Friday, July 25, 2014

GRIP

The week I attended the  GRIP meeting, it was held at LAROCHE COLLEGE which is located in the Northern Suburbs of Pittsburgh.    I was enrolled in Josh Taylor's class:

 "BECOMING AN ONLINE EXPERT: MASTERING SEARCH ENGINES AND DIGITAL ARCHIVES.

This was a great and intense class; we received so much instruction and hand outs with so many categories and links.  The very first was how to use Keywords in your searches, this was so valuable because he talked about the Boolean system on finding things.  What I was not familiar with was using the work NOT in your search,  this was like an epiphany moment and I think it will be very useful.

The example was if you were searching Washington then you would put:  NOT George NOT D.C. NOT state.   That should eliminate all those sites in your search.  I have to play with my newly acquired knowledge and see what I may find.  Josh was a great teacher and now my brain is full.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

FINDING GREAT GRANDFATHERS SIBLINGS

With the release of the PA Death Certificates on Ancestry.com, I found some things I had never considered.  I was looking for information on my husbands  2x Great grandparents.  They just seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth.   With the possibility they may have lived to an advanced as I entered their names, Charles Stephens and Hannah Lonsdale Stephens.

The last time I found the couple is in the 1880 census living in Allegheny City, Allegheny County in Pennsylvania.   In 1882 was the last time Charles was in the City Directory in the same city.  Where did they go?  But I feel that in the eighteen years between 1882 and 1900 they have probably have died.

I did  not found Charles and Hannah but I did find the death certificates of four out of five siblings of Robert Stephens.   The surprising thing was that three were his sisters.   They woman had married and all stayed in the Pittsburgh area, and two of them in the same neighborhood when they had been born.  I am working on their lines and so far have the names of the husbands.   I think I will go as far as the sisters children in working down the lines.  

How far do you research a line that is not a direct ancestor?   I am thinking that it will be far enough in case someone finds it and discovers that I have researched in England or perhaps someone who knew the married names and had no clue about their maiden names.

There are also a few people that I know died,  but can not find the death record,  the only thing I can imagine is that they went on a trip and died while away.  I need to find a good web site that has newspapers, but very few have the Pittsburgh newspapers in great number, or perhaps I really do not know how to search the papers very, probably the latter.

Monday, May 26, 2014

MEMORIAL DAY

 

Thomas Dowd c. 1944

Thomas Dowd WWII   My father

 

Richard Regis Dowd

Richard R Dowd WWII my dads brother.

 

 

William Graham WW II  step rother Thomas A Dowd

William Graham WWII—my fathers step brother—he had his ear shot off in the Battle of the Bulge.

Richard B Dowd

Richard B Dowd KIA—my dads cousin

 

Michael J ORourke Headstone

My fathers cousin  KIA WWII

Michael O'Donnell obit PPG 3 September 1948

My fathers cousin WWII

Owen Mulroy  WWI My fathers Uncle

Robert Stephens—Civil War—My husbands great grandfather.

Darius Anthony-My husbands great grandfather-  POW Civil War

James Coleman—probable—husbands 3x great grandfather—Revolutionary War

Jacob Saylor—probably—husbands 3x great grandfather—Revolutionary War

Probably more ancestors that I have not found yet.

Monday, April 28, 2014

ANOTHER QUESTION ANSWERED

 

I has a mini brick wall concerning my husbands 2x great grandparents.   On their son’s (Robert Stephens)  Civil War information records it stated he was born in 1845 Doncaster England and came to this country in the early 1850’s.  

Checking the British BMD data base I found a couple that fit the ages, and names of Charles Stephens (1818--    ) and Hannah Lonsdale (1823-    ) marriage. The marriage occurred in the parish church in the county of York and town of Leeds, on 27 November 1842.   Charles’s father was James, a farmer and Hannah Lonsdale’s father was, John Lonsdale, also a farmer.  I felt this was the right couple as the marriage record but did not have the proof.

Charles was a florist  at the time.   I first found Charles and Hannah in Allegheny City (now Pittsburgh) in the 1870 census and his occupation was a gardener. They still lived there in the 1880 census and after that time Charles and Hannah disappeared of the face of the earth, or so it seems.  I have been searching for them in the local cemeteries but have not found them.

