Month: March 2014

11. Emma Weaver – My mysterious great grandmother

I was looking over my family tree last week, pondering on who to write about in my 52 Ancestors blog post. While looking at my pedigree in my online tree, I realized that I had only one great grandparent that I had no photo of: my great grandmother, Emma Weaver.

I had realized that I had just gathered the basic information about her: birth, marriage, death, her parents, and then just moved on. I had remembered my Mom telling me that her grandparents were separated and that she had never met her grandmother. She had seen her once in town, and someone pointed her out and told my Mom, “That lady is your grandmother.” Perhaps that was why I had just moved on from her and didn’t bother finding out more.

Emma Ursne Weaver was born on February 4, 1879 in the Mahoning Valley in Carbon County, Pennsylvania to Wilson and Henrietta (Gombert) Weaver. She was baptized by the Reverend Abraham Bartholomew on April 5,1879. Her sponsors were Nathan Gerber and Maria Seidel.


It had been hard to locate when and where she had married my great grandfather, Erastus Serfass at first. However, through Ancestry, one of my Mom’s cousins connected with me, and he actually had their marriage certificate! Erastus and Emma had both been living in Lehighton, Carbon County. However, they were married in the small village of Andreas, which was several miles away in neighboring Schuylkill County in the parsonage of the Rev. Thomas Reber. And on top of that, the marriage record was filed in Northampton County. Indeed a good lesson that perhaps the record you are looking for may be actually located in a county where your ancestors did not live.

Erastus and Emma had 4 children: Arlington, Calvin, Harold (my grandfather) and Ellen. At some point after the birth of Ellen in 1912 and in 1920, Emma had separated from Erastus and left her children as well. Why would someone leave their children behind?

I decided to ask my Mom, once again about her. I guess my Mom really wanted to know more too, because she called her cousin that very evening to learn more too. This cousin was the daughter of Emma’s eldest son, Arlington. Emma had been to their home for family holidays. No one knew exactly why Emma moved out and left her children. There was talk that Erastus did not think she was a good mother to the children. My Mom’s cousin thought she had heard that she had “some kind of addiction” but was not an alcoholic. She recalled that Emma used to live at the Exchange Hotel on First Street, Lehighton. She would see her sitting outside of the hotel and would wave to her as she walked by.

My Mom had also recalled speaking to the wife of another cousin. This woman’s mother-in-law was a sister to Emma. She said that they had all called her “Stella Dallas” because she “liked to dress up and wore make-up.” It was also said that Erastus had been supporting her financially.

ImageErastus and Emma never divorced. However, Erastus eventually had a long-standing relationship with another woman and had even moved in with her. He had died in her home in 1942 and was buried in Lehighton Cemetery. When Emma died on January 14, 1952, her children made the decision to bury her next to their father in the family plot. This decision did not sit well with the woman who had been Erastus’ companion.

Although the family gossip does not seem to favor Emma, I still would like to find out more about her. And I hope I might be able to find someone that may have a photo of her.



10. Bridget Walsh Murray

It’s National Women’s Month AND it’s Saint Patrick’s Day. So, I have decided to write about one of my many female ancestor’s from Ireland for this week’s 52 Ancestors Challenge.

Bridget is actually a very distant relative for me: my 3rd cousin 3 times removed. But I thought her story was the most interesting.

Bridget was born around 1821 in County  Galway, Ireland. She was the daughter of Michael Walsh and Mary Caveney. In 1840, she married Peter Murray of County Sligo. Peter and Bridget lived on a farm and had 5 children, including sons Anthony Joseph and Michael.

In 1850 Peter left his family and sailed to America to establish a new home and life for his family. He settled in Dunmore, Pennsylvania and began working for the Pennsylvania Coal Company. He sent his earnings to Bridget, back in Ireland, so she could save up so she and their children could join him.

In 1853, Bridget and her young children were ready to sail to America. They boarded the ship, “Western World” in Liverpool and endured the six week trip across the Atlantic to their new home with 300 other passengers.

