Sentimental Sunday – Grandparents Day

Well, it’s been a while since my last post! The summer was filled with so much fun and travel that my blog fell of my radar for a while. Time to get back to it …

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation that the first Sunday after labor day would be National Grandparents Day. So here are a few photos of grandparents and their loves from the family files …

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My Dad and his maternal grandparents, Elizabeth and Charles Merz in the early 1940s.
My mom and her paternal grandparents, Karl and Emma Haberkern, while visiting from Germany in 1959 (for Mom’s Confirmation).
My husband and twin sister cool off with paternal grandparents, Otis and Mary Draper.
My husband and his maternal grandparents, Mary and Michael Petrun, and his sister and Mom.
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One of my favs with my paternal grandparents, Art and Agnes Cubbage, and my sister and cousins in the early ’70s (before my brother arrived).
Me and my sibs with my maternal grandparents, Adolf and Elise Haberkern. Gotta love the ’70s!
My boys with their Grandma and cousin.
My parents and their wild Christmas grandkids!

Happy Grandparents Day to all of the Nanas, Pappys, Omas, Opas, Pop-Pops, Grandmas and Grandpas out there!


Happy Father’s Day!

I posted a few pictures of the Moms in our family tree. Sadly, I realized that I do not have nearly the same number of photos of the fathers in our tree. I’m not sure if the Dads were behind the camera, or there were more pictures of the mom and baby or children. So here are the few pictures that I have … and Happy Father’s Day to all the Proud Papas out there!

My husband’s mother with her father Michael Petrun, in 1936 in Slovakia. This was the picture on his passport when they immigrated to the United States.
My Mom and her father Adolf Haberkern, circa 1960.
My husband’s grandfather, Otis Draper, with his father Jackson “Jack” Draper, in Bedford County, Virginia, circa 1903.
My Dad, his brother Jeff and his father Art Cubbage.
My Dad, his brother Jeff, and their father William Arthur, in New Providence, New Jersey, circa 1961. (Looks like another Hearts Tournament!)
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My grandfather, Adolf Haberkern, with his father Karl Haberkern, in New Providence, 1959.
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My grandmother, Agnes Speck, with her father Frank Speck, in Monessen, Pennsylvania, circa 1927.


Workday Wednesday – Women in the Census

For Women’s History Month, I will be highlighting different women and/or records of my female ancestors (and my husband’s ancestors too). Today is all about the jobs we find for women in the census. Census records are one of the most valuable resources that we have available when researching our family. Occupations were not specifically recorded until 1850, and in 1910 a column for industry was added, providing more details about where our ancestors worked.

I have learned much about the women in my family though the occupations that were recorded in the census. The most common occupation for women, especially in the 19th century, as well as in rural farm or mining communities, was that of homemaker. The instructions for the 1870 note that “Women keeping house for their own families or for themselves, without any other gainful occupation, will be entered as ‘keeping house.’ Grown daughters assisting them will be reported without occupation.”

1870 Etna CUbbage

In 1870 “Cath” [Catherine] Cubbage, age 50, reported an occupation of keeping house. She was living with her grown and teenage children and was likely separated (her husband William is consistently found living elsewhere). Her daughter Mary, age 20, was working as a seamstress.

1870 Penn Cubbage

In the same year, “Barbary Copige” [Barbara Cubbage], age 35, was keeping house in rural Butler County. Her daughter Sarah, age 15, was “at home” and likely helping her mother.

1870 Burd

Another common occupation for women in my family ws that of domestic servant or simply servant. In 1870, “Mary Bird” [Mary Ann Burd], age 18, was working as a domestic servant with Martha and Isaac Mason in McKeesport, a suburb of Pittsburgh. The Masons, only a few years older than Mary,  would later file an affidavit for Mary’s veteran’s widow’s pension to provide details about her wedding and marriage to Charles Schwenk in 1871 (less than a year after this census).

1880 JCubbage Census

1880 Sara C Middlesex

Sarah Cubbage worked as servant for many years with the Logan Family in Butler County. Sarah never married, and she worked for, and possibly lived with, the Logans until she died in 1902 after falling on some ice. In 1880, Sarah, age 25, was found enumerated twice – once with her parents in Penn Township, and then again with the Logan family in neighboring Middlesex Township. She was recorded as a servant in both records.

