Alma Mary Speck was the daughter of Frank Speck and Elisabeth Linneman Speck and would have been the younger sister of my grandmother, Agnes Speck. Alma was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania and died just one day later. The cause of death was “premature infant” and she was buried that same day at Grandview Cemetery in Monessen.
I never knew of Alma until the Pennsylvania death certificates from 1906-1964 were made available on Ancestry.com. As most of us did when these records were released, I searched for surnames of family that had lived in Pennsylvania to see if I could find death certificates for collateral relatives or ancestors whose date of death was unknown. Through these searches I have found several children that died young between census years, and had no other records of their short lives.
I asked my father about Alma and he was not aware that Frank and Elizabeth had another child. We visited Grandview Cemetery in 2007 and found the tombstone for Alma’s father, Frank Speck, but did not see anything for Alma. She many have been buried in another location or did not have a headstone.
Besides finding another ancestor, I was able to learn a few more things about the Speck family from this record. They were living at 223 Alliquipa Street at the time of her death.
In addition, the name Alma Mary may provide some clues for family names. Their other children seem to have been named after family members … Agnes (Frank’s mother) Elizabeth (Elizabeth and her mother Elizabeth Barbara) and Frank (Frank) Rudolph (Elizabeth’s two brothers who died as children). I know the names of Elizabeth’s siblings and parents, so Mary may be from her side (Maria was Elizabeth’s middle name and her grandmother’s name). Alma could possibly be from Frank’s side of the family, as I do not know much about his family or where they were from in Germany. Maybe Alma was Frank’s sister or grandmother?? Another possible clue to add to the mysterious Speck family.
Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1963, No. 73103, Alma Mary Speck, 1 July 1916; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 March 2015); citing Pennsylvania (state). Death certificates, 1906-1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.