(Not So) Wordless Wednesday – Four Coal Miners?

Posted on February 15, 2017 in Wordless Wednesday

I am using this theme to post my mystery photos in hopes that someday I’ll be able to solve them.

Leon [Leo] Bianchi is first and Condy Furlani is third from the left. The remaining two men are unknown to me.

     Leon [Leo] Bianchi is first and Condy Furlani is third from the left.


This is a photo of four men. It appears to have been taken in a photography studio but there was no imprint on the photo nor was there a frame or holder. I believe my grandfather, Candido (Condy) Furlani is the third man fro the left. I think the first man on the left is my great uncle, Leon or Leo Bianchi. I don’t know the identities of the other two men. All probably lived in Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

I don’t know whether they are dressed in their work clothes or their best clothes. I have seen pictures of miners going to work wearing similar overcoats and caps, but the shoes they are wearing in this photo are not work boots but they appear scuffed so they may be work shoes.

The photo may have been taken in the late 1910s or early 1920s. My grandfather’s face looks heavier here than in his 1911 wedding photo. Condy died 18 February 1938 of pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 49. Leon died 14 December 1949, also of pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 58. Leon was two years younger than Condy.

If possible, I would like to firm up the identifications, so I am open to any information or corrections concerning this photo.



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Polish Chrusciki (Family Recipe Friday)

Posted on February 10, 2017 in Family Recipes

Chrusciki or Krusciki, also known as bow ties or angel wings, are a Polish deep fried pastry covered in either granulated or powdered sugar. I prefer the powdered sugar. They are traditional to serve on holidays and special occasions. I tasted my first Chrusciki at my cousin’s wedding many years ago, and it was love at first taste.

I checked with my cousin to see if she had a recipe but she never made them because she thought they were too hard. I selected the recipe in this post because it sounded delicious and not too difficult for those who have never made them before. I must confess that I satisfied my love for Chrusciki by purchasing them from Polish bakeries over the years; but I think that I might try this recipe.

This recipe makes around 36 – 40 servings.
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes.


Crusciki allrecipes 500x375


Amount        Measure            Ingredient

3                                                    egg yolks
2                 tablespoons             sugar
1                 pinch                         salt
2                tablespoons              reduced fat sour cream
½               teaspoon                   vanilla extract
½               teaspoon                   lemon & orange zest
¾               cups                           all-purpose flour
1                quart                         oil for frying (safflower or canola)
½              cup                             confectioners’ sugar


  1. In a small bowl using an electric hand mixer on high, beat egg yolks, sugar and salt until thick and lemon colored – about a minute.
  2. On low speed, stir in sour cream, vanilla, zests & flour.
  3. Transfer to a floured surface and knead 50 turns (about 2 minutes), adding extra flour as needed—up to 2 Tablespoons.
  4. Divide dough in half, keeping extra covered with plastic wrap.
  5. On a floured surface, roll each section paper-thin to at least 12″ across. Cut into 1 1/4-inch strips. Cut strips into 5-inch lengths. Make a slit in each strip. Pull one end through slit to make a bow tie.
  6. Deep fry in oil at about 350-365° F for about 30 seconds, turning once using 2 forks, until lightly golden on both sides. Do not crowd.
  7. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  8. To re-crisp place on baking sheet in a 325° oven for about 5 minutes. Cool completely.
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Tombstone Tuesday – John Leo Noble

Posted on January 31, 2017 in Tombstone Tuesday


The tombstone of John L. Noble and his wife, Eleanor Favidge Noble in St. Mary's cemetery, Mt. Carmel, NorthumberlandCo., PA. Photo by Elizabeth W. at Find A Grave

The tombstone of John L. Noble and his wife, Eleanor Favidge Noble in St. Mary’s cemetery, Mt. Carmel, Northumberland Co., PA. Photo by Elizabeth W. at Find A Grave


John Leo Noble was baptized on 6 September, 1891 in Saint Joseph’s RC church located in Locust Gap, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania. His baptismal record states he was born 31 August 1891, the son of Thomas Noble and Margaret McGinn Noble.

