I recently learned that I have a couple of ancestors who were a part of the Second Germanna Colony, that arrived in Virginia in 1717 – my 8th great-grandparents, John Nicholas Blankenbaker and Appelonia Käfer.

We were visiting the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Battlefields this past weekend and decided to drive a bit further to stop by the Germanna Visitor Center.

It’s located next to the Germanna Community College campus, which is built on land donated by the Germanna Foundation.

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Inside the building is the memorial library, along with some informational panels, describing the history of the Germanna Colonies. They also have a beautiful spiral staircase that leads up to a beautiful view.

Behind the building is a memorial:

2016-03-13_0017There are memorial plaques to both of the colonies, and a stone obelisk where Colonel Spotswood is buried.

2016-03-13_0016It was so nice to see my ancestor’s name on the memorial marker.

2016-03-13_00132016-03-13_00142016-03-13_0015They have a series of books for sale about the colony itself and specific families.  I bought the one about the Blankenbaker family on this trip.

2016-03-13_0012I now have a few more places I want to visit which were connected with this line of my family.  One of them is the Hebron Luthern Church, where my family attended. It will be celebrating it’s 300th anniversary in 2017. It was built in 1740, and is the oldest building that has been in continuous use as a Luthern church in the U.S.

I have to admit that I’m really loving living in Virginia!!

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When I first started working on genealogy, I was handed a nicely done family history, complete with pictures and interesting stories, which was written by a distant cousin.  Part of the history covered the Robertson family, back to my 4th great grandparents, John Robertson and Abigail Cowen/Cowan, of Kentucky. I knew that Abigail died on 22 Aug 1838, soon after the birth of her fourth child, somewhere in Kentucky.  I’ve always wondered who her family was and where she was buried.  Her husband and kids moved on to Ohio and then Iowa, leaving her gravestone behind.

For the past sixteen years, I have been stuck at this exact same point. Over time, I added in records  from the census, probate, military pensions, and newspaper articles, yet I still didn’t have a location within Kentucky to start searching.  John Robertson is (unfortunately) a very common name and he was hard to pin down before 1850.  I kept coming back to this family, hoping that a new record set would become available online and then I would get that one little clue that would help me bust through this brick wall.

Well, it finally happened.  I was checking through Find a Grave and finally found her gravestone, in Nicholas County, Kentucky, added by pcarney (thank you to you and all of the Find a Grave volunteers!!!!).

I now knew where they lived.

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I then checked FamilySearch and hit the jackpot in the “Kentucky County Marriages, 1797-1954” database. 2016-02-22_0001

Know all men by these presents that we John Robertson and Hugh Cowan are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the first and full sum of fifty pounds current money, to the payment of which well and timely to be made we bind ourselves, our heirs + jointly severally and firmly by these presents sealed and dated this 18th day of January 1831.
The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas a marriage is shortly intended to be solemnized between the above bound John Robertson and Miss Abbey Cowan, daughter of Mr. Hugh Cowan
Now if there does not exist any lawful cause to obstruct the same then the above obligation to be void else to remain in full force + virtue
John Robinson
Hugh Cowan

I now have Abigail’s father’s name, census records, and a bunch of leads on places to search for this family (including a book that was published on this line of Cowans. I have a trip to the Library of Congress planned soon!).

Sometimes, when you break through a brick wall, it only leads to another.  I’m happy to say that it doesn’t seem to be the case in this instance.  While I haven’t spent much time looking for the Robertsons yet (it’s only been a few days since I found this), through the Cowan line, I have linked into a couple of well-documented families – Cowan, Breckenridge, and Preston.  These will keep me busy in the coming weeks as I now have a lot more names to search!

Here’s to hoping that you bust through a brick wall soon also!!

