Friday, April 29, 2011

Funeral Card Friday - Barbara Black Cubbage

This is yet another wonderful item found in the file of photocopies that I just received from my father. I'm not sure if this is exactly a funeral card or if it was printed in the newspaper, but it does contain a lot of information about Barbara's life and children.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Marriage Certificates

So in this wonderful file of genealogy goodies that I got from my father last week, there are photo copies of two marriage certificates. The first one is for the marriage of Charles Swank and Marian Burd, my great-great grandparents. They are listed as Charles Schwenk and Mary Ann Burd. There is no county or location specified, but is probably Allegheny County and I will check with the Orphan's Court records.

The other certificate is for the marriage of William Arthur Speedy and Margaret Swank, who is my great grand aunt and the daughter of Charles and Marian Swank whose record is above. They are listed as William A. Speedy and Maggie A. Schwenk. It was filed in the Orphan's Court in Allegheny County and lists their marriage in Braddock.

It is interesting that both father and daughter are recorded as "Schwenk", but most other records after this time are as "Swank". I will need to do more searching for Schwenk in the Pittsburgh area to see if I can find any connections.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Easter ... a Little Late!

The kids are back in school after spring break, so I can get back to my blog again. I had hoped to post this for Easter, but the week off got the best of me (we did have fun though, right boys?).

Here are a couple of pictures of my father, Corky and his brother Jeff on Easter after they moved from Pittsburgh to New Providence, NJ.

This is a picture of Corky and Jeff (ages 14 and 11) with neighbors on their front stoop on Easter in 1955. If you look closely, there are two baseball gloves and two dogs (Skippy and Topper). I'm guessing the brothers were playing catch before or after church.

This is a picture of Corky and Jeff on Easter in 1956 (ages 15 and 12). The slide had a lot of red spots on it, so I turned it into a sepia image to hide them a little bit.

This is a close-up of Corky and Jeff, again in 1956. Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Leah F. Cubbage

About a month ago, I wrote a Wednesday's Child post about Leah Cubbage, my grandfather's sister. In that post, I noted two possible causes of death, but had no further information at the time. I just received a file of old Cubbage records and early genealogy research that was started by my father! In it was a photocopy of Leah's obituary, I am assuming from the Daily Independent in Monessen, PA.

This obituary confirms some things that we know, but also has some information we didn't know too (like that Aunt Mag [Mrs. Speedy] was living in Florida at the time) This file also had a sheet of paper with a list of birth, death and marriage dates in my grandfather's handwriting. It lists that Leah was born on June 16, 1906 and died on July 12, 1921 which we didn't know. These dates may not all be correct or exact, but it gives me a starting point for some of them which is great.

This photocopy of a picture of Leah was in this Cubbage file too! I have a picture just like it of my grandfather by the same chair with the same dog. I'll be posting more of these wonderful finds as I sort through them, as well as updates to previous posts as I confirm or disprove other findings in the Cubbage tree.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Scout Saturday

My father Corky and his brother Jeff spent a few years as Boy Scouts after they moved from Pittsburgh to New Providence, NJ. This is a picture of Corky's Bobcat pin. Their father, Art, was a Boy Scout for many years in Monessen, PA and was a Life Scout (the second highest scouting rank).

Below are some pictures of Corky (age 13), Jeff (age 10) and their parents Art and Agnes Cubbage in front of their home in New Providence before the Memorial Day parade in 1954. They had just moved to New Jersey about eight months before.

Above is a picture of Corky at Scout Camp in the summer of 1954. He is in the back row, the third boy from the right.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Elisabeth Nilkowski's first marriage

I made some great progress on my great-grandmother's (Elisabeth Linnemann) family in the past few months, thanks to some documents I received from Germany. It started with her birth records and those of her siblings, which gave me the names of her parents. I also learned that her mother (Elisabeth Nilkowski) was married to Christian Fasel before she married Gerhard Linnemann. Christian died shortly before their son, Christian, was born. I requested the marriage records for both of Elisabeth Nilkowski's marriages from the city of Gelsenkirchen (where all of the children were born).

