Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Oma!

Elise Gegenheimer was born on February 28, 1919 in Ittersbach, Germany.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

German Birth Records - Translated

After struggling to read the German birth records that I received this week (I was trying to decipher them with Sutterlin chart to help with the lettering), I posted a request for help in German translation on GenForum. A wonderful man emailed me and said he would translate them for me! He lived in Germany for 15 years and studied Germany history. So here are the translations of Elizabeth Linneman's birth record (Mem, my great-grandmother) and her brother Christian. Thank you Robert!!

No. 644
Schalke, 12 June 1897
There appeared today before the undersigned Registrar the miner Gerhard Linnemann, personally known, residing in Schalke at Essener Strasse 7II, of the Evangelical Lutheran faith, and reported that Elisabeth Linnemann, née Nilkowski, his wife, of the Evangelical Lutheran faith, residing with him, gave birth to a child of the female sex at 3 o'clock in the morning at their home, and that this child has been given the names Elisabeth Maria.
Read, approved and signed: Gerhard Linnemann
The Registrar [signature of his representative].

No. 784
Gelsenkirchen, 29 August 1887
There appeared today before the undersigned Registrar the midwife Josepha Grönwäller, née Hibbeln, widow, personally known, residing in Gelsenkirchen at Bochumer Strasse 22, of the Catholic faith, and reported that Elisabeth Fasel, née Nilkowski, widow of miner Christian Fasel, who died on 8 June 1887 in Gelsenkirchen, of the Catholic faith, residing in Gelsenkirchen at Bochumer Strasse 80a, gave birth to a child of the male sex on 24 August 1887 at 9 o'clock in the evening at that address and that this child has been given the name Christian. The informant declared that she was present when the Widow Fasel gave birth.
Read, approved and signed: Josepha Grönwäller
The Registrar [signature of his representative].

Here is the image of Christian's birth record (click on it for a larger view):

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Wonderful Surprise in the Mail!

After being out of town for a few days, I came home to a pile of mail and a wonderful surprise! In the mail was a large envelope from Gelsenkirchen, Germany with the birth records of my great-grandmother and five of her siblings. Wow!

Less than 3 weeks ago, I was on a the genforum message boards searching for info on Gelsenkirchen. Someone had posted that they were looking for records from Gelsenkirchen and wonderful man named Bill posted the address and email for the Rathaus. I sent a quick email with the Linneman names and birth dates and that I thought they had been born in Schalke or Gelsenkirchen.

I never heard back from them via email, so I was thrilled to open the envelope! The next step is to try to read these records. My mother is taking a look at them first and we will go from there. Besides my minimal understanding of German, the handwriting is very difficult to read on a couple of the papers. I am hoping that she can decipher them!

I will post more about what we learn about the Linneman family through these records later, but in the meantime, here is the birth record for my great-grandmother, Elizabeth. Click on the image for a larger view, and let me know if you can read any of the handwriting!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Those Places Thursday - New Providence, NJ

The blogging prompt "Those Places Thursday" challenges us to write about those places that we have lived, or places where our ancestors have spent time. The first "place" that I am writing about is New Providence, NJ.

My grandfather, William Arthur Cubbage, Sr. (Art) took these pictures in the spring of 1953. He had been living in an apartment in South Orange for a couple of years after taking a job in New York City. His wife, Agnes, and sons, Corky and Jeff, were still living in Pittsburgh with Agnes' mother while they saved money to buy a house. Art would take the train out to Pittsburgh once a month or so to visit them.

Art and Agnes eventually saved enough to have a house built in New Providence and Art would visit the lot to take pictures of the progress. These are some pictures that Art took of New Providence:

This is the New Providence Presbyterian Church, which looks much different today! My parents were married in this church and my great-grandmother Mem (Elizabeth Linneman Speck Merz) is buried in the church cemetery with her second husband (Charles Merz). I can remember sitting in front of this church on the curb in the late 1970's and early 1980's and watching the Memorial Day Parade.

These pictures are of drug store across the street from the church and the Acme, diagonally across from the church. I love the old cars in these pictures! They really help set the time period.

