Friday, December 30, 2016

50th Wedding Anniversary: Harry Anthony Murosky & Ann Marie Edens

A portrait taken on May 12, 1996 to honor the 50th Wedding Anniversary of Ann Marie Edens and Harry Anthony Murosky.

Harry Anthony Murosky was born 21 March 1921 in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Anthony Harry Murosky, Jr. and Helen Tillie Bukowski. Ann Marie was born 1924 in North Carolina.

To view the couples wedding photographs visit the post Wedding Photos: Harry A. Murosky & Ann Marie Edens.
MB Boutiques: The Murosky Collection &emdash; Harry Anthony Murosky & Ann Marie Edens 50th Wedding Anniversary
Ann Marie Edens & Anthony Harry Murosky
50th Wedding Anniversary
The original photograph is owned by Tony Murosky. The copy has been shared with permission. Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Helen Tillie Bukowski is my great grandmother. Harry Anthony Murosky is my Great Uncle. Harry's brother Arthur is my paternal grandfather. Ann Marie Edens is Great Aunt. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Late 1930's - Harry A. Murosky

This photograph of Harry Anthony Murosky was most likely taken in the late 1930's. The backdrop suggests a winter scene. This photograph was saved by his mother - Helen Tillie Bukowski.

Other photographs of Harry dated from 1937 and 1938 show him wearing similar rimless glasses. It is possible this photograph was taken during the winter between 1937 and 1938. Harry would have been about 16 years old at the time.
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1930's - Harry A. Murosky
Harry Anthony Murosky
This photograph was included in the Helen Tillie Bukowski Collection. Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Helen Tillie Bukowski is my great grandmother. Harry Anthony Murosky is my Great Uncle. He is the brother of Arthur Murosky, my paternal grandfather.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

1971 - McDonald Family Christmas

A photograph from the 1971 McDonald family Christmas. Frances Philomena Selker, the wife of Loraine Anthony McDonald, photographed with her great granddaughter Melissa Anne Davis. The photograph was taken in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania. 
Michelle M. Murosky: The McDonald Collection &emdash; Frances Philomena Selker & Unknown Child
Frances Philomena Selker with her granddaugher Melissa Anne Davis
From the Frances Philomena Selker Collection. Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Loraine Anthony McDonald and Frances Philomena Selker are my great Grandparents.  Melissa Anne Davis is my 1st cousin. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

1962 - Murosky Family Christmas

Special thanks to all of my family who assisted with identifying the people in these photographs. Sometimes it truly takes a village to ensure our family history is preserved.

These photographs of the Murosky family were taken Christmas 1962. The family gathered at the home of Walter E. Niemi and Rita Ann Murosky. The photographs include four generations of he Murosky family.

The most iconic photograph of the group features Helen Tillie Bukowski with her grandchildren and her oldest great-grandchild. Included in the group photograph are:
  • Helen's grandchildren, the children of her son Arthur Murosky - James Arthur, Barbara Jean, Mary Helen, Kathleen Marie, Karen, Christine Elaine, David Anthony, Thomas Charles, Donald Gregory and Cheryl L Murosky
  • Helen's grandchildren, the children of her son Edward V. Murosky - Ronald and Robert Murosky
  • Helen's grandson, the child of her daughter Rita Ann Murosky - Kenneth Neimi
  • Helen's grandchildren, the children of her daughter Marian Elaine Murosky - Janet and Joyce Kubeja
  • Helen's great-grandson, the child of her granddaughter Barbara Jean Murosky, James Michael Petrone
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1962 Murosky Family Christmas
Murosky Family Christmas - 1962
Back (L-R): Mary Helen Murosky, Kathleen Marie Murosky, Ronald Murosky, James Arthur Murosky, Kennth Neimi
Middle (L-R): David Anthony Murosky, Robert Murosky, Christine Elaine Murosky, Karen Murosky, 

Thomas Charles Murosky (between Christine & Karen)
Front (L-R): Janet Kubeja, Helen Tillie Bukowski holding Cheryl L. Murosky and James Michael Petrone, Joyce Kubeja, Barbara Jean Murosky holding Donald Gregory Murosky
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1962 Murosky Family Christmas
Murosky Family Christmas - 1962
Back (L-R): Mary Helen Murosky, Kathleen Marie Murosky, Ronald Murosky, James Arthur Murosky, Kennth Neimi
Middle (L-R): David Anthony Murosky, Robert Murosky, Christine Elaine Murosky, Karen Murosky, 
Thomas Charles Murosky (between Christine & Karen)
Front (L-R): Janet Kubeja, Helen Tillie Bukowski holding Cheryl L. Murosky and James Michael Petrone, Joyce Kubeja, Barbara Jean Murosky holding Donald Gregory Murosky

MB Boutiques: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1962 Murosky Family Christmas
Murosky Family Christmas - 1962
(L-R): Joyce Kubeja (dark dress w/ back to camera), Janet Kubeja, Arthur Murosky (seated), 

Barbara Jean Murosky holding James Michael Petrone, Helen Tillie Bukowski, Karen Murosky
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1962 Murosky Family Christmas
Murosky Family Christmas - 1962
 (L-R): Unknown Woman (back to camera), David Anthoyn Murosky, Arthur Murosky with D
Donald Gregory Murosky on his lap, Janet Kubeja, Barbara Jean Murosky holding James Michael Petrone.
Middle: Joyce Kubeja (in the dark dress)
Front: Possible Kathleen Marie Murosky holding her sister Cheryl L. Murosky
MB Boutiques: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1962 Murosky Family Christmas
Murosky Family Christmas - 1962
On the Sofa (L-R):
 
Donald Gregory Murosky, Arthur Murosky, Janet Kubeja
On the ottoman: Joyce Kubeja, Unknown Santa


These photographs were included in the Helen Tillie Bukowski Collection. Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Helen Tillie Bukowski is my great grandmother. Ronald Murosky, Robert Murosky, Kenneth Niemi, Janet Kubeja and Joyce Kubeja  are my 1st cousins 1x. James Arthur Murosky, Barbara Jean Murosky, Mary Helen Murosky, Kathleen Marie Murosky, Karen Murosky, Christine Elaine Murosky, Thomas Charles Murosky, Donald Gregory Murosky and Cheryl L. Murosky are my paternal aunts and uncles. David Anthony Murosky is my father. James Michael Petrone is my 1st cousin. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Long Standing Dream Comes True As District Woman Visits Germany

On July 26, 1906 Philomena Selker departed Germany with her Uncle Joseph William Selker. Her arrival is recorded at Ellis Island on July 3, 1906.  Philomena lived the rest of her life in Clarion County, Pennsylvania. On September 21, 1909 she married Augustine Benedict Lauer at St. Michael's Church in Fryburg, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. 

