Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday-Abigail Betsey Grantier Coolbaugh

Yesterday I completed a post about my 3X Great-Grandmother Abigail Betsey Grantier Coolbaugh. ( see post by same name)  In the late 1990s I was fortunate enough to find the cemetery where she is buried beside her husband Marvin Milton Coolbaugh.  They are buried in the Cemetery in Monroeton Cemetery, Monroeton, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

Abigail Betsey
wife of
M. M. Coolbaugh
Died April 4, 1912
Aged 89 YRS.
“When shall we all meet again?
When shall we all meet again?
Oft shall glowing hope expire,
Oft shall wearied love retire,
Oft shall death and sorrow reign,
Ere we all shall meet again.”
The verse is from the poem -

‘When shall we three meet again?’ 

Sometimes referred to as ‘Parting Song’ in Hymnals of the time.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Monday, February 20, 2017

Abigail Betsey Grantier Coolbaugh

One of my goals for the year is to research more of my women ancestors.  I realized when I reviewed my list of blog posts at the beginning of the year that I hadn’t investigated a lot of my female ancestors.  There tends to be little documentation of women as we get back in history so the researching can be frustrating. 

What I know about Abigail:
  • Abagail Betsey Grantier Coolbaugh is my maternal 3x great-grandmother. 
  • She was the mother of my 2X great-grandfather Portis M. Coolbaugh.  (See the blog post Portis/Porter M. Coolbaugh). 
  • Her parents were David and Rhoda (Kilborn) Grantier. 
So what can I learn about Abigail?  Many hours of research later….

What I have learned about Abigail:
Abigail was born in Canton, Bradford, PA on 10 May 1823

Abigail had sisters:
  • Jane L. Grantier Whitehead who was born in 1826 in Canton, PA
  • Lucy A. Grantier Hooper who was born in 1831 in PA
  • Sarah Elizabeth Grantier Mauley who was born in 1833 in Canton, Pennsylvania according to Sarah’s death certificate.
Abigail was married in 1841:
imageThis is extracted from Clement F. Heverly, Pioneer and Patriot Families of Bradford County, 1770-1800, Vol. 1, Bradford Star Print, 1913. Volume 1 - Page 53

Abigail and Marvin Milton Coolbaugh had 4 children:
  • Portis Coolbaugh- my 2X great-grandfather
  • Bertha Coolbaugh Crammer Dutton
  • Francis/Frank Coolbaugh
  • Arthur Coolbaugh
From the US Census Records I learned:
  • In the  1850 and 1880 US Federal Census I see that Abigail is referred to by her middle name as Betsey.
  • In the 1860 and 1870 US Federal Census Abigail is listed as A.B. Coolbaugh.
  • In the 1880 US Federal Census Betsey is a widow and her son Arthur is living with her.
  • In the 1900 and 1910 US Federal Census Abigail is reported as giving birth to 4 children with 3 still living (Francis/Frank had passed away).  Her father’s birthplace is listed as Pennsylvania and her mother’s as Connecticut.  She can read, write and speak English.  She is renting a house.  Her son Arthur is still living with her.
Abigail died on 14 April 1912 in Monroeton, Bradford County, Pennsylvania and is buried there:
Coolbaugh Abigail Grantier  highlighted
From her death certificate I was able to determine her dates of birth and death, determine her place of birth, verify her parents’ names, and learn her cause of death.  The informant for the information turned out to be her daughter.  In the census records the children are usually listed by their initials.
Acute Catarrh Pneumonia- Catarrh Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung tissue associated with catarrh and with marked evidences of inflammation of the bronchial membranes - often chronic.  from Causes of Death in the Late 19th Century mentioned in the Register of Deaths, 1893-1907 by Karin L. Flippin, HIS 480, April 23, 1997

I learned a lot about Abigail “Betsey” but still always long for a photo and more about her life beyond the facts.  Maybe one day I can locate other descendants of hers and maybe get some more information.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Polio Epidemic of 1916 in Brooklyn, NY.

I can remember when I was growing up talking to my paternal grandmother Agnes King Warner about her family.  One of the many stories I remember her telling me is about one of her sisters-Louisa.  Louisa died at a young age and my grandmother remembered that there had been a sign put on their house door when Louisa got sick.  She said the younger children were sent to stay elsewhere and the older children were not allowed to leave the house.  My grandmother thought Louisa may have had polio but no one would ever tell her what happened.  So, I decided to see what I could find out about Louisa.
polio quarantine sign
Polio quarantine cards, courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.
My grandmother was the third of eight children (George Jr., Lillian, Agnes, Louisa, Anna, Sadie, John and Robert) born to George Washington King and Sarah Rowan King.   The children were born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York.  Agnes and Louisa (perhaps named after her grandfather Louis) were about 18 months apart in age.