He was married to Eleanor Favidge, daughter of John and Marie Favidge, on 1 February 1916 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel RC church in Mt. Carmel, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania. To date, I have identified three children: Irene A, born about 1917, Mary E., born about 1918 and Margaret born about 1919.

There is a flag in front of his grave with a WWII holder. I have found his WWI draft registration and his WWII “Old Man’s” draft registration but I have been unable to find any record of military service so far.

John L. Noble died 11 April 1948 of chronic endocarditis due to rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 52. He was buried in St. Mary’s cemetery on 15 April 1948. He was survived by his wife and three daughters, who lived in an unincorporated town outside of Mt. Carmel called Diamondtown.

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Leon Bianchi: Proudly Serving in WWI

Posted on January 25, 2017 in Family History, Military Stories

My great-uncle, Leon Victor Bianchi, was born on 17 April 1891 in Hazleton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, the son of Bonaventura and Mary (Bunt) Bianchi. I don’t know when this family moved from Hazleton to Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania but they appear on the 1900 US census in Mount Carmel.

Leon Bianchi on the left with two friends

Leon Bianchi on the left with two friends

Leon served in World War I and, according to his son, he was very proud of his military service. We can see this pride by his footstone which lists his rank and unit: Pvt. Bat. A 50th Fld. Art.

His WWI Veteran’s Compensation Application states that he enlisted as Regular Army for the duration of the war on 18 April 1917. He was 26 years old. He served overseas from 7 October 1918 to 14 February 1919. He was discharged honorably on 22 February 1919 on demobilization. He was promoted to Private First Class on 22 April, 1918, prompted to Corporal on 21 July 1918 and demoted to Private on 25 October 1918. Until I obtain his service records, I do not know the reason for this demotion. It occurred shortly after he went overseas.

On 7 June 1935, he married Helen (Grochowski) Toczylowski at Saint Peter’s Church in Mount Carmel. A special dispensation was required, possibly because she was previously married. It is unknown at this time whether she was a widow or a divorcee.

In every record I have for Leon, he is called Leon except one. His parish marriage record called him Attilio. This may be because he was baptized Attilio or because that is the closest the priest could come to the Latin for Leon.

Helen brought three children into this marriage Leonard Toczylowski, Edward Toczylowski, and Leona Toczylowski. Together Leon and Helen had Victor J. Bianchi, born 25 December 1925, died 28 August 1997 and Gerald Bianchi, born 30 January 1927, died 24 August 2009.

Leon died 14 December 1949 in Atlas, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania at the age of 58 of tuberculosis. He is buried in St. Peter’s cemetery in Mount Carmel. Below are photos of his headstone and footstone.

Headstone of Leon and Helen Bianchi

Headstone of Leon and Helen Bianchi


Footstone of Leon Bianchi

Footstone of Leon Bianchi



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The Deaths of Two Brothers

Posted on January 18, 2017 in Family History

Today I was attempting to find an obituary for my 2nd great-grandfather, Theobald Meisberger. Instead I stumbled across a little notice in the Mount Carmel Daily News, Monday, 18 June 1900 on page 1. It was in a column headed Locust Gap News.

Funeral Notice John Meisberger 18 June 1900

I transcribed the relevant portion of the item as follows:

“A large number of our people attend-
ed the funeral of John Meisberger at Shamokin on Saturday.”

Saturday’s date would have been 16 June 1900.  When I read this, the name and date immediately grabbed my attention. John Meisberger is the brother of Theobald Meisberger, who died Wednesday, 13 June 1900. Now I am finding out that John, may have died the same day or within days of his brother since he was buried on the 16th.

I tried to find more about John’s death. On Find A Grave, a photo of the tombstone of Theobald C. Meisberger is displayed in John’s memorial not John’s tombstone.  John’s death date is listed as Jun., 1900. An earlier post, Tombstone Tuesday – Theobald Meisberger (1837 – 1900) discusses Theobald’s tombstone.