However, on the morning of October 26th, the “Western World” sailed into thick fog as it was nearing its final destination in New York. The ship ran aground outside of Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and was nearly torn apart. I can’t imagine how terrifying that must have been for the young Bridget and her children. For three days, she had to be strong and reassuring for her children as they and the rest of the passengers remained on board until another ship could come rescue them. Finally, they taken on rowboats to that other ship, and then taken safely to New York. No lives were lost.

Bridget lived in Dunmore until her death in 1892. She was blessed to have been able to see two of her sons, Anthony and Michael, start their own coal company in Dunmore and become successful businessmen. No doubt, her strength from that harrowing ship voyage, was a contributing factor in their success.

9. Catherine Logue – WWI Army nurse

This week’s 52 Ancestors Challenge, blog post, I have decided to focus on a female relative in honor of Women’s History Month. My great grand aunt, Catherine A. Logue seemed like the ideal candidate to write about within this theme.

Catherine was born on February 27, 1880 in Allentown, Pennsylvania to Manus and Ann Logue. She was the youngest child out of seven. She was baptized on March 7, 1880 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Her sponsors were Francis Hynes and his wife, Mary Shields.

I did not know very much about Catherine, until one day while browsing GenealogyBank. While trying to search for an obituary for another uncle, I came across this article in the Harrisburg Patriot in which told the story of Catherine, who served in the Army nurse corp in France and her attempts to see her nephew, Francis Logue, while he was stationed in the same area.


This little article was such a goldmine for me! I had known nothing of either Catherine, nor of Francis before this. I really wanted to learn more of Catherine. I immediately Googled “Base Hospital, no. 38, France” and learned that it had been organized under Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Upon further investigation, I had found Catherine’s name (spelled as Katherine) in the Appendix that included a list of officers, nurses, civilians and enlisted men that served with the Base Hospital no. 38.

Catherine took an oath and began active duty on April 2, 1918. She along with the rest of the Nursing Corp, sailed from New York to France on May 18th. The hospital was set up in Nantes, France in June and began receiving patients 11 days later. Nurses and doctors treated almost 2400 cases at one time while in operation. Catherine served in France for almost a year. She returned back to New York City around March 20, 1919. She was honorably discharged on April 25, 1919.

Catherine remained in New York City for the remainder of her life, working as a nurse. She died, unmarried, on February 8, 1957. Her niece filed to have a military headstone installed on her grave.


This is about all I know of Catherine Logue. I would like to find out more about her time in France, but not really sure where to look next. I am also still awaiting for someone to upload a picture of her headstone on I would love to hear from anyone that has also had an ancestor who served in the Army Nurse Corps.

8. Jean Remy Jambois – Man of Many Names

This week’s ancestor for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Days challenge is my husband’s 4th great grandfather, Jean Remy Jambois.

It has been a challenge researching this particular ancestor, because of the many various spellings of his name. I have seen it as “Jean Remy,” “Jean Reme,” “Jean Remequois,” and just plain “Remy.” His offspring would prove to be confusing as well. For example, one of his daughters, (my husband’s 3rd great grandmother) could be found as “Mary Florentia,” “Florentine,” “Flora,” or “Mary”. However, some of her sisters also had “Mary” or “Marie” before their names: Marie Rose, Marie Victorine, Mary Euphemie.

However, I did manage to find out much about this family. Remy was born 1814 in the region of Lorraine, France. He married Margaret Diehdonne about 1836 in France.  In 1847, Remy and Margaret packed up their children and boarded the ship “Michigan” in the port of La Havre, France and sailed to America. They arrived at the port of New Orleans on May 21, 1847.

The Jambois family resided in New Orleans for several years. Remy found work building for the levee. Two children were born in New Orleans: Marie Victorine in 1848 and a son, Amedia, in 1853.

The Jambois family moved north to Galena, Illinois for a a few years. In 1870, Remy acquired 80 acres from the Land Patent office near LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The family moved and settled in what is now present day Genoa, in Vernon County, Wisconsin. According to “Memoirs of Vernon County” by Earl M. Rogers, Remy helped to build the first Catholic church in the county.

Margaret died in 1871 followed by Remy on September 27, 1884. To date, I still have not found their resting place. However, most of their children are buried at St. Charles Catholic church cemetery in Genoa.