Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sympathy Saturday ~ Marion Helen (Alston) Lysle

Thank you to a reader of my blog who did a little bit of Pittsburgh research for me, I have the death record for my second great grandmother, Marion Helen (Alston) Lysle.

Allegheny City, Allegheny, Pennsylvania Death Register: Certificate Date: May 4, 1885.
Record for Marion H. Lysle, died May 2, 1885.
Marion H. Lysle, white, female, 38 years old, married, died 2 May 1885. Cause of death was Enteric Hemorrhage. Residence was 25 Boyle Street. Burial was at Union Dale Cemetery on May 4, 1885.

In addition to her husband, George Lysle, she left a daughter, Marguerite Lysle, age 8 1/2, and a son, George Barton Lysle, age 6 1/2, absolutely adorable in this photo.

See her headstone at Find A Grave.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

George and Marion Lysle in 1880 Census

My second great grandfather, George Lysle, Jr. (1845 - 1900), continued in the coal business that his father had started. (See Lysle & Sons Coal.) At the age of 30, he married 25-year-old Marion Helen Alston. (See their wedding invitation.)

In 1880, the couple, with their two children, are living with his mother, Margaret Lysle, and three of his unmarried sisters at 76 Washington Street in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania.

Widowed Margret Lysle, 74, is the head of household. Note that she was born in Pennsylvania to parents who were born in Ireland.

Her children living with her include Mary A, age 52; Caroline, age 38; Elisabeth, age 33; and Ge[o]rge, age 37. George's occupation is Coal Merchant. George's wife, Mary H. (Marion Helen) and his two children, Margret, (Marguerite) age 3 and George B., age 2 are also in the household. The Lysle family is quite comfortable financially and they have three servants living with them.

The following is from an 1880 Pittsburgh / Allegheny City Directory showing that George, Jr. is still working at Geo Lysle & Sons, and living at 76 Washington in Allegheny.

This is the last federal census in which my second great grandmother, Marion Helen (Alston) Lysle appears, as she died in 1885.

See Marion Alston in earlier census records.

See George, Jr. in the 1870 census.

See notices about George, Jr. being elected to school board.

See a beautiful photograph of young Marguerite and George.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Matrilineal Monday ~ Marion Alston

After posting the photograph and the wedding invitation of my second great grandmother, Marion Helen Alston, I thought I'd share some census records for her as a child.

My guess is that she lived her entire life in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

1850 U.S. Federal Census, Allegheny Ward 3, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania;
Roll: 744; Page 105B; Record for John Alston
In 1850, the household includes John Alston, age 44, occupation carpenter, born in Scotland, with value of real estate owned at $800. Wife, Lilly Alston is 44 and also was born in Scotland.
The following are assumed to be their children, although not specifically stated:
John, age 16, occupation Carpenter, born in Scotland
William, age 8, born in Pennsylvania
Andrew, age 3, born in Pennsylvania
Lilly K., age 12, born in Pennsylvania
Margaret(h), age 10 (though looks like 19), born in Pennsylvania
Marion, age 4/12, born in Pennsylvania
Christine, age 4/12, born in Pennsylvania
And you can see in the far right-hand column that "twin" is noted for Marion and Christine. Based on the date that this census enumerator wrote at the top, 27th September 1850, I am estimating that the twins were born in May 1850.

The 1850 Census was taken over a period of five months beginning on June 1, 1850.

There are two additional members of this household (William Emson and Susan Helman) whom I cannot fit into this family except that the young man was born in Scotland and is a carpenter, so perhaps he came from the same Scottish community that the Alstons did.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ Alston Twins circa 1860

My second great grandmother was a twin. About nine years ago, using deductive reasoning, I determined that this is most likely a photograph of my second great grandmother, Marion Helen Alston, and her twin sister, Christina Alston.

An abbreviated version of my reasoning follows:

The photograph (I think an ambrotype) was received from my mother with items that she received from her mother, Helen Lysle Hunter Copeland and her aunt, Margaret Lysle Hunter.

The full view of the subjects in formal dress with one figure seated and the other standing is a pose used starting in the early 1860's. Marion and Christina were born May 1850, and these girls look like they could be about ten years old.

On the back of the frame of the photograph is a photographer's mark for JJ Gillespie Co Fine Arts, Pittsburgh, Pa. My maternal grandmother's ancestors lived in Pittsburgh for a couple of generations during the nineteenth century.

Two girls, dressed exactly alike, looking almost exactly alike, made me go through my mother's ancestral families to rule out any other pair of sisters other than the twins. There are plenty of large families in this part of my family, but none had sisters close enough in age except for Marion and Christina.

Therefore, I'm pretty sure that this photo is of my second great grandmother, Marion Helen Alston and her twin, Christina Alston. However, I will never know which is which.

See List Your Matrilineal Line to see how I descend from Marion Helen Alston.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Great Aunt Adelia

My great grandparents James Tolman Pyle and Frances Adelaide McAlpin (see their New York Times wedding notice here) had six children, born between 1884 and 1901. Their fifth child, Charles McAlpin Pyle, was my paternal grandfather. The third child, a daughter, was born on April 17, 1888 at her parents' home at West 45th Street in New York City. The following September, Adelia McAlpin Pyle was baptized in the Church of the Covenant (Presbyterian), at Park Avenue and East 35th Street in New York City.