This is the back of one of the pictures. Art made a drawing of the intersection, the buildings he had taken a picture of, and where he was standing. I love how it shows directions to home, the train station, and the local "beer joint". That sounds just like my grandfather!

This last one is of the train station in Murray Hill, which is where Art got the train to New York for the next 30 years until he retired. Again, I love the car! I am guessing that Art sent these pictures to Agnes and the boys in Pittsburgh to show them their new town. They moved into their new home in the fall of 1953 and planted Cubbage family roots that have been in New Jersey ever since.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Frank F. Speck

Grandview Cemetery
Monessen, PA

This finishes up the series of posts on the death of Frank F. Speck (my great-grandfather). This tombstone is quite large compared to others we have seen from family in the 1940's. Frank's wife, Elizabeth, remarried and was buried in New Jersey with her second husband. More on Frank's life and Elizabeth to come in future posts.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here is a picture of my great-grandparents, Frank and Elizabeth (Linneman) Speck. There is no date on the picture, but she is wearing wedding rings (I don't know when they were married) and they look so young compared to the couple of other pictures I have of them. This was probably taken in Monessen, PA. Their daughter Agnes was born in 1915, so maybe this was taken a year or two before? Elizabeth was 19 when Agnes was born and Frank was 28 and they look to be about that age or younger. What do you think based on their clothing and how old they look??

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Frank F. Speck

The obituary of Frank F. Speck was published in The Monessen Daily Independent on April 8, 1940 and provides a lot of detail on his life (click on the image for a closer look). I have no information on Frank's family, and little about him before the birth of his children. The obituary states that he has been a resident of Monessen for 34 years, which would put him there around 1906 at around age 19. The first record or mention that I can find for Frank is in 1915 when his daughter Agnes is born.

The obituary also lists Frank's church, lodge and social activities, which show his involvement in the Monessen community. I am hoping that the Monessen library or historical society may have information on these groups that I can look at on our next research trip.

Another interesting part of the obituary is that he is survived by his wife Elizabeth, his son Frank R. and his daughter "Miss Agnes Speck". Agnes was married a year earlier, but didn't announce it until later in 1940 (see earlier post).

The mention of a sister in Germany is also helpful, since I didn't know of any of Frank's relatives. I know that all of dates and facts were given by a family member or friend and may not be exact (and are mostly likely NOT exact), but they give me some starting points on an otherwise tricky relative!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Funeral Card Friday - Frank Speck

This is a copy of the funeral card for Frank Speck, my great-grandfather. He died suddenly, just a few weeks before his 53rd birthday, of a heart attack and myocarditis. The services were held at the home he shared with his wife Elizabeth ... 228 Donner Avenue, Monessen, PA. Frank was survived by two children, Agnes (age 25) and Frank (age 22).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Agnes Elizabeth Speck

Here are some pictures of my grandmother, probably taken around 1934 or 1935 in Monessen, PA, when she was about 19 or 20 years old. They are still on one strip from the "photo booth". It's too bad the last one was folded - it looks like she had a nice smile in that one. Click on the image for a closer look.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Military Monday - US Naval Training

William Arthur Cubbage (Art) (my grandfather) was inducted into the US Navy on April 17, 1944 in Akron, OH (he had been living in Cleveland). He was 31 years old with a wife Agnes, and two young sons (Corky was 3 and Jeff was only 3 weeks old).

Art went to "boot camp" at the US Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, IL. All recruits began their Naval careers at the USNTC for orientation and training. Below is a picture of Art's Company on May 11, 1944. While he was away in the Navy, Agnes, Corky & Jeff lived in Pittsburgh with Agnes' mother.

Art went on to complete Service School Command on September 22, 1944. This school was organized to train selected personnel who had completed basic training and showed a skill or talent during this training or recruit testing. He was in Section Y6-1, probably Yeoman School.

Art is in the second row, second from the left. It is interesting that in all of these pictures, he is not wearing his glasses which he has on in almost every other picture of him since high school. More Navy pictures to be posted later.