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.