Hope the list will bear with me as I tell this tale.
My grandfather who died as Charles Trimbath in 1987 has a very confusing
My Aunts say their father told them he and his parents came to the United
States when he was a small boy. (I have narrowed this down to between the
years 1895-1908). They lived in Smock, Franklin Township, Fayette, PA.
Charles's father Frank (name taken from marriage license) worked in the Coal
mines. During this time (1895-1908) Frank was involved in fight over a poker
game in a bar, he was shot and killed. Charles told his daughters it was a
bar in Republic and even pointed it out to them. Frank was buried in a
cemetery in New Salem, Menallen Township, PA. My Aunt says her father took
her and her older brother to his grave when they were young. (I've looked at
the cemeteries in New Salem but not found anything)
Charles mother, now a widow, decided to return the "old country" with her
son. They left the United States. When Charles was about 14 or 15, his
mother sent him back to the United States alone. She had corresponded with
the woman who ran the boarding house in Smock where they had lived before.
Charles was to stay with her and find work.
My Aunts say he told them he lived with this woman when he first returned to
the United States. He began working in the coal mines. At this point what
his real name was is lost, according to the story it was here he was told,
"okay Charlie Trimbath, you can work for us." I have researched the name
Trimbath, it is English, and the Trimbath's in Fayette Country are from
Cornwall, England. Eventually Charles met the older brothers of my
grandmother. He was introduced to my grandmother Mary Bookshar and they were
I have a copy of their marriage license from 1917, on this document Charles
age as 21, his birthplace as Austria. His father is listed as Frank
Trembath -deceased, his mother as Annie Medleck -housekeeper, they were both
born in Austria. My Aunts recall him saying his mothers name was something
like Miller but not quite that.
In the 1920 census I found Charles and Mary in Tower Hill #1, Fayette
County, PA. Here he is listed as "Charley Trembitz" age 25, birthplace
Beretski, Austria, his citizenship status is listed as Alien, his native
tongue is Slovak.
In December 1936, Charles Trimbath applied for a social security number, he
listed his birthdate as Dec 31, 1895 (my Aunts say he never knew his real
birthdate so he choose the last day of the year). He listed his birthplace
as Haston, Cambria, PA. His father was listed as Frank Trimbath, his mother
Anna Vaingar. I know this is the right SS5 because of the address, they
lived in Tower Hill #1 their entire lives. The house a double, was purchased
from the mines and was sold just a few years ago following my grandmothers
death. A search of birthrecords from Haston, Cambria, PA turned up nothing,
no record of him there.
The family is Roman Catholic on my grandmothers side and attended Holy
Rosary Church in Republic, Fayette, PA. My Aunts say they celebrated
Christmas Eve Mass twice, once on December 24 with their mother and then
they would walk to the nearby town of New Salem to Celebrate the
Greek/Orthodox/Byzantine (sorry I still get those mixed up) Christmas Eve
Mass with their father. There is an Orthodox and a Byzantine Church in New
Salem. I tried to locate records at both and checked both cemeteries with no
I also have copies of Charles's mine workers records. They show the mines he
worked for and when. They were used when he applied for his pension. The
earliest record is from 1915 and is an affidavit of a person who worked with
Charles and first became acquainted with him in May 1915.
When Charles applied for his pension in 1956 he again listed his father as
Frank Trimbath and his mother as Anna Medleck.
Basically, I am stuck as were else to go with is search. When I was in
Pennsylvania last year, I searched for naturalization records-zero, death
records for Frank-zero, Church and Cemetery records-zero. I even tromped
around in the old cemeteries looking at headstone, many were missing or not
This why I have begun trying to locate possible location for Beretski,
Austria, especially looking for Greek Catholic records, since this seems to
be the religion of the family.
I hope everyone has borne with me through this tale, I know I'm not the only
one out there with a difficult ancestor. Sometimes it just helps to talk it
out. Thanks for bearing with me.
Lisa Rhea Trimbath Baker