John is my 3rd great uncle, son of Michel Meisberger and Margarethe Bettinger Meisberger. He was born 8 April 1841 in Steinbach, Rhenish Prussia (today Saarland, Germany), Cemetery records for St. Edward’s RC cemetery in Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, record John Meisberger as the possessor of one lot containing three graves. One of two graves contain his daughter, Elizabeth Meisberger, born 10 October 1870 and died 21 September 1871; the other his son Michael A. Meisberger, born and died 22 September 1874. The third grave is described as ‘appearing empty’.

At this point I have not found any document that contains John’s death date. We only know that he was buried on 16 June 1900. Although John appears as head of household in the 1880 US census, I have been unable to locate him in the 1900 US census.

Per the probate records and Theobald’s tombstone, Theobald died on 13 June 1900. The cemetery record says Theobald was buried on the 13 June 1900.  Calculating Theobald’s death date using 62y, 5m, and 18d as carved on the tombstone, the date of death is 12 June 1900.

I wonder if the two brothers did die within days of each other or was the funeral notice really meant for Theobald. I think they both died but it would be nice to obtain more evidence. Still searching…

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(Not So) Wordless Wednesday – Who Is in This Wedding Party?

Posted on January 11, 2017 in Wedding Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday

I am using this theme primarily to post my mystery photos in hopes that someday I’ll be able to solve them.



This photo was unidentified and in the box of photos that my sisters and I inherited from our mother.

While not everyone in this photo is unidentified, most are. This is a photo of the wedding party of my paternal grandparents, Candido [Condy] Furlani and Anna Bianchi. They were married 20 September 1911 in St. Peter’s RC Church, Mt. Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Condy is 23 years old while Anna is only 17. She needed her mother’s consent on the marriage license since 17 is underage for marriage in Pennsylvania.

The following are the people I do recognize. The happy couple (Anna and Condy) are sitting front row center. Also on the far right of the front row is Anna’s brother, Peter Bianchi. The gentleman directly behind the bride may be another brother, Leon [Attillio] Bianchi. I have not been able to match a name to any of the remaining eight (8) individuals that form this wedding party. The photo appears to have been taken at a professional studio or possibly a hall where they held a reception rather than in the church.

I am open to any information or corrections concerning this photo. I would love to be able to put names to their faces and to better understand this photo.

Posted in Wedding Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday | 2 Comments

Old Bones Genealogy Blog – Top 5 Posts for 2016

Posted on January 4, 2017 in Blogging

2017 has already begun, but initially, I want to look back at this blog’s most popular new posts of 2016. The ranking here is based solely upon the number of readers.


5.  Maryland Early State Newspapers Online

The Archives of Maryland Online (AOMOL) currently provides access to over 471,000 historical documents that form the constitutional, legal, legislative, judicial, and administrative basis of Maryland’s government. Online access enables users to research such topics as constitutional records, city directories, land records, military records and many early state records.

4.  Tech Tuesday – Using SmartDraw for Genealogy

There is an interesting piece of software called SmartDraw that I’ve been using for several years. Prior to that I used Microsoft Visio to do my graphic flowcharts, workflows, images and various charts that I saved as JPG or PDF and used in my PowerPoint presentations, reports, etc.

3. Tech Tuesday – Using Transcript for Transcribing Documents

Transcript a little tool, developed by Jacob Boerema, that helps you transcribe text from digital media. Back in 2011, I had just accepted a job to transcribe 52 early deeds so I began looking for something that might make the job, if not easy, at least easier—and I discovered Transcript.

2. A Great Genealogical Find – Lord Baltimore’s Receipt Book

How would you like to acquire a copy of your 18th century ancestor’s signature? I found this amazing discovery while browsing around the Archives of Maryland Online website.

1. 10 Ways to Avoid Common Genealogy Mistakes (Tuesday’s Tip)

Genealogy is not something that can be done from start to finish in a weekend or even a year of weekends. It is, however, an enjoyable activity that is done by millions of people. While you enjoy doing your family research, I am sure you would like your family tree to be as accurate as possible. Here are 10 ways to avoid genealogy’s most common mistakes.


