My Oma & Our Lady of Fatima

On the evening of January 25, 1938, my Oma witnessed an extremely rare meteorological phenomena; something that stuck with her for the rest of her life and something I will likely never witness myself.  After the sun went down the evening of the 25th, the sky turned an deep red.  This was something much more […]

Margaret Ann Richards

Margaret Ann Richards’ family line has become one of my biggest roadblocks. Family lore says that Margaret and her sister Bessie were born in Yorkshire, England and the girls came to America as children with a mean stepmother. The name given for their biological mother was Ann Williams. Margaret is pretty easy to trace from […]

Henry Miller Hutchison

The most frustrating part about genealogy is not having a lot of context for certain relationships and events. But when you have enough details on paper, you can fill in the blanks with your imagination.  And that is one of the best parts of genealogy. Here’s a good example. Alexander Campbell Hutchinson (my 2nd great […]

The Story of William Murphy

You never know when you’ll get what you’re looking for, especially when researching a name like Murphy. I got lucky this time though with a death certificate for William Murphy at the Pennsylvania State Archives. William Murphy, my 3rd great grandfather, lived at 307 McClure Ave in the 1920 census with his daughter Sarah and […]

Cursive Handwriting Mysteries

I’m terrible with cursive writing.  We only spent a couple weeks on it in elementary school, then moved on. My 8 year old self thought it was a complete waste of time. My least favorite part of genealogy is deciphering handwriting.  For goodness sakes, why weren’t most vital records printed, neatly? Here are my current hang-ups. Slave, […]

Alexander Campbell Hutchinson

Alexander Campbell Hutchinson was born 24 April 1858 in Oakland Township, Pennsylvania to Ann Marie Jamison and William T Hutchison. “Cam” was the middle child of nine and and as a small boy they lived next door to his grandparents, two aunts and uncles, and nine cousins.  I imagine many large family gatherings during his […]

Harman Updegraff & Margaret Miller

Two things I can tell you about my ancestors: there are a lot of Margarets and a lot of accidental deaths. Harman Alexander Updegraff was born 28 August 1821* in Somerset County, Pennsylvania to Harmon Updegraff and Rachel Howard.  He was a farmer in his early years and later became a conductor of a freight […]