In the fall of 1957 Philomena and her husband traveled back to Germany to visit with her family. This was her first and only visit back to her birth country. The local newspaper, The Derrick, wrote an article which was published on Friday, January 24, 1958. The newspaper borders indicate the readership at that time was Oil City, Franklin and Clarion, Pennsylvania.

The original text of the article has been retyped and is shown below:

Long Standing Dream Comes True 
As District Woman Visits Germany
By Jack Baker
Derrick Staff Writer

MB Boutiques: The Selker Collection &emdash; Long Standing Dream Comes True As District Woman Visits Germany
An original copy of the newspaper article.
MB Boutiques: The Selker Collection &emdash; Long Standing Dream Comes True As District Woman Visits Germany
The Family of Mrs. Lauer in Germany
The relationship in italics is the relationship of the individual to Philomena Selker. 
Front row, left to right: Hermann Selker (brother), Mrs. Hermann Selker (sister-in-law), Mrs. Mary Schulde (Mary or Maria Selker, sister), Mrs. Lauer (Philomena Selker), Wilhelm Selker, (brother), Mrs. Wilhem Selker (sister-in-law)
 Back row, left to right: Hermann Schulde (brother in law) and Mr. Lauer (Augustine Benedict Lauer - husband)
 In the inset: Mrs. And Mrs. George Selker (brother and sister-in-law)

Shippenville – A dream of many years standing became a reality for a Knox Township woman in Clarion County during the last three months of 1957, the period spend visiting with her family in her native land of Germany, from where she came to America 52 years ago.

She is Mrs. Augustine “Gust” Lauer, Sr., who lives with her husband on a farm in Knox Township. Making the trip with her was her husband who was born on the farm where they reside, and whose parents migrated from Germany many years before.

Mrs. Lauer’s maiden name was Philomena Selker, and she came to America when she was 19 years old. Her parents were Gearhart and Agnes Raker Selker. In telling of her dream coming true and her visit to her homeland, she said “it was most wonderful and words could never express my enjoyment. It was a beautiful dream that came true for me and my husband.”

The Lauer couple were married in St. Michael Church, Fryburg, by the late Rev. August Hoeing on September 21, 1909, and next September they will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Mr. Lauer was born in Knox Township, Clarion County on January 2, 1886, while Mrs. Lauer was born in Furstenani, Germany, on January 27, 1887. The parents of Mr. Lauer were John and Frances Loll Lauer.

Telling of their enjoyable voyage and visit with their folks in Germany, the Lauers pointed out that they left Clarion via bus for New York on October 7, 1957, arriving there the following day. At 11 a.m. October 8, they sailed on the Narddentacha Llyod Bremen MS Berlin liner and 10 days later on October 18 they arrived at Bremerhaven, Germany.

After their arrival they spent their time from October 18 to December 14 with sisters and brothers of Mrs. Lauer, who all reside in the area of Furstenani, in western Germany. On the return trip they chose to make the voyage on the world’s largest ocean liner, the SS United States. They sailed for America on December 14 and arrived back in the USA on December, 20.

Speaking of their return trip on the SS United States, Mrs. Lauer said “oh, my oh my, it was just wonderful. Something I shall never forget. That liner was just like a city. There were 2,000 passengers aboard. We were able to attend mass aboard the liner every morning, either at 7 o’clock or 7:30, whichever we chose to do.”

“We did have two rough days at sea coming back,” said Mr. Lauer, “and lots of people got seasick. But the wonderful trop made up for all that. In the next words of Mr. Lauer, he said “we visited a lot of the country while in Germany, and it is building up over there at a fast pace. Hundreds of new beautiful homes, business places and new industries going up everywhere.”

“One cannot see any aftermath of the war,” the Lauers pointed out. “There does not seem to be any unemployment. Everybody works. We could buy anything there just like we can here at home. And the weather was beautiful all the while we were there. When we left the flowers were blooming everywhere.”

Mrs. Lauer said she attended St. Mary’s church in Furstenani where was baptized when a baby and the church she attended until the time she came to America. She explained “that was a wonderful occasion for me and my husband.”

In conversation with the Lauers, Mr. Lauer explained, “there is one thing I do not want to forget to tell you about the people of Germany that I think the people of our country should know. The Germans have a great love and admiration for President Eisenhower. His name is mentioned many, many times in conversation of the German population. Ike is considered by the Germans as a great statesman and a kind, religious and outstanding man. Our German relatives say, “We Love Ike.”

The sisters and brothers of Mrs. Lauer who they visited are Mr. and Mrs. George Selker, and Mrs. And Mrs. Hermann Selker, of Furstenani both building contractors; Mr. and Mrs. Herman Schulde, Lingen, Germany, and Mrs. And Mrs. Wilhelm Selker, of Lengerich, Germany.

The Lauer children are William Lauer, Parker; Mrs. Lawrence Fasenmyer, Shippenville RD; Mrs. William Dechant, Clarion; Andrew Lauer, Shippenville RD; Augustine Lauer, Jr., Shippenville RD; and Paul Lauer, Shippenville RD. They also have 16 grandchildren.

Mr. and Mrs. Lauer are members of St. Michael Church of Fryburg.
MB Boutiques: The Selker Collection &emdash; Long Standing Dream Comes True As District Woman Visits Germany
The Derrick
Friday, January 14, 1958 - Page 10
A copy of the original article.

The original copy of the this article is in the care of Leopold George Selker. Special thanks to Leopold for bringing this article to my attention. Leopold is my 2nd cousin 1x. He is a descendant of Leopold George Selker, Sr. the oldest son of Joseph William Selker and Frances Philomena Guth. From the Leopold George Selker Collection. The digital copy of this article was published at Ancestry.com. 

Joseph William Selker is my 2nd great grandfather. Philomena Selker and her siblings are my 1st cousins 3x removed.
References:
  1. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Year: 1906; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 0736; Line: 2; Page Number: 87
  2. "Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VFWP-YC8 : 24 June 2016), Augustine Lauer and Minnie Selker, 1909
  3. Ancestry.com. Derrick (Oil City, Pennsylvania) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Friday, January 25, 1958. Page 10. "Long Standing Dream Comes True As District Woman Visits Germany"

Sunday, December 4, 2016

JW Selker: Visiting Bentheim

This is the fifth post in the J.W. Selker Series. The series will be focused on Joseph William Selker's return trip to Germany in 1906. This would be Joseph William's first and only trip to Germany after departing 21 years prior.

