Linneman

National Handwriting Day & Signatures

Today is National Handwriting Day, which was established in 1977 by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (who knew there was such an association!).[1] It was to be held on January 23rd which is John Hancock’s birthday, in honor of his famous signature on the Declaration of Independence. Rather than comment on our current digital world and its replacement of handwriting and penmanship, I’ll look at one of my favorite finds in genealogical documents … signatures.

I usually do the happy dance when I am able to find a document or record of ancestor, but I am especially happy when it includes a signature. I find signatures to be such a personal part of what can be sterile or factual document. I can see a piece of this person on the page. I often picture him or her signing the document and wonder what was going through their minds at the time, espcially since these can be on a will, naturalizaiton or draft record. Below are some of the tangeable marks left by my family.

 

Charles Cubbage

My great-grandfather, Charles A. Cubbage’s signature on his will.[2]

 

Charles Swank

My 2nd great-grandfather, Charles G. Schwenk’s Civil War Pension Record.[3]

 

Christ Linneman

My 2nd great-uncle, Christian Linneman’s World War I Draft Card.[4]

 

Anna Babai

My husband’s great-grandmother, Anna Babai’s Petition for Naturalization (note the variant spelling of her name).[5]

 

Sarah CUbbage

My 4th great-grandmother, Sarah Cubbage’s mark left on her will.[6]


SOURCES:

[1] Jennie Cohen, “A Brief History of Penmanship on National Handwriting Day,” History.com (http://www.history.com/news/a-brief-history-of-penmanship-on-national-handwriting-day/ : accessed 10 January 2018), A+E Networks, 2012.

[2] Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, estate file 346, Charles A. Cubbage (1939), Register of Wills, Orphan’s Court, Greensburg.

[3] Declaration for Increase of Invalid Pension, 15 September 1890, Charles G. Schwenk/Swank (Pvt. Co. A and 1st Sgt. Co. C, 82nd Pennsylvania Inf., Civil War), pension application no. 694362, certificate no. 454879, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications … 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[4] “United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” index and images, Ancestry.com (https://ancestry.com : accessed 10 January 2018), card for Christ Linneman, serial no. 2883, no. 163, Local Draft Board No. 8, Monessen, Westmoreland 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.

[5] Anna Babay petition for naturalization (1940), naturalization file no. 26784, Middle District of Pennsylvania; Records of the District Courts of the United States; Record Group 21; National Archives-Mid Atlantic Region, Philadelphia.

[6] “Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994,” digital images, FamilySearch  (https://familysearch.org : 4 January 2018), Allegheny County, Wills 1808-1830, vol. 2, page 289, no. 221, Sarah Cubbage (1822).

© 2018 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Favorite Photo Friday – Snow!

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It was a snowy, windy day in New Jersey yesterday, so this seemed like a good one! I have always loved this image from my Cubbage side. Taken in the winter of 1946, this picture captures my grandmother Agnes Speck Cubbage, my father Corky, and his younger brother Jeff on a snowy Pittsburgh day.

This photo was most likely taken on or near Thelma Street on the North Side, where they were living with Agnes’ mother and her husband (Elizabeth Linneman Speck Merz and Charles Merz). My grandfather, Art Cubbage, was in the Navy and stationed in Norfolk at the time.

I am guessing that Elizabeth or Charles took the picture … maybe so Agnes could send it to Art while he was away? So he could see how his boys were growing, or to remember those Pittsburgh winter days? There are no markings on the back, but there is another image in the collection of just Corky and Jeff. Art would be discharged in a few months and the family would be reunited.

Happy snow day!

© 2018 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Wednesday’s Child – Alma Mary Speck

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 man have been buried in another location or did not have a headstone.

Frank & Elizabeth Speck

Frank & Elizabeth Speck, 1915

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.


SOURCE:

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.

© 2017 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.