Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday | Oxford Cemetery

Click on the image above to view a larger photo size.
While these headstones are not kin, I was intrigued by the unique grouping. The photo was taken in the Oxford Cemetery, Oxford, Ohio.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Cephas Lindley

Click on photos above to view larger image sizes.
 Cephas Lindley
Sept 16 1853
(the rest is has sank into the ground)

Cephas was laid to rest in the Gopher Hill Cemetery, Warren County, Indiana.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Abigail (Day) Lindley

Click on photo above to view larger image size.
Wife of
Isaac Lindley,
Died Oct. 13, 1849,
Aged 78 years
& 2 days

Laid to rest beside her husband, Isaac, in the Oxford Cemetery, Oxford, Ohio.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Isaac Lindley

Click on image above to view larger photo size.
In memory of
Isaac Lindley
who departed this life
Oct. 16th 1840
Aged 71 years & 23 days

Laid to rest beside his wife, Abigail, in the Oxford Cemetery, Oxford, Ohio.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Genealogy Road Trip | Warren County, Indiana to Dubuque, Iowa

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 14.
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After paying our respects at the grave of our 5th great-grandfather, Cephas Lindley, in Warren County, Indiana, we wondered our way back to the freeway and once again headed west.

We hauled it across Illinois, stopping for food and fuel and one very important ice cream break. ;) We didn't have time for much else as we needed  to reach Courtney's house in Dubuque by nightfall. We didn't want to have to get another hotel (money that could be put towards vital records) or post-pone our plans for the next morning. Our mom would be driving down from Wisconsin the next morning to join us for the third and final day of the great genealogy road trip of 2012.

As we drove, we chatted about how much we had accomplished in the past two days. My trip planning may have seemed a bit lofty to most, but Courtney and I are well-worn road trippers and we were confident that we could do it without issue. Which, we did (not that I'm bragging or anything). :D

When we rolled in to Dubuque later that evening we headed straight Target. I'm not even joking here, lol. One of our aunts, a cousin and her daughter happened to be in town and were shopping there, so we just had to stop in and say hi. Our visit quickly turned in to an enjoyable dinner and some much needed catching-up.

After dinner, we made our way to Courtney's house. She had recently moved to Iowa and I had yet to visit her, so it was nice to see where she was living these days. Not ones to waste the last minutes of daylight, Courtney drove me around town showing me where she was working and where her and her friends hung out. I hadn't been to Dubuque in years, so I enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

Genealogy Road Trip | Gopher Hill Cemetery

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 13.
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Click on image above to view a larger photo size.
We made it to Warren County, Indiana in the early afternoon. Unlike our first few stops, we were easily able to navigate to our next stop using the map on our phones. There were so many roads and turns that I'm glad we had a bit of extra guidance as we drove past fields and farms.

The Gopher Hill Cemetery was not only the smallest cemetery we had visited on this trip, but also the most rural. Considering the size of the cemetery, we thought we would have more luck in finding the headstone of our 4th great-grandfather, Cephas Lindley.

As per usual, Courtney and I split the cemetery in two and started our search for Cephas. Not long after we started, it seemed that we both came up empty hanged. We quickly narrowed our search to an older section of stones that were broken (some were even stacked).

It was in those broken stones that we found the VERY weathered stone that belonged to Cephas.  His stone was broken in half right along the line where his name was carved over a hundred years ago. The only way I could verify that it was his, was by tracing the fading letters with my fingers (I've confirmed this with some images of a distant cousins). I was shocked by the state of his stone considering that the stones of his parents and grandparents are still standing and in excellent condition. Pictures of the stone can be seen below:

Click on image above to view a larger photo size.

Click on image above to view a larger photo size.
I'm not sure what can be done to repair Cephas's stone, even if it can be salvaged. If not, I wonder if there is something that can be done to this type of stone to stop further damage. Anyone of you genea-bloggers have any ideas?

Genealogy Road Trip | Oxford, Ohio to Warren County, Indiana

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 12.
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After spending our early hours of Day 2 visiting the final resting place of our 5th great-grandparents we stopped by a quick mart to prep for the long day ahead. We put ice in the cooler, filled up with gas, refilled our snacks and headed towards the interstate.

The remainder of the morning would find us driving out of Ohio and across Indiana. Our goal was to end the day in Iowa at Courtney's place, but we wanted to make a quick stop first along the Indiana/Illinois state line to locate the cemetery where our 4th great-grandfather, Cephas Lindley is buried.

