The Church of the Ascension

I’m afraid I haven’t really had much time to post this till now, but two days ago I set off on another research trip–this one, less about records, and more about the actual places and era in which the lives of the people I’m researching played out.

On Sunday, August 31, it was a sunny (and, in my AC-lacking car, rather hot) afternoon when I headed out for the town of Kulpmont. It’s just a few miles east of here and more than slightly connected with my research: according to the history books, the earliest settlement was begun there about 1875, but it wasn’t much to speak of until thirty years later when Monroe H. Kulp began the first major development of the town. Hence, the community was named after him.

But, I had a specific destination in mind in the borough of Kulpmont. This destination was a place I’d been to before, but only long enough to walk about outside, and I’d never had a chance to see as much of the building as I’d hoped. This time, however, I had contacted the owner and he (knowing the general history of his property already) had agreed to let me come by and get to know more of what the building was actually like.

This photo was taken in 2007, on Chestnut Street in Kulpmont across from St. Pauline’s:

This was the Monroe H. Kulp Memorial Episcopal Church of the Ascension, built 1912 by Kulp’s widow, Sarah, and consecrated on Ascension Day, May 1, 1913–in the words of the Greater Shamokin Centennial publication (1964), “as a tribute to his memory.”

The church has been empty for many years, though it was still used occasionally at the time the Centennial book was written. Two days ago, I, as a dedicated student of the prominent Kulp family’s history, was able to enter the old church for the first time.

Accompanied by the courteous and helpful owner (who, by the way, has marvelously restored the next door rectory, he let me explore there too), I entered by the second door toward the rear, which you can see in the photo at the top of a short, straight flight of steps. This led to a vestibule with doors of lovely old woodwork, and the entrance to the nave was at the left.

From the raised level where once was situated the altar, I looked out over a wide, open room roofed by a vaulted ceiling with the old, dark woodwork still intact. The pews no longer stood in this old gathering place of faith, and both main windows had been removed due to damage, but the smaller stained glass windows along the sides remained.

Toward main window; the main entrance is just at the left of the window. Most of these photos were lightened since I was using my cell phone camera, which produces a darker, higher contrast image.

One of the side windows, at the right as you’re looking toward the main window as shown in previous photos.

Another window at the right; I left this image as-is to preserve the stained glass detail of the window.

If you look closely, you can see the outline of where the second main window was here at the back of the church, above what used to be the location of the altar.

Outside again, I walked about the exterior of the church, taking photos along the way, and peered for a moment into the basement.

Looking toward the main entrance from the back porch of the rectory.

The door to the basement. Note the stone walls of the church; very well-built.

I took this photo as I was leaving; note the location of the back window as shown in previous photos.

So, this then was the Church of the Ascension, the same attended by Sarah Kulp for so many of the later years of her life.

I have been to very few places, actual buildings that is, where I know for certain that the people of my research have also been (most of those places are no longer standing). So it was another significant step in my research to have finally had a glimpse inside this church on August 31, even though I have not been hard at the material (records) aspect of research lately. It was a wonderful trip I could never have turned down!

Now…onward! Plans for Harrisburg are in the works, though not likely to happen quite soon. I am also going through the census records lately–and think I may have (finally!) found George Washington McConnell in the 1850 census. Needless to say, nowhere near Halifax where he should have been! 🙂 But, it’s not verified. Will post soon about it.

Endnote woes, research & BFF

I spent last night and most of this morning working with the OpenOffice word processor, trying to achieve what I thought was kind of a simple task: Place endnotes at the end of a chapter, with a page break.

Source citation is going to be a key element of my book, as most historical works written around here at any time, recent and distant, have had little or no sourcing (highly annoying!), and I think it’s about time someone did it right. So, I will need frequent endnotes (I think they are easier to manage than footnotes, since they don’t get in the way of those readers who aren’t looking for sources, and they are compiled in easy-to-find groups).

Well, I first thought of having several separate documents, one for each chapter, so that when the endnotes were placed at the end of a document, it would actually be at the end of a chapter. Conveniently, endnotes were given an automatic page break this way.

