Monday, April 28, 2014



I has a mini brick wall concerning my husbands 2x great grandparents.   On their son’s (Robert Stephens)  Civil War information records it stated he was born in 1845 Doncaster England and came to this country in the early 1850’s.  

Checking the British BMD data base I found a couple that fit the ages, and names of Charles Stephens (1818--    ) and Hannah Lonsdale (1823-    ) marriage. The marriage occurred in the parish church in the county of York and town of Leeds, on 27 November 1842.   Charles’s father was James, a farmer and Hannah Lonsdale’s father was, John Lonsdale, also a farmer.  I felt this was the right couple as the marriage record but did not have the proof.

Charles was a florist  at the time.   I first found Charles and Hannah in Allegheny City (now Pittsburgh) in the 1870 census and his occupation was a gardener. They still lived there in the 1880 census and after that time Charles and Hannah disappeared of the face of the earth, or so it seems.  I have been searching for them in the local cemeteries but have not found them.

Robert was not living with the family at that time, he was living in Allegheny County with his first wife Sarah.  There was documentation about Sarah and their marriage in the Civil War Pension file.   When Robert Stephens died his wife did not know the names of his parents.

What I did was search the Pennsylvania Death Certificates 1906-1924 and tried to find his siblings.  After a search I came upon the death of his brother James H Stephens and it did indeed list the parents as Charles Stephens and Anna Lonsdale.   Mission accomplished..Seems that James was named after Charles’s father.


  1. Fabulous, Claudia! It's an easy stretch from florist to gardener. I have some Ohio great-grandparents who disappeared after the 1880 census, too. I've searched everywhere I can think of to try to find them.... I don't have an membership at the moment but I think those indexed PA death certificates are going to be exceedingly helpful when I do!

  2. The library should have them, I have been really fascinated with them and found a lot of information