Thursday, November 17, 2011



The past two months have been busy and that left not left a lot of time to do research, but I think I am back to normal, whatever that is. 

Today I was at the archives and did research for three clients.  One was a surprise to me and probably even a bigger surprise to the client.

I was researching her great grandmother and I found her Baptismal record and to my surprise her great grandmother was a twin…there was no information that there was a twin birth.   I do not think the sister lived into adulthood because there was no record of her on Ancestry…

I did find the names of four of the great grandparents and where two of them  were born.  The interesting thing was in the space for the birthplace of the parents was ? in each space.   Why did the bride not know where her parents were born?    Did she emigrate by herself?   This shall remain a mystery.

With the few minutes left I searched the records of ST. Thomas parish in Braddock, PA.   I was looking for the marriage of my great grandfather Patrick O’Rourke and Ellen Mortel.   According  to the 1900 census it stated that they were married in 1874.   I found the records of their first child, Anna O’Rourke in 1875.   

I poured over the records from 1854 till 1879 and the book that had the early records was Spartan.   From its appearance I think that the original record book was lost and what I found was sort of a reconstruction from some of the people who were married.   Some of the years were missing records and the year 1874 there were only about seven marriages recorded.   I have searched the Vital Records in Massachusetts , Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia to no avail.  

I think they were married in Braddock PA and the record does not exist.   What lead me to this conclusion is the fact that the first daughter was born the next year, no record in other states and I do not think they would travel with Ellen heavily pregnant and set up housekeeping,   Also, I have searched every Irish Catholic Church in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and did not find anyone in my family,   Both sides of ancestors attended St. Thomas and had the sacraments administered at that parish.

I will keep on searching, but I think by deductive reasoning that the records are lost.

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