52 Ancestors: Three Brothers from the Tyrol, a Family Legend

Posted on August 15, 2018 in #52Ancestors

I remembered reading about the myths and legends that exist in genealogy, and it reminded me of the story of the three brothers. There is common folklore that tells of three brothers who emigrated from the Old Country. One stayed in the New World base, where they landed, one went west, and the other south. The brothers, of course, usually did no such thing, if the individuals even existed at all.

And then it hit me! I have a “three brothers’ story.” Giovanni Battista Furlani, born 8 Feb 1858 and Maria Dallabrida, born 1 Aug 1858, were married about 1882 and had three sons. All of this occurred in Vigolo Vattaro, Trentino-South Tyrol, Italy.

The Church of Saint George or Chiesa San Giorgio in Vigolo Vattaro

The Church of Saint George or Chiesa San Giorgio in Vigolo Vattaro


According to baptismal records, the first son, Giovanni Valentino Furlani, was born 18 Feb 1884; the second son, Guglielmo Giulo Furlani, was born 12 Mar 1886; and the third son, my grandfather, Candido Luigi Furlani, was born 26 Mar 1888.

The Family Story

My father’s namesake, Guglielmo [William], supposedly arrived in New York, with his two brothers. He then went to South America, either directly from New York or Mount Carmel, PA and was never heard from again. My father seems to think he stayed in New York for several months and then went to South America.

The Reality

Guglielmo left Antwerp on 14 May 1907, arriving in New York. His brothers did not travel with him. Candido arrived next, leaving the Havre, 28 Nov 1907 and arriving in New York 2 Dec 1907. I have a copy of a postcard dated 30 Dec [no year] sent from Vigolo Vattaro to Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania addressed to Guglielmo with a greeting of “Dear nephews.” Because it said nephews, plural, I believe it arrived 30 Dec 1907, 1908 or 1909, when both men were still living in Mount Carmel.

The 1910 US census finds Guglielmo in a coal mining camp in Tercio, Las Animas County, Colorado with other men who had emigrated from Vigolo Vattaro. So, this brother went west. He may then have gone south to South America because he does not appear in any later US censuses. I have been unable to find him in South America.

Candido marries Anna Bianchi, my grandmother, 20 Sep 1911 and they remain in Mount Carmel until their deaths. Candido was a coal miner. They had three children, my father being the eldest.

Giovanni arrives in New York 20 Oct 1912, departing Southampton, England. His WWI Draft registration lists him living in Mount Carmel on 12 Sep 1918. I never found him in the 1920 US census but, in the 1930 US census, he is a coal miner in West Virginia, which is toward the west. He remains there the rest of his life until his death in 1963.

About fifty residents of Vigolo Vattaro, Tyrol, which before 1919 was part of the Austrian Empire, immigrated to the US from about 1880 through 1915 and settled in Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania to mine for anthracite coal. In 1919, after the end of WWI, the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye divided the Tyrol, with North and East Tyrol belonging to Austria and the region of Trentino-South Tyrol being absorbed into Italy eventually becoming the province of Trentino. One map of Italy names this province as Trentino-Alto Adige, while Wikipedia states that it is officially the Autonomous Province of Trento.


The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, initiated by Amy Johnson Crow, is a series of weekly prompts to get you to think about an ancestor and share something about them. The prompt takes care of the guesswork of “who I should write about.” This week’s theme is Family Legend.

Posted in #52Ancestors | 5 Comments

52 Ancestors: Identifying My Oldest Photo

Posted on August 14, 2018 in #52Ancestors

For this week’s theme “oldest,” I am featuring my oldest photograph. The photo was included in the box of photos that my sisters and I inherited from our parents. This photograph was taken by a professional photographer named M. Thomas in Shamokin, Pa. (Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania). Initially, this is all that I knew about it.

Andrew Gunther and Eva Meisberger photo by M. Thomas, Shamokin, Pa., ca. 1884. Original photo in possession of the author.

First, I researched the photographer. Myron Thomas founded the Thomas Studio in 1878 in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. Therefore, this photo is more recent than 1878. M. Thomas is nationally known as the photographer who took Thomas Edison’s favorite photo. Please see my post “M. Thomas, Photographer of Thomas Edison’s Favorite Photo.”

A family photo given to me by a cousin includes both Eva Meisberger and Andrew Gunther, my great-grandparents. Eva strongly resembles the young woman in this photo, as does Andrew look like the young man.

My great-grandfather, Andrew Gunther, arrived in America on 2 June 1881. Mary Eva Ann Meisberger (b. 1861, Northumberland County, PA; d. 1941, Northumberland County, PA), who sometimes went by Mary but mostly by Eva, married Andrew [Andreas] C. Gunther (b. 1858, Germany; d. 1931, Northumberland County, PA) in Shamokin, Northumberland County, PA on 11 Feb 1884 at St. Edwards RC Church. Their first child was born 23 December 1884. I began to suspect that this was a photo of Eva Meisberger and Andrew Gunther, possibly taken on their marriage.

I had a session with a photo identification expert about this photo. Based on the style of the suit worn by the male, this photo, taken by M. Thomas, has been dated to the early 1880s, which fits the period of Andrew’s immigration and his marriage to Eva. The man is also wearing very stylish shoes of patent leather and regular leather with buttons. The dress worn by the woman is a functional dress with large pockets to carry items. My experience has been that, particularly in this period, people dressed in their best for a photo taken in a studio. Since the dress has ruffles, it could be her best dress.

This photo may have been taken either at their engagement or to commemorate their wedding in 1884. According to the photo expert, this photo was probably not taken on the actual day of the wedding. My pure speculation but, maybe the photo, which was comparatively expensive in those days, was a gift from Eva’s father.


The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, initiated by Amy Johnson Crow, is a series of weekly prompts to get you to think about an ancestor and share something about them. The prompt takes care of the guesswork of “who I should write about.” This week’s theme is Oldest.

Posted in #52Ancestors | 4 Comments

Genealogy Mysteries 2018 – What’s New? Part 2

Posted on July 24, 2018 in Genealogy Mysteries


From acclaimed author Steve Robinson comes a thrilling new Jefferson Tayte mystery.

