Thursday, October 29, 2009



I have been searching for Olive Stephens still.   I came upon a list of COLUMBIANA COUNTY CEMETERIES to search.   Goodness there were too many to even count and only one has a web site.  

This project will take years, by my estimation.   Guess I should get started……

I think I will use the assistance of Google.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


For the past month of so I have been researching Olive Stephens. Olive is my husbands great grandmother on his fathers side. I just can not find that woman.....I am thinking that if I had her maiden name things might so a little more smoothly. Maybe just a tad....

I did not find Olive and Robert Stephens marriage record on the microfilm at the Carnegie Library Main in Oakland (Pittsburgh PA) A kind person on the Allegheny County Roots Web told me he would look up for a listing the next time he went into town.

I thought perhaps that they eloped because of their age difference (25 years) so another Roots Web Member sent me the marriage list of West Virginia, they were not there. I suppose now I should search Maryland or just take a break.

To complicate my brain, I received a note from the Salem OH Historical Society and they did not find the burial site, but they DID find a burial for Edward Scheuring in Grandview Cemetery. Was this Olives daughter Irene's father in law??

I have to check to see what other cemeteries were in Perry Township. Perhaps Olive was not buried in Salem but somewhere else in Colombiana County OH.......

Thursday, October 22, 2009


A kind soul on the rootsweb list send the link for the Ohio deaths and certificates which are online on Family Search. I searched all of the deaths and still did not find her. I did find one Olive (b1872 in Ohio) but she died in 1944 and had a spouse John. Unless John Stephens is Roberts Stephens brother, I do not think this is it. But then again who knows?

Perhaps, Olive did not die in OH and if she did where is she now? I am about to give up on this one for a while....My Olive was born in PA according to many of the census reports.



I took a trip to the Phipps Conservatory yesterday, my aim was to take pictures of the Fall Flower show.   I was disappointed because there weren’t too many fall flowers.   But I did walk around taking pictures.

The one above gave me a thought.   Not the glass clowns, but the date on the brick was behind.   It say 1892, it started me thinking.   I wondered if my ancestors came here to enjoy the flower 107 years ago????

PHIPPS CONSERVATORY   This link shows some of the Conservatory but not too much in the way of history.   Guess I will have to search deeper for that information.

The next show will be Christmas and it will be spectacular with the flowers and colors of the season.

Olive Stephens still eludes me,  I posted a question of Roots Web and someone sent me the link for WV marriages, seems they have an index that you can peruse.   With the twenty five year difference in their ages I feel fairly certain that Robert Stephens and Olive eloped.


Monday, October 19, 2009


Today the daughter and I took a fall foilage day trip to Salem Ohio. It only took 1 1/2 hours from my home. Salem is a small heart land town, it looks like it would be a nice place to live; they have a hosptial as well.

I spent time at the library. First I looked in the city directories, but they only had a few years that I was looking for. Then the research librarian looked in the index for Grandview Cemetery and no Olive Stephens. There is another cemetery and Emily and I drove there and even though the door was unlocked and open no one was there. I did get the phone number and will give them a call at some point in time.

We did stop and buy a pumpkin, which Emily is going to carve. The gas in Ohio was about 15 cents less per gallon that in Pittsburgh. I did fill up the car, that was the second thing I bought in Ohio.

Now back to the drawing board for my elusive Olive.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


My next thought is should I be putting tags or labels on these postings.?


Chuck, did you father have the death certificates of his parents???? I think he did, there were something in a beige metalic box.... I haven't seen that box for years......

I suppose I will now have to search for that box, I guess it is in the basement somewhere. If I find it the Olive mystery will be solved.

I also found out that the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has copies of the City Directories from 1815, The Stephens family was in Allegheny City (now part of Pittsburgh) in the 1870 census. I guess next Saturday I will take a trip into the city to search this index.