As we drove, I couldn't help but think about what it must have been like for our ancestors to make this voyage west. From what I know, our Lindley ancestors settled first in New Jersey, before moving on to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa. What prompted these moves westward? Was it land, opportunity, adventure, or just simply time to move on? Did they have a wandering heart like me?

I also wondered how they made the journey. There weren't automobiles back then, and the drive we would make in a few short hours would have taken them days. Were they able to take their possessions with them? What made them stop where they did?

Did they ever get to go back and see the family they had left behind or were they just left with memories of their loved ones? Living 1,000 miles from my family means that I only get to see them 2-3 times a year, and more days than not, this distance breaks my heart. It also makes me so much more thankful when an opportunity like this road trip comes up, because I wouldn't miss it for the world, and I know it's the same for Courtney. After all, she flew to the east coast to join me for this genealogy road trip knowing very well that our journey would lead us right back to her house a short 72 hours later.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Genealogy Road Trip | Oxford Cemetery

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 11.
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Day 2 of the genealogy road trip started at shortly after dawn as we drove the final hour to find the graves of our 5th great grandparents, Isaac and Abigail (Day) Lindley in Oxford, Ohio. The previous day we had paid our respects to Isaac's parents in Pennsylvania and it seemed a bit surreal that we would have the honor to do the same for Isaac and his wife the very next day.

We arrived at the Oxford Cemetery in the twilight hours. We pulled in through the main gate and drifted towards the right, making our way up small hill. The cemetery was much larger and more full than I had expected based on what I had viewed in online photographs and maps. The area had a large selection of older stones and we thought they looked close to the age of those stones our 5th great grandparents would have, so we parked the car, grabbed the camera, and started searching. Until this point we were able to easily find the headstones of our ancestors and didn't quite expect this search to take the turn that it did.

Click on photo above to view larger image size.
We searched and searched and searched. After walking two of the larger sections of the cemetery, we took a break in the car to hydrate and regroup. It was then that we decided that it would be easier to slowly drive through the remainder of the cemetery and see if we could locate any more older stones that might help us narrow our search.

Unfortunately, there wasn't a dedicated "older stone" section as we had wished. Instead, it seemed like every 50 feet there was a new grouping of older stones. We weren't expecting a giant blinking sign, but a little thoughtful planning back in the day would have been appreciated as we continued our exhaustive search. As you can see from the sections highlighted in yellow, we had nearly searched the entire cemetery and were quickly approaching the very new section of the cemetery, which would have meant that we had missed them in our early searching.

Finally, when I was nearly ready to give up hope, we stumbled upon Isaac and Abigail... right next to the roadway! One section I was wondering how we had missed them, and then next, I couldn't believe that we stumbled upon them while walking on the road. Upon closer inspection, I was once again shocked at how well preserved the headstones were. What a blessing.

Click on photo above to view larger image size.
The carving on their stones wasn't as unique or elaborate as that of Isaac's parents, but it was legible and the great condition provided easy access to dates. It's as if the simplicity of the stones mimicked the change in lifestyle that Isaac and Abigail faced after leaving their well established families in Pennsylvania for a life in the new west. I hope they found what they were looking for...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Genealogy Road Trip | Marr, Ohio to Dayton, Ohio

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 10.
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As we wound our way out of the hills Courtney and I chatted at length about the cemetery, Mr. Burkhart, and Marr. The road out of Marr eventually started to follow a ridgeline and we were able to get a few bars of cell service. We were eager to call our mother and share the day's adventures with her. After a few attempts and several dropped calls we were able to get in touch with her.

We put her on speaker phone so we both could chat and barely got to the first stop on the trip when we lost our connection. She had been so excited to hear from us that we wanted to share more, so we pulled into the gravel parking lot of a country church at the crest of a hill and called her back. We shared the highlights of our day with her and explained our plans for Day 2.

After we hung up with her, we both realized that we were quite parched from the days events. Reaching into the cooler, we discovered that the ice had melted leaving our beverages luke warm, with no mini-mart in sight. Courtney reached for our glass bottles of pop from our quick trip to the general store in Marr and luckily they were still a little on the cool side as they had been left in the shade. At this point, we wanted nothing more than a refreshing cool drink. Unfortunately, in true general-store-style, the tops were pop-off, not twist-off and we didn't have a bottle opener.

