52 Ancestors: #28 Helen Patchkusky Shuda (Saturday Night Fun)

Posted by: Eileen A. Souza

I decided to incorporate the challenge of Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings to “Do Some Semi-Random Research” into my 52 Ancestors posts. His challenge:

1) Go to your family tree database of choice (you know, like Roots Magic, Reunion, Ancestry Member Tree), and determine who the very first person on your list of C surnames is. Or the first person on your list of J surnames. Or P surnames. Or any other name you need to research. Your choice!

Using my Family Tree Maker Index, the first person on my list of “P” surnames is Helen P. I do not know her surname so I do not have any information on her parents.

2) What do you know (or not know) about this person based on your research? It’s OK to do more research if you need to – in fact, it’s encouraged!

I obtained her name as Helen P. from her tombstone. “P” is most likely her middle initial since the tombstone was for both she and her, husband, Enoch Shuda. According to the 1920 US census, Helen was born in Pennsylvania about 1898 (her tombstone states 1896). Her parents are both listed as Lithuanian. The 1930 US census shows her age at first marriage as 19, so she married Enoch Shuda about 1917. Helen and Enoch have three children—Amelia, Theresa, and Thomas. Helen died in 1992 at the of 96.

Eureka! Doing this semi-random research turned up an obituary for Enoch J. Shuda. He was known as Nick Shuda and was the owner and operator of the Nick Shuda Café in Locust Gap, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Locust Gap is in Mount Carmel Township. The obituary states that he married the former Helen Patchkusky of Mount Carmel on 30 November 1916 in the Church of Our Lady. It also lists all the survivors. Wow, eight grandchildren. I will be able to fill in a lot of detail for Enoch and Helen with this document.

3) How are you related to this person, and why is s/he in your family tree?

Helen is not a direct relation. She is the wife of my 2nd cousin 2x removed, Enoch Shuda.

Tombstone of Enoch J. and Helen P. Shuda, Saint Mary's Cemetery, Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania

Tombstone of Enoch J. and Helen P. Shuda, Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania


Week 28 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnston Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

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12 Responses to 52 Ancestors: #28 Helen Patchkusky Shuda (Saturday Night Fun)

  1. Frances Kerstetter says:

    If I have my info correct, Enoch would be my great uncle! My grandfather would have been his brother David.

    • Eileen A. Souza says:

      Was Bertha your grandmother? Which child of David and Bertha is your parent? According to my software, it looks like we may be 4th cousins.

      • Frances Kerstetter says:

        Yes Bertha was my grandmother and my mother was Alberta

        • Amy Milo-Thomas says:

          So glad you found the blog, Fran! Eileen, how many branches of the tree have you done? I have hit a road block on my paternal end!

          • Eileen A. Souza says:

            Amy, I am not a direct descendant of Enoch and Helen Shuda. Enoch’s grandfather married Magdalena Meisberger, who is my third great-aunt. Her older brother, Theobald Meisberger, is my 2nd great-grandfather. I have done the Meisberger’s back to 1680 in Germany. This is on my mother’s side. The other maternal lines that I have done are Strausser, Gunther, some Schuck, Noble, McGinn and Devine. My father’s side is Furlani and Bianchi. All Northumberland county.

  2. Frances Kerstetter says:

    Magdeline is my great great grandmother.. I would love more info on her! That is sooo awesome!

    • Eileen A. Souza says:

      Frances, please do a search on this blog on Meisberger. The search box is at the top of the panel on the right. I have done several posts on the Meisberger’s, including one on Magdalena.

  3. Frances Kerstetter says:

    Thank You I am new to this blog stuff! but, so far I am so excited about the info being posted.

  4. Dana says:

    What a great find! And, how neat that you were able to connect to someone who was related to your distant relative. Wonderful!

    I had a lot of fun with this challenge & had some great finds, too. http://theenthusiasticgenealogist.blogspot.com/2014/07/saturday-night-genealogy-fun-my-fathers.html

  5. Eleanor Wydra says:

    Magdelena Meisberger was my husband’s great grandmother on his Mother’s side(Monica Purcell Wydra Leach).Monica’s Mother was Mary Alice Shuda.Jim was born in Mt. Carmel,Pa.but came to South Jersey when the mines gave out.We do go back at least every other year & visit relatives & check out the cemeteries.We have been to St. Edwards Cemetery.It is on a high hill so steep I wondered if we would make it up there.Mary Magdelena Meisberger Shuda & Enoch Shuda are buried in St. Marys Cemetery in Beaverdale.Mary Magdelena was born in Germany-10-24-1847-8-25-1913& Enoch…11-7-1840-3-23-1910.Would like to connect with other relatives.
    I have info on Monica’s family& her brothers&sisters.
    Eleanor Wydra

    • Eileen A. Souza says:

      Based on your information, your husband would be my 3rd cousin once removed. I have Magdalena’s birth certificate from Germany and it states that she was born on November 7, 1847 in Steinbach, Rhenish Prussia (Steinbach is now a suburb of Ottweiler, Germany). I have a couple of other blog posts for Shuda and Meisberger–just search my blog.

      • Frances Kerstetter says:

        Oh my goodness! Where on earth did you find a copy of her birth certificate? Maybe you could share where i can also get a copy i would treasure it!
        I have a copy of her death certificate and would love to be able to put both together. Thank you

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