About conniescorner

I am avidly interested in history and genealogy. In 2011, I published a book about one of my ancestors entitled George W. Bellomy, Pioneer of Oregon and California. Currently I am looking forward to exploring and learning about DNA testing and what lights it can shine on elusive ancestors.

Baxter DNA Match

Hey, hey, hey. We have a DNA match with the Baxter family. This is great news and means our paper trail now matches the DNA trail for Mary Baxter the wife of Ulrich Huffstutter. The match was using Family Tree’s Family Finder (with my DNA test) then comparing with results on GEDmatch with Ancestry DNA test of Deborah Baxter Fink. Our most recent common ancestor was estimated at 6.7 generations.The way I figure it I am about 6 or 7 generations from Mary Baxter and that matches with the DNA results.  Now ain’t that in-ter-rest-in?

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS STONE?

Photo by Cathy Leary

End view of mystery stone. Photo by Cathy Leary

Location at top of hill.  Photo by Cathy Leary

Location part of the way up a hill and above a rocky outcrop. Photo by Cathy Leary

Photo by Cathy Leary

Side view of mystery stone. Photo by Cathy Leary

 

Location of mystery stone half way up a hill above Rockbridge Creek. Photo by Cathy Leary

The stone in the above photos is located on the Julian Wilson farm, 1182 Levy Road in Bourbon County, Kentucky.  The purpose for the stone and its placement has been a source of conjecture and comment for many years. Why would anyone go to the trouble to shape and move such a large heavy stone to this spot?

The measurements for the stone are:

Top surface measurements-length and width:
40 inches long on left side
37 inches long on right side
Upper end is 24 inches across
Lower end is 27 inches across

Height:
Height at upper end is 20 inches
Height at lower end is 23 inches

Does anyone know its purpose?

The first use proposed for the stone was by riders  as a “leg up” on a horse.  But why would it be on the side of a hill in the middle of a field with no buildings nearby?

Some think it might have been used by stone masons when working on dry stone fencing for nearby farms.  However, there is no evidence of stone chips or piles of stones in the surrounding ground.

Another suggestion connects with a former church located across the road from this farm.  The Rockbridge Baptist Church is first mentioned in records in 1803.  As a baptist church and because the small creek (Rockbridge Creek) that flows near the church is not deep enough to totally immerse persons  it has been proposed the stone was used for affusion baptism by pouring water over the head.  An individual would sit on the stone, referred to as a “dunking stone”, bend forward, and water would be poured over their head using a pitcher or gourd.

The practice of this type of baptism is found among several denominations but especially in the Brethren Church.  At the time Rockbridge Church was founded there was a Brethren church close by.  East Union, also known as Hinkston Creek Church, adhered to many of the tenets of the Brethren Church. Is it possible Rockbridge Church was an offshoot of the East Union Church with both churches sharing the same ministers and beliefs?

Many of the Huffstutters and their kinfolk attended East Union Church.  Among the ministers of East Union and related to the Huffstutters were Peter Hon and Abraham Kern.  Both men were traveling ministers so it is easy to envision them at the churches  preaching and baptizing.

Can anyone offer a solution to the mystery?

Thanks.

Connie Graves

 

 

 

