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Linda Kestner (#46548355)
 member for 13 years, 9 months, 15 days
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 • 204 Memorials Added
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Messages left for Linda Kestner (29)[Leave Message]
Rommy Lopat
McGrew's in Lake Forest
Hi, thanks for your note. Sorry to say the Records do not include Frances Holiday McGrew. Where could she be? Hope you find her soon.. rl
Added by Rommy Lopat on Mar 13, 2016 9:39 PM
Mona Anderson
I am in agreement with you. If the DC and the stone say Brenholts then that's what I'm going with. I posted them AGES ago when I first started doing genealogy and have found many names misspelled or changed. Thanks!
Added by Mona Anderson on Mar 07, 2016 5:40 PM
Pam R.
George Neuber
Thanks for the obit. I linked him to his father and did some other research. Found his mother's name was Lena but did not find her on FindAGrave. Need more research there. Thanks for the obit.
Added by Pam R. on Jan 07, 2016 2:03 PM
Brian J. Ensley
RE: Anna Elizabeth (Wettlaufer) Shaffer #156507335

I'm going to e-mail you the two obituaries for the Anna/Elizabeth Shaffer's. I posted the one to the memorial. The other I didn't post since Grandview claims that she isn't buried there. She must have been re-interred later on someplace else.

It's too bad neither of these two were your ancestor, but at least you are a little closer to reaching your goal. If you ever need anything out this way, don't hesitate to ask!

Added by Brian J. Ensley on Jan 02, 2016 5:05 PM
Brian J. Ensley
RE: Anna Elizabeth (Wettlaufer) Shaffer #156507335
I saw that Baby who died in 1880 but it is not a baby that belongs to your Henry & Elizabeth. That baby belongs to one of the "other" Henry & Elizabeth who was living on Market Street in 1880, when your Henry & Elizabeth was living on Franklin Street since 1870.

That makes it confusing! I've talked to Lynne in the past but I have books that have transcriptions of the obits and marriage records of the Johnstown papers from 1853-1885 here at home. But the actual obits usually contain more data. The transcriptions in the books many times are just watered down basics.

If you look for Henry in the 1870 census his last name was spelled Shafer. I think we're on the right track on nailing down most of their children either way. Don't worry- this isn't taking up a lot of my time. After 30+ years, this kind of detective work comes natural to me. Plus, it keeps me out of trouble and out of my wife's hair!

Added by Brian J. Ensley on Jan 01, 2016 6:06 PM
Brian J. Ensley
RE: Anna Elizabeth (Wettlaufer) Shaffer #156507335

Okay- this has all piqued my curiosity so here's some more tidbits that I found. I located Henry & Elizabeth in the 1860 & 1870 Census. They both claimed to have immigrated in 1854 but the 1900 Census stated that they were married around 1858.

The 1860 Census placed them in Johnstown's 4th Ward with him being an Ore Miner. They had one child, Charles, aged 5 months.

In the 1870 Census they moved to the Kernville section of Johnstown's 6th Ward. Although this census didn't list street names, I know they lived at the 609 Franklin Street address because they were living next to the Dibert Family as they had done in later census records.

The 1870 Census listed him again as an Ore Miner but he must have done well for himself, as the real estate listed for him was $4,000. The children listed were Charles, William, Millie & August. The names were abbreviated. August disappears by the next census so he must have been one of the children that died young. Charles died in 1874. I found his obituary and created a memorial for him and linked him to his parents. Grandview didn't exist yet and the only reasonable place at that time to bury was Sandyvale, which would have been only a couple of blocks away from their house.

I still can't find Conrad. Now the part that still doesn't sit right with me that I mentioned before- I found an obituary for a Mrs. Yost Hochstein that mentions one of her daughters as being the wife of Henry Shaffer. While I'm at the library tomorrow I'm going to pull her original obit and that of her husband's. I have his death certificate already and I'm going to photograph what ever headstones may exist for them at Grandview when weather permits (as well as the Allendorfer's).

I certainly hope after all this that this is the correct Henry & Elizabeth. But then, Yost & wife were born in the 1830's, which makes them too young to be this Elizabeth's parents. There are other Henry Shaffer's in Johnstown that was married to an Elizabeth around the same time frame, so perhaps their daughter was that other Elizabeth. Whew....

If anything, at least I was able to find you two more children- Charles & August. I did not find any obit for August nor anything in Grandview's database. I'm thinking that August died shortly after the census and didn't have an obituary and is most likely in an unmarked grave at Sandyvale. After 3 major floods and situated along a major river, there is hardly anything left of Sandyvale.

