Thursday, February 28, 2013

Those Places Thursday - Rockdale Cemetery

Rockdale Cemetery is located off of Rockdale Road in Penn Township, Butler County, PA. In older obituaries, it is also referred to as Thorn Creek Cemetery. It is not far from the small Thorn Creek or the Thorn Creek Church. I was able to visit with beautiful cemetery many where several of my Cubbage ancestors are interred. Thankfully, there is the "Rock Dale Cemetery" sign, as the cemetery is not visible from the road.

We drove up on a windy unpaved road along a farm to find this small cemetery. This beautiful setting is on a hill, nestled is the woods between two farms. 

We easily found the tombstones for my second great grandparents, James and Barbara Black Cubbage, and two of their children, Sarah and Mary Ann Cubbage.

It was such a beautiful fall day to finally see the resting place of these ancestors. These pictures really don't capture the beauty of the views from this cemetery.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - James and Barbara Cubbage

Rockdale (Thorn Creek) Cemetery
Penn Township, Butler County, PA

James Cubbage and Barbara Black Cubbage are my second great grandparents. James died on 28 February 1906 at his home in Glade Mills, which is a part of Penn Township in Butler County, PA.  Barbara died on 9 February 1907, also at home, less than a year after her husband. I posted her funeral card a while ago, which has a lot of details about her life and eight children. They are buried next to their daughters, Sarah and Mary Ann.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - Gladys "Babe" Cubbage Martin

click on the obituary for a larger image

Gladys Irene "Babe" Cubbage Martin was my great-aunt, sister of my grandfather. Babe was the fourth of the eight Cubbage children, born in Swissvale, PA and raised in Monessen, PA.

Babe in 1961 at a Cubbage Family Reunion.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday - The Monessen Daily Independent

As most of us genealogy nuts know, local newspapers can provide a ton of important, valuable and interesting information about our ancestors. I am thankful for The Monessen Daily Independent, the local newspaper in Monessen, PA where my ancestors lived from about 1912-1945. I am lucky because most of the editions of this newspaper are available on - I can search from my home in New Jersey. I also know that not all of what is found in a local newspaper will be factual or true, and take what I find as a starting point for more research.

Searching for my ancestors in The Monessen Daily Independent has helped me find death and marriage dates so that I was able to request vital records. I have found articles on bankruptcy meetings, car accidents and hospital stays. In the "society" pages, I have learned about the social lives of my family - clubs, church groups, and trips to Pittsburgh.

All of these articles, announcements, obituaries, records, and mentions have helped me to put "flesh on the bones" of my ancestors and fill in the gaps between vital and census records. Adding this information (with a grain of salt regarding all of it's validity) to my other research has helped me see who these ancestors really were, as well as what life was like in the growing city of Monessen. 

For example, I learned a lot about my grandmother, Agnes Speck, as a child: she played the piano and had many recitals, she performed in several operettas and plays, she won second place in a humorous reading contest and went to a national speech competition at Bucknell University, she had her appendix removed when she was 23 years old, and she worked at Page Wire & Steel until she was married.

Below are just a handful of my many "finds" from The Monessen Daily Independent:


Monday, February 18, 2013

Amanuesis Monday - Charles A. Cubbage, Last Will and Testament

Amanuesis Monday is a daily blogging prompt from which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Amanuensis Monday is a popular ongoing series created by John Newmark at Transylvania Dutch.


               I, CHARLES A. CUBBAGE, of the City of Monessen, County of Westmoreland and State of Pennsylvania, being of sound mind, memory and understanding, do herby make and declare the following to be my Last Will and Testament, herby revoking all other Wills by me heretofore made.

               ITEM I: I direct my hereinafter named executrix to pay all of my just debts and funeral expenses.

               ITEM II: I give, devise and bequeath unto MARIAN B. CUBBAGE, my daughter, all of my property, real, personal and mixed, of whatever kind or nature, or wherever the same may be at the time of my decease.

               ITEM III: I hereby constitute and appoint Marian B. Cubbage, my daughter, executrix of this my Last Will and Testament to act without Bond.

               IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, Charles A. Cubbage, the testator above names, have hereunto set my hand and seal this Sixteenth day of March, A.D. 1939.

