Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Family ProFile--Sarah Ann Pool Pinyerd

Several years back was thrilled to find numerous family related articles in the personal columns of local newspapers in North Charleroi and Monessen, Pennsylvania on Ancestry. The reporter was my paternal great grandaunt, Sarah Ann Pool Pinyerd. I have also seen it spelled Sarah Ann Pool Pinyard.

Known in the family as "Sallie" and "Aunt Pinny," she seemed to have a direct line to the local newspapers and each and every visitor was duly noted in the "Personal" section of the North Charleroi column. What can I say but THANK YOU Aunt Pinny.

The various news briefs gave me a snapshot into the movements up and down the Monongahela River during the early 1900's of her sister, my paternal great grandmother,
Jessie Pool VanGilder. It was the basis of a brief summer trip back in 2006.

Like so many pieces of research, this one was so exciting when found and then it went back on my back burner for several years. Recently, I was jogged back into Pinyerd/Pinyard research by a fellow genealogist from Texas, who contacted me regarding his Pinyerd relation. I thank him too, as wandering around the web collaborating, I was able to locate the death certificate of Aunt Pinny's husband, John A. Pinyerd...a long missing document.

There are no descendants from the marriage of John A. Pinyerd and Sarah Ann Pool Pinyerd. I am blogging about them solely for those in my family who might be interested in knowing a little more about two interesting ancestors and because Aunt Pinny appeared to be a wee bit of a feminist.

Sarah Ann Pool, daughter of Sampson Frum Pool and Sarah Louise Harner was born in Monongalia County, West Virginia on October 9, 1868. The Pool family lived on a farm in the Morgan District outside Morgantown, West Virginia. Other than census reports, there is no document giving a clue as to Sarah's life until her marriage to John A. Pinyerd on December 28, 1887. Of interest to me is the place where the wedding ceremony took place---Sarah's maternal uncle, Joseph Harner's farm. Rev. Samuel Hitchens of the Methodist Episcopal Church performed the ceremony.

John A. Pinyerd, son of Jesse Pinyerd and Melvina S. Rider, was born on October 20, 1859 in Greene County, Pennsylvania. When John married he was listed as a blacksmith on license.

The first census for the Pinyerds in 1900 is in the Clinton District, Monongalia County, West Virginia. John is not listed, which makes me think that he is already working on a steamboat and is on the river when the enumerator came to the door. The Pinyerds own a farm free and clear of mortgage. Living with Sarah is her cousin, Charles Wesley Pool, who is working the farm for her. This census asks the woman if she has had any children and Sarah's response is no.

By 1910, the Pinyerds have moved to North Charleroi, Pennsylvania, which will be Sarah's home until her death. The house is located on Fourth Street near Lock 4 on the Monongahela River. A perfect location for John as he is able to have easy access to the steamboat. On this census Sarah's information lists that she is the mother of one child who is no longer alive. I have been told by a family member that Sarah had a baby; however it died young. Somewhere I picked up the name of Violet L. as the baby's name. John's occupation was consistently listed as a marine that a fancy name for working on a steamboat?????

The Pinyard Home in North Charleroi
as listed in the 1930 Pennsylvania Census

In 1915, Sarah has a house at Lock 4 up for sale. According to the advertisement, it appears to be modern for the time....finished attic, cement basement floor, wired for electricity and two squares from the electric car line (streetcar). I don't know if the advertised house was sold and the Pinyerd's moved to another home on Fourth Avenue, or if it is the house she is enumerated in on the 1920 and 1930 census and pictured above.

I must make mention here, that Charleroi and North Charleroi are built into a hill rising up from the Monongahela River. When my brother and I drove up one of the streets, I had the feeling that the car would flip over from end to end. Walking up one of those streets would test the cholesterol buildup in anyones heart. It would most assuredly be advantageous to be only two streets up from the river!

Sarah was an active member of the North Charleroi community and with her family. There are countless little mentions in the local papers of various family members and friends coming and going from the Pinyerd home. Parties and club events were hosted by Sarah and her sisters appeared to actually live in the Pinyerd home for periods of time during 1915-1925. In fact, Sarah's mom, Sarah Louise Harner Pool was living with her daughter when she died on August 5, 1911.

I was thrilled to find that my paternal grandmother, Sarah VanGilder Hughes, visited her aunt in North Charleroi a couple of times before she married my grandfather.

Several of Sarah Pinyerd's community memberships listed in the local newspapers included: Victory Knitting Club, The Home and Hospital Club and the Needlecraft Club.

