The 1920 Wedding of Ethel C. McClintock and Mark H. Berryman

Wow. You can tell that Ethel’s father, T.B., owned a greenhouse business– her 1920 wedding was drenched in flowers. Since news articles published before 1923 are in the public domain, I can share all the blooming details here:

“The bride was radiant in a quaint gown of duchess satin and veil of tulle arranged high in Russian effect and confined with a coronet of orange blossoms. “

From “Society Notes,” (24 Sep 1920), Scranton Republican, Scranton, Pennsylvania (full source at bottom):

“Of exceptional beauty was the wedding of Miss Ethel C. McClintock, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. B. McClintock of Electric street, and Mark H. Berryman, which took place last evening at 8 o’clock in the Green Ridge Baptist church.

The pulpit was completely hidden by a great bank of delicate bougainvillea, palms and cibotium fern, while gorgeous bronze baskets of gladioli in shades of flame and yellow, lavender, wild asters and fern obscured the choir loft. Southern smilax and satin and chiffon ribbons marked the aisles, which were crowded with friends of the bride and groom.

P.J. Bennett, of Pittston, gave a delightful program before the ceremony and played the wedding march from Lohengrin as the wedding party entered the church.

First came the ushers, the bridesmaids, the matron of honor, and then the bride and her father who gave her in marriage. They were met by the groom and the best man. Rev. C. M. Angle read the ceremony.

The bride was radiant in a quaint gown of duchess satin and veil of tulle arranged high in Russian effect and confined with a coronet of orange blossoms. The bodice of her gown was of satin, delicately embroidered In opalescent beads and veiled with Chantilly lace. The train, which hung gracefully from the girdle, was also beautifully embroidered, and the skirt had bouffant draperies of the lace. She carried an immense shower bouquet of bridal roses.

Mrs. David J. Day, a sister of the bride and the matron of honor, wore a splendid gown of shell-pink satin, elaborately embroidered and fashioned with Basque bodice and paneled skirt, and trimmed with narrow picot ribbons. She carried an arm-bouquet of pink roses.

The bridesmaids, Misses Bessie Berryman and Alice Palmer, were gowned alike in creations of silver-blue satin and silver lace. Their flowers were gorgeous bouquets of Ophelia roses.

The groom was attended by his brother Harry Berryman, and the ushers were Harry Dippre and Warren Davies.

A reception followed at the home of the bride. Assisting the bridal party in receiving were the mother of the bride. Mrs. T. B. McClintock. who wore a handsome gown of taupe georgette embroidered in jet with a corsage of bronze autumn flowers, and the mother of the groom, Mrs. Edith Berryman, who was attired in embroidered black satin. Mrs. Clarence McClintock wore a charming gown of blue charmeuse. Mrs. Lee McClintock was attired in black crepe de chene.

The living room and library were transformed into Autumn bowers by palms. ferns, and baskets of dahlias and asters in the Autumn hues. In the dining room, where the bride table was laid, cosmos and roses in white and shades of pink were used with maidenhair fern. Spencer catered.

Among the out-of-town guests were Mr. and Mrs. Bert Thomson, Mr. and Mrs. Leon Thompson, Mrs. Manley Bennett, all of Bath. N. Y.: Charles A. Goudy of Philadelphia and Ralph Bancroft of Plattsburgh, N.Y.

The bride, who is an attractive young woman and an accomplished musician, has among her many wedding gifts a wealth of silver, glass and exquisite china. Mr. Berryman is connected with the Heinz company. Mr. and Mrs. Berryman left for New York and a boat trip along the Jersey coast. Upon their return, they will reside on Electric street.”

View Ethel’s Family Tree

“Society Notes,” (24 Sep 1920), Scranton Republican, Scranton, Pennsylvania, page 7, digital image, accessed Jan 20, 2018,,

“Society Notes,” (24 Sep 1920), Scranton Republican, Scranton, Pennsylvania, page 7, digital image, accessed Jan 20, 2018,,



“It’s Stone Avenue or nothing!” (But now it’s South Webster.)

1898 Sanborn Map Stone Ave
Sanborn Map Company, “Insurance maps of Scranton, Pennsylvania, including Dunmore. Vol. 2,” (1898), sheet 1595

Did you know that Scranton’s South Webster used to be called Stone Avenue?
My great-great grandparents John and Barbara Pallien lived on that street. I was looking up their address on, and it turns out there was some entertaining drama surrounding the avenue’s name change.

The first assault on “Stone” appears to have occurred circa 1900, when a name change to South Webster was suggested at a city council meeting1 by a Mr. Vaughan. By 1903, the avenue had undergone a few name changes. It went from Stone to South Webster to Jermyn (reported in some newspapers as “German” Avenue — coincidentally, my great grandparents were German immigrants). And then, it reverted back to Stone.

All this change was not without a little confusion. From The Scranton Republican, April 1903:

“For a time the people of this side [the South Side] will be somewhat confused over the names of the avenues from Prospect to Crown on account of a change. Stone avenue, which has been changed to South Webster, is again changed to Jermyn avenue, not “German,” being called after the late John Jermyn.”2

Stone Avenue or nothing!