I will also have to scour the cellar for that elusive being metal box.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I work in a hospital and come across many people. On Wednesday I noticed a man, with the same last name as my great grandmother, was on the OR schedule.

I asked him if he was from the town in PA that my Bridget was from. He said yes, we had talked a bit and today I went to visit him again. On Thursday I had checked Ancestry and found four other men in the town with the same last name. They were all born within two years of each other.

MY THEORY and NEW COUSIN and I agree, we think that our great grandparents were probably siblings. I also talked to his daughter and I will be sending her some of my information. What a nice family, even if we are not related......Just goes to show you that you can meet family in the most unlikely places. The problem with following female relatives is that they can get lost or you not know they were there at all. The only record I have in the census for Bridget is under her married name. She also had a twin sister, whom my dad said he could not tell them apart.

I found a Margaret Naughton who was sponsor for one of Bridget and Thomas children. I think this might be THE TWIN SISTER and she married soon after that. If my dad remembers them she would have been alive in the 1920' and 1930's.

More on this development to follow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Are these the same women in the two photos?

Monday, October 12, 2009


I am now back to searching for Olive Stephens. MY THEORY is that she died sometime between her husband Roberts death (1913) and 1920.
Aunt Edna said
she on Christmas Eve in Salem OH and was buried there.

I have been looking at a family of Stephens who emigrated in 1850 from England. They had a son Robert born in 1845. In 1860 I found them living in "Development 1, Henry KY" I did not find the in 1870, still searching for them in 1870. But, low and behold, I found them living in Allegheny City (1880), which is now the North Side of Pittsburgh, across the Allegheny River. Allegheny City was annexed in 1908, much to the displeasure of the inhabitants.

This leads me to believe that this is where Robert stayed. Robert had joined the Union and fought in the Civil War, even though he would have been 14 or 16 at that time. He was listed in a unit that was formed in Western PA, so had they moved north about the time of the Civil War?

I have found a Civil War Pension and he is buried in the GAR Plot of Uniondale Cemetery. W
hich is located on the North Side of Pittsburgh.

That leads me to believe that the Stephens I have been following are "MY" Stephens. What problem I have been having is I am also finding the name spelled as Stevens.

In the 1900 census I have Olive and Robert living on the North Side along with their four children (Including Mary, my husbands grandmother). Also listed is his brother James, who was also with the family in 1880.

Now, are the parents (Charles and Hanna Stephens) buried in Uniondale. I have to check when that cemetery opened. There is also Allegheny Cemetery, which opened earlier in the 19th century.

I can not find a marriage license application for Robert and Olive, even though they were married in 1891. Because of the difference in their ages (he was 25 years older than Olive) did they elope?

He was single in 1880 and married two times by 1891. I looked in Ancestry and found about 5 Olives living on the North Side in 1880. Could one of them be the elusive Olive?

I contacted the Ohio Genealogical Society to see if they had any ideas on the subject. In 1920 their daughter Irene was living in Salem OH. Maybe a trip to Salem OH is REALLY in order. I am hoping that the library may have the records I need. It is really not too far of a drive, about one hour.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


What is my most satisfying genealogical moment?

Since I have been searching the family tree for only a few (2/ 1/2) years I don’t have a plethora of things from which to choose.

But hands down it has to be my trip last May to the MCKEESPORT VERSAILLES CEMETERY

My sister and I went to take pictures of my grandparents grave.

Willie Schridde

Anna Bartels Scridde 

Anna and Willi are my grandparents.   Willi died in 1936 and Anna remarried.

To find the grave I had to stop at the office and they gave me the map and information.    With a second thought in mind I inquired about Anna brother August Bartels, who I thought might be buried there too. 

To my surprise I found August and he was buried in a plot with many others.  Now, who were these people.   I surmised they were related, but how?August Bartels

Charlotte Bartels

I found August wife, my Tante Lotte.   I had no idea her name was Charlotte.   I remember her from childhood.   That was a great find, but the story thickens.

