Sunday, September 25, 2011

School Board Member George Lysle

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 23, 1900

Unfortunately, the death notice for George Lysle, Jr. doesn't give much information about his life, but I have found much information about his family elsewhere. I have already written about this great great grandfather, George Lysle, Jr., as a coal merchant with his father and brothers. While searching newspapers at the Chronicling America website for information about him, I found that he was on the school board in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania in 1889.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thriller Thursday ~ Passenger Car Jumps the Track

I knew that my third great grandfather, George Lysle, died on January 13, 1877, but only recently found out the circumstances behind his death.

I love looking through old newspapers. Imagine my surprise when searching for the surname "Lyle" (which I often try when trying to find my Lysle ancestors) at the Chronicling America website, I find the following in the (Friday), January 12, 1877 issue of the Daily Inter Ocean, a Chicago, Illinois, newspaper that was published from 1865 to 1914.

January 12, 1877, p. 5, Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois)
online image from Chronicling America
It was the middle of the night and the two sleeping cars left the train track, ran down the embankment, turning over several times, and injured a number of the passengers, three seriously, including George Lyle, of Allegheny City, Pennsylvania. What is chilling is the description from one of the passengers that the car was so completely demolished "that there was not a piece left which could not have been put in a flour barrel."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Workday Wednesday ~ Lysle & Sons Coal

Marguerite Lysle, my great grandmother, was the daughter of George Lysle, Jr. and Marion Helen Alston. George Lysle, Jr. was the sixth and youngest son of George Lysle (who fathered twelve children in total).

My third great grandfather, George Lysle (Senior) was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by 1840, when I find him in the U.S. Federal Census with eleven people in his household. From the 1850, 1860, and 1870 U.S. Censuses, I am able to put together the family and match it up to a Lysle Family Tree that was printed about 1937.

In each of these census records, George Lysle is a Coal Dealer or Merchant. By 1870, as the census image below shows, he was doing very well, with real estate valued at $100,000. His household includes two servants.

1870 U.S. Federal Census, Allegheny Ward 4, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1291; Page: 414B; image: 168. Record for Geo. Lysle.

Of George Lysle's twelve children in 1870, I only know of two who had died: Margaret (1839-1868) and Lieutenant James M. Lysle, in the Civil War. In the 1870 Census record above, he is 70 years old, his wife Margaret is 64 and children still living with him include Mary (age 45), Caroline (age 39 - though I think this should read 29), Geo (age 27) and Eliza (age 23). George (Jr.) is also listed as a Coal Merchant. When I look for other family members in census records, I often find they are in the coal business in Allegheny County as well.

Wordless Wednesday ~ Marguerite Lysle

Marguerite Lysle (August 13, 1876 - December 25, 1967)
and her younger brother, George Barton Lysle (July 18, 1878 - September 23, 1950)

Marguerite Lysle is my great grandmother and lived her entire life in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. I have written about her husband and children in the 1900-1910 federal censuses, in the 1920 census and in the 1930 census.

Wordless Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

Monday, September 12, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History ~ Earliest Memory

Week 37: Earliest Memory. What is your earliest memory?

Duncan A. Pyle (1967-1986)
at age 1
By the time I was three, I had two younger brothers; the younger one, Duncan, was born about two weeks before my third birthday. I remember crouching on the floor of the kitchen of our house in Dedham, Massachusetts, looking into a basket or bassinet on the floor at my baby brother, who seemed so small to me, so it would have been around or just after my third birthday.

A more distinct memory is from when my mother gave birth to her last child, about 18 months later. When she was on her way to the hospital, I asked her to bring me home a younger sister. When she arrived home with my newest sibling (another boy), I remember having a tantrum and yelling at her that I had asked for a baby sister and not another brother! (My mother has no recollection of my tantrum.)

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Workday Wednesday ~ Tobacco Manufacturer

David Hunter McAlpin
taken at the Sarony studio, 37 Union Square, Manhattan
circa 1878
My great great grandfather, David Hunter McAlpin (1816 - 1901) was an extremely successful businessman. His only daughter, Frances Adelaide McAlpin (1860 - 1937) married James Tolman Pyle on February 12, 1884. He owned land in New York City as well as in Morris County, New Jersey.

I previously posted his New York Times obituary.

He is my most recent ancestor who has a page at Wikipedia. In addition, he and his family have several pages (pp. 602-619) devoted to them in Doris McAlpin Russell's McAlpin(e) Genealogies 1730-1990, published in 1990. In a nutshell, he moved from Dutchess County, New York, to New York City at a young age and over his lifetime, built a substantial business in tobacco, becoming a leader among American tobacco manufacturers by the 1890's.

In the 1850 Census, he is listed as a 32-year-old "Segar Manufacturer," born in New York owning real estate valued at $2,000. He was married to 21-year-old Frances and had a 2-year old son, Edwin.

1850 U.S. Federal Census, New York, New York, New York; Roll: 536; Page: 264B;
Record for David H. McAlpin.

In the 1857 New York City Directory, he is in business with someone else, as the address for David H. McAlpin, segars, is the same as McAlpin & Ray, segars, at 305 1/2 Broadway.

1857 New York City Directory

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My McAlpin Ancestors in 1870

I have been reviewing census records while preparing a post about my great great grandfather, David Hunter McAlpin (1816-1901). By searching for different family members and using different spellings, I found the family enumerated in multiple places in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, since my great great grandfather owned a home in New York City and had recently started purchased property in Morris County, New Jersey.

When I first searched for David H. McAlpin in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, I found the following listing for the family in New York (21st District of Ward 21), New York. The official 1870 Federal Census enumeration date was June 1, 1870. However, I like to look at the date that the census taker visited that neighborhood to see how timely the information was. In this case it was July 16, 1870. There is a note to the right of the family that says "In Country, Unknown.", database online. Year: 1870; Census Place: New York Ward 21 District 21, New York, New York; Roll: M593_1010; Page: 644B. Record for David McAlpin.
David Hunter McAlpin(e)'s known children (all with his first wife, Frances Adelaide Rose) are:
Edwin Augustus McAlpin (1848-1917)
Joseph Rose McAlpin (1853-1888)
George Lodowick McAlpin (1856-1922)
William Willet McAlpin (1858-1925)
Frances Adelaide McAlpin (1860-1937), my great-grandmother
David Hunter McAlpin, Jr. (1862-1934)
           (though there may have been a son of the same name who died young)
Charles Williston McAlpin (1865-1942)
John Randolph McAlpin (1870-1893)