St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

Search for cemetery records in Saint Clair Cemetery, PA at by entering a surname and clicking search:

Restrict search to


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Generations of American Patriots

As I reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day, I remember those American Patriots in my family. The respect I have for these men and their willingness to fight for or to preserve the freedom, which we have today, is immense. Their courage and belief in God and their country led each of them to serve America.

My family has long served America. We came from Ireland and England early in the 1700s. It must have been heart wrenching on the families as they left their homeland for a new one. It must have been difficult to decide to rebel against the King. But, rebel they did.

From an innkeeper on Wall St in New York City to a learned man in Lancaster Co, PA, to a Irishman in Washington Co, PA, they decided to fight for this new land. They decided to pursue freedom and their dreams of a free America.

Not only did these early men fight for America, they also had personal ties with George Washington. Washington ate at the tavern during Evacuation Day in NYC (yes, it's documented), and an uncle worked for him in the War Department.

Let's see. We fought in the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War I, and World War II.

Not only have we fought for America on the battlefields, we have also served in public office. From city council members to mayors to senators to a President of the United States, my family history is fascinating. It's one I never tire of as I seek to learn more.

As I listen to Taps this weekend, I will remember. Remember the men and women who have faithfully served America. Remember the fallen. Remember the living.

Someone recently said that it was because of the brave that we are free. Amen.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Madness: Oh, Sammy, Where Have You Gone?

Finding information on Samuel Simmons is like looking for the place where the alien ship picked him up in Pittsburgh.

For many a year, all I had to go in my quest for Samuel was the mention of him in a history book in Pittsburgh. I searched high and low in Pittsburgh to find....nothing.

Several years ago, a very kind gent responded to one of my inquiries with some information. See this post from 2006 for some of the background. And, the rest as they say, is history.

Except for Samuel. Samuel was born c. 1788 in New York to John Simmons the younger and Mary Nelson. At least the DAR says her name was Nelson. To date, there has been no proof uncovered. One professional group has even suggested her name was Provost of NJ. Once again, there is no proof and no overwhelming circumstantial evidence.

Samuel is mentioned in the 1794 will of his grandfather, John Simmons the Elder, as receiving some land in Chenango County, NY. Samuel and his wife sell this land while living in St. Clair, Allegheny, PA in 1814. How did they get there? Why did they get there?

Samuel is found in the War of 1812 when he mustered in on September 14, 1812, to an infantry company under the command of Captain James Turbett from St. Clair Twp. He is discharged as a Sergeant in December 1812.

There is a last legal mention of Samuel in 1816 when he sold more Chenango County, NY land.

Poof! He's gone. The 1820 census shows his wife as head of household with the three children and an older female. I'm guessing it is her mother who lives with them. The 1830 census shows the wife as head of household with the three children.

I know names of two of his children. One is William who married and remained in St. Clair for the duration of his life. He is buried at St. Clair Cemetery on Scott Rd.

One of the other names I know is that of Maria as we have a sampler completed by her in 1825.

To date, there has been no other sightings of Maria or her unknown name sister. What happened to Samuel? I suspect he died in Pittsburgh before 1820 but have yet to find him. There is no evidence in the Orphans' Court Records and there was no will.

Oh, Sammy, where are you?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Attend Genealogy Lectures in the Comfort of Home

I have always been just a little jealous of the folks up in New England. There's a terrific place to go right outside of Boston to search for genealogy thrills. Yes, I've been salivating with the desire to get up to the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Well, today, I see that some of that society lectures can come to me while I sit at home with my morning caffeine. On the NEHGS website, you can click in to see their online seminar series.

I confess. I watched one of them on researching Irish Genealogy and now, I'm hooked.

So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy the show. Perhaps you'll find something of value for you in your quest for family history.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lost in Death in South Carolina

South Carolina research has always been difficult. I don't know if it resulted from Sherman's March to the Sea or the numerous fires which seem to have taken toll of old records.

Today, I found a notice from a couple of months ago for a database which has scanned copies of death certificates from the 1821-1955 online! So, I happily spent a couple of hours getting some old documents to help flush out my family files.

There were even some "aha" moments in my finds. I can't wait to share my latest finds with some of my dear Low Country kinfolk.

If you're interested in this site, just check out The database is one of their recent ones.

It pays to continue to search for documents. Just like family, they sometimes will show up when least expected!

Enjoy your hunt.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bottoms Family Cemetery in Fayetteville is Online

The James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution in Fayetteville recently spent an afternoon cleaning up the Bottoms Family Cemetery. Now, pictures of the remaining gravestones are online and can be viewed.

Among those buried in the cemetery is James Waldrop, a soldier of the American Revolution, and descendants of James Madison Bottoms.

Many of the tombstones are gone. Old fieldstones were also found marking the graves of the 1800s.

Here is the link:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tweet Your Way to the Past

Finding new ways to research the past is great fun in my world. Now, you can tweet your way with updated news from, as they are now on Twitter.

Add them to your follow list to see glimpses of what's new and updated there. It just may give you reason to find a new spark in your search.

Have you ever entered in a search with them for a specific time frame and received all sorts of irrelevant dates-- like 200 years off? Well, their staff has listened to all the groans and moans and now they have a new feature which will limit the search to the year(s) you requested with a few side years. Great news!