Did they vote?

As I stood amongst a few hundred thousand people this cold morning awaiting the start of the 57th Inaugural Ceremonies for President Barack Obama, I could not help but think about my ancestors.  Did my people vote?


Woman's Journal, Front Page, March 8, 1913Courtesy Library of Congress

Woman’s Journal, Front Page, March 8, 1913
Courtesy Library of Congress

100 years ago, Washington D.C. was preparing for the March 4, 1913 swearing in of Woodrow Wilson; did any of my ancestors make the trip from Pennsylvania to witness history?  Or did my they make the trip for the previous days Woman’s Suffrage Parade?  I would like to believe that those that came before me spoke up and fought for the equal rights of all men and women.

Were they Democrat, Republic or possibly Progressive?  Where did they go to vote?  Did they go to a local school or church like we do today…unlikely.  I imagine they would have had to go to Sunbury, which was the county seat, in order to place their vote.


Did any of them run for any of the various local positions in the community?  I have been told that Howard P. Wetzel was elected overseer of the poor for Zerbe Township but I do not know if this was an official position or exactly it entailed so I will continue searching.


I have tried looking for any type of record that would provide an answer to any of the questions but I have not had any luck.  In fact, I have not found anything to provide insight into the political activities of the 19th and early 20th century in Northumberland County.  Since I am not an expert or professional genealogist, I have great hope that I just haven’t looked in the right place yet and that one day I will find the records detailing my family’s political convictions.

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