Sunday, February 28, 2016

Obituary: Charles A. Marks III

Yesterday, we laid to rest my Great-Uncle Charles Marks. I have fond memories of him on his farm near Waynesboro, Virginia at our many family gatherings.

Charles A. Marks III
Charles A. Marks III, 83, of Waynesboro, passed peacefully Saturday, February 20, 2016 at Summit Square, Waynesboro. He was born November 18, 1932 in Augusta County, son of the late C.A. Marks Jr. and Mabel Batten Marks. Charles was a 1955 graduate of Virginia Tech, served four years in the U.S. Air Force, then taught at Fishburne Military School, and several Augusta County Schools, including Stuarts Draft High and Middle Schools where he was active with the FFA and Young Farmers.  He was a member of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Charles loved farming, both in the Barren Ridge area and on his home farm near Madrid.

Surviving are his wife, Peggy Moore Marks; children, Susan Schmidt (John) of Waynesboro, Rebecca Batton (Larry) of Charlottesville, and Chuck Marks (Loretta) of Harrisonburg; brother Henry Marks (Shirley) of Athens, GA; grandsons Ben and Jon Marks and Andrew and Alex Schmidt; nephew Dan Marks; and special cousin Janice Marie Ely Lowden (Bob).

A memorial service will be conducted at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, February 27, 2016 at Grace Lutheran Church by Pastor Paul Pingel.  The family will receive friends in the church social hall following the service.  Burial will be private in the St. James Lutheran Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Fellowship Fund, Summit Square, 501 Oak Ave., Waynesboro, VA 22980, or to Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 500 S. Wayne Ave., Waynesboro, VA 22980. McDow Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements. Memories and condolences may be shared at

Published in The News Leader from Feb. 22 to Feb. 25, 2016 - See more at:

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Letters between brothers

As we searched for information on my husbands family, we came across a website for the Tietzel family in Australia and a few familiar names popped up. So we reached out and were put in touch with what we have come to learn is Jeff's 3rd cousin. The Australian branch had paid a professional genealogist in Germany and shared their findings with us.

As we learned, Jeff's great grandfather, Carl Albert and his brother, Ottto left Germany for Australia. Carl Albert was unable to pay for the land he bought and returned to Germany. Otto remained in Australia.

Carl Albert then moved to Pennsylvania.

Included with the information from Jeff's cousin was this letter from his great grandfather, Carl Albert Tietzel to his brother, Otto.

First image is the letter, re-typed followed by a copy of the original letter.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Brethren in the Shenandoah Valley

As a child, I attended the Church of the Brethren, primarily with my grandparents. While I do not associate with the church as an adult, I recognize the impact it has had on my family history. My great, great grandfather, Peter Swope Thomas, was the first pastor of the Harrisonburg First Church of the Brethren. Through many church documents I have been able to get to know him. This post includes a little history on the Brethren in the Harrisonburg, VA and surrounding area.

History of the Harrisonburg First Church of the Brethren
1900: Ten brethren, living in Harrisonburg, request preaching services. Cooks Creek, Greenmount and Mill Creek Congregations jointly sponsor the development of a new congregation in Harrisonburg, VA.
1901: The first Sunday School and worship services are held on June 9, with P.S. Thomas in charge of the service and J.M Kagey in charge of the preaching.
1906: A new sanctuary is constructed at a cost of $15,000. The new sanctuary is first used for worship in December 9.
1909: Cooks Creek, Greenmount and Mill Creek congregations release control of the Harrisonburg congregation. P.S. Thomas, who has served as pastor since 1901, remains pastor of the new congregation.
 In 1908 the district of the Brethren Church that included Bridgewater and Harrisonburg areas had about 250 – 300 members, five meetinghouses and four Sunday schools with an enrollment of 300 scholars. The ministry consisted of J.M Kagey, P.S. Thomas, S.I. Bowman and S.D. Zigler. I am the great granddaughter of P.S. Thomas and distantly related to the other three.

