Sunday, December 27, 2015

Photo of the Week: Israel & Rebecca (Phillips) Stewart Family

(By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist)

Israel & Rebecca (Phillips) Stewart Family - Circa 1871
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: About 1871, Israel and Rebecca (Phillips) Stewart gathered their eight children for this wonderful tintype photograph. Pictured [Left-Right]: BACK ROW - Elizabeth M. (Stewart) Strosnider, Richard Stewart, Thomas Layton Stewart; MIDDLE ROW [STANDING] - James Stewart, Spencer McClelland Stewart, Jesse Houston Stewart; MIDDLE ROW [SEATED] - Israel Stewart [1830-1887], Rebecca (Phillips) Stewart [1827-1900]; FRONT ROW - Mary Jane (Stewart) Calvert, Abigail Frances (Stewart) Johnson.

As is often the case with tintypes, this original image bears no photographer stamp. Special to its history and provenance, however, is the fact that this photograph is included in an album that has been maintained in original order. The album's context tells a story of its own as we flip through the photos in the same way the family once did. Context clues build upon the handwritten inscriptions. For example in this case, the next photo in the album is of Israel and Rebecca's two youngest children George and Sarah Priscilla, who were not yet born when this family photo was taken. Even in albums that are completely unidentified, this original order may prove crucial to learning about the subjects depicted within. To view this album in order, from first page to last, click this link to Stewart Series - Album 1. Click on the first image, then scroll through in order. Be sure to read the full, detailed captions beneath the photos.

The Stewart Series is a part of the Carl Headlee Collection, a beautiful, family-owned set of photographs representing several Greene County, Pennsylvania, families, including quite a few identified images from the 1800s such as the one shown here.

The Stewart Series photographs were passed from Layton Stewart [1826-1902] and his wife, Louisa M. Granlee [1828-1916], to their son Norman James Stewart [1861-1939] and his wife, Martha Ellen Hixenbaugh [1875-1951], to their grandson Carl Headlee who owned and shared the photographs with the Greene Connections: Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project in 2009. Each generation added to the collection with photographs from their own family and in-laws.

Search and view these and other amazing local collections by visiting the Photo Archives and Documents sections of is a free local history archival project. Sponsored by LOLA Energy.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Photo of the Week: Sledding in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania

(By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist)

Sledding in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Timeless winter memories! These children were captured in a rare candid, sledding and launching snow balls on Town Hill just north of Carmichaels, Greene County, Pennsylvania. There is so much to love about this photo! Not set in a stuffy studio, we get to see live action fun being had. My favorite is the boy in right-background who has just been targeted by a snowball still visible on his cap!

By zooming-in on this image (click on the photo to open in Flickr, then click again to zoom-in), you can also obtain a fine view of Carmichaels! To the far left are two church steeples. Left to right these are, the New Providence Church located on George Street and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (now known as the Greene Valley Presbyterian Church) on Greene Street. The latter building was destroyed 3 July 1902 and a new one took its place. Based on these buildings and others that do or do not appear in the photo, local genealogist and historian Shelley McMinn Anderson helped us to date this image between 1895-1901.

Only a reproduction of the photograph is archived at the Greene County Historical Society in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, from where the photo was researched and digitized for the Greene Connections: Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project along with hundreds of other pictures in the huge GCHS Collection between 2005-2015.

Interestingly, the notes that accompanied this picture in the GCHS archive box incorrectly identified the scene as having taken place on West Street in Waynesburg. Fortunately, one of the benefits to sharing photos through projects such as Greene Connections, is the opportunity to engage the community in the research effort. This image caption was promptly corrected by local researcher Thad Swestyn and then expanded by Shelley McMinn Anderson. The improved information was updated in our database and shared to the archive at GCHS. This is one way we can work together to share, improve, and grow our history!

This splendid snapshot will be included in the upcoming book Images of America: Around Cumberland Township and Carmichaels authored by Shelley McMinn Anderson, to be published in 2016. This will be an exciting addition to our local history library! Shelley is asking the public to please share your photos for this book! Now is the time to dig into your family archives for any great images you have for the area. Places, events, people, are all of interest. Contact Shelley at 724-319-2060 or She would love to hear from you! If you want to know what these books will look like, check out the two sister books for neighboring Greene County communities: Images of America: Around Greensboro and Images of America: Waynesburg. is a free local history archival project. Sponsored by LOLA Energy.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Photo of the Week: Lydia (Callahan) Ridgeway

(By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist)

The John Corbly Gregg Collection shared with Greene Connections by John Rohrman, features rare ambrotype and tintype, as well as card photographs, of several early Greene County, Pennsylvania, families. This beautiful collection has been a highlight of our project for several years, but this month received an update including improved scans of several existing images and four incredible additions.

