Friday, March 13, 2015


     Once again the on line Pennsylvania Death Certificates are proving that what was thought to be family fact is indeed fiction.  William Clinton Gween, second husband of my maternal grand aunt (Edna May Frederick), has been one difficult fellow to follow.  The first issue was his surname.  Grant Aunt Edna signed my Grandfather Stark's funeral book and it was illegible.  My Mom printed beside it what she thought was the correct spelling....NOT!!!  This family's married names became a confusion.  My grand aunt was a Gween and her daughter married a Quinn, somehow the spellings got tangled in the funeral book.

     If my Mom ever met her Aunt Edna's second husband, William Gween, she did not remember and no photos have been found to date.  As I wrote in another blog on Flipside regarding Great Aunt Edna, my mother seemed to remember that when Aunt Edna and her sister, my maternal grandmother, Martha Frederick Stark were standing together at my Grandfather Stark's wake, someone in the crowd commented, "Ah now perhaps the two sisters will be closer since they are both widows."  And this is where I began my quest for William Clinton Gween....deceased by 1945.

     William Clinton Gween, born April 16, 1876 in Redstone Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania was the son of George Gween and Eliza Jane Harris.  He was the eldest of four children that I have been able to locate through census reports.  I will add here that I have not been able to find this family in the 1900 census.  I believe there was a daughter named Olivet born about 1879, Ida Irene born April 26, 1882 who married William Benton Dearth and Herman Herschel Gween born December 4, 1884.

     I am ball parking William and Edna's marriage about 1917.  They are married when William signed his World War I draft registration in 1918. They are enumerated on the 1920 Pennsylvania Federal Census.  William worked for Westinghouse Electric in Pittsburgh as a machinist and later a foreman.  Edna is enumerated by herself in the 1930 and 1940 Pennsylvania Federal Census report.   She is also listed alone in Pittsburgh City Directories in the early 1930's.  Conclusion, William must have died between 1920-1930.  WRONG!!!

          Thank you PA....I found his death certificate and lo and behold William Clinton Gween died on November 11, 1957...more than ten years after the supposed comment was made about the two sisters being widows.  Oddly, Edna is listed as his wife on the death certificate and on several obituaries; however the obit also reveals that William was living alone at the time of his death. Perhaps they separated without the legalities of a divorce before 1930.

          William is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery, Smock, Fayette County, Pennsylvania along with his parents and siblings.  All are on Find A Grave.

Flipside Blogs:

Edna May Frederick Zeigler Gween

Edna May Frederick Zeigler and Mary Zeigler Quinn

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2015, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser


  1. Hi Linda, I am one of your Vangilder cousins from Ohio. We met at a Vangilder reunion in Fairmont in 1994 or 1995. I lost your email and contact information, but just found your website. Thanks for posting things about our family. My lineage to the Vangilder's are my mother Francis Jean Spurling, her mother, Gladys Rosemond Lytton, her father, Joseph Franklin Lytton, his mother, Samantha Emma Vangilder Lytton, her father Joseph Vangilder and her mother Casander Morgan. Hope to hear from you. Cousin Michael Shore