The Arrival of George Groucutt

When I first found the obituary of my great, great grandfather, George Leo Groucutt, I was a bit confused. I’ve long known of his early years in New Castle, Pennsylvania, but there was a new addition to the story:

“… came to St. Louis in 1891 and to New Castle in 1892…”

This was the first I had heard of George or any of these Groucutts living anywhere except in western Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio. Why had he decided to go to St. Louis? Did he know people or receive information in England of available jobs? These questions are still unknown, but his travel information no longer is.

SS Nevada of the Guion Line.

George set sail from Liverpool, England, the busiest departure port in England around 1 September 1891. Aboard the SS Nevada of the Liverpool and Great Western Steamship Company, known commonly as the Guion Line, he was in steerage, traveling without his family. It was likely crowded, with open berthing. Whether we had a bunk, a hammock, or even just the floor, he would have shared this berthing space. His record in the ship’s manifest reads:

Number: 323 [of 679]
Name: George Growcutt
Age: 36
Sex: M
Calling: Laborer
Country of which they are citizens: England
Intended destination or location: St. Louis
Date and cause of death: — [thankfully!]
Location of compartment or place occupied: Forward steerage No. 1
Number of pieces of baggage: 1
Transient, or in transit, or protracted sojourn: Protracted

The SS Nevada arrived in New York Harbor on 10 September 1891. His view from the deck would have looked similar to this circa 1891 image of the Statue of Liberty. Imagine traveling alone, looking for work, and this image is one of the first things you see in America. It’s a beautiful sight!

The Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor in 1891. Source: Viewing NYC

From the SS Nevada, it’s likely that he boarded a tender to be taken to the temporary immigration station being run by the Federal government at the Barge Office at the Battery on Lower Manhattan. Winding through corrals, he likely would have received a medical screening. Eventually, after successfully completing the exams, he was released into Manhattan with his bag, any money he was carrying with him, and the expectation that he would soon move on to find work.

Barge Office, New York
Barge Office, New York. Library of Congress.

How did he get to St. Louis from Manhattan? We will likely never known, but it likely involved a train. Several railroads provided service from New York to St. Louis without requiring extensive transfers. The Baltimore & Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad both provided this service.

Regardless, we do know that the SS Nevada didn’t wait in New York Harbor long before it’s next journey. On a transatlantic voyage just three months after George’s, 17-year old Annie Moore of Ireland was on the manifest. She would gain fame as the first person to enter Ellis Island, the replacement for the Barge Office that George passed through, beginning 32 years of immigration through this famous port of entry. The SS Nevada would make several more transatlantic crossings before being struck from the roster of the Guion Line in 1893.

“Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957,” database and images, Ancestry ( : accessed 26 Nov 2020) > 1891 > Sep > 10 > Nevada, passenger list, SS Nevada, Liverpool to New York departing abt 1 Sep 1891, entry for George Growcatt [Groucutt], image 8 of 16; citing “Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897-1957,” Microfilm Publication T715, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Newspapers.Com Is Newest Tool In My Toolkit!

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog lately, but that’s because my genealogy research has been moving along at full steam and I can’t find the time to write! I recently obtained a subscription to and have spent countless hours searching their vast archive of newspapers. Included in that archive are over 100 years of New Castle, Pennsylvania papers and several decades of East Liverpool, Ohio papers. As my paternal family spent many years in or around those two cities, I’m finding great articles covering births, deaths, baptisms, birthday parties and weddings. The Groucutts, in particular, were a very well written about family.
For the last two years, I maintained a subscription to GenealogyBank is also a newspaper archive site but had very little material for the regions of the country where my ancestors lived. In fact, in going through my saved records, I can find only two GenealogyBank articles of any use. Meanwhile, I searched for the surname ‘Groucutt’ and located almost 525 records in Pennsylvania newspapers alone. Most of those are from New Castle and almost exclusively the mentions belong to my ancestors. 