When genealogist Jefferson Tayte is hired to prove the identity of a black sheep in his client’s family tree, he unwillingly finds himself drawn into a murder investigation with nothing more to go on than a 150-year-old letter and a connection to a legendary ruby that has been missing for generations.

As more letters are mysteriously left for him, Tayte becomes immersed in a centuries-old tale of greed, murder and forbidden love that takes his research from the wilds of the Scottish Highlands to the colour and heat of colonial India.

A dark secret is buried in Jaipur, steeped in treachery and scandal. But why is it having such deadly repercussions in the present? Can Tayte find the ruby and prevent the past from repeating itself before it’s too late?

Letters from the Dead is the seventh book in the Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery series, but it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story. K, KU, PB, CD NEW

Disclosure: I received a pre-release copy of this book to review and I have included that review here.

Steve Robinson is a gifted author who knows his narratives: setting, characters, plot, conflict, and resolution. I have read all his books, and he keeps getting better and better! I found myself literally holding my breath as each mystery unfolded, and genealogist, Jefferson Tayte, uncovered the clues. As a genealogist myself, one of my favorite aspects of these novels is the insight we receive on research methodology and sources.

Steve Robinson is always a must-read author. I thoroughly enjoyed Letters from the Dead and could not put it down!

The Latest Discoveries and Other New Releases

Since initial posts on this topic over the years, I have been accumulating and reading new books, authors, and series in this sub-genre, which is really taking off. For those of you who also enjoy genealogy and reading mysteries, this is my comprehensive list of all genealogy mysteries that I have discovered to date and contains any new books I have discovered since I published my last post in February 2018. Be sure to check the complete list for books marked NEW, which are new to this list since the last time I published it. I also received a reader’s request to show availability of Kindle Unlimited. I now show all the formats available on Amazon for these books.

Key to the new reading formats:

  • K Kindle
  • KU Kindle Unlimited
  • HB Hardback
  • PB Paperback
  • AD Audible
  • CD MP3 Format/Audio CD

Just finished reading first book of a new series, The Sarah Connection: A Leah McFarland Genealogy Conundrum, featuring Leah McFarland, a genealogy hobbyist. The series is written by R. L. Couch. K, KU, PB NEW

In Breadcrumbs and Bombs: A Tangled Roots Historical Mystery by Susan Finley, a young American, Lucas Landry, traces his ancestry, using breadcrumbs found in the old WW2 diaries of two German girls in Germany and the Sudetenland. The story is about secrets, lies, prejudice, betrayal, guilt, love, genealogy, and what it means to be a family. K, KU, PB NEW

A standalone historical family mystery by James Pattinson (1915-2009), The Unknown, begins with an old photograph of a girl who mysteriously disappeared without a trace one day. The mystery should have been left alone but George could not stop himself. Published posthumously September 7, 2017. K, KU, PB NEW

In When Beggars Dye, Peter Hey introduces us to Jane Madden, an ex-police detective trying to build a new life after illness and divorce. Jane is commissioned to unearth the story behind an ancestral mystery. Her search becomes a story of abandonment, obsession, one-sided love and the nature of inheritance. This book was an excellent read and I hope it becomes a series, featuring Jane. K, KU, PB NEW

A Genealogical Mystery (part of the Imp Mysteries) series by Richard Davidson, features Debbie and Jeremy Hadley, young private detectives, who use their business resources to solve family mysteries. The “Imp Mysteries” are not all genealogy mysteries. I am highlighting the two that I found: Impostor ( 2016) – K, KU, PB NEW and Impending (2017) – K, KU, PB NEW

And for fans of the Torie O’Shea mysteries by Rett MacPherson, I have some good news. The long awaited 12th book in this series, Bad to the Bones, was released May 24, 2018. K, PB NEW

In case you missed any, following is the complete list of all genealogy mysteries that I’ve found to-date.

Series Family History Mysteries

The Jefferson Tayte mysteries by Steve Robinson feature a professional genealogist who ferrets out family secrets and old mysteries using genealogy research primarily in the UK. Highly recommended.

  • In the Blood (2011) – K, KU, PB, AD, CD
  • To the Grave (2012) – K, KU, PB, AD, CD
  • The Last Queen of England (2012) – K, KU, PB, AD, CD
  • The Lost Empress (2014) – K, KU, PB, AD, CD
  • Kindred (2016) – K, KU, PB, AD, CD
  • Dying Games (May 4, 2017) – K, KU, PB, AD, CD
  • Letters from the Dead (August 14, 2018) – K, KU, PB, CD NEW

Victory (Torie) O’Shea, a genealogist in New Kassel, Missouri, is ably portrayed in a series by Rett MacPherson. Now all available in Kindle editions. Highly Recommended.

  • Family Skeletons (2014) – K, HB, PB
  • A Veiled Antiquity (2013) – K, HB, PB
  • A Comedy of Heirs (2014) – K, HB, PB
  • A Misty Mourning (2000) – K, HB, PB
  • Killing Cousins (2002) – K, HB, PB
  • Blood Relations (2014) – K, HB, PB
  • In Sheep’s Clothing (2014) – K, HB, PB
  • Thicker Than Water (2005) – K, HB, PB
  • Dead Man Running (2006) – K, HB, PB
  • Died in the Wool (2014) – K, HB, PB
  • The Blood Ballad (2014) – K, HB, PB
  • Bad to the Bones (2018) – K, PB NEW

In the Morton Farrier, Forensic Genealogist series by Nathan Dylan Goodwin, we discover a stubborn, determined man who uses whatever means necessary to uncover the past. Highly recommended.

  • Hiding the Past (2013) – K, KU, PB, AD
  • The Lost Ancestor (2014) – K, KU, PB
  • The Orange Lilies: A Morton Farrier novella (2014) – K, KU, PB
  • The America Ground (2015) – K, KU, PB
  • The Spyglass File (2016) – K, KU, PB, AD
  • The Missing Man: A Morton Farrier novella (2017) – K, KU, PB
  • The Suffragette’s Secret: A Morton Farrier short story (2017) – K, KU
  • The Wicked Trade (February 7, 2018) – K, KU, PB

The Museum Mysteries by Sheila Connolly star Nell Pratt, president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society (think Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia) who spends much of her time solving murders through research in their collections. These books are fascinating for their mysteries, their history, and our glimpses into the lives of the archivists. Highly recommended.

