolonged status epilepticus causes serious imbalance of the salts (electrolytes) in the body which may lead to the patient’s death. During each fit, the breathing is arrested and the body is deprived of oxygen, resulting in further damage to the brain cells.”

While both are similar and do essentially say the same thing, the second does offer more detail.

What is on YOUR reference shelf?


Tuesday’s Tip is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

03 April 2016

Sunday’s Obituary: Ernest Eugene DeYoe

Ernest Eugene Deyoe died in Waterloo, Seneca County, NY, at the young age of 20. His obituary ran in the Democrat and Chronicle out of Rochester, New York on Tuesday, 19 March 1907.

His obituary reads:

Ernest Eugene DeYoe died last night at his home in this village, aged 20 years. He was born in Waterloo and had always resided here, being highly esteemed by a wide circle of friends. He had been spending the winter in Detroit, Mich., returning home about a week ago. He is survived by his father, Frank DeYoe, five brothers, Blaine DeYoe, of Montana; George DeYoe, of Waterloo; Charles DeYoe, of Geneva; Edward and Arthur DeYoe, of Waterloo; and two sisters, Misses Emma and Satie DeYoe, of Detroit, Mich.

I have not determined why Ernest died yet. Nor have I placed him in the family tree.

Source:
Democrat and Chronicle. (Rochester, NY), 19 March 1907.


Sunday’s Obituary is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

01 April 2016

Funeral Card Friday: Wasyl Chernecky

While going through my recently deceased cousin’s papers, I came across the funeral card of Wasyl Chernecky. Wasyl was my cousin’s maternal grandfather. To me, he is the father-in-law of my uncle.

His funeral card is quite simple. The front is an image of Christ.

The back reads:
           
My Jesus have mercy on the Soul of
            Wasyl Chernecky
            Born March 15, 1889 
            Passed Away April 24, 1977

O my most gracious Saviour! Merciful God! Have mercy upon Thine heritage, hear the wailing and suspirations of the repenting, mercifully forgive their transgressions, and liberate them from the deserved punishment, and grant upon them, there, the blessed peace, that unceasingly they may glorify, praise and magnify Thee., the Lord God of all living, in all ages. Amen.

The funeral home used was Gordon K Maclean Funeral Home. He is buried at the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery in Valley Township, Chester County.





Funeral Card Friday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016

30 March 2016

Wedding Wednesday: Durkin weds Lenehan in Pittston

My second great grandmother was born a Durkin. She was born in 1839 in Ireland but I know little else of her before she came to America in 1870. Every so often I do a broad search for Durkins. Here I came across a Margaret Durkin.

The announcement – as transcribed:

In Hyde Park, on the 8th inst., by Rev. J.B. Laughlin, Miss Margaret Durkin, to Mr. Patrick Lenehan, all of Pittston.

May the happy couple long enjoy
The conjugal life with pleasure,
And each new year new pleasure bring,
As this year brought them together.

The marriage announcement appeared on page two of the Pittston Gazette on 16 January 1852. Pittston is located in Luzerne County.


Wedding Wednesday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.