My Family Tree

Anna Maria Morgart

Thirteen years ago on this very day I lost one of the greatest human beings I ever knew.  My paternal grandmother, Anna Maria Morgart died at the age of 93 years and a part of me has been lost ever since.  On this anniversary of her death I will honor her.

Her Childhood

Anna Maria Morgart was born on 2 April 1914 in Broad Top Township, Pennsylvania at 11:55am to Charles Jackson Morgart and Margaret Dora Wise. She was named after her maternal grandmother, Anna Maria Leighty Wise. By the time she was 5 years old, her father would commit suicide and her mother would re-marry.  From the many stories I heard, my grandma thought the world of Irie Earl Custer, so much so my dad’s middle name was his middle name, and the name he (Mr. Custer) used, Earl.

She always told me about how much she loved school, and though she didn’t get the best of grades, she did love English and handwriting.  She loved to write.  Her handwriting was so distinctive, you can see it below in the “Blondie” on the photo on the right.

Into Adulthood

One of her first jobs, she told me, was how she cleaned a bank.  She claimed she got down and cleaned the floor with a little brush.  She may or may not have said tooth brush but as a little girl that’s always what I pictured so that might be where I got that idea in my head.  When I visited Pennsylvania last Summer my cousin, Hope, was so nice to show me where the bank was – and here it is – it’s where you pay your utilities in Saint Michael now.

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The photo below was taken of her in 1933 – she was just 19 years old.  It’s odd how much my dad looks like her in these photos.

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I never quite knew when my grandparents met, I’m still not certain how they met either.  I think I asked my dad but he isn’t entirely sure either.  However I did come across this article from the Everett Press from 7 July 1933 where it shows they attended a Fourth of July picnic together at my Grandmother’s aunt’s home (Mrs. Bartley Noggle was Anna Rebekah Morgart, sister of Charles Jackson Morgart).

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I Do

My grandparents got married on 24 April 1937 in Elkhart, Indiana.  I’ve not found any wedding photos or even a marriage announcement, but I have found a copy of their marriage license on FamilySearch.

My grandparents moved to Indiana because my grandfather, Leroy Blair, was offered an apprenticeship in sheet metal.  This was a much-preferred occupation as his father had passed away in the coal mines when he (Leroy) was just 14 years old, and according to my dad, Leroy also had an accident in the same “room” where his dad had died.

My Grandfather’s older sister Vada also lived in Gary, Indiana and she and my Grandma were best friends.  I often talked to Darlene, Vada’s daughter, and she always remembered how close they were.

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Left to right – Bertha Childers (her back is towards us), Vada Blair, Anna Maria Morgart, and Charles Blair “Buddy” Reese.

Despite living in Indiana, my Grandma still found a way to go back to Pennsylvania and visit her family.  She was very close to her family.  Her mom, Margaret Wise and brother, Charles Edward “Eddie” Morgart lived in Pennsylvania, but she would also head up to Detroit Michigan to visit with her older sister, Virginia. (Below are photos from 1940 of my Grandma, her with her brother-in-law, Joe Dipko, and lastly one of her and her sister, Virginia).

 My Daddy Makes 3

On 11 January 1943 my dad was born.  My Grandma was so happy to have a little one, and my dad was her only child.  They were still living in Gary, Indiana when he came along, and since World War 2 was taking place, amongst the photographs was the ration book that was used for my dad.

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In the 1950’s my grandparents moved from Gary, Indiana to Akron, Ohio.  Initially they lived in a trailer but by 1955 they had money to move into a house.  My Grandma had never been so proud of a house as the one she made her home.  I couldn’t tell you how many photos she had of her house on Roslyn Avenue. That’s her standing in the door below. (She lived here the rest of her life).

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My favorite was the photo she had of how there was nothing in the yard so my Grandfather, aka Pappy, decided to grow ears of corn in front of the living room window (however I am not finding that photo at the moment).

Another story of how they found their house was that as long as my Grandma could walk to a store she was going to be happy (she didn’t drive, apparently when she was younger a suitor attempted to teach her but she ran off the road and never got in the driver seat again). Pappy did well, he found a home for her and my parents got her a shopping cart that she could push her groceries home.  She was also a master of coupons, and this was before couponing was a thing (or at least before I knew couponing was a thing).

As She Grew Older

My Grandma always had a smile and a kind word for everyone.  She loved birds and family.  The below photo I shared before.  My Grandma and Pappy (right side) are playing with their bird, Skippy #1, while my Grandma’s mom, Margaret “Maggie” Wise, is laughing along with them, and Bertha Childers, Leroy’s mom, is just as grumpy as can be.

