Virginia Memory – Chancery Database

It has been quite a while since I last blogged here. I have many other projects and activities going on. First, I was in Minnesota visiting my mother. I put together many questions and recorded about 4 hours of material, about one hour per session four of the 11 days I was there. I have a project to transcribe the information there and include in my personal tree.

I also did DNA tests for both my mother and me and sent them in to 23 and Me. The great thing about doing both of us is that any relationship matches for me alone must come from my unknown father’s side and any that match on both of us must come from her side. I have also been spending quite a bit of time working on a Burlison line out of Oklahoma for a friend.  I’ve had many interesting findings there as I’ve begun plucking lots of “low hanging fruit.”

I subscribe to many genealogy blogs. One of them is the “Search Tip of the Day – Almost Every Day.”  Michael John Neill’s May 31st blog reminded me about the Virginia Memory site, which is wonderful. He reminded me of the Chancery records there. There are over 220,000 cases indexed in the Chancery database and nearly 5.6 million images of Chancery causes available online. I’m back working on the Howell line, so I thought; I’ve got a couple difficult research areas. I’ll see if maybe I can find something in the Chancery records. 
A quick search for Howell yielded a case between JOHN P WILLIAMS and the administrator of the JOHN P PRICE estate. The case involves 90 pages of documents including a deposition by Peter Howell. It is always wonderful to find a document in an ancestor’s own hand with a signature. His deposition didn’t tell me anything new; Peter lived in Buckingham County in both 1830 (date of the event he wrote about) and 1938 (date of the litigation). However, it does indicate he knew both John Williams and John Price, which may be useful later. There are also many references to Mrs. Pankey who is probably Peter’s wife’s mother; (her father died  about 1829). There are also several references to Holman/Holeman. Peter’s half sister married a Holman about 1819-1820 and there are several Holman’s in Cumberland County during that period. I still need to go through all the documents with a fine tooth comb and see what I can find out about Holman’s as possible. The database includes so many records for Howell, Pankey, and Holman that I should eventually be able to make some new determinations and connections. Just the Chancery records at the Virginia Memory site should keep me busy for days. 

Anna White – Death Certificate

1950 photo of a street scene at 335 Lincoln Ave

I received Anna White’s (Hannah McAllister’s) Certificate of Death from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. (See my previous blog for details on ordering PA Death Certificates.) The certificate included some interesting information and insights.

Her mother, Margaret (Lamb) McAllister was the informant. She provided Anna’s birthdate of August 15th, 1885 which confirmed the year. Different documents indicated 1885 and 1886. Mother’s seem to remember those kinds of things so I’ll keep to the 1885 date.

Interesting is that Margaret indicated that the place of death was at Margaret’s address of 335 Lincoln Ave. (Ward 12) in Pittsburgh. Anna’s ususal address was 509 Beechwood in Carnegie, PA. Google Maps indicates that 335 Lincoln is now either a vacant lot or a vacant barber shop. Back in 1950, the barber shop building was Fischer Groceries/Confections. I suspect that back in the day the grocery included a residence next to it. In 1917, Barnetta Dumm was the confectioner there at that shop. This may have been one of the many confection shops that Margaret worked at. The photo hints that across the street was Lincoln Elementary School, but the school wasn’t built until 1931. Google maps is inconclusive regarding 509 Beechwood. It appears to be a newer than a 1913 home to me.

Anna died July 11th, 1913, at the age of 27, of pelvic peritonitis due to a ruptured ovarian cyst.

According to the death certificate, she was buried at Chartiers Cemetery on July 14th 1913. I have created a Find-A-Grave memorial for her and have requested a photo of the marker.

Florence Darling – Death Certificate

(Modern) Google photo of
423 Charles, Pittsburgh, PA

I received Florence Darling’s Certificate of Death from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. (See my previous blog for details on ordering PA Death Certificates.)  The certificate included some interesting information and insights.

Her husband, Robert H. Darling was the informant. He provided Florence’s birthdate of Apr. 23, 1908.  (New Information) He also provided their address of 423 Charles (30th ward) in Pittsburgh.  It is interesting that Harry did not know his wife’s mother’s maiden name of place of birth.  

Original UPMC South Side Hospital
South Side Hospital (Demolished in 1982)

Florence died October 5, 1934, at the age of 26, at South Side Hospital of bilateral pyosalpinx (a collection of pus in an oviduct. [Merriam-Webster]) and pelvic cellulitis of “undetermined cause.” Contributory cause of death was peritonitis. She had been in the doctor’s care for seven days before her passing. I’m sure it must have been seven days of agony. Sadly enough, penicillin, which was discovered in 1928, wasn’t in use until in the 1940. Penicillin probably could have saved her.

According to the certificate, she was buried at Zion Memorial Cemetery on October 7th, 1934. I have created a Find-A-Grave memorial for her and have requested a photo.

The Census Taker’s Tracks

The Smyrna Historical and Genealogical Society is pleased to bring Susan Sloan, former Smyrna native (Brown Elementery, Nash Jr. High, and Wills High School – class of 69) back to Smyrna to present “The Census Taker’s Tracks.”  The genealogical  presentation will be held at the Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Cir SE, Smyrna, 7:00 PM on Thursday, 27 June 2013.
The Census Taker’s Tracks 
History of the census and information on data on specific censuses will be presented in an interactive format.  Clues to finding elusive female ancestors will be addressed.  Often overlooked clues found on specific censuses will be noted. Tips for finding your family on the census will be reviewed.

Arthur Eugene Brown

My mother sent a copy of the funeral card of her uncle, Arthur Eugene Brown. Of course that got me to thinking about him. I don’t recall meeting him, although I may have when I was young.  I have a photo of Arthur and his second wife Gertrude with my mother and my sister Glennis from the same year he died. 
Arthur was the 10th child of Arthur Durrwood and Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown. He was born 2 April 1909 (although the 1920 census says he was 8) in Williston, North Dakota. His death records and most other records indicate he was born in 1909.
He moved to Sylvan Township, Cass County, Minnesota about 1917.  His father died in 1928, when he was 19 years-old.  He lived on a farm near Brainerd, Minnesota in 1935 and married Gladys Grace Hoggarth at Zion Evangelical, in Brainerd, on 24 Sep 1938.
In 1939, the first of six boys was born; Art, Gladys, and the boys appear to have lived in Baxter, MN, which is a small town adjacent to Brainerd. 
On 7 Mar 1944, Art enlisted in the Army. 
Tragedy struck in 1968 when Gladys died. 
In 1980, Art married Gertrude Lillian Wilson and moved to Clearwater, Wright County, Minnesota. His mother died in 1983. 
Art died 20 Dec 1996. He was buried with his first wife at Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Brainerd, Minnesota.