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Tying it Together into a Community

Hello Friends, Family, and History Fans,

I have finally solved some of the puzzles that confronted me when my father Art Dunn died in 1954; I was soon adopted when my mother re-married, and my step-father did not want me to learn about my Dunn Family.  I guess I never was an obedient step-son to him.  A lot of the credit for my discoveries  goes to my recently departed Aunt Betty ( her remarkable memory, and her photo collection gave me most of the clues that I have).  Two examples of her gifts to me are some clues to two puzzles that I’m working on.

The first is the Creese (Kreiss) family from Germany who came to Eastern Pa. in 1770, and to Western Pa. after the Revolution.  My dad’s elder sister Lillian married Donald Creese.  I last saw them in 1954, when they moved to Florida.  It was a Florida Creese who read one of my posts about his family and led me to reuniting with Betty, three years ago.  My two visits to her let her transfer much of her family lore and photos to me.   I have been able to send my Creese results to these cousins, as they work on re-discovering their family’s history.

The second discovery is also from a “Betty Clue”.  She gave me some photos of Don Creese, Art Dunn, and “Red Wagner”; three boyhood chums in Ambridge and Hopewell Township. All I knew was that Red’s family moved to Youngstown, Ohio at some time after 1920.  Sure enough, I found the 1930 US Census recording that move, and that in 1940 Norman (aka Red) Wagner moved back to Ambridge, and rented a room on 14th St., near the Dunns and near his former childhood home.

{Here is one other even older connection – when Old Economy prospered, Orchard Lane, was where my great-grandfather Gottlieb Flueckiger was the hired orchardist.  Orchard Lane became 14th Street!}

So I added the Wagner family to the wonderful cluster of families that all live on or near 14th and Beaver in Ambridge;  Dunns, Wagners, Comoshots (my mother’s Ukranian family), Martis (my step-father’s family), and Cains (the family of Herb Marti’s  first wife Marion).  All of their teen-agers went to school together at Ambridge High School,  many of these families worshipped at the Ambridge Methodist Church, and most of the men worked in the steel industry at either American Bridge Co., National Tube (Spangs), or National Metal Moldings.

This all ties into the Wakefields (my mother’s first in-laws, of Earl, who died in the Battle of the Hurtgen Woods),  Joe Adams (my mother’s step-father), and other families that were friends of this once tightly knit, but very ethnically diverse) community.

I am going to direct my research more into learning about this community, and also the other community clusters that my other families lived in.  While I applaud the works of other genealogists who are searching way way back, thru Old World records and DNA research, I guess I do not feel the need to look back so far into war-torn Europe where my families fled from.  My energy will be mostly directed to all of my families arriving in Pennsylvania, and of the communities they settled in.

Thom Dunn Marti

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