Monday, November 18, 2013

Robert Emmett Lenahan, A Bio of Sorts, The Beginning, The Hints, Part 1

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

On November 10, 2013 I wrote, Military Index Cards - - Lorena, I Don't Believe You Fed Him Poisonous Mushrooms, the beginning of the breakdown of a research wall that has been solid brick for over 20 years.

A few more days of research, including hiring some work done in the National Archives and the sharing of a family letter/story with me, and now, I am going to try to paste together a bit of Robert Emmett Lenahan's life story.

First, a correction or note about my previous post.  It seems after receiving and studying Robert's pension file, his application for a pension was denied, as no proof of service could be found.  So officially, he did not serve.

During my research binge on Robert I contacted a lady with a family tree on Ancestry.  And much to my total delight, she responded.  With great stories.  And, those stories had research hints/leads.  Let's start with some of my conversations with Jonnie.  She has given permission for me to share.  Bless her.

"I have a letter written by my uncle, Benjamin Frank Court, that lists his mothers brothers and sisters and there is one on the list, Emmitt, that he called  "Uncle Em".

Uncle Frank, did not know the names of his mother's mother and father, but said they migrated from Ireland and settled in Byhalia, Mississippi and  his grandfather was a shoemaker, but that was all he knew about them.

I find a Robert E. Lenahan marriage to Lizzie Lenahan in 1896 but nothing else about a family. Uncle Frank never mentioned a family, but that doesn't mean there was not one. Uncle Frank was over 90 years old when he wrote the information down for me, and did pretty good remembering as much as he did. Uncle Frank's letter said that "Uncle Em" moved to New Orleans after his mother, Grandmother Rose died and and when Uncle Em died, died, "Uncle Jim" oldest boy, went New Orleans and took [care] of funeral and buried him in New Orleans."

Jonnie actually shared images of two pages/portions of the letter written by her uncle Benjamin.  Here is part of one page.  I cropped this section out of the full page and digitally tweaked it a bit for ease in viewing. Two words from a previous thought/paragraph were removed, again for clarity purposes.  I cannot thank Jonnie enough for sharing and allowing me to use her information and image.

Jonnie also provided transcriptions of parts of her uncle Benjamin's letter, as follows:

"Uncle Emmett, we called him Uncle Em. He joined the fire dept. He was a fireman. He was on a (???) story building. The floor burned our. He fell through, stuck a hot nail in his foot. Was off work for awhile. Was on another building, on the roof. It was on an alley, the wall caved in. He fell and caught the roof on a building across the alley.

When the English went to war with the Boars in South Africa, for the diamond money, he went to England and joined the English army. Went to South Africa, fought the Boars. Was a Captain in the English Army. When the war was over, he came back.

"He was a traveler from place to place. When Christmas came, regardless of where he was, he would send to his sister, my mother, a Christmas card. He would appear sometimes, have dinner with us, go see his brother, Jim, come back, tell his sister good by. We would not see him for a long time. When he got old, he came stayed with us. When mother died, (Aug. 27 1919) he went to New Orleans, later died there. Uncle Jim, oldest boy, went to New Orleans and took care of his funeral. He is buried somewhere there."

As with all letters and family traditions and stories, there are a few small errors, but, a tremendous amount of insight.

Next, a timeline of sorts, some dates/facts from new discoveries, some dates/facts from prior research and information I had on Robert and Lorena.

* The disclaimer, I have a subscription to for which I pay the current fees.  They have not asked me to review their services, good or bad.  Please refer to my Disclaimer page.

**Note spelling of "Boar" is that of Jonnie's uncle Benjamin.  The actual spelling is "Boer". Thanks John for the heads up on the spellings.


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