Thursday, January 28, 2010



scan0043 (2)

This is a copy of my grandfather death.   My mother had saved it all those years since 1937.  It was another item that I did not know existed until I was cleaning out my father things after his death.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010



ancestor documentsapril2009 005

This picture is for Courtnee ,  who is researching the Mulroy line.   It seems that Thomas Mulroy and Catherine Dowd were married October 27, 1892,   it appears that they were both twenty five at the time of marriage. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I do think I have a life. Really, I am still working full time, but plan to reduce my hours and then eliminate work all together. I had stopped by the Social Security Office about two years ago and they told me at the time that my monthly pension would be bases on the highest of the five years of earning. Well, Chuck looked into it and it is now based upon the average of 35 years....When did they change that???? I do not think that too many people noticed that change. So I have to be angry about that for awhile.

I am interested in photography, and really into it since the advent of digital cameras. I thought, initially, that they were useless, BUT, I can not see myself going back to the film variety.... I like to see what I took and delete what is not good.

I am interested in watercolor painting....I had taken classes twenty years ago and painted a lot, but have not done any thing recent. I guess I am waiting for the kid to move out and I can set up a table in her room. She is aware of this plan. After graduation from Nursing School she would like to buy a small home of her own and I told her to take her childhood furniture and set it up as a guest room.

I like to cook and try new foods, but sometimes coming home after a long day in the Operating Room I am just too tired to cook anything but something fast and convenient.

Chuck and I are planning for our retirement in the not to distant future. Who knows when that will be, I told the kid that the bailouts that were given out should have gone to the people soon to be retires to reimburse their 401's so they could retire and give their jobs to the young. And perhaps bailout should have gone to help the young pay off a good portion of their school loans, because they would be the ones to spend and jump start the economy. Does anyone really know where our tax dollars have gone??


My work is interfering with my interests. I was working hard and missed this entry.Patrick O'Rourke death cert   19 Sept 1929

This is the death certificate of my great grandfather Patrick O’Rourke. What was of interest to me that his daughter Mary O’Rourke did not know the names of her grandparents. I have since learned they were Denis O’Rourke and Mary O’Rourke of County Limerick. I would like to find the maiden name of Mary, my great great grandmother.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


This isn't really wordless. Thanks to my cousin Helen Jean, this is a picture of my husband mother, Lois and her brother Charles circa 1924

Sunday, January 17, 2010



Where have the Black Sheep gone?  I suppose there could be a limited number of black sheep and more of Sentimental Moments.

picturesbyclaudia 213

This is not a sentimental moment but rather I am intrigued by the serious  look on his face.   I have narrowed this ancestor down to two possibilities.

The first would be Robert Stephens but the second and whom I think he really is would be Christof Sperl.

My speculation comes from the wording, which is cut off, at the bottom right.   I think that spells Sperl  and the word at the right could possibly be Christof,   I theorize this by the first letter and second could be Ch…. and the word is long enough to be Christopher.

He and his wife Margaret Buchl emigrated to the USA in 1869.   Two of their children made the trip, Anton and Barbara.  Two more children were born in the USA, Thomas in Baltimore and Margaret whose birth place I do not know.

The photograph seem to put me in mind of a passport photo or some other picture required for identification.


Saturday, January 16, 2010



I need to get in the swing, so to speak,  of this year long project.   Kudos to Amy of  WE TREE for the great idea of which I have been following.

There is so much out there that I have yet to learn.   Everyone who has been doing their Genealogy for a long time are light years beyond me.

So my main source, right now, is the GENEALOGY DEPARTMENT OF THE CARNEGIE LIBRARY OF PITTSBURGH.  When I first started to research this Library it was about two years ago.

What has helped me is the RESEARCH LINKS  They have microfilm and records from the late 1800’s in Allegheny County and Western Pennsylvania up until about 1908 when the Vital Statistic records were taken by the State of Pennsylvania.    Now it is a major project to get records, of which I have to admit I plan to do but have not because of all the red tape dealing with privacy issues and the bureaucracy  dealing with Pennsylvania. 


They have a lot of books and information.   For me this is the best because, unbelievable as it seems, 99% of the people who I am researching lived in Western PA>


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Gerda birth certificate

This is a copy of my mutters birth certificate.   She would be 87 tomorrow.   If you look closely at the stamp on the right side of the document you will notice their is a swastika under the eagle.    With this on her birth certificate she was unable to get a job after her high school graduation in 1942.   My mother had lived in the USA since 1926.

The only job she could find was as a clerk in a bakery.   


For the life of me I do not know what I have done to my comments. I was wondering why I did not get any at all. Some how I found two and they did not post. Why did I do wrong??

I guess I have to go into the bowels of comment management to reverse exactly what I did that I did not know I had done...

