Category: <span>Pennsylvania</span>

I have written about my Vosler relatives of Western Pennsylvania, including the physician David Clair Vosler who died during the influenza pandemic at the end of World War 1. David Clair’s only child was son Robert Gere Vosler (1904-1968). Robert Gere lost his father at age 14, and was sent…

I’ve written before about trying to determine if old family stories, passed down over a century or more, are completely true, only partly true, or just made-up wishful thinking. The question of a possible ancestral relationship on my mother’s family tree to the US president James Monroe (1758-1831) has been…

My maternal grandfather Frank F Jordan (1895-1975) grew up in Volant, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the army in 1917 and was assigned to the 324th Signal Corps. He trained at Fort Meade in Maryland, but never fought overseas. Searching Pennsylvania newspapers from the period, I learned that he was actually…

Everyone has skeletons in their family history closet, known and unknown. Some can seem quaint and even funny to us today, like my Coles ancestor who had to wear a scarlett “D” for drinking more alcohol than his puritan neighbors liked. But other skeletons can be viewed through current eyes…

In 1791, Alexander Hamilton was the Secretary of the Treasury in the brand new United States of America. Hamilton proposed a tax on distilled spirits production to help pay down the national debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. In spite of opposition from people like Thomas Jefferson, congress approved the…

When looking at racial issues today in the United States, it’s important to look back in history to see where we were, where we’ve come, and where we need to go. One aspect of the history of enslavement of African Americans that may not be well known is that it…

1918 saw a devastating influenza pandemic that killed anywhere from 50 million to hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and upwards of 675,000 in the US alone. One hundred years later,  we are experiencing another wave of flu that has already claimed the lives of several dozen patients. One aspect of…

  Nicholas Cresswell was a young British man who traveled to the American colonies in 1774, stayed for about three years, and recorded his experiences in a diary. In April of 1775, he had made his way to what is now western Pennsylvania. On April 15th, he wrote “Crossed Jacob’s…

  In the early 20th century, men were often in the majority in co-ed colleges. In my grandfather’s graduating class of 1919 however, he was the only man. This unusual situation was due to world events of the time. Frank F. Jordan was a young man from Lawrence County, Pennsylvania.…

My 4th great-grandfather was Henry Jordan (1755-1847). He came to the US from Germany, as a Hessian soldier paid by the British government during the Revolutionary War. The family story was that he was captured after the Battle of Trenton in December of 1776 and joined the American army. In…