During his return trip to Germany Joseph William Selker and his son Frederick William Selker traveled to at least three different cities. They visited Fürstenau, Bentheim and Montabauer. While in Bentheim they spent time with J.W.'s uncle Johann Hermann Heinrich Selker. At the time of the visit Johann Hermann Heinrich Selker was 68 years old. J.W. referenced his uncle in the letter sent to his brother Karl Friedrich Selker after the trip:

"Dear Brother, I just received a letter from Germany with the news that Uncle [missing word - now known to be Johann Hermann Heinrich Selker] in Bentheim has died. He was 68 years old. He followed our father rather quickly; I am glad I still was able to see him."

-Letter J.W. Selker sent to Karl Friedrich Selker dated July 1906

Bentheim is relatively close to Fürstenau. J.W. Selker may have traveled to Bentheim to seek this family connection from his past. Uncle Johann would have been a link to J.W. Selker's father who died April 30, 1906. J.W. Selker may have also traveled to Bentheim to share the Selker family history and heritage with his son Frederick William. J.W. Selker's father,  Herman George Selk, was born November 15, 1814 in Bentheim.  He was the son of Hermann Heinrich Selker and Maria Anna Overhuis.

Family tradition maintains that Hermann Heinrich Selker served in the army of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was among the soldiers that survived the fatal march from Moscow in November 1812. He would have watched many of his fellow soldiers and their horses freeze to death. Napolean is said to have gifted Hermann Heinrich Selker land in Bentheim for his military service. The land is said to be marked by the stone marker featured in the photographs below.
MB Boutiques: The Selker Collection &emdash; Stone Landmarker in Bentheim, Germany
Family Tradition maintains this Stone Marker marks land given to Hermann Heinrich Selker by Napoleon Bonaparte.

MB Boutiques: The Selker Collection &emdash; Stone Landmarker in Bentheim, Germany
Family Tradition maintains this Stone Marker marks land given to Hermann Heinrich Selker by Napoleon Bonaparte. In the black and white version the date of 1817 is more visible.
The military service of Hermann Heinrich Selker and the gift of land by Napolean Bonaparte have not been verified by any first hand historical records. Hopefully in time records will be located to verify this information. It should be noted that there is a second hand historical source.

Joseph William Selker is featured in the Genealogical and personal history of the Allegheny Valley Pennsylvania. The book was published in 1913. Although it is a second hand source - Joseph William Selker was likely interviewed. In his interview he made a point of highlighting his grandfather's military service:

"George Selker, the first member SELKER of this family of whom we have any definite information, was born November 15, 1814, in Bentheim, in the province of Hanover, Germany, where he died April 30, 1906. His father had been a soldier in Napoleon's army during the retreat from Moscow in 1812, and was later warden of the government prison in Bentheim." 
-Page 839: Selker

At the time of the interview Joseph William Selker was a prominent member of the Clarion community. He was well educated and a well known business owner. It is difficult to imagine J.W. Selker sharing a family legacy that isn't truthful. The fact that he took his son to visit Bentheim showcases the strong link J.W. Selker had to the city of his ancestors.

It is currently unknown if the said land in Bentheim remained in the Selker family or if it at some point the land was sold. 

This photograph is shared with permission. The original version is in the care of Leopold George Selker my 2nd cousin 1x. He is a descendant of Leopold George Selker, Sr. the oldest son of Joseph William Selker and Frances Philomena Guth. From the Leopold George Selker Collection.

Hermann Heinrich Selker and Maria Anna Overhuis are my 4th great grandparents. Hermann George Selker is my 3rd great grandfather. Johann Hermann Heinrich Selker is my 3rd great uncle. Joseph William Selker is my 2nd great grandfather. Frederick William Selker is my great grand uncle. 

References:
  1. Photograph of the Stone Marker in Bentheim.
  2. Handwritten Letter from Joseph William Selker to Karl Friedrich Selker dated 19 July 1906.
  3. John Woolf Jordan, LL.D., Genealogical and personal history of the Allegheny Valley Pennsylvania, III vols. (New York:  Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1913), Page 839. View the book here: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/John_Woolf_Jordan_Genealogical_and_Personal_Histor?id=VNQqAAAAYAAJ

Saturday, December 3, 2016

JW Selker: Visiting Fürstenau

This is the fourth post in the J.W. Selker Series. The series will be focused on Joseph William Selker's return trip to Germany in 1906. This would be Joseph William's first and only trip to Germany after departing 21 years prior.

During his return trip to Germany Joseph William Selker and his son Frederick William Selker traveled to at least three different cities. They visited Fürstenau, Bentheim and Montabauer. While in Fürstenau they spent time with Gerhardt Selker and Mary Agnes Rakers - J.W.'s brother and sister-in-law. This would be J.W.'s first time meeting Gerhardt's children. J.W. departed Germany shortly after Gerhardt and Mary Agnes were married. The couple's daughter, Philomena Selker, was included in J.W. Selker's return party. Philomena made the decision to leave Germany. She would remain in Clarion for the rest of her life.

J.W. and Frederick may have stopped to view or spend time at J.W.'s  childhood home located in Fürstenau. Sadly J.W.'s father Hermann George Selker, passed away on April 3, 1906 a few months before J.W. and Frederick departed. It is plausible that the Selker family was still in possession of the home in late June of 1906.

It is currently unknown if the Fürstenau house remained in the Selker family or if it was sold after Hermann George Selker's death. 
MB Boutiques: The Selker Collection &emdash; Home of Hermann George Selker & Katherine Elizabeth Hofhaus
The house where J.W. Selker was born in Fürstenau, Germany. 
A photograph of the Selker family home located in Fürstenau was taken by a Selker descendant when a group traveled to Germany.

This photograph is shared with permission. The original version is in the care of Leopold George Selker my 2nd cousin 1x. He is a descendant of Leopold George Selker, Sr. the oldest son of Joseph William Selker and Frances Philomena Guth. From the Leopold George Selker Collection.

Hermann George Selker is my 3rd great grandfather. Gerhardt Selker is my 2nd great uncle. Mary Agnes Rakers ais my 2nd great aunt. Philomena Selker is my 1st cousin 3x. Joseph William Selker is my 2nd great grandfather. Frederick William Selker is my great grand uncle. 

