Tuesday’s Tip – Collateral Relatives

Burd crop_0001.jpgI have been thinking about William Burd lately. In an assignment for ProGen (peer study group) last month, William Burd was the key that unlocked a family for my second great-grandmother. I knew that my great-grandmother, Maine Swank Cubbage, was the daughter of Charles G. Schwenk/Swank and Marian Burd. Marian was born in Connecticut in 1854-5 and married Charles in 1871 in Allegheny County.[1] I had been unable to find any records for her prior to 1870.

This is where collateral relatives – siblings, cousins, nieces or nephews – can be helpful in opening some locked family doors. Census records for the Swank and Cubbage families included a William H. Burd. My grandfather mentioned that he shared a room with “Bill Burd” as a kid. Could William Burd be related to my second great-grandmother Marian Burd? Absolutely! (or this would be a very short and boring blog post!)

Burd crop schoolAccording to a birth register, William Burd born on 28 February 1894 in Natrona, Pennsylvania, although he consistently used 29 January 1894 as his birthdate.[2] I’ll come back to that date discrepancy shortly. By the time that Bill was six years old, he lived with his widowed Aunt Marian “Mary” (Burd) Swank, as an “adopted son” with her children, Maine and Charles.[3] For most of the next 30 years, Bill lived with Maine Swank, now married to Charles Cubbage, and their children.[4]

Charles and Maine had eight children, and Bill was about 10 years older than their oldest son, Lester. Over the years, Bill was recorded on various censuses as cousin, roomer and boarder. I found a photocopy of Bill’s school record and his photo (above) with some Cubbage memorabilia (I don’t know who had the original). Bill never married and spent most of his life with the Cubbage family in Swissvale and then Monessen. He lived with them when they lost two of their children (Leah in 1920 and George in 1921) and in Maine’s letter to her sister, she mentions how upset Bill was about George’s death, “Poor Bill is taking it awful hard. he don’t cry he just groans and that is worse.”

1942 burd obituary

Bill died of influenza and pneumonia at the Cubbage home in Monessen in 1942.[5] Bill’s obituary lists the Cubbage family as his own, with no mention of his birth parents or other Burds.[6] Bill worked for many years as a foreman at the Blast Furnace at Pittsburgh Steel.

Negative ScansSo how did he help me find my second great-grandmother’s family? For starters, “Burd” is often listed as “Bird” or “Byrd” and I was having problems determining which was our family and which was the correct spelling. In Bill’s death record, Lester Cubbage named Bill’s parents as Alexander Burd and Elizabeth Ryan. Obituaries helped me connect Alexander to his sister Marian Burd, and to four other siblings in Allegheny County. These siblings led me to confirm that their parents were Alexander Burd and Main Bingham. I’ll save them for another post.

So back to Bill Burd’s date of birth – the date that he used, 29 January 1894, was the date of his parent’s marriage, a month before the date of Bills’ birth in the county register.[7] I haven’t been able to locate much information about Alexander Burd and Lizzie Ryan. Alexander was widowed by 1900, but no death record has been located.

Much is still unknown about Bill Burd’s origin and parents, yet it appears that he was well taken care of by the Swank and Cubbage families. His presence in their families led me to his Burd family and opened the door to my third great grandparents, Alexander Burd and Main Bingham!

Have you ever used a collateral relative to help you find an ancestor?


SOURCES

[1] 1870 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, North Versailles Township (McKeesport Post Office), p. 20 (penned), dwelling 137, family137, Mary Bird in Isaac Mason household; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 October 2019), citing National Archives microfilm publication M593. Also, Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, compiler, Marriage Returns, City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 1870-1875, Volume 3, (Pittsburgh: The Society, 1999), 83.

[2] “Birth record index, 1893-1905, to births outside the city of Pittsburgh,” Birth index, A-G 1893-1905, p. 76, William Bird, digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 28 October 2019); citing Allegheny County Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, FHL microfilm 7902608, image 77 of 371.

[3] , 1900 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Pittsburgh Ward 22, Enumeration District (ED) 261, sheet 7-A, p. 270 (stamped), dwelling 102, family 114, William Burd in Mary A. Swank household; digital image, Ancestry.com (httpa://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 October 2019), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 1362.

[4] 1920 U.S. census, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Monessen Ward 2, Enumeration District (ED) 154, sheet 5-A, p. 207 (stamped), dwelling 48, family 89, William Burd in Charles A. Cubbage household; digital images, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 October 2019), citing National Archives microfilm publication T625, roll 1666.

[5] Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate no. 16957 (1942), William Harrison Burd; Bureau of Vital Statistics, New Castle.