  • Fundraising the Dead (2010) – K, HB, PB, AD, CD
  • Let’s Play Dead (2011) – K, HB, PB, AD, CD
  • Fire Engine Dead (2012) – K, PB, AD, CD
  • Monument to the Dead (2013) – K, PB, AD, CD
  • Razing the Dead (2014) – K, PB, AD, CD
  • Privy to the Dead (2015) – K, HB, PB, AD, CD
  • Dead End Street (2016) – K, PB, AD

These books by John Nixon star family historian, Madeleine Porter. While not mysteries as we think of them, they take us through the experiences of our amateur “detectives” unraveling the “mysteries” that surround them. Recommended.

  • Family Shadows (2014) – K, KU
  • The Cuckoo Clock (2014) – K, KU, PB
  • Stolen Futures (2014) – K, KU
  • Another Summer (2014) – K, KU
  • The Cost of Silence (2015) – K, KU
  • Unearthed (2017) – K, KU
  • The Dancer (2018) – K, KU NEW

The Nigel Barnes series by Dan Waddell concerns a professional genealogist who assists the police, mainly Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster in London, England. These books are now being released in the Kindle format.

  • The Blood Detective (2017) – K, KU, HB, PB, AD, CD
  • Blood Atonement (2017) – K, KU, HB, PB, AD
  • Blood Underground – Short Story (2017) – K, KU
  • Blood Reckoning (2018) – K, KU, PB NEW

The Lottie Albright series by Charlotte Hinger features a historian and editor for the county historical society in a small town in Western Kansas.

  • Deadly Descent (2009) – K, PB, HB, AD, CD
  • Lethal Lineage (2011) – K, PB, HB, AD, CD
  • Hidden Heritage (2013) – K, PB, HB, AD
  • Fractured Families (2017) – K, PB, HB NEW

Esme Quentin solves mysteries using genealogy in the West Midlands and in Devon in the books by Wendy Percival.

  • Blood-Tied (2013) – K, HB, PB
  • The Indelible Stain (2014) – K, PB
  • Death of a Cuckoo: An Esme Quentin Short Read (2017) – K, PB
  • The Malice of Angels (2018) – K, PB NEW

Geraldine Wall writes about probate researcher Anna Ames in this trilogy. These are mystery thrillers and we are drawn in to Anna’s family, life and work.

  • File Under Fear (2014) – K, KU
  • File Under Family (2014) – K, KU, PB
  • File Under Fidelity (2015) – K, KU, PB
  • File Under Fathers (2017) – K, KU NEW

Another series by Karin Kaufman features a family tree full of witches, some ghosts, and the occult, with Anna Denning, a professional genealogist determined to find the truth.

  • The Witch Tree (2011) – K, KU, AD
  • Sparrow House (2012) – K, KU, AD
  • The Sacrifice (2014) – K, KU, AD
  • The Club (2015) – K, KU, AD
  • Bitter Roots (2017) – K, KU NEW

A Genealogical Mystery (part of Imp Mysteries) series by Richard Davidson, features Debbie and Jeremy Hadley, young private detectives, who use their business resources to solve family mysteries.

  • Impostor (2016) – K, KU, PB NEW
  • Impending (2017) – K, KU, PB NEW

The Enid Gilchrist Mysteries by Sylvia A. Nash (2014) are cozy genealogy murder mysteries set in West Tennessee. I was happy to see a new book from this author.

  • Benjamin’s Ghosts (2014) – K, KU, PB
  • Mama’s Secret (2018) – K, KU, PB NEW

Natasha Blake, a genealogist in the Cotswolds in England appears in the series by Fiona Mountain.

  • Pale as the Dead (2004) – K, PB, HB, CD
  • Bloodline (2015) – K, PB, HB

Fay Sampson is the author of the Suzie Fewings books a series about a genealogist discovering interesting secrets in her family history in England.

  • In the Blood (2009) – HB, PB
  • Malignant House (2010) – HB, PB
  • Those in Peril (2010) – HB, PB
  • Father Unknown (2011) – K, HB, PB
  • The Overlooker (2012) – K, HB
  • Beneath the Soil (2014) – K, HB

The Family Tree mysteries by Patricia Sprinkle feature Katherine Murray as an amateur genealogist who finds strange events in the past.

  • Death on the Family Tree (2007) – K, HB, PB
  • Sins of the Fathers (2007) – K, HB, PB
  • Daughter of Deceit (2008) – K, HB, PB

Mort Sinclair, a respected genealogist and lawyer on Fogge Island off the New England coast, stars in a series by Gene Stratton. Gene Stratton, a much-traveled former CIA case officer, is a well-known genealogist who has had two prior books published: Plymouth Colony and Applied Genealogy.

  • Killing Cousins (1999) – HB
  • Cornish Conundrum (2000) – K, PB

The Danny O’Flaherty series by Jonathan Harrington stars an American teacher researching his family’s roots in Ireland and New York City.

  • The Death of Cousin Rose (1996) – PB, HB
  • The Second Sorrowful Mystery (1999) – PB, HB
  • A Great Day for Dying (2001) – PB, HB

Patrick Day’s series starring Anna Fitzgerald, a career detective with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Division, who becomes entangled with genealogy to trace old coins in this first book of the series.

  • Murders and Genealogy in Hennepin County (2012) – K, PB

Simon Shaw, professor of history and “forensic historian” in Raleigh, North Carolina, in a series by Sarah R. Shaber, uses his expertise in historical and genealogical research to help solve murders that have their roots in the past.

  • Simon Said (1997) – K, HB, PB
  • Snipe Hunt (2000) – K, HB, PB
  • The Fugitive King (2002) – K, KU, HB, PB
  • The Bug Funeral (2004) – K, KU, HB, PB
  • Shell Game (2007) – K, PB

The Alex & Briggie mysteries by G. G. Vandagriff, team up a spunky young widow and her rifle-toting grandmother, who run a genealogy research business called RootSearch, Inc. that seems to specialize in solving murders.

