Funeral Card Friday – Joan C. Sipes (1941 – 2013)

Posted on November 17, 2017 in Funeral Card Friday

I received this funeral card from my friend and fellow genealogical society member, Ann Parry Horvath, and I am posting it here with her permission. The images displayed in this post are from a non-Catholic funeral card, issued by the funeral home.

In this instance the card is in the form of a small booklet, with a peaceful bucolic scene very representative of Carroll County, Maryland on the outside and inside on the left we read a wonderful parable, while on the right we are given Joan’s date of birth with location, date of death with location, the scheduled funeral services and the place of interment. No funeral home is identified on this card.



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Funeral Card Friday – William Condy Furlani (1912 – 1989)

Posted on November 10, 2017 in Funeral Card Friday

I received this funeral card when I attended the funeral of my father, William C. Furlani. His death certificate records his death date as 26 October 1989 at age 77.  Cavanagh Family Funeral Home in Norwood, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, provided several different images for the funeral cards of William. I chose this one, of St. Francis of Assisi, as it reminded me so much of my father’s nature.

William was born in Mt. Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania on 9 April 1912, son of Candido Furlani and Anna Bianchi Furlani. He is buried in SS Peter and Paul RC cemetery in Springfield, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He received a Purple Heart for his US Army service in WWII. He was a teacher and taught 6th grade at Leedom Elementary School in Delaware County. He retired in 1977 after 45 years of service.

Please view the following posts for some of my memories of my father:

52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #22 William C. Furlani (1912 – 1989) – Commencements
52 Ancestors: #51 William Condy Furlani – Days of Christmas Past
Military Monday – A Search for WWII Service Records
(Not So) Wordless Wednesday – Mom & Dad on a Date?




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Funeral Card Friday – Nimrod Davis, Jr. (1925 – 2017)

Posted on November 3, 2017 in Funeral Card Friday

I received this funeral card from my friend and fellow genealogical society member, Ann Parry Horvath, and I am posting it here with her permission. The images of displayed in this post are from a non-Catholic funeral card, issued by the funeral home. The card provides Nimrod’s date of birth and date of death, a prayer and funeral home information, which may assist in tracking down the burial location.

The image is patriotic, and I think it is beautiful. Whoever selected it had excellent taste. Nimrod died on Lincoln’s birthday. I wonder if that influenced the choice of the funeral card image?

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The Transitive Vampire

Posted on October 31, 2017 in Style Guides, Writing Tips

For my annual Halloween post, I want to discuss a little book that I came across the other day when I was trying to find more space on a bookshelf. It sat snuggly between the Chicago Manual of Style and Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. The book is titled The Transitive Vampire: A Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed by Karen Elizabeth Gordon. What does this have to do with genealogy? Well, as genealogists, we do a lot of writing. I really love this book!!!

Karen Elizabeth Gordon is no ordinary grammarian, and her works, including The Well-Tempered Sentence and the Disheveled Dictionary (both of which I own) –are no commonplace style books. The Transitive Vampire is inhabited by a motley cast of gargoyles, werewolves, nymphs, fauns, debutantes, mastodons, and, yes, vampires, who frolic and assemble to illustrate basic principles of grammar. The sentences are fascinating “The Styrian String Quartet is a four-headed monster of catgut and mediocrity that shouldn’t be let out of its cage.”–but the rules and their explanations are as thorough as any you might find in Strunk and White.

The Transitive Vampire breathes new life into our old grammatical demons. In the words of Gordon’s introduction,

“Before I leave you in the embrace of the transitive vampire, I should introduce him to you…

…He had become one of night’s creatures, with a grammar he had received from the great and jagged unknown.”

Gordon’s language books are not complete references on the English language; there are far more comprehensive guides than these. The real value of Gordon’s book is that it makes you actually want to read through it like a fiction novel, and the grammar lessons are absorbed along the way.

Gordon published her original Transitive Vampire in 1984. This is the edition that I own. The newer edition, The Deluxe Transitive Vampire, published in 1993 is available on Amazon; as are the latest editions of her other grammar books, The New Well-Tempered Sentence and, The Disheveled Dictionary.

Full Disclosure: I am not an employee or affiliate of any bookseller or publisher. No one paid me to publish this information. Did I say I love this book?


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Funeral Card Friday – A Little Bit About Funeral Cards

Posted on October 27, 2017 in Funeral Card Friday

A Catholic funeral card

A non-Catholic funeral card









I recently posted some of my funeral cards using the GenealBloggersTRIBE blogging prompt of Funeral Card Friday, and Janice Webster Brown of the Cow Hampshire Blog asked the question, “Do you, or anyone else, know of anyone other than Catholic families using funeral cards?” I decided to do some research into the history and usage of these little known genealogical resources to answer this question.

Funeral cards are also known as memorial, remembrance, mass or mourning cards. Their use may have begun in the 18th Century, initially by the Catholic church, who began issuing holy cards. Eventually a subset of the holy cards was used specifically for funerals. Apparently, Protestants eventually adopted this custom of issuing funeral cards. In earlier times, they were used to inform friends and relatives about the upcoming funeral services. I read that it was a social faux pas to not show at the service if you received one of these cards. Now they are primarily used as remembrances. The histories of funeral cards that I found had no sources, so this is all very speculative.