I was able to locate Louisa’s death certificate:
King Louisa death highlighted
Well, it doesn’t say Polio as a cause of death but could Chronic Endocarditis and Cardiac Decompensation over 7 days be related to Polio?  I decided to do some researching about Polio and Brooklyn, NY in 1916.  This is some of the information I found from a variety of sources:
  • There was a major Polio Epidemic in 1916 that began in Brooklyn, NY in June.  Louisa died barely a month later in Brooklyn, NY.
  • “On Saturday, June 17, 1916, an official announcement of the existence of an epidemic polio infection was made in Brooklyn, New York. That year, there were over 27,000 cases and more than 6,000 deaths due to polio in the United States, with over 2,000 deaths in New York City alone.  The names and addresses of individuals with confirmed polio cases were published daily in the press, their houses were identified with placards, and their families were quarantined.” according to the History of Poliomyelitis on Wikipedia.  My grandmother remembered there being a sign on the house.
  • This Polio Epidemic is considered one of the top 10 epidemics in the US to date.
  • The epidemic began with 2 children in the Italian community in Brooklyn in May with 2 more in the next street following the first known cases.  By the end of the month there had been 24 cases in Brooklyn,   On 1 June there were 17 new cases in Brooklyn and by the end of June there had been 646 cases in that borough.  After 2 weeks 150 children had been affected in five city boroughs. In spite of efforts at quarantine, by August the epidemic had spread to New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and upstate New York.   In New York there had been 8,900 cases of paralysis with 2,448 deaths.
  • Polio mainly affected children under 5 (about 80%) and was referred to as Infantile Paralysis, the crippler of children.
  • Polio was spread through food or water due to poor sanitation or by infected person to person contact.
  • New York officials scrubbed the streets with four million gallons of water per day to halt the spread of Polio but nothing seemed to help.
  • Events were cancelled, children were confined to their homes.   During the hottest days of summer, pools, movie theaters, schools and camps were closed.  My grandmother remembered being kept inside.
  • As suddenly as the disease flared, it died down.  With the first frost, the incidence plunged.  But that summer had been a killer. 
  • First vaccine for Polio was developed by Jonas Salk in the 1950s.

I reviewed the pages from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper around the time of my Great Aunt’s death.  Every day they posted names of those who died from Polio.  Each day they listed the street address of newly confirmed cases of polio.  A white flag was placed at the end of streets where there were cases of polio.

The following information from the Health Department was posted in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper 14 July 1916:
I have been unable to find Louisa’s name or address in the newspaper listings of new cases or deaths from Polio.  I’m sure not all deaths were able to be identified in the newspaper.  While I can’t confirm for certainty that Louisa was one of the Polio victims I strongly believe she died of complications due to Polio.

Remember to look at outbreaks of diseases in areas where your ancestors died.  It was very interesting to read the newspapers from that time period to see what people believed about the illnesses of their day.  You never know where your research will lead you.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Saturday, February 11, 2017

How Do My Known Ancestral Places of Birth Correspond to My DNA Results?

In my last post entitled Where Were They Born I looked at the birthplaces of 5 generations of my ancestors. Since many of my ancestors have been in the US for many generations, how far back would I need to go to find countries of origin?  Then I wondered how the origins of my ancestors would match my DNA results?
Family Birth Location chart:
Family Birth Location chart
Family Tree DNA Results:

Ancestry results:
Reviewing the information:
  • Many of my ancestral lines have been in the US for at least 10 generations.
  • A good percentage of my ancestors born in the United States were born in the state of New York.
  • I knew that many ancestral lines of mine came from England on my paternal side (Great Britain/British Isles) so these results confirm this.
  • I only know of one ancestor who was born in Sweden (Scandinavia). 
  • I’m not sure where the Southern European/ Iberian Peninsula DNA is from?  Interesting.
  • I expected some German/Luxembourg ancestry in my genes but am not seeing any?
Well, I definitely have more research to do and some more questions to answer.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Where Were They Born? 5 Generations of Births

I thought I would do something a little different this week.  Our data is so important but sometimes you get a new perspective when you look at the data in a different way.  I have wanted to do a Birth Place Chart.  (Thank-you to fellow genealogist J. Paul Hawthorne for creating the template for this chart.)  Paul designed the color coded chart to be for 5 generations.

Family Birth Chart 5 generations

How interesting!  The color coding really helps the states/countries stand out.  Before doing the chart I hadn’t really thought about the fact that for 5 generations on my paternal side everyone was born not only in the US but in New York state.  I also see now that my 5th generation on my maternal side are my first immigrant ancestors. 

What would you find if you did one on your family?  Paul’s chart is available on his website GeneaSpy.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,