Remembering Aunt May, and the Coyles of Jermyn, PA and Mayfield, PA

       By Steve Cichon

Aunt May was Grandpa Coyle’s aunt, making her my great-great aunt. (I don;t subscribe to this “grand aunt” nonsense the genealogy industry tries to sell.)

Aunt May on the steps of the Coyle’s home at 424 Wilson Street on Buffalo’s East Side. The home no longer stands, and the site is now home of The Wilson Street Farm, an urban farm.

The Coyles moved from PA coal country to Buffalo’s East Side in the 1910s.

Aunt May’s baptismal certificate. She was born Mary Coyle in 1899 in Jermyn, PA. My grandpa’s brother, my great-uncle Pat Coyle, gave me piles of information about the Coyle, Kilker, Slattery and Norton families from whom we descend.

Sadly, I don’t really remember Aunt May. But her legacy lives on… in of all things, her furniture.

These are my Grandpa Coyle’s aunts. Aunt May and Aunt Clare at May’s baptism in Pennsylvania in 1899. The family moved to Buffalo in the 1910s. My great-great grandfather went from working in a coal mine in PA to working at Bethlehem (then Lackawanna) Steel, before eventually working as an engineer at Maritime Milling on Hopkins Street.

Aunt May’s hinged, drop-leaf dining room table is in our dining room and has become a place where we gather for big family meals, where we work when we “work from home,” and where I’ve written at least one book.

There’s a Coyle Street in Mayfield, PA, named after my mom’s family. Mayfield is the next borough over from Jermyn. Both places grew around the mining industry.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.