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My Grandma was one of the most generous people I knew.  During the summer months she would get up super early in the morning and go to a lady’s home, Mrs. Juhas was her name, she was the mom of one of my dad’s best friends growing up, and she would help her in her garden.  She shared green beans and tomatoes with my grandma as payment (though we use to go over weekly for my dad to help my Grandma with a very small garden she had in her backyard).  Until my Grandma got macular degeneration and could no longer can green beans, which was around 1997, I’d never had green beans in an aluminum can until about the year 2000.

Leroy/Pappy died on 14 May 1975 so I don’t really have any recollection of him (I was born in 1973).  But Grandma went everywhere with us.  She spent the night before Christmas so she was there to watch us open our presents.  She was always invited over to functions on my mom’s side of the family (she was 1 of 5 kids so there was always something going on).  My husband for the longest time didn’t believe this, especially when I began having trouble going places after my Grandma passed.  I realized Grandma was who I sat with at these functions so I could entertain her, and frankly so she could entertain me (I’m quite the introvert at times). But after my maternal grandma passed, my aunt gave us a bunch of photos that we were in that she had, in every photo was my Grandma Blair beside me.  I laughed so hard to prove my husband wrong.

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This is my maternal grandmother, Alberta Lou Fleming Metzger, 65th Birthday Party.  From left to right is me (in black), Grandma Blair (aka Anna Maria Morgart in pink), Thomas Ray Weekley (blue stripes), my mom, Cynthia Anne Fairhurst Blair (polka dots). Oddly, the little bit of curly hair between my cousin Tommy and the beer can is my Grandma Metzger (Alberta Lou).

When She Turned 93

The last six weeks of my Grandma’s life were not the best.  She had gotten a case of shingles on her legs and didn’t tell anyone.  It got into her bloodstream and made her pretty sick and she ended up in the hospital. This is where she was on her 93rd birthday.  I remember my dad and I going to visit her on her big day, 2 April 2007.

From there she was moved into a nursing home not far from my house to go through therapy so she could walk and move around again.  I would go and visit her often and slowly her appetite was decreasing.  My husband made her sweet potatoes and it was the last solid food she ate.  About a week later, I did what I didn’t want to do, which was tell her it was okay if she wanted to go “home”.

I’ve hated myself for 13 years for doing that.  I know it’s what she needed, I know it was probably the right thing to do, but a selfish part of me hates myself for doing it because my kids never got to know her.  My son was 7 months old and my daughter just 3 years.  She has vague recollections, but that’s it.

But the thing is my kids have gotten to know her.  I’ve shared with them all the wonderful stories I have of my Grandma Blair.  Just today I told my daughter of the time when my Grandma was watching my sister and I in 1976 after my cousin Tracy was born.  My mom helped drive my Aunt Barb to Texas to be with my Uncle who was in the Air Force.  Aunt Barb had been in my room so I was staying in Kellie’s room on bunk beds.  My sister had finally let me up on the top bunk and very quickly she decided I had overstayed my welcome.  She went to take me off the top bunk by force but I quickly pushed her off the top bunk and on to the floor.  My Grandma came back to see what was wrong, there was me on the top bunk and there was Kellie on the floor.  My Grandma reached up for me and told me it was time to leave Kellie alone.  As Kellie cried Grandma just told her that she would be okay and to get up off the floor.  I really dodged a bullet that day.  Don’t worry, some day I’m sure you’ll hear part 1 of this story when Kellie dragged me around the walls of the living room by my feet giving me rug burn (there is no love loss between my sister and I, even to this day).

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A little over 2 years ago as I sat at a band concert with my mom, I can’t even remember what we were talking about but my mom looked at me and said that every day I reminded her of more and more of my Grandma Blair.  It was the greatest compliment she could have ever given me.  And sadly she (my mom) passed away a few weeks later, so I’m glad she said it when she did.

I hope I make my Grandma proud.

And I hope she misses me as much as I miss her.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Week #6: The Same Name

This week’s topic for 52 Ancestor’s in 52 Week’s is the Same Name.  Do you have ancestors with the same name?  You know the ones, they drive you crazy because they are all back to back to back and you aren’t sure which ancestor they are talking about because they are father and son and they overlap.