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7 July 1906, Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Illinois2014-12-30_0017DEATH OF EDWARD C. THORNTON
Alton Travelling Man Dies From Congestion of the Stomach, Very Suddenly
Edward C. Thornton, a well-known Alton travelling man, died very unexpectedly Friday night at his residence, 295 Madison avenue, from heart failure brought on by congestion of the stomach. HIs death followed an illness of a few days from which it was supposed he had completely recovered. He was feeling well and in good spirits Friday evening and had been pronounced recovered by the attending physician. He was bright and cheerful and ate a hearty supper. Before retiring he took a bath and having shaved himself he had evidently made every preparation for his dying, almost as if he had been given a premonition that his end was coming. He had been in excellent spirits and had spent and spent part of the evening playing around on the porch with some children. Mrs. Thornton says that they retired about 10 o’clock and shortly her husband seemed to be asleep, from his deep regular breathing. She went to sleep too, and was aroused about three-quarters of an hour later from her sleep. She noticed that her husband was very still and that the sound of his breathing had subsided. She touched his hand and found it was cold and lifeless. The wife was given a terrible shock by the discovery of her husband’s death. Neighbors were summoned and she soon had plenty of friends near to lend assistance, but it was too late for anything to be done.
Edward Thornton was born in Alton and lived here all his life. He was a son of Philip Thornton. He would have been 38 years of age August 20. For many years he was engaged as a traveling salesman for Alton grocery houses and recently he severed his connection with an Alton firm to become connected with a St. Louis grocery firm. He was highly thought of by everyone who knew him. His unusual intellectual talents, his conversational ability and his uniform good humor made his company very much sought after and he was the life of any party of which he was a member. His death was a great shock to the entire community, as few knew that he was not in good health.
He was an orator of considerable ability, althought making no profession of being such, and as a speaker for small gatherings he frequently entertained audiences delightfully. He was to have delivered an address at a Fourth of July picnic at New Douglas, but did not do so.
Mr. Thornton leaves besides his wife, one daughter, and two brothers, James P. Thornton, and Michael Thornton, and a sister, Miss Thornton.
The funeral will be held Monday at 9 o’clock from SS, Peter and Paul’s Cathedral.

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When you are looking for an obituary, always remember to check various locations – not just the place that the person was living when they died.
Rebecca Campbell Baker had been living in Kansas for a number of years, but she was a native of Indiana county, Pennsylvania.

The first obituary I found (in Kansas) was not very descriptive.

I recently found this obituary in the 6 Apr 1910 issue of the Indiana Messenger (Indiana, PA) and it had a lot more information. She had a daughter who still lived in the area, and I’m sure that there were many people who still knew her.

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MRS. REBECCA BAKER
Mrs. Rebecca Campbell, widow of the late James Baker, of Marion Center, died March 5, 1910, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. W. A. Marshall, near Lawrence, Kan., after an illness of four years, lacking but a few weeks of being 90 years old. Mrs. Baker was the daughter of the late William Campbell, a pioneer at Marion Center. She was born at the well-known Campbell home, in Center township, and was a niece of the late Judge Joseph Campbell. She was a devout member of the United Presbyterian church until after her marriage, when she became a member of the Methodist church with her husband. In 1869 the family moved to Warren county, Tenn., and in 1879 went to Douglass county, Kan., where she lived the remainder of her 90 years. Eight children came to the Baker home, four of whom survive, as follows: Mrs. D.R. Pringle, of Indiana: C.S. Baker, of Oklahoma, and H.P. Baker and Mrs. Mary Marshall, near Lawrence, Kan. Mrs. Baker was stricken with paralysis almost four years preceding her death and was confined to an invalid chair or her couch all this time but her beautiful christian spirit kept her cheerful and patient to the end.

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Sally Moorman Lee was my 4th great-grandmother. It’s a short little blurb compared with the other obit I found on her earlier, but I love finding every little piece of info that I can get my hands on. 🙂

Staunton Spectator, Staunton, VA, 23 Jan 18832014-12-29_0030Mrs. Lee, mother of Mr. S.E. Lee, of Roanoke county and sister of Dr. J.J. Moorman, of Salem, died at her home near Alleghany Springs, in Montgomery county, week before last. She was upwards of 90 years of age.

 

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