My Genealogy Database in 2015

I maintain all of my genealogical information using a software application called Family Tree Maker. Here’s the current snapshot of my database:

People: 2,335
Marriages: 658
Places: 768
Media: 2559 (photographs and document images)

Repositories: 14
Source Groups: 268
Source Citations: 4313

4,313 citations equals 1.85 citations per person, just shy of two. As many ancestors have many more citations, it’s safe to say that there are people in my family tree for whom I have no proof. Hopefully over the next year I can get that number much higher.

By documenting this information at the start of the year, I hope to be able to track the growth of my family tree year to year. Since this is the first time I’ve done this, I have nothing to compare, but next year should prove interesting.

Happy New Year!

Edward Lowry, Lawman

I’ve previously written about my great grand uncle Edward Lowry, wondering what happened to him after 1904 and what he did in the last few years of his life. In the 14 months since I wrote that piece, I’ve discovered quite a bit. At the turn of the 20th century, Edward was living in Republic, Ferry County, Washington. He went to Washington to seek work and perhaps a fortune as a miner, but by 1900, he was was the Democratic candidate for sheriff of Ferry County in what was the first election since the county separated from Stevens County. No doubt utilizing the same skills of politicking that he used as a labor organizer in Colorado, he won the 1900 election for sheriff by a count of 677 to 593, beating Republican A.E. Stewart.
Click to enlarge
Lowry took the role well, as various newspaper accounts from the early 1900’s depict him chasing after escaped inmates, seizing sheep due to a failure to pay taxes, rounding up murderers and investigating robberies, as was the case in October 1901 as reported by the Spokane Spokesman-Review. As it turns out, Republic resident and rancher Frank O’Brien’s wife was keen on leaving the family fortune in the hen house instead of the bank. While employee Michael Smith was cleaning out the chicken coop, he discovered the O’Brien fortune and pocketed it, setting off by hired carriage and then train. Sheriff Lowry took the complaint and directed that a wire report be sent before setting off in search his fugitive. That wire report made the difference as a train was stopped by Canadian lawmen in British Columbia with Smith aboard. With some of the gold still in his possession upon arrest, Smith was brought back to the Republic jail to face his accusers.

Just two and a half months later, Sheriff Lowry had the dubious distinction of losing several of his inmates who escaped by sawing through the wooden jail bars. The Spokesman-Review and San Francisco Call both depict the tale of how Lowry recaptured the fugitives. Not realizing they were gone for several hours after the escape, he was quick to pick up their trail. He located two in the town of Wauconda, 16 miles to the west, while two more were reported to be in Curlew 20 miles to the north. It was the two in Curlew who were up to no good, committing their second felony of the day (the first being their escape from jail). When Lowry entered the saloon in which the two men were reported to be, he found the barkeeper and patrons lined up along the rail being robbed!

The warm Washington summer of 1903 saw Lowry climbing Gibraltar Mountain, just a few miles outside Republic. Someone had discovered a grisly scene, with the bones of a man and cougar lying near one another. From the evidence at the scene, it appears to have been a terrible struggle that occurred over a year prior. The gun was quite rusted and the remains very much decayed. Lowry’s role as sheriff was to identify the victim. The San Jose, California Evening News found the story so terrific that they carried it on their July 31 front page.

Lowry’s final appearance as a man of law and order in readily available newspapers is February 24, 1904. Again, he was doing what he had done several times before in bringing back a fugitive, Everett Wilson. Wilson shot a man named Dan Bethune, although for what cause we aren’t certain. Of interest to the reader, Wilson was to await the result of Bethune’s wound in jail. Translating the parlance and with the medical knowledge of 1904, Bethune was probably a dead man walking.

Lastly, we also now know why records and newspaper mentioned of Edward become more difficult to locate after 1905. In early October 1905, Edward and his son Ralph set off from Republic to Phoenix, Arizona. At some point in his life, Edward contracted tuberculosis and believed that the dry desert air would be good for him. Unfortunately, he died on Monday, October 9, 1905 after just a single night in town. His obituary in the October 12, 1905 Arizona Republican reads:

Funeral of E. LAWRY [sic] – The funeral of E. Lawry will be held this afternoon at 4 o’clock at the undertaking parlors of Easterling & Whitney. Mr. Lawry came here last Sunday, very ill of consumption, and died Monday morning. His home was in Republic, Wash., where his wife and other relatives now are. A son sixteen years old accompanied him here. He was quite a prominent man in his county having served two years as sheriff. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles which society will have charge of his funeral.

Lowry was 49 years old when he died. He’s buried in Phoenix.

An Illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan Counties, State of Washington, Volume 1, (Washington, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1904), 446; digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015).

“Cash Taken From Cache,” The Spokesman-Review, 10 Oct 1901, p. 1, col. 2; image copy. Google News ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015), Google News Archive.

“Sawed To Liberty,” The Spokesman-Review, 29 Dec 1901, p. 1, col. 6; image copy. Google News ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015), Google News Archive.

“Fugitive Prisoners Are Captured,” San Fransisco Call, 29 Dec 1901, p. 20, col. 5; image copy. University of California, Riverside ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015), California Digital Newspaper Collection.

“Bones Of Man And Beast Are Found On Mountain,” The (San Jose) Evening News, 31 Jul 1903, p. 1, col. 1-2; image copy. Google News ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015), Google News Archive. [Note: The image is indexed for 30 Jul 1903, but the article appeared in the 31 Jul 1903 newspaper.]

“Late News From Republic,” The Spokesman-Review, 24 Feb 1904, p. 4, col. 4; image copy. Google News ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015), Google News Archive. [Note: The image is indexed for 21 Feb 1904, but the article appeared in the 24 Feb 1904 newspaper.]

“Funeral for E. Lawry,” The Arizona Republican, 12 Oct 1905, p. 5, col. 3; image copy. ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015).

Photo of the Day – July 5, 2015

If I had to take a guess, I’d say this photo was taken in May 1987 for my sister Caroline’s fifth birthday. The location is the backyard of the first house we grew up at in Youngstown, 233 West Dennick. Mr. and Mrs. Booth’s yellow ranch is behind us. As you can see in the photo, we had a swing set and picnic table as well as a sandbox and garden. Dennick had a great backyard for little kids. The people I can identify in the picture include Caroline (standing on the bench), cousin Laura Lowry (center, at the end of the table), Joe Lowry (me! In the blue shirt and white collar), cousin Mike Lowry to my left and probably one or two of the Muir boys closet to the photographer.

Caroline Lowry with friends and cousins, photograph, taken in the backyard of 233 W Dennick Ave in Youngstown, Ohio around 1987; image taken by unknown photographer; privately held by Patrick Lowry, [address for private use], Poland, Ohio. Caroline Lowry celebrating her fourth birthday with family and friends.

Photo of the Day – May 27, 2015

My niece Amelia being held by her Uncle Joe.
Joseph Biden, Amelia Nagy, Jon Nagy and Caroline Lowry-Nagy, photograph, taken at the Golden Dawn Restaurant in Youngstown, Ohio on 4 Oct 2010; digital image taken by Patrick Lowry; privately held by Patrick Lowry, [address for private use], Poland, Ohio. Vice President Joe Biden holding Amelia Nagy while parents Jon and Caroline Nagy look on.

Military Monday – John Pepperney at the Third Battle of Winchester

In the late summer of 1864, Confederate General Jubal Early marched his men up the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, with Union General Philip Sheridan and his Army of the Shenandoah not far behind them. The concern for the Union Army was that if Early went unchecked, he had an easy path down the Potomac River using the nearby railroads to force his way into Washington, D.C. With the 1864 presidential election not far away, and political catastrophe for Lincoln if Early got close to Washington, Sheridan knew he had to stop him.

One of the men in this Army, under Wright’s VI Corps, Getty’s Division, Wheaton’s Brigade, the 139th Pennsylvania Infantry and finally D Company, was my great grand uncle John Pepperney of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

John was born in Prussia on 15 January 1845 to Jacob and Anna Maria Krotterin Pepperney. He arrived in America around 1852 and his family settled in Reserve Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. John was inducted into the Federal army on 1 September 1862 when he was 17 years old. The 139th Infantry was comprised of men from Allegheny County. Many of them were no doubt immigrants like John who either volunteered or were drafted to fight for their new country.

Within two days of being organized, the 139th Infantry found itself in Manassas, Virginia where it buried the bodies of the men killed at the Battle of Second Manassas. It was no doubt a grisly welcome to the army and made the reality of what was in front of them very real. The official summary of service of the Pennsylvania regiments tells this tale well:

After that, John and the 139th found themselves confronted by the enemy in battles we know well from history books. Antietam. Fredericksburg. Chancellorsville. Maryes Heights. Gettysburg. Wilderness. Spotsylvania. Cold Harbor. Petersburg. That John made his way through the hell of those battles unscathed is a miracle. That is, until he arrives near Winchester, Virginia on the evening of 18 September 1864.

At 3 a.m. on 19 September, General Sheridan launched his attack on Early’s men from the north, pushing his leading forces back into Winchester. This early action by cavalry allowed Sheridan to organize his infantry forces marching from Berryville to the east.

Company D of the 139th Infantry was square in the center of the VI Corps assault on the Confederate lines. To their right were no fewer than 13 Union brigades while to their left just General Daniel Bidwell’s brigade held the end of the line. With cannon fire shooting over their heads, the 139th Infantry advanced down the Berryville Road. They entered into Winchester as the Confederates pulled out, leading a retreat to Strasburg, 20 miles to the south. It was during this action that John was wounded. What caused this injury remains unclear, but the muster rolls of the 139th Infantry state he was injured on this date and at this place. Still, his injury was minor enough to keep him with the Army. John Pepperney would continue with the 139th Infantry through the remainder of the war and was mustered out of service on 21 June 1865.

The interchange of Interstate 81 (north and south) and Route 7 (east and west) in Winchester, Virginia. It was just a few hundred feet to the south of the interchange where the 139th Pennsylvania advanced on the Confederate troops on 19 September 1864.

The Third Battle of Winchester was the bloodiest battle in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 and effectively pushed the Confederate army out of this part of Virginia.

Bates, Samual. “History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5; Prepared in Compliance with Acts of the Legislature, by Samuel P. Bates.” Making of America. University of Michigan, 1 Jan. 1869. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

“139th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Civil War Volunteers,” Pennsylvania Volunteers of the Civil War, ( : accessed 28 Nov 2020), article on the 139th Infantry.

“Third Battle of Winchester.” Civil War Trust. Civil War Trust. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

Photo of the Day – March 22, 2015

A bright smile and closed eyes greeted my great grandmother when she took this photo on her son’s second birthday. She no doubt wanted a photograph to help remember his big day, but anything taken indoors probably wouldn’t have developed properly. Thus, it was time to bundle up and take little Charles outside for the shot. The more I look at this collection of photos, the more I love the idea of her carrying her camera around, capturing all sorts of images of her son.

Charles James Lowry (1924-2007), photograph, taken at unknown location, in November 1926; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2013 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Mary McCaffrey, [address for private use], Canton, Ohio. Portrait of toddler in winter coat and hat standing in snowy yard. Provenance is Charles Lowry to Mary McCaffrey.

Photo of the Day – March 20, 2015

In honor of the Notre Dame men’s basketball team barely squeezing out a victory over Northeastern University in the men’s tourney yesterday, I give this you image of Our Lady’s University. The golden dome atop the Administration Building is one of the most recognizable university symbols in the country. My grandfather Charles Lowry took this photo during a trip to Notre Dame in November 1941. You can see more photos from that trip on this post.

The Administration Building at the University of Notre Dame, photograph, taken on either 21 or 22 November, 1941; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2013 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Mary McCaffrey, [address for private use], Canton, Ohio. Provenance is Charles Lowry to Mary McCaffrey.

Photo of the Day – March 19, 2015

My grandfather Charles Lowry is posing in this photo looking dapper in a double breasted jacket and white tie. I seem to recall other similar photos indicating that this his 8th grade graduation in the spring of 1938 or 1939. The timing is right, as I think the little girl is is his first cousin Catherine Pepperney who was born in 1937 and would be 1 or 2 years old.

Charles James Lowry (1924-2007) and believed to be Catherine Pepperney Campana, photograph, taken at unknown location around 1939; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2013 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Mary McCaffrey, [address for private use], Canton, Ohio. Young man in dark blazer and white shirt and white pants standing in front of young child on small bike. Provenance is Mary Pepperney Lowry to Charles Lowry to Mary McCaffrey.

Photo of the Day – March 18, 2015

My great uncle Francis Witt Jr. married Mary Lou Murray on August 2, 1944. Shown in this photo on their wedding day are Francis’s younger brother Howard (my grandfather) and the baby of the family, his sister Helen. It is unknown to me who the woman on the right is. Less than a week prior Francis had returned home to Youngstown after being reported missing in action. According to a Vindicator report, how he arrived home was not disclosed (but I can let you in on the secret).

Unknown, Mary Lou Murray Witt (1917-2001), Helen Witt (1934-2009), Francis Witt Jr. (1920-2002) and Howard Witt (1929-2001), photograph, taken at unknown location on 2 Aug 1944; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2013 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Marie Dockry, [address for private use], Austintown, Ohio. Three women and two men, one in a service uniform, appearing for a wedding. Provenance is Marie Dockry to Joseph Lowry.