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Monthly Archive for March, 2009

Common/Uncommon Names

This is a story shared by one of my DNA cousins…….”When I was in grade school, I used dread the first day of school when the teacher would take the first roll call. I would sit, squirming uncomfortably as she worked her way down the list alphabetically, waiting as though I were enduring Chinese water [...]

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Coal and Coke Heritage

During my most recent trip to southwestern Pennsylvania, I discovered some books in the Ligonier Public Library in the ‘Pennsylvania Room’ which is dedicated to the history of the region.  Since I was most interested in learning about life in the ‘patch’ communities, a book called Common Lives of Uncommon Strength: The Women of the [...]

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I have just finished working on putting together a project that is a remembrance of my father. When he died in 1986, he left behind a hand-written journal that he kept during his years in the Army Air Corps during World War II. It has been my project for the past three years [...]

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The funny part about this whole story is that I have been telling my immediate relatives for YEARS that I believed we had some Gypsy blood. I don’t know if I knew this intuitively – or whether perhaps my grandmother gave me this idea when I was a little girl. I was the oldest [...]

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A Historical Perspective on Gypsies

Slovak Gypsies (or Bashalde tribe) immigrated from Austria-Hungary along with the Slovaks to work in the factories and coal mines of the eastern industrial cities like Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Many Gypsies were performers and musicians who entertained at weddings, or special events for the Slovaks/Eastern European people, but generally they came to America [...]

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