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BMD Morris Run, Tioga, Pennsylvania

Discussion in 'USA' started by SLJ, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. SLJ

    SLJ LostCousins Member

    Hello, can anyone please advice me how I locate or prove BMD for this area.
    I am looking for a Welsh family with the name Lewis. I can find them in 1870 and 1880. According to the 1880 census a child was born in Morris Run. The next time I locate the family is 1891 back in Wales and the mother is now a widow and the daughter age 23 has come home with a different surname and also a widow along with a daughter of yet a different surname. I have been unable to find the family leaving Wales for the USA or even coming back.
    Looking for the births, marriages and deaths is proving impossible. Please help.
  2. Heather

    Heather LostCousins Member

    Hi, You do not say where you have looked, Ancestry has quite a few records for Lewis in this area and FMP also has records for Pennsylvania, more details may result in more advice from forum members, good hunting.
  3. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Literally on a quick England & Wales Census search with just 'Lewis' & 'Morris Run' parameters the only response was one from the 1911 Welsh Census. This shows a William J Lewis aged 38 (c1873) born in Morris Run,Tioga, Pennsylvania -now living Ystrad, Pontypridd, Wales. Wife Ruth Lewis (nee Edwards married 1924-Pontypridd) aged 20! (c1891) (born Glamorgan,Wales), and children -clearly from a previous marriage - William J (Jnr) aged 11(c1900) born Monmouth,Wales & Merlin(e)? (a son) Lewis aged 6 (c1905) born Glamorgan, Wales.

    Armed with this information I found the 1891 Welsh Census showing William J Lewis(1874) single and born USA with his widowed mother Mary Lewis (1846) (Head) born Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. Also his widowed sister Mary G Evans (1868) born Pontypridd, Wales & a Granddaughter (of Mary Lewis) and presumably (daughter of Mary G Evans) with the name Mary D White (1887) born USA.

    This may not answer SLJ's query but it certainly highlights the mystery surrounding the surfeit of Mary's and their surnames. I could of hazard a guesstimate to explain these circumstances, as could others no doubt, but will leave it there for now and hope it may have been useful.

    Edit Post script: 1901 Welsh Census has William J Lewis (Head) aged 25 born USA, wife Margaret Lewis (nee ?) aged 20 born USA & son Wiliam J (Jnr) aged 7mths (1890/1) born Monmouthshire, Wales.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  4. SLJ

    SLJ LostCousins Member

    Thanks Bob Spiers, that is the information I have too. My problem is I have searched FMP, Ancestry, Family search and google.
    It is the birth of William Lewis I am looking for. I have traced his family forwards, but it is the past I am looking for. I have the family in 1880 Tioga. head of family is James lewis age 46 born Wales, a US citizen, Mary age 35 born Wales, daughter Mary Ann Lewis age 14 born Wales and William John age 6 born Pennsylvania. Did Mary marry James in USA, how did he get become a US citizen?
  5. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    If James was born in Wales, and a US citizen, then it seems likely he was 'naturalised'.
  6. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Following on from Pauline's post and my own family researches on those who became American Citizens by way of Naturalization (to use the American spelling) depended on rules in force at the time of arrival in America, and on the State where the application is made. Most of my knowledge base comes from the 1850's (a little before and quite a bit after)- but none include Pennsylvania. Not all immigrants applied for Citizenship (or were even required to some of the time) but when it was necessary they would have to qualify (usually) between 3 -5 years; plus an established residency within the State where the Application was made of at least a year.

    Once the qualification time was achieved -and provided they desired to remain in America (and not all did) - the citizen could (emphasis could) apply for Naturalization by filing a Citizenship Petition and wait on due process. It would all culminate in attending a Court -usually a group of like minded people- and taking the Oath of Allegiance and signing the appropriate documentation. After that they became American Citizens.