At some point in time, Sarah opened her home up as a maternity hospital. She is listed as a nurse, but I have no idea if she actually was a nurse that completed a degree or perhaps she was a midwife. At any rate, there are listing by 1924 of the Pinyerd Private Hospital operating out of her home. Pregnant women would come and stay in rooms in her home. She would take care of them until the baby was born and for several days following. Dr. A.S. Sickman (great name for a made house calls to the Pinyerd Hospital. He was involved in an automobile accident, which was reported in the local newspaper as he was on the way to Sarah Pinyerds.

Sarah operated her home maternity hospital through 1939, at which time it was called the Pinyerd Maternity Home. According to the local newspapers, countless babies were born under Sarah's care. She was quite the entrepreneur. By my calculations, Sarah was running her home hospital from about age 50 through age 70.

Other community involvement for Sarah Pinyerd: She was appointed to the Advisory Committee for the Hospital Building Fund Campaign AND in 1925 she ran for two elected offices--School Director and City Council. She lost both.

Sarah also donated to a variety of community based organizations...among them the fire department ambulance fund and the flood relief fund. From the various newspaper articles she was generous with, community and friends. She gave of herself, her home and her income. Truly, someone to be admired.

When when I interviewed one of her grandnieces, she replied......"Aunt Pinny kept an immaculate home. She would put newspaper on the floor to catch any droppings when children were at her home and having food at the table. There was also a feeling that she had one child who died when they were infants or very young. Aunt Pinny served her patients off her Limoges china."

After doing research on several of the "Pool Women," those girls raised in the home of Sampson Frum Pool and Sarah Louise Harner Pool....I must say they had true grit. Sarah's sisters lost husbands early in their marriages either to death or divorce and made their way in the early 1900's, when there were no safety nets provided for wives or life insurance, etc.

Sarah remained married, although I don't think that her husband was present much of the time. Or, if he was, she was an independent spirit...she had her own business, entertained and traveled during much of their married life. I noticed that there is very little mention of her husband in the local newspapers.

Before her death she was a patient at the Pugh Nursing Home in Morgantown, West Virginia and she died at age eighty-three at the Charleroi-Monessen Hospital on June 19, 1952. She was cremated and her ashes were interred along with her Pool family at Mt. Union Cemetery, north of Morgantown, West Virginia. I have visited that cemetery and there is no tombstone.

Her husband, John A. Pinyerd, predeceased her on February 2, 1951, at age ninety-one in Bucyrus, Ohio and he was buried with some of his family in Oakwood Cemetery. Several of John's brother's lived in Bucyrus. It is unknown if Sarah and John were separated or perhaps he was visiting in Bucyrus and died. His death certificate lists that he is married; however, Sarah and John are buried in separate cemeteries in separate states.

A timeline for Sarah Ann Pool Pinyerd on timetoast.


-1900 West Virginia Federal Census, Clinton District, Monongalia County, ED 79, Sheet 5.

-1910 Pennsylvania Federal Census, North Charleroi Borough, Washington County, ED 221, Sheet 5A.

-1920 Pennsylvania Federal Census, North Charleroi Borough, Washington County, ED 203, Sheet 5B.

-1930 Pennsylvania Federal Census, North Charleroi Borough, Washington County, ED 63-90, Sheet 21B.

-Monongalia County, West Virginia Register of Births, Eastern District, Year 1868, page 115. (For Sarah Ann Pool)

-Ohio Death Certificate, John A. Pinyerd, Crawford County # 07274.

-Obituary of Sarah A. Pinyerd, The Charleroi Mail, Charleroi, Pennsylvania, Monday, June 23, 1952, page 6.

-The Charleroi Mail, Charleroi, Pennsylvania. Numerous articles found on

-The Monessen Independent, Monessen, Pennsylvania. Numerous articles found on

-West Virginia Marriage Records, Monongalia County, Book 2, page 166.

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however if they are inappropriate, they will not be published. 

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© 2011, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser


  1. Grit indeed. A woman worth remembering. Loved this, Linda.

  2. Interesting indeed! I enjoyed reading about Sarah.

  3. Just found this post while looking for Genealogy info. For Charleroi. My grandmother, Johanna Taylor Brandtner delivered my mother , Johanna Brandtner Levy at Pineyards on Feb. 18, 1936. My father’s cousin, Della Mae Lammay was born there on April 17, 1927
    . Thank you for the great story
    Carol Levy Dolovacky, Scenery Hill, PA