I am always happy to see women in our family who have the occupation of at school – especially when they are in the teenage years, since many did not attend school past 8th grade (until into the 20th century). In 1900, Carrie and Hattie Draper, ages 16 and 19, are at school while living with their brother in Bedford County, Virginia. Their father had died the year prior, and the sisters and widow lived with older brother Walter Draper.

Occasionally, I have found women who had taken over a husband’s occupation after his death. Also in 1900, Jane Cubbage, age 72, was recorded as a farmer just a few months after her husband Jacob died. They had a substantial amount of property in Buffalo Township, Pennsylvania, including land that was being mined for oil and gas. Her son John would take over managing the land and farm a few years later.

In 1920, Elizabeth Linnemann, age 54 and also a widow, was found working as a “stuart.” at a hotel in Monessen, Pennsylvania. She was most likely a steward, and could have worked as a waitress or bartender. Her son Christian (here as “Christopher”) had the same occupation and worked most of his life as steward and bartender in local hotels and establishments. Elizabeth lived in the city of Monessen, which provided more opportunities for work than was available for some of my women ancestors who lived in rural areas.

In the 20th century, I have found additional occupations for women – at least before they married. In 1900, Margaret Cubbage, age 26, was found working as a teacher in Allegheny City. Margaret also never married, and spent her life working in education.

Living in a city or suburb provided more options for women to work in clerical occupations. In 1930, the Cubbage sisters were living in the city of Monessen with their parents and siblings. Marian, age 25, was working as bookkeeper at a bank. Marian never married and would have a long career as a bookkeeper (my dad remembers Marian to be the most financially stable aunt, and the first of those Cubbage siblings to own a car). Minnie, age 22, and Gladys, age 19, were working as stenographers at a real estate office and the steel mill. Both sisters would leave these positions after they married. And at this time, mother Maine had an occupation of none rather than keeping house.

I found an interesting “occupation” in the 1910 census. Jennie [Cubbage] Kearns, age 75 and widowed, was living in Pittsburgh with her daughter Jeanne. Both women reported an occupation of own income. Jennie’s husband, William D. Kearns, has been a well-known and successful physician in Pittsburgh. I guess they were financially stable!

I love piecing together the stories of my female ancestors. I encourage to take a look at your female ancestors through the occupations that you find in the census. Do you see changes in each generation? Do the women in more urban areas have better jobs? Did any young widows go back to work?


Census Office, Department of the Interior, “Ninth Census, United States, 1870; Instructions to Assistant Marshalls,” Washington: Government Printing Office, 1870; The United States Census Bureau ( through_the_decades/census_instructions/1870_instructions.html : accessed 1 March 2019).

1870 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Etna, p. 10 (penned), sheet 399B (stamped), dwelling 71, family 78, Cath Cubbage household; digital image, ( : accessed 1 March 2019), citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1299.

1870 U.S. census, Butler County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Penn Township, p. 15 (penned), dwelling 115, family 115, James Copige household; digital image, ( : accessed 19 September 2016), citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 132.

1870 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, North Versailles, population schedule, McKeesport Post Office, p. 20 (penned), dwelling 137, family 137, Isaac Mason; digital image, ( : accessed 13 January 2014) citing National Archives publication M5393, roll 1294.

1880 U.S. census, Butler County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Penn Township, Enumeration District (ED) 52, p. 413B (stamped), p. 10 (penned), dwelling 80, family 84, James Cubbage household; digital image, ( : accessed 19 September 2016), citing NARA  microfilm publication T9, roll 1109.

1880 U.S. census, Butler County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Middlesex Township, Enumeration District (ED) 46, p. 326D (stamped), p. 12 (penned), dwelling 101, family 104, Sarah Cubbage in John R. Logan household; digital image, ( : accessed 21 September 2016), citing NARA  microfilm publication T9, roll 1109.

1900 U.S. census, Bedford County, Virginia, population schedule, Lisbon District, Enumeration District (ED) 11, sheet 12-A, p. 206 (stamped), dwelling 196, family 262, Walt Draper household; digital image, ( : accessed 1 March 2019), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623.

1900 U.S. census, Butler County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Buffalo Township, Enumeration District (ED) 54, sheet 5-A, p. 51 (stamped), dwelling 98, family 100, Jane Cubbage; digital image, ( : accessed 1 March 2019), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623.

