Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Category

Alexander Campbell Hutchinson

Alexander Campbell Hutchinson was born 24 April 1858 in Oakland Township, Pennsylvania to Ann Marie Jamison and William T Hutchison. “Cam” was the middle child of nine and and as a small boy they lived next door to his grandparents, two aunts and uncles, and nine cousins.  I can imagine many large family gatherings.

Cam worked as an oil driller and was often away overnight for work.  On 14 July 1893 he married Loretta Alice Zillifro, daughter of Egbert Terwilliger Zillifro and Sarah Ellen Willis. They had eight children; five lived pass infancy: Oscar Bower, Roscoe Campbell, Victor Harold, Cametta Marie, and Rose Ellen.

AC Hutchinson ObitOn 15 April 1912 Loretta filed for divorce, which was granted on 25 September 1912 after paying the $15.79 in court fees.

After the divorce, Cam continued to live in Butler and worked at a local car shop with his neighbor.  Loretta moved to Ellwood City and lived with her daughter and grand daughters.  The divorce may have been taboo for the family, because Cam’s obituary states that “he leaves a wife living at their Butler home.”

The 1940 census lists Cam living in the Butler County Home.  Later that year, on 23 October 1940 at the age of 80, Cam passed away. He had been suffering from chronic endocarditis and chest pains. Cam outlived all of his eight siblings by at least 24 years.

Cam is buried at the Concord Presbyterian Cemetery in West Sunbury, Butler County, Pennsylvania.

A Campbell Hutchinson DC Clip

Source List
Pennsylvania. Department of Health. Death Certificates. Bureau of Vital Statistics, Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania. Butler County. Local Family Court in Butler. Divorce Records, Prothonotary, Butler.

Pennsylvania. Butler County. 1860, 1880, 1900-1920, 1940 U.S. census, population schedules. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2012.

“Last Rites for A.C. Hutchinson.” New Castle News, 26 October 1940.

Related Posts:

Loretta Alice (Zillifro) Hutchinson

Hutchinson Mystery Men

 

Harman Updegraff & Margaret Miller

Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library

1850’s Pennsylvania Freight Locomotive (Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library)

Two things I can tell you about my ancestors: there are a lot of Margarets and a lot of accidental deaths.

Harman Alexander Updegraff was born 28 August 1821* in Somerset County, Pennsylvania to Harmon Updegraff and Rachel Howard.  He was a farmer in his early years and later became a conductor of a freight train of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Updegraff Residence

Updegraff Residence

Harman’s wife, Margaret Miller, was born 15 February 1820 in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.  The two were married in March of 1845* and had eight children.  They lived in downtown Johnstown near the Baltimore & Ohio station, on Washington Street.

The Adams Sentinel and General Advertiser, 5 Dec 1860, p. 1

The Adams Sentinel and General Advertiser, 5 Dec 1860, p. 1

On November 29, 1860 while working somewhere between Derry and Latrobe, Harman fell from his train onto the tracks and was killed. He was only 39 years old and left his five young children and newly pregnant wife (two of their children had passed years earlier).  Harman was buried at the Levergood Cemetery but was later exhumed and interred in Grand View Cemetery.

As Margaret’s children grew up and got married, she permanently moved in with her daughter Margaret Angelina Williams. Her son William had moved to Harrisburg, George to Chicago, and Henry to New Castle, but James and Margaret Angelina stayed in Johnstown.  She was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church and survived the Great Johnstown Flood in 1889.

On March 11, 1898 Margaret set off to walk from her daughter’s house to her son’s a short distance away.  Her daughter was concerned about her walking by herself, but she insisted that she did not need help as she had just walked from the train station the day before by herself. Just minutes after leaving the house, Margaret was struck by a Pacific Express Train, 37 years after her husband’s tragic death.  She was buried with her husband in Grandview Cemetery.

Johnstown Daily Tribune, 11 March 1898

Johnstown Daily Tribune, 11 March 1898

Source List

Aged Lady Killed by a Train.” Undated clipping, ca. 1898, from unidentified newspaper.

“Killed on the Railroad.” The Adams Sentinel and General Advertiser, 5 December 1860. Digital images, http://newspaperarchive.com/adams-sentinel : 2012.

“Updegraff.” The Johnstown Daily Tribune, 11 March 1898.

Grandview Cemetery.  Internment file, database. http://grandviewjohnstownpa.com/interment-search.php : 2012.

Pennsylvania. Cambria County. 1850 – 1880 U.S. census, population schedules. Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2012.

