• Book Reviews

    Mines and Mining in Pennsylvania by Frank Hall

    Written by the assistant chief in the Department of Mines, this is a short booklet about the then-current state of the mining industry in Pennsylvania. Starts off a little effervescent about coal as a magical resource, which I suppose is understandable given the circumstances. According to the booklet, PA has the greatest depository of coal in the US and has more capital invested in coal operations than any other state. There are two types of coal present: anthracite in the eastern part of PA, and bituminous in the western part. There’s about 3x more bituminous coal available in PA compared to anthracite, but anthracite is more valuable due to its…

  • Personal Research

    John Ira Briner, Lewis Andrew Briner biographical entry in Who’s Who in the Protestant Clergy, 1957

    Amanuensis Monday – this daily prompt, developed by John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch, encourages bloggers to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. (An amanuensis is someone employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.) Today’s post is a transcription of a book clipping, Who’s Who in the Protestant Clergy (1957). It features two of my relatives and I discovered it through Google Books. Original page (cropped): (Click to enlarge.) Citation: Who’s Who in the Protestant Clergy (Encino, Ca.: Nygaard Associates, 1957), 34; digital images, Hathi Trust Digital Library (https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001599528: accessed April 6, 2020). Transcription: BRINER, JOHN IRA: Evangelist, Assembly of…

  • Personal Research

    Rev. Arthur Vespa, Mary Chiappelli Vespa retirement notice, 1973

    I’m currently waiting for a (very late) train up to Burbank for the Genealogy Jamboree this weekend, and to kill some time I thought I’d do some transcriptions. I really enjoy transcribing documents, and it’s good practice for learning different types of handwriting/fonts/etc. [Update: the train came 1.5 hours late, but I made it to Burbank!] Many of my relatives on the Briner/Vespa side were deeply involved in the (Christian) church, including my great-grandparents Arthur Vespa and Mary Chiappelli Vespa. They were ministers for the Assemblies of God for many years, and when they retired there was a notice in the local paper which talked about some of the things…

  • Personal Research

    Briners in Vira Methodist Church Cemetery, Mifflin County, PA

    Today’s GeneaBloggers Tribe topic selection is: “Tombstone Tuesday – exactly what it sounds like it is.” Most of the family tombstones I’ve been able to find are pretty plain, which is a little disappointing. I keep hoping for a detailed inscription, or a fancy image, or a carving! But most of my ancestors who could afford gravestones tended towards the “modest” type, and the most they’ve got on them (that I’ve found so far), is their names and dates. So instead, I thought I’d go a little off-script for this prompt! I’m going to write instead about one of the cemeteries that my ancestors are buried in. For this week’s…