Week 10: Strong Woman #52Ancestors

I believe Margaret Laura McGovern was a strong woman.  She was born in 1915 in Pennsylvania.  She lived in 1920 in Superior Coal Company Houses.  In 1930 she was 15 years old still living in a coal mining community.  I think that was hard during those years because of mining accidents that happened and not knowing if your dad is coming home that day or not.

Then she married in 1932, she would have only been 17 years old.  Her first born son was born 9 months later in 1933, in Chicago, Illinois.  So, according to birth records of her five sons.  She moved around a lot. Her second born son was born in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, USA in 1934.  Her third born son was born in Wilkinsburg, Pa in 1937. Fourth born son in New Kensington, Pa in 1942. Fifth son was born Pittsburgh, Allegany County, PA. in 1949.

Raising five boys and moving from town to town during the 30’s when the US was recovering from the depression.  March 5, 1933 , (Great Depression: President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a “bank holiday”, closing all United States banks and freezing all financial transactions (the ‘holiday’ ends on March 13)).  I cannot imagine trying to raise a son during this time.  Then 1934 to Detroit, Michigan.  I am assuming that they moved to find employment during this time.  From Michigan they went back to Pennsylvania in 1937 where her family was from.  Her fourth child was born during the time our county went to World War II.  That was during the time of Rationing (On 8 January 1940, bacon, butter and sugar were rationed. This was followed by successive ration schemes for meat, tea, jam, biscuits, breakfast cereals, cheese, eggs, lard, milk and canned and dried fruit. Fresh vegetables and fruit were not rationed but supplies were limited.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationing)

Then she went on to open a Dairy Store  in Punsuxtawney, PA.


Then she opened  Restaurant “Hester’s Restaurant”  also in Punsuxtawney, PA.  That was very hard work running and working in a restaurant.


Week 9: Will #52Ancestors 2018

Amy Johnson Crow “I’ve been asked if this theme means a will (as in the probate document) or will (as in being determined or strong minded). My answer is: Yes. 🙂 Use this prompt however you are inspired to. Maybe you’ve come across an interesting will. Explain it like you would to a non-genealogist. What story does it reveal? You could write about an ancestor who was determined to do something. (Or maybe you have an ancestor named Will!)

So, I’ve chosen – Where this is will, there is a way. I am determined to find the connection between Sampson Vandergrift and Captain Jacob Jay Vandergrift.

I have been researching a family surname of Vandergrift/Vandegrift.  There are many spellings to the name or variations depending on the record.  But I haven’t been able to find family members linking to Sampson Vandergrift.

I would love to make the connection between Jacob Jay Vandergrift and my line.  The first step of connection was through DNA.  Our family has linked to another Vandergrift via DNA on Ancestry.

I have family members that say we are related to Captain Jacob Jay Vandergrift Sr. (The History of Allegheny County PA).  And if so, Mary Hart was the granddaughter of John Hart the signer of the Declaration of Independence.


dvm_LocHist007643-00543-0 (2)


There are more pages, but I will not post all of them here.

Week 8: Heirloom

It was a hard week to think of something that was an heirloom passed down in our family… but I finally remembered something that had been passed down from my grandfather.  The story that I remember is my dad would go up to the mountain to see my mom and her family.  Her dad really took a liking to my father.  He would walk him up the trail as he played his violin.  I never had the privilege of hearing him play, but I was told he was really good.

I was told that my grandfather and his brothers were violin makers in Ireland.  The Moore’s came from Ireland, although one of my cousin’s DNA does not show much Irish in her blood.  Another cousin told me of a story about a newspaper article in Baltimore that had a story about them making violins.

One of my cousins has the violin that my grandfather played… It was an honor to finally hold it and see it July 4th 2006.


Week 6 “Favorite Name”

Probably one of my favorite names in my research is my grandmother Augusta Bertha Cosner.  Her initials were A.B.C.  I truly wonder if her parents planned it that way or not.  But either way I thought it was interesting.  I also love her first name because I was born in August and would always remember her forever…Love you Grandma! Born 1901 in Maysville, Grant County, West Virginia

am photo


Week 5 “In the Census”

Copy of howard hester

This is my grandfather Howard W Hester (W? Washington). Born May 1910 Keokee, Lee County, Virginia. Died 1973 Louisville, Stark County, Ohio. What is absolutely amazing is that he is not in the Census records… My father and my uncles were all born in 5 different towns and 3 different states. So from 1910 to 1940, He is not on a census record anywhere.  His parents were not on the census records 1920’s and 1930’s.

It’s pretty amazing that someone can absolutely fall of the face of the earth.