[Charles A. Cubbage signature] (SEAL)

Signed, published and declared by
the above names, Charles A. Cubbage,
as and for his Last Will and Testa-
ment in the presence of us, who,
have hereunto subscribed our names
at his request as witnesses thereto
in the presence of the said Testator
and of each other
[GH Frich signature]
[Margaret Belavich signature]

Charles A. Cubbage, my great-grandfather, signed his will exactly five weeks before he died on 20 April 1939. His wife had died less than a year before and I do not know if he had another will before this one. Both his obituary and death certificate state that he had been ill since December, and the death certificate listed the cause of death as myocarditis and coronary disease.


Charles' will was filed in Westmoreland County, PA on 5 May, 1939.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day - Cubbage Couples!

For Valentine's Day I thought I would post a few pictures of Cubbage couples. I don't have too many pictures, so if any you Cubbage cousins have any, bring them to the reunion!

Art Cubbage and Agnes Speck, circa 1945, New Providence, NJ

Gladys "Babe" Cubbage and Bill Martin, circa 1941, probably Monessen, PA

Margaret "Marge" Cubbage and George Cenkner, circa 1946, Belle Vernon, PA

Minnie Cubbage and Harry Reabe, 1961, New Providence, NJ
(I don't seem to have any others of Minnie and Harry)

Dad and Mom, 1961, New Providence or Summit, NJ
(look at how young they are!!)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - Charles A. Cubbage

click on obituary for a larger image

Charles A. Cubbage was my great-grandfather, died in Monessen, PA on 20 April 1939, less than a year after the death of his wife, Maine Swank Cubbage. Charles was born on 3 August 1873 in Butler County, PA, the youngest of James Cubbage and Barbara Black Cubbage's nine children.

This obituary was found in The Monessen Daily Independent on Saturday, April 22, 1939. In addition to his wife, Charles was predeceased by two of his children, Leah and George. Charles was buried at Russell Cemetery in BRaddock , PA. I don't have any photos of Charles, so if any of you long lost Cubbage cousins have one, I would LOVE a copy!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Favorite Photo Friday

We are expecting snow today, so this seemed like a good one! This is a picture of my father Corky and his brother Jeff in the winter of 1945, most likely on or near Thelma Street in Pittsburgh's North Side. My grandfather, Art, was in the Navy at this time and my grandmother Agnes, Corky and Jeff lived with Agnes' mother and husband (Elizabeth Linneman Speck Merz and Charles Merz). Cute boys!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Amanuesis Monday - Letter to Charles Cubbage

Amanuesis Monday is a daily blogging prompt from which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Amanuensis Monday is a popular ongoing series created by John Newmark at Transylvania Dutch.

Below is a letter from Sara Logan to Charles Cubbage, my great-grandfather, about Sarah Cubbage, Charles' sister and my great grand aunt.

click on images for a larger view

[unreadable along frayed top edge of letter]
Dec. 16, 1902
Mr. Charles Cubbage,
                    Dear Friend -
Will write you a few lines this morning in place of your parents to tell you that Sarah had fallen yesterday evening and got seriously hurt. It was so very ice, and she had gone to the shed to feed the chickens and was lying there when they found her. Her head pains her awfully and her back hurts her too. The Dr was here again this morning and said there was little improvement on her
[unreadable along frayed top edge of letter]
be no change for 48 [?]
She just lies and seems to be sleeping and does not seem to notice any one. Charlie I think poor Sara is quite [unreadable] your Father and Mother are so worried but I know Charlie you will come out if you can and if you do not come out the [unreadable, possibly "next word you" ??] that Sara will be better and fully recovered again and a marked improvement from her present condition.

                                                        Sara Logan

Sadly, Sarah Cubbage died on Christmas Day, ten days after her fall. I do not know if Charles ever traveled the 25-30 miles from Swissvale to Valencia to visit his sister and parents before she died. I did a post last year with her tombstone and obituary; she was 45 years old.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Surname Saturday - Cubbages at a Wedding

Here are all of the Cubbages who were at my parents wedding on March 27, 1965 in New Providence, NJ. My parents are in the middle and are surrounded by my father's family:

Back Row:
Elizabeth Linneman Speck Merz (his grandmother), Art Cubbage (his father), Mom, Dad, Agnes Speck Cubbage (his mother), Jeff Cubbage (his brother), Marna Reabe McCarthy (his cousin, Minnie's daughter).

Front Row:
Lester Cubbage (his uncle), Marge Cubbage Cenkner (his aunt), Kathy Cenkner (his cousin, Marge's daughter), "Babe" Cubbage Martin (his aunt), Bill Martin (his uncle, babe's husband).