So if you read my previous post, you know that I had quite a day going from one cemetery to the next finding my direct line ancestors on my dad’s side of the family.
But day two was fun as I spent most of the day at the Bedford County Historical Society. I went with a plan but the ladies there knew so much more than I did and truly made me feel not so knowledgeable about my family (but in a good way). Gillian, the director, knew so much about my Morgart side, showing me maps with their names on it from the Bedford area. Next thing she was giving me the information about Peter Morgart and his part in the Whiskey Rebellion, and it just went on and on. Huge binders full of family tree information others had done before me of my ancestors and their descendants. I was in awe and when we left I told my husband I was so unprepared for how much they knew. All I kept thinking about was all my webinars and how I needed to stay focused and how I did anything but stay focused. I will definitely go there again and be better prepared when I return.
Next, we headed to Jean Bonnet’s Tavern for dinner. The food was delicious, I had crab and shrimp topped salmon with a baked potato and steamed broccoli. I believe my husband had the beef tenderloin. We left stuffed but so happy we had the experience. Jean Bonnet’s Tavern was built in the 1760’s so it was just fun to eat where maybe my ancestors did (not all as I’m sure they were in competition with the Morgart Tavern).
After dinner, we drove by the Espy House which is where George Washington had his headquarters when he came to Bedford County in 1794 during the Whiskey Rebellion. Yes, chills once again as George may have walked where I was now riding (it really doesn’t take much to get me excited about George).
After this, we went out and found the Bedford Springs Hotel as it was one of the places to stay back in the day. Supposedly the water had (has?) medicinal purposes. It’s still quite majestic today in its appearance.
The next day we did a little bit of sightseeing as this area is the home of the Flight 93 Memorial from the happenings of September 11, 2001. The quiet and the breeze that seemed to be non-stop there was just eerie. You couldn’t help but feel the specialness of all those aboard who decided to defend freedom.
Next up was the Bedford County Courthouse where I went armed with my checklist of names I wanted to run by with property listings as well as wills/probate records. I was so impressed as I was able to find something on most of my ancestors that were on my list. If you have relatives, don’t feel shy about going in, the girls that work in the records department are very nice and were so helpful.
On our last night there we met with my second cousin Hope and had dinner. She was also kind enough to show me some spots in St. Michael where my great-grandmother lived as well as the bank where my Grandmother worked (I often remember her telling me she got paid like a nickel to clean the place – I may be off on how much she was paid but I know it wasn’t much). I guess the bank is now where the residents of St. Michael, Pennsylvania pay their utility bills. I meant to take a photo of Hope too, but as soon as we got to her house she wished us well and sent us on our way and I was a block or two away when I turned to my husband and said, “I wanted a photo with Hope”.
I thought my first research trip went really well. I was able to find a lot of information that I was seeking but still had so many more questions when I returned. I only had three days so I did my best to keep my focus but on future trips I know I’ll do my best to seek information on more than just my direct descendants, and hopefully, I’ll have more time to even visit other relatives that actually live in the area too.