Cankered Roots (2011) – K, PB
Of Deadly Descent (2011) – K, PB, CD
Tangled Roots (2011) – K, PB
Poisoned Pedigree (2012) – K, PB
The Hidden Branch (2011) – K, PB

In the Family History Mysteries by Brynn Bonner, genealogist Sophreena McClure is an expert at unearthing other people’s secrets. Using old documents and photographs, Soph and her business partner, Esme Sabatier—also a gifted medium—trace family histories and create heritage scrapbooks.

  • Paging the Dead (2013) – K, PB
  • Death in Reel Time (2014) – K, PB
  • Picture Them Dead (2015) – K, PB
  • Dead in a Flash (2016) – K, PB

This is a supernatural genealogy detective series called Maze Investigations by M.K. Jones featuring Maggie Gilbert. Set in Newport, South Wales, the books draw on real historical details.

  • Three Times Removed (2015) – K, KU, PB
  • Line of Descent (2017) – K, KU, PB

If you like your genealogy mysteries with a little humor, see the series starring Ben Bones, Genealogical Consultant and self-described Articulator of Family Skeletons written by Michael Havelin.

  • Ben Bones and The Galleon of Gold (2013) – K, PB
  • Ben Bones and the Search for Paneta’s Crown (2012) – K, PB
  • Ben Bones and the Deadly Descendants (2013) – K, PB
  • Ben Bones and the Conventional Murders (2015) – K, KU, PB

In the series by Cynthia Raleigh, we follow travel nurse and amateur genealogist, Perri Seamore, as she researches her family and solves murders.

  • Poison Branches (2016) – K, PB
  • Buried Roots (2016) – K, PB
  • Drawing on the Past (2017) – K, PB

The Jayne Sinclair series by M J Lee stars a former police detective turned genealogical investigator. This interesting series takes us first through the Easter Uprising of 2016 and Ireland’s War of Independence, followed by the trenches of World War I in the Battle of the Somme and other historical events.

  • The Irish Inheritance (2016) – K, KU, PB, AD
  • The Somme Legacy (2017) – K, KU, PB
  • The American Candidate (2017) – K, KU, PB
  • The Vanished Child (2018) – K, KU, PB

A new entry in the genealogy mysteries sub-genre is a new series featuring Janie Riley, written by Lorine Schulze. Prior to entering the fiction world, Lorine authored many non-fiction genealogy books designed for improving your genealogy skills.

  • Death Finds a Way (2016) – K, PB

This series is written by Gerelyn Hollingsworth and features Janet Burney, a retired private investigator and amateur genealogist. The books are novellas and can also be read for free if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

  • Death of a Headmistress (2012) – K, KU
  • Separated at Birth (2012) – K, KU

Another recent find stars historian Rob Tyler in the Wynderbury Mysteries series authored by Victoria Prescott.

  • The Plantagenet Mystery (2014) – K, KU
  • The Hawthorne Villa Secret (2016) – K, KU

Thomas McKerley and Ingrid Schippers, in their first genealogy mystery, Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat (2012), introduce Cathy Macpherson, who uncovers her own and her husband’s past.

  • Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat (2012) – K, KU, PB
  • Bloodlines – Traces (2016) – K, KU, PB

The Nick Herald series by Jimmy Fox features a professional genealogist in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Deadly Pedigree (2001) – K, KU, PB
  • Lineages and Lies (2002) – K, KU, HB, PB
  • Jackpot Blood (2014) – K, KU, HB, PB

The Demary Jones series by E. L. Larkin (deceased) is set in Seattle, Washington, with Demary as the owner of Confidential Research, specializing in genealogy and historical research.

  • Hear My Cry (1997) – HB
  • Hear Me Die (1998) – PB
  • Die and Die (1998) – PB
  • Dead Men Die (1999) – HB, PB
  • The Swallow Murders (1999) – HB
  • Die in Texas (2002) – HB

Non-Series Family History Mysteries

The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molineux (2013) stars Peter Sefton, amateur family historian. Not quite a mystery but certainly a detective story. K, KU, PB

In Silent Legacy: Discovering Family Secrets by Diana Church (2014) some German immigration history with new finds from a research trip helps Ellen O’Donnell solve a long-standing family mystery. K, KU, PB

In Finding Eliza by Stephanie Pitcher Fishman (2014), an old diary leads Lizzie Clydell down a dusty road of lies, hidden family secrets, and a lynching that nearly destroyed her family. I loved the quote “It’s just a little family history. What could go wrong?” K, PB

Where’s Merrill? a genealogical thriller by Gearoid O’Neary (2013) is based upon real life historical events. The story unravels as Irish genealogist, Jed, researches his client’s mysterious maternal ancestry. K, PB

In the Tainted Tree by Jacquelynn Luben (2013), Addie Russell inherits a house in Surrey and begins researching her English family Her research takes her back three generations to the First World War. K

A century-old key may unlock the ancestral secrets of four families in The Fourth Descendant by Allison Maruska (2015).  K, KU, PB, AD

NOTE  While there is a new book in this series, The Seventh Seed (Fourth Descendant Book 2) (2017), it does not appear to be a genealogy mystery rather, I would call it a conspiracy thriller. That is why I have not yet listed this book in the series section.

While not a series, these genealogical mysteries by Norma Elizabeth Rawlings focus on how researching their ancestors became a life changing experience for each central character.

  • Sleeping Dogs (2012) – K, KU, PB
    Sleeping Dogs II (2013) – K, KU
    Malvern Murders (2013) – K, KU
    In the Genes (2013) – K, KU

Package from The Past by Jacqueline Opresnik is a search for a missing heir and family fortune set against the historical events of the Boer War and World War II.  K

Of course, for non-fiction fans there is Only A Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and Its Aftermath by John Philip Colletta. This is an outstanding read. PB

If I’ve missed any of your favorites, please let me know in the comments. I am trying to make this list as complete as possible.

Posted in Genealogy Mysteries | 2 Comments

52 Ancestors: An Italian Lullaby

Posted on July 20, 2018 in #52Ancestors

I am not sure why but as soon as I saw that this week’s theme was Music, I immediately thought of the lullaby that my Italian grandmother used to sing to me when I was a baby. Of course, she sang it to me in Italian. I don’t know why I even remember it, as I was so very young. The first two lines and the melody run through my head whenever I think about it. I knew I had to write about this lullaby.