[6] “William Harrison Burd,” obituary, The Monessen Daily Independent (Monessen, PA), 19 February 1942, p. 3, col 6; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 October 2019).

[7] “Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950,” Marriages, v. 28, no. 17754, Ryan-Burd, 29 January 1894, digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 28 October 2019); citing Allegheny County Courthouse, Pittsburgh.

© 2019 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Military Monday – Art’s Discharge from the Navy

This is the final post in a recent series about my grandfather’s Naval service during World War II. Art Cubbage received his Honorable Discharge from the US Navy on 9 April 1946, just short of two years from when he was inducted. At the time of his discharge, Art was a Yeoman Second Class.

2eaed-19462bhonorable2bdischarge2bnavy

Art’s Naval Separation papers had a wealth of information about him at the time, including his address and occupation, both before and after his service, schooling, and Naval insurance and pay.[1]

6c251-19462bnaval2bseparation2bpapers

During Art’s time in the Norfolk, Camp Shelton and the other 3 bases in the area were partially “inactivated at the end of hostilities of WWII” and were later consolidated into one installation named the Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek.[2] This base was commissioned on 10 August 1945. This was during Art’s time of service and I wonder if he attended the commissioning. Little Creek was designated a permanent base in 1946.

Military Monday - Art's Discharge from the Navy

Military Monday - Art's Discharge from the Navy

Art’s wife Agnes went to Norfolk at the time of his discharge. Above are pictures of Art’s Naval housing and a picture of Agnes in front of his home during his service.

4777c-april2b9252c2b1946
I love this picture of Agnes and Art (except that his eyes are closed!). I found it in a folder from The Windsor House, a restaurant in Norfolk. The date written on the back of the photo is 9 April 1946 – the same date as Art’s discharge. I can imagine my grandparents enjoying a nice dinner together after being apart for two years.

1947 Cubbage Address

 

After his discharge, Art went to Pittsburgh and then back to Akron with his family. They lived at Hillwood Homes, which was housing for Veterans, and Art worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad again.

 

 


SOURCES:

[1] Notice of Separation from U.S. Naval Service, William Arthur Cubbage, 2C USN-I(SA), 9 April 1945, USN PSC Shelton, Virginia; privately held by the author’s father, original scanned by Laura Cubbage-Draper, 2011.

[2] “Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia,” Military Installations, (http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil/MOS/f?p=MI:CONTENT:0::::P4_INST_ID,P4_CONTENT_TITLE,P4_CONTENT_EKMT_ID,P4_CONTENT_DIRECTORY:4960,Installation%20Overview,30.90.30.30.30.0.0.0.0,1 : accessed 6 October 2017).

© 2019 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Military Monday – Yeoman Art Cubbage

Military Monday - US Navy Yeoman Art Cubbage

This is the second post about my grandfather Art Cubbage’s service in the US Navy. After completing Service School Command in 1944, Art was stationed, and spent the remainder of his time in the Navy, at the Personnel Separation Center at Camp Shelton near Norfolk, Virginia.

Camp Shelton was an armed guard training center, but at the end of World War II it served as a separation center.[1] Art was a Yeoman and most likely worked in the offices at the PSC. I am pretty sure that Art is at the far right on the phone in the picture below.

Military Monday - US Navy Yeoman Art Cubbage

As a Yeoman, Art performed secretarial and clerical work. Yeomen would “deal with visitors, telephone calls and incoming mail. YNs organize files and … order and distribute supplies.”[2] As a Yeoman, Art most likely wrote or typed letters, directives, forms and reports, as well as maintained files and service records.

3537f-rating_badge_yn

The insignia the uniform of a Yeoman is crossed quills with the nibs down.

Military Monday - US Navy Yeoman Art Cubbage

In this picture of Art, you can see the insignia under the Navy eagle. There are a handful of pictures of Art and his friends and fellow Yeomen during his time in the Navy. Only a couple are marked, so we can only guess which are from Training at Great Lakes and when he was a Yeoman in Virginia. One picture is of the Fifth Naval District building, which was at the Norfolk Navy Yard. There are others that are most likely of the Norfolk area. 

Art is on the left in both pictures. The woman in the picture to the left and the man in the picture to the right show up in several of Art’s Navy pictures. I am guessing that they served together, as they both have Yeoman insignia on their uniforms.

These were probably taken at the Norfolk Navy Yard, which was about eight miles west of Camp Shelton.

While Art was stationed in Norfolk, his wife, Agnes, and sons, Corky and Jeff, moved from Ohio to Pittsburgh’s North Side to live with Agnes’ parents, Elizabeth and Charles Merz.  These are a few pictures of Agnes and the boys during that time. I wonder if she sent them to Art in Norfolk?

