St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Time to Live the Past with the Lowcountry Digital Library-

The Lowcountry Digital Library was unveiled earlier this month. It is a joint project with the College of Charleston and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation. The site expects to have over 50,000 documents, pictures, and items of historical interest within the next three years.

Already on the site are some fun items from the Citadel, Slave Passes, and photos of the 1886 Charleston earthquake. There are more databases to explore, so take some time to relive some of the past in my City by the Sea.

More information is being added on a regular basis, so check back with them if you don't see much to catch your attention on the first look...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Are You Wise Yet? GenealogyWise, That is

There's a new social networking site just for genealogy that is being unveiled. I've heard the official date is later this week, but you can check it out now.

I decided to look at GenealogyWise to see what all the chatter is about. It is free and it is simple to use. There are tons of groups available to join, so I joined a few to see if it works for my style of digging into my family's past.

I've already sent a comment to one gent and have heard back from him. Both of our COX families were in the Marion District, SC, before 1800, so there is a good chance we could share some long ago relatives. I don't know too much about my COX family other than George COX b. c.1755 in VA, d. near Pee Dee River in Marion District, SC 7 Sept 1843. I know nothing of his wife. He is reported to have had six children: Jacob b. 1802, Jane b. abt 1785, Margaret, Mary b. 1792, Catherine b.1795 and Elizabeth b. 1800.

I have already decided not to be contacted when people leave generic comments for the groups. Already, my inbox is way too full as more and more genealogists are jumping on the bandwagon. I have now changed the email notifications to only those who are responding to me or are interested in talking with me about possible family connections.

You may want to check it out yourself at .

Have a great day chock full of wise genealogy news!

Friday, July 10, 2009

St Clair Cemetery Has More Loving Hands Working to Remember the Fallen

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.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

My Ancestors Fought for America's Freedom. Have You Found Yours Yet?

July 4th. The day of America's proclaimed independence from the tyranny of England's rule. The day of our birthday. Celebrate the dreams of our founders.

I saw the following article on Eastman's genealogy newsletter and thought you'd enjoy seeing it. I will, however, make a couple of observations on it since my household are both members of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Sons of the American Revolution.

The lineage books referenced are a good starting place. Back in the early days of the DAR, people didn't move as far from their roots, so everyone "knew" who their people were. Documentation proving lineage was sometimes quite lacking. Since the internet has come around, the DAR does not always accept those old applications as valid proof. The best way to see if your ancestor is still approved by the DAR is to contact the DAR and ask for a patriot lookup. Volunteers are happy to assist you in your quest to prove your lineage. Many lines have to be reproven. With diligence, it can be done. Recently, my DAR chapter just found the missing proof for a lady- after a 2 1/2 year search.

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

Revolutionary Roots

Did your ancestors fight in the American Revolution 233 years ago? Thousands of men answered the call to arms in 1776. These thousands probably have many millions of descendants today. Many Americans can find a Revolutionary War veteran in the family tree if they expend a bit of time and effort. Luckily, there are a number of online and offline sources to help you in that search.

Finding Revolutionary ancestors isn’t much different than finding anyone else in your family tree. You always start with yourself and then work your way back, one generation at a time. You can search the online databases as well as the traditional resources, such as census records, vital records, and especially, Revolutionary War pension applications. However, you should be aware of several unique sources of records that contain information about Revolutionary War soldiers.

One excellent tutorial to read is "Finding Your Patriot: Basic Sources for Starting Revolutionary War Research" by Curt B. Witcher, available on (without subscription) at:

Once you have learned the basics of Revolutionary War records, you will want to search the Lineage Books of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). In order to join the Society, members have to prove their descent from an ancestor who aided the American cause in the Revolutionary War. The DAR have spent hundreds of thousands of hours compiling Patriot Index lists of Revolutionary War ancestors of DAR members. The DAR Lineage Books are available online to members at: (This database is available to paid subscribers; an user ID and password are required.) The same information is available in printed DAR Lineage Books, available at most large genealogy libraries.

The DAR was founded in 1890. Early application papers supply the applicant’s maiden name, husband’s name, applicant’s birthplace (but not the birth date), parents’ names, chain of ancestors and their spouses leading back to the Revolutionary War, and discussion of patriot’s service and sources for his/her service. Note that the chain of ancestors is only from parent to child and does not show all children born to parents.

Later papers give much more information. In the chain of ancestors: birth, marriage, and death dates and places. In the applicant’s section: birth date and birthplace, marriage date, spouse’s information (name, birth date, birthplace, date of death or divorce). Space for multiple spouses is provided. The applicant must also supply data on the patriot’s marriages, children, and children’s spouses.

Keep in mind that the DAR Lineage Books contain the lineage of accepted members. While these books often provide great clues about the lineage of American patriots, the lineages they provide are often undocumented. As with any undocumented secondary source, all aspects should be documented with further research. Also remember that they do not list all the Revolutionary War soldiers. These books only list those who were identified as ancestors of DAR members.

More information about the many services of the Daughters of the American Revolution may be found at: However, you will not find online databases at that site.

The records of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) are another great resource. Their records are available online and on CD-ROM. The online database has over 230,000 records of patriots whose gravesites have been located or whose service has been documented by a descendant who joined the Sons of the American Revolution.

The SAR online database provides information about Revolutionary War soldiers, sailors, and others, but does not provide information about their descendants. It is up to you to build a family tree in the traditional manner to prove your descent from the listed patriot.

NOTE: Much of the data was reported to the Revolutionary War Graves Committee without citing any primary documents as evidence of service. As with genealogy information found anywhere else, you need to independently verify the information provided.

To access the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution online database, go to

Finally, never overlook the best source of information: your family. Are you attending a family gathering this Fourth of July? If so, ask your relatives, especially your older relatives. They may know some family stories that you have not heard before. Keep in mind that many family stories have a mixture of truth and fiction interwoven in them, but they are always worth verifying. Who knows? Your aunt or uncle just may be able to provide a clue that helps you find information that previously eluded you.