So how do I search for something that I only know an imprecise phonetic reproduction of what I thought were the first two lines? Today’s search engines are amazing. After numerous tries, I finally came up with some results that gave me the rest of the lyrics. Of course, in Italian. It is titled “Nina Nana Bel Popin.” Now I had to find an English translation. Success!

“Nina Nana Bel Popin” is one of those folk or traditional songs that can have many variations to both the words and the music. I also discovered that what I thought was the second line is the official third line of the lullaby. My grandmother never sang the accepted second line, and now I know why. I have such fond memories of this lullaby, but when I read the English translation, I was stunned. I suspect that she may have reworded it a bit to suit herself.

The first source below was exported from Wikisource on 26 June 2018. We are requested to report any errors on their website at https://it.wikisource.org/wiki/Segnala_errori
Source: https://it.wikisource.org/wiki/Nina_nana_bel_popin

Nina Nana Bel Popin by Anonymous

Nina nana bel popin
pien de caca e de pissìn
fa la nana sul cossìn
su ‘n te ‘l pra’ de me cosìn.

Mé cosìn no ‘I vol che bala
perché è mort la so cavala
perché è mort el so bobò
per dispeto balerò.

Traduzione [Traditional]

Ninna nanna bel bambino
pieno di cacca e di pipì
fa la nanna sul cuscino
su nel prato di mio cugino.

Mio cugino non vuole che balli
perché è morta la sua cavalla
perché è morto il suo cane
per dispetto ballerò.

This next source provided the English translation. I could not find a link to Monique, but I noticed that a Monique was a frequent responder to many of the questions asked by site visitors. Monique has my heartfelt thanks for providing this translation.

Source: https://www.mamalisa.com/blog/need-help-with-some-italian-nursery-rhymes-and-songs/, then then scroll down to the post from Nick dated June 18th, 2010 at 12:56 am

English Translation by Monique

Sleep sleep pretty baby
full of poo and pee
sleep on the cushion
in my cousin’s meadow.
My cousin doesn’t want me to dance
because his mare died
because his dog died
but nevertheless, I will dance.

Finally, I discovered the music for this lullaby on YouTube. Strangely all the lullabies that I found which used the words above did not use the tune I remembered. The video whose link I have here is the melody that my grandmother used but, although still a lullaby, the Italian words are very different.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5UAkqAr4SY

This week’s post was fun to research and write, and it brought back many fond memories of my grandmother, Anna Furlani nee Bianchi.


The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, initiated by Amy Johnson Crow, is a series of weekly prompts to get you to think about an ancestor and share something about them. The guesswork of “who should I write about” is taken care of. This week’s theme is Music.

Posted in #52Ancestors | Leave a comment

52 Ancestors: Traveling to a Gretna Green

Posted on July 18, 2018 in #52Ancestors
Lorraine Gunther and William J. Noble, ca.1917

Lorraine Gunther and William J. Noble, ca.1917

When I found a clue that my maternal grandparents, my grandfather, William J. Noble (1896 – 1945), and my grandmother, Lorraine Gunther Noble (1897 – 1977), married in Elkton, Cecil County, Maryland, I was extremely surprised. Both William and Lorraine, respectively, lived in Ranshaw, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Chasing this clue, I obtained a copy of their marriage record from Elkton and learned that it was correct. They were married 29 June 1917, one-hundred and one years ago last month.

Elkton is a town in and the county seat of Cecil County, Maryland and was once known as the ‘Gretna Green’ of the East because of its popularity as a place for eloping couples to marry.

According to Google Maps, it is 115 to 131 miles one-way from Ranshaw, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania to Elkton, Cecil County, MD, taking 2hrs 48 min to 2h 55 min using modern automobiles and interstate highways, both of which did not exist at the time of their marriage. Their trip probably entailed the use of buses and trains, since William most likely did not own an automobile at that stage of his life. I can’t begin to imagine how long it took them to travel to Elkton from their home, in addition to the questions this event raises.

First and foremost, why did they travel to a Gretna Green to get married? One of the usual reasons is that one or both were under the age of consent. In this case, according to the marriage license application, William was 21 and Lorraine was 19 years of age. My research into Pennsylvania marriage laws seems to indicate that only applicants from 16 to 18 years of ages needed parental or legal guardian consent. Therefore, they could have married in Pennsylvania. Elkton had no waiting period between issuance of the license and the marriage; Pennsylvania had a 3-day waiting period. They could have been in a hurry for some reason.

Maybe there was parental disapproval of this marriage. Later events seem to indicate that all was not well within the marriage. I remember my mother telling me that her mother had to clean houses to help support that family and she (my mother) had to drop out of school in her senior year to work. William turned out to be a wee bit of a drinker.

Another of my theories is that William might have wished to avoid being drafted. He registered for the mandatory draft for WWI on 5 June 1918, almost a year from the date of his marriage. I might imagine that even in 1917, there may have already been conversations about a draft and the US entering the war. I have not found any indication that he served during this war.

In his 1918 WWI draft registration, William lists his address as 446 Main St., Ranshaw, Pa. This address is the household of his father-in-law both in 1910 and 1920. In the 1920 census, my grandmother and my mother are still living in the same household with my great-grandparents, but William is not a resident. I have so far been unable to trace William in 1920 census records. He may have traveled to find employment. He does show up, with my grandmother, in the 1926 Shamokin City Directory. His occupation is listed as an engineer (his draft card listed his employer as the R & R Railroad Co., Shamokin, Pa. in 1918, no occupation specified).

I would love to hear any thoughts as to why my grandparents may have traveled so far to get married.


The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, initiated by Amy Johnson Crow, is a series of weekly prompts to get you to think about an ancestor and share something about them. The guesswork of “who should I write about” is taken care of. This week’s theme is Travel.

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52 Ancestors: Two Biker Babes!

Posted on July 11, 2018 in #52Ancestors

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

Amy Johnson Crow in her write-up for Week 27 said that the theme, Independence, reminded her of flappers. I was having a problem with this theme until I saw her remark and remembered this photo.

The thing is I know nothing about the photo and the identity of the two women. The photo appears to be from the 20th century probably in the late teens to the early twenties.