Next week is Art’s discharge from the Navy.


SOURCES:

[1] “Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia,” Military Installations, (http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil/MOS/f?p=MI:CONTENT:0::::P4_INST_ID,P4_CONTENT_TITLE,P4_CONTENT_EKMT_ID,P4_CONTENT_DIRECTORY:4960,Installation%20Overview,30.90.30.30.30.0.0.0.0,1 : accessed 6 October 2017).

[2] “US Navy Enlisted Ratings,” Archive.org, (https://web.archive.org/web/20061211231100/http://navyrotc.berkeley.edu/resources/gouge/Ratings.pdf : accessed 6 October 2017).

© 2019 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Military Monday – US Naval Training

Military Monday - US Naval TrainingThe United States Navy was founded on 13 October 1775 and “Navy Day” will be celebrated on 27 October this year, so it’s a good time to share a series of stories about my only (known) ancestor who served in the US Navy.

My grandfather, William Arthur “Art” Cubbage, served in the US Navy during the end of World War II from 1944-1946. At the start of the war, Art was living Ohio (first Akron and then Cleveland) with his wife, Agnes (Speck), and young sons Corky and Jeff. He worked as a passenger representative for the Pennsylvania Railroad.[1] Art was inducted into the US Navy on 17 April 1944 in Akron. Corky was not yet 3, and Jeff was only 3 weeks old.

Art attended boot camp at the US Naval Training Center Great Lakes in North Chicago, Illinois. All recruits began their Naval careers at the USNTC for orientation and training. The Training Center at Great Lakes had grown substantially since World War I. Over four million sailors served in the US Navy during World War II, and about 1\one million were trained at Great Lakes.[2] Below is a picture of Art’s Company on 11 May 1944.

Military Monday - US Naval Training

Art went on to complete additional training in Service School Command at Great Lakes on 22 September 1944. This school was organized to provide additional intensive courses of study in various specialized areas (signal, coxswain, armed guard, quartermaster, etc.). Art was in Section Y6-1, Yeoman School. The yeoman branch of the Navy executed the clerical work of the navy, and required some clerical experience.[3] Art had worked in accounting before working for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and likely had the clerical background needed. In the Yeoman School at Great Lakes, four months of courses included “practical work in all branches of clerical duty ashore and afloat”.[4]

Military Monday - US Naval Training

Art is in the second row, second from the left. It is interesting that in most of these pictures, he was not wearing his glasses. In almost every other picture of him since high school, he wore his glasses. During this time, Agnes, Corky and Jeff moved to Pittsburgh to live with Agnes’ mother and step-father, Elizabeth and Charles Merz.

The story continues next week when Art was stationed in Virginia.


SOURCES:

[1] Notice of Separation from U.S. Naval Service, William Arthur Cubbage, 2C USN-I(SA), 9 April 1945, USN PSC Shelton, Virginia; privately held by the author’s father, original scanned by Laura Cubbage-Draper, 2011.

[2] “About Naval Station Great Lakes – History,” Naval Station Great Lakes, (https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrma/installations/ns_great_lakes/about/history.html : accessed 2 October 2017).

[3] Yates Stirling, Fundamentals of Naval Service, (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1917), 71; digital images, Google Books (https://books.google.com/books?id=SRTV_4GAx6UC&pg=PR3&lpg=PR3&dq=Yates+Stirling,+Fundamentals+of+Naval+Service&source=bl&ots=hF05mLKEqM&sig=PJI-mGpK9V0K_F3h4EDAskTkqmE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiK4Y2IlNfWAhWB5iYKHbk_DZIQ6AEISTAJ#v=onepage&q=yeoman&f=false : accessed 4 October 2017).

[4] Francis Buzzell, The Great Lakes Naval Training Station: A History (Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1918), 118; digital images, Archive.org (https://archive.org/stream/greatlakesnavalt00buzziala#page/118/mode/2up : accessed 3 October 2017).

© 2019 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Sentimental Sunday – Happy Birthday Mom!

1951

My mother was born today in Bauschlott, Germany. I looked for some birthday party pictures like I posted for my Dad, but don’t have any scanned. I’ll have to check her picture stash the next time I’m home.

This is a picture of  Mom around 1950 in Stein, Germany. The picture was taken while she was at school in kindergarten. When her mother (my grandmother, Elise Gegenheimer) saw the picture, she was mad that my mother wasn’t wearing any shoes! I always loved this picture and the story that went with it. Happy Birthday Mom!

© 2019 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.