I have the same name.  Andrew Jackson.  Andrew Jackson is a name that turns up on both my paternal and maternal sides of my dad’s side of the family.  On my Blair side I my great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather are both Andrew Jackson Blair’s with my great-great-great-grandfather being Andrew (he may be an Andrew Jackson as well but I’ve not had any confirmed documentation stating such).  Then on my grandma’s side I have a great-great-great-grandfather named Andrew Jackson Morgart.

Andrew Jackson Blair (1881-1926)

The first Andrew Jackson Blair I will discuss was my great-grandfather.  No one alive today ever knew him as he died before any of his grandchildren were born.  Andrew was a miner and died when rock began falling within one of the mines and it crushed his chest.  His brother-in-law, Abraham Childers, was injured when the ligaments in his leg were torn.

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Above is the only photo known to have been taken of my great-grandfather.  The story is that it was taken as a group shot of his Sunday School class and they managed to snip him out of the group shot so we have it. When I was sent this photo a few months ago I was so happy, I love seeing what my relatives looked like.

I have never found any marriage record yet of when my great-grandparents wed.  But using Newspapers.com I have been able to piece together their marriage date of March 19, 1906.

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Bedford Gazette, Friday, March 23, 1906

Andrew, or AJ as I have seen him regarded as often, was buried in South Fork Cemetery.

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Andrew Jackson Blair (1851-1899)

I don’t know a whole lot about my great-great-grandfather.  He was born in March 1851 in Cambria County, Pennsylvania and passed away of a Paralytic Stroke on June 20, 1899 in Bedford County, PA.  On the 1870 Census he was still living at home and was a woodchopper but in the 1880 census he had married the former Susan Jane Foster and had 3 children, all girls, and was a miner.  In the 1880’s he and his wife would have 3-boys and 2-girls to add to the mix, bringing their total children to 9.

Andrew is actually buried in Duvall Cemetery, which is on the land of his wife’s great-grandfather, Basil Foster. I didn’t see his grave when I visited last year, but I also was unaware of his being buried there until my final day in Pennsylvania when I discovered his death record at the Bedford County Courthouse.

Andrew Blair (@1812 – After 1880)

Andrew Blair is my 3rd-great-grandfather and also one of my biggest brick walls (the other is his wife, Susannah (Suzanna) Akers and his son, George Washington Blair).  Though he isn’t an Andrew Jackson, he is the Andrew that at least began it all (or so I think). I can honestly say I’ve not gotten any further than just the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses for my great-great-great-grandparents.  His occupation is just a laborer, and he rented his home so there is no land ownership.  In 1850 he lived in Conemaugh Township, Cambria County, then in 1860 he lived in Huston Township in Blair County, and in 1870 and 1880 he lived in Bedford County, first in Broad Top Township and then in Coaldale.

Along with a vague occupation, I have no definitive birth or death date for this elusive man.  One day I will find out more about my ancestor – it will just take time and plenty of patience.

Andrew Jackson Morgart (1824 – 1870)

On my grandmother’s side of the family is my 3rd-great-grandfather, Andrew Jackson Morgart.  This Andrew Jackson was a farmer who lived in West Providence in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. On June 4, 1847 he married his wife, the former Rebecca O’Neal whom he had 10 children with, I’m an offspring of his oldest son, George Washington Morgart.

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Photo of Andrew Jackson Morgart by Teri Graham that was uploaded onto FamilySearch.org

He died August 19, 1870.  According to his obituary he must have been sick for a spell as death was not unexpected, but at the same time he was only 46-years-old.  Wow, that’s the same age I am, but he was actually younger as I’ll be 47 next week.

To Sum It Up

To my knowledge, these are all the Andrew Jackson’s in my family.  Now, Andrew Jackson Morgart did have a grandson named Charles Jackson but that’s another story for another time.

I guess the most fascinating part of having all these Andrew Jackson’s in my family is that in college I took a class entitled Jefferson to Jackson where it focused on the history of the United States while Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson where president.  During this time period Andrew Jackson was such a hero, saving our new country from the British in the War of 1812 which led to his presidency.  But I so disliked Andrew Jackson, still dislike him to this day.  It would just figure that I have all these relatives named after him.

Though a part of me would love for my Andrew Blair to be an Andrew Jackson Blair too – as he was born in 1812 (maybe sooner) it could possibly make it a family name and not in honor of the famous war hero.

But I am going to have to break down that brick wall first.

