Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Talented Tuesday - A Beautiful Stained Glass Family Tree!

My dear friend Amy Brooks is an amazingly talented stained glass artist and the owner of Paradise Custom Stained Glass. She created a beautiful custom stained glass family tree for her client's Christmas gift (how happy was that person on Christmas morning!!). It is absolutely stunning and I wanted to share her flyer and images with others who might be interested in this beautiful way to display your family history.

You can learn more about Amy and Paradise Custom Stained Glass on her website or Facebook.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Mary Ann Burd and Charles Schwenk

A few days ago was the wedding anniversary of my second great-grandparents, Charles Schwenk and Marian "Mary Ann" Burd. They were married on 12 January 1871 in Pittsburgh, PA.[1] I had found and posted a copy of their marriage certificate a while ago ...

While it's so wonderful to find documents about our ancestors, there is so much more that  I want to know about them besides the details (or lack there of) in each document. I would love to know more about my family and am admittedly jealous of those who have diaries, letters and old photos that really paint the pictures of their ancestors' lives!

Finding this photocopy in my father's files was wonderful, and I was happy to have this to confirm the date of their marriage. But I don't have any pictures of Charles and Mary Ann, or diaries or letters, but what if I could know a little more about the wedding ...

In the many, many incredible documents in Charles' Pension File that I ordered from NARA, there is an affidavit that Mary Ann submitted for her Widow's Pension. The affidavit was from Isaac and Martha Mason and dated 3 March 1899.[2]

That the soldier Charles G. Schwenk and Mary A Schwenk now a Widow were married on January the 12" 1871 at Pittsburgh Pa. That said Mary A Schwenk was living with them at Saltsburg Pa at the time of her marriage to the soldier Charles G. Schwenk.
That after the return of the couple from Pittsburgh were the marriage took place, they had the wedding supper at their (Deponents House) and that they the Deponents participated at the wedding festivities held in honor of the said marriage.
That the said Mary A. Schwenk lived with them (Deponents) for about 2 years before her marriage to the soldier and know that she was not married prior to the marriage to the soldier above named.
That they know the facts testified to in this affidavit of their own Personal knowledge, having had an intimate aquaintence with Mary A Schwenk before and after her marriage to the soldier.
That their Post Office address is Creighton in the County of Allegheny State of Pennsylvania.

Wow! So now I know a little more about Charles and Mary Ann's wedding. They had the wedding "supper" at the home of Isaac and Martha Mason in Saltsburg. In the 1870 census, just the year before the wedding, Mary Ann is living with the Masons as a domestic servant in North Versailles.[3] Charles is also living in North Versailles in 1870 and was enumerated on the same day and only a few pages apart in the census book.[4]

There is another interesting item in this affidavit that needs further research. One of the Witnesses to this affidavit was Margaret Orris, who was Mary Ann's sister. When Margaret Orris died, her obituary listed eight children including Mrs. Harry Mason.[5] Next up is to see if there are any connections between the Burd/Orris families and the Mason family. Maybe that's how Mary Ann found work, or how Margaret's daughter met her husband?

In the meantime, I'm happy to know a little more about the wedding of my great-grandparents and how they celebrated this important event!


[1] Marriage Certificate, Charles Schwenk-Mary Ann Burd, 12 January 1871; photocopy privately held [name and address for private use,] ca. 1975. 

[2] Affidavit of Isaac and Martha Mason, 3 March 1899, Mary Ann Schwenk, widow's pension application no. 586124, certificate no. 475533, service of Charles G. Schwenk (1st Sgt., Co. C, 82nd reg., Pennsylvania Infantry, Civil War); Case Files of Approved Pension Applications ..., 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files, Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[3] 1870 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, North Versailles, population schedule, McKeesport Post Office, p. 20 (penned), dwelling 137, family 137, Isaac Mason; digital image, Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 January 2014) citing National Archives publication M5393_1294; Family History Library Film 552793.

[4] 1870 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, North Versailles, population schedule, McKeesport Post Office, p. 23 (penned), dwelling 156, family 156, John Rogers; digital image, Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 January 2014) citing National Archives publication M5393_1294; Family History Library Film 552793.

[5] "Former Creighton Woman Summoned by Death," The Valley Daily News (Tarentum, PA), 17 February 1922; photocopy, Community Library of Allegheny, copied by library staff, 12 October 2012.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday's Faces from the Past - Minnie Cubbage Reabe

Minnie Beulah Cubbage was born on this date, January 10, 1908 in Swissvale, PA. She was my grand aunt and was about five years older than my grandfather, Art. This is a beautiful picture of Minnie with her newborn daughter Marna. I was able to spend some time with Minnie's grandchildren (my second cousins) at a Cubbage Family Reunion last summer. Lots of photos were scanned and shared, including this one of Minnie.