Charles Albert Britcher, Jr


The inscription on the back of this photograph reads, “Charles Britcher (neighbor of Ruth Wilkinsburg)”. I know what you’re thinking. I thought the same thing: How do I find a Charles Britcher and a Ruth Wilkinsburg who are neighbors?


It turns out that, according to the Census of 1920, Charles Albert Britcher, Jr. (1915-1984) and Ada Ruth Tonkin (1914-1992) were neighbors on McClure Avenue in Swissvale, PA.


The note says they were neighbors in Wilkinsberg, but Swissvale is nearby, one township over.

Charles’ family lived in 7244 McClure Avenue and Ruth’s family lived in 7244 1/2 McClure Avenue. In the below image we see that the lattice work behind little Charles is still a feature of this dwelling, though mostly covered by plants:


Charles was the only child of Charles, Sr. (1884-1965) and Margaret Elizabeth Yentsch (1887-1964). He married Dorothy Elizabeth Lind (1919-2005) and they had three children. Here is Charles’ portrait in the Allderdice High School yearbook, “The Allderdice,” from 1933:


Ruth, as she was known, and the order of her given names was often confused, is not the subject of our found photograph, but aren’t you a little bit interested in her? Ruth was the daughter of Ellsworth NMI Tonkin (1883-1944) and Ada May Quick (1888-1969). She married William Digby Cecil, Sr, in 1947 and they had one son. Ruth went to Edgewood High School which closed in the 1980’s. Edgewood is the little township tucked in between Swissvale and Wilkinsburg. It would be great to have a photograph of Ruth and Charles together, and perhaps one is out there somewhere. We’ll have to settle for this image of Ruth from her University of Pittsburgh yearbook, “The Owl,” when she was a senior in 1936:




Charles Albert Britcher, Jr