Pennsylvania. Cambria County. Death Certificate. Clerk of Orphans Court, Johnstown.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [LDS].  “Pedigree Resource File,” database.  FamilySearch.  http://www.familysearch.org : 2012.

*Note: Harman’s exact birth and marriage date came from the Pedigree Resource File.

Related Posts:

Loretta (Zillifro) Hutchinson & Oscar Hutchinson

Margaret (Davis) Updegraff

Updegraff Page

The Original Catherine

Grandma Kate

I was named after my Grandma Kate, born Katherine Irene Murphy. She passed away before I was born, but I’ve always felt a special connection with her.

Grandma Kate was named after her aunt, Katherine Murphy-Arnaut, who died unexpectedly at 29 years old.

Katherine Murphy-Arnaut (right)

I was pretty excited to find that Katherine Murphy-Arnaut’s grandmother was also named Catherine! (spelled with a “C” instead)

I didn’t think I would learn much about Catherine Aspery, after all, she is my 3rd great grandmother who spent very little of her life in America, was likely very poor, and whose married name was incredibly common: Murphy.

After exchanging info with some other Aspery-Murphy descendants and a serendipitous visit to the Pennsylvania State Archives and Library, I was able to make some interesting conclusions (don’t ever understimate the importance of your 3rd and 4th cousins!).

Catherine Aspery was born in Erdington, Shropshire County, United Kingdom May 1844 to Henry Aspery and Sarah Perchase. She was raised in Escomb, Durham County (Northern England) with her six siblings: William, Henry, John, Thomas, Sarah and Phoebe.

Catherine married William Murphy around 1872 and they had eight children, six of which I know: William, Harry, John, James, May and Sarah. Her children’s names resemble closely with her siblings'; I wouldn’t be surprised if the two missing children were named Thomas and Phoebe!

Her husband, William worked at the ironworks in Witton Park. He had moved there from Ireland in search of work.  But, after a significant industrial boom and years of poor working conditions, the Witton Park ironworks had gone into a serious decline and closed by the 1880’s.

Catherine and William immigrated to America in 1892 and settled in Sharon, Mercer County, Pennsylvania. Some of Catherine’s siblings had already come to Pennsylvania many years earlier. Their son William arrived in Sharon one year earlier (1891), most likely to arrange a housing situation before the rest of his family arrived. The Murphy family lived at 86 Sharpsville Street.

The Sharon Eagle, Wednesday, January 29, 1902

Catherine passed away on 21 January 1902 from “liver troubles,” having been ill for three weeks. She was buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery, a Catholic cemetery managed by the Sacred Heart Church. She left her husband and eight children.

I really look forward to finding more about Catherine, her husband, and children.

Relationship: Catherine Aspery –> James Joseph Murphy –> Elizabeth Murphy –> Katherine Murphy –> Barbara Updegraff –> Me

(Note: Is it a “C” or a “K”?  Almost all of Catherine Aspery’s records, multiple census, birth and death certificates list her name as Catherine – except for the obituary above)

Sunday’s Obituary – Margaret Davis-Updegraff

Margaret H. Davis was born 19 January 1861 in Johnstown,1 Pennsylvania to David H Davis and Catherine Annie Harris, both immigrants from Wales. She was the 5th child of 13 born to David and Catherine.

Margaret Davis married Henry Herman Updegraff in 1881.  Her siblings considered her “marrying well.”  The young couple moved to New Castle between 1885 and 18892 (just before the horrendous Johnstown Flood of 1889).  Margaret and Henry raised four children: Clarence David, Royer Howard, John William, and Alma Catherine.  Margaret’s younger sister, Rachel Davis also lived with Margaret and Henry until she was married to William G. Fischer in 1901.

Margaret hosted many social events for her children, especially her daughter Alma.3  They had a cottage at Brady’s Lake in Ohio and in one instance in 1904, Margaret and her sister Rachel Fischer took the two oldest children (Clarence and Royer) and their girlfriends (to whom they were later engaged) on a vacation there.  The family appeared in the “Society Section” of the New Castle News over 20 times between the year 1900 and 1920.

27 September 1945 - Youngstown Vindicator

Margaret was certainly the matriarch of the Davis and Updegraff family.  Not only did she host many family and social gatherings but she also cared for many.  In addition to caring for her younger sister Rachel, she also took in her niece, after her sister-in-law (widow of Margaret’s brother Luther John Davis) passed away unexpectedly.  When her niece, Irene married, the couple continued to live with the Updegraffs until they could afford a place of their own.

