28 November 2014

Follow Friday: Introducing blogs I follow

These are a sampling of the genealogy related blogs I follow personally. Happy hunting.

They are listed in alpha order to simplify things and to make it easier for additions, deletions and corrections in the future. This listing will be included as a new page titled "Blogs I Follow." Please contact me at jeanne.eckman (at) Comcast.net if you should stumble upon a broken link or if you would like to suggest a new blog to add!

Follow Friday is a genealogy prompt of GeneaBloggers.

27 November 2014

Thankful Thursday: Thanksgiving 2014

This circa 1912 postcard is a Tuck & Sons' card from the "Thanksgiving" series No 186.
Printed in Saxony.
I am thankful for family, friends and you - those reading Genealogical Gems.
Thankful Thursday is a genealogy prompt of GeneaBloggers.

26 November 2014

Wednesday's Child: Gloria Elaine Webster

Gloria Elaine Webster was born on 22 March 1926 to Elwood J. and Helen Still Webster. The family lived in East Fallowfield. She passed away less than two months later, on 15 May 1926.

She died, according to her death certificate, of Catarrh Pneumonia with Convulsions. Catarrh pneumonia is defined as an inflammation of the lung tissue with inflammation of the bronchial membranes.

She is buried at Doe Run Presbyterian Cemetery in East Fallowfield.

Wednesday's Child is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

25 November 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Twaddell

John J. 10 December 1913 - 4 June 1995
Rita D. 17 September 1945 - 8 February 2002
I came across the Twaddells while "visiting" my grandparents and uncles at St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery in Kennett Square, Chester County. I just thought the stone itself was so unique.
Tombstone Tuesday is a genealogical prompt by GeneaBloggers.


24 November 2014

Military Monday: John F Huber

The Civil War affected everyone in every profession. The medical field was no different. John F. Huber, MD, served the Union as a surgeon.

He enlisted on 25 August 1861 as an Assistant Surgeon. That day, he was commissioned an officer in Company S, where he served - during his tenure in the service - in the Pennsylvania 49th Infantry Regiment, the Pennsylvania 131st Infantry Regiment, and the Pennsylvania 50th Infantry Regiment. He was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Volunteers Medical Staff Infantry Regiment on 07 November 1863. On 13 March 1865, Huber was promoted to Brevet Lt Colonel. He was finally mustered out on 04 June 1866.

Huber is buried at Woodward Hill Cemetery, in Lancaster. That is actually where I first stumbled upon the doctor. He was born 22 November 1825 and passed on 15 February 1868.

He left a widow, Louisa.

Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.

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.

Military Monday is a genealogical prompt issued by GeneaBloggers.

23 November 2014

Census Sunday: Nora Kilpatrick Beattie

Nora Kilpatrick Beattie is one of my great grandmother's (Mary Kilpatrick Still) sister. There were five sisters and two brothers who all came over, though not all at the same time. I have not yet been able to pinpoint and document their exact place of birth. Instead, I know only they were from Ireland and they were Protestant. They all settled originally in around the Philadelphia/Main Line area.

Nora first shows up in America in the 1910 Census. She is listed, at that time, a servant to Harry and Alice Riley, a young couple with two children. Harry Riley is a poultry farmer and they live on Valley Road in Tredyffrin, Chester County. Nora's age is recorded as 29. She is listed as the family nurse. The Riley family employs two other servants - waitress Catherine Ayer and Nora Jane, a cook - also from Ireland and a gardener from Italy named Carlo Angelonia. The 1910 Census asks about immigration. Nora, according to the census, immigrated in 1902.

Ten years later, Nora is now married to Samuel Beattie. Other records document their marriage as occurring on 1 June 1910. They live in Upper Providence, Montgomery Township, where they will remain through the years. Both Nora and Samuel were born in Ireland. According to this census, Samuel immigrated in 1904 and Nora in 1906. They were both naturalized in 1912. At this time (January of 1920), they have five children: Howard and Herbert, seven year old twins; Walter, four years and seven months; James, two years and 11 months; and Horace, one year and two months. Samuel was a farmer.

The 1930 Census reveals their street as being Longford Road. By now, their sixth child - Louis - was born, totaling six boys. The twins - Howard and Herbert - are now 17; Walter is 14; James, who now goes by his middle name Elmer, is 13; Horace is 11; and Louis is seven. The census confirms that Nora and Sam were both 24 when they got married. This puts the year as 1910. Their immigration years remain listed as 1904 for Samuel and 1906 for Nora. When asked for their birthplace, instead of simply saying Ireland, now the two are more specific. Samuel was born in North Ireland. Nora was born in Free State Ireland. Samuel is no longer listed as a farmer but rather as a sexton at church. The twins are both auto helpers at a garage.

Howard is not included in the 1940 census with the family, but everyone else is there. There really is not any new information, simply confirmations of info already previously gathered from other census records. It is interesting to note that this year both Samuel and Nora list their birthplace again as simply Ireland.

An aside note -- the Free State Ireland is what is now the Republic of Ireland. It was formed on 6 December 1921, after a long struggle for independence from Britain. When Nora immigrated, there would not have been an area called Free State Ireland.

