St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Line Creek Trail Update

In early April, I was pleased to bring you news of the old Line Creek School photo which had been located. A blown up version of the picture is on display at the Peachtree City Library. There is also a video of the picture with an interview on the Fayette Front Page.

A reader who lives in the area sent the following comment as a response to the "Follow the Trail" column:

I'll bet, if you have Browns in that picture, you might also have Stinchcombs (remember, the Fayette patriarch of that clan is buried on the side of the Hwy in PTC! He's my gggrandfather!) His youngest son, Elijah, married Mary Elizabeth Brown. Dempsy Brown mentions his grandchildren and deceased daughter, Sarah Ann Stinchcomb, in his will, but I haven't made that Brown to Brown connection.

Just a little ways down the road, Zadock Davis is buried on a hilltop off of Huiet ggggrandfather.

On the other side of the county, I descend from Moses T Turner whose son was "exhorter" at Inman Methodist Church.

I have an old school picture, and in it Mary Pyron (my mother's first cousin) is the only child in the picture wearing shoes, but then, she was the only girl in her family!

I do enjoy your column! Keep going!

other names in my lines are: Darnell, West, Jones, Wesley

Yes, I have heard the name Stinchcomb while learning more about the early graves in the area. According to one of the paid genealogy sites, Victor Stinchcomb (d. 1925 in Fayette Co) did marry Sarah Ann Brown, daughter of Dempsey and Martha. Dempsey Brown was the child of Benjamim Brown, who is buried in Brown's Cemetery. Victor Stinchcomb was the child of Nathaniel and his wife, Susannah Oliver.

Since you haven't made the Brown-to-Brown connection, have you traced another early set of Browns in the county? They were over in the Fayetteville area, and there are descendants of those Browns still in the county.

I contacted the "other" Brown family in the county and gleaned some information which may be beneficial to you in your search. Roland Brown (b. 1795 in SC) married Dicey Waldrop and lived in Fayette County. His son, Robert Brown (b. 1819 in SC), married Rebecca Pope in Fayette Co in 1842, and is reported to have died in Haralson Co, GA.

I would appreciate you sending a copy of the picture of the old school that you have. Chances are other readers could see a familiar face.

Perhaps, I'll get out today to snap some shots of some old graves. Following old trails is fun-- and it's educational. Who knew there was so much life in the area before Peachtree City was founded 50 years ago!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Free Military Records 'Til May 31 Mark Agreement

I'm all about saving my pennies and then choosing to spend them wisely as I research the past. Here's a present to you. Check out the following story which came by way of another site. Take some time to honor your fallen soldiers/sailors this weekend as you uncover more information.

To celebrate the signing of a five-year digitization agreement with
the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), The
Generations Network (TGN) will make's military records
collection free May 20 through May 31.

Some notable records in that collection include the Civil War
pension index, Revolutionary War and War of 1812 bounty land
warrants, and WWI and WWII draft registration cards....

Here's the link to get you started.

Monday, May 19, 2008

WWII Heartstrings

When found, old family letters are mighty moving. Especially when letters are found which date back several decades or more. These letters tug at our heartstrings.

The following are a couple of letter fragments from dear cousin Ellen who found them in her attic recently. The letters are from WWII when her father, James R Glenn, Jr (1913-2001) was stationed in North Africa and Italy from the fall of 1942 through 1946.

Undated letter fragment

It rained all night night before last, and all day
yesterday, and we're deep in mud and misery, so I
can't write long but I wanted to write long enough to
tell you about the lovely poems I'd been reading and
let you infer how very much I'd like to be reading
them to you.
I love you,

9 January 1945
Dear Mrs. Glenn:

I am pleased to inform you that the latest report
states that your husband is making normal improvement
on 15 December. You will be notified immediately when
additional information is received.

Sincerely yours,
J.A. Ulio
Major General,
The Adjutant General

Cousin Ellen writes, "The reason it is funny, is the dates. In fact, Mom got
the letter from my dad saying that he had been
wounded, but was in the hospital recovering before she
got the telegram from the War Department saying that
he had been wounded. It's incredible in this day of
cell phones and email to imagine that they didn't see
each other or hear each other's voices for nearly 5

"The day I found them in my mom's old suitcase, I spent the
entire day reading through many of them."

"What a day it was! They were not only alive again, if
only for a few hours, but they were young and vital

Friday, May 09, 2008

Maggie's Story- Mother, Daughter, and Inspiration 136 Years After Death

The October 1872 obituary read; "Death, in whatever form it may come, or whatever may be its circumstances, is usually distressing in its character..........But a few minutes before her death she wrote the following lines, referring to her child, which had died a few days before."

"Up among the angels, That bright and happy band,
Our own dear babe has gone, To take its harp in hand.
Mother, brothers and sisters dear,
Weep not that she did leave you here;
She has gone to her home, gone to her rest,
Gone where the good alone are blest-
Home in Heaven. Jesus wept with sorrowing friends;
Jesus comforted their soul; Jesus died, He suffered pain,
He died that we might live again for all." -- Maggie

This obituary of Margaret Emma Simmons LEA was one of the many treasures found in her mother's, my great great grandparents', Bible. My heart weeps for Maggie and her loss. I can only imagine how thrilled she was when she married Cassius Monroe LEA (1846-1925) near the end of 1871. I can only imagine her happiness when she realized she was going to be a mother. I can only imagine her despair when the little infant girl died right after childbirth. I can only imagine her young husband's pain and his overwhelming grief when his beloved Maggie died a few days later. Her obituary goes on to relay she died of a broken heart.

