St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Start the New Year on Fire!

Tis the new year and time to revisit some old stumbling blocks to see what new information has been placed online.

Since the beginning of the new year, I've been deep into genealogy.

On one of the groups on which I lurk and comment, the big news right before Christmas was the addition of some more old newspapers from Pittsburgh. So, I've been searching the Pittsburgh Press through Google Archives just to see what I can find.

Every now and then, shouts of glee have bubbled right out of my mouth. So far, I have been able to view some new (or rather, old) obits of my family. I found my great grandma's obit. The obit itself wasn't new as a copy of it had been placed in the family Bible. What was new was the newspaper it came from and the date it was published. I also found the obit of some cousins and of my great grandma's sister.

Feeling like I'm on fire on this extremely cold winter day, I even found a fire. The fire was at the James RITCHIE Lumber Yard in Mt. Washington, Allegheny, PA on April 17, 1909. The fire was reported to be" one of the most spectacular ever seen in Pittsburg" with flames almost 20 feet high. Although an engine (fire) house was adjacent to the property, lack of water pressure made it impossible to fight. The home of James RITCHIE was also adjacent to the property. It was badly scorched and smoking.

By the way, James (1840-1922) was married to a cousin of mine, Anna Elizabeth NEELY (1842-1912) and both are buried in my "family cemetery" known as the St Clair Cemetery in Mt Lebanon, PA. James was born in Ireland but spent most of his life in Allegheny Co, PA. After marrying Anna in 1861, he mustered into the Union Army and served in Co. K of the 49th Regiment, PA Volunteers.

It was cool to see both his obit and the article of the fire. I also have sent them on to his great grandson. I suspect I'll hear from him soon. After all, it's been some time since we were to talk all day in the cold. Click here to read more of our last visit.

Guess I'll stop looking for fires and just use some hand warmers.

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