St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Whirlwinds of Genealogy

The weather forecast is grim. Watch for the possibility of severe
weather. How many times have we heard that to find a gentle rain
follows? Then again, how many times has it been true? Just like
genealogy research.....

I had been in a severe drought when it came to finding more information
on the family from the late 1700s. I had faithfully planted my seeds
of inquiry months, sometimes years ago. Then all of a sudden, there
was a whirlwind of activity. Not unlike the rapid development of the
recent violent weather in our area. The wind was blowing, and this
time, it uncovered another line for me.

I had placed an inquiry on a site used by many other faithful genealogy
information seekers about two years ago. The announcement finally
came. There was a response waiting for me. My heart thumping, I read
the response. There she was. Another daughter of my 4g grandfather
has a descendant who is interested in the family. We exchanged emails,
verified that each of us was indeed searching the correct family, and
talked. She had photos and letters to send me. There was even a
letter from the 1880s. I, in turn, had documentation for her. What a
joyful reunion of the family 200 years later.

Another story of a time when the whirlwinds died down. I placed an
inquiry recently in Ohio for information on a sibling of one of my 4g
grandmothers. My hope is I would find a descendant who knew something
of her. Her father died in 1795 leaving a widow and eight children.
Thanks to the orphan's court records, I have documented who her
siblings were. Now to find them. I found a man named Jesse Matthews
in OH who indeed had been born in PA during the right time frame of
1781-1794. I now have his son's names. Unfortunately, at this time,
it appears I am the only one searching for him. If and when I locate
his family, I still don't know if they will have any information on his
parents or siblings. My next step is to try and follow the land. The
father had 300 acres of land in Pittsburgh when he died. I will have
to find someone to go to the courthouse for me and look at land deeds
for that particular parcel. Sometimes, the land is deeded to
grandchildren. Sometimes, it is sold. Perhaps in time, I will
resurrect this particular information storm.

Genealogy takes time. The research times dedication. Be patient.
Plant your seeds and wait. Perhaps the whirlwind of new family
information will blow across your radar. When it does, follow the
leads. Check the land records. Find descendants of the siblings your
early family had. You may be pleasantly surprised. And until then,
may you have a gentle rain of information falling into your family