1920 U.S. census, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Monessen Ward 1, Enumeration District (ED) 152, sheet 2-B, p. 147 (stamped), dwelling 22, family 38, Elizabeth Lineman household; digital images, ( : accessed 15 November 2018), citing National Archives microfilm publication T625, roll 1666.

1900 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Allegheny City, Enumeration District (ED) 10, sheet 1-A, p. 102 (stamped), dwelling 8, family 9, Martha C. Cubbage household; digital image, ( : accessed 1 March 2019), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623.

1930 U.S. census, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Monessen City, Enumeration District (ED) 65-98, sheet 8-A, p. 106 (stamped), dwelling 119, family 163, Charles A. Cubbage household; digital image, ( : accessed 1 March 2019), citing National Archives microfilm publication T626.

1910 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Pittsburgh Ward 13, Enumeration District (ED) 450, sheet 4-B, p. 158 (stamped), dwelling 86, family 89, Jennie C. Kearns; digital images, ( : accessed 1 March 2019), citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 1303.


Lovely Valentine’s Couples

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I honor of this day of love, I searched around my family (and hubby’s) for Valentine’s records, marriages or pictures … nothing! Lots of marriages in December and January, but not much happening in February! I did find this clipping in the Cubbage Family Bible … I wonder which family member clipped it from the newspaper?


So no Valentine’s marriages or love letters, but here are some of the oldest pictures that I have of family couples:

c. 1902, Jackson “Jack” Draper and Sarah Pierce in Bedford, Virginia, married in 1894.
1915, Elizabeth Linnemann and Frank Speck, Monessen or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, taken around the time of their marriage.
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1934, Mary Simko and Michael Petrun, Male Zaluzice, Slovakia, taken around the time of their marriage.
c. 1939, Elise Gegenheimer and Adolf Haberkern, on a date near Stein, Germany, married in 1942.
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1938, Agnes Speck and Art Cubbage in Monessen, Pennsylvania, married in 1939.

I wish that I had more older pictures, but I am very thankful for those that I do have of our families. Do you have any Valentine’s marriages in your family? How about your oldest family pictures?


Family Recipe Friday – Pierogi!

Family recipe Friday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggersTRIBE which encourages the family historian to share a family recipe, as suggested by Lynn Palermo of The Armchair Genealogist.

Food can be such a big part of our family history, culture and memories. Family recipes are often passed down to children and grandchildren, sometimes after been kept a secret. There may be family stories and traditions attached to these recipes, adding richness to our family narrative.

I come from a pretty German-inspired food tradition in my family. My husband’s traditions are much more Slovakian-influenced. Three of his four grandparents were born in Slovakia! At Christmastime, they always had pierogis on Christmas Eve – those yummy filled dumplings associated with Central and Eastern Europe.

The pierogi filling varies by region and country. My husband’s maternal grandmother filled her pierogis with farmer’s cheese. In the 1980s, my father-in-law took over making them, but he made them with potatoes and cheddar – my husband’s favorite!

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About 12 or 13 years ago (we can’t seem to remember which year), my husband took over the tradition of making pierogi for the family after both his father and grandmother had passed away. He makes his father’s recipe, with a cream cheese dough and a potato and cheddar filling. Every December, Hubby spends a day making around 8 dozen pierogi, and then freezes them until we are ready to cook them on Christmas Day.


The first years were tough … the dough was too thin and broke easily, or was too thick to stay closed.  Sometimes the pierogis broke open when they were boiled. On Pierogi Making Day in those yearly years, I would take our young boys out for some Christmas shopping, as Hubby’s language got a little salty 😊.


But practice makes perfect, and they are delicious! He’s figured out the mechanics of making the dough, found the perfect sized cup to cut out the circles (we can never get rid of that NY Giants cup!), and the filling is just the right mixture of potato and cheesiness.

Whatever we make on Christmas Day (usually a pork roast) feels like the side to the main dish – pierogis! Hubby boils them, and we have melted butter with onions on the table to put over them (except for my German family who puts gravy on them, and everything else!). If it’s possible, I think the leftovers are even better – we fry them up with the butter and onions, and add a little garlic salt. Yum!

This recipe, and its connection to past generations, is such an important part of our Christmas traditions. The next time you make a family recipe, jot down some memories of the meal, the holiday or the traditions. Or call you mom or grandma and ask about the recipe, then add this to your family history.

What is your favorite traditional holiday recipe?