• 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

    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…

  • Personal Research

    Ira Dyson Briner, obituary circa 1935

    In an effort to write more regularly for this blog, I decided to go through the awesome list of daily prompts at the GeneaBloggers Tribe website. The prompt I picked for today is: “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.).” I actually really enjoy transcribing data, especially if it’s something unique like a family document. For today’s post, I decided to transcribe an obituary I found in my grandmother’s family photo collection. There…