Genealogy, My Family Tree

My First Research Trip: Day One – Cemetery Hopping

From July 15-17 my husband and I traveled to Bedford County, Pennsylvania so I could research my family.  It was such an honor to know I walked where they walked. It was a great trip that was full of adventure and I’ll be honest, spending one on one time with my husband was a nice treat.

As I recount my trip I just want to add that I suggested to my husband that maybe we should take my car as it would get better gas mileage.  I’ll be honest with you, I have a 2013 Chrysler 200.  I love my car (the first car I ever purchased was a 1993 Plymouth Sundance, and if my Sundance would have evolved, it would be in the realm of the Chrysler 200). Even my father thought we should take it for the same reason, better gas mileage.  But believe me, my front-wheel-drive vehicle could never have conquered the hills of Cambria, Bedford, Huntingdon, Fulton and Somerset counties like my husband’s Ford F-150.  As we headed from one cemetery to the next in Cambria county, we went up a hill so steep it was at a 15-degree incline (well, that hill we didn’t have to go up – hubby did it for fun).  My car would never have survived either hill.  I attempted to take a photo but my phone doesn’t do it justice.

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You have to look all the way down and focus on the house to fully appreciate how steep the hill is.  His hitch scraped against the street when we got to the bottom and leveled out.
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We are at the bottom road about to drive up, the first hill (where there is pavement) was steep, but the upper portion (where it is grass) is the 15-degree incline.  We actually needed to turn before the grass to get to the next cemetery.

First Stop: South Fork Cemetery

We left Ohio on Monday morning and traveled to Pennsylvania.  It only took us about 3 hours and our first stop was South Fork Cemetery in South Fork, Cambria County.  Here I found 2 out of 3 of my direct line relatives, and the grave of my Great-Aunt Vada.  The person I couldn’t find was Susan Jane Foster Blair, my Great-Great-Grandmother.  I was really bummed.  I remember seeing her name as a teenager and you know how sometimes you have a relative that just pops out at you?  That was Susan Jane Foster for me.  We searched all around but were unable to locate her grave.  South Fork was probably the largest cemetery we visited, but I am hoping to contact someone who could possibly have a map or layout of the cemetery, as it is one without an office, which explained the lack of information on the internet. (I’ll note here, none of the cemeteries we visited had an office).

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The gravestone of my Great-Grandfather, Andrew Jackson Blair, who died when a mine he was working in collapsed and crushed his lungs.  He was 45 years old.
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The gravestone of his daughter, my Great-Aunt Vada Blair Reese.  She died in Arizona in 1995, she was 87.
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This is the headstone of my Great-Grandmother, Bertha Childers Blair Chappell.  Her first husband was Andrew Jackson Blair (above) and her daughter was Vada. Bertha passed away in 1963 at the age of 77. To see an actual photo of her, look to my header, she is the one on the end of the couch not as happy as the others.  Her son, Leroy, is on the far right, he is my Grandfather.

Second Stop: Mount Hope Cemetery

Our next stop had us taking the above hills to arrive at Mount Hope Cemetery. This was a much smaller cemetery, and luckily because of websites like Find A Grave someone had already uploaded a photo of my Great-Grandmother’s gravestone so I had some idea what to look for shape-wise.

Below is the headstone belonging to Margaret Wise Custer, though I knew her as Gammy.  She is the only one of the relatives I searched for on this day that I had met. I have vague memories of her playing the “mouth organ” in a nursing home. She passed away in 1987 at the age of 96.  My Grandma, her daughter, lived to be 94. Good genes.

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My Great-Grandmother, Margaret Dora Wise.  To see what she looked like look at the top border photo, she is the white-haired lady with the patterned dress laughing (her daughter is to the right).

Third Stop: Hopewell Cemetery

When we looked up Hopewell Cemetery on Google Maps attempting to get something of an address for this location, it looked rather flat.  We could see it had sections but never dreamed the slant that the cemetery was created on.  It was the next largest cemetery we visited.  I didn’t find my Great-Great-Grandparents that were buried here.  Since I had no cell service I wasn’t able to consult Find A Grave to see if either of them were listed.  Turns out that my Great-Great-Grandfather, Philip Wise did have a photo on the website, but his wife, Barbara Waite Wise, did not.

Hopewell is filled with old graves that are very worn.  We tried to look all over in the older section of the cemetery, thinking that is where they may be (Philip passed in 1878 while Barbara passed in 1881).

I did find my Great-Great-Aunt Elizabeth Childers Whitfield’s grave in my search and took a photo of it (she was my Great-Grandmother Bertha Childers older sister).  I figured it made the stop somewhat worth it. But looking at the photo – look at how angled the ground is!  This was another spot I’m not sure my car could have survived.