Charles and Alwine Deitrick

Here was Alwine and Charles Dietrich, Emma and Hermann Schwab, Ella Bartels and Minna Bartels.   This REALLY screamed more research.

Ella Bartels Emma Schwabe

Minna Bartels

I deduced that they were born too early to be my Grandmothers siblings, I knew there were four of them and her youngest sister was born in 1913 and August in 1902.

I needed a stop at the office and they I found August listed as nephew.  Home we went and then searching the records for the women.

What I found was astonishing to me !!!!!  Ella Bartels, sister in law of Charles Dietrich.EllaBartels immigration

Minna Bartels immigration

Minna Bartels sister of Mrs. Schwab.   These unknown Bartels were siblings of my Great Grandfather, Daniel Bartels.  They were my grandmothers Aunts and I never knew they were here.

I suppose since they died before I was born, it never came up in conversation.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Olive Stephens birth certificate came today and it was not MY Olive. The Olive who had died was a 6 month old girl. I was disappointed with that document, but REALLY impressed with the operation of the Ohio Historical Society.

Soooo, back to the drawing boards, so to speak. Now the question is where is Olive Stephens buried. I have to go with Aunt Edna's statement telling me that she died and was buried in Salem Ohio. Then I need to explore the fact Edna stated she died on Christmas Eve. Maybe a trip to Ohio in really in my future.

I have to do some preliminaries first and reread my email concerning Ohio.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


What appears below seems to be something out of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. It is really how we went camping on the outer banks c. 1962. When I was about 13 was the first time I saw the Atlantic Ocean, or any other ocean in fact. It was an awesome sight for a land bound girl

We had to wait until my youngest sister was "out of diapers." I had a long time to wait for the first vacation. This was pre disposable diapers, what a good invention I must add.....

We took off in the '57 Chevy and my dad drove to NC, the Outer Banks to be exact. This was the days of Pre Interstates. Actually, I have no clue how we got there, but, I suspect it involved in driving around Washington DC and south on Route One. I am not sure, but I think that may be the one.

At that time we had to drive through every one horse town from PA to NC. What I remember mostly was a two lane road from Virgina down through the rural south. We passed many small farms, the houses were dilapidated and run down. The dwellings were farms and the farms were behind them. It was the type of places that had furniture and washing machines on the front porches. These people were poor and trying to eke out an existence growing tobacco. Upon our arrival there were very few houses to rent and a lot of the "Old' style beach cottages, which were weathered, dark grey and had large green hurricane shutters that would lower and cover the entire windows. Air conditioning was non existant. Very few motel/hotel existed, and the ones that did catered to fishermen.

A campsite was found at Oregon Intlet, and the nomad style tent was pitched. I do not remember the exact sleeping arrangements but I think the girls slept in the car. My father had devised window screens to fit the car and he had two level sleeping quarters in the back of the wagon. The boys slept in the tent. Over the back of the wagon was installed a mosquito net to keep the insect at bay.

There was one little grocery store and we would buy the provisions for the next days. One of the highlight of the week would to go to the fishing pier in the afternoon and watch the fishing boats come in and the men would have their pictures taken with their catch of the day.

During the day time we would go on little jaunts to explore the islands. From Oregon Inlet to Hatteras Island a ferry was taken, then another ferry went from Hatteras Island to the furthermost island where Ocracoke was located. Some plans had been made to junk the first ferry and a grandiose bridge was planned and built. It was almost finished when some hurricane (who remembers the name it had) came along and changed the shore line and most of the bridge now covered dry land. The bridge was finished and now you can drive along most of the coast.



I am smitten by the Ohio Historical Society.   A few weeks ago I had written about trying to obtain a death certificate of Olive Stephens.   I found the name on their online index and electronically order the death certificate.

They had stated that it may take up to a month to have it processed.   Yesterday they send me an email to tell me it was on its way.

