Stories in Stone: Pasquale Cimaglia

A few weeks ago we received a photograph of a World War I soldier. The donor didn’t have any details on the man, but among the spare copies of the picture, they found a name: Pasquale Cimaglia.

. . . Yes, that was the sound of me breathing a sigh of relief! Unidentified photographs make me sad. I always feel like the person in the picture has been cut adrift; it makes me wonder who they were and what their story was.

But give me a name and I’m off to the races.

Quick Tip: Navigating World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

This could also be filed under: When in Doubt, Read the Instructions.

While I don’t use them all that much, I’ve always found the World War II Draft Registration Cards (freely accessible on FamilySearch or through a subscription on Ancestry) to be an interesting collection. They come from the “Old Man’s Draft” — that is, the registration of American men who were between 45 and 64-years old in 1942.

Book of the Month: Heroes All

This month I’ve chosen to feature Heroes All, a yearbook-style publication that contains photos and profiles of local men and women who served in World War II. While the book only encompasses North Union Township, South Union Township, and Uniontown, it’s still a valuable resource for genealogists and WWII buffs alike. The typical profile in Heroes…

Stories In Stone: Newell R. Allton

My favorite part of working in the Pennsylvania Room is that each and every day, I’m surrounded by stories. They’re tucked into yearbook pages, scribbled in the margins of ancestry charts, and hidden away in old family letters. Whether I’m faced with tracing the history of a person, place, or event, I enjoy the challenge of piecing all the fragments together to form a single narrative.

Quick Tip: Tombstone Photographs

Have you wanted to visit an ancestor’s place of burial, but you can’t make it to Fayette County? Or maybe you’re local and you just don’t want to go out in the cold? (Can’t blame you.)

Check out the Fayette County Genealogy Project. Apart from a unique assortment of records and resources — including a bibliography of Fayette County-related books — the group maintains a terrific collection of local headstone photos. I’ve turned to this part of the site countless times in the course of my research. It’s just that great!

Many of the photos are already indexed by surname. If you don’t find the stone you’re looking for, make sure to check the list of photographed cemeteries and the batch of photos not yet indexed.

Book of the Month: A History of the Medical Profession of Fayette County

This month I’m starting something new in the Pennsylvania Room: a Book of the Month display. As many of our visitors are from out of the area and only have time to do specific genealogical research, they usually don’t have a chance to crack open one of our local history books. Given the variety and quality of our collection, I think that’s a real shame.

So, each month I want to select a great PA Room resource that isn’t getting enough attention. For February, that book is Jacob Sidwell Hackney’s A History of the Medical Profession of Fayette County.