Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Pittsburgh Burials at Uniondale Cemetery

As I have been learning where my ancestors are buried and entering memorials for them at Find A Grave, I recently realized that not only are all four of my maternal grandmother's grandparents buried at Uniondale Cemetery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but all eight of her great-grandparents are buried there as well. (Uniondale Cemetery, at 2200 Brighton Road, is located in the North Side, previously known as Allegheny City.)

In addition, there are many extended family members buried in these family lots.

I created a chart in Family Tree Maker showing the burial locations for these four generations of my maternal grandmother's family. I now see why my mother feels such a connection to Pittsburgh, although she hasn't lived there in decades.

To see their Find A Grave memorials, scroll to the very bottom of this page, where I have a Find A Grave Search box, and enter the surname of the family member whose memorial you would like to see.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Nova Scotia Research

Thank you to my brother who gave me a gift membership to the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia (GANS). I hope to glean some information about my Loyalist ancestors (as well as some maternal Maine ancestors who traveled back and forth to N.S.) as a member of this genealogy society.

The Members Only site includes transcriptions of Canadian Censuses for Nova Scotia, among other items. (Note that I need to view the microfilm to be sure that the transcription is accurate.) Only part of the Nova Scotia 1817 census survives, but it includes Guysborough County. Robert Kim Stevens, the editor, notes that the 1817 census is "the first census taken after 1770, and the first Nova Scotia census to record the population impact of Loyalist migration to Nova Scotia after the Revolutionary War."

The original census schedule is found in the microfilm series NSARM 13580.

In the transcription for 1817, I find in Manchester Twp., Guysborough County:

PILE, Stephen
1 Male 60+  [Stephen, my 3rd great-grandfather, was about 55 years old.]
0 Males 16+
4 Males 16-  [John, William, Moses, Stephen, Samuel? - James was not born until 1823.]
1 Female 16+  [Elizabeth (Hull) Pyle, my 3rd great-grandmother was about 36-37 years old.]
1 Female 16-  [A daughter, possibly Mary Amelia, born in 1812.]
7 total in household

In 1817, there are five WHITMAN families in Guysborough County, three in Guysborough Twp., two in Manchester Twp., including:

1 Males 60+  [George, my 4th great-grandfather, was about 57-60 years old.]
0 Males 16+
4 Males 16-  [presumably including Thomas C. Whitman, his youngest son, and my 3rd great-grandfather.]
1 Females 16+
7 Female 16-  [Including Esther, Sabina, Annabelle, Julia.]
13 total in household

I also found families under the surnames of Hull (possible brother-in-law of Stephen Pyle and a Loyalist from Connecticut), and Hadley and Morgan (known as pre-Loyalists) in Manchester Twp.


Guysborough County is missing from the 1827 Canada Census.


The 1838 Nova Scotia Census has an entry for Stephen PYLE, farmer, living in Manchester Twp., with two males over 14 years of age, and two females over 14 years of age. I am guessing that the two males over 14 are father (and head of household), Stephen Pyle, who was about 76 years old, and James Pyle, who was about 16 years old. The two females would be wife, Elizabeth (Hull) Pyle, and possibly a daughter.

Thomas C. Whitman and Diana Morgan had married in 1827, and I find Thomas WHITMAN, farmer, living in Manchester Twp. in the 1838 Canada Census with what must be an error, as no male over the age of 14 is indicated. Esther, about ten years old at the time of this census, is likely one of the three females between ages 6-14.


And in an email conversation with the website technical administrator, I learned that there are Guysborough County school records that show Elizabeth Pyle (age 10) and James Pyle (age 7) in the Manchester School District in 1831. Those records are not yet posted to the member site.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday's Tip ~ Scotland, Births, Baptisms, and Marriages

I have been working on my maternal Scottish ancestry recently (Freeland and Alston) and I wanted to know where in Scotland David Freeland and John Alston came from. I visited the website for the National Library of Scotland and on its home page, there was a suggestion that records could be found at FamilySearch.org. On the search page, I clicked on United Kingdom and Ireland and found that when I filtered for Scotland, the following indexes were available to search:
Scotland, Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 and Scotland, Marriages, 1561-1910.

