Happy Birthday Joseph Lloyd George

Joseph Lloyd George was Custode’s first summer baby. Her first two sons, Frederick and Luigino Anthony (Gene) were born in November and December. With the arrival of Joe on July 19, 1903, this young mother had three boys under the age of 4 – it was just the beginning.

Custode had brothers named Vincenzo, Giuseppe (Joseph), Louis and Anthony. If her second son was named after her brothers Louis and Anthony, it’s likely that Joseph was named after her older brother Joseph Iacobucci who lived in New Castle.

The young family grew quickly. In this picture of the Giorgio siblings, Joe is sitting on the stool with Fred’s hand on his shoulder. Guessing that the youngest girl in the picture is about seven to nine months old, and knowing that Lena was born in November 1906, I would guess this picture was taken in the summer of 1907.

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In 1920, Joe joined the Navy and served for just over a year. From the record below, it appears he used his brother Gene’s identity when he enlisted. I don’t know how ages and identities were verified before social security cards and birth certificates but I would guess Joe needed to use his older brother’s name because Joe was only 16 years old on May 26, 1920. He wouldn’t turn 17 until July 19th. Interestingly he used his birth date, but Gene’s birth year.

Dickerson Run, PA is an unincorporated area in Fayette County beside the Youghiogheny River, about seven miles northwest of Dunbar. I wonder if Custode and Adriano ever lived in Dickerson Run and if not, why Joe listed it this as his birth place on his enlistment record. Yet another George family mystery.

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Here’s a picture of a very young looking Joe in his navy uniform.

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Adding to the mystery is the fact that in the 1920 census for Dunbar, a 17-year old son named Joseph is listed as living in Dunbar in the home of his mother and working as a laborer in a silk mill. Two older brothers are also listed in that census. Fred was working as a druggist’s helper and Gene was working as a laborer on the railroad. This just gets more and more curious as I write it.

In 1930, Joe was still living with Custode in Dunbar, was single and was working in a wire plant. I don’t know when or how he met his wife Olive Basinger, although in the 1920 census Olive was 9 years old and living with her mother, a widow, in Bullskin Township, Fayette County, which is about 20 miles northeast of Dunbar. Since they both grew up in Fayette County, maybe Joe and Olive met before they moved to Beaver County. In the 1930 census Olive Basinger was working at the Tuberculosis Sanitorium in Center Township, Beaver County as an attendant. There were about 55 patients and 15 staff at the sanitorium. The campus of Penn State Beaver is located where the sanitorium once stood. You can read more about it here.

Although I haven’t found their marriage record, I do know that Olive and Joe were married by 1936 because of this clip in the Connellsville Courier on December 28, 1936, announcing the holiday guests in the home of Mrs. Adrian George of Dunbar. We also see that Frank was married and that he and his wife lived in Beaver and that Hubert was bringing home the girl he would later marry – Grace Halliday of Pittsburgh. Does anyone know who Anna Gallagher of Butler is? Maybe a chaperone for Grace?

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By the 1940 census, Joe and Olive were living in Ohio Township, Beaver County and Joe was working as a roller at a steel mill. Interestingly, the town of Midland originated as a planned community for Crucible Steel, which is where Joe worked for the rest of his life. Also interesting that Midland was the location of George’s drugstore, which suggests that even the Giorgio brothers who left Dunbar, stayed close to each other throughout their adult lives. The exceptions seem to be Hubert, who moved to New York and Frank, who lived in Beaver for awhile but moved to California at some point in the 1960s.

It’s hard to find as much information about Joe as some of his brothers because much of what I’ve found about the other Georges is because of the digitized versions of the New Castle News and Connellsville Courier. Most of what I know about Joe comes from information his daughters Elaine and Chris have shared with me over the past few years.

His family came first and by all accounts, he was devoted father and husband. His nieces, Carole Ann and Lynnette remember Sunday dinners at Uncle Joe’s house and cookouts in his backyard. The family home must have held a lot of great memories because his daughter Elaine now owns it even though she lives in California. Here’s a good picture with the house in the background.

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From left to right: Chris, Nancy and Lainie

Lainie shared a story of a time when Custode came to take care of the girls while Joe and Olive went on a vacation. Apparently, the girls were not as well behaved as Custode thought they should be so at some point early on in her stay, Custode packed her bags and was ready to go home. I think she kept threatening to leave and the girls called her bluff by saying they didn’t care if she left (thinking she wouldn’t or maybe hoping she would) so she decided to go.  I think the crisis was averted by Uncle Victor convincing his mother to stay and bribing the girls to be on their best behavior.

Here is a picture of Joe and Olive around the time of that vacation.

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And one from their early days together, probably soon after moving into the house in Fairview that Joe helped build.

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And one of my favorite photos of Joe (on the right) with his older brother Gene.

Gene and Joseph George.Happy 115th Birthday – Joseph Lloyd George!

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