    I'm sure that's the likely way it went for James and without actual proof of when he emigrated from the UK you could estimate: born 1834, say 21 when he emigrated (c1855) (almost certainly single and most likely with others from the same area and seeking work) .Then move forward 5-6 years, possibly less, so any time after 1860/61 he could easily have become an American citizen, and of course have married with family?

    Pure "guess-timation" of course but it at least gives you an idea of a time scale.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  7. SLJ

    SLJ LostCousins Member

    Still with Tioga,Pennsylvania. I have searched for births and marriages using FMP, Ancestry, Family search, google and a history site from Tioga (which I can't seem to navigate)to no avail. How do I find the marriage for James and Mary and the birth of their son William J Lewis born Morris Run abt 1873. I have had no luck, must be missing something.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2019
  8. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    There are two things to be considered here - do the records you want survive (if they ever existed), and secondly, if they survive, are they available online?

    I know very little about this area, but information on Family Search suggests that county bmd records for Tioga exist only from 1893, and Pennsylvania state records from 1906.

    So I would guess that surviving birth/baptism/marriage records before those dates may unfortunately be somewhat hit and miss.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    I doubt you are missing anything and more likely Pennsylvania BMD records, as Pauline suggests, are just not available online, or at least prior to the 1890's.

    I say this because it reminds of my own experiences earlier in the year trying to find birth records in Ohio which after exhaustive attempts drew a complete blank. However by chance an Ancestry fellow researcher (a lady as it happens living in Texas) who, like me had a Public Ancestry Tree, made contact. She picked up I had quite a few of her 'Lima' (Portuguese) ancestors in both Ohio & California and wanted to know my connection. I explained that I was researching a Bermuda/English/USA connection and that 'Lima' happened to be the maternal line -about which some detail was known - but precious little on the paternal side. In particular uncovering Ohio BMD records, as I had been relatively successful with Census records. She admitted her Lima lines were extensive and gave me 'Guest' access to her Tree. However as the branch line I was researching was not major family (to her) she could not help. She suggested I email her the details of what I was seeking and she would try some USA sources and better still ask if her cousin in Ohio would mind doing some localised research. How helpful was that?

    But sadly the promised help came to very little but not for the want of both of them trying. It turned out the information I sought was just not available (remember these are just amateur researchers like ourselves and not the experts available on WDYTYA). My contact reported back that BMD information for the periods in question (mid to late 1800) varied from scant to nothing at all.

    Although the contact proved very useful in other areas, I am afraid to say I still do not have the BMD information I sought. I just accept you cannot win them all! Which may not stop me trying again another time of course.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  10. PhoebeW

    PhoebeW LostCousins Member

    Welsh newspapers, especially those published in the United States, are a good source of information on emigrants from Wales to coal mining or quarrying areas in North America in this period. I have found some cousins through Y Drych. Welsh newspapers up to 1919 are available free and online.

    If you are still looking for James, I think it's his death notice in Y Drych on 8 November 1883.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2019
  11. JimP

    JimP LostCousins Member

    Pennsylvania civil BMD records do not exist for the 19th century. You will need to track down church records, which may or may not be available. Ancestry has a good collection of Pennsylvania church records going back to the 1600s. I had good luck tracing my Palatinate German ancestors from the 1730s to the early 1800s through those records.
  12. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Anyone searching in the UK will find that both spellings are used in the London Gazette, and it's important to search for both.

    (Similarly some other words which we now spell with 's' in the UK will be found in parish registers spelled with 'z'.)
  13. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    You might just have to accept you’re never going to find a record.

    Every so often I go back to the US records looking for the birth of my 2x great grandfather, who was born in New York, as was his older brother. But since they were born in 1841 and 1844 respectively, and I can’t find a single record set from New York that spans that particular era, I figure my chances are slim to none. The only record I have of their entire stay in the US is one Naturalization record for their father. (The US emigration attempt didn’t stick, by 1851 they were back in Liverpool and by 1852 they were in Australia.)

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