I have had a number of suggestions that I should write up the special genealogical experiences I have had. Especially my friends who have attended my genealogy classes have requested this. Their concern that my throat cancer will in all probability, effect my ability to lecture in the future (hopefully not immediately) prompted these suggestions. With this in mind I am going to start on a series called:
I am currently trying to get my Lenaghen Welding Links, organized and into final print. My Virtual friends have followed this project with me. There are relatives who have been waiting for years for me to finalize mu research. So ...this summer I am editing and writing, as I keep this goal in mind.
I am currently preparing some old letters that I received from my Lenaghen 2nd cousin in New York. With this in mind I will start here in the Saga.
LaVada (Breshears) Lenaghen, had lived a long and productive life. Already into her 96th year, she was agile minded and very alert. Her last trip after Grandpa died was to board a jet plane and visit his family in Plattsburg, New York. In the over 50 years they were married she had never met his family.
Fred had removed to Idaho in 1877 and had never looked back. From his few letters that were saved, we surmise he was bitter toward the Roberts grandparents and uncles. After his father John Lenaghen, was drown in a boating accident, (when he was 9), he and his family had lived in the grandparents home. A bitterness filled his heart that he never got over.
Now as I visited grandma on our annual trip home 1964, I lifted the precious family pictures from her bureau draw and savored the ancestral treasures she had returned with. Her cousin I law, Louise Robinson, had lived her life in the ancestral home at 95 C street, Plattsburg NY.
She had treasured and saved all the accumulation of ancestral memorabilia in the family. Grandmother had original copies of our Lenaghen family now.
I immediately ask if I could take them to a local photographer and have copies made. She granted permission. While they were there, other members of the family were advised of my project. A cousin (not named), went to the photographer and ask him to relinquish the pictures into his care.
Red flags went up. I was advised of this persons interest by the studio. When the copies were made I returned the pictures to grandma and into her care. Several weeks later, after I had returned home, the pictures came up missing from her drawer. How glad I was I had copied them when I had the chance. These have since been published for anyone to share.
I was able to start corresponding with Louise Robinson, having been given her address by grandmother. It is these letters and family data that I am now updating for Lenaghen Welding Links.
At first Louise was over whelmed as I ask for what information she had from family bibles, letters and other sources in her possession. Eventually, after worrying that she would be unable to record on Cassette, photo duplicate or fill out the family group forms, she decided to write in native form.
She was an inveterate letter writer and sent accomplished, informative letters about the family. I encouraged her to write what she could remember about the Lenaghen ancestors. She set out to do that. As time passed (more than 2 years), she wrote away, keeping me advised of her progress. Then disaster struck. She said she had been reviewing what she had written and was afraid it was to gossipy. For that reason she was reluctant to share.
I was heart sick ! So close and yet so far. I immediately wrote back and told her I was proud that she had accomplished what she had, I knew it would be a real treasure for her family and to keep up the good work. More time passed. Then her son Cory came home from college for thanksgiving holiday.
Cory happened to pick up the letter I had written months before. He was impressed to write me. He said until he read my letter, he had not thought about our branch of the family not having ancestral information. He would see what he could do to get his mother to pass on what she had written.
It turned out to be a real labor of love. He was a beginning typist. He typed it all and I eventually received all she had written. In the mean time his mother had been looking at cemeteries and other resources to supplement her records. I was looking forward to getting these records. I received a letter from her daughter Marilyn.
It informed me that Louise had breast Cancer and was under going treatment. She Marilyn, had no interest in this Family History Stuff, so not to expect any more information. Foiled again.
So ... months down the line after a mastectomy and other treatment, Louise wrote to me. She was in bed but was still interested in gathering more information. Marilyn was now her legs and right hand helper.
Marilyn, to help her mother keep up interest in life, began visiting cemeteries, repositories etc.
She was bitten by the Genealogy Bug. I couldnt have gotten better help from a professional researcher. The information rolled in. A rich family heritage began to come together because of her efforts. I have added my research to this information.
As time passed, Louise began going over the pictures she had of our ancestors. She wrote and said she had put together a packet for me. These were more originals, taken from the family collection. When they arrived I couldnt believe my eyes. There before me were duplicated of all the pictures that had been removed from grandmothers drawer, plus many more. The lord does move mysteriously to help us accomplish our family history goals.
Im afraid grandfathers reluctance to be together with his family had been circumvented.
We have a proud heritage going back to the Milesian Tribes of Ireland. The Heraldic Artists of Ireland indicate that we actually had an ancestor who was blessed by the prophet MOSES while in the desert with the Children of Israel. This foretold their ancestral home was to be Ireland.
Cheers now; Georgene