No record was found for Elisabeth and Gerhard Linnemann, so I will need to still keep digging there. Below is the record for her marriage to Christian Fasel.

I have asked someone to translate it for me and I will post the full translation when I receive it. What I think I have deciphered is that Elisabeth Barbara Nilkowski was born near Marienburg, which is currently in Poland in what was the former West Prussia Province. It looks as if her parents live in Braunwalde, near Marienburg. If this is correct (my German translation isn't great), then I can look further into her side of the family in Poland. Her husband, Christan Fasel, would not be one of my ancestors, but it does not look like he is from Poland, but from near Montabaur which is in the Rhineland-Palatinate state.

Here is a picture of Elisabeth Nilkowski Linnemann taken around 1903 or 1904 in Gelsenkirchen. Her husband Gerhard left for America in 1903 before she and the children followed in 1904. In the picture with her are her children Christian (Fasel), Gerhard, Wilhelm, Georg and Elisabeth.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - A Sad Letter

An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging theme which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin – some we never met – others we see a time in their life before we knew them. Amanuensis Monday is a popular ongoing series created by John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch.

Below is a letter from Maine (Swank) Cubbage to her sister Margaret (Swank) Speedy about the illness and death of her son George. I don't know who has the original letter, but my mother transcribed it many years ago.

George Cubbage was about two years old and died on Christmas day. He was buried on December 26, 1921 in Braddock Cemetery. Maine and Charles's daughter Leah had died a year and a half earlier in 1920. I can't even imagine what it must have been like for them. The letter mentions Charles (Charlie), some of their children (Lester, Marian, Minni, Artie) who were between ages 7 and 17. The letter also mentions Art (Margaret's husband) and Bill, who was Maine and Margaret's cousin who had lived with Charles and Maine for most of his life.

