Posts Tagged ‘Roots’

On Bernice Bennett’s Talk Radio Show May 10

Upcoming Event

I’m on Bernice Bennett’s talk radio show with Natonne Kemp and Sandra Taliaferro at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bernicebennett/ on Thursday May 10 from 7-8pm MT, 8-9pm CT, 9-10pm ET.

Come and join us!

BlogTalk Radio Show

     « Click to listen now (replay)

Genealogy Quote of the Week – Alex Haley

This week we have another genealogy quote from Alex Haley, author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family.

Alex Haley

Alex Haley

Alex Haley was born in Ithaca, New York, on August 11, 1921, and reared in Henning, Tennessee. He was the oldest of three sons of a college professor father and a mother who taught grade school. At the age of 15, he graduated from high school before attending college for 2 years..

Biography: “Haley’s writing career began after he entered the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939. Haley was the first member of the U.S. Coast Guard with a Journalist designation (rating). In 1999 the U.S. Coast Guard honored Haley by naming a Coast Guard Cutter after him. His personal motto ‘Find the Good and Praise It’ appears on the ship’s emblem. He retired from the military after 20 years of service, and then continued writing.”

Alex Haley eventually became a senior editor for Reader’s Digest. He received the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal in 1977. Four thousand deans and department heads of colleges and universities throughout the country in a survey conducted by Scholastic Magazine selected him as America’s foremost achiever in the literature category.

Genealogy quote from Alex Haley

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.

Roots Resolved

Today’s story, about Janet Louise Mancini and her search for family roots, touched my heart. Hope you enjoy reading about her continuing search for more orphans.

Roots and Divine Guidance

The Children's HomeOn June 13, 1957, Janet and her twin brother, John, were placed in The Children’s Home, 141 Oakland Avenue, Uniontown, PA. Their birthmother, Mary Margaret Morris-Lener, died 6 days later on June 19, 1957.

Janet Mancini felt God’s guidance as soon as she began researching her childhood roots. Information kept pouring in.

On November 16, 2004, Stacy Wolford, staff writer for The Valley Independent, Pittsburgh, published the following story titled,  Mon City Woman Discovers Her Roots.

The story behind the roots

Long before Janet Mancini and her brother John moved to Monongahela with their new parents, they were known at a Uniontown orphanage as the curly, blonde-haired twins.

Now, more than 40 years later, Janet Mancini is putting the puzzle pieces of her life back together and learning about the time she spent as a toddler at the Children’s Home of Uniontown.

“I’ve just always felt a need to know more about the Children’s Home because it’s part of my past,” said Mancini.

Janet and her twin brother were only four years old when their mother placed them at the Children’s Home on June 13, 1957. Five days later, on June 19, their mother died of heart problems.

The twins lived at the Children’s Home for 11 months until they were adopted by Baptiste and Alberta Mancini, of Monongahela.

Janet Mancini still lives in her family’s Monongahela home and works at Monongahela Valley Hospital.

“We were raised in a loving, wonderful family,” Mancini said. “We were quite blessed.”

After her adoptive mother died in 2000, Mancini realized that she never grieved for her birth mother or closed that chapter of her life. She started exploring and researching and wound up at the former Children’s Home in 2000. It was then being used as offices for the Easter Seals and is now an apartment building.

“As soon as I walked in, I remembered the checkered linoleum and the stairwell,” Mancini said. It was after her visit to the building, located at 141 Oakland Ave. in Uniontown, that her past started to catch up with her.

She soon met Lewana King, of Farmington, and her sister, Helen Fike, of Uniontown, who both worked at the Children’s Home when Mancini and her brother lived there.

Janet Mancini

Janet Mancini

When King called Mancini, she asked her three questions:

1.  Do you have a twin brother named John?

2.  Do you have naturally curly blonde hair?

3.  Do you have a scar on your left shoulder?”

“I got chills,” Mancini said.

Lewana King said, “You’re the Lener twins.”

Janet and Johnnie LenerMancini has since forged a relationship with both women, who have supplied her with countless pieces of information and archives from the Children’s Home, even a photograph of the twins when they lived there.

Through her investigations, she learned that when the Children’s Home closed in 1958, many of the records were either burned or taken to the Fayette County Children and Youth Services.

Finally tracked roots

Mancini lucked out and found her records at the office and was able to track down her family roots. She has since tracked down her nine siblings. Her twin, John, now lives in Albuquerque, N.M., but the majority of the other sisters and brothers live on the East Coast.

“They knew about John and me, but we never knew about them,” Mancini said. “They took out ads for us over the years to look for us.”

One of her sisters gave Mancini her mother’s Bible. She also learned that her mother and a sister are both buried at the Sylvan Heights Cemetery. She also met her birth mother’s sister, Catherine Nutt, of Oliver, a few years ago before she died. “She told me my mother was an angel,” Mancini said.

Although Mancini is now elated to have found her siblings and other relatives, she is still on a mission to learn more about the Children’s Home. She has a thick binder of documents, photographs and other historical data about the home that she plans on using to write a book about the home.

Children's HomeThe Children’s Home was owned by a prominent coal baron, J.V. Thompson. She said over 900 children lived there over the years, dating back to late 1800s.

“It wasn’t run like an orphanage,” Mancini said. “They treated us like their own children, took us to church and school.”

Mancini is hoping to hear from others who lived at the Children’s Home and include their stories in her book. “I know there are so many other people out there like me who lived there and want to know more about their roots,” Mancini said. “I want to hear their stories.”

Children's Home 1956

Children's Home 1956

Contact

More about The Children’s Home can be read on the website at http://bit.ly/v618Xi.

Anyone wanting to contact Janet Mancini with information about the Children’s Home can send an email to oaklandave141@yahoo.com.

Genealogy Quote of the Week – An Irish Blessing

This week’s genealogy quote is an ancient Irish blessing.

Irish Trees 

Irish Trees

                  Family Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“May the roots of your family tree grow deep and strong.”

Genealogy Quote of the Week – Alex Haley

This week’s genealogy quote comes from Alex Haley, author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family.

Alex Haley

Alex Haley

Alex Haley was born in Ithaca, New York, on August 11, 1921, and reared in Henning, Tennessee. He was the oldest of three sons of a college professor father and a mother who taught grade school. At the age of 15, he graduated from high school before attending college for 2 years..

Biography: “Haley’s writing career began after he entered the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939. Haley was the first member of the U.S. Coast Guard with a Journalist designation (rating). In 1999 the U.S. Coast Guard honored Haley by naming a Coast Guard Cutter after him. His personal motto ‘Find the Good and Praise It’ appears on the ship’s emblem. He retired from the military after 20 years of service, and then continued writing.”

Alex Haley eventually became a senior editor for Reader’s Digest. He received the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal in 1977. Four thousand deans and department heads of colleges and universities throughout the country in a survey conducted by Scholastic Magazine selected him as America’s foremost achiever in the literature category.

Genealogy quote from Alex Haley

In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are and where we came from…. My fondest hope is that Roots may start black, white, brown, red, yellow people digging back for their own roots. Man, that would make me feel 90 feet tall.

 

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