Happy Mother’s Day! A few years ago I wrote a post about my direct maternal line. There are many mothers in my family tree and I would like to thank each one for making my being here possible! I want to revisit some of these incredible women today since I have verified a couple more generations. Including myself, I can illustrate 9 generations of women in my direct maternal lineage.
Jane Berry (1803-1870), mother of 10 children.
Margaret McSpadden (1780-1863), mother of 12 children.
Sarah Jane Whitesides (1754-1826), mother of at least 6 children.
I do not have photos of Jane, Margaret, or Sarah Jane. While the earliest photo was taken in 1826 or 1827, camera photography was not common until the 1880’s.
In June of this year my Dad and I embarked on a cross county adventure. The purpose of the trip was to deliver a large yellow truck full of items for my Mother to my parent’s house in Virginia. About halfway across country, I was looking at the route we planned to travel and realized we would be passing through Washington County, Virginia. As you pass from Tennessee into Virginia on Interstate 81, you enter Washington County.
About ten miles north of the state line sits Abindgon, Virginia. I have identified several direct line families who settled just outside of town along the Holstein River. These early settler families contain my 6th great grandparents. Specifically, the family of Moses McSpadden lived across the river from the family of Hugh Berry. One of Hugh’s sons would marry one of Moses’ daughters and the rest was history…
I have previously located the gravestone for Moses McSpadden on FindAGrave.com. Knowing he was buried in the graveyard of the Green Spring Presbyterian Church, I convinced my Dad to take a detour off the interstate to pay our respects.
I am so thankful for AliceP, James Archer, and Belle who all the way back in 2003 posted information of Moses McSpadden’s stone. If I did not have the photo to use as a reference to locate Moses’ gravestone, we probably would have missed it. I also would not have been able to read as much of the engraving as Belle did.
Moses’ gravestone is no longer standing. It appears a tree used to stand nearby and the stone now lies on the soft ground of the decomposing roots. The stone is now barely legible. Here are a couple of photos of the gravestone as it is today.
It was a wonderful afternoon to reach out and touch some history. My Dad, who was skeptical when we arrived, was just as excited as I was when we left the cemetery.
The next day, after a visit to the Historical Society of Washington County Virginia, I learned there was a reason why Moses was buried in the cemetery where we found him. Stay tuned for my next blog post to get the story.
This summer is easily ranked as one of my best summers ever! Along with some incredible trips and quality family time, I snuck in some genealogy moments.
My first adventure was driving across country with my dad. We took the Southern route from California to Virginia. Highlights on this trip included the Grand Canyon, Petrified Natural Forest, adding three new states (I have only 1 more to visit before seeing all 50) and Bristol Motor Speedway. The best moments occurred in the last 24 hours of our week-long trip. We pulled off the freeway as we crossed the Tennessee border into Virginia and visited the grave of my 6th great-grandfather, Moses McSpadden. The next morning I had an incredible visit to the Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia. I cannot wait to make a trip back to do more research there.
My next adventure began when we arrived at my parents house. My husband and kids flew in and joined to fun. After a week of fun, hubby flew home. The kids and I stayed to play another couple of weeks on the river. My parents are the best and agreed to watch the kids one day so I could spend a day researching at the National Archives in Washington, DC. I was a maniac and took almost 300 photos. Each photo equals a page in a pension or land sale document.
My last great adventure was a trip to Europe. We did a week of vacation in France with the family before heading to Switzerland for the hubby to work. The work I have done on my Strickler line has led to Abraham Strickler who came to the United States in the late 1720’s. Work I have found from other researchers points to my Abraham being related to the Stricklers who lived on the shore of Lake Zürich. I have not had time to follow-up this research but I looks credible. Several of our days were spent in Zürich, so one day the kids and I took a ferry ride down the lake to see what Horgen looks like. Today, the whole lake is surrounded by towns with homes that crawl up the hillsides from lake level. It was fun to watch and imagine what it must have looked like 300 years ago when it was all farm land.
I will write some follow-up blogs posts with more information about each genealogy adventure I had this summer!