I really need a book entitled "Now That I Screwed Up The Computer, What Do I do?" Or perhaps one with the Blog Postings as the subject. LOL


I loved the green but did not the the narrow look. I did a search under help and came up with an article telling me how to make it wider. It could have been written in Greek for all I could understand. It gave instructions but did not tell me (IT COULD HAVE BUT I AM TOTALLY CLUELESS HOW TO DECIPHER THEM) how to follow them. There were about twenty comments singing the praises of those instructions. That is definitely operator error. When the answer to the question was obscure I decided that just to change the template to "stretch" somehow, I have the feeling this is what the instructions had in mind but for the life of me I could not even attempt to do that. Those people must be more computer savvy than I

Anyhow, I like the new look, but perhaps I could change the colors or perhaps I should just leave well enough alone. Think I will save the color change for later when I get bored.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


This is a posting from GENABLOGGERS I must admit Thomas you come up with very good ideas. Mostly things I perhaps have thought of but somehow can not get into action. But I will try…….with your formulation….

Define my purpose…….I started my blog with the idea of trying to organize what on earth I was doing. I have only been doing this for three years, and only seriously for one. I have really gotten on the wagon since I started this blog.

With the help (or ideas on what has already been done by others) I have been able to duplicate what the more seasoned researchers have done to solve their problems. I have found resources that I did not know about.

I have found relatives I did not know had existed. I wish I knew of them and talked to them when they were alive. I wished I had asked my grandparents about their grandparents.

My goal is to find out about the people whose genes make me who I am today. I would very much like to find my German relatives, the descendants of siblings of my grandfather Willi Schridde, and I am sure most of them live in Germany. I added the mini translator perchance some one will Google my names and find me. If they can not speak English they can hit the button, also if one looks at the variety of countries that my visitors come from it is truly amazing.

I would like to find a picture of my great grandparents Thomas Dowd and Bridget Naughton and their eight children, including my grandfather Thomas. I am sure one is out there somewhere.

I am taking it one step at a time to go beyond my great grandparents, in fact I know the names of of all my great grandparents and I know the names of five of eight of great great grandparents. I think my problem is the fact that I am a first generation American. All of my Irish great grandparents were immigrants and my German grandparents along with my mother came to the USA in 1926. I have to discover what churches they attended and if I can find them in those records.

That is my goal

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I had read in some of the posting that number 52 is to visit the Genealogical section of my library. That is the project of today. I have actually visited the Genealogical Depatment of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

They have a lot of local information, mostly about Allegheny County PA. I can peruse the microfilm and the easiest way I have found to copy information is to take my digital camera and take pictures. Their microfilm readers are not attatched to computers and to make copies you have to remove the reel and take it to another reader and copy the page. There are many (thousands perhaps) reels of local informaiton in hundreds of boxes stored in file cabnets.

They only have to death record up until 1906 or 1908 and at that time the Department of Vital Statistics took over the record. PA in it antiquated way of thinking will not put these record on line. What does it really matterwith people who are long since gone? PA has a lot of antiquated ideas except when it comes to raising taxes and they are Johnny on the spot with that one.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Things you did not know you were looking for. A few weeks ago Chuck was going through some old papers of his cousin James (Jimmy) Stephens. James was Olive Bauser and Robert Stephens grandson.

What I found was Chucks great uncle James, who was Olive and Roberts oldest child. The older James Stephens was born in 1894 and I found his marriage certificate. The wife was Edith Sickles, everyone in the family did not remember what the wifes name was.

Edith had been hospitalized at a local psychiatric hospital and there was a great stigma at that time. It was not a topic of conversation, I also believe that she died in that hospital. I think she was chronically mentally ill. They had married 28 May 1930 and Jimmy was born the following 31 October. I wonder if she was admitted soon after that because Jimmy had believed that his mother had died. James, the father died 10 March 1944 and Jimmy was raised by James sister Mary Stephens. Jimmy died in 2000, he had never married. James is also married in Union Dale Cemetery the same as his father Robert.

That solves the question about who were the two Stephens people that Chucks father had decorated their graves in Union Dale.

Friday, January 1, 2010


A New Year had dawned and I hope to make some Genealogical  Resolutions.   The biggest one is to get organized.   I have a lot of things that I want and plan to do but, somehow, never seem to get them done.      Why is that?   I think it is the time constraints or working and not having enough free time, what time I have is usually used resting from the time working.

I have to 1)   Send for the death certificates on my relatives, I think there are ten I would like to have.    Pennsylvania is a pain in the acquisition of records.   If a person died 100 years ago there are still “privacy issues”   I suspect that the real reason is there is a lot of money to be made for the state by controlling the information and not permitting century old records into an online data base.

2)   Send for records from the Diocese of Pittsburgh.   I have done this before and really gained a lot of information.    What I want to find is the marriage date of Patrick O’Rourke and Ellen Martel.    I have a few more ideas on where to request the volunteer to search.    

3)   Make a trip into the City of Pittsburgh and search for deeds and probate records.   I need to take an allergy pill and have at least $20 for parking.   It is a royal pain to drive into Pittsburgh.

4)   Start scanning slides and negatives.   I purchased a slide scanned, it was my Christmas Present to myself.   It arrived and I have to get started on that project.  I am hoping it works and I am not disappointed.    My sister and I had talked about this project but somehow choosing which to copy seems like a long and arduous task.   I will start this today or perhaps tomorrow.

5)  Start scanning and preserving records that I have gleaned in the Carnegie Library and papers from my father.   I need to transfer this information to more than one source as a back up.

I think that is enough for starters for now.

Tom and Gerda 50th 1993

Tom and Gerda at their  Golden Anniversary Dinner in 1992