Dyer’s Mill Forest and the ghosts of Silver Run

Lights in the forest

Lights in the forest

Telling tale tales about spooky happenings are always fun this time of year. The Huffstutter family’s residence at Dyers Mill Forest in the Silver Run Valley of Maryland when the now legendary occurrences related below first happened adds a bit spice to the retelling.
My attention was drawn to a legend of hauntings at Silver Run mentioned in an article written Linda Morton for the Dec/Jan 2007 issue of Carroll Magazine. Ms Morton wrote: “As the story goes there is a lost silver mine on Silver Run. An early German silversmith who was friendly with the Susquehannock Indians learned the location of this mine with the stipulation he must never tell anyone about it. Among the items the silversmith created from his secret silver stash was a beautiful brooch given to his daughter on her thirteenth birthday. She was so delighted that she begged her father to show the location of the secret mine. Unable to refuse her wish he blindfolded her and took her to the mine. Along the way she broke branches to leave a trail and later returned to the spot with a friend. The Indians felt betrayed and killed both the German silversmith and his daughter. Their ghosts still wander the valley and the legend says they will continue until three persons have died looking for the mine. Thus far two have died in the search. There are many theories for the mines location but it remains a mystery to this day.”
Other accounts, in particular a children’s book by Lois Szymanski, called “Silver Lining” mentions a German settler on Silver Run named Ahrwed and his beautiful daughter Frieda. This account embellishes the story with the additional fact that when the Indians found out Ahrwed told the location of the mine to Freda and she in turn took her friend to the mine they became hopping mad. Not only did they bury the mine thus hiding it forever but Ahrwed along with Frieda and her friend were never seen again.
The legend continued to be retold as over the years a mysterious lantern light was reported gleaming eerily near Rattlesnake Hill, a local landmark where many people believed the mine was hidden. Some residents talked of headless bodies wandering aimlessly in the area.
Local newspapers have also kept the legend alive.
April 25, 1883 Hanover Spectator added more material to the legend.
“….A light, as of a lantern carried by someone was said to have often been seen moving across the hills toward the mine, which, if followed, would disappear; this light always moved in a uniform course, and was never seen to pass beyond the mine. A well authenticated story comes from a man who must have seen Old Ahrwud himself. This man was one night walking along a post fence, not far from the mine, when he noticed a stranger just on the other side of the fence, wearing a long gray beard, a big broad-brimmed hat, and carrying a lighted lantern. The stranger moved quietly with him until they reached a cross fence bounding the next field, when the stranger passed through the fence without raising his lantern and vanished. When this man was asked why he did not talk with the stranger, he answered, “He didn’t look as if he wanted to talk!” A farmer who lived near the mine said that he often saw this light and that he was one night coming down the Hanover road with his team when, at a point in the road where the woods reach from the road to the mine, his horses stopped and refused to go a step. He got off the saddle horse, and went forward, but could find nothing in the road; he then whipped the horses, without making them move, until he felt a breath of cold air across his face, after which the horses moved on as if nothing was wrong. He did not see anything himself, but the horses snorted as if in great fright. Another person spoke of a time when he was a boy, and was one night going near by the mine with his father…when his father with a sudden start said: “Did you see that woman without a head? She was nearly as tall as the trees!” The boy did not see the headless woman, but said that he saw a big fire burning on the top of the trees that same night.”
This article appeared in the February 7, 1885 issue of the American Sentinel
“The famous Myers’ District silver mine, about a mile and a half east of this place, was reopened a couple weeks ago by a young German who has only been in this country two months. The vicinity of the mine still sustains its reputation for queer appearances. The miner says that on Friday morning, 30th ult., at nine minutes past eleven o’clock, the hour the moon fulled, three curiously clad Indians carrying a lantern, appeared on the hill by him and disappeared in the woods beyond. One evening while he was digging by moonlight, they also made their appearance.–T.”
The (Silver Run) News, May 9, 1885. “Monster Seen”
“A Pennsylvania chap, whose sweetheart lives near Rattlesnake Hill, was wonderfully frightened one night a few weeks ago by seeing a large white fiery-eyed monster near the haunted silver mine in this district”.
What’s the truth behind the legend? One source hints that a family kept their savings safe from creditors in a chest buried on Rattlesnake Hill, scaring people away from the real treasure by using ghostly charades. While no ghosts have been reported prowling the haunted silver mine for a hundred years or more it is fun to ponder this old legend attached to the area where our ancestor Ulrich Huffstutter lived. You can’t help wondering if Ulrich and his family told the tale around the campfire one dark Halloween, long, long ago.

Ulrich Huffstutter at Dyer’s Mill Forest

The Christopher Erb House is a stone house finished in 1799. It stands in Silver Run on a 38-acre property, and borders Big Pipe Creek. The house is historically significant as an example of Pennsylvania German architecture and reflects the influence of Pennsylvania Germans in Carroll County.
The Christopher Erb House is a stone house finished in 1799. It stands in Silver Run on a 38-acre property, and borders Big Pipe Creek. The house is historically significant as an example of Pennsylvania German architecture and reflects the influence of Pennsylvania Germans in Carroll County.

