Where Did They Go Wednesday

Francis George – aka “Uncle Frank”

The youngest of Custode’s children was born after her husband deserted her – probably in the last few months of 1912. We know this because in her testimony in July 1912 she says that she and Adriano had eight children. She doesn’t name them but we know that these eight children were: Fred (1899), Gene (1901), Joe (1903), Philomena (1905), Lena (1906), Hubert (1908), Lucy (1909) and Victor (1911). Even though everyone remembers Uncle Nick as the oldest, he was born in Italy to Adriano and his first wife Marianne Frattura, and came to Pennsylvania in 1904.

Francis first appears in the Census for 1920 and he is 7 years old. The instructions for the census ask for the age of everyone as of January 1, 1920, which means that Francis turned 7 in 1919. His age is 17 in the 1930 census so it seems reasonable to assume he was born in 1912, even though I haven’t found any record of his birth or death.

We may not know for sure who Francis’ father was, but we know that Custode was his mother. She identifies him as her son in her will and he is listed in her obituary as a surviving son.


Custode’s Boys (who on the bottom row looks the youngest?) He might be Francis. Victor and Francis were only 15- 18 months apart in age. Don’t the two on the bottom row look a lot alike?

Newspaper articles can provide a lot of information in very few words. Mostly they offer a timeline. This is from the Connellsville Daily Courier on May 29, 1930. FrancisGeorge.29 May1930

In these few lines we learn not only about Francis but also his older brother Fred.  Some people remember Francis as being very smart. That certainly fits if he was able to “manage” George’s Pharmacy when he was only 17. I suspect the reference to Middleton should have been Midland.

By 1935, Francis was living in East Liverpool, Ohio with his wife, whose name was Lois or Louise (writing is unclear.) By the 1940 Census, “Frank M.” and wife were living in Pittsburgh with a two year old son named Gerald G. The 1940 Census indicates where each person lived in 1935, which is how we know that they lived in East Liverpool, Ohio.

Once I knew to look in Ohio, I was able to search the Ohio Birth Records. Although birth records only show up in indexed form I found what I think is the record of Gerald’s birth. Gerald might still be alive and it would be great to hear from him or anyone who knows about him.


We learn a little more about Frank’s whereabouts from articles in the Connellsville Daily Courier. The papers back then loved to keep everyone up to date with their neighbors’ comings and goings, including when someone visited and where they were from. This is how we know that Frank, his wife and their son Gerald were visiting Custode in June 1940.

6 Jun 1940.Visit to DunbarIt is amazing what four little lines of newspaper text can reveal. This was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier on June 6, 1940. Before I found it, I had not been able to find Frank or Francis George in census reports. I knew he wasn’t in Dunbar but I had no idea where he was, or that he was married. Once I found this article, I narrowed the search of the 1940 Census to Pittsburgh, PA and that was how I found him.

From this article alone, we know that as of June 6, 1940:

  1. Frank had a wife.
  2. They had a son named Gerald.
  3. They lived in Pittsburgh.
  4. They were still visiting his mother.

From this we can also “assume” that if they had another child, he or she was born after June 1940. Pennsylvania birth records aren’t as easy to search as the indexed Ohio version so I haven’t found any subsequent children but most people remember that Uncle Frank had a daughter and a son. Where did they go?

The only additional place that we can link Frank to at a particular time is Hollywood, California, which is where he was living when his mother died in December 1967.

From various accounts that family members have shared, it seems that Frank may have had mental health issues or a personality disorder. He has been described as very smart, but somewhat unstable. Some family members recall hearing that he was working in the movie business in California and may have had a nervous breakdown and been institutionalized in California for some period of time.

Sometime in the year after Custode died, her surviving children (Joe, Philomena and Lena) filed an affidavit stating that they did not know the whereabouts of Francis George. In this same action, they agreed to have William Galand serve as the executor of her estate, since Gene George, whom she had named as her executor, had died the year before she did.

What became of Frank (or his wife and children) is a mystery. It seems unlikely he is still alive but does anyone remember hearing about his death or going to his funeral?  And what about his wife and children? Gerald would have turned 78 this year. If he had a sister she would be even younger. If anyone has information to share, it would be great to know more about Uncle Frank.