I can attest that non-Catholics do use them. A member of the Carroll County Genealogical Society and friend of mine, Ann Parry Horvath, a non-Catholic, shared with me some of her funeral cards to use in my posts. Some have a prayer or quote, and some have services, officiating and final resting place. Two of the cards are folded (like a thank you note) and have the prayer or quote on one side and the services on the other. All have birth and death dates. The images varied (secular, religious, patriotic, etc.) as the individual purchasing the cards could select the style, image, and content. All have the name of the funeral home except for one of the folded cards.

In contrast, all the funeral cards I own as a Catholic, have holy card images and the back usually has the date of death and a prayer. Some had a date of burial, but only one has a date of birth. All have the name of the funeral home. Providing a funeral card is optional since it is an additional cost, but I have obtained one at every funeral I have attended.

Funeral cards can provide genealogical information, particularly if you cannot find a death certificate or obituary. If you are lucky to get one that provides the services, you may find the burial location of your ancestor.

Do you use funeral cards as a genealogical resource?




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Funeral Card Friday – Dorothy A. Noble (1913 – 1982)

Posted on October 20, 2017 in Funeral Card Friday

I received this funeral card when I attended the funeral of my paternal aunt, Dorothy A. Furlani. I do not have a death certificate for Aunt Dot, as we called her; but, if I remember correctly, she died of lung cancer. She was a heavy smoker and was only 69 when she died. She is buried in St. Peter’s cemetery (Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania) in the Furlani family plot.

Aunt Dot never married but did have long-term partnerships. My sister and I loved spending some vacation time with her in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania as she took us to many neat places and events. We have some great memories and miss her.


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Funeral Card Friday – Lorraine A. Noble (1897 – 1977)

Posted on October 13, 2017 in Funeral Card Friday

I received this funeral card when I attended the funeral of my maternal grandmother, Lorraine Gunther Noble. She had broken her arm and was hospitalized for several days due to her age. The doctor had her transferred to a nursing home upon her release from the hospital. He did not want her to go home and overdo it. My mother visited her in the home and said my grandmother was doing fine. Within the  next couple of days she was dead. She died on 21 March 1977. Her death certificate states that death was due to cardiac arrest caused by coronary artery disease. She is buried in St. Dominic’s Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.


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Treasure Chest Thursday – Souvenir Booklet St. Edward’s Church 1897

Posted on October 5, 2017 in Treasure Chest Thursday

My treasure for this Thursday Tuesday is a souvenir booklet published in 1897 by St. Edward’s RC Church in Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. It is a treasure to me since I found that my 2nd great grandfather, Theobald Meisberger, was one of the original members and he is mentioned in the booklet.

The booklet is about 64 pages and includes 24 pages of ads, 13 pages of history, and 27 full page photos of the church, schools, rectory, priest, sisters, convent, altar boys, and classes of boys and girls from kindergarten through 4th grade.

Partial pages 6 & 7 extracted from the Souvenir Booklet St Edwards Church 1897

Partial pages 6 & 7 extracted from the Souvenir Booklet St Edwards Church 1897


The information I have extracted from this record includes the following:

“Only a few are left of the old pioneers who welcomed Father Koch when he came to Shamokin in September 1866, and who did so nobly and contributed so liberally to all the improvements of St. Edward. Those living at the present time and who are still found in the books of the church as yearly contributors are Phillip Barnett, Patrick Burke, Thomas Brown, Matthew Buckley, William Coulston, Bartholomew Dane, Edward Duggan, William Burns, John Burns, Michael Flaherty, John H. Gable, Thomas Gillespie, Anthony G. Gillespie, Mrs. M. Ludes, Martin Hayley, Mrs. Henes, Patrick Kearins, Patrick Kennedy, William Kelly, Robert Lowrey, Mrs. Isaac May, Sr., Theobald Meisberger, Daniel Musseleck, Richard Nagle, Patrick Quinn, Edmund Roche, Peter Reagan, John Ringenary, John Scholtes, Jacob Shields, Nicolas Slater, John W. Taylor, Lewis Welter. Hundreds of others are now resting in peace in St. Edward’s Cemetery, whilst their children, at least the great majority of them, are walking in their footsteps and taking good care of the inheritage left to them by their fathers …”

The digital copy that I have of this booklet was provided to me by John Haile of Shamokin, PA from his collection. John also compiled and published the cemetery books for St. Edward and St. Stanislaus Catholic cemeteries.
St. Edward’s Catholic Church was the first church in the United States to have electric lighting. Founded in 1866, St. Edward’s Church was closed in 1995.

Theobald C. Meisberger was born 25 December 1837 in Steinbach, Rhenish Prussia, which is now modern Ottweiler, Neunkirchen, Saarland, Germany. He immigrated to the United States with his parents and siblings in either 1854 or 1855. No passenger list has been found that confirms these dates.

