Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another Find Thanks To Research!

Thanks to Dick Eastman for another inspiring article!



August 15, 2008

Case closed: Judge's Portrait Finally Found

The original article was interesting:
Thomas Irwin's ashes have rested in Section 4, Lot 18 at Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsbugh for 138 years, but people in the post office and federal courthouse are trying to connect a face with his name.The third-floor hallway is lined with images of all but one of the 55 past and present Western District federal judges, from Nora Barry Fischer, appointed last year, to Jonathan Hoge Walker, the district's first judge, appointed in 1818.Irwin is the only one missing.In the space where his portrait should be hanging is a message that reads: "If you know my whereabouts, please contact the clerk of courts."

You can read more in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review at

A week later a happy ending was posted to the same web site and it credits genealogists:
Problem solved.Of the 55 federal judges ever to serve the Western District of Pennsylvania, only Irwin could claim the dubious distinction of not having his portrait line the third floor hallway of the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, Downtown. An image of his likeness can be found on Floor 3, Stack 2 at the Carnegie Library's main branch in Oakland. "There we go. Now we've got all 55," Robert Barth, clerk of the U.S. District Court, said Thursday. The story then turns to genealogists for the solution. The story elicited a blurb in the New England Historic Genealogical Society's newsletter, which brought it to the attention of Robert Battle, a linguistics professor at the University of Washington."It piqued my interest," Battle said. "So I thought I would see what, if anything, I could turn up."

Indeed, Battle did "turn up" a portrait. The full story is available at

Until tomorrow!

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