The front of the photo has Lewistown written in pen. I assume this refers to Lewistown, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, created from part of Northumberland County in 1789. Most (if not all) of my US ancestors resided in Northumberland County.

I think that the woman on the left may be my grandmother, Eileen Lorraine Gunther Noble, but I could be wrong.

Can anyone put a name to either or both women?


The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, initiated by Amy Johnson Crow, is a series of weekly prompts to get you to think about an ancestor and share something about them. The guesswork of “who should I write about” is taken care of. This week’s theme is Independence.

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52 Ancestors: My Favorite Black Sheep

Posted on July 1, 2018 in #52Ancestors

I would like to highlight my favorite and only black sheep (so far), my maternal great-grand uncle, William T. Meisberger. He was born, the son of Theobald C. Meisberger and Mary Catherine Strausser, on November 12, 1869 in Brady, Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

I have written previously about my 2nd great-grandfather, Theobald Meisberger and how during his lifetime he purchased four lots and built houses on them. On his death in 1900, he left these properties to four of his children. One of these properties was inherited by his son William.

I acquired copies of the deeds related to these properties and I noticed that the property inherited by William was sold at a Sheriff’s sale on 10 May 1910. At the time, I wondered why he lost his property and thought it may have been unpaid taxes. To my surprise several years later I uncovered the real story behind this Sheriff’s sale.

Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, Deed Books, Book 152, Page 727, Wm. T. Meisberger by William Taby Sheriff to John J. Roach, 10 May 1910; Recorder of Deeds, Northumberland County Courthouse, Sunbury, PA.

Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, Deed Books, Book 152, Page 727, Wm. T. Meisberger


I was idly checking out historical newspaper sites to see if anything new popped up on my Meisberger line. I was entering just the surname Meisberger in my searches. To my astonishment I received many hits and they were almost all for William T. Meisberger. The results were both from newspapers in Pennsylvania and the area where he lived in Pennsylvania, and from Virginia, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, Indiana, Iowa, Texas, Kansas, Vermont, and California.

I found my first black sheep!

On August 8, 1908, Wm. T. Meisberger was sued for $10,000 for breach of promise. For William, the drama of this lawsuit spanned almost four years, beginning with being served, posting bail, testifying at the trial, hearing the losing verdict, fighting for an appeal (lost) and finally, ending with a forced Sheriff’s sale of his estate.

According to one article, a three-day honeymoon was disturbed when a Miss Rebecca Metz filed suit for breach of promise against her neighbor, William Meisberger, a prominent member of the Coal Township school board. Miss Metz stated that he courted her over 20 years, that they were engaged, and that he was the father of her son. Meanwhile, William had recently met and married a woman from Ashland, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. William was apparently receiving guests in his home, congratulating him on his marriage, when he was served the summons.

The articles are fascinating–telling the story of this lawsuit, which was finally settled in 1910. Miss Metz was awarded $3,000 forcing William to sell his lot in the Sheriff’s sale to insure she received her monies. In one of these later articles, William was now a former Coal Township school director. Another article stated that William was also a prominent physician, but the 1909 Boyd’s Shamokin city directory lists him as a laborer [in the coal mines]. The various articles listed the length of this courtship as anywhere from 15 years to 28 years.

Overall, in my favorite article, titled, “Gets Nothing for Wounded Feeling,” it was mentioned that William’s estate was seized and sold, but an audit revealed two judgements against it. By the time the judgements and legal fees were paid, there was nothing left of the $3000 that the jury awarded Miss Metz. The article ended with a caution to “perspective litigants in such affairs of blighted love.”

Sadly, William had only about twenty years of connubial bliss as he died at the age of 59 on March 2, 1929. He is buried in St. Edward’s Cemetery in Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

All the articles are under copyright, so I have not included any of the images in this post. Here is the chronology of the articles I’ve collected so far:

1. August 9, 1908, The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Page 19
2. August 10, 1908, Mount Carmel Item (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania), Page 4
3. August 10, 1908, Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia), Page 1
4. August 10, 1908, The Washington Herald (Washington, District of Columbia), Page 9
5. August 11, 1908, The Twin-City Daily Sentinel (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), Page 1
6. August 14, 1908, Muncie Evening Press (Muncie, Indiana), Page 3
7. August 19, 1908, The Davenport Democrat or Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa), Page 1
8. February 24, 1909, Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), Page 7
9. February 24, 1909, Pittston Gazette (Pittston, Pennsylvania), Page 5
10. February 24, 1909, Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Page 3
11. February 24, 1909, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), Page 5
12. February 25, 1909, Mount Carmel Item (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania), Page 1
13. February 25, 1909, The Daily News (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania), Page 1
14. February 25, 1909, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), Page 1
15. February 25, 1909, The Danville Morning News (Danville, Pennsylvania), Page 1
16. February 25, 1909, Montour American (Danville, Pennsylvania), Page 4
17. February 25, 1909, Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia), Page 8
18. Feb 25, 1909, Williamsport Sun-Gazette (Williamsport, Pennsylvania), Page 4
19. February 26, 1909, Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, Pennsylvania), Page 3
20. February 26, 1909, The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Page 3
21. February 26, 1909, Pittston Gazette (Pittston, Pennsylvania), Page 6
22. February 26, 1909, Harrisburg Daily Independent (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), Page 2
23. February 26, 1909, Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), Page 5
24. February 26, 1909, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), Page 1
25. February 26, 1909, The Danville Morning News (Danville, Pennsylvania), Page 3
26. February 27, 1909, The Western Sentinel (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), Page 3
27. March 2, 1909, Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas), Page 8
28. March 3, 1909, Mount Carmel Item (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania), Page 2
29. March 4, 1909, Montour American (Danville, Pennsylvania), Page 1
30. March 4, 1909, Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California), Page 12
31. March 4, 1909, The Danville Morning News (Danville, Pennsylvania), Page 1
32. March 4, 1909, The News (Newport, Pennsylvania), Page 2
33. March 5, 1909, Mount Union Times (Mount Union, Pennsylvania), Page 7
34. March 5, 1909, The Atchison Daily Champion (Atchison, Kansas), Page 1
35. March 5, 1909, The Press Herald (Pine Grove, Pennsylvania), Page 3
36. March 12, 1909, Lewisburg Journal (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania), Page 3
37. March 12, 1909, Montpelier Evening Argus (Montpelier, Vermont), Page 6
38. March 17, 1909, The Perry County Democrat (Bloomfield, Pennsylvania), Page 4
39. March 18, 1909, Cherryvale Journal (Cherryvale, Kansas), Page 2
40. August 5, 1909, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), Page 3
41. Saturday, August 7, 1909, The Daily News (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania), Page 1
42. October 22, 1909, Pittston Gazette (Pittston, Pennsylvania), Page 8
43. October 23, 1909, Mount Carmel Item (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania), Page 1
44. October 23, 1909, The Daily News (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania), Page 1
45. May 19, 1910, Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA), Page 3
46. May 19, 1910, Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), Page 12
47. May 19, 1910, Mount Carmel Item (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania), Page 4
48. June 21, 1910, The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Page 3
49. March 23, 1911, Mount Carmel Item (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania), Page 1
50. March 24, 1911, The Daily News (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania), Page 4

