Finding the Family of Theresa BANK through newspaper articles

I'm going to try to start blogging my family history research again. I have a list of posts that I would like to share and just need to find the time and motivation to do it.

My dad gave me the book The Eck Family: A Snapshot in Time by Gail Eck Nordlof when I started my genealogy research. The book was a big family project where everyone had to send in information about themselves and Gail put it into book form along with her research on the Eck family. This book really helped me to add names, dates and stories to my family tree.

According to the book, my 2nd great grandfather, John J ECK, married Theresa BANK on 25 May 1887. She was born 8 Dec 1858 and died 13 Feb 1927. Although my grandmother had written stories about her grandmother, there was no more information given about Theresa's parents.

Over the summer, I searched the Williamsport, Pennsylvania newspaper archives on Ancestry and found 3 mentions of Theresa's family in the Gazette and Bulletin. One was a visit from her sister, Mrs. Margaret Smith from Lock Haven in the 6 Feb 1911 edition. The next one was a trip by Theresa's son Eugene to his aunt's home (Mrs. Fred Mayne) in Danville in the 27 Apr 1915 edition. Another was a trip to her sister's funeral (Mrs. John Weis) in Philadelphia in the 2 May 1917 edition.

This tells me that Theresa had at least 3 sisters: Mrs. Margaret Smith of Lock Haven, Mrs. Fred Mayne of Danville, and Mrs. John Weis of Philadelphia. I was able to find a Margaret Smith in the 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 censuses in Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania. There were too many matches for John Weis to find a match. I also didn't find Fred Mayne (or I didn't search at the time). I pushed my research on the family aside for a while since I couldn't find any family in the censuses that had a Theresa and a Margaret with the last name of Bank (or something close).

Last month, I finally decided to figure out this family. I check the public trees on Ancestry and found that others were saying that the parents of Theresa were John Bank and Ursula Weis. So I went back to the census hoping that looking for Ursula would narrow down my results and give me a hit.

In 1860, I found the family in Union township, Union county, Pennsylvania. John Bank was a tin smith. John and Ursula, as well as the oldest daughter Emma, were all born in Baden. The other daughters, Mary and Clarissa (or Theresa), were born in Pennsylvania. They were also living with another John Bank (Theresa's grandfather?) who is also a tin smith.

In 1870, the family is in Danville, Montour county, Pennsylvania. The family is enumerated with the surname BARR. The children are Emma, Theresa, Anna, Catharine, and Margt. Emma seems to match the Mary on the 1860 census by their ages. Thresa matches Clarissa.
In 1880, the family is still in Danville, Montour county, Pennsylvania. John and Ursula are living with their two daughters Maggie (Margaret) and Lizzie (Elizabeth).

In 1900, I found Ursula living with Elizabeth in Danville, Montour couny, Pennsylvania. Here is where the first connection to the newspaper articles is found. Elizabeth is married to Frederick Mayan (or Mayne). She matches the age of Lizzie in the 1880 census and her mother is living with them.
The censuses of Margaret Smith in Lock Haven show that her age matches the age of Margaret Bank. Another match. In 1900, she is listed as married for 10 years, but her husband is not living in the household. In 1910, she is a widow. She had 4 children.

Checking back at the family trees on Ancestry, I found found that Catherine had married John Weis. I searched the census and found a Catharine Weis of the correct age in 1910 married to a John Weis. I could not find them in 1900. I would like to find her death certificate to prove that this is the correct Mrs. John Weis.

It is amazing what information the newspapers were able to give me. With the help of other researchers posting their trees online, I was able to prove the links. Now I know that Theresa Bank was the daughter of John and Ursula Bank. I still do not have any proof of Ursula's maiden name. I found some of her sisters' married names through the newspaper and census records. Since Theresa was married in 1887 and she was not living with her parents in 1880, I still needed to find where she had gone. The story will continue in my next posting.

I also found that Montour county, Pennsylvania had an index to their wills available online. John and Ursula were both listed in the index and I ordered copies last week. I'll post more when I receive them.

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