Tuesday, December 1, 2015



Almost all of my ancestors arrived and stayed in Allegheny County Pennsylvania.    I had been looking at different newspaper subscriptions and they did not have much or none from this area.   So I had read about the Archives of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, which is still in production today.  I decided to subscribe to it as a Christmas present to myself.  This site is good in the respect that you can have the search done in a specific time frame.

I have only been perusing the site for one day and so far I have found the obit for my great grandfathers (Thomas Dowd) sister, Maria (Mary) Dowd O’Donnell, she was married to Edward O’Donnell.   I had their birth dates. marriage dates and information on their children.   But where Edward and Maria went I had no idea.  I found an obit for her, she died 17 July 1925 and she was listed as the widow of Edward; I searched for him with no success.  

The most interesting thing about the obit was that it listed another sister, Anna DOWD Logan, of Ireland, this came as a surprise.   I have to search for Anna.

The second item was an obit for my grandfathers (Patrick O’Rourke) brother John.   A second obit appeared and it gave a little history of what he was doing, and where he live in Western Pennsylvania.   It also listed that John died of heart disease,  and “he was the fourth member of his family to die suddenly of heart disease.”   Who were the others, what were their names, did they live in the USA, and were they siblings?

It also mention that there was another brother, James O’Rourke, of Boston.   More to investigate. 

The third discovery was an obit of my great grandmother, Ellen Mortell O’Rourke, wife of Patrick.   The next surprising information was that she and Patrick were married in Boston and moved to Braddock PA, where Patrick was working in the steel mills.   My grandmother and her siblings are listed in the obit.

A quick search of Ancestry and the Marriage records of Massachusetts, and I found a marriage of Patrick Rourke and Ellen Mortelle on 2 February 1874 in Abington MA.  The parents of Patrick were Dennis and Mary and Ellen were Patrick and Joanne.   I am sure about Dennis and Mary O’Rourke and Patrick Mortell,  I had a record of a birth of Ellen Mortel listing the parents as Patrick and Joanne Condon, I think that perhaps this is the marriage I have been seeking since 2007.  Until now I have found no documentation on Joanne Condan, although their first daughter was named Joanna and called Anne.

I have a lot more to research on this site, so far I am loving it.

Friday, October 2, 2015


I do not routinely follow with anticipation of the new record release, but the other day I did notice that Hamburg, Germany Selective Deaths 1876-1850.    For the longest time I have had wondered about the death dates of my great grandparents Frederick Schridde and his wife Anna Hackmann.

I knew because of the strict privacy regulations on records that they would be next to impossible to find; plus I was at a loss of where they died and how would I actually send for the records.

But, I came across them, and did a search for the last name Schridde and sure enough up popped up my great great grandfather Johann Heinrich Frederick Schridde.   That name was familiar and I had to check on my tree and when it listed his wife Anna Katharina Sophie Goetjens.   I knew he had been found with this death certificate of my great grandfather Heinrich Theodore Frederick Schridde (15 February 1940), his parentage has been proven.   Frederick's wife, Anna Meta Margarethe Hackmann was also there, she died on 7 February 1934, and the great great grandfather himself, 12 October 1833 and died 22 May 1900.

I also found deaths of the siblings of Frederick, which I had not added because I did not have the proof his parentage, and quite a few marriages of sibling and children.  It was a great day for me.  My surprise was the birth place of Anna Goetjens, her father was the owner of a brick yard in Wedel, Schleswig-Holstein and Johann Heinrich Schridde was a worker there and married the owners daughter.    It seems that the family was from Berlin, which was brand new information to me.

I was having difficulty trying to read the death certificate of Johann Heinrich Frederick Schridde,  I read that his father was Conrad Schridde but was having difficult trying to determine his wife's name.    
I posted that document on the Genealogy Translations on Facebook and I received an answer, her maiden name was the same as her married name.   Maria Schridde Schridde, no wonder I was having difficulty the names were the same.           

Saturday, June 27, 2015



This is a great chart if you are searching in early PA.   To enlarge hit "ctrl and +" and it will enlarge the map for you

Tuesday, June 23, 2015



Yesterday I received my DNA results, it really was not much of a surprise.  My percentages were 47% Western Europe, 26% Great Brittan, 22% Irish,  3% Iberian Peninsula and 2% Scandinavian

Well, maybe a little surprised with the 26% Great Brittan, and the 3% Iberian Peninsula.   Two set of my great grandparents came from Ireland, and two sets were from Germany.  

I guess there was a lot of mixing on those two islands.  I think the Scandinavian was from my great great grandmother, whom I have found in an area that was once Denmark.  The Iberian Peninsula who knows. 

I have to read about this and find more information.


Saturday, May 23, 2015


Since I had received the Civil War Pension records of Robert Stephens I have been wondering about his first family.   That came as a total surprise, or rather I had not considered that he may have been married before.

What was the surprise is that he had filed for divorce and never went through with it and then took up with a second woman,  who happens to be my husbands ancestor.  I was perusing the name of wife #1, Sarah Wright and found a great narrative about her and her children posted by one of her descendants on Find a Grave.   I wrote him a short email and asked him if he wanted to share information because I had it to share.

