Update 12/27/02  I have recently moved back to Emporium and look forward to sourcing information from here.

The Cameron County Genealogy Project is maintained by Mike Wennin of Emporium, PA.

I got interested in genealogy only a couple of years ago.  My cousin, Judy Hallowell brought over a commercial genealogy book about the WENNIN's when I was home for Christmas.  It had very little information about our family in it, but I found it interesting.  On the same visit I  found out another cousin, Cheryl Hockenbery, was doing some family research too. My Dad (Ernie Wennin) had just gotten some photos of my Great Grandparents from a family member and a printout of some of our GORE genealogy...I was hooked!!  I went home,  jumped on the computer and started searching.  Within a few days I found TONS of information on our GORE family all the way back to John and Rhoda GORE who came to Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1635!  No one in our family ever knew anything about this recorded information! I have met a bunch of cousins online and have swapped information, photos, stories and more.  My GORE ancestors were influential in settling the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania.   Five relatives were killed in the Wyoming Massacre in 1778, others survived (including my 5th and 6th Great Grandfathers, thank God!!) and went on to make great contributions to the area. One hundred years later, 8 of my GORE ancestors and relatives fought in the Civil War, four of them giving their lives for the Union and one for the Confederacy. They arrived in Cameron County about 1859, following the building of the Railroad through Driftwood.  My ggGreatGrandfather, William Elliott Gore, and his brothers were blacksmiths and found a lot of work during the building of the railroad.  My Great Great grandmother, wife of George Washington GORE was a JORDAN.  Her 4th Great Uncle is thought to be one of the first settlers in the County, arriving in 1804.

My WENNIN line turned out to easier to trace than I could ever imagine.  I knew my Great Grandparents came to the US in the early 1900's from Austria, but I knew little else.  Cheryl and I became great buddies...emailing each other everyday with new leads.  She found our Grandfather's and Great Uncles' Naturalization records in a book at the library.  The information as to where they were from, what ship they traveled on and the dates of their arrival were different on all three records!!   With some more research and trips to the National Archives here in Atlanta, I was able to establish that my Great Grandmother, with her 5 children came to American in 1904 from the village of LANA, Tirol, Austria.  Can you imagine spending 2 weeks on a ship (the Red Star Line Steamer, ZEELAND) with 5 kids from the ages of 2-16 traveling to a strange land, not knowing what you will find?  She must have been some woman!  My Great Grandfather and his oldest son had come to America 6 months or so before her and were waiting for her at the docks at Ellis Island. They traveled by train to Costello and were soon living up First Fork, where the family homestead still stands today.  The best part is that I found that the Mormon Church had the entire Catholic Church records from the village of LANA back to the 1500's!!  So far I have my WENNIN line traced back to the early 1700's, by reading handwritten, old-style German!  If you think that isn't fun!!!  There are WENINs (only one "N" in the original spelling) mentioned all the way back to 1560's. I have found that I have many cousins in LANA  today!. A neat find was in the marriage records of a Great Aunt who stayed behind in Austria.  It is mentioned that her father left in November of 1903 to settle in the town of SINNEMAHONING, North America!!  It was so neat to find that in the records!

My Mom's family is from West Virginia. I have her FREEMAN line traced back to 1622 with the arrival of Bridges FREEMAN at Jamestown.  Within a few years he and his son owned most of what is Richmond, Virginia today!  Her maternal line is WYATT and I have not yet begun to do the research on that line....trying to catch up on recording all that I have found so far!

Fortunately, many of my Aunts, Uncles and cousins are interested in the research that I have been doing and have shared some great stories and family photos.  If you are from Cameron County, I am sure you know some of my relatives- surnames include WENNIN, GORE, LYON, JORDAN, CLONTZ, and KUPPELWEISER.

As you can see, I seem to have a knack for this, making as much progress as I have in 2 years!  I hope that I can bring that knack to life on this webpage and help you find your ancestors and family heritage! I am excited to be your new host!


 

This page was last updated on Sunday, June 03, 2007.

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2004 Cameron County Genealogy Project