Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Five Unknown Sailors-Veterans Day

Late Veteran's Day Post:

I have very few photographs of my family in their military uniforms. My father served in the Air Force from 1956 to 1959. My maternal great grandfather and his brother served in the Army for the Union in the Civil War. There were various paternal ancestors who fought for the Confederacy. Several years ago I was given the chest that belonged to my maternal grandmother and it was full of pictures, letters and other various items.

I am currently in the process of scanning each all of the items and I came across these three photos. Everything was mixed together so it is hard to tell if they were from my grandmothers side or grandfathers. There was a photo album of my grandfather and his family as a young man. It was the type where the pictures were glued onto black paper and bound together in a ledger type album. It had fallen apart and many pictures had fallen out. These three pictures were mixed in with those.

Based on the clothing these all appear to be from the WWI era. After examining them they all appear to be different men. At first I thought the man on the right in the first picture and the man on the left of the second might be the same person since it looks like they wear the had the same way. But after blowing them up I do believe they are different people.

I have compared the people in the photographs to others in the album but so far have not found anyone who resembles them.  Also, I have not found any information on any family members who served in the Navy or the Red Cross at that time.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Louis Romeo Neuland (1834-1912)

Louis Romeo Neuland according to the 1870 US census for Allegany County, Maryland, was born in Prussia about 1834.[1]

In the 1880 US Census, he and his family is living in Connellsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania.[2] He and both his parents are listed as being from Prussia and his birth year is about 1830.

Unfortunately, the 1890 Census was mostly destroyed by fire and I have not been able to find him or his family in the 1900 US census or any other records such as city directories between 1880 and 1910.  He then reappeared in the Washington County Old Men’s Home in Chartiers Township, Pennsylvania in the 1910 census.[3] This census has him listed as being from Germany and that he immigrated in 1851.

Washington County, Pennsylvania Old Men's Home

The final bit of information on him comes from his death certificate.[4] The date of death was 18 March 1912. It has him living in the Washington County Home for 7 years 6 months and 9 days and says he was born in Germany. It’s unclear who provided the information but he could have been someone from the Home. His death certificate also states that his body was shipped SAB (sent anatomical body) to Philadelphia, PA for medical research.

I have not yet located if any records from the Home still exist or where they may be stored. I have also not found where the body would have been shipped to in Philadelphia or what happened to the bodies after whoever received them was finished with them.  So far I have only searched online and posted a few queries on some message boards and Facebook. No replies yet. Another reason for me to pack up and take a road trip to Pennsylvania and do some research the old-fashioned way.

Louis is briefly mentioned in the book Generations: A History of the Biddinger, Bidinger, Bittinger, & Bittner families of Garrett County, Maryland. His granddaughter Edith Frye Rainey (1903-1986) said that Louis had a degree in philosophy from the University of Heidelberg, Germany but worked as a butcher in the US.  The 1870 and 1880 census do have his profession listed as butcher. Also according to the book Hannah died in 1890. There is a headstone for a Hannah Bittinger Neuland (1845-1890) at the Howe cemetery (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/127486744/hannah-neuland) in Washington County, Pennsylvania.  Edith did remember one time when Louis visited her family’s home and “all I remembered about him was his white beard.”[5] 

[1] 1870 U.S. census, Allegany County, Maryland, population schedule, Westernport Post Office, p. 37 (written), dwelling 257, family 257, Newlon; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 566.
[2] 1880 U.S. census, Fayette Co0unty, Pennsylvania, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 35, p. 10 (written), dwelling 66, family 77, Louis Newland; NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 1129.
[3] 1910 U.S. census, Washington County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, p. 48 (stamped), enumeration district (ED) 21, sheet 22-A,  dwelling blank, family blank, Lewis Neuland; NARA microfilm publication T624, role 1426.
[4] Washington County, Pennsylvania, certificate of death, no. 23667 (1912), Newland; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics.
[5] Wayne Bittinger, Generations : a history of the Biddinger, Bidinger, Bittinger, & Bittner families of Garrett County, Maryland (Parsons, West Virginia: McClain Print Co. 1974), 238-239.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Mary Keady (abt 1870-1937)

Mary Keady was born sometime between 1870-1873 in Ireland according to the US censuses for 1900-1930. 

Most of these records have her birth year as 1870 so I will use that one as the default until I find something with more direct evidence. 

