Wednesday, December 19, 2018

God Speed Two Unrelated John Glenns

When growing up, I recall hearing about how we were related to John Glenn, the Astronaut. Recently, however, I've done some investigating to see if that might really be so. Getting the ancestry tree for the astronaut was pretty simple. It's readily available on the Internet. You can see it below.

John Herschel Glenn Jr's Ancestry Tree from familysearch.com
Well, one thing that jumps right out at you is that the astronaut had direct ancestors in Pennsylvania before the revolution and until they moved out to Ohio.

OUR family, on the other hand, has an ancestor tree for Daisy Glenn (Sylvia Averill's mother) as shown below.

John Sylvia Glenn family tree

Glenn Valve ad from American Engineer
There are a number of significant items to note. First, James Glenn came from Northern Ireland just like the astronaut ancestors, but they were in the US before the revolution, whereas he got here in 1790. What's more, they were in the same part of Pennsylvania (Cumberland County is near Centre County), but there are NO common names in the genealogy. What's more, the astronaut Glenns were in Ohio before our John Glenn was born - in Pennsylvania. What's more, Daisy was born in Pennsylvania. I could go on and on, but I've got a couple of tidbits to share. 


Our John Glenn was a machinist that ran a valve company in Chicago. His father, ALSO named John Glenn (AKA John Sr), was a blacksmith. This valve company left John Jr pretty well off. I believe that he lived in the house that is shown below.

Fremont Street Residence from Google Maps Streetview

If you go to Redfin, you can see the house for sale listing, here. As you can see, it was pricey, even in 2016, though it certainly has been extensively remodeled since John and his family lived there. The reason I believe this to be JSG's house is that Chicago renumbered all the houses back in the early 20th Century (after John passed away) and the book says 115 became 1934. The lower level house was also around when the renumbering took place, but I don't know who lived there back then.Yup, we're talking about a duplex that's over $1M.

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