Friday, July 24, 2009

Doyles on old maps

I realized there are more useful ways I can use the University of Pittsburgh's historic Pittsburg maps. After all the work I did searching for the Doyles in the 1900 Census and confirming that they lived at 1586 Second Avenue, I could probably find them on a map. Now, if only I could determine where 1586 Second Avenue was. I know it is Hazelwood. 22nd Ward. But the maps don't show house numbers. This is going to take some digging...

Pursels or Pearsols?

Peter Pearsol, my ever-standing brick wall has opened several doors of late. Unfortunately, behind those doors are more questions. Questions proving to be rather difficult.

I was once told a family story that someone in our Pearsol tree had received a land grant from William Penn. I learned last night that these land grants were not from Penn himself but from his descendants. I encountered this page in the University of Pittsburgh archives explaining the disemination of land once owned by the Penns to settlers of Pennsylvania and veterans of the Revolutionary war. The land that was to become Allegheny County was divided up and granted to many. I scanned the list of men who received and and there he was, Peter Pursel. Not Peter Pearsol but Peter Pursel. He acquired land in 1816 in what is now Oakmont.

The man I know as Peter Pearsol, father of Civil War sergent Francis Blair Pearsol appears in the 1830 Federal Census as Peter Pursel. In Jefferson Township/West Elizabeth, along the banks of Peters Creek. Many Pearsols lived along this creek around the turn of the 19th century. It is unlikely that they are unrelated, but I cannot claim it to be true without proof.

My next task is to visit the cemeteries and churches in this region. Lobb's Run Cemetery,
Jefferson Methodist Episcopal Cemetery, Lebanon Presbyterian Cemetery, Clairton Cemetery and Round Hill Cemetery. There are probably others but these are the ones I know of. I have to start somewhere.

Were we Pearsols or were we Pursels? What's the difference? I can think of one. Pearsol is an English name. Pursel is an Irish name. Perhaps we aren't who we thought we were...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Software Wishlist

Often in my research I find question. A question that I could answer with infinite time sorting through my records. A question I wish I had software to answer.

Here are a few, as they come to mind.

1. I would like to sort for all marriages in Pittsburgh, PA after records began in 1885. And then sort by those for which I do not yet have marriage record sources.

2. I want to be able to find women by both married names and maiden names, not just one or the other.

3. I want to more easily sort geographically. I am going to try but I wish the software I already pay for had such abilities.

4. I want my research to be marked as mine. I am not perfect and have made mistakes. My mistakes have been copied by others thinking my work to be gospel, and I cannot undo the error.

5. I want to make "possible" matches online. I "think" these two people may be the same. I want to continue to investigate without having to start over every day. I don't want other to see the match, however, and run with it as true. If you can support my research, please do, but don't copy it until I prove it.

To be continued...

Monday, July 13, 2009

an uncle?

I am sorting through the 1830 census. I found Peter Pearsol (Pursel). He lived in Jefferson Township, as he would 50 years later. The neat fact? Next door to him were Francis Blare and James Blair. Those aren't middle names, those are last names. Perhaps Francis Blair Pearsol (Peter's son) was named after... his uncle? Could Peter's wife, Sara, have been Sara Blair?

*giddy happy dance*

(click for larger image)