Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A trip to see Mom and a reminder about why I bolg

Just recently took a trip back east to see Mom, now 97, who lives in the tiny Western Maryland mountain  town of Frostburg. Mom's great, by the way and thanks for asking. We did a bunch of things "genealogy" and I'll get to all of that in later posts. But first, this.

Was sitting at breakfast with cousins Linda and JoAnn and we got to talking about the ancestors. I was playing around on Ancestry the night before because I realized that I didn't know much about their father, Uncle Harry. So I worked on his line for a while and discovered that he and his lovely wife and my own darling aunt Louise, Dad's sister, are 5th or 6th cousins! Had to do a proper Lol!

We were at the Princess Restaurant on Main Street, which is just as charming as you'd suspect and where they keeps the very booth President Truman and his wife Bess sat in on their way to the inauguration, and it's in perfect order and unchanged. After we ordered, I brought out two sheets of paper, one with Uncle Harry's lineage and the other with Aunt Louise's. And walked the cousins back to see how they connect at George Adam Eckhart, founder of the tiny town of Eckhart (now called Eckhart Mines, but that's another story).

They were amazed! Imagine being told out of the blue that your parents were cousins, if distant cousins. "Well, that explains a lot," one of them guffawed! I think all kids will at least half-believe that their parents are cousins!

One thing lead to another, we talked about a family mystery involving twins (we have a lot of them in the family, on both sides), and then, predictably, the graves. You see, we're a family that looks after graves and is pretty serious about it. I hadn't yet made it around to see Grandma and Grandpop Kelly's grave yet but had planned on it today. It's at St Michaels' Cemetery.

We knew Grandpop's own father was buried just down a couple of spots. Yes, we all knew that and that he's right there beside his wife Christiana Eckhart Kelly, and that's where the Kelly and Eckhart lines come together. What wasn't so well-known is that Grandpop Kelly's grandparents, John Kelly and Bridget Corcoran, who both came from Ireland, are buried in St. Mike's Cemetery as well.

I thought the table would explode! This was the second genea-hand grenade to hit the table! Where, they both questioned at once. I gave some general directions. Irish cross, to the left of the main entry lane that goes to the big cross in the middle, down a couple of rows.

We said our sad and heart-felt good-byes, and off we went. I swung down to the house to pick up Mom and some aluminum foil for a stone rubbing. Then we were off to visit that very memorial for John Kelly and Bridget.

Mom recalled how shocked with disbelief that Grandpop Kelly was when she told him that his own grandfather was buried in St Mike's. He too was a big tender of the graves and it was very important that his parents and all of them were looked after. So he practically couldn't come to terms with it to know that his own dear grandparents were buried there in the same cemetery with his parents... and he didn't know.

We went to see the nice Irish cross for old John Kelly who made his way from Shannonbridge Ireland to the mountains of Western Maryland, most likely to work on the railroad, as so many Irishmen of his day did. He found Bridget Corcoran and married in Cumberland and they raised eight fine children, the boys all strong and the girls beautiful, or so I imagine:)

Cousin Linda had left the Princess and beat a trail over to the cemetery to find Old John's gravestone. She even beat Mom and I there! By the time I'd texted her to say I was a couple of rows off, she texted back to say she'd already found it!!

At the end of our breakfast together one of the girls asked if I still keep up with this blog. No, I sheepishly said, been busy. Now I felt bad that I hadn't. What fabulous cousin bait this blog has been!! Ugh. Neglectful me.

So here I am back again. And I've got some wonderful new stories to tell, if I do say so my own self.

The URL for this post is:


  1. Hi Diane,
    I came across your blog for the first time this morning as I was attempting to do a bit of research on Eckhart Mines. It appears that there's a chance that we are distant cousins! And that's the coolest thing about this huge tiny digital world. I'm enjoying your writings very much and I'm happy that you are back at it. I was brought up in Preston County, WV, just over the state line from Frostburg. I live in Florida now, but have plans to move to the DC area within the next few years. It will be grand to be able to walk my people's land again and to visit their homes and their places of rest. I am new to the art and science of genealogy, and your blog is most helpful and interesting! So thank you for that!

  2. Hey Sharon!! Thanks for posting! Send me an email and let's see if we share ancestors. We have a bunch over the hill in West Virginia too so you never know:)