A few months later, in July 1903, there was a shouting match over the name of Stone Avenue at a city council meeting. The chairman, Mr. Merriman, was reading from a list of proposed street-name changes that were up for vote. When he read out “Stone Avenue or South Webster Avenue to Jermyn Avenue,” Mr. Vaughan declared that the people preferred South Webster, and he made a motion for calling the street by that name.

But then, Councilman John McHale, whom the reporter described earlier as leaping to his feet with “eyes blazing,” informed the committee:

It must be Stone avenue or nothing! It was Stone avenue before we were born, the people want it Stone avenue, and it will be Stone avenue when we’re dead!

“He begged the chairman to immediately call it Stone avenue regardless of anything Mr. Vaughan might say.

Mr. Vaughan explained that the name had been changed from Stone to South Webster avenue by ordinance two years ago because it was a continuation of North Webster avenue and because the residents wanted it so.

“What is Webster? Give me a definition for Webster?” said Mr. McHale excitedly, while at the same time Mr. Griffiths was on his feet asking for information.


The article continues:

“It was some time before order was restored and when it had been, Mr. McHale was instantly on his feet asking for a vote on his motion. It was seconded by Mr. Barrett, and the question was put. The responses appeared to be evenly divided.

“I’m in doubt,” said Chairman Merriman.

“No doubt about it,” said Mr. McHale, “We win. Let’s have the ayes and nays.”

Instead, a rising vote was taken and it resulted in a tie of 5-5. Mr. Merriman declared the motion lost.

“Hurrah,” said Mr. McHale. “You lose, you lose; we win,” and he very politely begged Mr. Griffiths’ pardon when the latter suggested that the matter be left for the councils to decide.

“It’s all settled now,” [McHale] said, notwithstanding that his own motion was lost.

Mr. Vaughan afterwards moved that the name be changed to South Webster avenue and the same tie vote resulted. The matter was then left for councils to decide.”3

As of 1936, a street in Scranton named Stone Avenue still appeared in newspaper articles, although South Webster Avenue is what’s listed on the 1920 census.4 Go figure! But, as all Scrantonians know, this street is known as South Webster Avenue today. Sorry, Mr. McHale!


[1] “Hard to Find a Customer: Difficulty in Selling the Sewer Bonds,”(07 Dec 1900), The Scranton Tribune, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 2, digital image,, accessed Jan 17, 2018,

[2] “Change in Names,” (06 Apr 1903), Scranton Republican, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), page 6, digital image,, accessed 17 Jan 2018,

[3] “Mr. M’Hale’s Humor: City Father Convulsed Committee on Public Works with His Wit at Last Night’s Meeting,” (31 Jul 1903), Scranton Republican, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), page 7, digital image,, accessed 17 Jan 2018,

[4] “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 January 2018), John Pallion, Scranton Ward 20, Lackawanna, Pennsylvania, United States; citing ED 187, sheet 7A, line 8, family 116, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1581; FHL microfilm 1,821,581.

[5] Sanborn Map Company, “Insurance maps of Scranton, Pennsylvania, including Dunmore. Vol. 2,” (1898), sheet159, New York: Sanborn-Perry Map Co., digital image, accessed Jan 18, 2018.

The Census Says the Darndest Things – Plus Scranton Boy Battles Snake Circa 1904

When I’m researching my family line, I always spot news articles that I think are worth sharing, even if they aren’t directly related to my ancestors. For instance, check out this blurb from an 1870 Tunkhannock, PA, newspaper:

Fooled the census taker
Clipped from Wyoming Democrat, Tunkhannock, PA, 10 Aug 1870
“There is a lady in our town, whose age is about 31 years, (more or less,) boasts that she fooled the census marshal by telling him she was sweet sixteen. Somebody else (former lover we presume) told him better.”

I think I’m speaking for all family historians when I say: Thanks a lot, lady!

That’s proof that mistakes in the census records aren’t strictly the fault of lazy, drunk, inept or hard-of-hearing census takers.

And speaking of census mistakes, one ancestor of mine appears to have been a vampire, judging by the Federal census. Over the course of 30 years, her age remained completely unchanged on the censuses.

The first time I found her on the Federal census, she was nearly 50 years old, which was 10 years older than her husband. But a decade later, she was the same age as her husband (and still the exact same age she’d been listed as 10 years before). Ten years after that, her husband had died, but there she is on the census, still listed as the exact same age she’d been both 10 and 20 years before.

Her death certificate, however, appears to list an accurate age for her. And the cause of death was not “stake through the heart.” It also turns out she wasn’t 10 years older than her husband– they’d been roughly the same age– if the death certificate is right.

I guess I’ll never know why her age was consistently noted on the census as “48 years” over the course of three decades. She was a native English speaker, so the mistake wasn’t from a language barrier. Go figure!

Shifting gears:

I found this exciting tale from 1904 Scranton, PA, when I was researching the German branch of my tree. I don’t think I’m directly related to this kid, but the story is worth sharing:



Boy’s Rest Disturbed on East Mountain in Rude Manner – After Fierce Fight Boy Escaped by Running

It is not a pleasant sensation to lay one’s wearied bones to rest on Nature’s couch and, after a refreshing sleep, to wake up and find a blacksnake coiled around one’s chest. It is, indeed, horrifying to wake up under such adverse circumstances, but If Edward Bohr, of 528 Irving avenue, had not wakened when he did yesterday, it is extremely doubtful if he would have had the privilege of opening his eyes at all.

