A few years ago I shared some of the oldest pictures of couples that I have for Valentine’s Day. Here are some images of my Cubbage couples. Happy Valentine’s Day!
James Cubbage and Barbara Black Cubbage, my second great-grandparents, both died in February, less than a year apart. James died on 28 February 1906 and Barbara died on 9 February 1907. They both died at their home in Glade Mills, a part of Penn Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania.
James’s obituary was much shorter than Barbara’s – I wonder who provided the information for each of them? I have a photocopy of a lengthy obituary or funeral program for Barbara. The source is unknown, but the contents are amazing! There is so much detail about the Cubbage family.
James and Barbara were buried at Thorn Creek Cemetery. Today it is known as Rockdale Cemetery and is located off of Rockdale Road in Penn Township, Butler County, not far from the small Thorn Creek and the Thorn Creek Church. Thankfully, there is the “Rock Dale Cemetery” sign, as the cemetery is not visible from the road.
© 2020 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Today is the Winter Solstice, and it’s getting cold here in New Jersey. And with the change in seasons come the change to winter sports! I recently came across some pictures of my father and uncle playing ice hockey.
This is a picture of my father Corky’s ice hockey team in 1957 – the New Providence Rangers. His brother Jeff was also on the team, and the head coach was Joe Dill (wo was their next-door neighbor). The uniforms were maroon and white and had been donated by Summit High School (they were old football jerseys). My father’s thoughts on the hockey team:
“We played in a league (can’t remember the name) and games were at Branch Brook Park Arena (outdoor) in Newark on Sunday mornings – 6am (we had to get up at 3am!). The other teams were Summit Redwings, a team from Cranford and I think Chatham & Englewood. We also played some independent games with private schools like Lawrenceville & Oratory. They had their own rinks. Great Times.”
Side note: be sure to ask your family about any pictures that you have! These awesome details about the league were not noted on my grandfather’s slides – just the date.
My father lived in New Providence, New Jersey as a teenager. The Passaic River ran along the back edge of their yard. The river would freeze over in the winter and Corky, Jeff and their friends would play ice hockey there as well.
Happy Winter Solstice … and ice hockey season!
© 2019 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
I 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. 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!)
According to a birth register, William Burd born on 28 February 1894 in Natrona, Pennsylvania, although he consistently used 29 January 1894 as his birthdate. 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. For most of the next 30 years, Bill lived with Maine Swank, now married to Charles Cubbage, and their children.
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.”
Bill died of influenza and pneumonia at the Cubbage home in Monessen in 1942. Bill’s obituary lists the Cubbage family as his own, with no mention of his birth parents or other Burds. Bill worked for many years as a foreman at the Blast Furnace at Pittsburgh Steel.
So 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. 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?
 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.
 “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.
 , 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.
 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.
 Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate no. 16957 (1942), William Harrison Burd; Bureau of Vital Statistics, New Castle.
 “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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
 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.
 “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,220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.0,1 : accessed 6 October 2017).