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Hi, My name is Vickie and to tell you a little bit about myself, I was born and raised in Kentucky and the majority of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since the 1790’s. I have always loved history, a good mystery and puzzles and that is what Family History Research is all about. As a child we would take day trips on Saturdays and head down some dirt road looking for old cemeteries. A lot of the time we weren't looking for anyone in particular, we just like to read the epitaphs. We would have a picnic lunch packed and have lunch at whatever cemetery we were at. If the weather was bad my Dad and I would go to a court house and dig through old records in musty old basements looking for our ancestors. So as you can see I have had an interest in Family History for quite some time.View my complete profile

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Now I hate to make any of y’all jealous, but my next ancestor for the week from my Daddy’s side of the family is one very well know man.  He is my 4th cousin 3 generations removed from our common ancestors who were, Christopher Clark and Penelope Johnston.   Christopher and Penelope were my 6th great-grandparents and Samuel’s 3rd great-grandparents.   I loved reading his books when I was a kid and still have a love for them to this day.  I have been to the town of Hannibal, Missouri and walked the same roads he did and I have gone to Tom and Becky’s cave.  Have you guessed yet who my relative this week is?  Well hang on and I will tell you just a little about his family.  Those of you that read my blog and are related to Mama Jessie through her mother, Nancy Lougena Woosley Doss will be related to this man as well.

The man I am talking about is none other than Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known to most of you as Mark Twain.  The author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and many more too numerous to mention.  Sam was born November 30, 1835 in Florida, Monroe County, Missouri the son of John Marshall Clemens and Jane Lampton.   The relationship between Sam and myself is through his father’s, mother’s line, Sam’s grandmother, Pamela Goggin’s Clemens.

The following picture I found online is a drawing by Norman Rockwell depicting Tom & Huck. http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3649/3693963383_99ed8f43e2_o.jpg

Sam was the sixth of seven children born to John and Jane.  His siblings were: Orion Clemens 1825-1897, Pamela Clemens 1827-1904, Pleasant Clemens 1828-1829, Benjamin Clemens 1832-1842, Margaret Clemens 1833-1839 and Henry Clemens 1838-1858.

When Sam was around four years old his parents left Florida, Missouri and moved about 35 miles east to the small river town of Hannibal, Missouri.  Here Sam learned his love of the river and the tales told by slaves and others.  His father was a judge in Hannibal and died of pneumonia in 1847, when Sam was just twelve years old in Hannibal, Missouri and his mother passed away in 1890 in Keokuk, Iowa.

I found online at Wikipedia three different pictures of Mark Twain at different ages.

Sam met and married a young woman by the name of Olivia Ione Louise Langdon who he courted for about two years before they were married on February 2, 1870 in Elmira, Chemung County, New York.  They were the parents of four children, namely: Samuel Langdon Clemens 1870-1872, Olivia Susan ‘Susy’ Clemens 1872-1896, Clara Langhorne Clemens 1874-1962 and Jane Lampton ‘Jean’ Clemens 1880-1909.  Sam and his family lived abroad in Europe for a while as well as in New York and Connecticut.  All are buried in the family plot at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira, Chemung County, New York.

From the Wikipedia article online about Mark Twain, I found the following:  “In 1909, Mark Twain said: I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835.  It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it.  It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet.  The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together'.  His prediction was accurate, Mark Twain died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910 in Redding, Connecticut one day after the comet's closest approach to Earth.  Upon hearing of Twain's death, President William Howard Taft said: "Mark Twain gave pleasure – real intellectual enjoyment – to millions, and his works will continue to give such pleasure to millions yet to come ... His humor was American, but he was nearly as much appreciated by Englishmen and people of other countries as by his own countrymen.  He has made an enduring part of American literature."

There is so much more that could be written about this man and his life, but just do a google search and see what all you can find about him for yourself.  He was truly an American icon and a person I am very proud to say I am related too.


  1. I think everyone has relived Tom Sawyer's childhood in dreams and spirit.

  2. What a life Mark Twain lived. Been reading his bio on Google.
    I am speak-less. Very few people can claim this history. Awesome!

  3. Sweet! Love it! Writing is in your blood!! Wow....

  4. Wish that was my side! When I was in 2nd grade I was in the library with my class. I loved biographies...I know strange kid, well anyway, i had read Tom Sawyer and so I picked up the biography of Mark Twain. It began Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born... I went to my teacher and said, "This is supposed to be about Mark Twain, but it's about someone named Samuel Langhorne Clemens." I'm sure she stifled a laugh as she said, "Keep reading!"

  5. We must be a family who likes to read. When my mom passed away, she had over 3,000 books. She and I collected Emilie Loring and Grace Livingston Hill books. One time when we were in New England, we stopped so I could see the house where Emilie Loring lived and wrote her books.