I am so happy I viewed each article (take home lesson your ancestor may appear in non-local papers—even out-of-state).


The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, initiated by Amy Johnson Crow, is a series of weekly prompts to get you to think about an ancestor and share something about them. The guesswork of “who should I write about” is taken care of. This week’s theme is Black Sheep.

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52 Ancestors: The Name’s the Same but Different

Posted on June 19, 2018 in #52Ancestors
L. to R., Marguerite Noble Furlani, Eileen Furlani, and Eileen Lorraine Gunther Noble

L. to R., Marguerite Noble Furlani, Eileen Furlani, and Lorraine Gunther Noble

My mother had always said I was named after both my grandmothers. My given and middle names are Eileen and Ann. I knew my Dad’s mother was named Anna, so I concurred with that but my mother’s mother was named Lorraine and that always puzzled me.

When I started my research into this family, I discovered to my surprise that I really was named for her. I found my grandmother in the 1900 US census as “Ilene” Gunther. In her application for Social Security, she entered her name as Lorraine Noble but in the block where it requests your full name given at birth, she wrote Eileen Anna Lorraine Gunther.

Lorraine Gunther Noble and her daughter, Lorraine Noble, Philadelphia, PA, abt. 1944

Lorraine Gunther Noble and her daughter, Lorraine Noble, Philadelphia, PA, abt. 1944

Later, I found out the story from my Aunt Lorraine, who was also named after her mother. Apparently, the family wanted to name my grandmother Lorraine, but got the name confused somehow, so it turned out Eileen. My grandmother went by Eileen until she married—from then on, she went by Lorraine.

My grandmother, Eileen Lorraine Gunther, the daughter of Andrew [Andreas] Gunther and Mary Eva (Meisberger) Gunther, was born on 9 October 1897 in Johnson City (originally Brady and later Ranshaw), Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Lorraine married William J. Noble on 29 June 1917 in Elkton, Cecil County, Maryland. Elkton is the Gretna Green for folks in eastern Pennsylvania, although it would have been quite a trip for someone from Northumberland County.

Photo of Lorraine Noble, date unknown, location unknown

Photo of Lorraine Gunther Noble, date unknown, location unknown

William and Lorraine had three children, Marguerite Furlani (1918 – 1985), William Noble (1923 – 1999), and Lorraine Suder (1931 – 2017). All the children were born in Ranshaw. In 1941, they moved from Coal Township to 5134 Torresdale Avenue in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., Pa. I remember living there with my mother while my father was in the Army. It was during our stay here that my grandfather died.

My grandfather, William, died on 10 September 1945 and a short time after, my grandmother went to live with her son, William, where she lived until her death in 1977. She had broken her arm so the doctor put her in a nursing home in Feasterville, Bucks County, Pa. to recover. It is there that she died on 21 March 1977, at the age of 79. According to her death certificate, she was buried in St. Dominic’s cemetery in Philadelphia, Pa., on 24 March 1977. She is greatly missed.

Both her daughter and granddaughter were named after her, one with her married given name, Lorraine and, one with her maiden given name, Eileen–the name’s the same but different!


The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, initiated by Amy Johnson Crow, is a series of weekly prompts to get you to think about an ancestor and share something about them. The guesswork of “who should I write about” is taken care of. This week’s theme is Same Name.

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52 Ancestors: Happy Father’s Day to Theobald Meisberger

Posted on June 13, 2018 in #52Ancestors
Photo of modern Steinbach, Ottweiler, Saarland, Germany, birthplace of Theobald Casper Meisberger

Photo of modern Steinbach, Ottweiler, Saarland, Germany, birthplace of Theobald Casper Meisberger

All my grandfathers and those before were deceased when I was born so I never knew them. Although I love him and miss him, I did not want to focus on my Dad again, when I so recently featured him for the Military theme. The next ancestor who stands out to me for the Father’s Day theme is Theobald Meisberger. Everything I have found out about him makes me believe that he placed family, religion and community as his upmost priorities.

According to his birth certificate, my 2nd great-grandfather, Theobald C. Meisberger was born in Steinbach, Rhenish Prussia on the 25th of December 1837. He was the eldest son of Michel Meisberger [Sr.] and Margarethe Bettinger. Today, Steinbach is probably considered a suburb of Ottweiler, Saarland, Germany.

As stated by his Declaration of Intent, Theobald Meisberger emigrated from Prussia, departing Havre and arriving in New York on 23 June 1854. Michael Meisberger, [Jr.], his brother, arrived in New York on 4 September 1854. Theobald and Michael, [Jr.] were both naturalized on the same day—6 August 1860. Michael Meisberger, [Sr.], their father, was their witness. Michael [Sr.] arrived in the US prior to his sons and was naturalized in 1 November 1858.

Theobald married Mary Catherine Strausser, daughter of Peter and Sarah (Mumma) Strausser, on 15 April 1860 at St. Edward’s RC Church in Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Their nine children are: Eva Mary Gunther (1861 – 1941), John A. (1862 – 1936), Emily Margaret Madara (1864 – 1928), Elizabeth Sara M. Depner (1866 – 1948), Clara Ida (1867 1871), William T. (1869 – 1929), Johanna Burns (1871 – 1957), Clara Elizabeth (1873 – 1876), and David Theodore (1886 – 1955).

