Wedding Wednesday – Frank Speck & Elizabeth Linneman

1915 Speck-Linneman Marriage_0002

Frank Speck and Elizabeth Linneman, my great grandparents, were married on 18 January 1915 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I found this marriage certificate for Frank and “Lizzie Lineman” in a file of old family pictures and memorabilia.1915 Speck-Linneman Marriage

Marriage records for this time are available at the Allegheny County Courthouse and I was able to get a copy of their application for a marriage license at the Orphans’ Court.[1] This record provides some details about Frank and Elizabeth:

    • Frank reported that he was born in Germany to Peter, deceased, and Agnes, who resided in Germany.
    • He lived in Monessen and worked as a hotel clerk.
    • He was 28 years old (born about 1887).
    • “Lizzie” reported that she was born in Germany to Albert, a miner, and Elizabeth, who resided in West Virginia.
    • She lived in Sprigg, West Virginia.
    • She was 22 years old (born about 1893).

The above information confirms much of what I know about Frank and Elizabeth, yet there are still come conflicting details. Elizabeth reported that her father’s name was Albert, yet all other records name him as Gerhard Linneman. It is unclear at this time if it was a nickname for him or an error (maybe Frank provided the information to the Clerk).

Elizabeth also reported that she as 22 years old, conflicting with the June 1897 birth date found in her German birth record.[2] This means that Elizabeth was actually 17 years old when she married Frank.

Frank & Elizabeth Speck
Frank and Elizabeth Speck in 1915.

This marriage application also leaves a big question – how Frank and Elizabeth met each other if he lived in Monessen and she lived in Sprigg, which are about 300 miles apart! My current theory is that Frank knew her brother Christian. Around the time of their marriage, Frank worked as a bartender and a hotel clerk, and Christian also worked as a bartender, both in the Monessen/Greensburg area.[3]

1915 Speck-Linneman Marriage_0001

The Orphans’ Court record also included the marriage return, which stated that Frank and Elizabeth were married at St. Peter’s Church in Pittsburgh, signed by the Rector, Edward H. Ward.

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I looked up St. Peter’s, which was an Episcopal Church in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Sadly, this beautiful church was torn down in 1986.[4] Since neither Frank and Elizabeth lived in Pittsburgh, it’s not likely that they were church members, but it still may be worth it to see if the Episcopal diocese has a marriage record as well.

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This newspaper clipping was also found in the family memorabilia and I was able to locate it in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette edition from 19 January 1915.[5]

Frank and Elizabeth settled in Monessen after they married and my grandmother Agnes was born just over nine months later on 26 September 1915.

Happy Anniversary Frank and Elizabeth!

 

 

 

 


SOURCES:

[1] Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Application for Marriage License and return no. 6374, 18 January 1915, Speck-Lineman; Office of Orphans’ Court Clerk, Pittsburgh.

[2] Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Geburtsregister [Births], no. 644, Elisabeth Maria Linnemann (1897); Institut für Stadtgeschichte, Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

[3] Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Court of Common Pleas, no. 3682, Christ Linneman, declaration of intention; Prothonotary’s Office, Greensburg.

[4] “St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (Pittsburgh),” Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Peter%27s_Episcopal_Church_(Pittsburgh) : accessed 6 January 2020).

[5] “Marriage Licenses,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), 19 January 1915, p. 18, col. 7; digital image, Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 6 January 2020).

© 2020 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Sentimental Sunday – Corky’s Birthday!

maybe Cork's birthday - summer 1945 or 1946

 

Someone had a birthday this weekend! Happy Birthday to my Dad. This is a picture from Corky’s 4th birthday party! Corky is boy on the left sitting in the front, sort of looking around another boy. His brother Jeff is being held by an unknown woman.

Corky’s father was still in Norfolk in the Navy at this time, so he and his brother Jeff, and his mother (Agnes Speck Cubbage) were living on Thelma Street on Pittsburgh’s North Side with Agnes’ mother (Elizabeth Linneman Speck Merz).

Corky's brthday

 

The photos were not labeled, so I wasn’t sure of Corky’s age or the year. I was able to zoom in on this picture and count the candles … four!! The birthday party was in the backyard of Elizabeth’s house and probably included other children from the neighborhood.

maybe Cork's birthday - summer 1945 or 1946

I love this picture of Agnes looking up while she cuts the birthday cake, surrounded by all of the kids.

maybe Cork's birthday - summer 1945 or 1946

Happy Birthday Day!

 

© 2019 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Tuesday’s Tip – Using a Draft Card to Identify a Man in a Photo

Military records are an incredible resource that can help us learn about our ancestors. Enlistment, discharge, pension, and service records, plus muster-rolls, draft cards and others, can provide valuable biographic and personal information about our family.

Some military records may even provide a physical description of the person – height, weight, eye color, hair color – which can help to paint a picture of the ancestor in the absence of photos. Draft Registration Cards for Word War I and II both collected information about the physical description of the registrant.

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My second great-uncle, William Arthur Speedy, registered for the draft in 1918 and was recorded as medium height and build with gray eyes and brown hair. During the registration for World War I, the registrant was also asked Has person lost arm, leg, hand, eye or is he obviously physically disqualified? (Specify). William’s card reads:

“Left index finger entirely gone, also 1st + second joint of second finger left hand.”