We searched the SUV for something to open them and didn't have any luck. Before I could think of another way to open them, Courtney was out the door and walking towards the edge of the parking lot with her bottle in hand. I stared at her in confusion until I saw her stop at the guardrail lining the edge of the lot, settle the bottle top edge on it, and with the hands of a bartender, used the metal to pop the top off. She smiled, lifted the bottle towards me and then took a sip. She returned to the Rav reached for my bottle and said "that's how us country girls do it." She rocks. ;)

We got back on the road, rolled the windows down and blasted some country radio. It was an enjoyable and relaxing ride as we caught up on the happenings in each others lives. Too soon, we had made our way to the interstate. We stopped for gas and then started heading further west into Ohio as the following day we would make a stop near the Ohio/Indiana border. We pulled off the interstate for a quick bite to eat and got back on the road. After about another hour or so of driving we found a hotel near Dayton, checked in and went to sleep as we needed to recharge for the second day of our genealogy road trip.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Jacob and Rebecca (Martin) Miller

Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
Jacob and Rebecca (Martin) Miller
Married 7 Oct 1809

Jacob Miller 1786 - 1869
Rebecca Martin 1788 - 1853

Laid to rest at the McVay Cemetery in Marr, Ohio.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Genealogy Road Trip | McVay Cemetery

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 9.
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Once Courtney was comfortable with the temperamental four-wheeler, we were ready to set off. We had shared the copy of the map my cousin had provided that showed the path she had taken to find the cemetery with Mr. Burkhart and he told us that it would be easier if we cut through the pasture and then followed the horse path that went to the top of the hill and to the McVay Cemetery (as he called it).

We took his advice and Courtney drove us across the pasture through the tall grass that was swaying to the wind. It was a peaceful ride and all too soon we were slowing down so that we could dip down into the nearly dry creek bed. After navigating through the creek, we started to climb higher and higher up the trail.

Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
The higher we climbed, the steeper it got. So steep in fact, that I was caught off guard while enjoying the view and as a result started slipping off the back of the four wheeler. Acting quickly, I gripped the tie-down rack with all my strength and Courtney gunned it. Thankfully, our actions worked and I refused to release the rack even after the trail started to level into a more gentle slope. Even after nearly falling off, I was still thankful for the four wheeler, as it would have take much longer to make the journey on foot.

After we crested the hill, it felt like we were in a different world. The forest surrounding us opened up to a mystical space that was surrounded by a sun-soaked canopy of trees. Courtney parked the four wheeler along the fence line and disembarked. My eyes first settled on the larger stones at the back of the cemetery before quickly drifting towards the shards of stones that lay at my feet. Everywhere I looked, there were broken and illegible headstones. Some were in the open and easily visible, while others were tucked next to saplings or laying broken in the uneven terrain. It took my breath away and broke my heart.

Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
I had so many questions swirling in my mind as I carefully walked to through the broken down remnants. Who let it get into this state of disrepair? What happened to the descendants of those laid to rest on this hilltop? Why wasn't something done to clean it up before my cousin made it her mission?  I took pictures of several of these stones and have included them below.

Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
Once the initial shock of the condition of the stones wore off, I started making my way towards the back of the cemetery towards the stones that were still standing. The closer I got to the back of the cemetery, the better the condition of the stones. Even with that in mind, some of them were still in really bad shape and were slowly being eaten away by mother nature.

Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
It probably took a good 10-15 minutes for me to snap out of the the instant sadness the condition of these stones put me in. So long that, Courtney had already located the stones of our fourth great-grandparents and had moved on to other members of the extended family. It was easy to find there resting place as their new stone was easily identifiable, even at a distance.

Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
The new stone looked like exactly like the one I had seen in photographs at our family reunions. The only difference was that instead of the two slabs of illegible stone I had viewed in the photos, I was able to see the engravings on the stones in person. Sadly, due to the state they were in, I was not able to ready anything on Jacob's original stone and I was really only able to read Rebecca's name and a few partial bits of dates and words on her original stone.

Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
Even with the limited details on their original stones, I was happy I had made the trek. I know many of my maternal family members would love to see them in person and I am one of the lucky ones who has.

As we walked back to the four wheeler, I couldn't help but think that the majority of the headstones around us were lost as they had no visible identifying markers and would most likely remain unidentified moving forward. I am so thankful that my cousin took the time to not only find, but took the time to coordinate the initial clean-up of this cemetery. If it weren't for her efforts years ago, the location of our ancestors stones might have also been lost to time and mother nature.

