St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Monday, August 06, 2012

Monday Madness: Got The Fever But No Body Found

Looking out the window at the overcast skies, it seems like a perfect day for running around my mind to see if I can pull together some more facts as I continue the search for good ole Uncle Robert.  As soon as I exhaust the paltry information I have, it's time to search around the internet to see if any other documentation can be found.   Arrgggg, it's Monday Madness alright.

Robert W HENRY(1827-1869) was born in Allegheny Co, PA, and was the brother of my 2g-grandma.  Robert was a godly man and eagerly went in to the ministry.  As a child, he and his family were members of the Associated Reformed Church of St Clair, which eventually became the Mt Lebanon UP Church.  In fact, two of Robert's grandfathers were founding members of the church and so many of his kin are spending eternity resting quietly in the St Clair Cemetery.

Robert received his DD in theology after completing his schoolwork and quickly found a church in Ohio.  He is found in the 1850 census as a clergyman living in Springfield, Clark, OH.  He returns home to marry a childhood friend, Mary Emma MATTHEWS in November 1851.  They are married by his childhood minister, the Rev Joseph CLOKEY. Ahh, CLOKEY, now he's an interesting man that we will have to examine later.  I surmise that Mary Emma's family, James MATTHEWS (abt 1795-aft1850) were probably members of the same church.  At the least, they did live in the neighborhood.

Robert and Mary move to Philadelphia where he pastored a church during the War of Northern Aggression (as mentioned in his nephew's Civil War diary).  Robert is also found in the City Directory in Phile with a house address of 850 N 7th.

In the spring of 1869, Robert applies for a passport.  What I haven't found is any evidence of a passport for his wife.  Was she included on his or was she not going over to Europe for a tour?  I find it difficult to swallow that she would have been left behind on this trip of a lifetime.

Now to a bigger mystery in the affairs of Robert.  He dies of Yellow Fever while visiting in Alexandria, Egypt.  This is verified by news of his death in the Presbyterian Banner.  The Banner made no mention of his wife.

Mary continues to live in Phile after the death of her beloved and teaches at a college.  Unfortunately, she has a stroke and falls in the bathtub on December 26, 1881.  Her death information has been found in Philadelphia, and her obit has been located in Pittsburgh.  Her body is brought back to Pittsburgh for the funeral and the burial.

Where are they?  Her obit tells us her father is deceased, and I have yet to determine when he died or where he was buried.  I suspect he is either at the St Clair Cemetery or the Mt Pisgah UP Church Cemetery as those were the two closest Presbyterian churches and cemeteries closest to his residence.  The HENRY clan is all buried at St Clair, but her tombstone has not been located.  To be fair, the early records for St Clair are all gone and many of the early headstones are damaged or gone.  I know where the HENRY clan is buried.  I know where Robert's parents are buried.  I know where his siblings are buried, but where are Robert and Mary?  Was Robert buried in Egypt or would his body have been brought home?  Would Mary have been buried with her family or with her inlaws?

Mary had at least one sister as determined by the 1850 census.  The sister was Harriet V MATTHEWS.  As they were living with one Emiline MOORE, I suspect Emiline could have been the eldest child of James and his wife, Margaret.  Either they all died before 1860, or they relocated, or they married.  I can't find any evidence of the family.

Robert and Mary had no children of their own, but I think of them often.  Did he resemble his sister in his looks?  If so, I can easily imagine his looks as I have a picture of her in my possession. 

I wonder if or when I will find them.  In the meantime, I think I'll sit and reflect as these gray clouds swarm outside the window.

Ahh, genealogy. I will guess that these storm clouds gathering would have been minor in comparison if his lovely bride had not been included on the voyage.

Sources:  RW Henry passport application
                         1850 Federal Census
                         1880 Federal Census
                         1867 Philadelphia City Directory
                         1868 Philadelphia City Directory
Pittsburgh Commerical Gazettep Dec. 30, 1881
Family Bible
History of the St Clair United Presbyterian Church of Mt Lebanon, PA 1804-1904, pg 29

©AS Eldredge 2012

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