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We all have them.  Family stories of famous people we’re related to or widely known events our relatives were involved in.  But finding information other than the handed down oral or written stories is difficult.  My husband’s great grandfather C.E. Garee told of his uncle John T. Garee in a handwritten autobiography:

Uncle John served 3 years in the Union army, and because he was a good penman he was retained in Washington for some time afterward to help “muster out” the armed forces. He was in the Ford Theatre when President Lincoln was killed: heard the shot and saw Booth fall on the stage as he escaped. (source: Ed Garee’s Stories)

Over the years, I’ve piddled in searching for more to that story and today I found a newspaper article that attributes John, himself, as the source of the information.

To read the full article, click then zoom to enlarge

John makes the event seem like such a casual situation.  While, there are typographical errors in the article including John’s middle initial, which is actually “T”, it is ‘my’ John.  It isn’t proof that he was in the Ford Theater at the time Lincoln was assassinated but it does add to the story and gives it more credibility.

How cool is that?  I just love finding things like this.