Pennsylvania Death Index

February 13, 2012

After reading Claudia Genealogy Blog, I thought that I would give it a try, because I have a number of people in my files from Pennsylvania. So, I went to:


to see what I could find. After trying to search the PDF files and just doing some scrolling, I figured that there had to be a better way. In the instructions, it says:

Several years of indices (1920-1924 deaths and 1930-1951 deaths) are listed according to the Russell Soundex method of indexing.

That’s a new one on me. So I read those instructions. I was looking for Wilmer Cheyney. I didn’t know his exact death year, but I had “About 1937” in my file. To convert Cheyney to the Russell Soundex, I determined that he should be listed a C 500. Loading the right PDF file and going to the right page, there is was.


Next, to create a list from my genealogy database for everyone who died in Pennsylvania between 1906 and 1961, translate to eh Russell Soundex and do some searching. I will then determine which, if any, I send away for. This will be one of them.

Thank you Claudia for the Blog Post.


Grandfather’s Place of work in 1916

November 9, 2011

I attend many Genealogy Webinars, online, hosted by Legacy Family Tree. I have learned much from attending these Webinar’s and want to thank Geoff Rasmussen for making these available.

Today, Thomas MacEntee, of did a webinar today called: It Is Well With My Soul: Finding Ancestors Amid the Rubble of Disaster and Misfortune.

He was going through a list of resources for “other” places to look if the normal resources don’t provide the information that you want. One very common website to visit in Cyndis List. A Great Website. But today he was very specific for Medical Disasters. I went to that website, and found the Sanatorium where my grandfather Worthington managed the farm for Dr. Miller.

I have been looking for the Name of it, as I knew the name Dr. Miller.

NEWBURGH:  Newburgh Tuberculosis Sanatorium. Est'd 1910.  
Capacity.35.Private. Med. Staff. Supt. R.A.Miller, M.D.

The above picture is all that was left of this Sanatorium in September 2003 when I took my parents to where my Dad was taken when he was 1 week old.

My grandfather moved there after he was married on 17 June 1915. So the Sanatorium had been around for 5 years. My grandparents, and my Dad returned to West Chester on Armistice Day.


I have a letter written by my Great  Aunt Anna (my grandmother’s sister) who helped my grandmother take my Dad, by train, from Philadelphia to Brewster, NY and this farm.

Don’t know much about this place, but at least I now have the Name of Dr. Millers Sanatorium.

Time with a Cousin

November 6, 2011

Over the last couple of years, I have run into a “new” cousin. It started when I had time to listen to Genealogy PodCasts. A PodCast is like a radio show, but on an iPod. I would listen to these PodCasts going to and from work on the train. One of those PodCasts was Dear MYRTLE.

I had met her a couple of times over the past couple of years. She talked about Second Life (2nd Life), so I tried it out a couple of times, but then finally learned a little more and found the “virtual” meetings were very interesting, so I became a little more active. Later she and I did a joint meeting where we shared our genealogy screens. We soon realized that we might be related.

Dear MRYTLE was to give the talk at Lunch for the Family History Day this past weekend, so my wife, Patti and I left on Thursday to meet up with Dear MYRTLE and Mr. Myrt. We had a great time.


One of the things we wanted to do was to see the house where my grandparents lived and the house that my Dad built. We did that.

Mr Myrt and I mentioned that Valley Forge was not that far away, so se took a run over there. Clearly the Visitors Center had changed since the last time we have been there, so we went in to “look around”. Mr Myrt had an ancestor who was at Valley Forge so we wanted to check that out. Then Dear MYRTLE mentioned a name from her ancestry who was there as well. That was the same family name that she and I shared in a presentation, so then I remembered that I had two ancestors that were in Valley Forge that winter.


Dear MYRTLE’s ancestor and one of mine (same family) were from Maryland, so we looked him up and where the Monument was, and Mr Myrt mentioned his, and he was from Maine, which is where my other ancestor was from.


What a beautiful day to spend time with “family” looked and finding Monuments for our ancestors.


We wanted to visit the Chapel at Valley Forge, so we did.


When we pulled in the driveway to park, the bells were ringing. Not a normal thing to happen on a Friday afternoon. Here a couple were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary at the chapel, with the kids and grandchildren all there.

That family were able to “relive” the wedding day of that couple, 60 years later, but will be able to tell the story of last Friday, as a new chapter for them, but another chapter for the happy couple with their family.

Valley forge was just out side of the door and all of the history that took place there, but they will remember the story of the 60th Wedding Anniversary of the lovely couple.

Family History Day with – Exton PA

November 6, 2011

Just returned from the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania’s Family History Day with in Exton, PA. More can be found on their website

This was certainly a very special “weekend away” to spend some time listening to talks about genealogy. Perhaps another blog will be about what I learned, but this one is about the Luncheon Talk by Dear MYRTLE. Her talk was “Let them eat Jam”.

I won’t go into her talk, as I hope that if you get a chance to hear her speak, you will take that opportunity to do so. But her point, for me at least, was to remember that not everyone thinks about what we do as family history researchers, is interesting, at least the way we do. It’s not about the names, dates, locations, and events that we find, but others remember family history through stories or returning to a place where an event took place, or going to a place that we have heard about and the story that went along with that place.