Bohr was strolling through the East Mountain yesterday afternoon, when he espied an inclined and shady spot under a tree, made for all the world like a sofa. He sat down and was soon stretched out in sleep. He had been asleep but a few minutes when he felt a terrible pain under his right arm, and upon awakening, looked down to see a large blacksnake tightly coiled around him. He seized a heavy stick and commenced to beat the snake until gradually and reluctantly it began to uncoil. It finally fell to the ground, and then, as if realizing its defeat, it turned upon him again.

Discretion was the better part of valor in this case, and so the boy started home on the run, pursued for a short distance by the snake. By the time he reached home, his arm was swollen about three times its natural size. A surgeon was hurriedly summoned, who found that young Bohr had been severely bitten by the snake on the arm, between the shoulder and the elbow. His condition is serious, but it is said that he will recover. – From The Scranton Truth, Scranton, Pennsylvania, 19 Aug 1904, Fri • Page 5

I had a nightmare the night after reading this article about lying down to sleep in the woods but then seeing an alligator approach. When I told my foreign-born husband about the dream, and how it was obviously inspired by this story about the boy and the snake, he replied, “But there aren’t any big black snakes in Pennsylvania!”

Think again, Sweetheart!

“Dozens of serpents have been collected as a part of Noxen’s annual Rattlesnake Roundup in northeastern Pennsylvania.” View Full Article

T.B. McClintock – My 2nd Great Grandfather: Green Thumb + Tireless Networking

Thomas Barnett McClintock (1861-1927) – My 2nd Great Grandfather

(Last updated Jan 04, 2018: added more information about the Wanoka Cottage at Falls.)

Among the successful businessman of Lackawanna County must be numbered Thomas B. McClintock, the leading florist of Scranton. He comes of old and honored Pennsylvania stock.
Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania, 1906

McClintockThomasBThomas Barnett McClintock was the first of our McClintock-surname ancestors– that I know of– to arrive in Scranton, PA. He moved there from the Harrisburg area in 1882, when he was about 22 years old. The information in this post is taken from the book credited above[1], plus various public records and newspaper articles.


Parents and Grandparents

Benjamin McClintock, father of Thomas B. McClintock was born at Cove, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a son of John and Sarah (Jones) McClintock who resided on a farm in that section of the state for many years.

Benjamin McClintock was a contractor and builder, and he also owned and operated a large farm. He married Matilda Barnett, also a native of Cove, and the following children were born to them:

Anna McClintock 1857–1932
Logan McClintock 1857–1895
John McClintock 1859–1873
Thomas Barnett McClintock 1861–1927
Maria (Myra?) McClintock 1865–1914
Sarah (Sallie) Ada McClintock 1867–1918

Thomas was born in Shermans Dale, PA, March 5, 1861. He completed his schooling there, and in 1878, at age 17, he entered the employ of John Kepple, the well-known Harrisburg florist, and for a short period of time served there in the capacity of foreman.

Move to Scranton

In 1882, Grandpa Tom went to Scranton and entered into business for himself, renting property on Monroe Avenue between Vine and Olive Streets. He stayed there until 1888, when he purchased land on Jefferson Avenue and Electric Street. Per the book, “There, he erected a commodious conservatory.”

1888 Sanborn Map Showing T.B. McClintock Florist at Monroe Street between Vine and Olive. (The buildings in the back with Xs on them are stables).

Marriage and children

Thomas Barnett McClintock married Idell Miller on February 15, 1886. She was born in Prattsburgh, Steuben County, New York, the daughter of Lee and Ellen Marion Winnie Miller. Her father, Lee Miller, was a machinist. He died in September 1904 at Scranton, “whither he moved from Steuben county New York where he was much esteemed.”

The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. McClintock:

Lee Ellsworth McClintock 1888–1933
Clarence Earl McClintock 1890–1960
Marian M McClintock 1893–1910
Hazel McClintock 1895–1897
Ruth McClintock 1898–1953
Ethel C Mcclintock 1900–1937

n 1897, daughter Hazel died.

“Died: M’Clintock,” (Apr 17, 1897), The Scranton Republican, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 6, digital image,, accessed Jan 10, 2018

Return to top

1900 Census: Thomas is 39 years old and living on Jefferson Ave in Dunmore, PA, with his wife, Idell, and five children: Lee, Clarence, Marien, Ruth and Ethel.

Thomas’ occupation is listed as “Go; Florist.” Could that mean grocer/florist? If so, that would explain why he had that gigantic tub of butter in his fridge! (See news clipping below.)

Built large greenhouse

“In 1904, in order to keep pace with the rapid growth of his business, he was obliged to erect additional buildings. His first property consisted of one and a half acres, upon which he had 20,000 ft.² of glass, and which was devoted to the growing of hardy herbs, pansies and roses. He also cultivated a tract of 4 acres in the 19th Ward on Throop Street where he grew carnations and nursery stock.”

From a 1919 Sanborn Map

“Later, he purchased a 1/2 acre plot opposite his green houses on Electric Street, upon which he erected his residence [that home address was 1410 Electric Street].

He carried a large stock of palms, ferns, roses, carnations and decorative material for supplying all sorts of functions, and one special cause of the constant increase of his business was his widespread reputation for artistic designs.

