52 Ancestors – Week 8: I Can Identify

My dad’s side of the family liked to reuse given names more than my mom’s. The paternal line is filled with Rebeccas and Janes. There are also a few women with the first name of Julia. I can identify with that as that’s my first name. Outside of sharing a name, we don’t have much in common. I know of 3 Julias; they all died before age 50.

Born about 1849 in Pennsylvania, Julia Ann Dirk was my 2x great-grandmother. She married John George Dettinger in March 1869 in York County, Pennsylvania, and had 12 children. Her obituary said she died on 27 August 1888.1 This was just months after her last child was born. Death certificates were not issued before 1893, so complications from childbirth are just an assumption as to her cause of death.2

Julia Ann Dettinger was the first-born daughter of Julia Dirk and John Dettinger. She became the wife of Joshua Shewell, married on 23 Oct 1892 in York County. Unlike her mother, this Julia only had 2 children. Her obituary said she died in the West Side Sanitarium.3 Her death certificate found on Ancestry.com confirms this. She was only 48 years. old.

The third Julia of this story was Julia Kindig. Born in 1890 to Joseph Kindig and Josephine Keller in York County, Julia was a schoolteacher. Unfortunately, this 27-year-old was a victim of the Spanish Flu Epidemic and died on 17 November 1918 in York County, Pennsylvania.4

My name comes from someone I’m not related to…my dad’s college house mother. She lived a lot longer than any of the other Julias, passing in 1974 at the age of 76. Her last known residence was Walterboro, SC and she is buried in the same cemetery as my grandparents.5 I take a break from driving every week at a rest area in Walterboro. What a small world!

1 “Died,” The York (Pennsylvania) Daily, 29 August 1888, p. 1, col. 2; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com: accessed 19 Feb 2023).

2 FamilySearch Wiki, (https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/York_County,_Pennsylvania_Genealogy), “York County, Pennsylvania Genealogy,” rev. 16:25, 20 February 2023.

3 “Deaths and Burials,” The York (Pennsylvania) Dispatch, 25 October 1920, p. 9, col. 5; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com: accessed 19 Feb 2023).

4 “Obituary,” The Franklin Repository (Chambersburg, Pennsylvania), 23 November 1918, p. 3, col. 6; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com: accessed 19 Feb 2023).

5 “Mrs. Julia Jones Dies at 76,” The Knoxville (Tennessee) News-Sentinel, 11 September 1974, p. 33, col. 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com: accessed 21 Feb 2023).

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