Thursday, April 12, 2012

Titanic records for Austin VanBilliard and son Walter

Record for Austen Blyler VanBilliard
additional information:
Status: (previously unidentified)
Number: 255 (listed on page:8)
Gender: Male Age: 40 Hair: Dark
Remarks: Instructions, N.Y. Office, wire, May 2nd. Listed as A. VanBilliard, third class. Embarked Southampton.
Disposition: Forward, May 4th, to North Wales Depot, PA
Reference no: Medical Examiner, City of Halifax and Town of Dartmouth Nova Scotia Archives RG 41 no. 76 no. 255

Record for Walter John VanBilliard
additional information:
Status:(previously unidentified)
Number: 1 (listed on page: 8)
Gender: Male Age: 10 Hair: Light
Remarks: Later identified from effects.
Instructions N.Y. Office, wire, May 2nd.
Listed as Walter VanBilliard, third class.
Embarked Southampton.
Disposition: Forwarded, May 4th,
to North Wales Depot, Pa.
Reference no.: Medical Examiner, City of Halifax
and Town of Dartmouth Nova Scotia Archives
RG 41 vol. 75 no. 1

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday-Titanic Victims

These two young boys are James(11) and Walter(9) VanBilliard. They along with their father, Austin VanBilliard, were passengers on the Titanic coming from England. Their father was moving the family to America where he was from. His wife was ill so he left her and the other children to come join him later in Pennsylvania. One of the articles I found said that it was believed that the boys would not leave their father so they all perished. James was never identified. But Walter is buried with their father in Pennsylvania. They are distant cousins in my VanBilliard line.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Finding More Family in the 1940 Census

So last week I found both of my parents families last week in the census. What next? I have been doing some indexing, but I wanted to find some more family!

I went looking for my grandfather's aunt, Aunt Katie Taylor. I knew where they were in 1930 and I thought that was the house that I remembered. But when I went there in 1940, someone else was renting that house in North Philadelphia. And I could not find them in the 1950 directory. So that one will have to wait. I have ordered the death certificates for Aunt Kate and Uncle Joe from Pennsylvania. That should give me the address I need, I hope!

So then yesterday I looked for my grandfather's uncle, Uncle Patrick McCarry. I thought he and his wife Fanny would still be in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia. They were still at the same address 149 and 1/2 Walnut Lane. Patrick is found working with sea food in a private business.

Then I remembered my Dad's notebook from when he was in the army(WWII). I knew that he had some address in there so he could write to some of his aunts and uncles. Well this took me to looking in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I had not been looking outside of Philadelphia before this. So first I found Aunt Jane and Uncle Joe O'Leary. He was a Fuller Brush Man. I remember when we were little going there and he would give us samples of things. It was cool!!!! They were living at the same address as Edmund O'Leary and his family. It looks like this is Uncle Joe's younger brother that I did not know about before. Also Aunt Jane had the supplementary questions. She was a weaver in a silk mill and this was her first marriage. She was 36 when they were married and she is 38 at the time of the census so they were married 2 years in 1940. Some more info I did not have.  Then still in Bethlehem, I found Aunt Jane and Grandpop's youngest sibling, Charles. He and his wife had her parents and brother living with them, so this gave me info for her. Charles was working at Bethlehem Steel. Then just a few streets over I found my grandmother's sister and her family, Aunt Margaret and Uncle Bill Martin. I found that he came from England. He was also working for Bethlehem Steel.  The last address was my grandfather's brother James and his family. This took me back to South Philly. James' wife, Margaret was from Austria, did not know that before! James worked as a clerk for the street railway. I do not know if that means city transit that was PTC at that time, now is SEPTA.

So I hit a goldmine of information for my O'Donnell/VanBilliard line with my finds in the 1940 census yesterday! This is so much fun! What are you finding????

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Found the McCarrys in 1940

I think I was spoiled yesterday finding my father's family so easily in the 1940 Census. I thought it would be even easier to find my mother's family. But I had a surprise!

I knew that they moved around on McClellan Street in Philadelphia. I knew the house number and the ed from 1930. I also knew the house number was different in the 1950 phone book. That was the house I remembered and that is the house where my grandfather died in 1957.

So I started with the 1930 ed and converted it to 1940. The conversion gave me 2 1940 districts to look at. These had McClellan Street and a couple of others on them of course. I found the house they lived in on the 1930 Census. It was not them. I found the 1950 address, it was not them again. I looked through both districts and did not find them. How could this be? I thought they always lived on McClellan Street! Ok, what next? I went back and asked for a larger area. I started looking in the districts following the two I started with. Went through three more districts and then part way through the fourth there they were in the middle of the page. They were on Fitzgerald Street!  My Nana gave the information. They were paying $28 a month for rent. My grandfather, James, was still a conductor for the Penn railroad. He earned $2500 in 1939, he was 38 and they lived in the same place in 1935. My mother was 14, her sister 16 and her brother was 11.

I was hoping for another answer in this census. Last year when I found my grandparents marriage license I was puzzled by the fact that it said my grandmother was 18 when they married in 1920. She had always told us that she was 15. I could not understand why they had done this. Her father had signed for her. I did find that a Philadelphia marriage law states that persons under 16 have to have a ruling by an orphans court judge besides having a parent ok in order to marry. Maybe they did not want to go this extra step, so they lied about her age. They 1930 census they seemed to carry on the little white lie. So I was wondering if it would continue for 1940. Well it did NOT! her age in the census is 34, this would make her born in 1905, because her birthday is in May. 1905 is the birth year on her death certificate!

So far this census is a great find, but I have lots more to find. So I will keep looking!!!!!

Have fun looking all!!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The O'Donnell family in 1940

Like everyone else I was so excited for yesterday to check out the 1940 Census. I had to work in the morning so I had to wait until I got home. Well I was not able to get in. So I put it all aside and did some indexing. And in the evening had my first 1940 Census indexing project. It went well.

This morning I had to work but I thought I would see what was happening while I waited for my daughter to be ready to leave. So at 5:30 this morning I put in my Dad's family address in 1940, 2318 Wallace Street, Philadelphia, PA. After I put in all the surrounding streets only one ed came up for me to check out. So I clicked on 51-230 and to my surprise it opened right up to the first image. I did not have many images to look at before finding them on sheet 7A. They were right at the top and my Grandfather was line one and my Uncle Charlie was line five. So they were given the Supplementary Questions.

Well I was just so excited but I had to go to work and was not able to look at it at all. So I downloaded it and hurried home after work to read it.

My grandfather, David, was 42. He worked 40 hours the previous week as a Chauffeur for a publisher(he was a truck driver for a Philadelphia newspaper). His earnings for 1939 were $796 and they paid $23 a month rent. My dad, George, was 17 and he had worked 60 hours the previous week as a grocery delivery boy. He earned $252 in 1939. Hi brothers and sister were all in school. They were living in the same place in 1935.

So now that I have this information it is on to finding some more people!