Added by Brian J. Ensley on Jan 01, 2016 3:48 PM
Brian J. Ensley
RE: Anna Elizabeth (Wettlaufer) Shaffer #156507335

I know you won't see this until later, but I wanted to get this message out while the info was still fresh in my memory. Regarding the children of Henry & Elizabeth that I missed, "Millie", which is normally a nickname for Amelia, is already accounted for under memorial #66433357. She married Carl Schwing and is buried a plot or two over from her parents. There is a headstone photo for her and her husband (and his 2nd wife) which is good but I tried to get another that was closer up and easier to read the inscription. BUT, the snow this morning made the quality of the photos not up to my normal standard. I'll try to get better ones when the weather is nicer and replace these.

The other, Emma, married William Charles Allendorfer. They are also buried a plot or two away from her parents. I didn't get photos of their headstones yet but I will once the weather cooperates. I did post death certificates and linked Emma to her parents. I didn't figure out who she was until I found her marriage license.

So, that just leaves Conrad and it sounds like you already have a good handle on him and his final location/disposition. The reason why Barb and I had done some "digging" on this family is because of the Shaffer surname.

Barb has some direct connection to Shaffer's and has done a lot of work on them here in Cambria County and next door in neighboring Somerset County (just a few miles from here, and the mother county from which Cambria was created from). I did it just for the fun of it.

My family is researched about as far as it's going to go back to the 1600s in PA (on father & mother's side) and further back in the old country. Most of it was done long before I was born. It's become an obsession with me so I've researched local surnames just as a hobby- over 5,000 alone that aren't even related.

I'm still going to get those two obits for the two Anna/Elizabeth's just so no rock is left un-turned. Anyhow, hope the additional info on Emma and Amelia helps!


Added by Brian J. Ensley on Jan 01, 2016 1:55 PM
Brian J. Ensley
RE: Anna Elizabeth (Wettlaufer) Shaffer #156507335

Sounds promising- looks like you've done a lot of detective work yesterday. I looked at the memorial you created but it looks like a memorial was already created under #60446914. You might want to take a look at that one and send Barb a message asking if she would transfer that memorial over to you. She's pretty good about that. Also, she and I both have headstone photos added to it.

When the staff at Grandview was looking up interment records for me (under all the combinations of names) I did see the Elizabeth who died in 1914 but didn't give it a thought since we had the death certificate for 1912. Go figure...

There are a couple of children to this Henry & Eliz that I manage and will gladly transfer them over to you. I think one of them is Otto. Truthfully, I'm confused now with which children are children of your Elizabeth. If you can give me a run-down of her children that would help.

You probably have the Grandview Cemetery interment database link but just in case, here it is again:

Also, here is a fairly good source for marriage licenses for PA from 1886 to the mid-50's:

(If you have that already, sorry) I sometimes bounce this off of the list of marriages from the Cambria County site as a back-up since some show up on one and not the other:

Sorry if this is info you already have.

I still have to make a trip to the library so I'm still going to pull the obit for the Anna Elizabeth Shaffer who died in 1912 so you have an original copy. I can e-mail it to you or whatever you prefer. I'd rather you have an original than a hand-typed version than a third-hand transcription. Plus, something inside of me just doesn't sit well with this whole thing.

I'm also going to get the obit for the Elizabeth Shaffer who died in 1914. (Henry doesn't have one for some odd reason.) Here is the link for the indexes for the Johnstown Tribine. The link is at the bottom of the page, just in case you ever need to look anything up. What I did (although it took a few minutes) is I downloaded and labeled each file and I keep them in a folder on my computer so I don't have to be on-line to search for them. Here's the link:

Don't worry about any costs, etc. They only charge patrons 20 cents a copy. Plus, they know me- I've been going there for over 30 years and my publisher has donated a copy of each of my books to their Pennsylvania Room for years, so I have the run of the place. ha ha. Looking at their schedule they should be open tomorrow. My wife works 8-12 at the bank which works out perfectly. I try to do the "outside legwork" when she's at work so it doesn't interrupt our time at home together.

Hochstein isn't a real common name like Shaffer, but there are still a bunch of them around. I saw the home on Ash Street via your link. I'm surprised the home looks as nice as it did. That area of what is known as the Hornerstown section of Johnstown is a real dump- shootings, etc. Most of the homes there are run-down and neglected. I feel bad for the people who still live there and actually care about their properties. That end of Ash Street borders the two neighborhoods of Johnstown known as Hornerstown and Moxham.

