Tag Archives: Uphouse

Grandparents make the world a better place – a tribute to my Grandmother, Goldie Simpson Edwards

My grandmother, Goldie (Simpson) Uphouse Edwards

My grandmother, Goldie (Simpson) Uphouse Edwards, about 1974

In the era when families are spread through the U.S., I suppose my family was quite an anomaly. So much so that in later years my grandmother would often remark, “I must have done something wrong – I just can’t rid of you kids!” Of course, all of us “kids,” now well into adulthood with families of our own, knew she was fiercely proud of her loyal brood of children and grandchildren. Her life had been spent raising her three daughters, and then, spending her mid-life and senior years doting on her six grandkids.

Reflecting back, I now realize I took my childhood for granted, and assumed that all kids had wonderful grandparents and extended families. Continue reading


The Gene Bug that keeps biting!

It’s hard to believe that last year this time I was just putting together a sketch of my Uphouse family in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Using the censuses, I came up with some hypotheses on relationships – and most have proved correct! When Henry Uphouse died, his kids seemed to be spread abroad throughout Somerset and Westmoreland counties, and while I was reasonably certain these kids were my aunts and uncles, I had no initial proof. One invaluable web site to assist in my endeavor is www.pa-roots.com. Last night I found a newly-posted, extracted obituary for William H. Uphouse on there. Actually, they had two of them. A quick email and by mid-morning today I had scanned copies of both! Continue reading


Pennsylvania research – oh the value of research trips!

My husband and I just returned from a five-day research trip in Pennsylvania.  It was a whirlwind trip, and as I had limited time, I had to focus my priorities and not allow myself to get distracted.  What wonderful results!  I could easily have spent the entire time at the wonderful Somerset County Historical Society!  What an awesome place!

What made this trip especially thrilling was being able to verify theories, positively identifying my third-great grandfather’s gravestone, clarifying misinformation found online, and getting to actually touch and handle 170 year old documents listing my family in 1840.  What exhilaration!  What joy!  For all these reasons, whenever possible, an on-site research trip is really the best way to work on a family history.

Gravestone for Henry Uphouse, Barron Cemetery, Middlecreek, Somerset, PA

Worn and degraded headstone of Henry Uphouse

One of my first objectives was to solve the mystery of Henry Uphouse, my third great grandfather, whom I believed to be buried at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Cemetery, also known as Barron Cemetery, in Middlecreek, PA.  Having done extensive research in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, I knew he was the only Henry Uphouse listed in the 1840 and 1850 censuses in the entire county.  I had viewed his probate records, scanned decades worth of microfilmed tax records for the county, and was confident my assumption was correct – Henry Uphouse died in sometime in April, 1857.  My dilemma?  Pennsylvania’s tombstone project listed his date of death as April 14, 1852.  Recognizing the possibility of a transcription error, I was anxious to visit the cemetery myself to visualize the gravestone.  My husband and I searched the entire site, and could not locate the headstone.  A second search through and I began scrutinizing dates, looking for one that stated 1852 or 1857, and finally found the stone shown the right.  Since the stone was so worn, the name was simply unreadable.  However, the year was clearly 1857, not 1852.  I took several photos of it, sat that evening, wishing the name to somehow magically appear.  Then I remembered an old trick I’d read about to obtain information from worn headstones, and knew I couldn’t rest until I’d tried everything to positively identify this as Henry’s headstone.

The next morning we set off to Walmart for the requisite supplies – charcoal, large paper, and at my husband’s suggestion, tissue paper.  Continue reading


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