Over the next few months, I’ll try and do a regular feature with some of the newspaper articles I’ve located. Some include content that would never pass muster in today’s news. Thanks to modern journalistic standards and medical privacy laws (such as HIPAA), I doubt any legitimate newspaper would publish an article detailing a nervous breakdown of someone, let alone someone who is 14 years old as Mary Groucutt was when this article was published:

“Rogan Groucutt Wedding, October 22”, New Castle [PA] News, 13 Oct 1913, page 3; online index and digital image, ( : accessed 24 Nov 2014), Newspaper Archives, 1700s-2000s.

“Ms. Annie Connor”, New Castle [PA] Weekly Herald, 1 Jun 1904, page 2; online index and digital image, ( : accessed 24 Nov 2014), Newspaper Archives, 1700s-2000s.

“Social News”, New Castle [PA] News, 6 Apr 1914, page 3; online index and digital image, ( : accessed 24 Nov 2014), Newspaper Archives, 1700s-2000s.

Sunday’s Obituary – Michael Lowry

I have a ton of photos of the Lowry family in the 1920s through 1940s and have been struck that only two of them feature my great great grandfather Michael Lowry. Since he died in 1949, I figured he would appear in more than that. I finally got my hands on his obituary and it appears to solve this mystery, at least in part. It states that he had been sick for 12 years. If that illness was severe enough to incapacitate him, it may explain why he was not seen in photos, especially those from the 1940’s.

Click to enlarge

     Michael Lowry, 81, of 355 W Eight st., died at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the Mayhew nursing home, Benton rd. He had been in failing health for 12 years.
     A son of Mrs. and Mrs. Michael Lowry, he was born Aug. 21, 1858, at Holiday, Pa. He had lived in this vicinity for 26 years. He was a member of St. Paul’s Catholic Church.
     Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Carl Heim of Detroit and Mrs. Lawrence Murphy of Salem; three sons, Edward of Warren, Charles of Youngstown and Raymond of Salem, and 10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. His wife died several years ago.
     Funeral service at 9:30 a. m. Thursday will be in St. Paul’s Catholic Church in charge of Rev. Fr. J. Richard Gaffney. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Leetonia.
     Friends may call this evening and Wednesday evening at the Stark Memorial.

Michael Lowry obituary. Salem, Ohio. Salem News. 20 Dec 1949. (index at:

Sunday’s Obituary – Edward M. Lowry (1896 – 1978)

My great grand uncle Edward M. Lowry, the brother of my great grandfather Charles, died in Canton, Ohio on May 17, 1978. This obituary appeared the next day in the Salem News from Columbiana County.
Edward M. Lowry
CANTON – Edward M. Lowry, 81, formerly of 200 High Street SW, died at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Windsor Nursing Home.

He was born Dec. 8, 1898, in Leetonia, a son of the late Michael and Anna Lottman Lowry.
He was a former employee of Van Huffel Tube Co. in Warren. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Warren and the Knights of Columbus in Leetonia.
His wife, Helen E. Lowry, preceded him in death in 1973.
He is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Bernie A. (Dona) McConnell of Canton; two sons, Edward M. Lowry Jr. of North Canton and Dr. Francis J. Lowry of Cincinnati; two sisters, Mrs. Helen Murphy of Salem and Mrs. Margaret Heim of Detroit, Mich., and three grandchildren.
Two brothers, Charles Lowry and Raymond Lowry, both of Salem, preceded him in death.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Arnold Funeral Home in Canton.
Buriel will be in Grandview Cemetery in Salem.
There will be no calling hours.

Edward M. Lowry obituary. Salem, Ohio. Salem News. 18 May 1978. (index at:

Treasure Chest Thursday – Obituary of Bridget Conley Lowry

(Sometimes I write the posts about the same thing, just a few months apart. In this case, I re-found the obituary of my 3rd great grandmother and wrote a new blog post. It’s a little different from the first time I wrote about it here.)