His sales rooms, offices, etc., were furnished with the latest appliances peculiar to the business and were heated by steam. He employed five men regularly and many more during the busy season.”

Military service and social club memberships

After five years of service in the Company B 13th regiment, Great-great-grandpa McClintock was honorably discharged. He was a member of:

-Green Ridge Lodge No. 597
-Free and Accepted Masons
-The Heptasophs
-Modern Woodmen of America
-Knights of Malta
-Anthracite Commandery No. 211
-United American Mechanics

“In all of which he was extremely popular, and this wide and favorable acquaintance aided him greatly in his business. He was a Republican in politics. He was a man of genial nature an agreeable personality, and as a citizen was progressive and public-spirited.”

Return to top

1910 Census: Thomas is 49 years old and listed as living at 1410 Electric Street in Dunmore, PA. In addition to his wife and children, Frank E. Cole, an employee, age 56, and Ellen Brennan, listed as a servant, age 29, also live in the home. Fancy! 😉

Photo of TB McClintock circa 1906
Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Volume 2, 1906. (1) See end of this post for the full source citation.

Wanoka Cottage at Falls

Grandpa Thomas owned half of the cottage at Falls as early as 1911, but there’s evidence that he also rented or owned a cottage there in 1910. Sadly, one daughter, Marion, died there that year. The cause of death was given as multiple sarcomas.

Marion McClintock Obituary
“Marion McClintock, Obituary,” (Jul 23, 1910), The Scranton Truth, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 2, digital images,, accessed Jan 10, 2018

The other half of the cottage was owned by close friend and fellow florist, William MacDonald. The cottage originally had two separate living spaces downstairs (kind of like a “doubleblock”) with a large, shared upstairs area.

I’ve seen newspaper mentions of Mr. MacDonald camping with his family out at Falls as early as 1905. According to my uncle, his grandpa Clarence Earl McClintock used to talk about the long trips he’d take as a child to go out to Falls when they were building the cottage way back when.

The Father of West Falls

The land where the cottage is today was owned by a farmer named Henry Sax, known as “the father of West Falls.” According to a 1909 newspaper article,[2] Mr. Sax had owned a farm on the site of what is now West Falls since 1892. Starting in about 1905, West Falls attracted attention as “a delightful spot for summer homes,” and between 1905 and 1909, Mr. Sax sold about 76 building lots, “30 of which are held by Pittstonians.”

Satellite image showing Falls and West Falls, PA. via Google Maps, accessed Jan 10, 2018

Until the bridge was built across the river sometime after 1910, you could only reach West Falls by boat if you were coming from Falls proper. It could be very difficult to get across during wintertime when there was ice on the river.

“The project on the part of influential residents of Wyoming county to have the State erect a bridge across the river at Falls has the support of everybody interested in these summer settlements.”[2]

T.B. McClintock also owned land in Waverly, PA, where he had a farm. It’s possible that he co-owned this farm with William MacDonald, but I’m not sure.
Return to top

1913: This year saw three cars destroyed in a fire, plus the infamous butter heist. However, there finally was some good news in unlucky year #1913 when Tweety came home!

McClintock Florist's Hard Luck, Thieves Get His Butter
“Florist’s Hard Luck, Thieves Get His Butter,” (Nov 21, 1913) The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 4, digital images,, accessed Jan 10, 2018
Stroller's Notebook 1913 Tom. B. McClintock Family
“Stroller’s Notebook,” (Jun 30, 1913), The Scranton Republican, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 6, digital images,, accessed Jan 10, 2018

1920: Thomas is 58 years old and lives at 1410 Electric St., in Dunmore, PA. Lee, Clarence and Ethel are still living at home. Occupation is listed as florist. Lee and Clarence both work as florists, too.

Death and Burial

Thomas Barnett McClintock died December 3, 1927, age 66, from cancer. He’d been battling the disease for approximately two years. He is interred at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Dunmore, PA.

“M’Clintock Funeral Will Be Held Today: Well Known Florist is Claimed By Death” (Dec 06, 1927), The Scranton Republican, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 20, digital images,, accessed Jan 10, 2018

Relationship chart

5. Thomas Barnett McClintock, b.1861 married Idell Miller, b.1862
My 2nd great-grandfather
4. Clarence Earl McClintock, b. 1890 married Mary Louise Secor, b.1881
son of Thomas Barnett McClintock
3. Clarence Secor McClintock, b. 1915
son of Clarence Earl McClintock
2. My father, b. 1951
son of Clarence Secor McClintock
1. Me
View Thomas’ family tree here.

[1] Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Volume 2, edited by Horace Edwin Hayden, Alfred Hand, John Woolf Jordan, (Lewis Publishing Company, New York, Chicago, 1906): Page 227. Ebook, Google Books,

[2] “Getting Popular: West Falls and Forest Glen are Assuming Importance,” (Jan 21, 1909) Tunkhannock New Age (Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania), Page 1, digital images,,accessed Dec 23, 2017.

Return to top

An 1877 Letter from Scranton to Germany: Cousin complains about all the money he’s able to invest

mailander-letterI’m grateful for the kindness of my fellow Nattheim descendants. Sometimes it feels a little bit like a virtual village. 🙂 Cousin Frank sent me a copy of a letter that was written in 1877 by Christof Mailander b.1825, a cousin on the Mayer side of the family.

