Tag Archives: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: A Fearless Female Post

March is Women’s History Month and Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings chose the Fearless Female topic for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun this week.

1) Check out Lisa Alzo’s “Fearless Females 2023” blog post prompts and write about one of them.

My Fearless Female choice has to be my paternal grandmother, Julia (Scerbak) Sabo for several reasons.

Nana, standing second from right

First, although Nana was born in Passaic, her family moved back to Ujak when she was about 4 years old. In 1910, just after her 17th birthday, Nana and her second cousin, Susanna Szurgent, made the trip together from Ujak back to Passaic. The trip wasn’t easy and, even though Nana had friends and cousins already living in Passaic, she arrived with $15 and not much else. While Nana held U.S. citizenship by birthright, she didn’t speak English. That takes some courage!

Second, like most of her relatives and friends, Nana went to work in the mills along the Passaic River, as seen in the photograph. Hours were long, pay was low and the mills were breeding grounds for tuberculosis. Nana had good genes, though, and never got ill.

Third, my grandfather, George, died of TB in the midst of the Depression, leaving Nana and my 10 year old father, George Jr. Nana worked in their meat market business while raising my dad and managing to hold on to the house which was purchased c1925. Although Nana said she received more than one proposal to re-marry, she chose not to.

Fourth, as part of a Rusyn generation that experienced an extremely high mortality rate – if birth, childhood illness, an epidemic or the 1918 flu pandemic didn’t get you ,TB would – Nana lived a long healthy life, passing away in her sleep, aged 91 years, just a couple of months shy of her 92nd birthday.

Nana faced adversity, but met it head on and not only survived, but thrived.

Thank you, Randy, for the reminder about Women’s History Month and Lisa Alzo’s writing prompts!



Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Are/Were You a Wild and Crazy Genealogist?

This week’s challenge for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with Randy Seaver is actually a challenge to tell a bit of our own stories.

Here is our challenge:

1) What is the most wild, crazy, off-the-wall, or really stupid thing you have done in pursuit of your ancestral families and their family history?

By nature, I’m much more of a reserved, boring person than a wild and crazy one, but I have done a few things in my quest for genealogical information.

One of the first memories I have is of visiting the Old Burying Ground in Gloucester, Massachusetts because I have several ancestors who died in the 1700s who are not only buried there, but have legible gravestones today.

Accessing the cemetery was the wild and crazy part. First, Dave and I had to obtain directions because we couldn’t find an entrance off the street. It seemed that there was no public road access as the cemetery was located on a hill in the back of someone’s yard. We were told to drive through the backyard (and we passed the wash hanging on the clothesline) to get close enough to walk the cemetery!

There were a lot of graves, but the cemetery grass was very overgrown and it was summertime bug season. Dave enjoyed visiting Gloucester because he’d never been there before, but he wasn’t so thrilled about tromping around through the weeds looking for a handful of gravestones. At one point, he said we were leaving, but I made it very clear that I didn’t come 3,000 miles and drive through someone’s yard to give up and go home without photographing my ancestors’ stones. He realized that I was determined and, a short time later, we found all the graves near the top of the hill. They were some of the earlier burials.

On the same trip, we drove up the coast to Calais, Maine. One of the highlights of that visit was taking the ferry over to Deer Island, where my Adams ancestors had settled. My goal was to meet some cousins and it happened by chance that the first person I met off the ferry was a very nice lady named Alice, who was an Adams by birth! Not only did I chat with her, but I managed to talk her into bringing me around to visit several elderly cousins who could share some early family stories. Turning up unannounced at the front door of distant cousins who have never heard of me is wild and crazy for me!

A second activity, similar to knocking on the front door that I’ve done repeatedly is to cold call distant cousins who I’ve been able to identify and locate using modern day public databases. Everyone is always very surprised to hear from a 3rd, 4th or whatever cousin out of the blue, but no one has ever hung up on me. Once they realize that I’m not a scammer, they’re very happy to share family stories.

That’s about as wild and crazy as this person ever gets!

Thank you, Randy, for this week’s interesting challenge.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: 100 Word Genealogy Challenge – An Ancestor I’d Like to Meet

This week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge issued by Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings is a good one:

Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  This SNGF is based on the 100 Word Challenge (https://100wc.net/) that school children are participating in around the world.  They are given a word or phrase to write a story about in one hundred words.

2)  Write a short 100 word story using the phrase “,,,an ancestor I would like to meet…” in 100 words. Why would you like to meet him/her? [Hint:  If you write it in a word processor, you can use Tools > Word Count (or similar) to count words]

It took me less than a minute to choose the ancestor I’d like to meet – Catherine, (MNU), who married Robert Carlisle probably in the summer of 1785 in Parrtown (now St. John), New Brunswick, Canada. I’ve hunted for clues to her maiden name multiple times with no luck!

FYIPlanters in my 100 words below refer to settlers enticed to leave New England and settle in then Nova Scotia in the 1760s.

So, here she is in 100 words  and WHY I’d like to meet her-

An ancestor I’d like to meet is Catherine (MNU), who married Robert Carlisle, c1785, probably in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. They were the parents of 8 children. I’d love to ask Catherine her maiden name, parents’ and siblings’ names, if they were Loyalists or Planters, along with birth, marriage and death dates and places. Robert served in the American Revolution in the defense of Fort Cumberland, Canada. Why did the family move to Maine c1830? Did she know her in-laws and extended family? Why does it seem that they have no FAN club to help identify family and friends?

So many questions, so few answers!

Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge.