Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - Mary Swank

This article was on the front page of The Monessen Daily Independent on September 20, 1927.[1]  Mary Swank was my second great grandmother and had died three days earlier while visiting her daughter in Cape May, NJ. She was born Marian Burd, but also went by "Mary" and "Mary Ann". She married Charles Schwenk in 1871 and they had four children before he died in 1893. The surname Schwenk evolved over time to Schwank and finally to Swank. Mary has been a difficult person to research at times due to the variations of both her first and last names! As of now, I still cannot find a death record for her in either New Jersey or Pennsylvania.

Mary was visiting her daughter Margaret Speedy, who was living in Cape May at the time. Margaret's husband, William Arthur Speedy, had died at sea just over a year earlier (you can read about him here). I can't imagine how difficult it was for Margaret to be alone after losing both her husband and her mother in Cape May, while the rest of her family was in Pittsburgh and Monessen. Margaret eventually moved back to Monessen and lived with her sister Maine Cubbage and her family.



[1] "Mother Dead," The Monessen Daily Independent (Monessen, PA), 20 September 1927, p. 1, col. 1; digital images ( : accessed 20 August 2013).  


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