The letter was addressed to Christof’s siblings back in his home village of Nattheim, Germany. (The letter’s been published in the Nattheim Heimatbuch). Then the other day, by coincidence, I received a translation of this same page from cousin Siegfried. He’d used Google translate to put the text into English, and then I was able to cross-check that English text with the photo of the letter from the book. So, in the end, I think we’ve probably got it translated pretty well.

I keep a horse and carriage because you get spoiled and don’t always like to walk when you go out. – Christof Mailander

In the letter, Christof writes about his hotel/saloon at 1029 S. Washington Avenue in Scranton and his sons, John, Heinrich and George Caspar. He also fits in a “humble brag” or two and drops a few names. Christof was 52 years old at the time he wrote the letter. Son John was 27, George Caspar was 23, and Heinrich was 20. Christof’s wife was Anna Maria Esslinger, b. 1826.

Christof Mailander and his family left Nattheim to escape possible starvation due to crop failures there. They arrived in the United States with nothing, and through hard work, they managed to do fairly well for themselves. It makes me smile to detect a tiny bit of bragging in Christof’s letter to his siblings back home.

From page 234 of  Albrecht Ritz’s Heimatbuch Nattheim und Oggenhausen im Kranz der Nachbargemeinden:

Scranton, Pennsylvania
January 22, 1877

Dear Siblings!
Now that I have received a letter from you, I will also give a sign of life from me.

After we arrived in this country [in 1867], I worked with John and Kaspar doing stone carving. Heinrich carried the tools to the blacksmith [blacksmiths maintained stone-cutter’s tools]The times were much better then than now, and we earned a lot of money.

Six years ago, I discovered a good opportunity to buy a saloon for $3000. After I purchased it, I had a lot of things changed and redone, which cost another $1,000. Of course, I can also make my life easy without working. I keep a horse and carriage because you get spoiled and don’t always like to walk when you go out.

Johannes has since married and lives in Wilkes Barre, 20 miles from here. He started a trade with iron and other things. He bought a nice house last year, and so he is well. He visits here every few weeks. Kaspar is still at home working in stone carving, 
but he often has no work in these bad times. He has been down visiting John for 14 days. 

Heinrich has been working as a waiter for a couple of years in a large hotel [The Scranton House]. We have a large garden by the house, so my wife always has a job to do. I staff the saloon during the week, and on Sunday the boys sometimes help too. Since I have no more debts, we cannot complain, of course. I only ask God to let us stay healthy as we have been.

I am sending you a power of attorney, enclosed, so that you are entitled to distribute my part evenly among your siblings during the division. Now, we wish that you also write more often what is going on with you. It was very uncomfortable for us to hear about the death of father from other people. Weiss always writes his boys everything new, and we never hear anything from you.

In the hope that you are all good and well, I conclude with many greetings. Heinrich says I should attach special greetings from him.

Afterwards I remember that two of my neighbors, the butcher Armbrust and the brewer Robinson, who were in Germany about 2 years ago, visited Eberhard in Ulm and met. At the time we were very happy to receive some news from our friends.

Just as I finished this letter, John and the Kaspar came along and also want to have their warm greetings attached.

Addendum: I cannot send the above-mentioned power of attorney, as I have found that obtaining such is associated with much effort and expense. My will is and remains the same, and if you cannot get my share without official authorization, so let it stand where it stands until further notice. But write to me, and tell me who my guardian is in this matter.

(Letter written by Christoph Mailander, born 1825)


Zion German Lutheran Church – Scranton, PA – Brief History: First Pastor Fled Lynching Threat in the South

1884 Zion Lutheran Chuch on Sanborn Map
Zion Lutheran Church on an 1884 Sanborn Map. It was located at 226 Mifflin Ave in Scranton, PA.

I’ve been (obsessively 🙂 ) researching my German ancestors in Pennsylvania. One German branch of my family, the Maiers/Mayers from Nattheim, belonged to the Lutheran Church, and they attended the Zion German Lutheran Church in Scranton, PA. Other Nattheimers who attended this church (that I know of) include Greiners, Mailanders and Zieglers.

Zion Lutheran Church kept excellent, extremely legible records of its congregants that I’m very grateful for today- even if all of the records are written in German!

A brief history of the Lutheran Church in Scranton, Pennsylvania

I recently found an article from 18961 that discussed the history of the Zion Lutheran church in Scranton and supplied a few drawings. The article also touched on the history of the Lutheran Church in general in Scranton, PA.

According to the article, in the 1840s, a Lutheran pastor, Rev. Mr. Reichert from Philadelphia, held services in a schoolhouse in Providence [which is now the name of a neighborhood in Scranton]. From 1850 to 1860, Rev. Nathan Yeager of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania held services in six places: Scranton, Hyde Park, Providence, Archbald, Ransom and Carbondale.

In 1860, Rev. Zizelmann “came all the way from San Antonio, Texas, the war having made it uncongenial for him to remain any longer. He, with many others, was in great danger of being lynched.” (Perhaps due to the anti-slavery stance of the German community in San Antonio?) Zion’s congregation, on 226 Mifflin Avenue, between Spruce and Linden Streets, was organized August 19, 1860, by Rev. Zizelmann.

