Unknown hands labelled the back of this photo with a question: Who is this? I found it among my grandfather’s old pictures. He kept it, along with other various treasures, in a tin box that was separate from the other photos in his closet. When I asked the same question to my grandfather, he answered without hesitation: “That’s my grandfather. That’s John Corr.” Continue reading
I liked this picture so much that I put it on my first business card back in 2012. This is the Balmer family, circa 1898. The woman standing at right is Bertha, the subject of today’s episode of 52 Ancestors. She was my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother—my great-great-grandmother, that is—and she’s unmistakable. Continue reading
As a young girl, my mother discovered in a closet a plaque that eerily bore her own name, Celia Anflick, along with birth and death dates. It was a metal plaque that my mother described as the sort of thing one might see hung in a mausoleum. Of course, the plaque was not my mother’s memorial from a past life. Rather, it was a memorial to an aunt whom my mother would never meet. Continue reading
Mother’s Day is my clue that Father’s day is not too far away, and I have to come up with some offering of roughly equal market and sentimental value. I feel pretty bad when I don’t come through, but my Pop is pretty easy-going, and helps a lot with occasional and unintentional gifting inequalities. For example, this year, I had published my mother’s tribute on time, on Mother’s day. My father get’s his tribute on the Tuesday after Father’s Day.
Why? Well, this weekend my father was helping me puzzle through some tech stuff that might improve my standing for a job I had interviewed for. That kinda needed to get done. That’s one of the great things about my dad: If you come to him with any sort of puzzle that needs a solving, he’s happy to help. He really invests himself, too. His interest is genuine. It’s as if his success relied on mine, or whosoever’s he happens to help. Continue reading
Here is another of my earliest attempts at photo restoration—a “Throwback Tuesday”, if you will, from early 2012. Looking back, it turned out okay. I posted it as I fount it. What you see is what you get. On the left, the baby’s face had some sort of darkness across it that seems like it shouldn’t be there. A little digital wizardry, and poof! Bye-bye darkness. A little contrast boost, and there you have it. Not bad.
This is an image of my great-grandmother, Julia Corr, when she was a wee babe. She was born in Philadelphia on October 6, 1904 to John and Julia (Foley) Corr. John was an Irish immigrant who built a successful wool recycling business from the $1.25 he brought with him to the New World. The elder Julia was the daughter of Irish immigrants Edward Foley and Mary Mahoney. After the elder Julia died of stomach cancer in 1906, baby Julia and her siblings were raised by their stepmother, Mary (Comey) Corr.
Young Julia Corr was the baby of the family. Her eldest sister, Mary, was about seventeen years her senior. Julia also had these other siblings: Helen, John A., another baby Julia who died in infancy, Edward, and Joseph. Like her descendants, Julia grew up in Philadelphia, but enjoyed summers by the Jersey Shore: Atlantic City, I believe, in her case. Julia married my great-grandfather, Joseph on April 10th, 1928. Their original marriage certificate is the only one I have yet to see. Continue reading
I’m doing something a little different today. My normal M. O. is to profile ancestors who have long passed, and are no longer around to either defend themselves or allege privacy invasion. Today, I’m profiling my mother, who is alive and well, and whom I image will read her profile shortly. Today is Mother’s Day, and so today I recognize my mother as a family hero who has earned her place in history. Continue reading
I’m enjoying a nice little vacation this week, but taking a vacation from my vacation to publish this blog on Ancestor No. 18, my maternal grandfather’s mother. She was born Minnie Snyder in what was once the Russian Empire, sometime in the early 1890s. Telling exactly when she was born is difficult. I suspect that several of the young ladies on this branch of the family falsified their ages on official documents, such as marriage records. Suffice to say, the birth dates on the documents vary widely. Immigration documents place her residence at the time of emigration in a place called Mogilev. There are a few places with that name, the most well known of which, I believe, is in Belarus. There is another place, in what is now the Ukraine, called Mogilev-Podolskiy. I suspect Minnie was from the latter because of its proximity to the birthplace of her future husband’s family, and also because of its strong Jewish heritage, but I’m not completely sure in which of the towns she lived. Continue reading
This week I bring you Cora Kline Harrison, my paternal grandmom’s paternal grandmom. that would be my great-great-grandmom I’ll tell you how my grandmom’s cousin, Doris, and I honed in on her birthday.
The 1900 Census placed Cora’s birth date in February of 1878. Doris rejected this claim, and insisted instead that her grandmother was born on April 1, 1876, although she had no documents to prove the fact. I had inquired about baptism records at the Lancaster County Historical Society with little else to go on. The archivists there told me that many of the churches of that time and place were inconsistent with birth records, so I might have trouble finding a baptism record for Cora. I did not know the parish in which she was baptized. I did find a record of Cora’s birth among her father’s Civil War pension file, but the record was ambiguous. Continue reading
Henry Anflick was my mother’s paternal grandfather. Piecing together his early family history has been a conundrum. It may be time to call in the professionals to whisk me away, Who Do You Think You Are? style, to the place of his birth: Odessa, Ukraine. Okay, well, maybe best to wait until things settle down over there. The current unrest notwithstanding, some Ukranian archives are probably the most likely place to find clues as to this man’s origins. Continue reading
I haven’t yet planned out my year of ancestors. I might plan it, so as not to neglect some essential persons. (Who would be a non-essential person?) So far, I’ve chosen whom to write about week-by-week, and preference has gone to heroic people with great stories,for whom I have a picture suitable for restoration, and about whom, I suspect, most living people in family would not have known, but for my research. The trend continues this week, with one slight difference: This week’s ancestor is a hero of the everyday variety. I don’t expect to find her picture in the newspaper, or any recordings of her in the Library of Congress. No buildings bear her name. No gimmicks. No tricks. Don’t let any of that fool you. She’s a family hero. She is Anne Reibold. Continue reading