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Note: To make the path we took even more clear, I've created a map (shown below) to help others searching for the cemetery. Please make sure to leave time to stop in and see Mr. Burkhart on your way.  If you click on the image below, you will be able to see a larger version and can print it from there if desired.

Click image above to view/print a copy of the route to the cemetery.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Genealogy Road Trip | Finding the Miller-Martin Cemetery

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 8.
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For years I've been hearing about an old family cemetery in rural Ohio where my fourth great grandparents John Miller and Rebecca Martin are laid to rest. From what I know, the cemetery was lost to time, and a forest, until a distant cousin of mine learned of it and set about cleaning it up. She worked with the township to get a crew in there to trim trees and fence the plots. We even took up a collection to add legible headstones during our family reunion.

I had contacted her a few days before the trip to see if she could give me directions to what our family called the Miller-Martin Cemetery. This stop was a late addition to our itinerary and what little information I could find about it online, didn't give any concrete directions or a specific location. My cousin was excited that we would be making a stop as she hadn't been able to see it for several years and wanted to know what condition it was in today. As the location of the cemetery is only accessible by foot and is hidden on maps due to the tree canopy, she printed off a Yahoo map, drew the path we would need to take, scanned it in, and emailed it my way. (She's pretty amazing, right?)

Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
Using only her hand-drawn map (remember my trusty iPhone navigation was down thanks to a lack of cell service - lesson learned), we did our best to navigate to the farm we thought was housed the cemetery. As we approached what appeared to be the right farm based on the map, I noticed a rough looking "bridge" on the left side of the road and it matched the description my cousin had given me. Unfortunately, we were driving a bit too fast to stop, so we went up the road a bit and turned around.

When we returned we cautiously drove across the bridge. Courtney was driving, which gave me the opportunity to really take in the scene around us. The bridge wasn't meant for fancy cars and high traffic, it was built to get farm equipment across the creek. The creek was unlike anything I had seen before. It had the most amazing lush green covering of hydro plants that make it look like something out of a movie.

Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
The farm itself had seen better days and look like those of the tinkering retired farmers back home. In an odd way, it was very calming to me and it was a place I could see several of my relatives living in. Courtney parked the Rav next to a shed and I got out and walked across the yard to see if anyone was home.

As I approached the house via an old stepping stone walkway, and knocked on the door. After about a minute of waiting with no response, I felt my heart break a little bit. Planning this additional stop was so last minute that I didn't have time to contact anyone ahead of time. All of my eggs were in the "someone will be home" basket. I knocked  again, and the disappointed continued when no one came to the door. I knocked a third time, hoping that it would be the charm, but had no such luck.

I wasn't sure what to do next. I didn't want to trespass, especially as we would need to be on his land for at least an hour or two from the hike up to the cemetery that my cousin had told me about. Did we just write a note and pin it to his door or leave it on our car telling him why we were there and where we had went? Did we wait it out and see if he would come home soon? Did we leave and try again in a few hours or wait another day? Our schedule was tight and I didn't want to leave without paying our respects to our great-grandparents after coming all this way.

I got back to car and explained the situation to Courtney. She too didn't want to leave, but also didn't want to trespass. After a minute, it was decided that we would visit the neighboring farms to see if they knew where Mr. Burkhart was and if they knew the protocol for visiting the cemetery. Knowing there was a farm about a half-mile down the road, we returned to the stop where we had made our u-turn.

I was met my a young child playing on the porch and asked if his parents were home. He pointed at he door and returned to playing. I knocked on the door and a few seconds later, a nice man came to the door to greet me. I explained who I was and that I was trying to access the Miller-Martin Cemetery. Once I told him that I had stopped by Mr. Burkhart's farm, he explained to me that his relative was Mr. Burkhart and that the old man was hard of hearing and most likely didn't hear me knocking.

The next thing I knew, he was on the phone calling to see if Mr. Burkart was home. After a minute or two, the call ended and I was told that Mr. Burkhart would be expecting us. I was giddy as I returned to the Rav and filled Courtney in on the last few minutes. We pulled back onto the two-lane road and make our way back down to Mr. Burkart's farm.