What did Ulrich do after he arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1749?
While this time period of his life is very sketchy we can surmise that by the mid 1750’s he joined other Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants as they moved into the then undeveloped areas of what is today Carroll County, Maryland. Since his first marriage occurred about 1757 he was probably hoping like many of the settlers to lease land from Lord Baltimore for one cent an acre, clear and plant crops and eventually purchase a small farm for his growing family. The first record we have for him is in 1766 when he purchased 100 acres from Joseph Dyer. This acreage was part of a tract of 1,169 acres called “Dyer’s Mill Forest” patented to Joseph Dyer in 1763. Several German families resided on portions of “Dyer’s Mill Forest”. They included the Bankert, Yingling, and Leman families. We can speculate because settlers often traveled in closely related family groups that one or all of them may have been related to Ulrich either from Switzerland or through his first wife whose surname, regrettably, we do not know. Our best guess then is that between 1749 to 1766 Ulrich was working hard, clearing land for a farm and beginning a family.

The tiny community growing up on Dyer’s Mill Forest took its name from  a creek that flowed through it called Silver Run. Social activities revolved around common interests and  included gathering in homes to worship God although several different denominations were represented.  As they grew the lack of a local church was remedied in the autumn of 1761 when a small log building was erected along Silver Run using 15 acres from Dyer’s Mill Forest deeded to the “Dutch Congregation of Silver Run” by Joseph Dyer. The church, called St. Mary’s, was known as a Union Church because it served two different congregations, Lutheran and Reformed. The crude log structure was well built and survived for almost 60 years until 1821 when replaced by another building. While there is no evidence Ulrich Huffstutter ever belonged to a church we can be certain he participated in community activities around Silver Run and in the log church thus providing a small insight into his life during this time.

Continuing with the research clues provided by a study of Dyer’s Mill Forest it is good to examine old maps showing the patent tract names for surrounding farms.  Close by was the adjoining tract called “Lewis’ Luck” just to the northwest of “OHaras Inheritance”. They were near “Youngblood’s Choice” which has a date of 1743, and “Resurvey on High Germany” 1752/53. Further details of the surrounding tracts are given by a deed made in 1837 when Abraham Koontz sold real estate to Joseph Warner for $1,188.77. The land in this sale included tracts totaling over 172 acres neighboring each other. These included Dyer’s Mill Forest, part Shumaker’s Lot, part Brown’s Neglect, and part Lewis’ Luck. Also mentioned are a boundary corner of St Mary’s Church [sic Silver Run] and lines running  to the beginning of Bell’s Choice. Another detail was  a stone on the south side of the turnpike leading from Westminster to Littlestown. [Carroll County, Maryland – Land Record Abstracts Liber WW-1 – 1837-1838 243].  The land tracts offer an interesting clue to Ulrich’s background by studying the owners surnames. For example “Brown’s Neglect” was owned by Daniel Brown who died and left a will in Frederick County, Maryland.  Witnesses to Brown’s will included, Henry O’Hara, George Koontz, Mathias Snyder and Jacob Yingling who was named executor.  Looking more closely a consideration of the possible Brown inter-connections reveals  Henry OHara Jr., b.1767, married  Margaret Brown, the daughter of Henry Brown, born circa 1740. Henry's sister was Rachel Brown, b. l742, who married Capt. Michael McGuire discussed in a previous blog on this site. It was to Michael McGuire that Ulrich Huffstutter sold his acreage in Dyer's Mill Forest.

These families were neighbors of Ulrich providing more names to consider for kinship to Ulrich, his first wife as well as a glimpse of how he may have met his second wife Mary Baxter, whose mother was a Brown. Perhaps, through learning more about the “neighborhood” of Silver Run we can discover the details of Ulrich’s personal life between 1749 to 1766.

 