On her death certificate Sarah had indicated that she was a widow.   As far I  can see, it seems that Robert was dead to her because by that time he had four children to wife #2 Olive Bowser,  He was really excited to share information because Robert was a brick wall, that came tumbling down in short order.

He could not find the burial place or any other information about Robert,  I guess that was a major surprise and it would have been to me, I think none of the descendants of wife #1 knew about wife #2 at all.   He and I shared much information and at least we had a good time with information, gossip is interesting and sometimes unbelievable even one hundred and twenty years after the fact.

This will make great conversation among his side at the next family reunion.  I may be invited.

Friday, April 10, 2015



I have to get going on my research and writing.   I have been in the doldrums since winter.

I have to continue on my Naughton research, I have typed up a form to send to the Diocese of Pittsburgh to request records on the Naughton siblings, I just have to get it printed and out in the mail.

With the publication and release of the PA Death Certificates on Ancestry I have been spending a lot of time looking for and researching siblings of potential and real siblings and children of my family.   That record set becomes mesmerizing after a while.

A golden nugget of information that I found was the birth place of my great grandparents.  Johann Bartels was born in Celle and his wife Maria Korbach was born in a small town, Burgel which is located about 12 Km east of Jena, in Thuringen.   After searching Family Search I found a set of records for Burgel and I plan to send for a microfilmed version of this set.   I need to search to see if the Celle records are microfilmed.

Another find on my were at a German site, www.genealogy.net  I found a transcription of a Ortsfamillenbuch of Wedel, Schleswig-Holstein, it is located north of Hamburg.

What was listed was information on Johann Hinrich Frederich Schridde and his wife Anna Catherina Sophia Goetjens.  These are the names of my great great grandparents, my mothers paternal side.   But, my grandfather is not listed but there is a “blank” where he should be.   I am certain the transcription is my line, but I need the proof to add the additional information to my tree.

I have a lot of things to do and it should keep me busy for a while this spring and summer.

Monday, January 12, 2015



I knew my great grandparents came from County Galway, Bridget’s information from the LDS records and Thomas Dowd from his death certificate where it was indicated County Galway.   But his birthday was different from the one HE GAVE on his Marriage License application too.

Dowd Thomas DC 1930

One day I was perusing CONNERS GENEALOGY site and came across a transcription from Glinsk Parish in County Galway.  I found Thomas Dowd, with his sisters Mary, Norah and Catherine as well as his parents John Dowd/Doud and Catherine Fitzmorris, and a brother James.  The dates on his Death Certificate and the Baptism Registry match.   But, why did they give different date and why did both dates match existing people of the same name living in County Galway living at the same time?

My biggest problem was the lack of Bridget’s siblings, I had a few theories; perhaps their mother had died in childbirth with the twins and Thomas remarried.  This was my best because the death certificates yielded the parents of Thomas Naughton and Norah Malloy, sounded reasonable to me without any other information.

On Bridget’s Death Certificate her son Richard had entered Thomas Naughton and Norah Nee, where did he get that name?  I just did not know nor could I figure it out. Allegheny County or the Marriage Records from St. Thomas did not record the names of the parents.

The last of this puzzle is why I could not find Catherine Naughton or her death certificate and where was she because my dad remembered her and he was born in 1918 and he remembered her so he would have been school aged at this time. 

As the whole story ends it is because Catherine Naughton married a man named Patrick Naughton (no relation that I can find) and she was in the same town as all the others hiding in plain sight, as they say.

More on this saga as I find more information and on to change the people in my family tree…



It has been quite a while since I have written.   I have been reading how people are putting their research aside and “doing over”   The thought seems to be overwhelming but I only have been  researching since 2008 and I have about 1000 people in my tree, all of which should be there, or so I thought.

I had written a  post about my paternal great grandmother and why I could not find her twin in the records.   A fellow blogger, Dara of BLACK RAVEN GENEALOGY  found Bridget Naughton and her twin Catherine.  It appears that Dara (Thank You Dara) was correct.

How did I make this major mix up?   To start with I used the date of birth that Bridget had given on her marriage license application; I entered it on Family Search and amazingly I found her with the corresponding date of birth.  The parents were Thomas Naughton and Catherine Ward; so I was off to a good start; but the census records from 1900  to 1930 gave all various years of age.  This was puzzling but what I read this was not uncommon.  I also did not know she was a twin at this time because none of my cousins I had met did not know of this either.   A niggling problem was my father said his grandmother was a twin, and he could not tell them apart.   

When I received the records from the Archives of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, I gleaned the names of many women and a few of them were also Naughton’s.  Then I did another search of the records, this took a few months into a few years because of the new names I found.

With the Archives records  and Family Search.org I found many of the names and they were her sisters and sisters in law.  One of my cousins, we found each other online, gave me the names of a few of Bridget's’ sisters; Mary, Norah, Margaret and two brothers John and Dudley.

None of the birthdays matched Bridget’s and where was the twin?   I was on to other people in my tree, mainly her husband Thomas Dowd.   I used the date or birth from his marriage license application  and found him on Family Search, but none of his siblings.  I was not worrying because Irish Research is suppose to be difficult. 

Then just by chance I found the transcribed records of Glinsk Parish in Ireland….