This journey is going to lead me down the path of the Birch's and all those other names that have joined them. I know this will take me to England, Germany, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois and elsewhere. The men in this family will be working as coalminers, railroad brakemen and Laborers in Saw Mills.

The common name "birch" is derived from an old Germanic root, birka, with the Proto-Indo-European root *bherəg, "white, bright; to shine."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Amanuensis Monday ~ Florence Birch McWilliams & John T. O'Rourke

Application for Marriage ~ John O'Rourke & Florence Birch McWilliams
 In doing my research on the Birch's I  had difficulty locating "Florence Birch" a daughter of James Birch and Anna Warrander.   It wasn't until I found this "Application for Marriage License" dated 6 May 1940 from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that I discovered that Florence Birch had been married previously and that husband had died two years prior.  That explained her name change to McWilliams and why I couldn't locate her.
     Thank goodness for documents such as this as I am able to gain a plethera of information from it and fill in so many missing pieces.

Warm Regards,


  1. I just saw found your website through Geneabloggers. Welcome to Geneabloggers.

    Regards, Jim
    Genealogy Blog at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets

  2. Thanks for the nice Welcome Jim! I've got two blogs going and doing my best to keep up with both of them. :) Have a great Wednesday.

    Warm regards,

  3. I do believe that this makes us related Liz! This is the first real piece of genealogical evidence that I have been able to find concerning my paternal grandparents, and it's their marriage certificate! Do you happen to know anything else about them?


  4. I'm Florence O'Rourke's son, Ray. I would like to talk to you and can be reached at (412) 374-2341 during the day. I'd appreciate your calling me. BTW, Ethel was not the third daughter. The third daughter was Beatrice and she married Patrick Sullivan and spent most of her life in Irwin, PA. I'm curious why you are researching the Birches as I wanted to do the same myself but was waiting for retirement. My oldest son posted the previous comment.

  5. Hi Ray and Ray ~

    I am married to Fred Birch. Florence would be his great aunt. I have been researching the Birch Family tree for years. I have a tree on and if I had both of your email addresses I could forward it to you. I will give you a call but since I work full time it may have to wait until Saturday :)

    I look forward to speaking to you,

    Liz Birch

  6. Hi Liz,

    My email address is and Ray's is We would love to see the research you have accumulated.

    Then your husband must be a grandson of either Al (Johnstown) or Ernie (Cleveland). Uncle Al was a bartender and Uncle Ernie initially worked in the mines with his Dad and brother Jim.

    My parents divorced when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I only have two memories of him as he never stayed in my life. I didn't even know his birthday until I read the marriage license. I've been told that he died in Florida and is buried there some time around 1984. I was never contacted about his death and didn't find out until about 10 years later.

    Thank you for responding back,