Friday, October 26, 2007

I love cemeteries

Okay, I may not love all cemeteries, but I love the country cemeteries where earlier generations of my family are buried. (The one above is Elhanan Cemetery in northern Wells County.)

For a history buff like me, who is also part of a close family, family history is a natural interest. I have been researching for over 10 years now, but moving to northern Indiana five years ago really reinvigorated my searches. Both of my parents are from the county to the south of Fort Wayne, and the last immigrant ancestors of mine arrived there in the late 1840's. Our families were among the early settlers of three northern Indiana counties: Adams, Allen, and Wells.

This gives me an enormous feeling of connection to this part of the country. I love finding the homes that family members lived in, seeing the churches the attended--and often helped build--and walking through the cemeteries where they were buried. I love finding newspaper snippets about their comings and goings, reading their letters, and seeing their names on old plat maps.

I love the cemeteries for their serene country settings. I love the signs of the faith that was an important part of their lives. There are eight cemeteries that I know pretty well, now, but each time I go I seem to make a new connection. There are a few I have yet to find. A beautiful fall day is the perfect time to go search.

My great-great-great grandparents, Joseph and Anna Harrod moved here from WiIlliams County, Ohio.

Their son Enos and his wife Hester have one of my favorite headstones. Enos and Hester's daughter, Alta Jane Harrod Ruhl was my great-grandmother and I was named after her.


Barbara Frank said...

I find this so interesting because Tim's family is from Adams and Jay counties. If you see headstones with the last names Buckmaster or Puterbaugh in Adams county, they're from his dad's side. There may possibly be Zimmermans and Zehringers in there too, but they originally came from Fort Recovery, OH, which is his mom's side.

Both of his parents were raised in Portland. He also has a cousin in Bluffton. Some of his relatives came up to IL for our son's wedding in June, but we hardly got a chance to visit and they had to head back to IN right away.

Me said...

Are you related to the Ruhl's that go to Holy Cross?

Jane said...

I know that at least one of my grandma's brothers went there and I'm pretty sure that at least one of my dad's cousins is a member there.

Do you know them?

Me said...

Just from Gymnastics. They own the Gymnastics in Motion over by County Kitchen Sweet Art. He's going to the seminary now. I don't remember his degree though but he isn't planning on being a pastor with it.