We parked the Rav and I once again walked up to the porch and knocked again. Even though I knew he was home, there was still no answer. Knowing now that his hearing wasn't the best, I opened the outside door and walked across the mall mudd-room and knocked loudly on the second door. About 30 seconds later an old man greeted me at the door with a smile on his face and an apology on his lips. He was so sweet.

Mr. Burkhart walked outside with me where we met up with my sister, Courtney. We talked for a bit and shared with him where were were from, where we were living, who our ancestors were, and most importantly, why were were standing in his yard. He told us that every year a couple people stop by looking for the cemetery and he seemed proud that people hadn't forgotten it.

With the sun high in the sky, he seemed a bit concerned for our safety, as accessing the cemetery required walking across a horse pasture, crossing a creek, and then trekking up a steep horse trail to the top of the hill. He quizzed us a bit more and than asked if either of us knew how to drive a four-wheeler. Courtney piped up and said that she did.

The next thing I knew, Courtney was getting a lesson on how to handle his temperamental "Big Boy Polaris". I went to the car to change my shoes into something more sturdy, and grabbed the camera, map, and bottles of water. This trip had just got a whole lot more interesting.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Genealogy Road Trip | Marr, Ohio

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 7.
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Shortly after leaving the Ohio River valley, we found ourselves climbing deeper in the to the hills.
Thankfully we had filled up with gas at lunch, because the longer we drove the less populated the land around us became. We first lost cell service, then the satellite radio went. I was getting nervous, as I wasn't sure exactly where we were going without my iPhone's navigation.

Eventually we ended up in a valley where two roads crossed and we saw a little sign that said "Welcome to Marr, Ohio". Courtney and I grew up in a village of less than 500 people, but even to us, Marr was tiny. A handful of houses, a country school and a general store.

Only a handful of our distant relatives have been to Marr, but each of them has mentioned that the general store is a must-stop. Because several people had mentioned it, I had built up a Mayberry type vision in my head of old men sitting in rockers outside talking about the good old days, while little kids ran inside for nickle candy treats.

In reality, it wasn't quite what I had pictured.
It was nearly deserted, with a nervous looking man standing behind the counter. It was hard to decipher what was decoration and what was for sale. The man behind the counter made small talk with us and we grabbed two old-school bottles of pop. We got back in the car and headed in the direction of the Miller Martin Cemetery.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Joanna Prudden Lindley

Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
Joanna Prudden Lindly/Lindley

Born on 1735 in Morris County, New Jersey.
Died on 11 Nov 1808 in Washington County, Pennsylvania.
Laid to rest at the Upper Ten Mile Creek United Presbyterian Cemetery in Prosperity, PA.

Headstone Inscription
In memory of Joanna Lindly who departed this life the 11th of November 1808 aged 73 years. 
In faith she dy'd in dust she lies but faith forsees that dust shall rise. Go traveller whoever you be prepare for death to follow me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Demas Lindley

Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
Demas Lindly/Lindley
Born on 3 June 1733 in Morris Township, Morris County, New Jersey.
Died on 22 Jan 1818 in Washington County, Pennsylvania.
Laid to rest at the Upper Ten Mile Creek United Presbyterian Cemetery in Prosperity, PA.

Headstone Inscription
In memory of Demas Lindly who departed this life the 22 of January 1818 in the 85th year of his age and about the 60th year of his Eldership in the church. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth Yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours and their words do follow them.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Genealogy Road Trip | Prosperity, Pennsylvania to Marr, Ohio

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 6.
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Day 1: Prosperity, Pennsylvania, to Marr, Ohio.
When we left Prosperity that afternoon I knew that more adventures were in store for us as we continued our journey west. We followed a tree-lined two lane road north out of Prosperity. As we wound our way out the valley I wondered what the journey was like for my Lindley ancestors.

Why did Isaac leave? Did he follow a similar route? Did he feel the same mix of sadness and excitement that I felt when I moved away from home and set out on my own adventure? Did he long to return?

With Isaac and his journey west fresh in my mind, we started towards our next stop: Marr, Ohio. Marr is where my maternal Miller line lived in the early 1800's. When I was planning this trip, I couldn't help but notice that both my Lindley and Miller families followed a similar path west.

