Genealogy Articles

Stories from the Cemetery

January 31, 2019

It really isn’t a secret that I am a genealogy/history geek. I’m just glad to know there are others like me.  My kindred spirits will understand how I got from point A to point B by following all the other letters of the alphabet in no particular order.  Ready?

While I was transcribing cemetery records one evening I came across two headstones with photos on them. Both were young boys. Brothers.  It jerked at my heartstrings. Then I realized as I transcribed the headstones that the boys died on the same day. I immediately felt sorrow for this family and I HAD to know what happened.

Screenshot 2016-07-21 at 8.17.01 PM

A search through Census records, newspapers, and death certificates revealed the story.

Strizak 1930

Andrew and Anna [Kesock] Strizak were living in German, Fayette, Pennsylvania in the 1930s, where Andy was working as a driver in the coal mine. Their house was bustling with the busyness of six children: two daughters and four sons.

1930 United States Federal Census

On November 17, 1934, at the age of 38, Anna died from bronchial pneumonia and influenza. Andy was now left with six children to raise on his own.

Tragedy struck again on August 3, 1936 when Johnnie and Charles were playing at the river. Charles began to flounder and Johnnie attempted to save him. Both boys drown.


                                                             The Pittsburgh Press, 3 August 1936

John Strizak

John Strizak
May 9, 1924 – August 3, 1936

Charles Strizak

Charles Strizak
May 26, 1926 – August 3, 1936

By the 1940 US Census Andy’s household was down to three: Andy, his daughter Anne, and son George. Andy passed away on May 20, 1961.

1940 Strizak

1940 United States Census

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