Monday, August 22, 2011

Finding Your Ancestors using GPS

Yesterday we took an early trek up north to find the cemeteries where my husbands grandmother, grandfather and great-grand father are buried. We hit a gold mine. But that's not what I'm blogging/posting about.
On our way home we left the GPS on and noticed green patches on the screen. You could tell by the road configuration whether these green sites were parks or cemeteries. We decided to stop at one cemetery and check out the names with a drive through for later exploration. On our way out I saw a name from my families past. It ends up there are several stones for this family there.
So you can use the GPS screen just to find unexpected info or to find a cemetery you have vague directions to.
Just a tip for others if they could use it. Happy Hunting family tree genealogists!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: Mrs. Emma J. Hawk

Finding the obituary of a Great, Greataunt, can be very rewarding to verify what you know and also open up many more branches to your family tree. Finding information on females can be daunting and obituaries can be very informative, unlike the census records they are found on before they are married. 
In this case I found her married name and her surviving children and brothers and also the married name of a surviving sister.
One curious thing is that she died at her daughters home, who has the same married name of Hawk.

New Castle New, Thursday, November 9, 1944, Page 2, Col.3

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Word Wrap 19th Century Style

Susana Eliza Fry

Susana : Eliza Fry.
Died March .3 . 1842
Agd' 10 Mon.ts

Ridge Churches Union Cemeteries, 
Westmoreland County, Pa

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: John W. Fox

What does this monument represent? Do the different aspects of the stone indicate this man's profession, his group affiliations, his religious beliefs???

In driving through this cemetery one notices there are a lot of monuments with this cylinder on top but none are with the scalloped edges. My first impression was they looked like some type of roter. Was he a machinist late in life? Do the plaques for the stats indicate something specific about him? The stone, also, has four steps on each of the sides. Was he an architect, a draftsman, a builder or hoping to get to the stairway to heaven? And why does the monument have two sides for names but only has one side is etched. Did he have another person that was to be buried with him and didn't make it or never got the stone done after the interment?
This stone is one of the large stones in the cemetery and is in a section of other large stones. It's unique so most likely custom for his wants. There are a lot of other Fox stones in this cemetery and are clustered together as seen with families. This man is not with any other Foxes.
We did some research on this man and found that at one time he's listed as working at a stone quarry. Ok, so that would be were he became familiar with types of stones used in monuments? Maybe. Maybe he picked the actual stone to be used at work.
Another census has him working as a gardener. 
He is noted as being divorced in one census and the next a widower. One census has him head of house hold with his daughter living with him. 

Does anyone have a clue as to what the different aspects of this monument represent?  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: Captain C. F. Mitchell

Captain C. F. Mitchell
Greensburg, Pa., January 24.- Captain Chauncey F. Mitchell, Greensburg's oldest citizen, who on last Tuesday celebrated the ninety-third anniversary of his birth, died at 4 O'clock yesterday afternoon in a chair at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Wineman. Captain Mitchell had not been ill and his death was unexpected. Captain Mitchell was born in a log cabin in Greensburg, January 17, 1818 and except two years spent in the west and 30 years in Somerset, always had lived here. Printer, newspaperman, soldier, and adventurer, Captain Mitchell led a life full of activity. When a boy he took up the printer's trade in the office of Murcury News in Pittsburg, now the Post. The old Ben Franklin press was operated by hand. This was in 1831. In 1854 the young man had risen to the position of editor and established the Somerset Democrat in Somerset, Pa. which he edited until 1861. He then enlisted in Company A, Pennsylvania Reserves, and went to the front. He served for three years in the army and took part in the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Seven Days' Battle in the Wilderness and others. The last battle he fought was at Gettysburg. He was also a "forty-niner" having left with a large number of Westmorelanders for the gold fields of the Pacific coast. Six grown children survive Captain Mitchell, one of whom is Walter Mitchell, cashier of the Mellon National Bank of Pittsburg.

The Pittsburgh Press- Jan 24 1911
Page 17 column 4

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Surname Saturday: Frew

I keep hitting that 'brick wall' genealogists talk about with the name Frew.
In researching my maternal genealogy I find my second great grandmother's maiden name was Frew. Her parents were Eliza Duff (6 Jan., 1834- 28 Jul., 1891) and James G. Frew (1 Apr.,1928-21 May, 1898).
Census show James G.'s parents are most likely James Sr. and Jane unknown.
Jane Frew with her chiildren appear in multiple SW Pennsylvania census with Jane and then James G. as household heads. James Sr. is questionably absent until he reappears living with a daughter,  her husband and children when he is in his twilight years.
Jane's and James(Sr.)'s children are: David (1825), James G. (1828-1898), Hannah (1831), Isabella(1834), and Nancy(1835).
I found another couple James and Jane Frew in Blount, Tennessee that parallel the ages and lives of this Pennsylvania couple but no link to them.
I can find many references to Frews in records but this is as far back as I can link my Frews.
Is anyone researching Frews and has found links to Westmoreland, Fayette or Allegheny counties in southwestern PA.? I know Eliza and James G. Frew's daughter is buried in West Newton, Pa with her husband and his parents, the Cochenours.
I would love to share what info I have found. Is anyone searching the Frew family?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Petting Parties?

Petting Parties? Problems in cemeteries 80 some years ago. 
Were a group of people gathered in the graveyard stroking their dogs and cats? LOL!
In papers today we see vandalizing and drinking in cemeteries. Back in the 1920's kids didn't have the availability of cars like today. Yet in this story some were misusing both cars and the cemetery. 
This was on the front page of the paper so important news at the time. Why else would the caretaker been given authority to arrest the petters?
Those familiar with the term 'petting' in my generation think of it done in the family car borrowed for a date or double date. "Parking!" 
In 1925 what would these petting parties have looked like? A bunch of kids sitting around the maintenance building/cottage 'making out' and getting to 'first base'? 
Don't you just love the flair these old newspaper stories are written with?
And what stories would we hear if cemetery monuments could talk! 

Greensburg Daily Tribune, Thursday July 9, 1925, Page 1.