Click on photo above to view a larger image size.
After crossing into Ohio, we followed the beautiful Ohio River south. Eventually, we left the river and crossed into the hills. Similar to the drive to Prosperity, Courtney and I felt right at home as we meandered through the valleys and climbed the hills. The whole time we couldn't help but wonder how and why our ancestors on both sides of our maternal line settled in similar landscapes across this great and expanding nation.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Genealogy Road Trip | Upper Ten Mile United Presbyterian Church Cemetery

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 5.
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From the top of Lindley Hill Lane, we had a wonderful view across the shallow valley to our next stop: Upper Ten Mile United Presbyterian Church and Cemetery. I've read online that on of my ancestors donated the land for the church and cemetery.

Click to view a larger image size.
I first read about the Upper Ten Mile United Presbyterian Cemetery several years ago. As one of the main attractions in the Prosperity for much-researched Lindley/Lindly family, it is often mentioned in online forum posts. Some of these posts even claim that on of my ancestors donated the land for the church and cemetery. So, like most family history-oriented people, I've been wanting to visit since I knew it existed, and I must say, it was well worth the wait.

The church and cemetery were easy to locate, and after successfully navigating the car up the steep drive, we parked near the church. I was a bit stunned at the vastness of the cemetery. From the view on Lindley Hill Lane, I knew the cemetery sat high on the hill, what I didn't realize was that it also continued down the hill and curved around the church. My head started spinning because there were a lot of stones we wanted to locate and photograph and I wasn't sure we would be able to find them all in our short time allowance.

Nonetheless, we were committed and gathered our supplies: camera, a direct ancestors burial list, a list of surname that fit in our tree, pens, and clipboards (a solid writing surface is more useful than you would think when it comes to checking off names and make notes).

The older section of the cemetery appeared to be near the church, so we started there. We were mere seconds into our search and Courtney had already found some Day stones! Luck was on our side and we could barely take a few steps without stumbling into another Day or Lindley relative- it was amazing!

Within 10 minutes we had found the two headstones that drew us to this cemetery in the first place.   The headstones of Demas and Joanna (Prudden) Lindly, our 6th great-grandparents, were well shaded from the afternoon sun under an old maple tree. Their headstones were in amazing condition considering their age.

Demas and Joanna shared a plot with three other stones: Daniel Lindly, Joseph Lindly, and a small stone that was behind the others that simply said "J. L.". I'm going to have to do a bit more research into the others, as Daniel is the only one I can place. The others are likely siblings to our Isaac, but I would like to know for sure.

Click to view larger image.
After wandering for a while longer, we had checked off most of the names on our list and had taken pictures of each. It was so peaceful. It was hard to leave Prosperity, when there was so much to see and I wanted to hang around and talk to people, but our tight schedule didn't allow for it. So, we headed North to Washington, PA, where we found the interstate and headed West.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Genealogy Road Trip | Lindley Hill Lane

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 4.
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When I first learned my ancestors helped settle and were buried in Prosperity I expanded my research beyond Ancestry.com and Googled our surnames. This is how I found the Lindley Fort and the settlement story. I then pulled up Google Maps and started looking for the locations that were described in the stories and documents I had found online. What I didn't expect to find when looking around the small community of Prosperity was the Lindley surname was attached to a road on the edge of town.

Before leaving DC, I had written directions on how to find the lane and we didn't have any trouble finding it once we had arrived in town. Luckily for us, the sign, while faded, still stood and we were able to stop and take some photos.

Lindley Hill Lane was not much more than a gravel lane that lead up a hill to a farm and a mining plot. We drove up the lane as much as we could, but there were no trespassing signs posted near the top and while we thought they were for the mining plot, we weren't for sure and decided to leave. The road split near the top and provided a nice turn around and some pleasant views of town and of the Upper Ten Mile Church (more on that in my next post).

I know there are still some Lindley's living in Prosperity and have been in contact with a the nephew of one of them. I plan on making another trip in the next year so that I can try to look at church and vital records, and if I'm lucky, meet some distant cousins.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Genealogy Road Trip | Lindley Fort and Stockade

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 3.
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Years ago I had read a post in a genealogy forum that suggested that our Lindley ancestors were some of the first white settlers claim land west of the Monongahela River in Western Pennsylvania. The story went on to say that one of our Lindley ancestors (Demas Lindley) had also built a fort to help protect the families who settled with them.