Monessen Jan 1 1922
Dear Sister
It has been a long time since I wrote to you. and what a lot has happened since then.
Just two weeks ago today I wrote you a long letter and told you all about my trip to Swissvale. George and I went on Friday and stay till monday. and Uncle George got our George a nice pair of tan shoes for his birthday. and he wore them home and that was the last he wore them he called them his pitty shoes. When I was writing that letter he was playing around here as well as he ever was. and him and Lester and Marian and I sat here until after eleven o'clock that night and him and Lester were carrying on high. you know how he was just at the age when he would try any thing or say any thing he saw the rest do. and he always was bright for his age. even the Dr. said he was a wonderful boy. Well we went to bed. and all went to sleep and about one o'clock he wakened me crying to get in my bed and coughed then just like the croup. he dedn't sleep much untill morning about six he fell a sleep and slept until dinner time. I brought him down and he ate dinner with us we had soup and he was always fond of that and he ate some. but I saw what I thought was a very bad cold he was feverish and horse but didn't seem to be sick. I dressed him and he played around a little while and then ask me to by O baby him. and I took him and he went to sleep. and when he woke up I saw he was getting worse. I greased him with campherated oil. but when Charlie got up at four o'clock he said if I were you I call the Dr. and tell him how he is and may be he want have to come so I did. But as soon as I told him he had a high fever and a croupie cough he said why that sounds like diptheria and I will be right over. he came over. he came and looked at him and at his throat and said that is what it is. and he said call up my wife and tell her I won't be home for supper for an hour. he said put him to bed and I will be right back and he went but was only gone half hour and he came with the anti toxine and put it on both of his legs. and watched him for a while and then went but he said before he went he would be back in two hours and he would have to put a tube in his throat for it was closing up fast. he told us to be ready. he said he would have to have three to hold him and he said we would have to do it because we could not call any one else in. so we called Charlie home and we had everything ready when he came back. he looked at George and shook his head and said there is no use waiting. He is changing color now. So I held him in my arms and Charlie held his head and Marian his feet. and he got the tube in all right. and it was wonderful the change that came into his face. when I went out of the room he said if it had been two hours later he would of been dead. Well the next day he put more anti toxine in him and all the rest of them. he said it was the very worst kind of diptheria. it was the black diptheria. he put anti toxine in him four different times and we had to tie his hands down to his sides to keep him from pulling the tube out. he did get it out one night about one o'clock and started to choke right away and Marian called the Dr. and he came so fast. I don't know how he got here - he just threw his over coat on over his pajamas and run. I thought that night he was gone for sure. I didn't think he could stand to have it put in again but he did. Marian and I held him and he went to sleep as soon as it was in again. after that Charlie didn't go to work no more he stayed home and we never left him night or day. he got over the diptheria all right. The Dr. took the tube out on the fourth day and he could breath all right but the next day we noticed he was worse and we called the Dr. to come right away and when he came and examined him he said phenonia had set in. he told us before that we would be lucky if we could get him through with out it. that was on Thursday that he said he had phenonia. well be both worked with him night and day and on Friday evening he turned over on his said and went to sleep and slept for over two hours. he was still sleeping when the Dr. came in at nine o'clock. he said how is he. neither one of use said a word for we didn't know whether that was good or not. we thought he might be in a stupor of some kind. but when the Dr. looked at him he was just tickled to pieces. he said why his pulse is normal and he is sleeping just as natural as can be. we you can guess how we felt. well all day Saturday he seemed to improve and the Dr. was come in about nine o'clock in the evening to see him for the night. he said he is no worse only he was flity. he just talked all the time. well that night we both sat there untill two o'clock and then I laid down across the bed and slept till five and got us and Charlie layed down. and George knew us both all the time. he talked to me. and just coaxed me to take him up. he reached his arms up around my neck. and said by sehlep mama but I told him he would frize if I took him up. and then he said he was freezing just to get me to take him and that is the way he talked on and I gave him watear as he called it at half past six. and then I noticed a change in him and I called Charlie and said this baby is worse or dying and Charlie jumped right up. but George just gasped three times and was gone. the Dr. got here in time to see him breath his last. he said he had phlurises of the heart is what made him go so quick. he heart got paralised. well I have told you the best I could all bout his sickness. but I can't attempt to tell you what a house this is. they all thought so much of him and he was always ready for mischief. I thought it was hard when I couldn't be with Leah when she died. but I found out that is not the hardest part of death. we could fix Leah just the way we wanted to and the kids could all kiss her good by. but as soon as George died, the undertaker came and I got the clothes ready that I wanted on him. but he said. I am very sorry but we are not allowed to dress him. I said well if I had known that I would have dressed him my self but he said he would of had to take them off again. It was the law. he just rapped and rapped him in white muslin and layed him on a stand that he had and left him in the room until the health officer came - and he sealed the room up and disinfected the room body and all and left it that way for two hours and then the undertaker came and put him in the casket with a glass top and all you could see was just his face not even his hair nor his ears nor his hands. it was supposed to be sealed but I found out it wasent. I found the catch on it and opened it. and kissed him. no one knows that but you now. I wish now that I had let the kids kiss him too. I don't think it would of hurt them. we were not allowed to have no funeral just the family and no one was allowed to come in all the time he was sick or we of been fined $50. They allowed the men to go to work but they were not allowed to go near his room. that is why Charlie quit work and stayed home and helped nurse him. We had two large cars. Charlie and I and Lester and Minni and the casket went in one and the rest of them and the minster went in the other one. that roads were awful rough too. Poor Bill is taking it awful hard. he dont cry he just groans and that is worse. They took the sign down yesterday and Charlie is going back to work to morrow and the kids to school. then is when I will miss him more than ever for he was always where I was. Lester and Bill have no work the mill shut down the day before Christmas. I don't think I will ever think the same of Christmas again. The kids were waiting on Christmas they had been saving their pennies to get trimmings for a tree. I had told them if they got enough trimmings I would get a tree. they wanted one so bad for George. Artie had got him a little tin??? as George called them. he was crazy about autos. Bill was planning to go to Pittsburg after Christmas and get him one that he could ride in. but he never saw any thing he got for Christmas. They are all wrapped up yet. I hadent got him anything yet, we had him down street the Saturday evening before he got sick and he saw santa claus. and shook hands with him. I intended to get him a kick a bobcle. we could hardly get him away from them but we didn't get down street again and when I called up the store where they was Friday evening they were all sold. they said they would have some in on Tuesday and Charlie said that would be alright for he would not be able to play Christmas any how. and sure enough he wasn't. I think I have told you all now. if there is any thing else that I have forgot to tell you, why you ask me and I will tell you. I took a wreath down for Leah's grave. I couldn't think of coming away and leaving flowers on one and nothing on that poor lone grave. George dident have as many flowers as Leah had but they looked nice. what he did have Bill got him a pillow that was a great deal bigger than the one Leah had and it said George across the center and Lester got him a big bunch of carnations. I tryed to get a bunch of sweet peas for Leah's grave but I couldn't get them. I am sending you a couple of little yellow flowers off George's pillow. He was always picking dandelions. he said there were a tame dandelion with another name. Well I will close now. we are all well at the present and hope this will find you both the same. Tell Art that we both thank him for his offer. and if we find we cannot squeeze through we will be glad to know we have a friend waiting to help us out.
Good by
Your Sister