The Beaver Creek Church. . as written in 1908By Eld. H. G. Miller.
[Hiram G. Miller was born May 29, 1852; joined the church September 9, 1877; united in marriage with Julia A. Wright on November 7, 1877; elected minister April 4, 1885; and ordained elder on August 1, 1896. Eld. Miller has served the church as moderator of District Meeting and as a member of Standing Committee at Annual Meeting at different times. At present he is a member
of the Board of Trustees for Bridgewater College and he also serves on the visiting committee for the same institution. The discipline of the Beaver Creek church, of which he is senior elder, is favorably known.]
" Doubtless the Beaver Creek and Cooks Creek churches were organized near the same time, but when the division was agreed upon is not known. Bro. John Brower was the first minister located in this section. He was followed by John Wine, Joseph Miller, Martin Miller, George Wine and the Thomases. Martin Miller was ordained to the eldership on April 5, 1855, and Daniel Thomas on December 5, 1862. Jacob Thomas was elected minister, April 5,

The Greenmount Church.
This church has been closely associated with the Linville Creek church in missionary endeavor from the time of its organization. It has a strong membership, but it is so centrally located that the church could not easily be divided to advantage. However, it makes good use of its ministry and Sunday-school workers by assigning them duty at outlying points. Bro. P. I. Garber was chosen minister March 25, 1910, and Bro. Daniel B. Garber was elected June 13, 1912. These, with Jacob A. Garber, I. C. Myers, B. B. Miller J. W. Wampler, John H. Kline and I. W. Miller, make a strong ministerial force.
Eld. J. M. Kagey gives the following information regarding his home church, Cooks Creek:
" Since the organization of the Harrisonburg church and a portion of our territory falling to Beaver Creek church, we have two hundred and sixty members in the home church and about one hundred members in the West Virginia mission field. At each of the four houses of worship at home we have an active Sunday school, and we have preaching services at six different places in West Virginia.
" The present ministry is composed of Elders J. M. Kagey and S. I. Bowman, with Brethren B. S. Landis, J. H. Bowman and L. S. Miller."

The Harrisonburg Church.
Eld. P. S. Thomas, son of Eld. Jacob and Elizabeth Swope Thomas, was born April 12, 1857. He lived in the Beaver Creek church, where he was baptized in August, 1889. On October 11, 1891, he married Elizabeth Ellen McLaughlin. In May, 1892, he moved to the Cooks Creek church, where he was elected deacon, chosen minister, and ordained elder. He assisted in the mission work of
that church in the West Virginia mission field, and when the mission was opened in Harrisonburg he took an active part in it. When the Harrisonburg church was organized he was elected its elder, which position he has held to
the present. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Orphans' Home, and its secretary, and also secretary of the General Child Rescue Committee.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Draft Cards

I love finding draft cards for my grandfathers, great grandfathers, and uncles. They often include a signature and has become the only source of a handwriting sample I have for many of my relatives.

WWII Draft card for my 2nd Great Uncle, Arnold Wilbert Wetsel (1888 - 1957)

WWII Draft Card for my Grandfather, Elva Franklin Jackson (1888 - 1971)

WWII Draft Card for my 2nd Great Grandfather, Luther Hamilton Moore (1879 - 1943)

WWII Draft Card for my Great Grandfather, Otis Daniel Falls (1889 - 1948)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Mennonite and Amish Connections

"Mennonites are a branch of the Christian church, with roots in the radical wing of the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Part of the group known as Anabaptists (because they rebaptized adult believers), the Mennonites took their name from Menno Simons, a Dutch priest who converted to the Anabaptist faith and helped lead it to prominence in Holland by the mid-16th century. Modern day Mennonites number almost 1 million worldwide, with churches in North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. Mennonites are known for their emphasis on issues such as peace, justice, simplicity, community, service, and mutual aid." - (an excerpt from )
Standing: Paul and Garnet Linhoss.
Seated: Renecca Heatwole Linhoss,
My 3rd Great Grandmother &
An Old Order Mennonite
 The first Mennonites came mainly from Swiss and German roots, with many of the important martyrs of the early church coming from the area around Zurich. To escape persecution, many Mennonites fled Western Europe for the more accommodating religious climate of the Americas or Catherine the Great's Russia, giving these two groups distinctly different cultura l heritages. When the Russian Mennonites were eventually forced out of Russia in the last half of the 19th Century and the early 20th Century, many migrated to the western states and provinces, where today there is a large Mennonite population. Many people in the older generation of this group continue to speak a low German dialect called "Plautdietsch" and eat traditional foods. Swiss German Mennonites migrated to North America in the 18th and 19th centuries, settling first in Pennsylvania, then eventually across the Midwestern states. They too brought with them their own traditions, including hearty foods and the German language. Today, large Mennonite populations can be found in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Kansas, although Mennonites live in all parts of the United States and the world.
 The Amish, who separated from the Mennonites in the late 1600's, are widely known for their plain dress and rejection of modern technology and conveniences. Unlike the Mennonites, they form an exclusive and tight-knit community, with the church dictating much of what may or may not be done: for example, each local church district would dictate rules regarding the use of telephones, if indeed they are permitted at all. While certain conservative branches of the Mennonite church still dress simply and require women to wear head coverings, Mennonites generally are not culturally separatist, choosing to embrace the larger communities outside of their church rather than forming a separate community around the church. Where the Amish believe in keeping themselves spiritually focused by limiting their interaction with modern society, Mennonites believe in practicing Jesus' teaching of service to others in a broader context.
In keeping with their spiritual roots, Mennonites still believe in the close textual readings of the Scriptures and a personal spiritual responsibility as the basis of their faith. Radical from the beginning, but later considered conservative in many of their beliefs, Mennonites have come to represent a spectrum of backgrounds and beliefs. Pacifism is one of the cornerstones of the Mennonite faith, prompting many young Mennonites to elect service to the church rather than military service. The Mennonite church emphasizes service to others as an important way of expressing one's faith.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gored by Bull