I sit and look at the picture I have of Maggie and I cry for her. I mourn her loss and the loss of all the young mothers who also departed life after childbirth. I also admire Maggie's strength as she wrote a poem to comfort her family during her time of grief and rapidly failing health. Her belief was strong. Her belief was real. Her belief is inspirational.

So, sweet Maggie, my great great aunt, Happy Mother's Day. While you sleep peacefully in eternal rest, your words live on forever.

Because I am the story teller of my generation. I am the one who cherishes your memory as well as those of all my family members who have gone. I am the mother whose heart breaks for your loss- even though you've been gone 136 years.

Find those treasures. Honor thy mother. Honor a mother's memory.

Update:  10 Aug 2010-  The middle name for Cassius has now been confirmed as "Monroe" and was sent to me by the g-granddaughter of Mansfield B Lea, the brother of Cassius.  Thanks!

©2008-2010 AS Eldredge

Monday, May 05, 2008

We May Be Happy Yet

The attic can be a great place to find old family treasures. The old
family Bible can be another source of great finds. Such is the case
of the Bible of my great-great grandparents. Tucked away between the
pages are several letters. Also tucked in the pages is some hair.
By the length of it, I suspect it to be female. It is also a light
brown, so it is most likely not of an elderly lady.

During the mid to late 1800s in history, it was not uncommon to keep
hair samples of the dearly departed. By keeping the hair and making
mourning jewelry, the dearly departed was never far from your heart.

I wonder if it is the hair of Margaret Emma (1851-1872) who died from
complications of childbirth. Margaret Emma was the daughter of my
great great grandparents. A picture I have of her reveals the marked
similarity between her facial features and mine. Is that why her
life story beats so strongly in my heart?

She was known to be a poet as she wrote a beautiful poem upon the
death of her newborn daughter, which was a couple of days before
Maggie departed this earth. The poem is so heartfelt and touching
that I still shed tears every time I read it.

One of the letters we found in the Bible was written as a song. The
author signed as Emma. Which Emma? I suspect it is the other Emma
in the family in the latter 1800s as Margaret Emma was called
Maggie. The other Emma is Margaret Emma's first cousin, Emma Elmira
HENRY (1859-1935).

The handwriting is difficult to read so I will only provide a few of
the lines. Enjoy.

We May Be Happy Yet
by Emma (Henry?)

Oh Smile as thou were want to smile
Before the right of care
Had crushed thy heart and for awhile
Let only sorrow there.

Some thoughts perchance twere best to guell
Some impulse to forget-
Oer which should memory cease to dwell
We may be happy yet- yes
We may be happy yet

Friday, May 02, 2008

Glimpse of Life-- Sixty Years Later

"I was going through an old box of family correspondence."

That statement alone is enough to perk up my eyes as I read my daily
dose of emails. One of my cousins wrote to tell me she had found
some letters of old she wanted to share. With her permission, I will
share excerpts with you.

Walter Robb GLENN (1882-1952) was one of eight children of Wilbert
Joseph GLENN (1850-1891) and Zuleika Florence RALSTON (1852-1918). I
first found Wilbert and Zuleika back in the late 1990s when I was
really starting to research my GLENN line. Wilbert and Zuleika are
both buried in my "family" cemetery, the St Clair Cemetery in
Allegheny Co, PA. I visited their graves, in addition to all my
family graves, in 2002. When the Historical Society of Mount Lebanon
began their project of researching the residents of St Clair
Cemetery, I joined in to help. Together, we found more information
on the family for the booklet on the cemetery.

Wilbert died young leaving his wife with six children. So, why
can't I find six children? One of the eight, Howard, had died at age
2. Another child, Maggie, appears to have died as a child. Where is

In steps cousin Ellen with the key. Walter Robb GLENN, child of
Wilbert and Zuleika, was adopted by his aunt Maggie HAWKINS who had
no natural children. They later move to California.

I have followed Walter and his life in California through census
records. Now, he comes to life-- 60 years after writing these
words. Here is part of Walter's 1947 letter to his nephew and niece
upon the death of their father James, Walter's natural brother.

Los Angeles 28, California
August 28, 1947

....My recollections of that delightful
visit in 1934 are still vivid and pleasant. I treasure
the memory of seeing you two and all the others during
that eventful summer that now seems in some ways so
long ago and in others so recent....

...Jim certainly lived a wonderfully fine life. Of all
the six children left when our father died so young,
it was he that assumed the heavy responsibilities and
sacrifices of a very immature head of a family. Why
did I never tell him how much I appreciated and
admired him? We just don't do those things, do we?...

...We are spending this summer rather quietly at home.
Usually we take a rather extensive auto trip, but not
this time. We just take an occasional one day jaunt
around the nearby countryside. We turned in our old
car the other day, my third Olds, and purchased a
Chevrolet--about the only car we could get delivery
on. We may take a two or three day trip in it soon,
just to get the thrill of a new car. I remember the
thrill you kids got from my first Olds back in '34. Do

I hope you are now inspired to find some old family letters. Go back
and spend some time with your family. You just never know what
glimpse you will find.