Did it take a few days because it was in their data base?  Or, are they usually so prompt.   I hope it contains the information I seek, which is mainly Olives maiden name, and if I am really Lucky the names of her parents.

Olive is my husbands great grandmother and she is buried in Ohio and her husband was buried in Pittsburgh.

My theory was that he had died in Pittsburgh and Olive moved to Ohio to stay with her daughter Irene.   Robert, he husband was buried in the Civil War Plot in Uniondale Cemetery in Pittsburgh.

Another mystery to solve and I do not know yet how to go about finding the answer…..   Robert was married before, which was indicated on the census.  The census was 1910 and found on Ancestry.  Olive and Robert were living on the North Side section of Pittsburgh PA.


(The most exciting thing about this post is I was able to cut and past a copy of the census that I had saved.  New skill mastered.)

New questions to ponder.  Who was the first wife?   Where did Olive and Robert meet?  Are there any descendants from the first marriage?   I did not find their marriage application in Allegheny County PA.

Robert was born in England (1845) and I found a (hopefully) matching entry of emigration .   It had listed on one census that he emigrated in 1850 and in the 1910 census it had listed a brother James (b. Kentucky).  I found the Family listed on the above on a census record of 1860 living in Kentucky but there was a Hiram, not James but the DOB’s match.   Guess I need to find a historical society in Kentucky.

Each answer begets ten new questions….

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What are reefers?


Not the smoke able kind…..   I read a posting on GeneaBloggers and it told me to please enable referrers in your browser.   What in the world is a referrer???


From the message I think it is a way to avoid spam.   I have not been getting many comments and is there something going on of which I a unaware concerning this referrer business?


I liked the idea of leaving a contact email because it is my hope and or fantasy to hear from some one who is related and lives in Europe.

Saturday, October 3, 2009



Last weekend, while I was driving home from the German Writing and Record Conference I had to go by FRICK PARK.    Pittsburgh has a city center and then many communities outside of the center.  

I must have been about three going on four and I remember my parents took me to the park.   It was exciting because my mom brought peanuts to feed the squirrels.    There were red and grey squirrels and they did enjoy the peanuts.

My father decided (?????) to place his thumb between his index and middle finger and put his hand down to the squirrel.    The squirrel bit his thumb, that incident served as an example of what not to do.   

Looking at it as an adult I think he was lucky that the squirrel did not have rabies……The picture below was taken that day at Frick Park.   Most likely before the squirrel teasing and biting caper.

Gerda and Claudia Dowd 1950 001



Believe it or not, this morning I sent for my first death certifcate. While out with my husbands Aunt Edna she said that Olive Stephens (great grandmother in law of mine) had died in Ohio. That was before I knew the woman's name was Olive.

I live in Pennsylvania, and to obtain a death certificate in this state requires many hurdles to jump through. The great and powerful and also antiquated bureaucracy does not have an online index from which you can search and then order certificates. They cite privacy issues, I think it is more like they do not want to spend the time and money on the index.

They started recording of vital statistics in 1906 or there about and getting them it is still tighter than a drum. You have to fill out a form, include a picture of your drivers license and mail the check to New Castle. I guess I could drive to New Castle but I doubt that I could search the index myself. I personally would just get frustrated with the hassle I know would be coming.

Now, on to Ohio. I found the index, which is managed by the Ohio Historical Society and ordered it and paid by credit card. They did not ask me anything about drivers license, but they were going to send me driving direction if I wanted to go to Ohio. The Ohio line is about 74 miles from where I live.

The certificate cost $7.00, it would cost me more than that to fill my tank, but a road trip to Ohio would be nice. I want to find, the maiden name of Olive, where she is buried and possibly a picture of her grave. Her death must have been sudden because Aunt Edna mention they got a call one evening that she had died. Aunt Edna said it was on Christmas Eve, but according to the record it was the eve of the Fourth of July. I guess a holiday eve was in the mix after all.

Ohio, I love your ease of access to get these records.