Then I discovered the master document system. This way, I could link all of these separate documents to one, large master document. I figured that this would have the same result as unlinked documents, only it would be more convenient as I would be able to treat them as a single document. This meant that I could also add an automatic index for the entire document. Sounds perfect, right?

Now, for some reason, it turned out that endnotes in a master document were placed at the end of the master document–not at the end of the subdocument, i.e., chapter. So, even though the endnotes were added in the subdocument, they did not take effect within the subdocument, they just got added to the end of the entire thing, the exact thing I wanted to avoid which is why I started using the master document system.

This morning, I discovered that if you go to the Sections area under Format (which, in a master document, will list the subdocuments just like the Navigator does), you can tell it to gather the endnotes at the end of a section (subdocument). Now this seemed as if it would solve my problem, but it turned out that the endnotes were gathered directly under the text–no page break!

I’ve been sitting here for hours trying to figure out how to give it an automatic page break. You can do it manually by directing the amount of space between text and endnote (in inches, you can’t just tell it “start on new page”), but then this will have to be done separately for each chapter, and I figured if they’re going to give me this complicated system which is supposed to save me time by doing things automatically, there ought to be a way to do this very, very simple automatic process. No? Maybe I’m just picky, but the master document system seems to be messing up the very things it was designed for. It’s supposed to give you individual control over individual documents, but allow you to compile them and treat them as one. Right?

Well, anyway. This morning I also finally remembered to call the Trinity Episcopal Church. (I need a planner! I’m forgetting things already, two weeks in a row!) I asked if they had any old records, and they told me they’d need to talk to some other people about it, and perhaps I could meet them at the church in a couple of days. I said I could, and we arranged a date and time. So this week I am headed off on another research trip. I hope they have something there!

Also, many thanks to Ruth of Bluebonnet Country Genealogy for the BFF (Blogging Friends Forever) award! I am honored, and happy to hear you’ve enjoyed my blog as much as I’ve enjoyed reading yours!

Unfortunately, although I’d love to, I can’t really accept the award yet as the rules are you must pass it on to another blogger, and I’m afraid I don’t know of any other genealogy bloggers who are regular readers of this site, except for Ruth herself. So, I suppose I’ll have to hang onto the award for a while until a few more readers come along! But, thanks again, Ruth!

Back from the Courthouse: File No. 1292

At about 9:30 this morning, Andy, the one who was to drive me there, arrived and we set off for the Sunbury courthouse. After a fine drive, we came to Sunbury at about 10. The mom and I proceeded to the courthouse while Andy went off to walk about the park on the median, across from the courthouse building.

As usual, I didn’t have much time there. Think Andy said something about an appt. He is very busy; it was so kind of him to drive me there while my car was being such an old biddy. 🙂 Thanks Andy! Every minute spent there counts.

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Blog remodeling & off for the courthouse

I was up at 5 am this morning, even though I had the alarm set for 6:30. I’m rarely up this early, but soon I’ll be heading out to the county courthouse in Sunbury. My task list includes:

  • Try to find MHK’s will. (I know there had to have been one, and if there was, it is on file. And I must find it.)
  • See if the courthouse has any additional probate records, other than just the will books. Especially in the case of Darlington Kulp’s estate, there should be much more paperwork than a three-page will/administration.
  • Look up other wills, including those of: Clayton, Chester, Gilbert and Ella Kulp. (Howard moved to Lewistown, Mifflin County; unfortunately I have no access to those records at the moment.)

In other words, today will be spent in the Register of Wills office, and any basement rooms which may house additional records. I know the deed books are down there. And what a fascinating place the basement is! Long corridor, locked doors, stone walls, low ceilings, old books. Exciting!

I will try to get photos of the town and scenery, but my digital camera is low on batteries and my cell phone needs to be “topped up.” (Paid.) It’s 25 cents for every photo you email from the cell phone, so I won’t be able to send too many.

I have given the blog a new look. I am thinking of changing the header image, too, but I’ll need to work on that sometime. I also plan to change some of the pages around, and add new content. Hope this looks better!

And, after reading Ruth Stephens’ blog, Bluebonnet Country Genealogy, the other day, I followed her example and went and got myself a custom signature for my posts from MyLiveSignature.com. Nice site, might great for designing logos too, if you can use the white background.