One of the family lines I haven’t posted about is my Conner family line, the reason being until now I was unable to break through the “brick” wall that stopped me from getting further. However, I have been using some new research techniques. For this situation, I used my Ancestry membership to reach out to someone, and it is a fantastic way to verify information. The Ancestry website has family trees from its own members available and, while I choose at the present time not to have mine available there, I emailed with a very nice lady who had a public tree for my Conner side.
The story about this family from years back was that my great-grandmother on my mother’s side, Bertha Louise Conner, and all of her siblings were left with random families after her mother died and her father was unable to keep the family together. Bertha (born November 28, 1893), the oldest of four children, was only 10 years old when her mother, Anna (Schadel) Conner, died in childbirth. Her brothers were Harry, age 8; Arthur, age 7; and Edward, age 4. Here is a photo of her in her school class in 1903, the same year her mother died, she is in the second row, second from the right —
My friend on Ancestry had quite a bit more information than I did as her uncle was Harry Conner, Bertha’s brother. She was able to confirm the story and answer my questions, mainly, who Charles and Anna’s parents were. There was no death certificate for Charles that I had found through a vital records search in the county he died in the year he died, and Anna died before parents’ names were put on death certificates. I had some census information, but to go from point A to point B was just impossible. Her tree information is incredible but in genealogy research, you always need to verify the information but this has opened up a world that leads from Pennsylvania to Virginia, to France and to Ireland, with some Revolutionary War soldiers thrown in!
I don’t know much of Bertha’s life after her mother died, but according to census records, in 1910 she was 16 and working in a boarding house as a servant for a Mrs. Huber. Just a year or two later, she married William Bass, and eventually they had six children: Lucille Grace, Evelyn, Ruth, William, Robert and Richard.
Here’s another photo of Bertha, this one is from 1957 and she and her husband, my great-grandfather, William, are seated. Their son Bill (William Peter Bass-my grandfather) is standing behind them, and his wife, Madeline (Schoudel) Bass (my grandmother) is all the way on the left. In between is his sister Evelyn on his right, and his other sister on his left is Ruth with her husband Bob.
Bertha died from an acute coronary occlusion on March 2, 1964 at the age of 70.