Monday, March 14, 2011



I called the above courthouse today and got some information about their records.    I am writing it here in case I lose the info.

Marriage records begin in 1885, so if Olive Bowser and Robert Stephens got married in Armstrong County in 1891 (1900 census) they should be there.  I have checked the marriage for Allegheny County, Westmoreland County, states of Ohio and West Virginia and no record was found in those collections.

Birth records begin in 1893 and go to 1905 and from then on you need to get the records from New Castle PA.  That process can be an ordeal, I had written about how my husband I had driven to New Castle last summer only to find they do not have a service to satisfy my instant gratification with a walk in.  But, it only took about 10 days and I had my information.  I have read that some people wait months for their birth and death records.

Wills are at the Courthouse from 1805.   I found two possible Jacob Bowser men who had died after the time of Olives birth (1874) so I can search those records.

My cousin Helen was going to NARA in DC and volunteered to look up Robert Stephens.   I obtained his Military Record from Footnote and he applied in 1879.

I have a huge gap in Roberts life (1845-1913)  He was born in England in 1845 and the first I find him is in the 1860 census and then again in the 1870 census, both times living in Allegheny City (Pittsburgh) Pennsylvania.   He is missing from the 1880 census until I find him in the 1900 census living in Allegheny City PA.    

According to the 1900 census they had been married in 1891 and it was the second marriage for Robert and the first for Olive.   Robert was twenty five years older than Olive. 

I have not found Olive in any census from her birth till 1900 when she was married to Robert.    Her parents are listed on her death certificate as Jacob and Mary Bowser and her obituary as being born in Armstrong County with numerous siblings, but no names listed.  Jacob and Mary are listed at the “late” Jacob and Mary Bowser.

Olive died in Salem Ohio 24 December 1923 and is buried in Grandview Cemetery.    Robert is buried in Union Dale Cemetery in the GAR plot in Pittsburgh PA.


  1. I love reading your blog, and I have chosen you to receive the "One Lovely Blog" Award. You can find out more at my blog: The Mashburn Collection.

  2. This is really interesting. Another piece to your family puzzle. Hugs, mary