Tuesday’s Tidbit – Harold “The Baron” Galand

When I’m already not keeping up with my current features – “Where’d They Go Wednesday” and Friday’s “Foto Feature,” it makes perfect sense to start a new feature. Sure – why not. Tuesday (or sometimes Thursday) tidbits are designed to share some of the interesting discoveries about the George family that I come across in my research.

Harold George Galand was born in Dunbar, PA on December 28, 1926 and died on May 8, 1992. He was the second son born to Philomena George and Anthony Galand. In 1955 he married Margaret Brown.



Harold and Margaret had two children, a daughter named Rosemary and a son named Richard Lee.  Margaret died on January 21, 1968, when she was only 37.





In August 1968, Harold married the former Janet Bryson of Uniontown. They jointly owned and operated the Howard Johnson in Hopwood, which proved to be a profitable venture.


When Rick and I met Irene Veri in July 2013, she mentioned that Harold “The Baron” Galand was a famous chef and had worked at Seven Springs Resort. She also remembered that he had a radio show she sometimes listened to. In a conversation with Carole Ann or Lynnette, one of them mentioned that when they went to Harold’s funeral they were surprised to see that his pallbearers were all wearing white chef’s toques.

When I searched the Connellsville Daily Courier for “Harold Galand” I got 98 hits. It seems he is one of the more popular members of our family. The early articles were about his horse riding days and his role as President of the Fayette County Horse Owners Association. There was also a reference to him being a star athlete in high school. Harold organized a horse show in July 1954 that got a lot of press. Over 100 entries were expected from Pennsylvania and West Virginia. I love his horse’s name – Danger Rock.


Many of the references from the mid – 1960s to early 1970s were about Harold’s position as cafeteria manager at the Connellsville Joint High School and his job as “proprietor” of the Howard Johnson restaurant in Hopwood, PA. For those of you too young to remember Howard Johnsons, think Cracker Barrel but with a nice, clean, inexpensive motel attached. HOJOs, as they were called, sprang up along the interstate system in the United Stated in the 1960s, making it easy to take a long family trip by car, with convenient places to stop and eat and sleep along the way. Apparently if you stayed in the one in Hopwood PA you would have gotten some very good food.

It seems that when the George families from Midland and East Liverpool visited Dunbar, Aunt Phil did all the cooking (not Grandma George). The Galands lived in the house behind Grandma’s, just up the hill on High Street. More than one cousin has described the bounty of Uncle Tony’s garden that stretched between the two houses. Perhaps Harold’s culinary training began in his mother’s kitchen. This article from 1975 mentions his election as vice president of the American Culinary Federation, Inc.


So here’s my first Tuesday Tidbit – a small snippet of my weekly finds. If you have any stories or memories of Cousin Harold that you can share – please leave a comment. If it’s too confusing to find the place to submit a comment, you can send me an email at kalenkingsbury.gmail.com.

Some Stories Never Grow Old

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to a plan for 2016 to keep my blog posts on track. Sometimes I feel guilty for neglecting my Kingsbury family history in favor of the George family but it seems the fascination just doesn’t wear off. (And besides, my great uncle Forrest Alva Kingsbury published the Kingsbury-Bush family history in the 1950s so there’s already a story for my children to read about their Kingsbury side of the family.)

Perhaps it is because I have two “George” children and I want them to know about their Italian heritage. Perhaps it is because so much of Rick’s family history was unknown to him while he was growing up – whether intentionally or from lack of information on his father’s part since his parents divorced when he was young. Or perhaps it is because I am so impressed by the accomplishments of Adrian’s and Custode’s descendants, especially when I think about what Custode must have gone through to raise the children on her own. But whatever the reason – the George family history is my current obsession – and has been for at least the past two years.

Another reason for the fascination has to do with the “search-ability” of stories about the residents of New Castle, PA and Dunbar/Connellsville, PA because the newspapers are digitized and available on Ancestry.com. Reading about family visits and who was in the hospital in August 1967 for three weeks (Custode) and “Stork visits after 16 years” (an article announcing the arrival of Richard Galand in 1943)

and children’s birthday parties CaroleAnns Party.1948

creates an intimacy with the family we never knew.

Here are just a few more of my “finds” this afternoon

Grandma George’s Lawsuit in 1912 (you have GOT to love her spunk!) and that of her attorney (how did she know to hire an attorney – she’d only been in the country for about 14 years!)


