Friday, April 29, 2011

Rauscher of Rosshaupt Bohemia


In the 1910 census I found a woman named Theresia Rauscher living with Charles and Barbara Stick living in Millvale PA.    Barbara was the daughter of Anton Sperl and Katharina Rauscher Sperl.    I have been puzzled by Theresa for a few years.   I was sure she was related, but how???

Yesterday I searched Ancestry for Theresa Rauscher and came up with a few surprises.    In 1902 I   found a Baltimore Passenger List, dated 2 May 1902.   The main person was Elizabeth Rauscher, age 58 from Rosshaupt, Bohemia.  Next was Johann 32, Anna 29, Theresa 10, Antonia and Margaretha  both 4, and Anna age 2.   Elizabeth is listed as a widow, but I can not read the information for Johann and Anna.    But my theory is that Johann is the son of Elizabeth and Anna his wife and the children are theirs.  

The interesting part is they are from the same town as Anton Sperl and his wife Katharina Rauscher.    The destination lists Millvale PA and the relationship of brother in law with the name Sprool.  

Searching more in Millvale I came across a listing for Frank Rauscher b. 1833 in Austria and his daughter Anna.  There are two conflicting reports about the daughter Anna.   In the 1910 census it lists her as age 10, but underneath is appears that she is 50.  That age would fit in with her fathers age of 72.   Frank emigrated in 1900 and I did not find him on the 1900 census.  On the Mira code index of 1910 it lists Frank and Anna age 50.

Katharina’s death certificate Frank Rauscher is given as her father with mother unknown.   This information was given by John Sperl  her son and my husbands grandfather.    My theory on this is that after Franks wife died he and his daughter emigrated to Millvale PA USA.    Did John know his grandfather?  I have not found a death date for Frank or Anna.  

Is Anna Rauscher, Katharina Rauscher Sperl Nosseck sister.   Anna would have been born about 1860 and Katharina was born in 1864.  My best bet would be the family cemetery, St Anthony’s in Shaler Township, PA except for the fact that the cemeteries records were all destroyed in a fire and the only records they have are from the names on the tombstones.

Katharina’s middle initial is T, could that be Theresa and is it the name of her mother?

Saturday, April 23, 2011



But what we are doing relates to it in some way.   We are on a project to restore Emily’s house.  When we bought it we knew it had good bones and had been partially restored.   One of the major projects is changing of the bathroom tub and shower surround.

There is a lot of poor fitting crown molding and baseboards, some are non existent.  The paint it patchy in places and several shades of white on the ceiling.   The house was built in 1900, I want to go to the county seat and see who has owned the property before us, who built the house and I would love to see what it looked like before or possibly a floor plan.

I researched on the 1910 Sanborn Maps and it had a wrap around porch at that time.   When we had the windows replaced the installer removed the old frames.   The wood and some of the doors are a reddish brown.   The wood is hard a and defiantly not oak, could it be chestnut?    With it being built in 1900 this was pre chestnut blight which started in 1904 and killed most of the chestnut trees in the United States.   I have been reading that about twenty five percent of the trees were chestnut and it was used extensively.   There is a movement of reclaiming the old wood and recycling it in todays homes.   AMERICAN CHESTNUT and CHESTNUT WOOD GRAIN 

I have to read more on this topic.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I am reading quite a lot of information that everyone has been posting about their Civil War ancestors.  I am really learning a lot.   It was the bloodiest war that this nation has ever had. 
I read in someone’s journal or perhaps another article, that the population of the USA at that time was about 31,000,000 and that about 1,000,000 men were involved in the war, on both sides.   That number of lives lost was mind boggling in the sheer scale of he deaths and wounded.   How many lives were changed forever, and how many people would never be.  
I do not have one Civil War ancestor.  It is difficult to believe when I read how many people write about their own.    My great grandfather, Patrick O’Rourke and great grandmother Ellen Mortel came to America in 1872.   My great grandfather, Thomas Dowd arrived in 1880 and his wife to be, Bridget Naughton in 1888. 

