St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Bama Won't Be Happy

Once again the frigid air blowing around has forced me to see what I can stir up in my mind and in my family.

I was contacted today by one of my paid sites with the announcement that someone had replied to my query. It has been so many years since I did that, so I had to backtrack and see what all has transpired in my neglect of checking the forum. Not much new has been posted, and absolutely nothing that would get my blood rushing around.

However, I did find something that would stir Bama's blood, and stir it mightily.

On the off chance of digging up some new family members, I decided to go in and look for my great aunt. Now, I know she died in 1931, but that doesn't stop me. I knew she had married and I have a note from my grandmother who died in 1976 with the name of my great aunt's husband.

Off to the census I go, and locate them where and when I should. I suspected he had remarried after the death of Kathleen as they had a young child, and everyone back then remarried to get a mama figure around the house.

I found Herbert's draft card for World War I and then I found a user submitted family tree with his name and Kathleen's name. Yep, I was right. He had remarried.

One glaring error though is the number of siblings that this guy had placed on the tree for Kathleen. He also had Bama dying about 40 years too soon. Yep, he has her dead and her husband remarried with a whole 'nother pack of children.

I had to do a double take on that one. I know there weren't that many kids in the family. Luckily, the user had attached his sources, so it was easy for me to find the error of his ways. He chose to use a different family with the same last name and with the father's initials for his source. Sorry. He should have checked out a few more items.

Know ye here and now that Bama would not have liked to hear that her husband had married someone else and had all these alleged children. Nope, not at all.

The lesson is to look at the information you can find online and take it with a grain of salt. Be sure your really know what you think you know before stating it as fact. And be sure to have some smelling salts-- you or Bama just may need them!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cold Outside Means Warm Memories of Cemeteries Past

The cold weather ushered in requests from the Pittsburgh area for some assistance with the Mt. Pisgah Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

I have a couple of tidbits which I passed on the gent who is working on the cemetery listing and sent him the few pictures I have. Amazingly enough, I have more information on people buried there than I realized. I also have more names than headstones that can be read easily.

The last time I was at the cemetery was in August 2005 when the family had gathered to dedicate two new headstones at our "family" cemetery, which most folks just call the St Clair Cemetery. We took some time to stop in at Mt Pisgah to check on the family headstones and see if we could find more family.

The SNODGRASS family had long ties with the Mt Pisgah church, even serving as Ruling Elders way back during its early days. I suspect if I looked long enough, I would most likely find evidence of some of the FOSTER and CRANE families there as well.

Some of the information I located on the church I found in the article I (along with two cousins) published in 2006 on Hannah's 1862 Diary in the WPGS Quarterly. I hope it helps.

Just in case you are interested, the family information I passed on today was on the Robert SNODGRASS and Hannah GLENN family. Some of the information was on several of Robert's siblings. The SNODGRASS family is interesting in that Robert Sr bought his land directly from the PENN family. I even have a copy of the deed somewhere around here.

If you've been to Pittsburgh, no doubt you've traveled on some of our land. Unfortunately, the land is now part of the interstate which goes from the airport to downtown.

Forgive my ramblings, but tis too cold to think clearly today. Guess our ancestors really knew the meaning of cold in their day. They survived it-- so will I. In the meantime, I have my memories of hanging out in the cemetery in the warm sun with my cousins.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Such Kind Words That I Must Blush

Even though the temperature is frigid outside, I feel my face heating up. I just received a very nice note from a blood related distant cousin. She just gushed about my family findings and my tenacious attitude about documenting sources.

Sources are what makes genealogy much more than a fairy tale. While I always listen to family lore, I also am willing to discount it when I find the facts. Sometimes, the facts bear out the lore. Sometimes, stretching the truth must have sounded more pleasing to those telling the tales.

I was asked about finding records in states that didn't bother with vitals until the 20th century. The best suggestion I can give is to follow the land. It's advice I was given early in my search and it still bears true.

Other great sources include wills and church records. Of course, it's always wonderful to find old newspapers which have been preserved. Once again, some states are better than others at this.

Be sure to spend some time with LDS. They have such an extensive record holding. I would love to spend time out in Salt Lake and just know they would find the answers to my questions. Ah, one day, one day.

I also lurk around in the county genealogy forums in which I am interested. Sometimes, I'll hear suggestions from others that open my eyes to a new way to research the family. Occasionally, I stumble across another family member.

The best advice I can give is don't give up. Take a break sometimes. When you come back, some information may just literally jump up off the page for you.

Last, be willing to help others. You just never know when the kindness will be returned.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Can't Take a Break

Ok. I give in!!

I've been taking a short break from genealogy research just to soul search, and, I admit, do some housekeeping.

But the family wants more. My family who is of distant blood, that is. Within the last week, I've received communications from two cousins.

One, whose direct blood line to me starts to wander off before 1800, contacted me this morning with some questions and some finds. I'm happy to hear from her as it has been over a year since we chatted, but that means I have to put up the dust cloth and start dusting off my genealogy gears.

Another cousin generously gave me a subscription to a local historical society in the western PA area. A nice surprise.

So, I'll give in and get back to the real work of genealogy! So much for the extra dust that could accumulate in the house. As long as my head cobwebs are clear, I'm ready.

Bring it on.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Caught in 1885

The best gift for me last year was the presentation of the 1885 Bible. While it has been in the family since that time, there have been no entries made into the marriage, death, and birth sections. I suppose it is because the owner of the Bible never married.

So, I shall fill in the blanks for the family history.

In the meantime, I have lovingly looked at the pages, so old and yellowed with time, and realize the truth is still there in those pages. The pictures in the Bible are so beautiful.

Take time to get caught in the past. It can be a beautiful moment in time.

Happy New Year!

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