In searching for James and David Freeland, I was able to find that James Freeland was born on May 6, 1814, in Govan, Lanark, Scotland, to David Freeland and Barbara Fullarton Arroll. With that information, I adjusted my search to capture the births for ALL the children of David Freeland and Barbara Fullerton Arroll.

I then found David Freeland and Barbara Fullerton Arrol were married on July 30, 1809, in Govan, Lanark, Scotland.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday's Obituary ~ John Alston, 1882

  ALSTON-On Tuesday morning, April 4, 1882,
at his residence, No 14 Sampson Street, Allegheny
City, JOHN ALSTON, in his 76th year.
  The funeral will take place from the residence
of his son-in-law, George Lysle, No. 21 Montgom-
eery avenue, Allegheny City, on THURSDAY AFTER-
NOON at 3:30 [or 8:30?] o'clock.

Google News Archives is no longer digitizing newspapers, but does have a few images at its website, and I found this death notice in the April 5, 1882, issue of the Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun ~ What's Your Ancestor Score?

Randy Seaver has given a challenge that he gave us awhile ago:

1) Determine how complete your genealogy research is. For background, read Crista Cowan's post Family History All Done? What’s Your Number? and Kris Stewart's What Is Your Genealogy "Score?" For comparison purposes, keep the list to 10 or 11 generations with you as the first person.

2) Create a table similar to Crista's second table, and fill it in however you can (you could create an Ahnentafel (Ancestor Name) list and count the number in each generation, or use some other method). Tell us how you calculated the numbers.

3) Show us your table, and calculate your "Ancestral Score" - what is your percentage of known names to possible names (1,023 for 10 generations).

I did this challenge back in August 2012 and so to update my chart, I ran a new Ahnentafel report for ten generations of my ancestors and counted the names. I then updated the spreadsheet that I had created the last time I did this.

My "Ancestral Score" is 436 known names to 1,023 possible names in ten generations for a percentage of 42.6%, an increase of .6% (six names) since the last time I calculated this.

The changes are on my mother's side, because of my current research on my Scottish immigrant ancestors. (John Alston and David Freeland).

If I went out to fifteen generations, the percentage found column would get much smaller.

Surname Saturday ~ Alston of Scotland and Allegheny, Pennsylvania

My immigrant Alston ancestor is John Alston, born on September 2, 1806, in Lanarkshire, Scotland. He and his wife, Lillias or Lillian Johnston, both 29 years old, immigrated to the U.S. in the summer of 1835, leaving from Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland, and arriving in New York on August 7, 1835, on the Platina with their son, John, age 1.

Ancestry.com, New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957. Year: 1835; Microfilm roll: M237_27; List number: 562;
Lines 28-30 [Passengers 69-71]. Record for John, Lillias, and John Alston.

In November 1835, their second son, Robert was born in Pennsylvania. (November 1835 is what is reported as his birth month in the 1900 U.S. Census.)

John and Lillias went on to have Lilly, Margaret, William, Mary, Andrew and twins Marion Helen and Christine Agnes.

In the censuses between 1850 and 1880, John is reported to be a Carpenter, a Master Carpenter and a Lumber Merchant, as well as in various Allegheny / Pittsburgh City Directories for the era.

Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1870/1871, p. 42
from Historic Pittsburgh City Directories

He must have been successful by 1870, as that census reports that he owned real estate valued at $10,000 and personal estate valued at $20,000.

Detail from 1870 U.S. Census for John Alston

His wife, Lilleas Johnston Alston, died on January 3, 1852, and is buried in Uniondale Cemetery in Pittsburgh, along with many of the Alston family. (See her Find A Grave Memorial.) By 1860, John had married Marion Slimon. (I know her maiden name because it is on her gravestone. See Marion's Find A Grave Memorial.)

John Alston died on April 4, 1882, at his home in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. He is buried in Union Dale Cemetery on the North Side of Pittsburgh (formerly Allegheny City). (See John's Find A Grave Memorial.)

I descend from their daughter, Marion Helen Alston, who was born in 1850.