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Janet 'Nettie' (Minerd) Kerr


Janet "Nettie" (Minerd) Kerr was born on June 28, 1886 in Connellsville, Fayette County, PA, the daughter of William H. and Missouri (Shelkey) Minerd.

During the early 1900s, Nettie and two of her siblings moved to McKeesport, near Pittsburgh, to find work. There, brother Seth worked as a blacksmith, and sister Olive married barber Chester D. Elder. 

A July 1905 edition of the Connellsville Courier reported that Nettie (misspelled "Nellie") had visited friend "Miss Keffer" at Perryopolis, Fayette County for a few days, but had returned home to McKeesport. 

On Feb. 23, 1906, at the age of 19, Nettie gave birth to a baby girl, Wilda. She was not married at the time. The child's father was Thar Gilzhiser (1883- ? ), a native of Wilson, PA and employed as a roller in a steel mill.

Then at the age of 22, on Aug. 3, 1908, in Pittsburgh, Nettie married John Henry Kerr (1886- ? ), also age 22, and a native of Sharon, PA. The ceremony was performed by justice of the peace Newton Petrie. 

At the time of marriage, John was living on 614 Market Street in McKeesport, Allegheny County, PA, and worked as a driver. He adopted or otherwise embraced Wilda as his own.

By 1920, Nettie and John moved back to Uniontown, where he was a laborer in a furniture store. They lived on Connellsville Street as next door neighbors to Nettie's parents and sisters Rachel Dean and Olive Elder. Nettie was a member of the Christian Missionary & Alliance Church.

Obituary, 1952
Sometime before 1930, John passed away or left the marriage. In the federal census for 1930, Janet was listed as a "widow" and with daughter Wilda was residing in her parents' home in North Union Township. Also in the household was Janet's unmarried sister Lela.

In her 60s, Nettie lived in her parents' former home at 316 North Gallatin Avenue in Uniontown.

Nettie suffered a heart attack and passed away eight days later, at the age of 66, in Uniontown Hospital on Dec. 29, 1952. She was buried at Flatwoods Cemetery. Her presumed son in law, George Raub of Baltimore, MD, provided details for her death certificate.


~ Daughter Wilda (Gilzhiser Kerr) Raub ~

Daughter Wilda Gilzhiser Kerr (1906- ? ) was born on Feb. 23, 1906. She was raised with John Kerr as her father.

Wilda married George Raub ( ? - ? ). The couple did not reproduce.

While in Uniontown, she was employed by the N. Kaufman Department Store.

By 1952, the Raubs had relocated to Baltimore, MD. She earned a living there working for the Social Security office.

Sadly, Wilda died in Baltimore in March 1968. An obituary appeared in her hometown newspaper, the Uniontown Morning Herald.


Copyright 2001, 2010, 2014, 2020 Mark A. Miner