References:
  1. Photograph of the Selker home in Fürstenau.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

WWII Veteran - Anthony Aloysius Fromknecht

Anthony Aloysius Fromknecht was born January 23, 1915 the son of Joseph J. Fromknecht and Mary Loesch. On October 16, 1940 Anthony completed his WWII Draft Registration Card. The draft card indicates that Anthony was living with his parents at 3215 Old French Road in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania. He was employed at the Pennsylvania Telephone Company. This draft card was handwritten and includes Anthony's signature.
MB Boutiques: Historical Records &emdash; Anthony A. Fromknecht - WWII Draft Registration Card
Anthony Aloysius Fromknecht 
WWII Draft Card - Front
The second page of the draft card includes a physical description of Anthony. He was 5'-8" and 154 pounds with blue eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion.
MB Boutiques: Historical Records &emdash; Anthony A. Fromknecht - WWII Draft Registration Card
Anthony Aloysius Fromknecht 
WWII Draft Card - Back
Anthony enlisted in the United States Army on February 21, 1941 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. His civil occupation is recorded as "Semiskilled linemen and servicemen, telegraph, telephone, and power." Anthony's Army service was a combination of domestic and foreign service:
  • Domestic Service - December 7, 1941 through December 16, 1941
  • Foreign Service - December 17, 1941 through November 12, 1942
  • Domestic Service - November 14, 1942 through December 22, 1945 
Anthony served as a 1st Lieutenant and was discharged on December 22, 1945 at Ft. Sill in Oklahoma. 
MB Boutiques: The Military Collection &emdash; Anthony Aloysius Fromknecht
Anthony Aloysius Fromknecht 
He passed away May 30, 2002. He is buried at White City Cemetery in Fort Pierce, Florida.

The original copy of the this portrait is in the care of Janet Fromknecht the daughter of Frances W. McDonald and Anthony A. Fromknecht. From the Frances Winifred McDonald Collection. The photograph is shared with permission.  Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Anthony Aloysius Fromknecht  is my Great Uncle. He married Frances W. McDonald the sister of Mary Eugenia McDonald my paternal grandmother.

References:
  1. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations. NARA, Draft Registration Cards for Pennsylvania, 10/16/1940 - 03/31/1947. Pennsylvania. Roll 44033_03_00112
  2. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2005. Record from Anthony A. Fromknecht. 
  3. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Application Files, WWII, 1950-1966 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Inc., 2015. Ancestry.com Operations,
  4. Find A Grave, Anthony A. Fromknecht, Find A Grave Memorial# 23147923 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Happy 241st Birthday U.S. Marine Corps!

November 10, 2016 marks the 241st Birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps. Per U.S. Marine Corps General Robert B. Neller:

"Each year on or around 10 November, Marines gather in groups large and small to celebrate our history, honor the memory of those who have gone before us, and rekindle the bond that unites all generations of Marines. This year, we mark the 241st anniversary of our Corps—241 years of uncommon valor, innovation, and combat excellence."

As we honor the memory of Marines we also honor the memory of two family members.

Robert Aloysius Haggerty was born July 24, 1927 the son of  Charles Alfonso Hagerty and Iva. He served as a staff sergeant (SSgt) in the US Marine Corps in WWI. Robert died on March 10, 1979 and is buried at the Houston National Cemetery.

Ambrose Aloysius McDonald, Jr. was born 02 Oct 1919 in PittsburghAllegheny CountyPennsylvania. He was the son of Ambrose Aloysius McDonald, and Gertrude Anna O'Neill. After the outbreak of WWII Ambrose volunteered for military service and joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He was killed by enemy fire in Tarawa in November of 1943, at age 24, upon landing on the beach. He earned a Purple Heart for his service. In addition to being remembered at the Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii he also has a memorial in Arlington National Cemetery thanks to his sister Virginia McDonald Geary. Ambrose is featured in the blog post A Letter from Tarawa. His commanding officer Capt. Martin F. Barrett, U.S.M.C. of F. Company, 2nd Battalion 8th Marine Regiment wrote a heartfelt letter to Caroline Loretta O'Neil - Ambrose's aunt.
Michelle M. Murosky: The McDonald Collection &emdash; Ambrose Aloysius McDonald Jr.
Ambrose Aloysius McDonald, Jr.
Michelle M. Murosky: The Military Collection &emdash; Ambrose Aloysius McDonald Jr.
The gravemarker for Ambrose in Arlington National Cemetery
Copies of these photographs were shared with me by Virginia McDonald the sister of Ambrose McDonald. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Robert Aloysius Hagerty is my 2nd cousin, 3x removed. His father Charles Alfonso Hagerty is my 1st cousin 4x removed. 

Ambrose Aloysius McDonald Jr. and Virginia Dorothy McDonald are my1st cousins 3x removed. They are the children of Ambrose Aloysius McDonald my 2nd great uncle and Gertrude Anna O'Neill my second great aunt. A double marriage took place between the McDonald and O'Neill families. Caroline Loretta O'Neill is my 2nd great aunt. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

1945 - James Arthur & Barbara Jean Murosky

James Arthur and Barbara Jean, the children of Arthur Murosky and Mary Eugenia McDonald, photographed playing in the snow. The photograph is estimated to have been taken in late 1944 or early 1945 based on the ages of the children. When photographed James Arthur would have been around 2 years old. Barbara Jean would have been a little over one year old. The photograph was likely taken in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania.
Michelle M. Murosky: The Arthur & Mary Eugenia Collection &emdash; 1944 - James Arthur & Barbara Jean
1944 - Murosky Siblings
James Arthur Murosky & Barbara Jean Murosky

James Arthur Murosky and Barbara Jean are the children of Arthur Murosky and Mary Eugenia McDonald. A copy of this photograph was included in the Helen Tillie Bukowski Collection. Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

James Arthur Murosky is my uncle and Barbara Jean Murosky is my aunt. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

1933 - Joseph R. Bukowski

A snapshot of Joseph R. Bukowski taken in 1933. The snapshot was most likely taken in Erie, Erie, County, Pennsylvania. Joseph was 27 years old when the snapshot was taken. He was born on July 4, 1906 in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania the son of Polish immigrants Vincinety Frank Bukowski and Franciska Kwiatkowski.
Michelle M. Murosky: The Bukowski Collection &emdash; 1933 - Joseph R. Bukowski
Joseph R. Bukowski
From the Helen Tillie Bukowski Collection. Helen most likely recorded the date on the photograph. Special thanks to family members who helped to identify Joseph. Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Joseph R. Bukowski is my Great Grand Uncle. He is the brother of my great-grandmother Helen Tillie Bukowski. Helen's son Arthur Murosky is my paternal grandfather.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

2nd Anniversary of the Old Family Photographs Website

It is hard to believe it has been two years since the Old Family Photographs website was launched! The website was established to preserve and share the large collections old family photographs that are in my care. Many of the photographs belonged to my great grandmothers.

Over the last two years the site has grown to house over 500 old family photographs and family documents. The documents include post cards, hand written notes, letters and newspaper clippings. The content is housed in twelve different collections.