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Stop Four: Duvall’s Cemetery

Duvall’s Cemetery was built on land that belonged to my 5th-Great-Grandfather, Basil Foster.  So this one had a little extra charm for me, I was going to walk on land that I knew belonged to my ancestors.  I’m a geek and think that’s thrilling.  I think everyone else thinks I’m nuts in these situations (you should see me at Yorktown and Mount Vernon knowing I’ve walked where George may have stepped, it gives me goosebumps).

But Duvall’s Cemetery is also where many of my direct line relatives are buried.  I actually found out 2 days after this visit it held one more grave, that of Andrew Jackson Blair, my Great-Great-Grandfather, father of the aforementioned Andrew Jackson Blair, and husband of the aforementioned Susan Jane Foster (yes, as in Basil Foster). I actually looked for Susan here but was unsuccessful.

Here are my relatives buried in Duvall Cemetery: Andrew Jackson Blair (1851), Charles Jackson Morgart (my Great-Grandfather, first husband of Margaret Wise, aka Maggie Custer), Basil Foster, Richard Lewis Foster, Charity Johnstone Foster, Thomas Foster, Eliza Horton Foster – just to name a few.  These are my direct line ancestors as on my first trip, I’d have to spend all day in each cemetery to find everyone.

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Richard Lewis Foster, my 4th-Great-Grandfather
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Charity Johnstone Foster, my 4th-Great-Grandmother
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Basil Foster, my 5th-Great-Grandfather

 

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Charles Jackson Morgart, my Great-Grandfather. The only photo I have of him is the baby picture used above on my header border.  He was born in 1873, so to have this christening photo is just incredible for me.

I was unable to find Thomas Foster, my 3rd-Great-Grandfather, or his wife, Eliza Horton Foster, my 3rd-Great-Grandmother.  There were many worn graves and some that had fallen apart off the screws where the tops were face down into the grass. It was so sad to see so many graves this way.  These were someone’s people, and my husband told me straight off that no, he could not lift them alone.  He knows me so well.

Stop Five: Wells Valley Methodist Cemetery

As we were driving, on our way to what ended up being our sixth stop, I saw a road and it turned out we were near Wells Valley Methodist Cemetery, where a majority of my Fesler and Childers family members are buried.  I was not able to find everyone, but I did find 2 of the 5 that I was looking for – the first being my 3rd-Great-Grandfather, George Henry Fesler who fought in several smaller battles during the Civil War and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Oakman Fesler.  My Great-Great-Grandmother, Sarah Jane Fesler Childers is reportedly buried there as well, but I was unable to find her. The area where the Fesler’s is an older portion of the cemetery in the back corner under a huge tree.  Where George’s has been maintained – his wife and children’s are very worn.

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George Henry Fesler, he was born in 1824 and passed away in 1911.
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Mary Elizabeth Oakman was born in 1826 and passed away in 1872. Her gravestone has “Mother” on the top which is still visible though the rest of the marker is bare.

Others we were unable to find were my 3rd-Great-Grandparents, Abraham Childers and his wife, Mary Ann Green.  This was another spot where Find A Grave would have been helpful as it has one of theirs listed, but again, no service (I’ll know to save the photos ahead of time for future visits).

Stop Six: Mount Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery (aka Rays Hill Cemetery)

When we pulled alongside the road to Mount Zion Lutheran Church and Cemetery, the parking lot was blocked off with metal gates.  As we sat in the car we saw huge gravestones saying “Ritchey” which was one of the names I was looking for. We searched for a while and then it hit me – I’d seen the headstones on Find a Grave and began looking for white.  Here, if we had just started in the front (translated, not far from where we parked) my Great-Great-Grandparents were in the front row, and my 3rd Great-Grandparents were in the row directly behind them.

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Anna Cypher Ritchey was my 3rd-Great-Grandmother on my dad’s maternal side. She was born in 1820 and passed in 1889.
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George Ritchey, husband of Anna Cypher, he is my 3rd-Great-Grandfather, born in 1810 and died in 1898.
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Mary Ann Ritchey Morgart Hughes was born in 1851 and passed away in 1908.  My Great-Great-Grandmother.
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George Washington Morgart, my Great-Great-Grandfather. He was born in 1849 and passed away unexpectedly in 1895.