Earlier I have spoken about the Flight 93 Memorial, about returning to Gettysburg, where I had a “cousin” shot in the battle at Culps Hill. Heard about those stories, read about the people, but then to physically go there to experience the place and let the stories flash before our eyes.

Exton, was a miss-named place for this conference. I know where Exton is, I grew up a couple of miles from Exton.

What a surprise when my GPS landed me about a mile from where I really grew up. It was Lionville, PA, not Exton. The hotel was 1/4 of a mile from the bus stop that took my to High School. I walked to and from that bus stop for a number of years. (Not quite up hill both ways), but I could see the bus stop from the hotel.

Over the past number of years, through email, I kept in touch with the current owners of the house that my Grand-Parents lived in and my Dad and his brothers and sisters grew up in. Patti and I had made arrangements to meet with them Friday night, just to “see the place”. He was very interested in hearing about the family who lived in the house. His wife wasn’t there when I first met him, but he relayed to me that she was sorry that she hadn’t met the family who stopped by a number of years ago to take pictures of the house.

I created a small family history for the family, complete with some pictures of the family, including pictures of the kitchen wood burning stove, the wood barrel where wood for the stove was kept, and a few other pictures of the house.

It was a small token of thanks for allowing us to visit.

Dear MYRTLE reminded us, that not everyone one thinks about Family History the way that we do.

For me, it’s like sending Family Group Sheets, with some data, lots of missing data, request to help fill in the blanks, a self addressed, stamped envelope, repeatedly, and getting nothing in return.

But, from this experience, I  was greeted with “you’re holding out on me” because I didn’t have enough of the stories for our host and hostess. They wanted more.

Dear MYRTLE talked about the ‘next’ generation’s reaction to Family Group Sheets, but the young adults of this family were very interested in the stories. In fact the son, a high school senior, listened to all of the stories. Didn’t have the glazed over eyes that Dear MYRTLE talked about. Oh, I know those looks from young adults.

I was prepared for the reaction the Dear MYRTLE talked about, but was greeted with a completely different response. I had put some of my genealogy information in the back of my car. Why, I am not sure, but I did. That still wasn’t enough.

Clearly, the family who currently lives in my Grandparents home, wanted to hear the story about the family. They had experienced some of that when my Dad and his cousins visited the house just after the current owners bought the house. We’re talking days after they bought the house. My Dad told the stories about the house, and they still remembered them and wanted more.

We’ll make a return trip soon, but I am posting this as a reminder that we may find folks interesting, not in the Names, Dates, Places, Events, but the Stories about the People. In this specific case, the Jam for this family was the stories of those who lived in that house at an earlier time.

Learning: Be ready to tell the Story, not the facts.

Conrad Weiser Homestead

June 25, 2011

So, we are driving to The National Civil War Museum this morning and see a sign for the Conrad Weiser Homestead. Where do I know that name from. Though I have driven this road (I-78) many times, the sign was different this time. “I know that sign”, it’s referring to something I read or heard from Genealogist “Dear MYRTLE”. I hope I am remembering this correctly. But, just kept driving for my own search.

Having spent some time at the National Civil War Museum, it wasn’t the Museum I was interested in. It was a Re-Enactment / Encampment that got me there. I was looking for D. Ridgely Howard. But that’s another story.

The museum was great, short and sweet, but that lead to two book stores. Nothing (yet) at the book stores, so we were on our way home quicker then expected. There was that sign again. My car just HAD to follow the signs. We ended up here:

The homestead was not open, but there also was no one around. So, I just walked around. The story about this place and Conrad Weiser is not mine to tell. However here are a couple of photos from the walk-about.

Inferrential Genealogy Process – Finding D. Ridgely Howard

June 24, 2011

So, where have I been lately?

Working on a Cemetery Project for a local Historical Society. I’ll use that excuse for now. But, back to the quest for finding D. Ridgely Howard as part of the Inferrential Genealogy Process.

While reading Face Book, Dear MYRTLE mentioned a book store that she couldn’t get away from on a recent trip to central Pennsylvania.

Since this Civil War veteran may be a distant relative, I have been watching the Civil War activity, also on Face Book. Of interest has been the The National Civil War Museum. Checking out the websites from Face Book, I realized that they both were in Harrisburg, PA.

On the Calendar of Events was this entry:

Living History Encampment – 1st Maryland Battalion, Company A, CSA

Now, who could miss this event.

Think its time to pay a visit to Harrisburg stopping in both places. We’ll see if there is more information on D. Ridgely Howard at the Encampment and/or Book Store.

Thank you Dear MYRTLE !!!

Worthington Descendants – Vol 1, No 4, Page 7 Fall 1983 – Query 19

August 1, 2010

Has anyone lost ISAAC WORTHINGTON ? In 1850, he ran a ferry over Big Muddy River near the new town of Murphysboro, Jackson County, Illinois. He owned real estate worth $100 and had been born In Ohio about 1820. ISAAC’s wife was CLARISSA J. WORTHINGTON, about twenty-four years old and a native of Pennsylvania. They had three year old twins, Jefferson J. and SARAH V. WORTHINGTON. The new baby was named LEWIS. All the children were born to Ill. The Jackson County Historical Soc. would like to know where he went from Murphysboro. Write to: Box 7, Murphysboro, Ill 62966.

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