Mrs. Michael Lowrey (sic), aged about 70 years…

The challenge with anyone who was born and died before 1910 is that record keeping is spotty and in many cases, individuals aren’t even sure what year they were born. I am getting that impression of my 3rd great grandmother, Bridget Conley Lowry. Bridget was born in Ireland *around* 1830. Some sources I have indicate around 1825, others 1835. Her 1904 obituary would indicate that an 1835 date is more appropriate.
Her obituary is helpful in answering or confirming many of the questions I’ve had about the Lowry family, but like everything in genealogy, raises a few more! When I first received this obit from the Salem Public Library, I was missing the married names of several of her daughters. Insert ‘Conners’ and ‘Lanaghan’ as those married names!
It also is great to see mentioned ‘Ed. Lowrey, of near Spokane, Wash.’ Great grand uncle Edward Lowry is one of my Lowry mysteries and I’ve been attempting to figure out when he died. I already knew it was sometime after 1910, so this isn’t particularly useful, but having Spokane as a research location is helpful.
There are some great research hints in the names of the out-of-town guests at Bridget’s funeral. I’m not sure who Thomas and Miss Mary Byrne are, but James and Charles Conners are related to the husband of Anne Lowry Conners. Michael Lanaghan is probably related to the husband of Mrs. Edward Lanaghan, Margaret Lowry Lanaghan. Mr. and Mrs. Martin Lotman (sic, should be Lottman) are the in-laws of Bridget’s son, Michael Lowry Jr.
The one name in the out-of-town guests I genuinely want to know more about is Daniel Conley of Stoneboro, Pennsylvania. Is this Bridget’s brother or cousin or just a family friend with a common name? Knowing if this is a relative, especially a more easily tracked male relative, may lead me to more easily track Bridget’s parents, who are unknown at the present. The search for more answers continues.
One little obituary, so much information…

Bridget Lowry obituary, Leetonia Reporter, Leetonia, Ohio, May 13, 1904, page 1, volume 33, number 20.

Sunday’s Obituary – Anna Lottman Lowry

Mrs. Michael Lowry Succumbs in Hospital…
The Vindicator published this obituary of my great great grandmother Anna Lottman Lowry on May 7, 1945, two days after her death at Salem Hospital. Born in Germany, she married Michael around 1890. Interestingly, in my massive collection of Lowry family photos, I have not one of Anna (at least that I can identify) and only one of Michael. Since they had five children who survived at least into the 1970’s, I’m hoping that someone out there has additional photos of them.

Mrs. Michael Lowry Succumbs in Hospital,” Youngstown Vindicator, Section 1, Page 16. May 7 1945, accessed November 3, 2013.,1861252&dq=leetonia+michael-lowry&hl=en

Sunday’s Obituary – Sarah Lowry (1858 – 1915)

I have previously shown the tombstone of my 2nd great grand aunt Sarah Lowry. Thanks to a great service provided by the Washington State Library, I now have two obituaries for her, both from the Republic News Miner (still the paper of record in Republic). The first, a death notice, appeared on 5 Feb 1915, just two days after her death. While she was living in Spokane at the time, she spent much of her later life in Republic, Washington, a very small town 123 miles to the northwest.

Sarah and her husband Edward have been a tough nut for me to crack and continue to occupy a significant amount of my research time. One of their sons went on to do very great things for this country and I hope to feature him in the future. Sarah and Edward are the only Lowry’s who moved out of the Ohio area and to the West. I don’t know Sarah’s maiden name, where she was born, or who her parents are. I don’t know when or where Edward died, but believe he outlived Sarah. Interestingly, her obituary makes no mention of Edward so perhaps they were separated or divorced. So many questions, so little time. Fortunately, the blogosphere never runs out of ink!

(click to enlarge)
The second is a funeral announcement that appeared a week later, 12 Feb 1915. It’s not exactly clear but it appears that her funeral was held in Republic in the local Presbyterian church. Today, there’s only one Presbyterian church in Republic, on Keller Street. I’m not certain that was the church in question, and they don’t have a website.

(click to enlarge)
Also worth noting are the ‘Extra Fancy $2.50 Jonathans now $1.00 at The Palm Store.’ I have no idea what that means. If they are referring to apples, that is an incredibly expensive price in 1915.
Sarah Lowry obituary, Republic News Miner, Republic, Washington, February 5 and 12, 1915, page 1. Provided by the Ask a Librarian service of the Washington State Library (K. Smeenk, Reference Librarian). Received via email on 27 Jun 2013.

Sunday’s Obituary – Bridget Conley Lowry

Often the hardest generations to research are those who decided that they needed to leave where they were born and settle in America. There is uncertainty about where they lived in the old country, who their parents or siblings might be, and generally what life was like before they left. One thing that makes this search a little easier is an obituary.