In 1923, Margaret’s husband, Henry Herman Updegraff passed away.  She moved to Youngstown, Ohio to live with her son John William and became the primary caregiver for her two grandsons Robert Lee (my grandfather) and John Leroy.  Margaret was a very important person in my grandfather’s life and according to my mother “she could do no wrong in his eyes.”

Margaret passed away on 26 September 1945 of heart failure.  She is buried with her husbad in Graceland Cemetery in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

1 The obituaries posted in the Youngstown Vindicator and New Castle News have conflicting birth dates: 23 January 1861 and 19 January 1861, respectively. Margaret’s death certificate lists the birth date as 19 January 1861.
2 Royer Howard was born in 1885 in Johnstown and the next child, John William, was born March 1889 in New Castle, indicating the family moved sometime between 1885 and March 1889.
3 To read more about the events and gatherings Margaret hosted with her daughter Alma, click here.

Click here for a list of sources used.

Sunday’s Obituary – Harry M. Murphy

I had seen a photo of “Uncle Harry,” as my mom identified him, but she didn’t know exactly who he was.  His name was Harry Murphy and he appeared in a couple photos with other Murphy family members.  I actually assumed that he was a neighbor that shared the same last name.

While visiting family in Youngstown a couple months ago, we were sitting around looking at old photos and obituaries, when I came across Harry’s obituary.

Surprise!  This mysterious Harry Murphy is the brother of my 2nd great grandfather.  The obituary states his parents were John Murphy and Catherine Asberrie (all of my records use the spelling Katherine Aspery).  I believe there are 8 siblings total and 6 have now been identified: William, Harry M, John, James Joseph, May, and Sarah T.

It also gives the location of where the family came from: Mayo County, Ireland.  That’s interesting because while the Murphy family always associated themselves to be of Irish descent, on nearly all records I have they put their birthplace as either England or natural born citizen.

Another intriguing detail is that Harry left two sons that happened to have different last names and lived in another state.

I love it when one clue leads to more mystery!

Harry Murphy appears in the 1900 Census in Sharon, Mercer County, Pennsylvania with Celia Murphy and sons Harry and James Murphy.  He is living with his wife’s parents and brother-in-law, but Celia indicates her status as divorced.

In the 1910 Census, Celia is remarried to a LaVerne Letson with sons Harry and James last name changed to Letson.  In 1920 the Letson family is living in Huntington Beach, California.

Harry Murphy moved to Youngstown in 1909.  He was a self-employed handyman, just like his brothers.  He occasionally lived with his sister-in-law, Margaret Richards-Murphy.  I don’t believe he ever remarried, but I also haven’t been able to find Harry in the 1910-1930 censuses.  I look forward to finding out more about Harry Murphy!

Sunday’s Obituary – Loretta Zillifro-Hutchinson

New Castle News, August 3, 1948 Front Page

New Castle News, August 3, 1948 Page 2

On 23 July 1948, Roscoe Campbell Hutchinson was electrocuted while on the job at the National Tube company.   He was 51 years old, leaving a wife, four children, two brothers, two sisters, and his mother Loretta Hutchinson.

A week after Roscoe’s unexpected death, Loretta Hutchinson stepped around a large commercial grass mower and was hit by a car driving 45 mph.  She died instantly. It’s believed that Loretta was crying about the recent death of her son, that she never saw the car coming. Loretta’s sister, Ethel Gold, who witnessed the tragic event, developed many health problems as a result from the shock.

Loretta is buried with her sons Roscoe and Victor at the Locust Grove Cemetery in Ellwood City, PA.

(Relation: Loretta Alice Zillifro → Cametta Marie Hutchinson → Robert Lee Updegraff → Barbara Updegraff → Me)

Sunday’s Obituary-David H. Davis

Johnstown Daily Tribune - Friday, June 18, 1886

If only all obituaries were this informative!  Here we have the complete birth date, location, marriage date, wife’s full name, immigration year, children’s names and locations, and memberships.

Finding out the specific area of origin from “across the pond” can be pretty difficult to come by.  Cardiganshire, as listed in the obituary, is one of the thirteen traditional counties of Wales.  In 1996, the county was reconstituted under its historical name of Ceredigion.

Welsh immigration into what is now known as Cambria County, Pennsylvania began in 1796.  Most of which were skilled industrial workers, such as miners.  The name Cambria is actually the latinized version of the word Cymru, meaning “land of Welsh.”  To this day, Pennsylvania has the largest population of people with Welsh ancestry.

For more information on David Davis’ wife Catherine Harris, click here.

(Relation: David H Davis → Margaret H Davis → John William Updegraff → Robert Lee Updegraff → Barbara Updegraff → Me)

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