When my husband and I got married I started working on his family tree. We have made some interesting discoveries. One that he knew is the story below about his great grandfather, John F. Faler.

The Sidney Journal, a local newspaper in Ohio reported:

GORED TO DEATH BY BULL: John F. Faler, aged 57 years.

Prominent and highly respected Jackson twp. farmer, was gored to death by a mad bull in a field near his home a short distance south of Montra, Sunday morning about 11 o’clock. He was found dead in the field some time later by his son.

Faler had gone to the field during the morning to give salt to his cattle. When he did not return the family became uneasy and instituted a search for him. In one part of the field the bull, a big red animal, was noticed as if standing guard and on a closer look the body of Mr. Faler was lying near by.

The alarm was given & neighbors notified. Several shots were fired and the bull was finally killed. Faler’s body was carried to the roadside & coronor notified.

An exam. of Faler’s body showed that he had been terribly mutilated about the head and body. A large hole had been ripped in the body under the left arm about the heart, this injury alone being sufficient to cause death. Practically all his clothing was torn from his body. The bull was about 2 yrs. of age and while at times somewhat cross, was not thought to be a vicious animal.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday

My grandparents, EF Jackson and Irene Falls, had 6 children. 4 boys and 2 girls. The first daughter, Linda Lou lived only one day. She is buried next to her parents in the Mt. Clinton Mennonite Church Cemetery in Mt. Clinton, Virginia. 

My aunt, Linda Lou Jackson (1950 - 1950)

According to Minnie

One of my favorite pieces of family history was given to me by my Grandmother. It is a typed document of the Linhoss family and their journey from Germany to the United States, written by Minnie L. Nichols (my 1st cousin, 4x removed) in 1938. Minnie wrote stories she had been told and as other relatives assisted in recalling to record the history of her Grandparents (my 4th great grandparents).

Below is the original typed document, spelling, grammar and all.