MORE ON THE INDIANS IN IOWA

Engraving Sauk & Fox Indians circa 1839

You may remember the blog [11 August 2013] where some of our correspondence with Clay Jones concerning his ancestor William Washington Jones was discussed. To refresh your memory here is a bit of background from Henry Rideout’s book William Jones, Indian, Cowboy, American Scholar, and Anthropologist in the fields, p 7. “William Washington Jones–…By Katiqua the Fox chief’s daughter, he had three children, of whom only one is living, a son, born in Iowa in 1844. This son Bald Eagle, as his mother’s clan called him took from his father the name of Henry Clay Jones.”
Additional information regarding the family of William Washington Jones was received from Jacob Case Family Data, Clay Jones & Martha Louise Case, shared via e-mail from Clay Jones 7/22/13, 7/23/13.). “William Washington Jones …is said to have served in the Black Hawk Indian War acquiring his Sac and Fox wife and my g-grandfather Henry Clay Jones was born on the Iowa river near Tama, IA in 1844. There was a daughter as well who had moved to San Francisco but contact was lost after 1906.”
This is where things stood when we received independently of the previous research of Clay Jones another inquiry from family researcher Ron Schulz that offered more information on the Sauk and Fox Indians of Iowa and a tantalizing clue to the Jones family. Ron Schulz wrote: “I only just came across your Huffstutter Family website & this is the first I’ve been in touch. My ancestor, Sophia Jones was born in 1832 in Iowa according to the 1900 census. The story passed down was that she was part Indian. She, with or without any of her birth family, turned up in St. Charles County MO, where she married a 1st time to Jacob Crandle, before running off with my own ancestor William Ontis and eventually marrying him. In fact, she is the mother of all the Illinois branch of the Ontis family. Unfortunately I cannot find her on the 1850 census after years of trying, but I find that Indians and even many whites living with them in Indian reservations or territories were missed or left off before the 1900 census and tribal rolls did not begin until late 1880’s. A dearth of records to document her origins, except that a John “William” Jones born about 1843(?) married to Mary Pujol had 2 boys before supposedly dying in the early 1870’s, one of whom, Lewis Andrew Jones described as a nephew, turns up on the 1880 census in Jersey Co. ILL as a 12 year old boy with the Ontis family, his brother was raised by the Navarre family in Calhoun County ILL.
I’m just wondering if William Washington Jones, who also I cannot find on the census, might figure into the mysterious origins of my Sophia’s Jones. The only white people allowed in Iowa in the 1830’s & early ’40’s were traders or married into the Sac-Fox or Ioway tribes. Could WW have had other children before Clay?”

I was intrigued with Ron’s little puzzle and couldn’t resist hunting and pecking around the internet. That led to what appears to be another grandson of William Washington Jones through his only known child Henry Clay Jones and first wife Sarah Penny. Unfortunately I didn’t find any additional children for William Washington Jones and Kah-te-quah. The book about his life written by William Rideout mentions there were three children. Was one of them John William Jones, born about 1843? Who was Sophia? Could she be Kah-te-quah or was she the missing daughter mentioned by Jacob Case?

The mystery continues and awaits further proof.

Connie Graves
Shalimar, Florida
June 26, 2014

Background for Ulrich’s Travel Plans~~1749~~

Small beautifully detailed etching of a large Dutch three-masted merchant Hoeker running before the wind.

Small beautifully detailed etching of a large Dutch three-masted merchant Hoeker running before the wind.

Ever wonder what kind of ship Ulrich sailed on in 1749? It seems the most common type of ship in the seventeenth century for emigrants to America was a Northern European merchant vessel called by the Dutch a “Hoecker”, by the French a “Houcre” or “Hourque” and by the English a “Hawker” or “Hooker”. The vessel was described as having bluff rounded bows and sterns, with a high rudder and tiller fitted over the bulwarks. Some hoekers had pole masts, while others had the more usual separate mainmast with tops, shrouds and the rest. Here is an engraving to give you an idea of how crowded the ship must have been with all those emigrants on board.

Ship

MORE on Mathew

 

Three graves Knupp Cemetery, Wayne Co., Ohio. Mathew Hoffstatter on the left.  The other two unidentified.

Three graves Knupp Cemetery, Wayne Co., Ohio. Mathew Hoffstatter on the left. The other two unidentified.

Update Mathew Hofstatter gravesite

Background: Mathew’s grave was located by Ray Huffstutter in the Knupp Cemetery, Wayne County, Ohio in August of 2012. After much grass cleaning and some dirt removal with his bare hands Ray revealed the headstone for Mathew as well as establishing the graves for two of his daughters buried a few yards away.

New information on the markers at the Knupp Cemetery in Wayne County, Ohio was recently shared by Pat Houglan whose great-grandmother Jane Hoffstatter, married Abraham Weldy or Welday. Pat visited the cemetery and was able to dig around a few of the barely visible stones near Mathew’s marker.

Pat wrote: “I spent yesterday at Knupp’s!! and I found Matthew’s grave. What a pretty stone, ornate…I dug at the other two stones too. The one closest to Matthews was broken with no inscription, possible it was upside down? I could not lift it to see. The last stone was only the base for a stone. Matthew is there with at least two daughters and three grandsons.”

Now, all of us are curious about the heavy stone Pat was unable to lift and turn over. Who is buried there?

Thanks Pat for your efforts and this new information.