Sunday, February 4, 2018

Follow up-Hattie Browning DeLeon Coolbaugh

I remember a few years ago at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree I took a workshop that was given by Paula Stuart-Warren.  During the workshop she stated that one of the best things to do when researching was to have someone to work with.  I always find this to be true!  Sometimes they can find things you can't and may have ideas you hadn't thought of for researching.

I was researching the life of my maternal 2nd great-grandmother Harriett Browning DeLeon Coolbaugh.  I published my first of now 4 blog posts entitled Harriett Browning DeLeon Coolbaugh on what I had found out about Hattie’s life.  While researching I had hit a major brick wall in regards to Hattie’s first husband.  All I knew was that his last name was DeLeon.  I had spent hours searching for information to no avail.  Within an hour, I think, of publishing that first post my distant cousin Wendy had figured out who Mr. DeLeon was and that he and Hattie had had a daughter.  Major WOW!!

  • Wendy was able to find Hattie in the 1870 US Federal Census as the wife of…Charles DeLeon.
(click on image to enlarge)
  • In the census Hattie is listed as 20 years old.  Her husband is listed as Charles DeLeon, 24 years old and his occupation is Physician.  He was born in Cuba and he is listed as a Citizen.  His parents are both listed as foreign born.  Hattie and Charles are listed as living in LeRaysville, Bradford County, Pennsylvania on the 15th of August 1870.  The question of who Hattie’s first husband was is answered! I still don’t know when Hattie and Charles married or when Charles died?  I am guessing Charles died somewhere between 1872 and 1875. 
Right above Hattie and Charles on the census are listed Hattie’s parents-William and Amanda Browning along with her brothers Eustace and Gay.  This all fits!  Actually, I had found William and Amanda before on this census but never looked at the names below theirs to find Hattie and Charles…ugh!  How did I miss that?? Reminder: always look at other names on the Census page.
  • Wendy also found on Family Search a marriage certificate in Pennsylvania that listed Harriet DeLeon as the mother of a Florence DeLeon.  From this marriage certificate Wendy was able to determine that Harriet DeLeon listed “now Coolbaugh” on the certificate was the mother of Florence DeLeon who was 17 years old (b. 1872) at the time of her marriage on 10 January 1889.  Florence married Harry Burch and both were living in Towanda, Bradford County, Pennsylvania at the time. 
In the blog post Sunday Obituary-Harriett “Hattie” Browning DeLeon Coolbaugh the obituary states that Hattie was survived by a daughter “Mrs. Harry Bruch”.  Obviously there was a spelling error but the pieces are fitting together.  YEA!  And we now know that Harriett had a daughter with Charles DeLeon, her first husband.

I wondered who Florence was living with in 1880 since she wasn’t listed with Hattie and Portis in Towanda, Bradford County, PA?  Well, after some additional research I did find her and she was living with her maternal grandparents-William and Amanda Browning in Towanda, Bradford County, PA as well.

So, four Blog posts later I now have a much better picture of Hattie’s life.  I was amazed at how much information I was able to find on her!  The information just kept coming but it took Federal and State census records, marriage records for her daughter Florence, searching City Directories (see post Tip-Searching City Directories), an obituary, Civil War Pension records, North American Family History records (Coolbaugh Family) and the tremendous help of my cousin Wendy to put all the pieces together.  Sometimes the information just keeps coming.  I know there is probably even more information to find.

Wendy and I have worked together previously and I so enjoy not only talking to her to find out about her life but the rich research talks we have as well!  I am looking forward to one day soon actually meeting her in person. 

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


  1. Debby, up until about 6 months ago my Cornell line has been a complete blank. Having met you online in Ancestry and finding new leads here and there. I am so very happy to have meet you and learning more and more of my Cornell family. Reading your blog has given me hints and after almost 57 years I actually feel like I am a part of this HUGE family. I can't wait to meet more of my family.

  2. Crystal, so glad to have connected with you too! Yes, as I find out more and more I realize how big this family group is. Can't wait to meet you in person also. Thank-you so much for reading the Blog and sharing information!