The collections currently available include:

Many of the photographs featured belonged to my great grandmothers Helen Bukowski and Frances Philomena Selker. Over the last two years other family members have been very generous and have donated additional photographs to be shared with the collections.

A special thank you to all of the family members have also contributed to labeling and identifying the old photographs. It has truly taken a village! As a result of our combined efforts many photographs that were unknowns are now labeled and identified.

The old family photographs website has been refreshed to be house under the MB Boutiques Brand. The site still contains all of the old photographs. To navigate to the old family photo collections select Photo Collections from the top navigation bar.
MB Boutiques: Blog Images &emdash;

We are very fortunate to have a large collection of old family photographs. There are still many more old photographs to be shared. My goal will be to continue to add new content to the site on a regular basis. New content will be shared using this platform. Updates will also be provided via the Facebook page - Our Ancestors - The Murosky & McDonald Ancestral Lines if you wish to follow along that way.

To learn more about the work to setup the website and prepare the photographs for sharing please visit the Portraits of a Life section. Portraits of a Life is a project to digitize, archive, restore and share the large collection family photographs that are in my care. View the original post Launch of the Old Family Photographs Website.

Thank you for Reading!

-Michelle

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Wedding Portrait: Frances W. McDonald & Anthony Fromknecht

Frances Winifred McDonald and Anthony A. Fromknecht were married on September 14, 1946. The wedding took place in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania.  When the couple married Frances was 26 years old and Anthony was 31 years old.
MB Boutiques: The McDonald Collection &emdash; Anthony A. Fromknecht & Frances Winifred McDonald Wedding
Formal Wedding Portrait
Frances Winifred McDonald and Anthony A. Fromknecht

(L-R)  Unknown (Groomsman)Unknown (Groomsman)
Mary Eugenia McDonald (seated Matron of Honor and Sister of the Bride), 
Anthony Fromknecht (Groom),  Frances Winifred McDonald (Bride)
Loraine Anthony McDonald (Father of the Bride)
Kathryn Joan McDonald (Bridesmaid and Sister of the Bride)Unknown (Groomsman),
Winifred O. Fromknecht (
Bridesmaid and Sister of the Groom)
One interesting fact is that Kathryn Joan McDonald was the only unmarried attendant. May Eugenia McDonald, the sister of the bride, married Arthur Murosky on August 9, 1941. Winifred O. Fromknecht, the sister of the groom, married Homer H. Heberle on November 14, 193.

The couple applied for their marriage license on August 31, 1946 in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania. Their marriage license was issued on September 3, 1946.  The couple's marriage was recorded on September 14, 1946. The duplicate was returned September 16, 1946.

The application for marriage license offers some interesting details about the Anthony and Frances' life in 1946. The first page in the file is the Application for Marriage License.
MB Boutiques: Historical Records &emdash; Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950 004480664 Image 634 or
Application for Marriage License for 
Anthony A. Fromknecht and Frances W. McDonald
Anthony was born January 23, 1915 in Erie, Erie County Pennsylvania. His father Joseph J. Fromknecht  was born in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania. His mother Mary Loesch was also born in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania. The marriage license application indicates that Anthony was working as switchboard installer. He was living at 3221 Old French Rd. Joseph J. Fromknecht was recorded as a laborer and Mary Loesch was recorded as a housewife.

Frances was born March 18, 1920 in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Her father Loraine Anthony McDonald Vowinkle, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Her mother Frances Philomena Selker was born in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Loraine and Frances relocated to Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania in the 1920's in search of work. The marriage license application indicates that Frances was working as a secretary. She was living in her parents home at 317 East 27th Street. Loraine Anthony McDonald was recorded as a laborer and Frances Selker was recorded as a housewife.

There are some known details about how Frances and Anthony met. Frances was friends with Anthony's sister Winifred O. Fromknecht. Winifred introduced her close friend to her brother.

The original copy of the wedding portrait is in the care of Janet Fromknecht the daughter of Frances W. McDonald and Anthony A. Fromknecht. From the Frances Winifred McDonald Collection. The photograph is shared with permission.  Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Loraine Anthony McDonald and Frances Philomena Selker are my great grandparents. Frances W. McDonald and Kathryn Joan McDonald are my great-aunts. They are the the sisters of Mary Eugenia McDonald my paternal grandmother.

References:
  1. "Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-159363-19641-74?cc=1589502 : 24 June 2016), 004480664 > image 634 of 834; county courthouses, Pennsylvania.
  2. "Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VF73-L11 : 24 June 2016), Arthur J. Murosky and Mary Eugenia Mcdonald, 1941.
  3. "Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KMC2-H39 : 24 June 2016), Homer H Heberle and Winifred O Fromknecht, 1943.

Friday, September 2, 2016

JW Selker: A Letter To Germany

This is the third post in the J.W. Selker Series. The series will be focused on Joseph William Selker's return trip to Germany in 1906. This would be Joseph William's first and only trip to Germany after departing 21 years prior.

On July 3, 1906 Joseph William Selker arrived at the Port of New York with his traveling party. The crossing took eight days. Upon arrival the group was processed at Ellis Island. Joseph William Selker made the trip to Germany with his nine year old son,  Frederick William Selker. The two additional members of Joseph William's party were his nieces.  Johanna Anna Selker and Philomena Selker made the decision to leave Germany and relocate to Pennsylvania with their uncle.

On July 19, 1906 Joseph William Selker started writing a letter to his brother Karl Friedrich Selker. By this time the traveling party had arrived in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Joseph William was reminiscing the trip to Germany and wrote the letter over several days. The letter is written on the letterhead of Joseph William Selker's business - J.W. Selker Cigar Company. The original letter is written in German. The original copy of the letter is over 110 years old.
Michelle M. Murosky: The Selker Collection &emdash; July 19, 1906 Letter from JW Selker to KF Selker
Letter by Joseph William Selker to Karl Friedrich Selker
Page 1
Michelle M. Murosky: The Selker Collection &emdash; July 19, 1906 Letter from JW Selker to KF Selker
Letter by Joseph William Selker to Karl Friedrich Selker
Page 2
To have the letter translated to English I reached out to Ute Brandenburg the owner of German Script Experts. Ute Brandenburg specializes in German translations.  In addition to German translations she also has experience reading and translating old German Script. Ute provides an excellent service to those interested in having German records translated.

