This week's Sepia Saturday presents the photo to the left as a way to inspire others to write something historical through their own photographs. The picture presented is of a group of men possibly finishing a game of "hurling". Also showing on that photo are some writings. That photo inspired me to write about a Great Grand Uncle in which I recently have found some photos of.
Irvin Horner was the oldest of nine children born to Ananias J. Horner and Sarah Eash on March 20, 1886 in Somerset, Pennsylvania. At the age of 14, in 1900, Irvin doesn't appear to be attending any type of school but instead he is a Farm Laborer.
At the age of 24, in 1910, he is working in the coal mines and maintaining a job known as a "trip rider" or a brakeman. In this job he would have to operate or throw switches; couple and uncouple cars; and assist motormen in the transportation of loaded coal cars from switches or sidings in the mines to the shaft.
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."