A drawing of the Zion Lutheran Church on Mifflin Ave in Scranton, PA1. This church building no longer exists.
Rev. Mr. P.F. Zizelmann, who founded Zion Lutheran Church in Scranton1. Many of our German Lutheran ancestors from Nattheim would have known him.

Pastor Zizelmann’s successor was Rev. A.O. Gallenkamp, who was a minister of the church for over 20 years. He undoubtedly officiated at many of our ancestor’s marriages, baptisms and funerals, and indeed, his name is frequently listed as the officiant.

Rev. A.O. Gallenkamp of Zion Lutheran Church2. He was born in Hanover, Germany.

In the late 1920s, this church merged with another Lutheran Church to form St. John’s Lutheran.

That’s about all I’ve found to share about Zion Lutheran Church in Scranton for now. I’d love to find out if there were any records kept of Lutheran marriages and baptisms in Scranton prior to the establishment of this church. So far, I’ve been unable to find any.

Lutheran Churches in Scranton, PA
“Lutheran Churches in Scranton,” (May 14, 1896), Scranton Tribune, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 18, digital images,, accessed Nov 28, 2017.

(1) “Second Day’s Business of the Lutheran Ministers’ Convention,” (Oct 14, 1896), Scranton Republican, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 6, digital images,, accessed Jan 10, 2018.

(2) “Death comes to Rev. M. Gallenkamp: Well known Lutheran Minster Passes Away After Long Illness.” (Dec 04, 1915), Scranton Republican, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 3, digital images,, accessed Jan 10, 2018.

Johannes “John” Pallien (1867-1948) – My 2nd Great Grandfather – Lived to Impressive Old Age Despite Raising 6 Daughters

Johannes John Pallien born 1867
My great-great grandfather John Pallien 1867-1948

In this type of post, I try to stitch together the pieces of information we’ve found on one ancestor.

(Last updated: January 6, 2018: Added family stories section)

My great-great-grandfather Johannes “John” Pallien was born in  a village called Hermeskeil in southwestern Germany. He was baptized at Hermeskeil’s St. Martin’s Catholic Church in February 1867. His parents were Hilari Pallien and Helena Eiden.1 (I’ve put some basic information about Hermeskeil at the bottom of this post.)

Arrival in the United States

John Pallien emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1887 or 1888, when he was about 21 years old.

My great-great grandfather’s signature on his 1903 Naturalization application. John Pallien.

He seems to have settled in Scranton straight away, and he married my great-great-grandmother Barbara Lang on July 07, 1888. They were married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on River Street in Scranton’s Southside neighborhood.

The earliest address I can find for the couple is on the 1900 Federal Census. At that time, they were renting a home at 1320 South Irving Ave in Scranton, PA.  John and Barbara had six children then: John, Mary, Annie, Bennie, Frank and Maggie. (Frank is my great grandfather.) G-G-Grandpa John was working in a steel mill, per the census, and was 33 years old.

South Irving Street House
My 2nd great grandfather John Pallien lived with his wife and six children at this South Irving Avenue address in 1900. Source: 1900 Federal Census

This rented house on South Irving Ave was less than a five-minute walk to Barbara’s parents home at 715 Fig Street.

Home ownership and many more little ones!

By the time of the 1910 Federal Census, G-G-Grandpa John Pallien was 43 years old and owned a house at 1510 Stone Avenue in Scranton. He lived there with his wife Barbara, nine children and one grandchild. John and Barbara are listed as having 12 children, 10 still living. The children at home in 1910 are:

  • Mary, age 19
  • Anne, 18
  • Benny, 17
  • Frank, 14
  • Maggie, 12
  • Helen, 7
  • Joseph, 5
  • Lorretta, 3
  • Stephanie, 4 months
  • Leo Pallien, grandson, age 2.

John’s occupation is listed as: Engineer, Steam Engine.

Pallien Family Home
The Pallien family home on South Webster Avenue in Scranton. The street was called Stone Avenue in the early 1900s. Source: 1910 Federal Census
Circa 1947. John Pallien, Sr. is about 80 years old here. Scranton, PA

Per the 1920 Federal Census, the family still lived in the same house, but the street name had been changed from Stone Avenue to South Webster Avenue. John, age 53, is working in a brewery. Ten children are living at home.

1930 Federal Census – At this time, he is listed as a fireman in a brewery, living at 1510 S. Webster. A fireman was a worker who fed coal to keep the fires going. The brewery’s name is E. Robinson’s, per death certificate. John, age 63, possibly worked at the E. Robinson’s Sons now-demolished plant at 7th and Linden Streets in Scranton.

John Pallien, Sr. at age 80, circa 1947. Scranton PA.

His wife Barbara Lang Pallien passed away in 1932. John Pallien died at home in 1948 at age 81. At the time, a few of his adult children and grandchildren were living with him at the South Webster Avenue home.

He is interred at St. Mary’s Cemetery #5 in Scranton, PA.

Family stories

I recently talked with my great aunt who shared some childhood memories she had of John Pallien, who was her grandfather. I’m writing this based on my memory and notes of our conversation, so hopefully I’ve gotten it right.

I asked her if Grandpa John Pallien spoke with a German accent, and she said she doesn’t remember him having accented English– he spoke very well. However, she remembers at the end of his life, seeing his daughters gathered around his bed and hearing them recite prayers in German.

