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.

Updates & miscellaneous

Well, I did call the author of the article mentioned in my last entry, but he said it would be better if we talked in person (suggested the library), and I informed him that it wouldn’t be immediately possible, car trouble, but I am going to call again soon as I am back on the road earlier than expected!

I had a few searching tasks in mind at the cemetery today, so I headed over there looking for various burials in block 23, didn’t find anything; but I did take a photo of the view from the rear of the cemetery, it is atop the hill and you can see a great deal of the town from there. Pardon the photo quality–it was my camera phone and I couldn’t keep it still, the height was rather dizzying I have to say! 🙂

Looking north, on the steps near Block 23 (rear of cemetery)

Looking north, on the steps near Block 23 (rear of cemetery)

The courthouse trip I mentioned earlier I now have scheduled for the end of the month. However, I still do not trust the car for long trips so I have arranged to have a friend drive me there. He is often very busy with work, etc., so something may come up then, but so far next week is what we have planned.

More news: Recently I emailed a church by the name of Christ Lutheran in–where do you suppose?–Barto. This town, in Berks County in the area of Washington Township and Bally (formerly Goshenhoppen in the 18th C or thereabouts), was the home of Darlington R. Kulp around the 1850’s and 60’s. Census records say it was actually Washington Township, but an 1876 map indicates that Barto was part of the township, so in other words we’re talking about the same general area. It is, by the way, on the border with Montgomery County and just a few miles north of Pottstown in that county, where Darlington was raised. Directly across the border is Niantic, where his parents were buried. His eldest son, Monroe Henry, was born in Barto, October 23, 1858.

In fact, several of Darlington’s children were born in the Washington Township area, excepting Chester Grant who was born in Schultzville, Chester County; Howard, Gilbert, and the twins (who, sadly, died in infancy in 1869), who were all born in Shamokin. I’ve never been able to find much information on the Berks County connection, so when I heard about the Christ Lutheran Church located so near to where they lived, I immediately decided to find out how long ago it had been founded. Of course, D.R. Kulp’s short biographies from Bell’s and Floyd’s indicate that he belonged to the German Reformed Church before he moved to Shamokin, but then, I figured that if it had existed back then and was so nearby, they probably wouldn’t have minded. It was a very rural area and in those days people often had to wait for a traveling priest to come by, so if there was even a Lutheran church anywhere in the area, I highly believe they would have attended there. (And perhaps the bios are wrong.)

So, I found the email address for Christ Lutheran Church on their webpage, located here, and sent them a message asking when the church was founded. Someone by the name of Melissa replied and said that it had actually been founded in 1836, but she didn’t think they had any records from the 1850’s to the 1860’s, just the later years of the 19th century and afterward. However, she said that if she ever found out anything about it, or talked to anyone who might remember what became of them, she would let me know.

So the question is, was the church located in Barto at that time? Or was it originally located elsewhere? The Berks County PAGenWeb and PAGenWeb Archives pages have comprehensive lists of Berks County churches, but I did not see anything about the Christ Lutheran Church there. Confusing.

So, we’ll see what develops in the next couple of days. I hope the Sunbury trip will turn out well; but I think I am sure to find something there. I have a long, detailed, (and now organized!) list made up, and I am fairly confident at least some of the tasks will yield useful information.

Oh, and there’s the ILL deliveries today. Am still waiting for the Halifax Bicentennial.

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Update 09/02/08: Schultzville, Chester County? Oh, please. Turns out it was Berks County, and yes, in the Washington Township area. Don’t trust those obituaries!

Time to swat self again

Today, after having been busy for several days, mostly because of the holiday, I set out for the library again. (No ILL deliveries yet, I’m afraid.) I didn’t have much to do, but I thought I’d search out a death record for someone or other. However, the dates I was looking for weren’t there, so I instead took out the reel of microfilm for wills from the early 1900’s. I didn’t expect to find much, as my previous experience with the wills there had been that they are all administrations (no actual information about what was bequeathed to whom, just a basic overview written after the estate was settled). However, having nothing better to do, I decided to look for the administration for the estate of Elizabeth Gilbert Kulp, mother of Monroe H.; she died in 1902.

Continue reading

Grand news!!