I had also read online that there was a monument dedicated to the old Lindley Fort that stood near where the old fort had once been built. My limited knowledge of the monument came from a short description I had read online that was accompanied with an out-of-focus photo. From that photo, I knew it would be sizable and half-joking told Courtney to keep an eye out for something the size of a VW Bug as we approached town.
Thankfully, my ridiculous size estimate was correct and I briefly caught a glimpse of it as we rounded a the corner coming in to Prosperity. After a quick u-turn, we were able to pull off to the side of the road in a patch of gravel next to the monument. The monument is quite imposing and the inscriptions can be easily read:



You can click on the monument photo to get a larger view
of the monument and the carving.
What I wasn't able to see in the out-of-focus picture I'd viewed online was that there was a carving of what looks like a frontiersman. In person it was quite intriguing.  I've always wondered what Demas looked like and this carving (while generic and not identifiable as him) has helped me to get a better understanding of what he might have looked like.

The details of Lindley Fort are not very well known, it has also been written about in several western frontier fort histories (herehere, and here). Additionally, it is said to have been a reinforced blockhouse (built around the same time as this), it housed soldiers during times of war, and it's currently being threatened by gas drilling. I hope for the sake of all Lindley descendants, that the land around it is preserved and will remain a testament to those who lived in and around it.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Genealogy Road Trip | DC to Prosperity, Pennsylvania

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 2.
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The first day of our genealogy road trip found us leaving DC with a goal of making Ohio by nightfall. Our trip started out in true road trip style as we got stuck in DC traffic at 6:00 am on a Saturday! I will save myself a lengthy dedicated post and end this tidbit on the following note: no matter how long I live here I can't get over how much DC traffic sucks... 24/7/365.

Day 1: DC to Prosperity, Pennsylvania
Once we got on the open road we made good time driving through Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Even though we spent the majority of our time on the freeway, it was an enjoyable and scenic drive. The Appalachian Mountains are beautiful and you can't help but notice the majestic feel of them as each steep incline's peak gives way to beautiful vistas and stunning river carved valleys.

We left the freeway in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, and began winding our way up to the land in Washington County that our Lindley ancestors helped settle in the late 1700's. The narrow two-lane roads leading to Prosperity hug the curvature of the rolling hills, and at times, fall into step with meandering creeks. It's beauty is undeniable and it is easy for me to understand why our Lindley's wanted to call this land home.

Morris Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania
The closer we got to Prosperity, the more I felt like I was back home in Crawford County, Wisconsin. It wasn't just the physical geological similarities that had me thinking of home, it was the way I felt when driving through this land. Farmers were in their fields, families were fishing off bridges, and communities were gathered at cookouts. It's a place where time stands still and people enjoy life, not just live it.

As we drove I couldn't help but imagine the feelings my ancestors felt when arriving in this new territory. How did the families that migrated together decide how to divvy up their new homeland? Were they happy that they stopped here? Did any of them want to push farther west? Was it safe? Did they ever wish to return to the land and lifestyles they left?

I've always wondered what my ancestors would say if they saw the land their future generations settled on in Iowa and Wisconsin. After visiting this area, I am comfortable saying that they would feel right at home.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Genealogy Road Trip

At the end of June, I set off on a week-long road trip to the Midwest. My sister (who lives in Iowa) flew out to DC to join me on the drive back home. My sister is amazing. Seriously, how many 20-somethings do you know who fly to the east coast to drive with her sister back to her starting destination over a long weekend? I'm not joking when I say, hubs and I picked her up at the airport around dinner time, drove back to our neck of the woods, grabbed some grub at our favorite restaurant, drove to the grocery store and picked up snacks, and then slept for a few hours before hitting the road at 6 a.m. the next morning! She's amazing! :)

It may sound crazy to most people, but us Heisz's are always up for an adventure and road trips are our favorite avenue. Adventuring, as we call it, is in our blood. This adventure allowed us to trace the steps of our ancestors from the east coast to the Midwest, making four stops in three states.

Our first stop was in Prosperity, Pennsylvania, to visit the resting place of our Lindley/Day relatives (stop B in the image). Our second stop was in Marr, Ohio, to visit resting place of our Miller/Martin relatives (stop C in the image). Our third stop was in Oxford, Ohio, to visit the resting place of more Lindley/Day relatives (stop D in the image). Our fourth and final stop on the drive out was near Covington, Indiana, to visit one of our Lindley relatives (stop E in the image).