On 15 April 1860, he married Mary Catherine Strausser (b. 29 December 1842, d. 25 September 1897), daughter of Peter and Sarah Mumma Strausser. They had nine children: Eva Meisberger Gunther, my great grandmother (b. 6 April 1861, d.4 February 1941); John A. Meisberger (b. 28 August 1862, d. 31 March 1936); Emily Margaret Meisberger Madara (b. 21 January 1864, d. 14 February 1928); Sara M. Meisberger Depner (b. 28 February 1866, d. 12 April 1948); Clara Joan Meisberger (b. 15 December 1867, d. 1871); William T. Meisberger (b. 12 November 1869, d. 2 March 1929); Johanna Meisberger Burns (b. 12 July 1871, d. 25 September 1957); Clara Elizabeth Meisberger (b. 4 September 1873, d. 27 April 1876); David Theodore Meisberger (b. 7 July 1886, d. 27 May 1955).

Theobald C. Meisberger died 13 June 1900, three years after the publication of this booklet; and he is buried in St. Edward’s Cemetery in Shamokin.

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Society Saturday – Genealogical Resources at the New Windsor Heritage Museum

Posted on September 30, 2017 in Society Saturday

Logo of the Carroll County Genealogical SocietyThe Carroll County Genealogical Society’s upcoming meeting on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 7:00 PM* features Frank Batavick. Frank Batavick is a retired television writer/producer/director with over 40 years of experience. He has worked on a wide range of live and recorded programs, from documentaries to talk shows. Until June 2008 he was employed by Films Media Group (FMG), Hamilton, NJ as its Chief Content Officer and Vice President. FMG is the largest provider of videos to schools, colleges, universities, and libraries in North America and is best known for its Films for the Humanities & Sciences imprint.

He will be presenting Genealogical Resources at the New Windsor Heritage Museum. His presentation will present information on the Louis H. Dielman room in the New Windsor Heritage museum at 207 Main Street, next to the bank, which has a variety of treasures for those seeking to do genealogical research.

Meetings of the Carroll County Genealogical Society (CCGS) are usually held the third Monday of each month, March through May and September through November, at 7:00 p.m. in the Dixon Room, Westminster Library at 50 East Main Street, Westminster.

*Refreshments are available at 7:00 p.m. and the meetings are free and open to the public.

Please come to our meeting and bring a friend. You will meet other folks interested in family research and genealogy and enjoy delightful talks that may help you in your own research. I look forward to seeing new faces!

You can also come early and take advantage of our large collection of books and other materials housed at the Westminster Branch of the CCPL. On Thursday afternoons, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., one or more society volunteers will be on hand to assist researchers. Of course, this collection is available to all anytime the library is open.

The CCGS Genealogy Section at the Westminster Branch Library. Photo by Eileen Souza

The CCGS Genealogy Section at the Westminster Branch Library. Photo by Eileen Souza

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Treasure Chest Tuesday – 1936 Death Record for Thomas Noble (1882 – 1936)

Posted on September 19, 2017 in Treasure Chest Tuesday

My treasure for this Tuesday is the 1936 death certificate for Thomas Noble that was found in the database, “Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964” at Ancestry.

The information I have extracted from this record includes the following:

  • Place of Death: City of Philadelphia, County of Philadelphia
  • Full Name: Thomas Noble
  • Residence: 832 W. 5th St., Mt. Carmel, Pa. Sex: Male
  • Color or Race: W.
  • Single, Married, Widowed or Divorced: Single
  • Date of Birth: Mar. 16, 1886
  • Age: 50 years, 7 months
  • Occupation: Miner + Steam Fitter
  • Birthplace: Mt. Carmel, Pa.
  • Name of Father: Thomas Noble
  • Birthplace of Father: England
    Maiden Name of Mother: Margaret McGinn
  • Birthplace of Mother: Pa.
    Informant: Edw. Noble, Mt. Carmel, Pa.
  • Date of Death: Sept. 13th 1936
  • Cause of Death: Generalized Miliary Tuberculosis
  • Contributory: Tuberculosis Peritonitis preceded by surgery on Sept. 2, ‘36 (Autopsy was performed)
  • Attending Physician: T A Shallow per J A McCormick, Jeff. Hosp.
  • Place of Burial, Cremation or Removal: Mt. Carmel, Pa. Sept. 15 1936
  • Undertaker: H B Mulligan Inc, 1119 W. Lehigh Ave

The source citation for this record is:

State of Pennsylvania, Certificate of Death, State File No. 81970, Thomas Noble, 13 September 1936; ” Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964,” digital image, ( : accessed 25 November 2014); citing Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Thomas Noble is the son of Thomas Noble and Margaret (McGinn) Noble. He was born in Locust Gap, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Locust Gap outside of Mt. Carmel. According to the baptismal record from Saint Joseph RC Church, Thomas was born 16 March 1882 and baptized 2 April 1882, so the death certificate has an incorrect year of birth for Thomas.

Thomas is my great uncle. Since Thomas never married, I don’t have much information him. In the 1930 US census, he was still living in Mt. Carmel Twp., Northumberland Co. with his parents. He was listed as 46 years old, single and a pipe fitter in the coal mines.

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