Saturday, March 21, 2015

Finding McCarron's using PA Birth Records

My maternal grandmother's parents are a continuing mystery. They somehow avoided leaving a paper trail for themselves. The earliest record I have found for either of them is their marriage records. Emil Gunther and Catherine McCarron were married in Philadelphia, PA on 23 Sep 1897. The marriage records at that time did not give much information. I always knew that Emil came from Germany and this told me that Catherine was born in Philadelphia. But the first record I ever found on Catherine was her death certificate.This did give her parents names, John McCarron and Alice Carberry. It also sent me to the cemetery and gave me some other great information, but that is a story for another day. "Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12337-79169-59?cc=1320976 : accessed 21 March 2015), 004009384 > image 350 of 580; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.


So while her marriage record had her born and living in Philadelphia, the newspaper notice said she was from Norristown, PA. So when the index for the birth records first came out I was looking for births that could be in all my lines. I came across an Alice McCarron born in Norristown I was hoping when the records were available I would find a connection. With the baby having the same first name as Catherine's mother, this could be her brother's child. But I didn't know if she had a brother because I never found any census records for her parents. Well looking in the birth records I found Alice McCarron. Unfortunately it did not give much information, only her mother's name, Laura McCarron.Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Birth Records, 1906-1908 [database on-line]. No. 22525 (stamped), Alice McCarron entry, born 4 Jan 1906, accessed 17 Mar 2015.

Citing: Pennsylvania (State). Birth certificates, 1906–1908. Series 11.89 (50 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


Sorry to say that baby Alice only lived 5 days. But the death certificate did give her father's name, William McCarron. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. No. 2502(stamped). Alice McCarron entry, died 9 Jan 1906, accessed 18 Mar 2015.

Citing: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


I continued to search and found death certificates for 5 more children, 3 stillborn and 2 only living a few years. This covered from 1906 to 1921, when the last child was stillborn and Laura died a couple of weeks after that child. William then died in 1929. Finding his death certificate told me that he was Catherine's brother as the same parents were listed. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. No. 94035 (stamped). William McCarron entry, died 3 Sep 1929, accessed 18 Mar 2015.

Citing: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


I was glad to find a brother of Catherine's but so sad to watch William's tragic story unfold.