The German transcription is shown below:

Clarion, Pa, July 19th 1906

Lieber Bruder und Schwiegerin

Wier sind alle gesund und munter wieder in Clarion angekommen. Die Reise wahr sehr schön
nur die Mädchen wahren ein paar Tage See krank aber jetzt sind Sie wieder gesund und munter
und fühlen sich sehr gut. Sie mögen hir gerne sein die meinen Amerika ist viel besser wie
Deutschland wier sind in 7 Tage über gekommen wier wahren ungefähr … in New York da
haben die Mädchen aber Augen gemacht wie die die große Stadt gesehn haben von da sind
wier nach Philadelphia gefahren und haben uns ungefähr 5 Stunde dort aufgehalten das ist
auch eine schöne Stadt und von dort sind wir fort Abends um 1/2 9 Uhr und den nächsten
Morgen um 9.35 wahren wier wieder zu Hause meine Familie wahren alle froh das ich wieder
da wahr die sind auch alle recht gesund und munter

Lieber Bruder ich schicke dir hirmit das Geld für den Anzug der Rock und die Weste passen gut
die Hose kan ich wohl etwas umändern lassen wie ist der Herr Petry und seine Frau und
Tochter thue Sie vielmals von mir grüßen der Herr Petry ist ein feiner Man ich wünschte er
könnte nur mahl bei uns sein für einige Zeit dan wollte ich ihn mahl Amerika zeigen

Lieber Bruder es thut mir leid das wier uns nicht öfters sehn können aber die Reise ist zu weit
und es nimt zuviel Zeit aber in 5 Jahr gedenke ich doch wieder nach Deutschland zu kommen
bis die zeit ist mein älster Sohn 20 Jahre und dan kan er das Geschäft schon vorstehen dan kan
ich mir die zeit schon mehr gemütlich nehmen und wen ich dan komme dan werde ich den
ganzen Sommer draußen bleiben also in 5 Jahre sehn wier uns wieder so Gott will

Die Johanna sagt Amerika ist viel besser wie Deutschland die wierd dick und stark und die
Wilhelmine auch die sagen in Amerika kan man es wohl aushalten die hätten schon Arbeit
krigen können aber ich habe ihr gesagt sie sollten sich erst mahl ordentlich ausruhen die
können noch lange genuch schaffen du mußt aber die Familie Hämmerlein von mir grüßen

Lieber Bruder ich habe gerade? ein Brief von Deutschland bekommen das die Onkel …
Bentheim gestorben ist er wahr 68 Jahre alt er ist unsern Vatter doch bald gefolgt ich bin froh
das ich ihn doch noch gesehen habe sonst giebt es hier nicht viel neues Die Geschäfte gehen
langsam alles ist am Streiken und das macht schlechte zeiten hoffentlich gehts bei Euch gut
hiermit will ich schließen schreibst bald wieder die Johanna ihren Brief werded ihr ja wohl schon
erhalten haben

mit besten Gruße von meine Familie an Euch alle und besonders grüße Herr Petry + Familie
von mir verbleibe ich Dein

Dich liebender Bruder Schwager und Onkel

J.W. Selker
schreibet bald wieder

After providing the initial German translation Ute Brandenburg translated the letter to English. Note that Wilhelmine is the German version of Philomena. The English version of the letter is shown below:

Clarion, PA 19 July 1906

Dear Brother and Sister-in-Law,

We have returned to Clarion in good health and spirits. The journey was pleasant, except for a few days when the girls were seasick. But now they are feeling well again and enjoying themselves. They are happy here and say that America is much better than Germany.

We arrived after seven days at sea and were in New York for about [word missing]. The girls were very impressed when they saw the big city. From there, we continued on to Philadelphia, where we stayed for about five hours. It is also a very nice city. We left from there at 8:30 in the evening and arrived at home at 9:35 the following morning. Everyone in my family was glad that I was back home. They are also all doing well.

Dear Brother, I am sending you the money for the suit. The coat and vest fit well. The pants I can have altered. How are Mr. Petry, his wife and daughter? Please send my regards to Mr. Petry; he is a fine man and I wish he could spend some time with us some day, then I would show him America.

Dear Brother, I am sorry that we can’t see each other more often. The journey is too far and takes too long. I do hope to return to Germany in five years, when my oldest son is 20 years old. Then he will be old enough to be in charge of the business, and I can take more time for my visit. I would want to stay all summer. So in five years we will meet again, God willing.

Johanna says America is much better than Germany. She will become round and strong, and so will Wilhelmine, who also says she likes it here. They could have found employment by now, but I told them to take it easy and rest for a while, they can work for long enough later. Please send my regards to the Hämmerlein Family.

Dear Brother, I just received a letter from Germany with the news that Uncle [missing word] in Bentheim has died. He was 68 years old. He followed our father rather quickly; I am glad I still was able to see him.

Otherwise I don’t have much news. Business is slow. There are strikes everywhere so these are not good times. I hope you are doing well. I will close now. Please write soon. You will have received the letter from Johanna by now.

With the best regards from my family to all of you, and special greetings to Mr. Petry and his family,

Your loving brother, brother-in-law, and uncle

J.W. Selker
Write soon

It is remarkable that that the original version of the letter survived - after crossing the Atlantic Ocean twice. When researching ancestors we often find records. If we are fortunate we occasionally find photographs of our ancestors. Using those sources we start to learn about the lives of our ancestors and we may know what they look like. It is extremely rare to have copy of an original letter written by an ancestor that dates from the turn of the century.

This letter offers a human perspective - especially to a larger than life personality like Joseph William Selker. It show that J.W. the entrepreneur and J.W. the business man was experiencing a range of emotions after his trip. Emotions that we can all relate to - joy and sadness.

The letter shows that although the brothers were separated for twenty-one years - they maintained their connection and cared deeply for each other. Gerhardt and Karl Friedrich Selker entrusted J.W. with their daughters. Both brothers had to know there was a strong possibility they would never see their daughters again.

While traveling J.W. made an effort to support his brother's business. He bought a suit from Karl Friedrich Selker's tailor shop in Montabaur, Germany. Every time J.W. wore that suit - he likely though of his brother.

J.W. focuses on reassuring Karl Friedrich that his daughter Johanna Anna Selker is adjusting to Pennsylvania and doing well. The reader can also sense that J.W. is melancholy as he comments on the great distance between them. Upon his return to Clarion, J.W. was already considering how he could plan a longer return trip to Germany. Unfortunately the return trip to Germany never took place. The growing unrest in Europe leading up to World War I was likely a factor. The translator, Ute Brandenburg, also indicated that the letter was well written - showing that J.W. was well educated.

When Philip Franz Selker, the son of Karl Friedrich Selker, departed Germany in 1929 for the United States - his father gave him this letter. In time Philip would become acquainted with Leopold George Selker, his 1st cousin 2x removed. Leopold is a great-grandson of J.W. Selker. Philip eventually gave the original copy letter to Leopold. To learn more about Philip visit the post Philip Selker - Battle of Normandy Veteran.

