Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lancelot's Round Table

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to put out some information that would attract distant cousins who were Googling family names so that we could find each other and share information. So the main reason for this post is to share some information I've gleaned over the last few years about the family of Lancelot Branch, the progenitor of all our Branch relatives in America. (That's his headstone at left, at the Horatio Cemetery near Punxsutawney, PA.)

As I talked about in this post a few years ago, Lancelot was an English coal miner who left England for Pennsylvania after the Civil War and sent for his wife and young daughter soon after. Unlike a lot of families who immigrated to America, Lancelot wasn't part of a bigger group including siblings and cousins—the rest of his family seems to have stayed behind in England. (The single exception I know about is his cousin Cuthbert Branch, who went to Ontario.) So even though there are a fair number of Branches in the U.S., we're not likely related to most of them.

When i wrote the last post about Lancelot, I knew from census records that he and his wife Elizabeth had three sons and three daughters: John George (my own ancestor), Thomas, Joseph, Sarah Jane, Elizabeth, and Maggie. At that time, though, I had only made contact with people from the family of Thomas. Since then, I have found what became of Joseph (he went to Canton, Ohio, and had three daughters) and Sarah Jane (she married John Commons and raised a large family in Southwest Pennsylvania). While I haven't found any of Joseph's family members, I have been in touch with a descendant of Sarah Jane's. Through online newspaper archives, census records, and even Facebook, I've been able to add dozens more people to my record of Lancelot's descendants.

But I'd like to add more! I don't know what became of Joseph's daughters, and not all of Thomas and Sarah's people are accounted for, and Elizabeth and Maggie are still complete mysteries. To that end, I'm posting this table of Lancelot's descendants—stopping at his great-grandchildren and excluding the names of any people who are likely to be alive (for privacy's sake). It may be of interest to some of you, but the main reason for posting it is essentially as "Google bait." If you've come to this page because you searched on a name and have discovered a connection, e-mail me at

I Lancelot Branch 1836 Staindrop UK–1907 Horatio, PA

m 1866 Tynemouth UK Elizabeth Charlton

II Sarah Jane Branch 9/9/1867 Seghill, UK–1914 PA

m ca. 1884 John Commons 1858–1942

III Maude Commons ca. 1886 TN– July 1961 Meyersdale, PA

III Charles William Commons 2/24/1887 Meyersdale, PA–8/16/1966 Carmichaels, PA

m ca. 1916 Mildred Margaret Crossland 4/28/1893 Glassport, PA–6/7/1966 Carmichaels, PA

IV Charles Howard Commons 3/16/1917 Boswell, PA–7/4/1971 St. Petersburg, FL

m 2 Lydia Lorraine Bryan 7/12/1927 Columbus, OH–5/18/1967 St. Petersburg, FL

IV Marguerite M. Commons 9/28/1918 Boswell, PA–11/9/2001 Bedford, VA

IV George M. Commons 9/2/1920 PA–8/27/1981 PA in Carmichaels in 1966

IV Edith Jane Commons 12/7/1922 PA–9/19/2000 CO?

IV [Daughter]

Virginia Ruth Commons ca. 1929 PA

III Harry Commons 2/26/1889 Meyersdale, PA–2/1960 Detroit, MI

III Raymond L. Commons 8/4/1890 PA–10/29/1963 Ligonier, PA

III Ralph Edward Commons 3/23/1892 Summit Twp., PA–4/25/1961 Miami, FL

m 6/5/1923 Detroit MI Emma Leonora Flach 12/20/1894 Detroit, MI–12/10/1966 Ferndale, MI

IV Ralph Edward Commons 3/20/1924 Detroit MI–12/20/1990 Pinellas Co., FL

IV Lenore Ruth Commons 10/7/1926 Detroit, MI–8/31/1976 MI

m Edward Marckwardt 6/14/1923–5/1/2009 Cadillac, MI

III Ruth J. Commons 9/22/1893 Meyersdale, PA–7/2/1967 Berlin, PA

m 4/22/1933 John Adam Gruber 12/28/1901 Penn, PA–6/9/1999 Topton, PA

III John Roy Commons 1/14/1896 Somerset Co. PA–6/7/1952 Altoona, PA

m ca. 1923 Emma J. Finnegan ca. 1898 PA

IV John Roy Commons Jr. 12/2/1923 PA–1/24/1997 PA

IV [Daughter]

IV [Son]

III Byron Earl Commons 8/19/1898 Meyersdale,PA–1/30/1986 Escondido, CA

m Roseanna McCabe 6/27/1917 Ida Grove, IA–1/8/2000 Rancho Murieta, CA

IV Richard Earl Commons 11/3/1948 CA–12/13/1997 CA

II John George Branch 3/4/1872 Somerset Co., Pa.–3/4/1940 Horatio, Pa.

m 10/1896 Punxatawney, Pa. Margaret Jehu 6/15/1877 Providence Pa.–1/4/1971 Commodore, Pa.