The 1860, 1870 and 1880 US censuses all display Theobald’s occupation as a miner. The 1900 US census lists his occupation as grocer. This census was enumerated only 12 days prior to Theobald’s death.

In 1873, Theobald was elected Constable of Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania and he, also, purchased his first lot, partitioned it, and built a house on the second lot.

In the 1880 US census, Peter and Sarah Strausser, his wife’s parents, and their family were living in Theobald’s household. In 1881, he sold the second lot to his mother-in-law, Sarah Strausser. My conclusion from Theobald’s property sale to them is that he was trying to help them by enabling them to gain back their privacy and independence. In 1890, he purchased this lot and house back from them right before Peter’s death on 11 December 1890. Sarah followed Peter in death on 26 May 1891.

During his lifetime, Theobald managed to acquire sufficient land to bequeath a house and lot each to Andrew and Eva Mary (Meisberger) Gunther, George and Sarah Magdalena (Meisberger) Depner, Dennis and Johanna (Meisberger) Burns, William Theodore Meisberger, and David Theobald Meisberger.

R12-L21 Theobald Meisberger on monument. Photo courtesy of John HaileIn an 1897 Souvenir of St. Edward’s Church booklet, Theobald is listed as one of the founding church members, who was present and contributed to the church from 1866 until his death. Theobald C. Meisberger died on 13 June 1900 and is buried in range 12, lot 21 of St. Edward’s cemetery in Shamokin. Photo courtesy of John Haile.

Theobald cared for his wife and nine children and provided for their futures on a coal miner’s wages. In addition, he contributed to his church and community. I don’t really know what kind of man he was, but his actions proclaim him to be someone who cared very much for the welfare of his family as a father should. Happy Father’s Day!


The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, initiated by Amy Johnson Crow, is a series of weekly prompts to get you to think about an ancestor and share something about them. The guesswork of “who should I write about” is taken care of. This week’s theme is Father’s Day.




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52 Ancestors: St. Paul’s Chapel, Atlas, PA

Posted on June 5, 2018 in 52 Ancestors, 52Ancestors
 St. Paul's Chapel, Atlas, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania

St. Paul’s Chapel, Atlas, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania


When I saw that “Going to the Chapel” was this week’s theme, I searched all my records for references to the word ‘Chapel’. I found only one occurrence and that was to St. Paul’s Chapel in Atlas, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania. Atlas is a small village on the outskirts of the city of Mount Carmel, where both my grandmother, Anna Bianchi Furlani and her mother, Mary Bunt Bianchi lived. Both Atlas and Mt. Carmel are in the Borough of Mount Carmel. I lived in this borough from my birth to age four.

The reference to St. Paul’s Chapel came from an obituary in the Mount Carmel News Item, dated 12/13/2006, reporting the death of Victor Bianchi at the age of 98. Victor was my 1st cousin 1x removed.

“KULPMONT — Victor F. Bianchi, formerly of 26 Second St., Strong [near Mt. Carmel and Atlas], passed peacefully at the age of 98 on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at Serenity Gardens, where he was a guest the past four years.

He was born in Atlas on Oct.19, 1908, and was a son of the late Mary Bianchi. He was a lifelong resident of Strong and was employed as a miner and steel worker.

He was married July 4, 1932, in St. Patrick’s Church in Philadelphia to the former Mary E. Pollock, who preceded him in death on March 22, 2005.

He was a member of Divine Redeemer Church in Mount Carmel, and formerly a member of St. Paul’s Chapel in Atlas.”

I was intrigued by the text I highlighted in red above–it mentioned the word chapel. I wondered why Victor changed parishes, and since a chapel was unique in my genealogy, I decided to learn more about St. Paul’s.

St. Paul’s was established in 1928, as a mission chapel of St. Peter’s Church to serve its parishioners in the Atlas area. Originally housed in the Woodrow Wilson School, on May 20, 1928, the auditorium of the school became the site of the first Mass celebrated in Atlas. Father Paul D. Weaver (pastor of St. Peter’s) was the celebrant. Mass continued for a year at the Wilson School until Fr. Weaver purchased a former school building and converted it into a chapel.

The completed chapel was dedicated by Rt. Rev. Philip R. McDevitt, Bishop of Harrisburg, on Sunday, June 30, 1929. Celebrant of the Solemn Mass was Monsignor Aloysius Meuwese, pastor of Our Lady’s Church. There were two sermons that day – one by Bishop McDevitt, and one in Italian by Father Bonomo.

In June 1971, St. Paul’s Chapel was made a territorial church to include Atlas, Strong, Diamondtown, and Wilburton 1 & 2. In January 1972, property was purchased for use as parish offices and meeting site. “St. Paul’s Center” was dedicated on April 30 of that year. In November of 1973 the Conventual Franciscan Friars assumed administration of Saint Paul’s. During the friars’ tenure, St. Paul’s saw many physical upgrades and improvements, including renovations to the interior of the church.

St. Paul’s celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1979, and its Sixtieth Anniversary in 1989. June 30, 2018 would have been its 89th anniversary. St. Paul’s Chapel, Holy Cross, St. John the Baptist, Our Mother of Consolation, and St. Peter’s were all closed in 1995, designating Divine Redeemer Parish to serve the parishioners from the closed churches. This explains why Victor was now a member of Divine Redeemer and formerly a member of St. Paul’s Chapel.

The churches that closed were primarily in Mt. Carmel. Most churches in this area were ethnic based. Holy Cross (1892 – 1995) served the Lithuanian people; St. John the Baptist (1892 – 1995) served the Slovak people; Our Mother of Consolation (1896 – 1995) served the Polish population; St. Peter’s (1904 – 1995) served the Italian and Tyrolean communities; and St. Paul’s Chapel (1928 – 1995) aligned with St. Peter’s communities.

I was baptized in St. Peter’s, and it is heartbreaking to see all these great churches closed and decaying.

The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, initiated by Amy Johnson Crow, is a series of weekly prompts to get you to think about an ancestor and share something about them. The guesswork of “who should I write about” is taken care of. This week’s theme is Going to the Chapel.

Posted in 52 Ancestors, 52Ancestors | 2 Comments