Stop Seven: It’s Not a Cemetery, it’s a Tavern

So as we drove along the Lincoln Highway I hoped we would drive by the Morgart Tavern, which was started by my 5th-Great-Grandfather, Peter Morgart, and then run by my 4th-Great-Grandfather, Baltzer Morgart.  The building was constructed in the 1760’s and the walls are to be 2-feet deep.  I was so excited when we found it.  We knocked on the door before taking photos but no one was home.  It’s when you find the places and even buildings where they lived that tickles me the most, a feeling of they were here.

 

Stop Eight: Providence Union Church Cemetery

This was our favorite cemetery, primarily because when we arrived we parked the truck, opened the door and there was my 5th-Great-Grandfather’s resting place front and center.  He and his wife were our easiest finds of the day.  We probably spent 5 minutes here. Captain Solomon Sparks fought in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.  His daughter, Mary Sparks, was married to the before-mentioned Baltzer Morgart.

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Captain Solomon Sparks, my 5th-Great-Grandfather, born in 1760 and passed in 1838.
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Rachel Weimer Sparks, my 5th-Great-Grandmother, born 1764 and died in 1842.

Stop Nine: The Morgart/Morgret Family Cemetery

This was a fun one as it’s literally in the middle of someone’s backyard.  I don’t think the family is a Morgart, I would like to think they would have asked more questions about my being related to them (or not, being an uber-introvert my husband knocked on the door and asked if it was okay to go look at the cemetery, they were very nice and told us we could even pull up in the driveway next to the pole barn.  I also want to add that seeing as it was mowed to the same height as the rest of the yard, this family took excellent care of the cemetery, you could easily read things, the gravestones we were weed-whacked, just really impressed).

So here I had many relatives buried, my 5th-Great-Grandfather, Peter Morgart, and his wife, Christiana Hess (my 5th-Great-Grandmother), my 4th-Great-Grandfather, Baltzer Morgart and his wife (and my 4th-Great-Grandmother), Mary Sparks, and lastly my 3rd-Great-Grandparents, Andrew Jackson Morgart and his wife, Rebecca O’Neal.

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Grave of Peter Morgart, my 5-Great Grandfather who fought in the Battle of Yorktown in the Revolutionary War and watched as Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington (or so the lore goes, gives me goosebumps as everyone knows George is my hero!). He was born in 1758 and died in 1846.
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Headstone of my 5th-Great-Grandmother Christiana Hess Morgart.  She was born in 1761 and died in 1839.
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Gravestone of Baltzer Morgart, my 4th-Great-Grandfather who ran the Morgart Tavern. He was born in 1785 and died in 1853.
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Gravestone of Mary Sparks, my 4th-Great-Grandmother born 1798 and died in 1874. She was the daughter of Captain Solomon Sparks.
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The headstone of Andrew Jackson Morgart who was my 3rd-Great-Grandfather.  He was a farmer who was born in 1824 and died in 1870.
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The grave of Rebecca O’Neal Morgart, wife of Andrew Jackson Morgart who was born in 1824 and passed away in 1898. She was my 3rd-Great-Grandmother.

Last Stop: Dudley Methodist Cemetery

Our last stop was to find my Great-Great-Grandparents, Jonas and Anna Maria Leighty Wise.  I was so excited to find them as 2 days later I was able to take a photo of a picture that my second cousin Hope had of them that was left after a Wise Family Reunion back in the 1990s.  My Grandma Blair (her married last name) also talked so fondly of her “Granny Wise” that finding their graves had a lot of importance.  But my husband and I must have looked at every single tombstone in the cemetery and we were unable to find them.  I was so disappointed.  I had no cell service so I was unable to look them up (it would have done me no good, there are no photos on Find A Grave). They were the parents of my Great-Grandmother, Margaret Wise.

Since returning home I did email the Dudley United Methodist Church on a hope they had a layout of the cemetery but I’ve not heard back from them.  I could kick myself as it didn’t occur to me when I was there, but my husband found 9 graves of Wise’s but I didn’t recognize the names. Only later did it register that my Great-Great-Grandmother had a total of 15 children, but only 5 survived. Nine graves he found – I wonder if they are 9 of the 10 she lost.

Jonas & Anna Maria Wise

Wrapping It Up

Since this post is ever-so-long I’ll stop here and do another post for the next 2 days.  Cemetery hopping is fun.  It gave me an opportunity to be near my ancestors.  Without them, I wouldn’t be here.  It’s just so fascinating to learn their names and to do my best to learn about them and who they were. Just trying my best for them not to be forgotten.