Tag Archives: Pennsylvania


I late fall 2013, I attended my first DAR meeting. I met two ladies at McDonald’s one afternoon. They were planning the Good Citizen awards for the local chapter. They needed a calendar, I provided an iPhone. I had been listening for some time, and deduced from their discussion they were DAR members. We sat for a while and talked about local history and our ancestors.

In October of 2000, my Mom and I travelled to Pennsylvania to do some investigative work on her side. That would be the descendants of Alexander Ewing, Patriot. We went to several court houses on our travels, Butler county, Lawrence and Venango, all placed some had lived in the 1700-1800’s. We were able to locate his grave in Plain Grove cemetery in Lawrence county cemetery. It took quite a bit of walking too!




I have been contacted by the local chapter director, I need a few more documents for authentication. I need to send my parents birth certificates and marriage record. That should be the final items to get my membership approved.



It has been a long time since I have pulled out the records to review. An unexpected meeting of two ladies at McDonald’s who needed a calendar, got me rejuvenated about my Patriot Ancestor.

I have been invited to a meeting on October 3rd, I am very excited,. The President of the Stephen’s Chapter will review my documents for authenticity and approval.  I had been given paperwork in 1996 from my grandmother’s cousin, Dorothy Parry, who had done most of the research! Wish me luck!



Digital scrapbooking is really the way of the future. No more cutting, pasting, sticking slicing and choosing the right paper. This is all digital, and you can MAKE IT YOUR OWN. I have been working on a scrapbook for my dad the last couple of months. He is having memory issues, and I wanted to make something he could look at and maybe recount some good times throughout his life. I did a chronological story and added photos to go along with them. Different phases from childhood to marriage, military and good friends.

I have begun working as an Independent Publishing Consultant with Heritage Makers. You can make so many wonderful projects. Here are two pics of his album and a link to look a the rest of it. I hope he likes it.

If you are interested in making a similar project, or a story book such as I made my mom, please contact me. I can show you how with Heritage Makers. It is an easy system, no software to download. You simply go to their website, upload photos, store them in albums and ” Drag and Drop” them into a project. Add some embellishments and your own words, and that is it!!


IMG_2057 IMG_2058


I had always heard that my mom’s great-grandfather was a minister, and now , I have a photo of him and some colleagues. My mom’s cousin Mary was kind enough to go through some photos and found this one.

David Jones is on the far right, seated with the cane. The other fellows appear to have on clerical collars. I am guessing this is some sort of clerical meeting. It looks like a tent in the background. In all the census records I have found on David Jones, it lists him as blind. He was born in 1849 to William Jones and Mary Polly Boylan.  He was one of eight children, three brothers and four sisters. He names my great-grandmother after a sibling, Letitia. He married  Mary Catherine Steadman in about 1876 and were in the 1880 census living with David’s parents in Mercer county, Pennsylvania. In the 1860 census, the two families did not live a far distance from each other. He was still not a minister in 1870, so I assume it  was soon after he became ordained. I heard he was a traveling minister. In the 1870 census, the Jones family lived near Mary Catherine Steadman’s grandparents, the Boylans. Perhaps they met there, at a church social! They later moved to Venango county and then to Allegheny county. David E. Jones died in 1923 in the Mayfair community of Allegheny county. I have not found the death record or burial. I have also no record of his wife, or children except for my great-grandmother Ethel Letisia Jones. But, I have no idea where she obtained the information.




I am going to write these in her words. She has told me some of these stories, and some I am reading for the first time. My mother and family did not have much growing up in a small town, but, they did have loving parents, good times and stories that will endure.

It has been awhile since I posted anything else from  my mom’s stories she wrote. The last was finding her and grandmother in the 1940 census, along with the man who wold later become my mom’s father.


When we got older, Granddad ( Albert Ross Ewing ) would come pick us up. He had a 1931 Ford with a rumble seat. Al and I would sit back there. He would stop at Joe Guyton’s store, which was at the corner of 13th and Buffalo in Franklin,and he would buy us a candy bar. We never told Grandmother, and she never knew, or smelled it on us. On Saturday afternoon, he would take us back home. We didn’t go there a lot. Granddad always seemed to have a garden, and shared what he grew with us. Next to my grandparents home was a one room school that my mom  ( Blanch Ewing ) attended. My grandfather was very strict with the girls, but, no so much with the boys, Uncle Chuck, Wesley and Tom. They al lived in a small house with the three boys and five girls. It was on Congress Hill in the Sandycreek township. It happens to be that the very land they lived on while my grandmother was being raised, was the land all the male children divided to farm themselves. My Aunt Ruth and Uncle Tom lived in the old barn until they built a home of their own. And, he also farmed with a smaller garden, because, he had a regular job. The main road going there is Pone Lane to Congress Hill now there is a Ewing Lane….the name lives on in the land.

