Thursday, December 17, 2009

Departure Date

Departure date is January 4, 2010, approximately 120 years after William and Sarah began their westward migration to Kansas where they homesteaded just west of Parker.  William and Sarah were married in Martinsburg, West Virginia in 1846(it was part of Virginia then) which will be one of my first stops. They began their westward migration over a period of years departing from Martinsburg, making stops in Springfield, OH, Urbana, OH and Richmond, IN based on the birthplaces of their children.  It appears they headed for Kansas from Richmond, IN ca. 1873.  Their vehicle may have looked like the one above.  My vehicle will be the 2009 version of the above closely resembling the one here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

So...Who Is My Great, Great, Great Grandfather

Any genealogists knows that researching one family line only reveals a slice of who your ancestors are.  It was fairly easy to research back to my great, great grandfather, William Y. Grove.  Others had done most of the work for me.  My task was finding who had done what. I began making contact with them in the pre-internet era, seeing what they had and determining where they got their information.  After 35 years I had found all of William's descendants, documented how we are related and in some cases met them and re-connected long lost family members all over the USA.

But, I could not find the link to who William's parents were.  I know from his Union Army enlistment papers he was born in Fayette Co. PA in 1822 (he enlisted at age 40).  But nowhere could I find his parents or siblings referenced.  I did find some likely candidates who could be his parents from census records in West Virginia but no solid document listing Willam Young Grove as the offspring of _???__ and __???__.  Until November, 2009.  While surfing and googling William's name I found a message board that listed a person researching the surnames of Grove, Bower and Shepherd.  This caught my eye.  I knew that William named his second son Franklin Shepherd.  Shepherd seems to be an unusual name but likely it was the maiden name of a mother or grandmother.  I posted a reply to this posting and within a day I got this response:

.....checked my copy of "Jacob's Lutheran Church, German Township, Fayette County, Parish Records, Part II 1793 - 1885" by Paul Miller Ruff. On page 53 of that volume, entry #890, I found the baptismal record for a William who was born on 20 November 1822, the child of "Shepperd B. Grove and Maria." Possibly Maria is the Mary Bower mentioned in the above reference in the Groff Book.

The AHA!!! moment.  A record was found.  Shepherd B(rown) Grove and Maria Bower Grove had a son born in Fayette Co. PA within a month of the date I had for the birth of my William.  This is likely  to be the link I was missing.  Back to the Groff Book (see posting December 7, 2009). Further documented evidence shows that Shepherd's mother was Mary Brown.  Hence Shepherd's middle name, Brown. Furthermore, Shepherd's grandmother on his mother's side was Elizabeth Shepherd. Could it be that Shepherd and Maria's son William named one of his sons Franklin Shepherd to continue the tradition of keeping the maternal maiden names going in future generations.  Franklin Shepherd Grove is seated in the photo on the left surrounded by his family.

But, where did William get his middle name, Young?  Through my new found link could I find evidence of a maternal ancestor with the Young surname?  Another AHA!!! moment.  Earlier genealogists had documented the ancestors of Maria Bower, William's grandmother on his mother's side was Elizabeth Young.  So this can no longer just be a possible link.  This baptismal record connects my William to Shepherd and Maria.

This link provides a connection to published genealogical histories taking my Grove line back 4 and maybe 5 generations. 

Another stopping point on my genealogical journey is Mason Town, PA.  I must visit Jacob's Lutheran Church in German Township Fayette Co. PA.  I also want to see, or own, the book Jacob's Lutheran Church, German Township, Fayette County, Parish Records, Part II 1793-1885 by Paul Miller Ruff.