Census Sunday is a genealogical blog prompt of GeneaBloggers.

22 November 2014

Sorting Saturday: Cleaning up Facebook groups and Twitter

Today began shortly before midnight for me. The first few hours I spent organizing and cleaning my Facebook groups. Wow did I have a lot!

The Facebook groups mostly center around genealogy or history in general. Some are serious. Some are fun - like Cemetery Scavenger Hunt! The idea is each week a different theme is chosen (usually by vote from the week prior) and people submit photos from cemeteries with those themes in the photo. For example this week the theme is "Bicycles, Motorcycles, and ATVs" so a photo may be a tombstone in the shape of a bike or an image engraved in the stone.

Some groups are location specific. For example, I joined the Schuylkill County Genealogy page hoping to connect with any Walsh/Welsh or Keating families and descendants. There is a page for almost every location! One such group is Clearfield County PA Genealogy. I am researching the Novakosky family, specifically Ludwig Novakosky, so I added a note there:
Looking for info pls on a Ludwig Novakosky. He allegedly died before September 1917 in Clearfield County Jail. Story is suicide. Looking for proof ... or direction. TIA

I also updated the Eckman Family Page. Added a cover photo which I will have to remember to change out on a regular basis. The photo is that of John and Catherine Eckman's tombstone. Five of their six children are buried with them. Naturally, hubby's great grandfather is the one child not buried there.

While searching through various pages, I also found that Family Search will be discontinuing their Photo Duplication Services. In addition I came up with several article/post ideas!

I was also cleaning up with Twitter and catching up on tweets. One popped up from the Ukrainian Reporter with the reminder that today - 22 November - is Remembrance Day.

Twitter allows users to create lists. This is so helpful when only searching for a specific topic. I created, for example, a Genealogy List. It simply lists people and companies I have come across (not everyone as I do forget sometimes) who are interested actively in genealogy. Anyone can subscribe to the list as well, as it is a public list.

Regardless of how you connect with other genealogists, every once in awhile take the time to sort through your Facebook groups and Twitter. Otherwise, you may feel overwhelmed! By the way, you can find me tweeting @jeanne_eckman.

Sorting Saturday is a genealogical prompt by GeneaBloggers.

21 November 2014

Funeral Card Friday: Leo Welsh

My Uncle Leo was born Leo Francis Welsh. He was my grandmother (Mary Welsh Still)'s brother and son of Martin and Catherine O'Flaherty Welsh, of Phoenixville, Chester County, PA.
Funeral Card Friday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

Extra Ordinary Give helps preserve Lancaster area history

Today is Lancaster County's Extra Ordinary Give. This is a day on which area non-profits participate in a 24 hours online marathon giving marathon sponsored by the Lancaster County Community Foundation. Many historical societies and venues are included today!

The Lancaster Historical Society (which now goes by LancasterHistory.org) focuses on the history of the entire county and maintains Wheatland, home of President James Buchanan. Buchanan is the only president from Pennsylvania and the only bachelor president.

The Lititz Historical Foundation is also participating today. The Foundation focuses on the history of the Lititz area. The Foundation also maintains the Lititz Museum and the Johannes Mueller House. The Lititz area received her first settlers - the Moravians - as early as the 1740s. 

The Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society preserves the culture of Anabaptist communities connected to Lancaster County.

The Conestoga Area Historical Society aims to preserve the history of the Penn Manor area. This includes Conestoga, Pequea, Manor, and Martic Townships, as well as Millersville Borough. The Society was formed in 1990. While any donation amount is appreciated, the Society notes that $25 can provide one archival storage box; $50 can pay for one newsletter mailing; and $100 could assist with the heating bill.

The Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley focuses on the heritage of the Northern Lancaster County municipalities. The Society's focus areas are: East & West Cocalico, Clay, Ephrata, West Earl and a portion of Earl Townships, as well as Akron, Adamstown, Denver & Ephrata Boroughs.

Ephrata Cloister Associates maintain the historical site and offer many education programs relating to the Ephrata Cloister. The Cloister was founded in 1732 by German settlers who sought religious freedom and a more spiritual way of life. Today, the site is a National Historical Landmark.

History comes alive at the Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum. This living history villages takes visitors back to the late 1700s. Administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Landis Valley preserves the history and culture of the Pennsylvania Germans who founded Lancaster County.

The Rock Ford Plantation is the home of Revolutionary War General Edward Hand. Hand served as Adjutant under George Washington. The museum offers many living history education programs.

The Friends of the Railroad of Pennsylvania supports the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. The Museum preserves railroading history and offers various educational programs throughout the year related to railroading and the effect it has - and still has - on America.

The Historic Preservation Trust does so many behind the scenes kind of events to preserve historical structures of Lancaster County. Among those structures are houses, barns, bridges, and mills.

All total, there are more than 300 non-profit organizations in Lancaster County that are participating today. To participate in the Extra Ordinary Give go to http://extragive.org.

20 November 2014

Those Places Thursday: A glimpse of Coatesville past

Coatesville was once a bustling town. Main Street was filled with stores. People walked the streets and, at Christmas time, Santa came to town. The annual Christmas Parade still brings Santa to town. This postcard shows Coatesville in a different era.

Notice the Sears Roebuck and Co., located in the Central Building. It is between Beneficial Loans and Woolworth Co. Other stores seen here on the North side of East Main Street are: Newberry Co., Young's Pharmacy, and Lipkins.

The undated Chrome card is clearly from the late 1960s or early 1970s time frame, judging by the cars.

Those Places Thursday is a genealogy prompt of GeneaBloggers.

19 November 2014

Ancestry videos are a wealth of information

Ancestry.com has a wealth of informative videos on You Tube. One of those videos is You've Received Your Ancestry DNA Results. Now What? I learned some vital information from the video. Crista Cowan does an excellent job simplifying DNA.

She explains that my sister and I, for example, may not have exactly the same DNA makeup. Obviously we have the same bloodline but we each got 50% of our DNA from Daddy and 50% from our mom. Nothing says we got exactly the same 50% from either one. So where, my DNA results showed a less than one percent European Jewish background, she may not have got that handed down to her. The video below here explains the results in a simple manner.

When I had received my DNA results, I was surprised at the percentages. The ethnicities however did not surprise me. I thought I was doing great going back through my generations. When Cowan did a little mathematical chart showing 10 generations back, it struck me how little I actually know and how much more there is to discover. The chart shows how many people you actually descend from in 10 generations (counting yourself as the first generation).

Generation Possible People I Know
1 You 1 1
2 Parents 2 2
3 Grandparents 4 4
4 2x Grandparents 8 8
5 3x Grandparents 16 13
6 4x Grandparents 32 9
7 5x Grandparents 84 7
8 6x Grandparents 128 7
9 7x Grandparents 236 1
10 8x Grandparents 512 0
1023 52

Ten generations takes you back to your eighth great grandparents. Not counting yourself, that is 1022 people from whom you are descended. My numbers are also shown above. I am doing great through the fifth generation. After that however ... well item #1 on my Genealogy Bucket List!

18 November 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: J Martin Eckman & Family

J Martin 1850 - 1910
Anna Elnora 1853 - 1935
Enos M 1879 - 1926
Chester R 1892 - 1893
buried at Woodward Hill Cemetery
Lancaster City, Lancaster County, PA
James Martin was the son of Daniel Washington and Grace Helm Eckman. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Anna Elnora, went normally by Elnora. She was the daughter of Jacob and Mary Rowe Myers. She died of arteriosclerosis chronic myocarditis. The couple had seven children: William Ross, Laura Viola, Enos Myers, James Wesley, Mary Elizabeth, Miles Washington, and Chester Reid.
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.  
Tombstone Tuesday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

17 November 2014

Military Monday: Chester County casualties in WWII

War, by its very nature, concedes losses and casualties. World War II was certainly no different in that regard. In June 1946 the US War Department issued a report honoring the injured and deceased soldiers.

The casualties were itemized as such:
KIA - Killed In Action
DOW - Died Of Wounds
DOI - Died Of Injuries
DNB - Died Non-Battle
FOD - Finding Of Death
M - Missing

The report breaks the figures down by county. Chester County, for example, had 187 KIA, 26 DOW, 1 DOI, 75 DNB, 23 FOD, and 2 M for a total of 314.

My uncle - Paulie they called him - was among those included in the report. Paul Kurenda was Baba's brother. His death is listed as DNB - died of non battle wounds.

My grandfather told me once that Uncle Paulie got gangrene over in Europe and the Army sent him back to the States to Valley Forge so he could be near his family. Unfortunately the family had not been notified quickly enough and he passed shortly before they got there.

His death certificate shows that he died from "tuberculosis, pulmonary, acute, military, bilateral."

His obituary reads that he died 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."

Paul was born 16 July 1922. He was the youngest son of John Kurenda and Francis Skrabalak. He is buried with his parents at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery in Valley Township, Chester County, PA.

He is one of 314 soldiers whose families share these stories. Sadly two have unique stories. Two soldiers were listed as missing. They are: Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Armstrong and Staff Sgt. Robert J. Sabol.

Staff Sgt. Thomas Garrett Armstrong was with the 769th Bomber Squadron 462nd Bomber Group (VH). His death date is listed at 26 May 1946. He received a Purple Heart Medal, Air Medal with 2 Oak Clusters, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. His name is memorialized on the Honolulu Monument. Born 18 September 1924, Armstrong was single. He was survived by his parents: Alexander and Ethel Armstrong.

Staff Sgt. Robert J. Sabol in also memorialized on a monument in Honolulu. He served as part of the 62nd Bomb Squad 39th Bomb Group (VH). His death is also recorded as 24 May 1945. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal and the Air Medal. Born in 1924, he was the son of John and Caroline Sabol of Phoenixville.

Ancestry.com. Honolulu, Hawaii, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl), 1941-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

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

Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Applications, WWII, 1950 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

Ancestry.com. U.S. Rosters of World War II Dead, 1939-1945 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.

Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Military Personnel Missing In Action or Lost At Sea, 1941-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.

National Archives and Records Administration. World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.
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.

National Archives and Records Administration . World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel, 1946
Military Monday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.