Albert Ross Ewing

Sandycreek township

Ethel Jones Ewing

Daddy’s father, lived in Canonsburg Pennsylvania. He was blind, and married to a lady that cooked food we didn’t like. This would be Charles W. Dean, on which I can’t find much information. He married Mary Vinton, that is about al the information that I have.  We did care a lot for our grandfather. One day our grandmother fried up Buckwheat pancakes and we did not like them. She told us if we didn’t eat them, we couldn’t go outside. When she left the room, uncle Frank came in and got the pancakes and fed them to the pigs. I bet they didn’t like them either. That was the longest week of our life Uncle Frank played the fiddle really good, which helped pass the time. Daddy had other relatives in Canonsburg too. Willard and his wife, McElheney and some others. I guess we went to visit on the bus. Daddy never drove, and we had no car. So, if we ever went on vacation, we would take the bus.

Dean family

I am currently trying to find the census records from this time frame now that the 1940 census is available. I have located a census from 1920 that have the McElheney family next door as well as the last name Cherry, I have heard this name mentioned before, Willard was a McElheney. I just found a Mary Vinton, in Warren county Pennsylvania. I have some family research that states bothe Mary and Charles W were born in Warren county. Now, to find him in a census. Mary Vinton’s father was Riley, it’s starting to add up ,right? I can’t tell you exactly who is who in the group photographs, only that they are Deans.

1920 , Cecil township, Washington county, Pa.

Still on the search for the rest so I can find siblings of Ruben, somewhere in Pennsylvania.




I have death certificates for several ancestors in Texas. I have several from Florida and Pennsylvania. Where do some of the tree makers on Ancestry get their family information? It seems some grab at twigs and branches just to try to make a tree!!!

It gets very frustrating when a leaf appears, and I look at the clue and there is no way this is the same person. Keep in mind, many names were similar. Family names were inherited through male and female. But, you need to look at ages, locations, siblings etc.

I try to compare at least three census records before I attach it. Then, I may also review the entire census in a community to verify other members of the same last name living there. Census records were not used in the same way they are today. Getting a name spelled correctly, well, it was phonetic. And you were lucky if the person had good handwriting at all.

When doing your research


1. Compare census records, from previous years

2. Look at family members in all the census records, siblings, initials, dates of birth ages, on the record itself

3. Look at the marriage status of individuals, M/WD/ S…and many times the persons who married lived near each other, check an earlier census

4. Follow locations…people did move, but, usually was from one state to another or around a county, they kept it local, no cars in the 1800’s. They travelled slowly.

5. Look at family members in the community

6. Use death records and family info to verify

7. Use cemetery details for facts on dates and family members buried locally

8. Use surname message boards and state/county sites as well.


1. Attach a record because the name is the same

2. Record without verification/ cross referencing facts

3. Assume there was only one marriage

4. Get lost in the trees that are posted

5. Copy a tree

For those of us who create a family tree, it is vital information is not taken without communication. It takes years to gather all we have. While we do not mind sharing, it is more fun to connect with the person. Who know, you may find long-lost cousins as I have. If you are an Ancestry.com member, you can easily email for facts, photos or hints.

I have had several mysteries in my family with misspellings of names. Manny, Mamie and Mollie….my hunch of Mamie was correct. I found the obit.

Lumy, Lumley, Lummie and Lumnia….follow the records, Lumley was right.  I have the death record.

Good luck in your search, and I wish you all the answers.




These pics are from the collection of my grandmother, Blanche Ewing Dean.

Mystery Photos from Canonsburg Pa

Her husband, Ruben Dean had nine children from his first marriage to Violet Harkless.She died in 1930 and he had several children to raise, and one, a girl, he could not raise. She was only a few months old, this would be Rose. The other children, who were not with him in 1930 would be Charles and Mary Vera. Item of interest, right below Ruben and family is the millionaire Charles Miller  from Franklin Pa history. That is another story on its own.

I think a few of these pics may be of his children, at least the boys.

Dean Boys, Canonsburg Pa

Only one had writing on it, Charles W Dean. The young man in the lower left corner. He lived from 1910-1992.

%d bloggers like this: