St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

When the World is Covered in Gray

My dear sweet cousin who shares my addiction to searching our past in genealogy to try and catch glimpses of ourselves wrote this  poem and I just love it!  So, with John's gracious permission-----

 When the World is Covered in Gray

In a thousand years from hence,  
there may be no more trees.
Will concrete cover the world of sense
and obscure the seven seas?

Do!  Environmentalists criticize the type
and thickness of the stuff,
which caused this great unworldly hype!
We thought you a bit more tough!

Is the mathematical limit of our quest
to find the Truth, the Light---
Or a barren earth with no more zest,
for FREEDOM, no more fight?

Will love then disappear
from minds and hearts in spring---
Or will the grayness of it all,
teach us, at last, to Sing!

Leaders!  Trust your faith to find the way,
to seek the One Who saves.
He's at the end of time, they say.
At the end there are no graves.................

J A Williams
©2010 J A Williams


©2010 AS Eldredge

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: What's Your Heirloom?

Earlier this week, I attended a lineage society meeting at which heirlooms were brought, displayed, and lovingly discussed by the attendees.  I saw pictures of great grandpa's bed, grandparent wedding gifts, grandma's teaching certificate, old photographs, etc.

What is a heirloom?  Is it valuable?

Today, the use of the word "heirloom" designates personal property, sometimes antique, that is passed down through the generations.  It provides a glimpse either into the personality, the travels or the economic status of the beloved ancestor.

In old England, and according to old law, a heirloom had to be given either to a family member or left in the estate to the family.  It would not have been sold out of the family.

The treasures we have most likely have little or no monetary value.  Instead, seeing the treasure invokes loving memories or traditions passed down from one generation to another.

Just recently, I showed my children the Kiddy Pop box.  The lollipop or Kiddy Pop box was one my mother kept hanging in the kitchen and it was always full of lollipops.  Of course, these lollipops were given out only when a good deed  was done.  I always looked forward to being rewarded with a lollipop from the wooden box. My children also know the joy of being told to "go get a lollipop" for a deed well done.

Is this valuable?  If I took it to a shop, they would most likely tell me "no."  However, for me, everytime I look at the lollipop box which hangs in my kitchen, I think of my mama.  Not only do I think of mama, I can hear her voice and I remember so many little things about her.  Tis valuable, I'd say.

So, while you genealogy buffs are scrambling around digging up the old family tree, be sure to include some great memories of the loved ones who are gone.  You just might be creating a super heirloom for your kids and grandkids.

©2010 AS Eldredge

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Happy Birthday, Cuz Pres

"There is nothing stable but Heaven and the Constitution." - James Buchanan

 April 23rd is the 219th birthday of James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States, and my cousin.  While Buchanan served his country during a most difficult time in American history as the War of Northern Agression, (or the War Between the States as some are wont to refer to it), he supported the Constitution completely. Buchanan is reported to have believed slavery was morally wrong, but thought the Constitution prohibited the federal government from interfering in a matter he thought to be states' rights.

James apparently never got over the loss of his fiance after her death, thus he remained single.  He was gracious to his family and cared for the orphan children of his siblings.  A nephew of his (his sister's child) was his Personal Secretary while Buchanan was in the White House.

I am fortunate to have contact with descendants of his nephew as they are all my blood cousins.  Early sources found in PA for the Reverand Robert Henry (1801-1838) and Harriet E Buchanan (1802-1840) tell us that James was a frequent guest in the home of the family and was quick to raise their young son after they passed.

Buchanan is buried at Woodward Hill Cemetery near his country home in Lancaster Co, PA.

I wonder what the family thought about James becoming President?  So far, I have not seen anything that could provide any clues as to this puzzle.

Ahh, genealogy.  Tis so much fun to find interesting facts about the family.  I guess that and a dollar might buy a cup of coffee!

Photo Source:, Photo by Stew Thornley, 2001.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nation's Death Rate on the Rise Reports Census Bureau

While searching some old newspapers from 1944 in Pittsburgh, I came across this article.  Fascinating!  I wonder how that death rate compares to today- especially now that we have better health care.  If you will take note, health care insurance was not a factor in the 1918 or 1944 dates mentioned in the article.

Nation's Death Rate Still Climbing Sharply

171 out of every 10,000 Population Die During Christmas Week

"The fourth consecutive week of a sharply mounting death rate claimed an average of 171 lives for every 10,000 persons in the country during Christmas week.

The Census Bureau reported the figures today-52 more deaths than normal for each 10,000 population......"

The article goes on to report the flu epidemic was mild.  With some other statistics comes the final one- "One week of the 1918 epidemic had a death rate of 380 percent above normal."

