I just love St. Clair Cemetery in Mt. Lebanon in Allegheny Co, PA. Of course I do. The majority of its residents are names that easily fall off my tongue and share my blood.
Last night, I received a phone call from a dad of a Boy Scout who has decided to donate some time in getting new headstones for some of the American patriots at St. Clair Cemetery. This has been done before by another Boy Scout and, of course, by me.
The dad asked if I would be able to assist him with information on some of the patriots of St. Clair and in locating family members. Well, the majority of the names he mentioned were my family. If I am not of direct blood, then chances are I know who is.
The earliest known burial in St. Clair Cemetery was in 1806, if I remember correctly. I know my first family member, a grandma, was buried there in 1807. The names of the residents there echo the early history of the area.
Over the years, I've found many cousins through the St. Clair Cemetery. I've been there several times and hosted parties for my kin, living and dead, at the cemetery. My roots are there and I feel so at home and connected to family when I am there. On our last trip there, one of my children helped to uncover an old headstone. Of course, it was one of our cousins.
Anyway, I am going to dig up my ole partial map of the cemetery as this dad tells me he would like to make a new map of the cemetery. Be still, my heart! That is a project I have been hoping someone up there in Pennsylvania would undertake. I also hope to have ground radar used one day to accurately locate how many graves are there and how deep they go. My great aunt told me that we were buried several deep in our plots.
My friendly words of wisdom today are to take time to adopt an old cemetery. It may be your family cemetery or one in your local area that needs some loving hands. Research the families in it. You just may learn something really fun.
In my case, bring on the continuing work at St. Clair. My thanks to the many hours that Margaret Jackson and Mark Hughey have so lovingly given to the early settlers of Lower St. Clair. Know I am always with you in spirit.