St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dreaming of Jeanne Who Knows Henry Family

What a great comment some kind Jeanne left for me on a previous post from 2007 on Ashmen Cooke HENRY. Click here to read more of "Gotcha" from October 2007.

Jeanne tells me who Ashmen married and who his kids were. Ok. You've got my attention now. Yes, he did have five children with Anna and one more with Susan.

Since I wrote the "Gotcha", I have received grave photos of Ashmen and his family as well as some more info on him. Ashmen was the mayor of Oakland, CA, in 1884.

But-- what more can Jeanne tell me? Can I say "howdy, cuz"? Is she a descendant? If so, I reckon she comes from either Anna or Walter.

As for me, Ashmen's father, Samuel, was the older brother of my 3g grandfather who was born, lived and died in Allegheny Co, PA, at the old family homestead.

Dreamin' that Jeanne will contact me again so we can chat genealogy and shared blood. In the meantime, she will most likely enjoy reading many of my blogs as they are about the HENRY family.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Update: Old Fayette County Records

This morning, I posted a comment on the news that old records of Fayette County are currently being scanned. Click here to read the post. Now before you get excited, these records of old are in Fayette County, Kentucky.

I also contacted one of my favorite genealogy guru types to tell him the good news as his family did settle in early Mason County. We swapped emails and then decided to see how we could find these records in the areas of the country we reside.

After dashing emails to both the Kentucky Archives and to the Fayette County Clerk, I received a reply from David at the Archives.

David says in his email that "The Fayette County books will be available for viewing on microfilm by the end of January. I do not believe any scanned copies will be available. Unfortunately, we do not interlibrary loan microfilm but a copy can be purchased from our micrographics department if you have access to a reader."

So, if you have a hankering to find your roots in early Kentucky, you may want to contact the Archives at the end of January.

Happy Hunting!

My Old Kentucky Home

May be it is my old Kentucky home. Or maybe not.

The history buffs in Fayette County, Kentucky, are currently in the process of scanning old land, census, and marriage records. It is anticipated the documents will be available through the Kentucky Archives sometime in January. This could be a gold mine for some genealogy buffs if your family was in Mason County early on, as Mason County was part of Fayette County at one time. There is no mention if those of us who are not in Kentucky will be able to search for these nuggets online.

It is reported the books are being indexed by the Archives. Maybe an online master index should be undertaken by a group of volunteers in the area?

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

Old Kentucky Records Resurface

Monday, December 28, 2009

Looking for Traces of Me

Just today, I received a lovely present in the form of a painting. Now, I didn't get the original painting; however, I did get something even better. A digital copy!

This picture of the painting allows me to really zoom in on the features of the subject. The subject in the pictures is none other than the brother of my 4g grandfather, of whose surname I was born with. There have been so many generations of male blood passed down that I am looking intently at the photo to see if I can find any feminine traces of me.

Do I see any trace of me? Why, I think I do in the shape of the mouth. Cool.

Of course, I think my left side is my better side for pics and the subject chose his right. No matter. We're kin.

Genealogy. Ya just gotta love it! And copies of the documents or photos are just fantastic!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Don't Just Stay at Home - View the World

Ho, ho, ho!

Just announced by World Vital Records is free access from December 23 (yep, today) until December 28.

Take a trip around the world in genealogy fun! Although I guess we history buffs should take some time to bake, wrap and generally spend some time with our kids.

Here is the site to check:

See ya somewhere in Sweden or Ireland! Maybe we'll meet up at the North Pole!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oh, Those Glorious High Cheek Bones Live

Several months ago, I found a living, breathing first cousin of my mom's. This was a feat as the cousin is the only one of that generation to still be among us. Click here to read about Henrietta.

My mom's aunt died really young leaving a small child behind. Her husband took the small child out of Charleston and to his aunts' house where she was raised. He visited her often and took her back to Charleston every summer to see her mama's kin.

Well, I recently stumbled across her and so I did what every excited family seeker of genealogy would do. I called her.

