Thursday, March 29, 2012

1940 Census Infographic has just published a great infographic designed to help genealogists find their families in the 1940 census that is scheduled to be released on Monday, April 2nd. Check it out here to get a jump start! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: A Steelworkers Grave

Tombstone of Florian J. Ruffing

Florian was born in Pennsylvania the grandson of German immigrants and the son of a steelworker. He followed in his father's footsteps working at Carnegie Steel Company. I can not even fathom the back breaking, dangerous work he had to endure day in and out for only 15 cents an hour on average. My father remembers Florian settling down at home with his favorite drink The Boilermaker. It seems whiskey was the favorite drink of many a steel worker. 

" In the mill, clouds of ore dust or rolling mill scale or other grit coated workers' lungs. Many a workman justifies his daily glass of whiskey on the ground that it ‘takes the dust out of my throat." 
 Labor Investigator John Fitch in 1907

For more information on the Pennsylvanian Steel Industry check out these links:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Zelma and the 1940 Census

With the release of the 1940 census fast approaching there are a few ancestors I'm anxious to research. Meet Zelma Maude White. In 1940 she would be 36, one year younger than I am now. In 3 short years she would be sending a son off to fight in a world war and several years after that another son to fight in Korea. Together with her husband Andrew Garland, she would run The Hiltop Restaurant on Route 2 in Hermon, ME. A love of food they passed down and resides strongly in me today. I can't wait to see what the 1940 census will reveal about Zelma.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are?

I am the Daughter of a:

Coast Guard Vet
Registered Nurse
College Graduate

I am the Grand Daughter of a:

Women's Army Corps Vet
Smithsonian Clerk
WWII Paratrooper
Homicide Detective
Master Plumber
WWII Army Medic
Telephone Operator
Epic Fudge Maker

I am the Great Grand Daughter of a:

Boston Mobster
Irish Immigrant
Mobster's Mistress
Woman That Raised Her Brother and Sister When She Was Just in Her Early 20's
Filipino Immigrant
Detroit Auto Factory Worker
Woman with a "Wild" Reputation
Fatality of an Ectopic Pregnancy at the age of 32
WWI Navy Vet Who Served on the USS Utah
Middleweight Boxer
Small Business Woman
Baker of Biscuits So Good It Makes You Wanna Slap Your Mama

"Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go." - James Arthur Baldwin

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

When you research your family history you will find many of your ancestors have served in the military. Today I honor two of my ancestors: my paternal Grandmother and Grandfather buried in Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery. Happy Memorial Day to all of our veterans. Photos taken by Kimberly Mills.

Monday, April 12, 2010

From Immigrant to Civil War Corporal

On this day in 1861 Confederate forces fired on Ft. Sumter starting the U.S. Civil War. Today I think of my ancestors that fought on both sides of the war. If any of your ancestors were living in the US from 1861 to 1865 they may have served as well. My third great paternal grand uncle Joseph Flading (Fladung) was one of the many that fought in the U.S. Civil War. I find his service especially interesting because he was a newly naturalized U.S. citizen.

Joseph immigrated here from Germany sometime between 1840 and 1858 and settled in Allegheny County, PA. (1) In 1858 Joseph became a naturalized citizen (1) of the United States and 3 years later on August 9, 1861 he enlisted in the Union army as a member of the 5th Pennsylvania Calvary Company L. (2)
Camp of the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry near the battlefield of
Fort Burnham, Virginia, October 29, 1864.

As a member of the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry Joseph participated in the Battle of Fair Oaks and the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virgina. One of the most interesting parts of Joesph Flading's military service to me was his capture at the Olive Branch Church in Virginia on February 7, 1863. I recently found a report on Google Books from the Confederate side of the skirmish describing the fight and the number of Union soldiers killed, captured, and wounded. I've embedded the report below.

At some point he was released by the Confederate army and continued to serve in the 5th Pennsylvania Calvary until he was discharged as a Corporal on August 7, 1865. (2) Joseph survived guns, cannons, disease, and capture by the enemy. And he did it all just three years after becoming a citizen of the United States. I am very proud of my immigrant Civil War Ancestor.

Interested in finding your Civil War ancestor? Start at the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors site for a free search!


Year: 1910; Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 5, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll T624_1300; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 337; Image: 790.

2-Year: 1890; Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll 88; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 49.