Friday, April 8, 2011

Family Recipe Friday - City Chicken

Here is a family favorite! City Chicken actually isn't chicken, but cubes beef, pork and/veal on wooden skewers (to resemble drumsticks). It seems to originated in Western Pennsylvania, but was popular in other areas of the Midwest. Early recipes for City Chicken show up in the 1930's post-Depression Era. Chicken was costly or hard to find, while the other meats (especially pork) were generally cheaper.

My father remembers his grandmother Mem, Elizabeth Linneman Speck Merz, making City Chicken as a child when they lived in Pittsburgh. She made it with pork, veal and beef. My parents have continued to cook this meal today, although they usually only use pork now. Here is the Cubbage version (there was no written recipe):

City Chicken
1" to 1 1/4" cubes of pork loin (and veal or beef) - put 4 on a skewer
dredge in flour
dip in beaten egg
roll in flavored bread crumbs
brown on all sides
put a grate in bottom of a pot and add tiny bit of water
bake at 400F until the meat is done (not sure how long)- just test it with a fork.

I don't have a picture of our City Chicken (I will be sure to take one next time we have it!). Instead, here is a picture of Mem in her kitchen - probably when she lived on Thelma Street in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday's Child - George Cubbage

Another blogging prompt used by genealogy bloggers is "Wednesday's Child" to post photos of gravestones of children. While sad, it can ensure they are remembered, and it can give life to the stories of these children (if they are known). Today's post is about George Cubbage.

George Cubbage was my grandfather's brother and the youngest of the eight children born to Charles and Maine (Swank) Cubbage. George was born in 1919 in Monessen, PA and died on December 25, 1921 at home in Monessen after having diphtheria and pneumonia. George's older sister, Leah Cubbage, had died just a year earlier in 1920. Next week I will post the heart-wrenching letter from his mother Maine to her sister about George's illness and death. George is buried in Braddock Cemetery in North Braddock, PA. It was also known as Old Braddock Cemetery and Russell Cemetery. He is buried alongside of his parents Charles and Maine, his sister Leah, his uncle William Arthur Speedy, and his first cousin once removed William H. Burd.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Jeffrey Jay Cubbage

Uncle Jeff was my Dad's brother. He was the son of William Arthur Cubbage and Agnes (Speck) Cubbage. Here is a picture of Jeff and my Dad in 1948.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sports Center Saturday - PAL Baseball

May 1957
Memorial Day Parade
New Providence, NJ

Since it was Opening Day this week for Major League Baseball, I decided it was time for a baseball post. While this is not opening day, it is a picture of a New Providence Police Athletic League (PAL) team. My father is the player with the gold oval on his cap. Mom told me that the teams were all coached by police officers.

If you look closely (click on the image for a larger view), you can see the different shoes. Some of the boys are wearing high-tops, but many are wearing loafers or dress shoes for the parade. I think about how many pairs of sneakers my boys have, in addition to cleats and dress shoes. They saw this picture and couldn't imagine wearing "church shoes" for a baseball parade!