As for most of the immigrant ancestors I have searched for, I have so far been unable to pin down when and where they left and when and where they arrived.

The 1900 census states that her year of immigration was 1888 and that she had been in the country for 12 years. 

1900 US Census, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania pg. 210, Micheal Curley household.

The 1910 census, the columns for immigration/naturalization for her name were left blank.
1910 US Census, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania pg. 9B, Kate Curley household, Merrimack Street.

The 1920 census has her immigration year as 1886 and date of naturalization as 1891.

1920 US Census, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania sheet 5B, Catherine Curley household, Merrimack Street.

The 1930 census lists her immigration year as 1875 and only states that she is naturalized.

1930 US Census, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania sheet 16A, Mary Keady household, Merrimack Street.

Finally, 1905 she shows up on a passenger list sailing aboard the S.S. Teutonic from Queenstown on 12 October 1905 and arrived at the Port of New York on 19 October 1905. One of the columns asked if they have ever been in the United States before and when and where. For Mary it has 18 years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It also says that she will be joining her sister Kate Curley on Merrimack Street in Pittsburgh which matches other records for Mary Keady.

S.S. Teutonic date unknown

Passenger List, S.S. Teutonic, from Queenstown 12 October 1905 to Port of New York 19 October 1905.

Since most of the records indicate that she immigrated in the late 1880s that is where I have focused my search so far. Mary Keady is a fairly common name and I have found a number of possibilities, but so far nothing to indicate one of them is the one I am looking for. Unfortunately, as with the other immigrant ancestors I have researched, I can’t seem to find them arriving or leaving their country of origin. They all just seem to appear in the US as if by magic. Just another reason for me to take a road trip to Pennsylvania to search for some answers.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Searching for Ed's first wife

Edward Vincent McFadden (1889-1977) married a Mary A. Curley (1894-1969) sometime between 1940 and 1942 when he was in his early fifties and she was about 47. So far no marriage record has been located. However in his World War II draft registration card he is listed as being married and his contact person is listed as Mary A. McFadden.[1] According to family stories this was his second marriage. At some point he is believed to have married a woman in the nineteen teens when he was in his mid to late twenties. It is also believed that she died in 1918 as a result of the influenza epidemic.

This is according to his nieces, my mother and aunt who have repeated the story over the years.
In the 1910[2] census he is boarder in the household of a Mary Gee and family. Then in the 1920[3] census he is back in the household of his father Dennis McFadden. Both records have his marital status as single rather than married or widowed. Of course that only indicates that’s the information provided to the census taker rather than it being completely accurate information. The 1930 census has a column for age at first marriage. Unfortunately no Edward McFadden has been located in that year that fits with the other sources of information on him.

I searched the available city directories for Pittsburgh between 1910-1920 on Ancestry.com. He was located in the 1915 directory[4] and the 1916 directory[5] but neither include a spouse for him in the listing. The next directory is for 1918 and it is incomplete and stops at the letter C. Edward is listed in the 1929 Pittsburgh directory[6] sharing a house with his widowed mother Elizabeth Neuland (1866-1949) and sister Ruth McFadden (1905-1985). At some point between the information for the directory was compiled and the 1930 census numerator visited in April, Elizabeth and Ruth moved to Baltimore, Maryland to the household of their son and brother, respectively, Cornelius. Edward does not appear in or near the household. 

On 10 April 1919 Edward filled out an application for a passport[7] to visit France and Great Britain as part of the Knights of Columbus war relief effort. The section that includes accompanied by my wife is crossed out and no other indication of marital status was included.

Finally my great great grandmother Elizabeth Neuland McFadden (1866-1949) had a diary for the year 1918. She was about as good at writing in it as I am about doing this blog. The dates where she wrote items could range anywhere between 1918 to the 1940s.

However, she did have several newspaper clippings regarding the deaths of family members some of which had occurred before 1918. She also included several mentions of people I assume to be friends and neighbors who died while she wrote in the diary. I think if Ed had had a wife who died there would have been an entry about it or there would have been a newspaper clipping reporting it glued to the back with the others.

My best guess for who the person, if she existed, who died may have been:

1. A girlfriend of Ed who died around the time of the flu.
2. A family friend, neighbor or acquaintance who died of the flu around that time.
3. A story that morphed over time whether it was about a family member or not.
4. A story about a different Ed that over time became associated with this Ed.

