St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Twas The Night Before Christmas......Genealogy Style

This was sent to me by a geni friend. Enjoy!!

'Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even my spouse.

The dining room table with clutter was spread
With pedigree charts and with letters which said...
"Too bad about the data for which you wrote;
Sank in a storm on an ill-fated boat."

Stacks of old copies of wills and such
Were proof that my work had become too much.
Our children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

And I at my table was ready to drop
From work on my album with photos to crop.
Christmas was here, and such was my lot
That presents and goodies and toys I'd forgot.

Had I not been busy with grandparents' wills,
I'd not have forgotten to shop for such thrills,
While others bought gifts to bring Christmas cheers,
I'd spent time researching those birth dates and years.

While I was thus musing about my sad plight,
A strange noise on the lawn gave me such a great fright.
Away to the window I flew in a flash,
Tore open the drapes and yanked up the sash.

When what with my wondering eyes should appear,
But an overstuffed sleigh and eight small reindeer.
Up to the house top the reindeer they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys and 'ole Santa Claus, too.

And then in a twinkle, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of thirty-two hoofs.
As I drew in my head, and bumped it on the sash,
Down the cold chimney fell Santa--KER-RASH!

"Dear" Santa had come from the roof in a wreck,
And tracked soot on the carpet, (I could wring his short neck!)
Spotting my face, good 'ole Santa could see
I had no Christmas spirit you'd have to agree.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
And filled all the stockings, (I felt like a jerk).
Here was Santa, who'd brought us such gladness and joy:
When I'd been too busy for even one toy.

He spied my research on the table all spread
"A genealogist!" He cried! (My face was all red!)
"Tonight I've met many like you," Santa grinned,
As he pulled from his sack a large book he had penned.

I gazed with amusement--the cover it read
Genealogy Lines for Which You Have Plead.
"I know what it's like as a genealogy bug."
He said as he gave me a great Santa hug.

"While the elves make the sleighful of toys I now carry,
I do some research in the North Pole Library!
A special treat I am thus able to bring,
To genealogy folk who can't find a thing."

"Now off you go to your bed for a rest,
I'll clean up the house from this genealogy mess."
As I climbed up the stairs full of gladness and glee,
I looked back at Santa who'd brought much to me.

While settling in bed, I heard Santa's clear whistle,
To his team, which then rose like the down of a thistle.
And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,
"Family history is Fun! Merry Christmas! Goodnight!"

--Author Unknown

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sewing the Seeds Again and Again

I watched as my spouse, yet again, threw out more grass seed, a
biannual event at my house. A few minutes later, the birds swooped
down and started to enjoy their unexpected treat. I wonder how many of
those seeds will take root and sprout, or just disappear into the
bellies of those who just want a quick treat.. Just like my research
into my family. It seems as if I constantly am throwing out those
seeds. Sometimes I wait and wait to see if they will sprout.
Sometimes, I just have to do it over. And sometimes, I get lucky.

As many of you are aware, I am heavily involved in what I like to call
my family cemetery in PA. Now, technically, it is not mine, but I have
loads of kin all buried there since its inception in 1804-06. I try to
research the various families buried there and have this information
published at the cemetery website. I truly enjoy being able to assist
someone else as they try to locate their kin there.

One day, I got an email from the web mistress who asked me if I would
look at the information that a lady in Sweden sent. She believed her
family was there even as the web mistress warned me not to get excited
as she was not kin to me. One look at the names and I knew exactly
where these people were buried. They are buried quite close to some of
my family plots. I contacted the lady in Sweden and we began a
dialogue. Turns out that we have cousins in common. We were able to
help each other in tracing the children and grandchildren to Christian
Co, IL from this plot of land in PA. Not only that, but this lady in
Sweden said she would help me in locating my mother's family in Sweden.
Now that was a find!! Especially since I don't speak Swedish!! She
researched the records for me and a few months later, we contacted
living cousins of mine in Sweden. I'm pleased to say that my Swedish
cousins can speak some English and we correspond on a regular basis.
Oh those little seeds sprout big sometime. Who would think I would
find my mother's family in Sweden through the cemetery where my
father's people are buried in PA? Amazing little seeds of hope.

So, my wish for you as you continue in the search for your own roots as
you throw out those many seeds is this. Volunteer to help others in
their quest. You just never know when one of those little seeds will
take root and sprout a whole new tree for you to learn about. It's
amazing to think how much can happen from just one little seed of hope
in finding your past.

Happy Holidays.