Was browsing the website for the PA State Library today, thinking it was about time for me to send them a request regarding those Harrisburg papers (see posts under People and Families>Detweiler), and wondering just how long it would take for an answer and what they would say about fees…

Then, I read the page about their newspapers collection. I was stunned, shocked and disbelieving to read that they actually do Inter-Library Loans, free of charge, of their microfilm copies! I had no idea. How could I have missed that?!

I had just been about to go outside for yard cleanup, but needless to say when I read this I had to call the local library immediately. I stood about on the path outside for approximately five minutes, pacing while telling the librarian the dates and locations I was looking for. I mentioned the Harrisburg Patriot, since I’m not sure what newspaper was prevalent there at that time, but I though it might be the Patriot–had to call back later after discovering the State Library’s online card catalog which said that for 1887 they had the Patriot but for 1890 only something called the Daily Morning Patriot and the Evening Star…had to call back a third time one minute ago because actually, they have the Telegraph from 1870-something to 1948, so that sounds like it’s a more complete collection. I was so overwhelmed by the discovery I wasn’t sure what to think, so I had to keep changing the information. They probably think I’m such a pest! 🙂

In any case, I’m sure this will be quite a breakthrough. And furthermore, the State Library has countless newspapers from other areas of Pennsylvania–this discovery will continue to serve me well in the future, I am sure. I was just thinking today that I need something from Reading–long story, trying to trace descendants of Darlington Kulp, grandson of first Darlington and son of MHK’s brother Howard; he was a Baptist minister in Reading at one time though I think he died in Delaware County.

Anyway, I was told it may take some time for the microfilm to arrive; request goes out on Thursday and we won’t hear from them till the Thursday after that at least, plus I was told the request has to go through the Pottsville library as well before it gets to Harrisburg…well, you get the point. Still, I don’t have to go anywhere nor pay a cent. How excellent!

Newspaper tidbits

While browsing about the Internet today, I happened across a few tidbits from Mt. Carmel newspapers on a site I visit all the time–don’t know how I missed them, the files have been online since 1997 (!). I think that’s before the days of RootsWeb even!

Well, what I found were brief notices in the Mt. Carmel Ledger, on various subjects. From Friday, October 28, 1892:

M.H. Kulp, of Shamokin, accompanied by his brother Chester Kulp, transacted business at Mt Carmel, Wednesday, October 26, 1892.

Friday, January 6, 1893, about his brother:

Gilbert Kulp, one of Shamokin’s best known young men, returned home from a week’s jaunt to Philadelphia Saturday afternoon. He also spent a day with his former college chum, A.Z. Kalback, at Lebanon, Pa.

Same day:

Gilbert Kulp, he who helped to complete the list of society young men of Shamokin was in Mt. Carmel between trains Wednesday.

Friday, March 3, 1893:

Superintendent John Williams and M.H. Kulp of Shamokin, transacted business in Mt Carmel on Feb 28, 1893.

Friday, March 27, 1893, regarding his brother Howard:

Howard Kulp, formerly of Shamokin, now running the lumber business for his father in Centre county, spent a few days in town this week.

Friday, May 5, 1893:

Monroe H. Kulp, the Shamokin, Northumberland county, lumber dealer, transacted business here on Tuesday.

A more abstract collection of ledger entries, from 1894, indexed in alphabetical order, references M.H. Kulp’s mother, Mrs. D.R. Kulp, sister Ella, and brother G. Gilbert (Gilbert G. is the same):

Kulp, D.R. Mrs. lived in Shamokin on May 11, 1894 m/o Miss Ella Kulp
of Reading Hospital
Kulp, Ella Miss lived in Shamokin on May 11, 1894 was in Reading
hospital ch/o Mrs. D.R.Kulp of Shamokin
Kulp, G. Gilbert at College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y on Jan 12,
1894, visited his parents on Dewart St. in Shamokin
Kulp, G. Gilbert b/o Ella Kulp both of Mt. Carmel
Kulp, Gilbert G. lived in Shamokin on Jun 15, 1894

Not sure why it says both Ella and Gilbert were from Mt. Carmel; never heard that before, although it may be possible they lived there briefly at one time.