Thank you for visiting my blog and making this a great year. I hope you continue to read my posts in 2017. I wish a healthy, prosperous and happy New Year to you and yours! Best wishes for the coming year and may we all realize our goals.

Posted in Blogging | 6 Comments

Blog Caroling – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Posted on December 22, 2016 in Blog Caroling
With the permission of footnoteMaven

With the permission of footnoteMaven


Per Wikipedia, the words and the music of “O come, O come, Emmanuel” developed separately. The Latin text (“Veni, Veni, Emmanuel) is first documented in Germany in 1710, whereas the tune most familiar in the English-speaking world has its origins in 15th-century France. It was adapted by T. Helmore, 1811-1890 from a 1st Mode Responsory in a 15th century French Processional.

Technically, I guess this is an Advent hymn rather than a Christmas carol but I always remember singing it during the Christmas season so it means Christmas to me.

You can hear a version of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” performed by Enya at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPHh3nMMu-I.

The official Catholic version of the lyrics is below:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Translation by John Neale, 1818 – 1866, et al

O Come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Wisdom, from on high,
And order all things far and nigh;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go. Refrain

O come, o come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times did give the law,
In cloud, and majesty, and awe. Refrain

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s stem,
From ev’ry foe deliver them
That trust Thy mighty power to save,
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave. Refrain

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heav’nly home,
Make safe the way that leads on high,
That we no more have cause to sigh. Refrain

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadow put to flight. Refrain

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid every strife and quarrel cease
And fill the world with heaven’s peace. Refrain

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On Hiatus

Posted on November 30, 2016 in Blogging

Due to upcoming deadlines, visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the need to spend time with family over the holidays, my blog will be on hiatus until after the first of the year.


See you then!!!

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Mom’s Bread Filling (Family Recipe Friday)

Posted on November 23, 2016 in Family Recipes, Uncategorized
Mom's Bread Filling

Mom’s Bread Filling

This is my mother’s recipe but I believe she got it from her mother, my grandmother. The women in this family have been making this filling every Thanksgiving for several generations. My maternal line is primarily Pennsylvania German contributing many excellent family recipes to my heritage. I love it. I also use this recipe for stuffed pork chops.

Once, cooked, it can be eaten hot or cold and tastes better the next day. That is why I make it the night before Thanksgiving to allow it to season overnight in the refrigerator. Normally, I would be making this recipe tonight in anticipation of tomorrow’s dinner for the entire family, which now numbers nineteen; but, a couple of years ago, I retired from preparing this dinner and now, either eat out or go to my son’s house. I do miss this filling…

I usually used sliced white bread, which I cut into cubes to make this filling but the last few times I made it, I used the bags of bread cubes. While still tasting fine, I noticed that the ready cubes do not blend together as well as the fresh bread cubes do.

I was taught to mix the bread cubes and dressing by hand, while it was still hot. This distributes the celery, onions and butter throughout the bread cubes much more thoroughly than using a mixing spoon.

Some like the wet filling straight from the turkey, but others like their filling on the dry side (myself included), so I always made more than would fit in the turkey. The remaining filling I placed into a large open-proof ceramic bowl and baked it in the oven.

This recipe makes around 20 to 26 servings, depending upon the serving size.

Mom’s Bread Filling


Amount    Measure       Ingredient
3                 cups              butter or margarine (three sticks)
4 ½           cups               chopped celery
2 ¼           cups               finely chopped onions
27              cups               soft bread cubes (about 3 loaves of sliced bread)
4 ½           teaspoons     dried parsley
4 ½           teaspoons     salt
1 ½            teaspoons    pepper


In a large bowl, layer bread cubes, parsley, salt and pepper.

Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook celery and onion in butter, stirring occasionally, until tender; remove from heat.

Toss celery mixture and remaining ingredients in bowl. Use your hands or a large spoon. Let mixture refrigerate overnight to blend flavors.

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