We are very fortunate that this letter survived. The letter obviously had sentimental value to the family as it was passed from father, to son and then to a great-grandson of J.W. Selker. Although a century has passed since the letter was written  - the reader gets a rare glimpse of who J.W. Selker was.

The original images of this letter are shared with permission. The original version is in the care of Leopold George Selker my 2nd cousin 1x. He is a descendant of Leopold George Selker, Sr. the oldest son of Joseph William Selker and Frances Philomena Guth. From the Leopold George Selker Collection.

Expenses for German translation paid for by Michelle M. Murosky. The review of the Ute Brandenburg the owner of German Script Experts was done at my discretion. Our Ancestors - The Murosky & McDonald Ancestral Lines did not receive any compensation for providing a review of services. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Joseph William Selker is my 2nd great grandfather. Karl Friedrich Selker is my 3rd great uncle. Johanna Anna Selker and Philomena Selker are my 1st cousins 3x removed. Philip Franz Selker is my 1st cousin 3x removed. 

References:
  1. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Year: 1906; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 0736; Line: 2; Page Number: 87
  2. Handwritten Letter from Joseph William Selker to Karl Friedrich Selker dated 19 July 1906.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

JW Selker: Arriving at Ellis Island

This is the second post in the J.W. Selker Series. The series will be focused on Joseph William Selker's return trip to Germany in 1906. This would be Joseph William's first and only trip to Germany after departing 21 years prior.

Joseph William Selker applied for a passport application on January 25, 1906. After living in Pennsylvania for twenty one years he made plans to return to his home country of Germany.  The date of the crossing to Germany and the port of arrival are currently unknown.

When Joseph William didn't travel to Germany alone. He took his nine year old son Frederick William Selker, known to the family as "Fritz", with him. Frederick William Selker was born October 15, 1896 in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Joseph William and Frederick William traveled to several cities to visit with their Selker family members. The cities they are known to have visited include:
  • Fürstenau: The party traveled to Fürstenau - the city of Joseph William's birth. While in Fürstenau they spent time with Joseph William's brother Gerhardt Selker and his wife Mary Agnes Rakers.
  • Bentheim: Joseph William's father, Hermann George Selker, was born in Bentheim. The party traveled to Bentheim to spend some time with Joseph William's uncle. The uncle, who's name is currently unknown, would have been a brother of Hermann George Selker
  • Montabaur: The party  traveled to Montabaur to visit with Joseph William's brother Karl Friedrich Selker who had relocated from Fürstenau. Karl Friedrich Selker owned a tailor shop in Montabaur.
It is currently unknown how much time Joseph William and Frederick William spent in Germany. It should be noted that the distance between Fürstenau and Montabaur is approximately 193.6 miles [312 km]. The map below, highlighted with the cities they visited, shows that the two traveled extensively during their visit.
Michelle M. Murosky: Blog Images &emdash; JW Selker Travels
On June 26, 1906 Joseph William Selker and his party departed Germany at the port of Bremen. The group set sail on the SS Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse. The SS Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse was built by the North German Lloyd shipping line. The 14,349 ton ship had four funnels and was 627 feet long. The ship was capable of transporting 332 first class passengers, 343 second class passengers and 1,074 third class passengers. The Hoboken Historical Museum has original plans of the ship available in their online collections database.
Colour drawing of the SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse by an unknown painter
Colour drawing of the SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse by an unknown painter
Source: Wikipedia, Public Domain image
Joseph William Selker and his party traveled in the second class cabin. The two additional members of Joseph William's party were his nieces - Johanna Anna Selker and Philomena Selker. His two nieces made the decision to leave Germany and relocate to Pennsylvania with their uncle.

Johanna Anna Selker was nineteen years old when she departed Germany. She was born September 5, 1886 in Montabaur, Germany. Johanna was the daughter of Karl Friedrich Selker and Margarita Wolf.

Philomena Selker was eighteen years old when she departed Germany. In the ships manifest she is recorded as Wilhelmine Selker. She was born January 27, 1887 in Fürstenau, Germany. Philomena was the daughter of Gerhardt Selker and Mary Agnes Rakers.

The ships manifest for the SS Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse  indicates that the party arrived at the Port of New York on July 3, 1906. The crossing took eight days. The party was processed at Ellis Island.

Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; NYT715_736-0692
Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse
Ship's Manifest - List 5
Arrival July 3, 1906 Port of New York
The nationality recorded for Joseph William and "Fritz" was USA. Johanna Anna and Philomena were recorded as German. Both nieces could read and write. Johanna is recorded as last living in Montabaur and Philomena is recorded as last living in Fürstenau. Their final destination is recorded as Clarion, PA.
Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; NYT715_736-0692
Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse
Ship's Manifest - List 5 [Excerpt]
Arrival July 3, 1906 Port of New York
The notes on the ships manifest indicate they were traveling with their uncle J.W. Selker who was from Clarion, PA.

Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; NYT715_736-0692
Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse
Ship's Manifest - List 5 [Excerpt]
Arrival July 3, 1906 Port of New York

Johanna Anna Selker and Philomena Selker both remained in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania for the rest of their lives. Johanna Anna Selker married Stephen Charles Huefner on June 2, 1908 at the Immaculate Conception Church in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Philomena married Augustine Benedict Lauer Sr. on September 21, 1909 at St, Michael's Church in Fryburg, Clarion County, Pennsylvania.

References:
  1. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Year: 1906; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 0736; Line: 2; Page Number: 87
  2. Ancestry.com. Passenger Ships and Images [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse.
  3. Image SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse by an unknown painter: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Colour_drawing_of_the_SS_Kaiser_Wilhelm_der_Grosse_by_an_unknown_painter.jpg# 
  4. Handwritten Letter from Joseph William Selker to Karl Friedrich Selker dated 19 July 1906.
  5. "Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VFWP-WN5 : 24 June 2016), Stephen Charles Huefner and Johanna Selker, 1908.
  6. "Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VFWP-YC8 : 24 June 2016), Augustine Lauer and Minnie Selker, 1909.
  7. Maps of World. Germany Outline Map.

Monday, August 15, 2016

1930's - Edward V. Murosky

This photograph of Edward V. Murosky was most likely taken in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania where the family lived. The photograph may have been taken late spring or summer. Based on Edward's age the photograph would have been taken in the 1930's.