Well now I have a better picture of what William looked like! I do have one photocopy of a picture of William, but his left hand is hidden.

These physical descriptions can be helpful in identifying unknown persons in our family photos. This picture is from my grandparents’ collection. Using other pictures, we easily identified the man sitting as Christian Linneman, my great grandmother’s Elisabeth’s brother. It was possible that the man standing was one of the other brothers, probably Gerhard or George since they lived in the same town (William had moved to Chicago).

Christian & maybe a brother

George Linneman, registered for the draft in 1942 with the following card and information:

5-A G. Linneman Draft Card  5-A G. Linneman Draft Card 2

Besides learning that he was 5’ 7” and 145 pounds with gray eyes and brown hair, it was noted that he had a

“Fractured Knee-cap” and “Crossed left eye.”

George’s crossed eye is noticeable in this picture (and others) and was the key in identifying him!

Christian & maybe a brother

Be sure to check out the physical features of your ancestors on the back side of the cards. Draft Registration Cards are accessible for free on the FamilySearch website, and at subscription sites Ancestry and Fold3.

Have you used records to identify an unknown person in a photo?


SOURCES:

“United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” index and images, Ancestry.com (https://ancestry.com : accessed 4 June 2018), card for William Arthur Speedy, serial no. 2298, Local Draft Board No. 14, Swissvale, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, NARA microfilm publication M1509; imaged from Family History Library roll 1927074.

“United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942,” index and images, Ancestry.com (https://ancestry.com : accessed 4 June 2018), card for George Linneman, serial no. 1783, Local Draft Board No. 10, Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania; citing World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration) for the State of Pennsylvania, NARA microfilm publication M1951; National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri.

© 2019 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Treasure Chest Thursday – German Gesangbuch

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For those of you who know me, you know that Thursdays are my favorite day of the week – choir and handbell choir rehearsals! I love being a part of the thriving music program at our church. A few years ago, my parents gave me the most wonderful little book as a gift. It is a German Gesangbuch, or hymnal, that belonged to my great-grand uncle, Christian “Christ” Linnemann.

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The first page is printed with “Ach bleib mit Deiner Gnade.” According to Google Translate, this means Oh stay with your grace.

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Christ’s name is written on the back of the first page. The first two pages appear to have been repaired with some white tape that covers the end of his name and part of the next  page. The following page is printed with “Widmung” which means dedication, but nothing is written on that page.

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The Evangelisches Gesangbuch is a Protestant hymnal. This edition was published in 1897 in Dortmund, and reads for Rheinland and Wesfalen. Christ was born in the state of North Rhein-Westfalia, so it appears to be an edition from that area of Germany.

There is a table of contents which lists times of the Christian year (New Year, Sunday, Advent, Easter, Ascension, etc.) and page numbers with hymns. There are also sections for morning, midday and evening.

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The hymnal’s binding is very tight, so I am careful not to open too far and damage it (see my earlier post on caring for a Family Bible).

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Each hymn has the first verse with the music, and then the following verses without the music. At the end of the book is an index  of composers (translated as song poet, which I LOVE!). I plucked out some of the hymns on the piano, but do not recognize any of them. They appear to be more chant-like (many of the composers were born in 1600s) and not the familiar Presbyterian hymns that I am used to singing.

Christian &  Elizabeth Linneman
Christan Fasel Linnemann with his sister Elizabeth Linneman Speck, circa 1920.

Christian Linnemann was my great-grandmother’s oldest brother. He was born in 1887 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany as Christian Fasel. His father died shortly before he was born and his mother later married Gerhard Linnemann. Uncle Christ never married, and my father remembers him sitting quietly and reading his Bible, or maybe this Gesangbuch. His mother’s religion was Catholic on Christ’s birth record, but when his sister Elisabeth was born, she and her husband were both Protestant (Evangelishes). The Linnemann family came to America in 1904 when Christ was 16 years old.

I am so thankful to have this Gesangbuch. Do you have a special family heirloom that you treasure?

© 2019 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Mamas out there! I thought I’d post a few pictures of moms and kids from our families.

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My mother with her mother, Elise Gegenheimer Haberkern, in Stein, Germany, 1945.
Agnes, Cork, Jeff, summer 1945crop
My father with his brother and mother, Agnes Speck Cubbage, on the North Side of Pittsburgh, 1945.
Scan of picture
My great-grandmother, Maine Swank Cubbage, with her daughters Marian, Marge and Babe, and most likely her daughter-in-law Happy Griffith Cubbage, Monessen, Pennsylvania, 1930s.
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My husband’s great-grandmother, Mary Kelovcy Simko, with children Mary, Susan, Michael and Walter, circa 1930.
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My great-grandmother, Elizabeth Linnemann Speck, with either Agnes (1915) or Frank (1918) in Monessen.
Linneman (front) around 1904
My great-great-grandmother, Barbara Elisabeth Nilkowski Linneman, with her children Christian, Gerhard, George, William and Elisabeth, in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, 1904.

© 2019 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.