Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sentimental Sunday-Mom and Dad

My Dad and Mom, George C. O'Donnell, Sr and Catherine M. McCarry. In the late 1940's they both worked for the Yellow Cab Company in Philadelphia, PA. George was a cab driver and Cass was a dispatcher, but they did not know each other at work. They were introduced by my Mom's best friend, Jean Rose, who also knew Dad. Another friend was getting married and Jean asked Cass to help put up the decorations for the shower. She knew that George was also helping. Dad always told the story that he was putting up the decorations and Mom was going behind him taking them down because she did not like how he was doing it. She was always a perfectionist. It was a little while after that they started dating and later became engaged. This is their engagement picture. Once she broke off the engagement, the week before Easter. They had a date to go with two other couples to Valley Forge on Easter Sunday. Cass called George on Good Friday to ask if their date was still on and he said "I guess so". So the engagement was also back on. They were married, October 14, 1950.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Graveyard Rabbits Carnival-A Scavenger Hunt 3

Four-legged animal found at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Broomall, PA
Photo found at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Broomall, PA

Angel found at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Broomall. PA

Graveyard Rabbits Carnival-A Scavenger Hunt 2

Hand and Bird found at Sts Peter and Paul Cemetery, Broomall, PA

Obelisk found at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Aston, PA
Flower found at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Aston, PA

Tree found at Mt Hope Cemetery, Aston, PA

Fraternal symbol and Star found at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Aston, PA

The Graveyard Rabbits Carnival-A Scavenger Hunt

Monument found at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Broomall, PA

Military Gravestone found at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Broomall, PA

Cross found at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Broomall, PA

Heart found in Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Broomall, PA

Mausoleum, found at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Broomall, PA

Tombstone Tuesday-Matched Set

I came across this pair yesterday. I just thought they were so beautiful. How Mary Hudson has the extra flowers on her stone and I am not sure what the symbol means on Andrew's stone. If anyone has ever seen that before and has any idea what it is, I would love to know. I also like the words on Andrew's "We shall meet to part no more"

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun-A Prolific Dad

Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun for this week-A Prolific Dad

Your mission for Father's Day, if you decide to accept it, is to:1) Determine who is one of the most prolific fathers in your genealogy database or in your ancestry. By prolific, I mean the one who fathered the most children.

My winner for this is Johann Jacob Arner-my 5th Great Grandfather with 12 children with his wife, Magrete Kern.

the children were Nicholas(my 4th Great Grandfather), Michael Peter, Eva, Johannes Abraham, Johann George, Susanna, Margaretha, Elizabeth, Henry John, Johann Jacob, there was Catherine born in 1775. It looks like she did not live and they had another Catherine born in 1784. All of these children were born in Northampton County, Pennsylvania

Surname Saturday-Van Billiard

The Van Billiard Family has a long and interesting history in Lehigh/Northampton counties in Pennsylvania. According to the book"Lower Saucon Township: Images of America, the patriarch of the family, Henry Van Billiard/Verbilger, "reportedly one of the first settlers on Lehigh Mountain." I am writing today about George Charles McClellen Van Billiard. Henry was his 2nd Great Grandfather and George was my Great Grandfather.

George was born 16 July 1865 in Freemansburg, Pennsylvania. He was the 4th of seven children born to Jerome and Ellen(Shick) Van Billiard.

The 1870 Census has 5 year old George and his family still living in Freemansburg, but they will move before the 1880 census because George's Father, Jerome, died on 7 April 1877. This was one day before Jerome's 40th birthday. So the family moved to South Bethlehem, PA. And the 1880 Census has 15 year old George working in the Iron Mill along with his older brothers Albert, 22 and William, 17.

George married Susan Haas in September of 1885. According to announcement in Bethlehem Daily paper, "George Van Billiard of South Bethlehem MARRIED Miss. Susan Haas of Bethlehem, September 19, 1885 in Bethlehem by Reverend Isaac K. Loos.

Next we see the family in the 1900 Census, George is 34 years old and they are living in Easton, PA. they have been married 14 years with 7 Children. The children were Robert, Matilda, William, Mabel, Luther, Raymond and Irwin. November 1st of that year Elizabeth was born. She was my Grandmother. In 1902 Irwin died but Margaret, their last child, was born 14 June. In 1900 George was working as a Telephone Inspector. The 1910 Census has the family back in South Bethlehem and 44 year old George working as an electrican for Electric Light Co.

The 1920 Census was done just days before Susan died on 10 Jan so she was still listed and George was working as a laborer in Bethlehem. In November George,a German Lutheran, would sign for 20 year old Elizabeth to marry Irish Catholic, David William O'Donnell.

I had a death date of 5 Nov 1929 for George, but that went out the window when I found a letter that he wrote to my 7 year old father, also George. The letter was dated Feb 17-30 from New Hope, PA. I found him in the 1930 Census living as a lodger in New Hope working as a Foreman for the Telegraph Line.

So the end of the story is that there is not end because I have not been able to close the books on George Charles McClellan Van Billiard! So the research goes on!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday-Family Military History

Johann Jacob Arner-

Zionsville Lutheran Cemetery, Lehigh, PA

Jacob was my 5th great grandfather on my father's side. His original stone is all in German but as you can see by the newer stone, he fought
in the Revolutionary War. This was the beginning
of the Military History in this part of my family.

Jacob's Granddaughter, Hannah Arner, married
Captain John Van Billiard. I am still researching him, But
his obituary has him connected to the tenth Company,
97th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Militia.

John and Hannah's son Jerome, along with his brothers
Martin and Oliver, were Union solders in the Civil War.

John and Hannah's Granddaughter, Elizabeth Van Billiard,
married David O'Donnell. David served in WWI.

David and Elizabeth's son, George(my Dad), along with his brother Charles, served in WWII. David Jr served in Korea. A few of David and Elizabeth's grandchildren and great grandchildren have also served.

So this was what Johan Jacob Arner began and was carried through the Arner-Van Billiard-O'Donnell family.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Surname Saturday:McCarry

The McCarry Family

James J. McCarry was born in Philadelphia, PA on 19 May 1901. He was the son of James F. McCarry and Bridget Welsh. He married Theresa Gunther, in Philadelphia, on 20 October 1920. They went on to have three children, Theresa, Catherine and James J. Junior. The name James was very common in the family.

James, Sr, was a breakman on the trains for the Pennsylvania RR until contracting TB from the coal dust. He spent some time in Saranac Lake, NY for treatment. He died 5 July 1959.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-Ladies Day

"THE AUNTS"this was the wedding of my father's youngest sister(my aunt)the woman to the left of the groom(how did a guy get in this?) anyway, this is my grandmother, the two women to her left are my grandfather's sisters(more aunts), the woman seated and the two on the groom's right are my grandmother's sisters(more aunts)


my mother (first one in front on the left)and the neighbors on the street had a "club", getting together each week at one house and they collected dues and then once a year they would take that money and have a night out, this year it was the Latin Casino Night Club(the Sixties)