In a new blogging effort to feature the treasures in our collections and help visitors learn to better use and navigate the GC project, we are going to begin featuring a photo here each week. In light of these most recent contributions, the John Corbly Gregg Collection seemed like the perfect place to start!

Lydia (Callahan) Ridgeway
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Lydia (Callahan) Ridgeway, pictured here circa 1860, was the widow of David Ridgeway and the matriarch of a large family, including many descendants whom still reside in Greene County, Pennsylvania, today.

Her identified tintype photograph was passed through the family of her grandson Rev. Joseph South Barmore [1849-1880] and his wife, Anna Mariah Harvey [1849-1934], to their daughter Edna Claudia (Barmore) Gregg [1875-1954], to her son John Corbly Gregg [1910-1996], to his daughter Clarice (Gregg) Rohrman, to her son John Rohrman who owned and shared the photographs with the Greene Connections: Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project between 2010 and 2015.

Lydia's life story is beautifully told in a detailed obituary, transcribed by the author, from the Waynesburg Republican, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, 30 March 1881.

"Almost A Centenarian

Mrs. Lydia Ridgeway died at the residence of James Thomas, her son-in-law, in Center township, on Wednesday last, March 23, in the 98th year of her age. Her long life has been a somewhat eventful one, and a brief history of her experiences cannot otherwise than prove interesting to our readers.

She was born in the State of Delaware in December 1783. She emigrated thence with her parents to Philadelphia some time during her minority, when in course of time she married John [sic David] Ridgeway, a shoemaker, whose name she bore to the day of her death.

About the year 1806, when she was yet but 22 years old, she with her husband left their humble home at No. 29 Sixth street, between Race and Vine, and started on foot towards that point towards which the 'star of Empire takes its flight,' she carrying a tender babe, and he a kit of shoe maker's tools. After many days of slow and weary marching, they arrived in Greene county. They settled on a tract of about thirty acres of land now belonging to Mr. John Braden, four or five miles north east of Waynesburg. Here they lived for about 30 years, when her husband died, and was buried in the old grave yard at Morrisville, one mile east of this place. The farm was then sold for $600, the widow retaining her dower and received $80 per year while she lived, a sum in the aggregate amounting to near twice the value of land.

After her husband's death she made her house among her children, of whom she was the mother of thirteen. Several of them still remain in Greene county. Two are in Iowa, one in Minnesota, one in Missouri, one in Tennessee, some elsewhere and some dead. It is estimated that her descendants already number over one hundred souls.

For a number of years prior to her death she lived with her daughter, Mrs. James Thomas, with whom she ended her pilgrimage. She was of delicate stature, but a healthy and thorough going woman, and retained her intellectual faculties unimpaired to the last.

In 1876, when her grandson, Hiram M. McGlumphy, of this place, returned from a visit to the Centennial at Philadelphia, she became much interested in his narration of what he saw, and made many enquiries about the growth and appearance of the city. She then told him when she left there, the place was only a small town of a few thousand inhabitants, with 12th street as its westward limit; whilst the first bridge was just in course of construction over the Schuylkill river, whose bottom she was enabled to see, they were in the act of laying the foundation stone of the heavy piece that were to sustain that structure.

She died without any apparent disease or sickness. For two or three days previous to her death, she would at times experience a sensation of numbness in her limbs, but would work it off by walking around and exercising her body. And when she died it was seemingly without a struggle. Her faculties of body and mind ceased to act as the pendulum of a clock stops when it runs entirely down. She was indeed calm in death. The undertaker remarked upon the peculiar appearance of her features. It was scarcely wrinkled and was as smooth, velvety and fresh, more resembling a maiden in health than a centenarian in death.

Her remains were brought to Morrisville and buried along side the grave of her husband whose burial she had witnessed upwards of forty years before."

To learn more about Lydia, view her Greene Connections profile in our tree (under construction) by clicking this link: Lydia (Callahan) Ridgeway profile. This tree is hosted on Ancestry and is free to access. If you do not have an Ancestry account, request an invitation by emailing You do not need a paid subscription to view the tree.

To see more of the John Corbly Gregg Collection photographs, simply click this link: John Corbly Gregg Collection.

To search, view, and learn about the Greene Connections Tree and Photo Archives contents, click these links and explore the pages on this site: Tree and Photo Archives. is a free local history archival project. Sponsored by LOLA Energy.