III Clarence Milo Branch 8/6/1897 Horatio, Pa.–4/1968 Bristow, Okla.

m 1928 Okla. City, OK Blanche Idella Vermillion 4/6/1907 Wayne, IT–11/28/2003 Drumright, OK

IV [Son]

IV [Son]

IV [Daughter]

III Richard Branch 12/6/1900 Desire, Pa–1946 Youngstown, OH

m Bessie Elizabeth Johns 2/9/1903 Punxsutawney, PA–8/14/1993 Youngstown, OH

IV [Son]

IV Richard Branch 10/10/1925 Ohio–2/18/1997 Los Angeles, CA

III Ruth Branch 1903 Horatio, Pa.–1903 Horatio, Pa.

III Sarah Jane Branch 1/10/1906 Horatio, Pa.—7/22/2000 Hillsdale, Pa.

m 2/28/1925 Leonard Ball 9/10/1902 Elanora, PA–1/4/1983 Indiana, Pa.

IV [Son

IV Clarence Leroy Ball 1/11/1928 PA–May 15, 2006 Dixonville, PA

m 5/27/1949 Betty Mae Witherite 12/22/1927 Green Twp., PA–10/6/2001 Commodore, PA

IV William Eugene Ball 12/29/1930–7/10/1951 Cincinnati, OH

IV Gerald Wayne Ball 10/31/1935–7/27/2011

III George Branch 7/29/1908 Horatio, Pa.–7/1981 Greenville, Pa.

m 8/3/1929 Ruby Arlene Shovestull 6/14/1910 PA–5/1981 Greenville, Pa.

IV Robert Eugene Branch 7/15/1931 PA–11/8/2000 OH

IV [Daughter]

IV John George Branch 12/30/1934–3/1/2000 Greenville, Pa.

III Esther Branch 4/2/1913 Punxatawney, Pa.–1/1942

m Leroy Jones

III Harry Leeroy Branch 12/24/1916 Punxsutawney, Pa.–11/11/1994 Youngstown, OH

m 7/13/1942 Gladys Johnson 3/20/1923 OH?–8/1/2007 Poland, OH

IV Alice Esther Branch d. bef. 8/1/2007

IV [Daughter]

II Thomas James Branch 10/1874-5, Meyersdale, PA–1933 Arnold City, PA

m Annie Haddick b. Wrekenton, Northumberland Co., UK–1971, PA

III Leonard William Branch 6/4/1895–10/2/1966, Allen Park, MI

m 10/10/1928 Detroit, MI Mary Agnes Walsh 3/22/1902 Montreal, QC–8/31/2006 San Pedro, CA

IV Thomas Martin Branch 8/2/1929 Grosse Pointe, MI–11/1991, Troy, MI

IV [Son]

IV Robert William Branch 12/17/1932 Detroit, MI–11/27/1972 Los Angleles, CA

IV [Son]

III Margaret Branch ca. 1898 PA–aft. 4/1942

m ca. 1916 Frederick Homer Moors 6/26/1893 Butler, PA–10/12/1962 Somerset Co., PA

IV Arthur Gene Moors 6/26/1917 PA–5/18/1997 MI

m Hilda Blanche Arisman 5/15/1918–1/16/2000 MI

IV Dorothy M. Moors 8/10/1920 Boswell, PA–3/19/1985 Virgilina, VA

m Henderson Loftis 11/11/1919–4/1957

III Elizabeth Branch 2/11/1900 Punxsutawney, PA–2/26/1991 Clarion, PA

m ca. 1923 John Richard Baldwin ca. 1899 PA

IV Gloria Baldwin 12/5/1925 PA–12/17/2003 FL

IV [Son]

III Maude Pearl Branch 4/30/1903 Meyersdale, PA–8/1983 Bellevue, WA

m ca. 1925 Walter M. "Bus" McMillen 10/18/1903 Bridgeville, PA–4/13/1955 Bridgeville, PA

IV [Daughter]

IV Robert Branch McMillen 7/10/1935 PA–10/12/2002 Bellevue, WA

III Leona Louise Branch 11/22/1905–2/23/1997 Pittsburg, PA

m Edward William Schietinger 7/1/1894 Pittsburgh, PA–6/2/1985

IV [Daughter]

IV [Daughter]

IV [Daughter]

III Anna Branch 8/12/1908–4/21/2004

m Raymond S. Call 1901–1946

IV [Son]

IV [Son]

III Ruth Branch ca. 1912

m Robert Schmidt

IV [Son]

III Thomas James Branch 7/9/1915 PA–11/17/1978 CA

m Rose Lillian Caplan 8/29/1915 PA–7/1/1977 CA

IV [Son]

IV [Daughter]

III Irene Branch ca. 1921

m Glenn Wilhelm

IV [Daughter]

IV [Son]

IV [Son]

II Elizabeth Ann Branch ca. 1876

II Maggie Branch ca. 1879

II Joseph William Branch 8/26/1884-5 Meyersdale, PA–1947 OH

m ca. 1912 Mabel/Mable Lenora Burchfield 2/1/1893 PA–1/30/1974 OH

III Mona L. Branch 5/1/1913 PA–4/9/2000

III L. Irene Branch 2/4/1915 PA–1/30/1989 OH

III [Daughter]