(Click on the image to enlarge.)
Over the next few weeks I will be writing posts about our stops along the way, writing about the people we met and the resting places we visited. There was the farmer who lent us a four wheeler, tons of no trespassing signs, and how can we forget the guy with a gun? It was quite the adventure!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Marriage of Judson Wilkinson & Emeline Gray

I recently ordered a copy of the marriage certificate for Great-Great-Grandparents, Judson Wilkinson and Emeline Gray. As the state historical society from which I ordered this document, asks that the image not be shared in digital format, so I have transcribed it here below:

Full name of husband, Judson Wilkinson
Name of the father of husband, John W. Wilkinson
Name of mother of husband before marriage, Ellen Trollop
Occupation of husband, Farmer
Residence of husband, Town of Scott, Wis.
Birthplace of husband, Town of Little, Grant Co.

Full name of wife previous to marriage, Emeline Gray
Name of the father of wife, Brazy Gray
Name of mother of wife before marriage, Mary Pickett
Birthplace of wife, Excelsior, Wis.

The color of the parties, White
No. and date of license, Feb. 2 - 1905
Time when marriage was contracted, Feb 2. - 1905
The place, town or township and county, where marriage was contracted, Boscobel, Wis.
By what ceremony contracted, M. E. Church
Names of subscribing witnesses, W. J. Elliott Mirtie Gray
Name of person pronouncing marriage, E. G. Vischer Minister of the Goshel
Residence of person last named, Boscobel Wis.
Date of certificate or affidavit of marriage,
Date of registration, Feb. 14 - 1905

I'm intrigued by this document. The index I found online and ordered the document from listed the following information:

Last Name: Gray
First Name: Emeline
Day: 12
Month: February
Year: 1905
County: Crawford

Upon receipt of the document, several of these facts differ, mainly the date of the marriage (not listed on the actual document - it was blank) and that the county was listed as Crawford. The document lists Boscobel, Wis. as the marriage location, which is in Grant County. The Town of Scott, where Judson was living is very close to Boscobel and that might have been the mailing address at that time. 

None of the other information surprised me and was to be expected. I had not know the exact birthplaces of Judson or Emeline. My favorite part of this document is that it lists maiden names for both mothers! It has been a struggle for me to find documentation connecting a woman to her maiden name. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sylvia's Diary: January 1802 Highlights

  • Sylvia continues her tradition of sweeping the meeting house at least once a month. 
  • In addition to attending meetings (church) three times, she attended a conference in the evening. 
  • Sylvia continued to attend a special ciphering (math) school that was taught by a Mr. Botsford in the evenings.
  • By far, Sylvia's most wrote about activity was once again knitting (15 mentions this month), followed closely by sowing (11 mentions this month).
  • In the later half of the month, Sylvia spins heavily (9 times in 11 days).
Have you been following along as I tweet my 5th great grandmother's diary? If not, head on over to@SylviasDiary and catch up on her story. Each tweet is one of her short diary entries and it is tweeted roughly 200 years later.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Our Pew

One week after I was born, my parents bundled me up and took me to church for the Christmas service. With few exceptions, I spent the next 18 years worth of Sundays in that same church. In all those years of attending services, my family fell into a relationship that might surprise some; we sat in the same pew for roughly 15 years. In all my years, that old wooden church pew had one resting place: the second row from the back, on the right. 

From that pew, our parents watched their little girls grow in years and faith. As toddlers my sisters and I crawled around that pew with our church shoes on, scuffing everything in sight. As we grew into little girls, we stood proudly that pew when the congregation stood up to sing. Our parents even sat there proudly as we butchered one arrival song after another when we were first learning to play piano.

It was to that pew that I glanced to my parents for support during Christmas pageants, scripture readings, and even my post-mission trip testimonial. That very pew is also home to my favorite church tradition of singing Silent Night in the dark on Christmas Eve with candles in our hands. Singing that song in the special pew always takes me back to a more innocent time, when we were just little girls in dress shoes, scuffing everything in sight.

On the rare occasions that someone else sat in our pew before we arrive, I wondered if they noticed those scuffs. If they did, did they think of them as yet another project in an aging church, or did they view them with wonder and think about their story? I always dreamed it would be the latter because that pew has left an everlasting mark on my heart.

Over the years, the congregation of our church has dwindled away and the pastors have encouraged everyone to sit together at towards the front of the church. This change has been easier for some members of my family than others. Collectively we have hundreds of special memories in that pew, but for my sister and I that pew encompasses our lives in that very church. And that is why, without end, you'll always find my sister and I sitting in the second pew from the back, on the right.