Robert was not living with the family at that time, he was living in Allegheny County with his first wife Sarah.  There was documentation about Sarah and their marriage in the Civil War Pension file.   When Robert Stephens died his wife did not know the names of his parents.

What I did was search the Pennsylvania Death Certificates 1906-1924 and tried to find his siblings.  After a search I came upon the death of his brother James H Stephens and it did indeed list the parents as Charles Stephens and Anna Lonsdale.   Mission accomplished..Seems that James was named after Charles’s father.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

EUREKA MOMENT

 

I have been waiting, and not too patiently, for the release of the Death Certificates from the State of Pennsylvania.   That time has come and I have been busy perusing them and adding them to my tree.

I have found a few surprises too.  In the Baptism records of St. Thomas Church I found a Baptism record for Joseph Clarence O’Rourke, with my great grandparents listed as parents, Patrick O’Rourke and  Ellen Mortel.  Since they were in their late 50’s at that time I was very suspicious about the parentage.

Joseph Clarence O'Rourke 1908

Source Information:

[Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1924 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/]

 

Is JR O’Rourke my great grandfathers brother?   I know that according to my fathers notes that Patrick had a brother John and James living close by.   The two brothers were sponsors at many of Patrick and Ellen’s children Baptisms.

Were JR and Margaret unwed, I have not found a marriage for them in the church records.   Were they married but to distraught to take little Joseph to be Baptized because it states that the birth was premature. Did Patrick and Ellen take him to be Baptized because of his frail condition?  Baby Joseph lived only four days

The next item I found was really serendipitous.  While searching all the O'Rourke's in Allegheny County PA, I came across a death for John O’Rourke; upon closer inspection I found he was born in 1843, in Ireland and his parents were Denis O’Rourke and Mary Griffith.  The person giving the information was my great grandfather Patrick O’Rourke.  Patrick and Ellen were the only O’Rourke Family in East Pittsburgh at that time.

I knew that Denis and Mary were the names of Patrick’s parents and now I am 99.9% sure that they are my 2x great grandparents.    I have been looking for her name since 2008.

John O'Rourke DC 25 May 1908

[Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1924 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/]

 

What I need to find out is John  O’Rourke and JR O’Rourke the same person? 

Every find precipitates more questions.

Friday, March 21, 2014

WHERE ARE THEY HIDING

Yesterday I went to the Archives for my volunteer job.  I was at a point where I could do a little research on my own family.   I was looking for Richard Fitzmorris, I assume that he was a cousin of my great grandfather because my great grandfather, Thomas Dowd, mother was Catherine Fitzmorris.

Richard Fitzmorris was the sponsor for the Baptism of my grandfather, also named Thomas Dowd.   I found a few Baptisms for of Richards children between 1900 and 1913, but I can not find the family on the 1910 census.    Where do these people go?    I also can not find a 1900 census for Mary Naughton Downs, who was my great grandmother, Bridget Naughton Dowd, sister.   I find her in the 1910 census and up.  I have church records and a probate record listing she was in town, before and after 1900,  but not on the census.

Did these people hide from the census takers?   If so, they are doing a great job in hiding. This is one of the most frustrating things for me. I know they were there but why can't I find them?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

BOHEMIAN CENSUS RECORDS 1869

 

By luck I found a link to the Bohemian Census records from 1869.

BOHEMIAN RECORDS it takes a bit of time to figure out where you want to go and then the next problem is trying to read the writing.  The form seems to be set up with each little house in each village and in Rosshaupt/Rozavadov there are about twenty.  

In 1869 my husband’s second great grandfather left Bohemia headed for the land where streets were paved with gold.  They first settled in Baltimore and then on to Millvale, Allegheny County, PA, USA  Millvale is a borough bordering on the city of Pittsburgh.

I found a Johannes Sperl, who was born in the 1820’s.  Is this Christof Sperl’s brother?   I have to check the years of birth of both but if Johannes was older and inherited the land that could possibly why Christof left the old country.

Christof’s wife, Catherine Rauscher, also said she was from the same town but I initially did not find her family’s name.   It is quite possible she came from a village close to that town.   I will need a tiny town map and how  to read Kurrent script.