To the best of her knowledge, he had been an only child, and his mother died at a young age. His father remarried.

She also remembers him as a strict parent and grandparent. One childhood memory involved a sewing machine that was in the living room that had all sorts of knobs and buttons. They were nearly irresistible playthings for a small child! But it was made very clear by Grandpa that you never touched that sewing machine without permission.

On that same theme, there was a pear tree in the yard, and you could not take a pear without asking, not even one that was on the ground [the injustice of it all! 😉 ]. It’s worth noting here that Grandpa Pallien raised six daughters, three sons, and at least one grandchild…I’m sure he had to be strict to stay sane! When I shared that thought with her, my Great Aunt recalled that dating and boyfriends were also considered “verboten” in Grandpa’s household. She remembered something about a young man being chased away with a broom.

For years the Pallien family here in America would send money back to family in Germany. Then one day a letter arrived with a photograph of the family in Germany all finely dressed, enjoying themselves at a cafe. It struck Grandpa John that the family “back home” was much better off than the family here in Scranton! And so the deliveries of money were halted. I can’t say I blame him!

As an aside, it’s amazing to me that Grandpa Pallien was supporting a family of 12 as a blue-collar worker, and yet he managed to send money to his family in Germany. He must have scrimped and sacrificed to be able to do that. It’s possible that his children who were in the workforce also contributed some money to “help out” the family back in the fatherland.

My aunt believes that when John Pallien’s parents passed away, they left a legacy, and a park was built in their name in Germany. That’s something that she’s heard.

One funny story she shared was that John Pallien frequented a movie theater where he had “his” seat: one seat in the theater where he always sat and that he pretty much considered his own. I get the impression it was a small-town atmosphere with many regular theater goers who understood that this seat “belonged” to John– she said that if he arrived and someone was sitting in his seat, they’d move!

The story goes that one time Grandpa arrived at the theater to find a young man occupying “his” seat. Grandpa, who at this time walked with a cane, asked him to move, but the kid insolently refused. Well, you didn’t get smart with Grandpa Pallien. He took his cane and whacked the young whippersnapper across the knees! The young man sprang up and rushed to another seat! Way to show him, Grandpa! 🙂

I’m so glad that my Aunt was kind enough to share these memories with me.

I’m still working on putting together more information about John and digging further back into the Pallien family tree in Germany. In the meantime, here’s some info about John Pallien’s birthplace, Hermeskeil, Germany:

Picture of Hermeskeil . The Church is St. Martin’s Church, which is the name of the church where John Pallien was baptized. The church in this picture was built in 1868, a year after John’s birth, but there’s a good chance the older church was located on the same spot where the “new” church is today. Photo source:

Hermeskeil is a village located in the hilly Hunsrück plateau of southwestern Germany.  Today, Hermeskeil has a population of about 5,700, and the people in this area speak a dialect of German known as Hunsrückisch. The climate in the Hunsrück region tends to be rainy with mist in the mornings, according to one source.

Trier Witch Trials

Hermeskeil is situated 15 miles southeast of the town of Trier, and it is part of the Trier district (districts are kind of like counties in the United States). In the 1500s, the villages in the Trier district and the town of Trier itself were the settings for what were possibly the largest witch trials in Europe.

The witch trials that took place at Trier in western Germany in the years from 1581 to 1593 was one of the largest in Europe. The persecutions started in the rural diocese of Trier in 1581 and reached the city itself in 1587, where it was to lead to the death of about 368 people. The number of deaths in the diocese as a whole is unknown.Source

Some sources say as many as 1,000 people may have been burned as witches in the Trier region. Compare that to the 20 who were executed in Salem, Mass. I haven’t been able to trace the birthplaces of John’s parents yet to find out whether or not our Pallien ancestors were in this region when the witch trials were taking place, but I think there’s a very good chance that they were.

A few more family pictures (all of these family photos were provided by my Aunt Kay and cousin Erin):

Relationship chart:

    1. John Pallien Sr (1867 – 1948)
      2nd great-grandfather
    2. Frank F Pallien (1897 – 1941)
      son of John Pallien Sr
    3. My grandfather
      son of Frank F Pallien
    4. My mother
    5. Me


Collection of vintage postcards from Hermeskiel.

Hermeskeil Tourism Brochure 2016 PDF (written in German)


(1) “Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898,” database, FamilySearch, ( : 28 November 2014), Joannes Pallien, 24 Feb 1867; citing ; FHL microfilm 596,109, accessed 17 Jan 2018.

(2) Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964

(3) U.S., Naturalization Records, 1840-1957

Andreas “Andrew” Ziegler 1852-1916 – My 1st Cousin 4x Removed – The Person Who Found Gottlieb’s Body

I stumbled upon a blog challenge called ’52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.’ If I put aside perfectionism and take 15 minutes here and there to write things up during the week, I think I can get it done. Here’s my first post of the 52.

I was interested in learning more about this cousin of mine, Andrew Ziegler, because I often see him mentioned in social-event newspaper articles with the Mayers, and he also lived with them all his life– listed as a nephew of my 3rd-great-grandparents on the Federal censuses. Here’s what I’ve able to learn about him so far.

When Andreas “Andrew” Ziegler was born in December 1852 in Ulm, Germany, his father, Johann Friedrich Ziegler, was 37 and his mother, Anna Elisabeta Maier, was 37. His parents lived and married in Nattheim, but later moved to Ulm. He had three siblings that I know of, two who also emigrated to Pennsylvania from Germany.

