St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Monday, February 26, 2007

You're Related to President WHO?

There we were. Some of my dedicated distant cousins offered to go the
Carnegie Library with me while we were on an expedition to Pittsburgh.
I thought this would be fun. Together we could uncover more than I
would be able to do alone. Indeed, we did.

One beloved cousin, the one whose eyes remind me of my father, found a
book in the card file. He pulled the book and I thought who is this?
It started out with what looked like the correct information and then
it went off on a tangent about the White House and the 15th President
of the United States being an uncle. Hmm.. Can't be mine.... never
heard this before. But, as any good researcher, I copied a couple of
pages and put it in my files, just in case I wanted to look at it in
the future.

And then, one day, I really wanted to look at that book again. While
looking at some records on microfilm from the LDS library, I noticed a
statement about President James BUCHANAN's sister, Harriet. Hmm..
That name looked familiar. I had an uncle who had married a Harriet
BUCHANAN, daughter of James BUCHANAN and Elizabeth SPEER. Hmmm...
Wait a minute. President BUCHANAN's parents were James and Elizabeth.
Ok. Check the dates, and check the racing pulse. Yes, here it is.
Harriet E. BUCHANAN(1802-1840) married a Presbyterian minister by the
name of Robert HENRY, a son of my 4th great grandfather. And, yes, he
died early leaving one child, James Buchanan HENRY(1833-1915). Now
that book is a gold mine for me. By using the genealogy found in that
book, I was able to track down a living descendant of Robert and
Harriet. BINGO!!! And this wonderful new cousin was kind enough to
send me even more family history, which has led me to several more

President James BUCHANAN is listed in history books as spending much
time with his sister and brother-in-law. Upon their deaths, this
bachelor took in their one child and raised him, along with another
orphaned niece. James Buchanan HENRY became his uncle's private
secretary while he was in office. I also went to a site online about
President BUCHANAN and found mention of his brother-in-law, Rev. Robert
HENRY. Yet a statement there has led me to another brick wall. The
information states that President BUCHANAN purchased a slave from the
family of his brother-in-law Rev. HENRY, from Shepherdstown. I have
family there? Who is it? I regret that, to date, I have yet to
identify this alleged Virginia relation to my family. My inquires to
that area have sent me off looking at slaves with the name of HENRY.
So far, no one can tell me the name of the slave purchased by President
BUCHANAN or the name of the seller. But I shall continue to search. I
would suspect the surname would be HENRY or MCMILLAN. One day, with
patience and a lot of luck, I will uncover this name. In the meantime,
I just have to be satisfied that I am related by marriage to President
BUCHANAN and also by blood through another one of my lines, the
BUCHANAN who was my 5th great grandfather in Lancaster Co, PA.

Yep, I've got ties to the White House. Pretty neat in my book.

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