Edward V. is dressed in a shirt with a tie. He appears to be holding a rosary and a prayer book. The photograph may have been taken the day of his confirmation. There is a second photograph of Edward standing with his mother Helen Tillie Bukowski that was taken the same day.
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1930's - Edward V. Murosky
Edward V. Murosky
From the Helen Tillie Bukowski Collection. These photographs were located in a small album. Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Helen Tillie Bukowski is my great grandmother.  Edward V. Murosky is my great uncle. Helen's son Arthur Murosky is my paternal grandfather.

Friday, August 12, 2016

JW Selker: Planning a Trip Home

This is the first post in the J.W. Selker Series. The series will be focused on Joseph William Selker's return trip to Germany in 1906. This would be Joseph William's first and only trip to Germany after departing 21 years prior.  

Joseph William Selker, the youngest son of Hermann George Selker and Katherine Elizabeth Hofhaus, was born October 8, 1865 in Fürstenau, Province of Hanover, Germany. Historical records indicate that after receiving his early education in Germany Joseph William studied the trade of cigar-making. When he was 20 years old he set his sights on the future and opted to leave Germany. On October 31, 1885 he departed from Rotterdam, Holland in route to the United States.

After arriving Joseph William initially settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he worked as an apprentice cigar maker. Joseph relocated to Clarion, Pennsylvania in March of 1887. He initially worked for Michael Zacherl as a cigar maker. Joseph William opened his own cigar manufacturing business in April of 1889.

Joseph William married Frances Philomena Guth on November 4, 1890 at the Immaculate Conception Church in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Frances was the daughter of a well-known Clarion businessman. Leopold Guth, a German immigrant, was a jeweler and watchmaker. Her mother, Theresa Loll, was an Alsatian immigrant. Frances was born February 25, 1863 in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania.
Michelle M. Murosky: The Selker Collection &emdash; Frances Philomena Guth and Joseph William Selker
Joseph William Selker & Frances Philomena Guth
Joseph was naturalized as a United States citizen on August 22, 1892. In 1898 he built the large Selker family home located at 242 Main Street. The family home was built next door to the cigar factory located at 248 Main Street on the corner of Main and South 3rd Avenue.

Left: Joseph W. Selker Cigar Right: Joseph W. Selker Home
248 & 242 Main Street, Clarion, PA
Over the years Joseph remained in contact with his family in Germany. On January 25, 1906 Joseph applied for a United States passport.  The application was stamped February 8, 1906. After living in Pennsylvania for twenty one years - Joseph William was making plans to return home.
Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; Joseph William Selker- Passport Application
Joseph William Selker
Passport Application - All pages
The passport application written in his own hand indicates that Joseph was a naturalized United States citizen. He indicated he was born October 8, 1865 in Feurstenau, Hanover, Germany. (Note this spelling is a variation of Fürstenau) He traveled by steamship from Rotterdam, Holland on October 31, 1885. The application indicates that he intended to go abroad within 8 months and then return to the United States.
Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; Joseph William Selker- Passport Application
Joseph William Selker
Passport Application - Detail
The passport application also includes a copy of his signature in the Oath of Allegiance section. A close up of his signature is shown below.
Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; Joseph William Selker- Passport Application

The passport application also included a physical description of Joseph William. He was 5’ 7” tall. He had a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark hair.
Michelle M. Murosky: Historical Records &emdash; Joseph William Selker- Passport Application

A photograph of Joseph William Selker shows that the physical description to be quite accurate:

Michelle M. Murosky: The Selker Collection &emdash; Joseph William Selker
Joseph William Selker
Joseph William Selker and Frances Philomena Guth are my 2nd great grandparents. Their daughter Frances Philomena Selker is my great grandmother. My paternal grandmother, Mary Eugenia McDonald, is the daughter of Frances Philomena Selker. 

References:
  1. "Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VFWG-R2W : accessed 28 March 2015), Joseph William Selker and Frances Philomena Guth, 04 Nov 1890; citing Marriage, Pennsylvania, county courthouses, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,315,270. 
  2. John Woolf Jordan, LL.D., Genealogical and personal history of the Allegheny Valley Pennsylvania, III vols. (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1913), Page 839: Selker
  3. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007.

Friday, July 29, 2016

1930's - Arthur Murosky

A snapshot of Arthur Murosky most likely taken in the early 1930's. Arthur was born April 13, 1919 and was the oldest son of Anthony Harry Murosky Jr. and Helen Tillie Bukowski.

The photograph would have been taken in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania.
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1930's - Arthur Murosky
Arthur Murosky
From the Helen Tillie Bukowski Collection. Helen most likely recorded the names on the photograph. Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Arthur Murosky is my paternal grandfather.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

1944 - Murosky Family Gathering

A sequence of photographs taken at a Murosky family gathering in 1944. The photographs were dated using the ages of the children. The photographs were taken in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania. Several of the photographs were taken on the shores of Lake Erie.
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1944 - Murosky Family Gathering
1944 Murosky Family Gathering 
Unknown Man, Unknown Man, Arthur Murosky & Anthony Harry Murosky, Jr. 
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1944 - Murosky Family Gathering
1944 Murosky Family Gathering
Back: Helen Tillie Bukowski holding Barbara Jean Murosky, Mary Eugenia McDonald holding James Arthur Murosky, 
unknown woman (buttoned jacket), unknown woman (dress with belt), Margaret Murosky, Esther Murosky (floral dress). 
Front: Eleanor Sell, Marian Elaine Murosky
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1944 - Murosky Family Gathering
1944 Murosky Family Gathering
Unknown Man, Unknown Woman, Unknown Woman, Margaret Murosky
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1944 - Murosky Family Gathering
1944 Murosky Family Gathering
Anthony Harry Murosky, Jr., Margaret Murosky, unknown woman, unkown woman, unknown man.
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1944 - Murosky Family Gathering
1944 Murosky Family Gathering
Unknown Woman, Unknown Woman, Helen Tillie Bukowski, Margaret Murosky
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1944 - Murosky Family Gathering
1944 Murosky Family Gathering
Unknown Man & Unknown Woman
Michelle M. Murosky: The Murosky Collection &emdash; 1944 - Murosky Family Gathering
1944 Murosky Family Gathering
Unknown Man & Helen Tillie Bukowski

From the Helen Tillie Bukowski Collection. Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Anthony Harry Murosky, Jr. and Helen Tillie Bukowski are my Great Grandparents. Edward V. Murosky is my Great Uncle. Margaret Murosky and Esther Murosky are my 2nd Great Aunts. Marian Elaine Murosky is my Great Aunt. Mary Eugenia McDonald is my paternal grandmother. James Arthur Murosky is my uncle and Barbara Jean Muroskyis my aunt. Eleanor Sell is my 1st cousin 2x removed.