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.

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