Wednesday, September 30, 2015

George Lysle Jr. - 52 Ancestors #39

While writing about my great-grandmother, Marguerite Lysle last week, I realized that I had not written much about her father, George Lysle, Jr.

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, the theme is "Unusual" and if you read through, you'll find a somewhat unusual request made in the will of my second great-grandfather, George Lysle, Jr.

He was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, on the last day of February 1845, the youngest son and second-to-youngest child of George Lysle and Margaret McIlwaine. He lived his entire life in Allegheny or Pittsburgh working as a coal merchant.

He married Marion Helen Alston on October 13, 1875. See their beautiful wedding invitation. Their two children were Marguerite and George Barton. Sadly, Marion died in 1885.

He is mentioned in my Surname Saturday ~ Lysle of Pennsylvania post. I have shared his family's 1880 census record. I also have shared newspapers notices of his civic participation on a local school board and a brief death notice.

On June 11, 1889, George, age 44, married Edith O. Hadly, less than half his age at 20.

June 13, 1889, page 5, column 2. George Lysle-Edith Hadly wedding., Pittsburgh Daily Post, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, online images (
LYSLE-HADLY - On Tuesday, June 11, 1889,
at the residence of the bride's parents, by
Rev. T. J. Leak, George Lisle [sic], Jr., and
Miss Edith O. Hadly, both of Allegheny.

That summer, Marguerite turned 13 years old and George Barton turned 11. As I have noted before, Marguerite never spoke about her step-mother.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wordless Wednesday ~ Marguerite Lysle

I shared stories about the life of my great grandmother yesterday. (She was born in 1876.)

Today I want to share some photographs I have of her. Some are undated.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Marguerite Lysle of Allegheny City - 52 Ancestors #38

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, the theme is Favorite Place: What has been your favorite place to research? Which ancestor came from there?

Although it can be challenging, my favorite place to research is Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, specifically Allegheny City, which, in 1907, became the "North Side" of Pittsburgh. (Read about Allegheny City at Wikipedia.) I enjoy this area because I have a group of maternal ancestors who lived there for several generations.

I previously blogged about the burial locations for 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.

My mother was very close to her maternal grandmother, Marguerite Lysle, and has shared many stories and photographs of her. However, in my research, I have found out a few things about Marguerite that my mother never knew.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Margaret McIlwaine Had Twelve Children - 52 Ancestors #37

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, the theme is Large Family.

I have plenty of ancestors with large families, which I think of as a dozen or more children. (Of course, I'm thinking pre-twentieth century families.)

My third great grandmother, Margaret McIlwaine, of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, had twelve children. What I know about her is mostly from census records. Her name is also on the 1937-38 printed Lysle Family Tree of which I have several copies.

I find Margaret in the U.S. Federal census for each of 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. She was the wife of George Lysle, whom I wrote about here. I wrote about her husband's 1877 death in a train accident here.

In the 1880 U.S. Census, "Margret Lysle" was a widow:

1880 U.S. Census. Place: Allegheny, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T9_1087;
Page: 382.2; E.D.: 14; Line: 15: Household of Margaret Lysle

She lived at 76 Washington Street, Allegheny City, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with three unmarried daughters: Mary Ann, Caroline, and Elizabeth (Eliza). Also living in the household was her youngest son, the namesake of her husband, George, and his family: Mary H. (Marion Helen), and two grandchildren: Margret (Marguerite) and George B. There were also three servants.

George, Jr. is a coal merchant, as was his father (and many others in the family).

The 1880 census is great for the information it provides. Looking closely, you'll see that there is a tick mark before her occupation of "Keeping House" - this is in the column for "widowed (or divorced D)." Further along the row, there is another tick mark. This column is entitled: "Maimed, Crippled, Bedridden, or otherwise disabled." I don't know what Margaret's disability was but it possibly contributed to her cause of death; she died six months after this census was taken.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

John Alston, Carpenter - 52 Ancestors #36

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, the theme is Working for a Living, in honor of Labor Day in the U.S.

Third great-grandfather John Alston was a carpenter. He was born in Symington, Lanarkshire, Scotland on September 2, 1806, to John Alston and Jean Jamieson. I found Scottish birth and marriage records at and wrote about them here.

John married Lillias Johnston on June 28, 1833.

Church of Scotland (Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland). Old parochial registers for Glasgow, 1612-1854. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. Family History Library microfilm. number 1042942.
Record for John Alston and Lillias Johnston. Page 412: Glasgow, 28 June 1833
Alston, John Alston, Wright, in Glasgow, Lillias Johnston, residing in the parish of Douglas. Married 28th June by Mr. John Jamieson, Burgher and Minister in the parish of Douglas.
John's marriage record lists his occupation as "Wright," which is a Scottish term for Carpenter. (A great list of Scottish occupations can be found at

Monday, September 7, 2015

DNA - Narrowing Down the Non-Paternal Event

My Pyle line can be found at Surname Saturday ~ Pyle of Chester, Pennsylvania.

I wrote about the results of Y-DNA testing (of my brother) at Y-DNA Test Results ~ A Non-Paternity Event where I noted that my presumed Pyle line is not genetically possible, based on the results of the Y-DNA test: Nicholas Pyle > Robert Pyle (1660-1729/30) > John Pyle (1687-1752) > Stephen Pyle (1730-bef 1789) > Stephen Pyle (1762-1840) > James Pyle (1823-1900) > James Tolman Pyle (1855-1912) > Charles McAlpin Pyle (1893-1966) > Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. (1924-1993) > my brother.

FamilyTreeDNA graphic
showing how Y-DNA is inherited
A reminder: Y-DNA refers to the DNA found on the Y chromosome, which is found only in men (passed from father to son to son, etc.). Testing of Y-DNA can reveal ancient origins (described as a haplogroup) as well as connecting cousins with the same surname in a family where surnames are passed down from father to son.

First of all, I would like to share how helpful genealogy groups on Facebook can be. In January 2015, I joined the Guysborough County Genealogy group and listed my Guysborough County, Nova Scotia surnames: Pyle, Whitman, Hull, Morgan, Hadley, Atwater, and Ives. (I just searched the group for "Pyle" to take a look back at that post and I noticed that it generated quite a conversation.) I connected with some relatives who are 5th cousins (and 5th cousins once removed), who still live there and descend from Moses Hull. (See Surname Saturday ~ Hull of Connecticut for that line.)

In May, I decided to contact my 5th cousin and ask if she knew if there were any male Pyles still living in the Manchester / Boylston area of Guysborough County. She replied yes and provided me with contact information. I got in touch with the daughter of the Pyle male (who'd be about my dad's age, if dad were still living) and arranged for him to take a Y-DNA test. I will refer to him as Guysborough Pyle.

Test results are in!