At first, she was skeptic until I told her who I was. She spent the next hour on the phone with me telling stories about my grandparents, whom she loved dearly, and of her grandmother. She laughed out loud when I told her a story that my mom had told me.

I almost dropped the phone. Her laugh was the laugh of my mother. With tears in my eyes, I wanted to keep this delightful old cousin on the phone. After we hung up, I made copies of some pictures for her (including one of her grandmother) and sent them to her.

She called back and thanked me. She said the picture had captured the essence of her grandmother exactly.

Time passed. Today, the postman delivered a card to me from this cousin. Inside was a picture of her. Once again, I had to sit down in a hurry as the tears formed in my eyes.

For this delightful first cousin of my mom has her look. Yep, those wonderful high cheek bones and smile were there.

I miss my mom and have been spending a lot of time looking at a picture of her taken at Christmas time a couple of years before she died. I've been needing her, and today, I saw a little hint of her still alive in a picture.

I must go and call this cousin and hear my mom's laughter once again. What a wonderful kiss from heaven this was.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Memories of Jim in a Letter From 1942

December 15 is the birthday of a cousin of mine. A cousin I never met. But live he did, and so I wish him a happy restful 96th birthday as Jim, the father, the patriot, rests in peace.

However, I do know his daughter and with her permission, I am placing a very special letter written by Jim to his darling wife and baby girl while he was off fighting for America during World War II.

It's a great letter and serves to kinda put everything in perspective as we near Christmas and time of birth of our Savior.

By the way, the dig at the Marines is actually a joke meant for his brother in law who served in the Marines during WWII.

Without further ado----

Somewhere in England
25 December 1942

Dear Babs, Dear Ellen and all,

Christmas morning. This year I have really made my Christmas Day like any other day in the year. I’ve found that it is home and family, not time of year that makes that lovely, friendly, human atmosphere of the days before Christmas. I saw the English equivalent of it there in a town I visited several Saturdays ago. I wish I could tell you what town it was—it was about as charming a spot as I’ve ever seen. Anyhow, as I was saying, on Saturday afternoon the streets were crowded like under Kaufmann’s Clock with pedestrians overflowing off the sidewalks and practically meeting in the middle of the street. The hustle was almost like home, but the percentage of khaki was almost 60%, which is higher than I’ve ever seen in a street scene at home.

Holly is an important part of the Christmas spirit over here. I think I’ve told you how much holly there is over here. In hedges and trees, both green and green with white edges on the leaves. And such a plethora of berries that if you saw it for sale at home, you’d swear that they were tied on. Well, every person I’ve seen for weeks (or so it seems) has had an arm full of holly, and every hedge or tree has had scars and wounds here and there.

Last evening was rather hard to get through. I kept thinking of the candle light ceremony in your room last year; wondering if it was repeated this year and if so, if it was done without tears as it should have been. Every time I’d think, “Now Babs is doing this or that,” I’d remember the five hour difference in time and console myself that this was only a rehearsal over here. The real Christmas Eve, my Christmas Eve, would not come for five hours yet. Did you have the big pink candle burning? I hope so because I kept seeing you in its glow. But if you decided to save it, that’s all right too, because then I’ll see you oftener in its light when I get home.

I tried to get them to fire a 21 gun salute on Wednesday when it was 5 o’clock over there to celebrate Young Stuff’s anniversary, but it seems that she hasn’t received her “federal recognition” yet, and so rates no salutes with the army.

We had a rapid succession of services of various faiths last night. The somewhat involved prayer offered by one chaplain asked blessing for:

(1) All soldiers both here and elsewhere,
(2) All sailors,

(3) All marines,

(4) All allies

(5) Our enemies.

At the end of the prayer I said, quote, “I don’t mind praying for our enemies but let’s leave the marines out of this,” unquote. John will want to settle that when we meet again.

Did the flowers arrive in time or at all? After I spent about 3 quid to send them (the native who sent them through said “whew” when he looked up the price) I heard that all cables were being held up so I don’t know if you got them or not.

Goodbye for now,

Love Jim