Bridget Lowry is my 3rd great grandmother. She was born in Ireland, sometime between 1824 and 1834 and moved to the United States, with the date and location of her immigration still to be discovered. When she died in 1904, the Leetonia Reporter claimed her to be ‘among the oldest residents of this village, having lived here for over 25 years.’

Relationship to me:
Bridget Conley Lowry (Between 1824 and 1834 – 1904)
mother of:
Michael Lowry, Jr. (1868 – 1949)
father of:
Charles Edward Lowry (1899 – 1975)
father of:
Charles James Lowry (1924 – 2007)
father of:
Patrick Edward Lowry
father of:
Joseph Patrick Lowry

Part of the fun and challenge of genealogy are the questions that arise when a document challenges information you already believed to be fact. As you can see below, the obituary reads that she was a mother to five children, although I’ve discovered six in census records. Is the newspaper wrong or am I? Again, the search continues.

(Transcribed, PDF below)

Mrs. Michael Lowery, aged about 70 years, died about 8:30 Sunday morning at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Ed. Lanaghan on West Main street.

Funeral services were held Tuesday morning at 8 o’clock in St. Patrick’s church, Rev. T.F. Conlon, of Salem officiating,

The deceased was among the oldest residents of this village, having lived here for over 25 years. She was the mother of five children, four of whom with her husband survive her. The living children are Mrs. Ed Lanaghan and Michael Lowery Jr., of this place, Mrs. Anne Conners of New Castle, Pa., and Ed. Lowery, of near Spokane, Wash.

The following out of town visitors attended the funeral: Thomas Byrne and sister Miss Mary, of Scottsdale, Pa., James and Charles Conners, of New Castle, Pa., Daniel Conley, of Stonboro, Pa.; Michael Lanaghan, of Carrollton, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Lottman, of Salem.

The fascinating part of this obituary is the listing of out of town visitors. Conley was Bridget’s maiden name, and suddenly I can add Daniel Conley of Stonboro, Pa, to my list of people to research. Perhaps he’s a sibling or nephew?

Funeral attendees Martin and Margaret Lottman are the parents of Bridget’s daughter-in-law, Anna. She is the wife of Michael Lowry Jr. They are likewise my 3rd great grandparents and will be buried right next to Bridget in Leetonia’s Calvary Cemetery following their deaths in 1921 and 1924, respectively.

“At Ripe Old Age; Two Leetonia Women are Called to Their Reward,” [Bridget Lowry obituary], Leetonia [Ohio] Reporter, 13 May 1904, p. 1, vol 33, num 20.

Obit of the Day: Margaret Pepperney Lowry (1902 – 1980)

Mary Margaret Pepperney is my great grandmother. She was born in Charleroi, Pennsylvania on 21 Dec 1902 before marrying Charles Edward Lowry on 22 Aug 1922 in Leetonia, Ohio. The 1940 Census has Margaret, Charles and their son Charles J. living at 207 Thornton Avenue in Youngstown. She died on 5 Apr 1980 in Youngstown. This obituary appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Great grandma Lowry at the family custard stand on Belmont Avenue.
Mary Margaret Lowry obituary. Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland Plain Dealer. 7 Apr 1980. (Available at: ($))

Obit of the Day: Helen F. Lowry (1906 – 1991)

Helen F. Lowry Murphy was my great grant aunt, the younger sister of my great grandfather Charles E Lowry. She was born in Leetonia, Ohio in 1906 and lived her entire life there. She married her husband Lawrence Francis Murphy on Wednesday, August 21, 1929. She died of a heart attack in 1991 at age 85. This is her obituary from the Salem News.
Relationship to me:
Helen F. Lowry (1906 – 1991)
daughter of:
Michael James Lowry (1864 – 1949)
father of:
Charles Edward Lowry (1899 – 1975)
father of:
Charles James Lowry (1924 – 2007)
father of:
Patrick Edward Lowry
father of:
Joseph Patrick Lowry
Helen F. Murphy obituary. Salem, Ohio. Salem News. 16 September 1991. (index at: