Ghost Towns and a Little Family History


Are any of these guys my relatives?? I’m an American mongrel. My ancestors came from the British Isles , Germany and Slovakia. They came in the 1700s through the 1900s. They fought in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Most of them landed in Philadelphia or New York and migrated across Pennsylvania to settle in Pittsburgh. Roland Wilson Curtin,my great,great grandfather, was an exception. He drifted all the way to California but he started life in Curtin Village and grew up with the families of the men in the picture. His grandfather was a foundry worker at the Curtin iron works. His mother, Sarah Grassmier , had seven children , lived all of her life in the area and never married. Roland left home as a teenager and set out for Pittsburgh where he enlisted in the Union army. Those are just the simple facts that I’ve found by searching census , payroll and other public records. The puzzle of it all is- who was Roland’s father? Why did his mother give him the name Roland Curtin? What was the social sigma like for an unwed mother in such a small village in the 1800s? How did she support all of the children after her parents died? The true story has been lost through the generations and it’s probably much more interesting than these little bits that I’ve found. Unfortunately when Roland went to California , his young daughter (my great grandmother), was left in the care of relatives in Pittsburgh and the only thing that they told her was that she was related to the first Roland Curtin who immigrated to the US in 1793 and founded the iron works at Curtin Village.  More pictures

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