My German side was comprised by my grandparents Willi Schridde, Anna Bartels and my mother Gerda who arrived in New York in 1926..   I am a first generation American with a lot of company in that category with people from varying lands who all want to be part of the American dream.   Many who leave to find a better life, to escape tyranny and want to find freedom for themselves and their families.

I am uncovering Civil War ancestors of my husband and now my daughter.   So far I have found two, Robert Stephens and Darius Anthony, both of Pennsylvania.   Darius died in the war and Robert died in 1913.   Find them has only been recent with my research in genealogy.   I hope to find more information in the next four years about them.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I was visiting my daughter and when I arrived home my ordered Civil War Pension for Robert Stephens was there.    I had placed the order on 14 March 2011 and it arrived 3 April 2011.
I ordered the file at the National Archives on line.  They assign a order number and a link in the letter where you can check the progress of the order.
The file was about one inch thick and dealt mostly with the trial and tribulations about getting a pension and numerous rejections.  Today that sounds strangely familiar when dealing with a government entity.  
There is a lot to read and I had skimmed the documents briefly.   The thing that stands out is the fact that Robert was injured at Gettysburg on 3 July 1863.   That was right in the heat of the battle.   His injury you might ask….he sustained a hernia while lifting a shell casing box without the use of straps.     The doctors report said that the hernia was the size of an orange, that is a large hernia.   He was now unfit for duty and admitted to a hospital in Washing DC and then was transferred to another hospital.  
The names of the hospitals are listed and I have to look more into those facilities.    I told my husband how does it feel to owe your existence to a hernia.   Today the hernia would be an easy fix but I suppose then it was inoperable.
More to come later.

Sunday, April 3, 2011



Spring, to me meant Easter and my father gardening.   He said his grandfather (Thomas Dowd b. 1858-1930 Galway Ireland) always had a big garden and he would take his wagon and grandfather would give him things that he had grown.

Since my dads father died when he was three I think his grandfather was his male role model.   My father was named after his grandfather in the Irish tradition.

During the winter the Burpee Catalog would come he would peruse it for many weeks.  Then he would decide what he wanted and order the seeds.   He would plant them in 13 x 9 inch cake pans and had some soil mix, then water them and cover them with plastic wrap.  He had some formula, that I do not know, when it started to get moisture he would vent the plastic.   Thomas had grow lights and kept them in the basement and it seemed to take a long time to grow.   By May he would plant his cold weather vegetables and then at the end of May he would plant the summer ones.

There was an upper and lower garden for vegetables and at the end of the yard near the property line was a wall of Concord grapes.  We had apple trees, plum trees and peach trees, he kept them pruned and not too tall.  

At Easter my mother would cook a ham with potatoes and vegetables.The Saturday before we would dye hard boiled eggs and set out our Easter basket to be filled with chocolate.

When I was younger my grandmother would cook dinner and we would go there.  Her brother William O’Rourke lived with my grandmother.   He worked and she kept house and was employed doing housekeeping at various places.  They shared the expenses.

What I liked were her carrots, she had them cut in tiny squares and added parsley, the carrots tasted so food. She would also cook parsnips and rutabagas.    My grandmother was very good at making pies and I loved them too.  

When she got older and in ill health she moved in with us and shared a room with me.  Uncle Bill still lived in the house and my father would take a Dinner to him every Sunday and on Holidays.  He did not like to go visiting so the meals went to him.

My grandmother died in 1965 and later had a stroke and came to live with us.  He died in 1979 from another stroke.


About one week or so ago I sent for Robert Stephens (husbands great grandfather) Civil War records.   I ordered them electronically and they have have the equivalent of the snail mail waiting by the mailbox.  My latest message is that they were found  (YEAH)  and are currently being coping and will be mailed to me soon.

I could not find Robert between 1870(Pittsburgh PA) and 1900 (Pittsburgh PA) I am hoping this may shed some light on where he was living in that time period.  Also according to the 1900 Pittsburgh Census he had indicated that this was his second marriage and perhaps I will find who the first wife was and if there were children by the first marriage.

I am waiting for the snail mail now.