I have been contacted three times since I started this blog by people interested in my great aunt Adelia (known as Mary Pyle; she took that name when she converted to Catholicism) to gather information in pursuit of her becoming a saint in the Catholic Church.

Those who have emailed me know more about my great aunt than I do and have been very willing to share information for which I am grateful. The information I do have is from census records and her passport applications, as well as a few published books. I share two of her (extensive) passport applications below.

By 1918, Aunt Adelia had been working with Dr. Maria Montessori, "the distinguished Italian educator, anthropologist and physician" for three years. She applied for a passport while working with Dr. Montessori in Los Angeles, California, in order to travel with her to assist in educational work in Spain. The passport application confirms that her birth date was April 17, 1888, in New York and that her father was James T. Pyle, born in New York. At this time, her permanent residence is Los Angeles, where she is a teacher. The passport also indicates that "I intend to return to the United States within indefinite."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday ~ James McAlpin

I wrote about looking for my third great grandfather's gravestone last fall. I did not find the gravestone, much less take a photograph, as the cemetery is completely overgrown, and we were advised not to try to go into the "forest" due to the possibility of sinkholes. Because it was October, there were still many leaves on the trees and lots of undergrowth, making it difficult, anyway.

Thank you to my second cousin, Harriet, who pointed me to a photo album on Facebook, which included the following picture.

Credit: Stephanie LaRose,
Our father
James McAlpin
Born      Died
1780      1849

I thank Stephanie LaRose for allowing me to share her photograph here. She noted that she took this photo this past January, when the ground was frozen, and since there was little snow this past winter, this cemetery was relatively accessible.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Update on 1940 US Census Indexing

Thanks to the efforts of more than 125,000 volunteers, the 1940 US Census is more than 50% indexed! According to the 1940 US Census Community Project, this is one month ahead of schedule.

I helped index the first half of the 1940 US census

As of June 7, 2012, there are 18 states and territories that have been indexed and are searchable. Click here to see the current status.

I'm pleased that I have been able to be a part of this indexing project, and I get to share the following badges representing the states that I have indexed.

The first state available for indexing after the release on April 2 was Colorado, so that's what I worked on at the beginning.

Once Pennsylvania was available to index, I did quite a bit of indexing there because the first county to index was Allegheny, where my mother was in 1940, as well as quite a few family members.

Because I've lived in Massachusetts for my entire life, and am familiar with place names, I did quite a bit of indexing of Massachusetts records. And this is where my dad was living in 1940.

After reading about others who are tackling New York, I thought I'd give it a try. My husband has family in New York in 1940, and I have a great uncle I'd like to find, too.

Let's work together to index 100% of the 1940 US Census and make it freely searchable to the whole genealogy community! If you're not already signed up, volunteer here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday's Tip ~ Daily Princetonian Now Online

Dick Eastman recently shared that Princeton University's The Daily Princetonian, is placing its pages online, from its creation in 1876 through 2002. If you have any family who may have been involved at Princeton University during this time period, check out this link.

I couldn't resist looking for McAlpins and Pyles and found thousands of results. I then used the advanced search, narrowing the dates to 1942-1943, and found a few results for "Pyle" which refer to my dad, who attended Princeton for only one year before entering the Air Force for WWII.

I first find Dad listed as an incoming student (in the class of 1946) in the Friday, July 3, 1942, issue. The article starts on page one, and continues on page three. I have edited it for length:

. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .

The class of 1946 was the first for which Princeton started this accelerated program, to allow students to graduate early to join the armed forces.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

When Great Great Aunt Katherine died

My great grandfather, Lowell Copeland (1862 - 1935) had an older brother, Charles T. Copeland (1860 - 1952) and a much younger sister, Sarah Katherine Copeland, known as Katherine. I had known for a long time (from the Copeland Genealogy and the Lowell Genealogy) that she was born on October 15, 1874 and that she married her second cousin, William Harrison Dunbar. (His mother was a Copeland.)

However, only recently did I find out when she (and her husband) died, and it was in part thanks to Find-A-Grave!

Find A Grave, courtesy S. Esposito
A volunteer in Calais, Maine, had set up memorials on Find-A-Grave for several of my Copeland ancestors and extended family. See the Find-A-Grave memorial for Katherine, which has links to memorials of her parents and other family members. I have included the photo of the stone here; it includes names of several family members, including William H. Dunbar and his wife Katherine. Note that I have had the memorials transferred to me and I have updated the Find-A-Grave information about Katherine since doing additional research about her.

I had already known that Katherine died between 1920 and 1930 because I found the family (Katherine, husband William and three children) in the 1920 census (in Cambridge, Massachusetts), and in 1930, William was listed (at the same address in Cambridge) as widowed. From the gravestone, I learned that Katherine died in 1924. This narrowed down my search parameters to find out exactly when she died.

I went to one of my favorite newspaper sites, GenealogyBank, and searched for Katherine Dunbar in 1924 and found three notices from the Boston Herald about her death on September 13, 1924.