The other property at 609 Franklin Street couldn't be in a worse area of Johnstown. It's in the Kernville neighborhood. Before the 1889 Flood it was the premier area of Johnstown- lots of big mansions (some still stand but are now divided up into slummy apartments). After the 1889 Flood, the area of Westmont up on the hilltop took over as the "exclusive" neighborhood. The odd thing about the building, it looks newer than 1910.

Normally in the 1910 era merchants had storefronts in buildings that still looked like houses unless they were located right in the center of town. Despite how run-down that building looks, it looks like it was built in the 1920s or even the 30's. But that still doesn't mean that Henry didn't run a business from his home or have a storefront out of the 609 property. I've studied architecture and have a pretty good knack with dating homes and buildings.

Anyhow, I'm confused with the children that your ancestor had. If you can give me a run-down on their children and dates that would be great. In the meantime, I'm going to the library tomorrow and I'm going to get the obituaries for both Anna/Elizabeth Shaffer's so you can have original copies of both. At least you'll already have headstone photos of Henry & Elizabeth and some of their children since between Barb Farlow and I, we posted them a while back. You may want to consider deleting yours again and asking Barb to transfer the original one to you so you can update the info on that one as you see fit. She may be a little slow at responding, but she will and is good at transfers, etc.

Good work- I'm impressed! You've done a lot of digging. If you need any resources from back here, let me know.


Added by Brian J. Ensley on Jan 01, 2016 7:42 AM
Brian J. Ensley
RE: Anna Elizabeth (Wettlaufer) Shaffer #156507335

You're very, very welcome. Like I mentioned before, this search may not have yielded any positive results, but at least it enabled you to check a possible path off of your list.

After researching surnames in this area for over 30 years, I can tell you that Wettlaufer is one that I've never heard of, and Kestner is not very common either (not to say there aren't any). Dixmont is the location of an "institution" near Pittsburgh. Many people from here in Johnstown ended up there as well. Back then the place had a negative connotation but now we know it was a place that people ended up for things we consider common, such as TB, dementia, alzheimer's, etc., things that people were put away in a home for 100 years ago, but are looked at more humanely nowadays with no stigma attached.

Also, Grandview is a very common name for a cemetery. There is one in nearly every county in this area including Allegheny County- the county that Dixmont is located in (as is Pittsburgh).

Shaffer is one of the most popular surnames in this area. I don't know what connection your Anna had to this area, but it had to be to the Shaffer line since it surely wasn't Wettlaufer. I just looked in the on-line index for the Johnstown Tribune and there is an obituary for Anna. I go to the library often. I don't know what their hours are for the New Year's holiday, but I will go and get a copy of her obit for you since I have to go there anyhow. I don't know if it will provide you with any new information or not, but it's worth a shot.

One thing about Germans, back in the day they had a habit of naming their daughters all by the same first names (Usually Anna or Mary) and they sometimes went by their middle name, but not always. They used to name their sons John. This used to be confusing when they had 7 sons, all named John, so one would have to search by their middle names. It appears like your Anna actually went by Anna.

What was Anna's husband's first name? Maybe he had an obit back here or his parents were from here. Anyhow, sorry for rambling on, but as long as I have the time and I'm here in the area I'm willing to lend a hand, although it won't lead to very much as we know since Anna wasn't from here or lived here for long. But, it's possible her husband's family did.

Happy New Years!

Added by Brian J. Ensley on Dec 31, 2015 1:13 PM
Brian J. Ensley
Anna Elizabeth (Wettlaufer) Shaffer #156507335

I pulled Anna's death certificate and did see where it listed her burial as Grandview Cemetery in Johnstown. I checked their on-line interment database and couldn't find her. I checked all kinds of variations of Anna, Annie, Elizabeth, Eliza, Schaffer, Shaffer, etc. and still had no luck.

I had the cemetery office check their records and they confirmed that she is not buried there. That leaves only two options- either the death certificate was wrong in regards to her burial (which I've seen before), or she was buried there briefly and re-interred someplace else with other family members.

Either way, she is definitely not there now. I would suggest that in the meantime editing her burial place to "unknown" rather than Grandview to avoid any future confusion.

I wish I had better news to report but if anything, at least we eliminated this cemetery as a possibility.

Added by Brian J. Ensley on Dec 30, 2015 12:03 PM
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