These are just the options off the top of my head. I'm sure there are many other possibilities I will think of later. I won't stop searching, but I think I'll put this question on the back burner for a bit.

[1] “World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestrylibrary.com : accessed 18 August 2018), serial no. u 137, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II draft cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania; citing   Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M1951.

[2] 1910 U.S. census, Washington County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Monongahela Ward 2, p. not paginated,  enumeration district (ED) 215, sheet 4-A, dwelling 72, family 74, Mary Gee; NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1426.

[3] 1920 U. S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 624, 4A (written), dwelling 57, family 65, Dennis McFadden; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.library.com: accessed 5 February 2013); citing National Archives microfilm publication T625, roll 1523.
[4] R.L. Polk & Company and R.L. Dudley, publishers, Pittsburgh Directory, 1915, (http://ancestry.library.com: accessed 17 August 2018), 593, “Edwd. McFadden.”

[5] R.L. Polk & Company and R.L. Dudley, publishers, Pittsburgh Directory, 1916, (http://ancestry.library.com: accessed 17 August 2018), 835, “Edwd. V. McFadden.”

[6] R.L. Polk & Company and R.L. Dudley, publishers, Pittsburgh Directory, 1929, (http://ancestry.library.com: accessed 17 August 2018), 757, “Edw. V. McFadden.”

[7] Edward Vincent McFadden, 10 April 1919; Passport Application; U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 759; Volume #: Roll 0759 - Certificates: 78250-78499, 29 Apr 1919-30 Apr 1919.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A day in the life

I always enjoy seeing what my ancestors did during their daily lives. On December 21, 1932 my grandmother Ruth Eileen McFadden (1905-1985) and great grandmother Elizabeth Neuland McFadden (1866-1949) went to the movies and saw Fast Lane. I do enjoy Pre-Code films and may have to add this one to my collection. Who knows, I may even wait until December 21 and watch it 86 years later.

Ruth and Elizabeth (Lizzie) McFadden circa 1940

Dec 21, 1932 - Ruth and I went to the Stanley to see Bill Haines in Fast Life. When we came home Tom Tarriton was here with Christmas Presents. I don't know who Tom Tarriton was and why he was bringing presents. I'll need to look into him soon.

Stanley Theatre September 23, 1927

Stanley Theatre circa 1928

Stanley Theatre circa 1927

Evening star. (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, January 01, 1933

 LOEW'S FOX - "Fast Life."
LOEW'S Fox Theater is offering as its
 screen attraction William Haines in 
"Fast Life." with Madge Evans, Cliff
Edwards and Conrad Nagel. Belle
Baker headlines the vaudeville bill.
In "Fast Life" there are scenes of 
the boat races at Catalina Island and 
in the Los Angeles Harbor, which show
high-powered craft pounding over the 
waves at close to 100 miles per hour.
Cameras were mounted on speedboats 
to follow the racers. The picture is 
based on E. J. Rath's novel "Let's Go". 

Available on Amazon.com for $14.99 through the Warner Archive Collection

Death of Had (?)

A mini-mystery for today. Just who in the heck was Had?

Reading through my great grandmothers diary, Elizabeth Neuland McFadden (1866-1949) I came across this passage for Sunday 23 and Monday 24 of  February 1930.

As of April 21, 1930 according to the 1930 US census[1] Elizabeth was living in Baltimore, Maryland. Ruth was also listed as residing in the house.

This is my 64th birthday. Dan came in and just when we were eating dinner, Ruth called up and said Had had died at 4:20. Sheehans and Rodgers were here. They took Dan home. The funeral was the next day.
Had was buried today.

Ruth (McFadden Webb) 1905-1985 was my grandmother and Dan (Rev. Daniel O.C. McFadden S.J.) my granduncle.

I have been puzzling over just who this "Had" might have been. Comparing the writing it doesn't look like it could actually be Tad, Chad, Hal or any other similar name. I also have not located any known family, friends or acquaintances at the time who had the initials H.A.D. Unfortunately no one is still living as far as I know who might have been able to answer this question.

I did run a search on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org for a Had who died in 1930 in the Baltimore area. So far nothing promising has been located.

1. 1930 U.S. census, Baltimore County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, p. 175B (stamped), dwelling 375, family 386, Elizabeth McFadden; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestrylibrary.com) : accessed 5 February 2013); citing National Archives microfilm publication T626 roll 845.