To read the entire article found in the January 1, 1944 Pittsburgh Post Gazette, click here and enter page 4 in the box. 

Ahh, genealogy, it's such a fun read!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Marking a Patriot's Grave in Fayetteville, GA

Gathering to celebrate the life and patriotic service of James Waldrop, a private in the American Revolution.

Waldrop settled in Fayette County, Georgia, and is buried at the Bottoms Family Cemetery.

Sons of the American Revolution provided Honor Guard.

Members of the James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Follow Friday: Parrall Mine Men Rescued February 10, 1906

With the horrendous news this week of another mine disaster in West Virginia, the thoughts and prayers of the country are with the families as they struggle to wait patiently for news of their loved ones.

Sometimes, there can be encouraging news in mine disasters.  A case in point is the Parrall Mine, near Oak Hill, Fayette County, WV.  There was an explosion in February 1906, and it was believed there were 31 men trapped in the mine.

The following names are taken from the February 10, 1906, Pittsburgh Press newspaper article.

Robert PRATT
Robert GILL
Donald BELL
Jule NEAL, colored
Charles MATTHEWS, colored
Herbert CALLOWAY, colored

Bodies Recovered:
one unidentified

The article indicates the recovery of the other missing bodies is still in progress.

When you've got some time, be sure to read old newspapers.  They are a great source for genealogy and for history.  Google has been a great job of getting them online for us all to enjoy.

©2010 AS Eldredge

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Two Beautiful Girls Photograph in New York abt 1885

Recently, I was intrigued by the photo album shown here.  What is its origin?  How old is it?  To whom did it first belong?

Inside the photo album were two pictures.  The first I could identify as my husband who was at the Seattle World Fair wearing a mis-buttoned sweater and a cowboy hat.

The treasure was a photograph of two beautiful girls.  Who are they?  I took a digital photo and have now made an educated guess on the possible identity of the girls.

How did I do this?  I first investigated the name and location of the photographer, F T Talbert.  Mr. Talbert, b. 1841 was a photographer in W Winfield, Herkimer Co, NY, around the turn of the century (20th, that is.)  Herkimer County is near Albany NY.  Guess what!  My husband's family were residents of the general area at that time, although they were residents of Sharon Springs in Schoharie Co.

Who were the young girls in the family at that time?  There were five of them with the birth years ranging from 1868 to 1873.

What ages are the girls in the picture?  Can their clothing assist us?  Can someone who knows old photos and clothing help me in this quest?

What a great find this was in my never ending journey of feeding my genealogy addiction!

©2010 AS Eldredge

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Georgia's Virtual Library Just Keeps Growing

Have you visited the Digital Library of Georgia recently?  This worthy ongoing project has resulted in adding numerous old items of genealogy and historical value to readers everywhere.  There is no cost to use the service, although a plug in (free) may be required to view some of the collections.  It's been about a year since I spent time on the DGL and now I think I waited about 11 months too long to go back! 

Recently added are old Atlanta newspapers which span the War of Northern Aggression time period.  For those who are not familiar with the Recent Unpleasantness, the history books refer to it as the War Between the States.

Here is Dick Eastman's tidbit on the Atlanta collection.

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 

Historic Atlanta Newspapers Online

A new digital database providing online access to 14 newspaper titles published in Atlanta from 1847 to 1922 is now available through the Digital Library of Georgia, housed at The University of Georgia Libraries. The Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive ( contains more than 67,000 newspaper pages and provides historical images that are both full-text searchable and can be browsed by date.

The archive includes the following Atlanta newspaper titles: Atlanta Daily Examiner (1857), Atlanta Daily Herald (1873-1876), Atlanta Georgian (1906-1911), Atlanta Intelligencer (1851, 1854-1871), Atlantian (1911-1922), Daily/Georgia Weekly Opinion (1867-1868), Gate-City Guardian (1861), Georgia Literary and Temperance Crusader (1860-1861), New Era (1869-1872), Southern Confederacy (1861-1864), Southern Miscellany, and Upper Georgia Whig (1847), Southern World (1882-1885), Sunny South (1875-1907), Weekly Constitution (1869-1882).
You will note that the above list includes a lot of Civil War newspapers. They should provide valuable information to historians, genealogists, reenactors, and many others.

The Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia as part of the Georgia HomePLACE initiative. The project is supported with federal LSTA funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Other newspaper archives available through the Digital Library of Georgia include the Macon Telegraph Archive (1826-1908), the Columbus Enquirer Archive (1828-1890), the Milledgeville Historic Newspaper Archive (1808-1920), the Southern Israelite Archive (1929-1958, 1984-1986), and the Red and Black Archive (1893-2006). These archives can be accessed at:

My thanks to Jean Cleveland for letting me know about this valuable new resource.