-Johann “Michael” Ziegler (1847– ?) Not yet sure if he left Germany
-Anna “Mary” Ziegler (1848–1908) Emigrated from Germany to Scranton, PA
-Frederick “Fritz” Ziegler, Sr (1859–1941) Emigrated from Germany to Scranton, PA.

Andrew arrived in the United States in 1869, when he was 16 years old. He lived in the Scranton home of his uncle and aunt Gottlieb Mayer and Susan (Cunningham) Mayer. In 1885, Andrew was the person who first discovered Gottlieb’s body when Gottlieb died at home at 925 Cedar Ave in Scranton, according to news articles.

Andrew worked as a stone mason and lived with family all of his life. He was always present at family gatherings, and the family also gathered to celebrate his birthdays. He seems to have been popular with everyone.

andrew-ziegler birthday
Andrew Ziegler – Dec 6, 1900 News Article

Andrew never married, had children or lived on his own. He was always listed as living with family members. After his aunt Susan Mayer passed away, he went to live with his niece and nephew Cornelius Hartman and Alice Mayer Barnikel in Ransom, PA.

Andrew died on October 25, 1916, at the Hillside Home (now Clark Summit State Hospital) in Lackawanna, Pennsylvania, at the age of 63. He had been in the hospital for 10 months and 24 days before dying of complications related to heart disease. His body was donated to science.

Andrew Ziegler is my 1st cousin, 4x’s removed.

Relationship chart:

How I traced the Mayer branch of my tree back to the 1400s

When I first started researching the Mayer branch of my family tree, I didn’t hold out much hope of going very far back in time. Mayer is a ubiquitous German last name, so I figured it’d be hard to research. Well, it took a little time, but I ended up tracing my Mayer ancestors back nearly 600 years.

I started with the 1900 Census that shows my great-grandfather, listed as “Laurenz” instead of Lawrence, and his family. There, I could confirm his parents’ names, years of birth, and year of marriage.

Excerpt from the 1900 Federal Census in Scranton, PA

Then I found an 1880 Census that shows my 2nd-great grandfather Edward and his family.

Excerpt from the 1880 Federal Census in Scranton, PA

That showed me Edward’s parents’ names, the general places they were born (Germany and New Jersey) his father’s occupation (upholsterer) and Edward’s sibling’s names.

To find the names of Gottlieb’s parents, my best bet was to find his death certificate. It wasn’t available on for some reason, but through some digging around, I found a digitized repository of the Record of deaths, 1878-1905, in the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania. While I did learn some interesting information from the death certificate, I was frustrated to see that at that time, they only listed the names of parents if the deceased was a minor.

Excerpt from Gottlieb Mayer’s death certificate, circa 1885

I was afraid I’d hit a brick wall, and I really did stay stuck for a while. That is, until I finally found a church record that showed the baptism of Gottlieb and Susan Mayer’s son William Andrew Mayer. Written after Gottlieb’s first and last name was the word “Nattheim.” When I googled that word, I was thrilled to learn that Nattheim is the name of a tiny village in Germany. It looks like my search probably just got a lot easier!

baptism record William Andrew Mayer 1875
Excerpt from St. John’s Lutheran Church Baptism Records, 1875. This church was formerly called Zion Lutheran Church before it merged with Trinity Lutheran to form St. John’s in 1927.

When searching around on, I was really excited to discover that there is a book, published in 1951, on the history of Nattheim and the surrounding areas. It includes the family histories of many of Nattheim’s residents, going pretty far back in time.

The family histories in the book are based on municipal and church records. Its title is, “Nattheim und Oggenhausen im Kranz der Nachbargemeinden,” and its author is Albrecht Ritz. (As a sidenote, I have one person with the surname Ritz in my Nattheim family tree).

Heimatbuch Nattheim-Oggenhausen by Albrecht Ritz, circa 1951

I couldn’t find any digitized versions of the book online, but when I was searching for the title, I found this page that lists emigrants from Nattheim, Germany to the USA, and Gottlieb Maier b.1834 was there!

After running more searches for Maier+Nattheim, I found a Facebook post, written in German, that mentioned a Maier-Weidenmann family tree. I recognized the Weidenmann name from the list of emigrants from Nattheim, so I contacted the person who made that post, and it turns out he is a distant cousin of mine.

He referred me to a website called that has detailed family trees for Nattheim-area folks. I was able to find out about Gottlieb’s (and my) ancestors going as far back as the 1400s! It’s pretty amazing. You can view the trees on after you register for and are approved for a login account. There’s a drop-down menu on the far right where you can choose your preferred language.

That pretty much sums up how I was able to track down the ancestry on one branch of my family tree. I’m still in the process of reviewing and confirming what I find, but it all seems to have decent documentation so far. I can’t wait to share it!

Relationship Chart

  1. Gottlieb Mayer (1834-1885) and Susan Cunningham (1839-1909)
  2. Edward Philip Mayer (1863-1928) married 1884 Clara Frech (1865-1913)
  3. Lawrence John Mayer (1896-1963) married 13 June 1928 Agnes C Morahan (1907-1978)
  4. My grandmother
  5. My mother
  6. Me