An announcement of a visit from Fred and Betty and son Jimmy to Dunbar in May 1935.


Most interesting is the last line  – that Betty and son Jimmy “will remain for an extended visit.” This news appeared in the Connellsville Daily News on May 7, 1935. Eleanor Jean George was born in Dunbar, Pennsylvania on May 10th. It seems that Fred trusted his mother and sisters to deliver his first daughter. It would also suggest that his second wife, Elizabeth Collins, had a better relationship with Custode than his first wife, Evelyn Clark did. (Isn’t it interesting that both of Fred’s wives had the same initials?!?)

In light of HIPPA regulations and privacy concerns, it’s hard to fathom that 75 years ago over your morning coffee you could learn which of your neighbors was admitted to the hospital, who had a visit from the stork (after 16 years!), whose son from Pittsburgh visited on Sunday afternoon and who just turned 2 years old.


So as 2015 winds down to its final days, I hope you get as much fun out of these articles as I did. I haven’t made too much progress on my editorial calendar for the new year but I’m quite sure that 2016 will have plenty of posts on Trovando Famiglia. I hope you will enjoy them and I hope you will continue to share your memories and family stories with me.

Wishing happiness and health in the coming year to all of our Giorgio cousins in the coming year .

Iacobucci Sisters from Derry, PA

The timing couldn’t be better to discover the name of Custode’s father and her probable relationship to Vincenzo and Joseph Iacobucci. I’m tuning in later today for a webinar entitled:

“Pointing Fingers at Ancestors’ Siblings – Breaking Down Brick Walls with Collateral Research”

The thrill of yesterday’s discovery is beginning to wear off. I suppose that’s how it goes in genealogical research. “Heavy sigh …” Especially with the Italian convention of naming first born sons after the father’s father – you can see how easy it would be for Vincenzo and James to be Custode’s cousins instead of her brothers but even that discovery should help make the connection to where in Italy she is from.

Another interesting tidbit. I remember Lainey mentioning that there were three Iacobucci sisters she never met. She thought they were spinsters and somehow related to Custode, but she wasn’t sure where they lived – maybe New Castle.

It turns out that the 1940 census shows Vincenzo’s three adult daughters – ages 41, 31 and 28 – living in Derry PA, with their father and brother Joseph. Joseph died of TB in the 1940s.  I’m curious about these three Iacobucci women and will have to learn more about them.



One Search is Over!

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know I’ve been searching for anything I can learn about Custode Iacobucci George, my husband’s great grandmother. Many of you have shared wonderful stories and memories that help us understand what she was like.

We’ve come a long way in the three years since Rick first discovered his great grandmother’s name on the World War I draft registration card for his grandfather. It took another 18 months and a trip to Pennsylvania before we learned that her maiden name was Iacobucci and that she had a sister named Rose.

But other details continue to elude us.  Was she raised in a convent in Naples where she learned to read and write before she came to America? Or was she from Castel di Sangro, the home town of many other Iacobuccis and Buzzellas that show up in several family trees on Ancestry.com? We know that Rose Buzzella was her older sister and lived with her and Adrian in Dunbar in 1910. We also know that a Vincenzo Iacobucci signed Custode’s marriage license as her “guardian” but the license didn’t indicate their relationship. Older brother – maybe an uncle???

From a death certificate for Vincenzo Iacobucci we learned that his father’s first name was Augustine. This is how we learned that Vincenzo and Joseph Iacobucci were brothers (probably). I wondered if Custode and Rose might be their sisters but without being able to find their death certificates I couldn’t make the connection by matching their parents’ names.

As I was scouring some online records today trying to learn more about Custode’s youngest child – Frank who was born in 1912 or 1913, I decided to search for Custode one more time in the Connellsville Daily Courier.  A search for her name yielded nothing. But then I decided to check the newspaper for the day she died. Maybe I’d find her obituary and maybe there’d be some good information in there. Maybe something like this:


I’ve read about breaking through a “genealogical brick wall” before but I never experienced what it felt like until today! The first link to connect Custode and Rose to Vincenzo and Joseph. The first link to the Iacobucci family that is well-documented on other public family trees, that do not include Custode and Rose. There’s still a lot of work to do, but discoveries  like this are what keep me going.

And as for Frank (who seems to be even more elusive than his mother) look what else I found in Custode’s obituary:


Hollywood – here we come!!!