Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Vintage Testimonial Ad Featuring Margaret Parrish

Margaret Parrish was a Pittsburgh divorcee in 1915 when she was featured in a testimonial ad for Plant Juice. The complete ad is at the end of this post, but here's her quote:

"I had suffered with rheumatism for the past ten years, and I had no appetite, was very nervous and restless, and my kidneys were affected. I doctored a great deal, but nothing seemed to do me any good. At times I was so bad that I could not walk and could scarcely move in bed. I had been reading in the papers about Plant Juice and decided to try it, and I am glad that I did because at the present time I am in fine health and work every day. Plant Juice has cured me, and I am only too glad to recommend it to others who suffer as I did."

Margaret was my first cousin 3 times removed and, unfortunately, died at the age of 39, ten years after this ad appeared. She had divorced Winfield Leo Kelley in 1905 which, if the ad is accurate, was the year she started having problems with rheumatism. I was unable to find her listed in any city directories, so I'm not sure what work she did in 1915 or if that detail was fabricated. At the time of her death, she was married to her second husband, Thomas Lloyd.

Interestingly, I was able to confirm that this was my cousin since her address was printed in the ad. It matches the address on her Pennsylvania death certificate. Her parents were Albert Parrish and Sushannah "Susan" Baker. She is buried in Elizabeth Cemetery in Elizabeth, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

The Gazette Times, July 1, 1915


  1. What a great find. I would think the odds of an ancestor being featured in an ad like this are quite small.

  2. I thought so, too! I was skeptical that it was even my cousin until I saw the address. At some point, they even published the person's photo in their ads. Thanks for your comment, Linda!


Do you have a genealogy problem or need guidance on where to search next? Send me a message if you'd like me to help!