Philip and Barbara Linhoss, and their three children George, Adam, and Conrad immigrated to America from Germany, Town of Weisenhasel, Hesson Cassel in 1854. They sailed from Bremer Haven, Germany in a sail ship “The George”. They were on the ocean voyage eleven weeks, and landed at Baltimore, Maryland sometime in August 1854.
They had a very dangerous and stormy voyage. Grandmother often told me of the terrible times they experienced.
Adam Linhoss (our father) (Der Gliner ? Adam) became so seasick they thought him dead and had already prepared to throw him overboard when they saw signs of life in the nick of time to save him from a watery grave. (Open sharks mouth). In those days when a death occurred on board ship they were compelled to throw the body overboard immediately on account of sharks attacking the ship. There were one hundred twenty-seven (127) on board. Seventeen (17) died on this voyage.
The food supply became almost exhausted and Grandmother had a box of something similar to dried noodles with her and she soaked them in water, and they ate them and that was all they had to eat on the last part of their journey. Aunt Mary had the box she brought them in.
George was the oldest, eight (8) years old. Adam was five (5) years old and Conrad two (2) years old. Grandmother said that Conrad was a great pet among the passengers because he was so little.
It took staunch courage to leave home and loved ones to go to a far strange land, facing a long perilous (journey) voyage over a stormy ocean in a sail ship. And they had many furious storms on the voyage. They came to America for the sake of their boys, in order to escape compulsory military training which all German young men were compelled to take. Grandfather served his three years and he did not want his boys to have to serve and that is why they came to America.
All the children were born in Germany except Mary. They were all baptized into the Reformed Lutheran Church. Grandmother had a large square of soft white material neatly hemmed by hand that she used to wrap her babies in to be baptized. After they settled in this country they joined the Mennonite Church.
I do not know where they settled first but they lived at Uncle Benjamin Wengers. (Cousin Norah Wenger’s Place) for a time. Also at Uncle Ephraim Wengers (John Swartz place). It was there that the boys threw stones at “Der Gliner Adam” and he came running to Grandmother and said “Ach du leber Gott, Mommie, de buvvan wellen mich dote warruf.” (Oh dear God, Mother, the boys will strike me to death). Grandmother often told me this story with tears streaming down her cheeks. They finally located at the Mole Hill Homestead, as we knew it and they lived here until the end of their days.
Grandfather (Philip Linhoss) was a weaver of linen by trade in Germany. He wove heavy linen cloth which sacks were made. After he came to America he followed farming as a vocation.
Adam (our father) was only five (5) years old when they left Germany, and he said he could remember the town pump and the bandstand in their town. And he remembered their trip up the river to Bremer Haven when they got on board the Ship.
Grandmother (Barbara Linhoss) told many interesting things about her native land. Instead on planting shade trees along the streets, they planted “watchen blumen,” prune trees, so they had shade and fruit too. A friend of ours visited all thru Germany (Max I Reich) and I asked him about the prune trees in Weisenhassel and he said it was true that Weisenhassel had prune trees along the street, and that it was a beautiful town.
One of the customs of the German people at funerals was to give each one that attended a “weck,” a bun. And instead of erecting tombstones at graves, a wreath of “gebacken blummen,” artificial flowers, were placed inside the church in memory of the dead.
Grandmother said if the church was still standing where her little twin boys were buried there would be two wreaths of flowers in their memory on the inside.
The German people take great interest in Christian Celebrations. On Christmas Eve they would sing carols and early Christmas morning they would take baskets to the poor. And Grandmother never forgot the poor as long as she lived.
Great Grandfather Ross and George Ross, Grandmother’s oldest brother were millers. They had a grain mill and an oil mill. I think a mill where they made flaxseed oil. George Ross was the oldest son and inherited all of his fathers estate, and the rest got nothing. Grandmother often cried about this. The family did not all come to this country at the same time. I think there were four immigrations. Henry was the first one to come. The others followed later. There were three brothers and one sister in our immediate family: Henry Linhoss, Philip Linhoss, Frederick Linhoss, and Catherine Linhoss Baugh.
Grandmother told me that the young folks in Germany did not think a party complete without Philip, as he was always the life of the party, witty and full of fun.
Note: per Clarence Weese: Before Grandmother Linhoss left Germany she had a dream that she would never learn the English language. In her 45 years that she lived here she never could learn the language.
George Linhoss (Son of Philip Linhoss)
George Linhoss was never married and he spent some years in Ohio and followed the occupation of brick maker for some years. He made the bricks used in all the Mennonite Churchs, Midway, Leetonia, Lima, Ohio. He also sold buggies. And on one of his trips his horse ran away and threw him out and broke his leg. (That was why Uncle George always limped a little when he walked.) He made his home at Jacob Yoders and it was here he was in bed six weeks until his leg healed. He said the Yoder’s gave him the best of everything, and were so good and kind to him. He never could say enough in their praise.
He was returning from a party one night and he encountered a skunk. And he thought his suit was ruined but Mrs. Yoder buried it in the ground and it came out good as new.
He came home from Ohio after his parents needed his care, and superintended the farm and engaged in the lumbering and threshing business for years. He also had a furniture factory in Dayton, VA. He also carried on an extensive Real Estate Business.
One of the outstanding traits of Uncle Georges character was that he was so very good to his mother.
Adam Linhoss (Son of Philip Linhoss)
Adam Linhoss (our father) also spent some time in Ohio before his marriage. I think in 1872. And followed the Carpenter trade. He told me there is a house in Youngstown that he helped build, that was finished in walnut through-out, and the doors were all solid walnut.
The story is told that he took a young lady to a party one night and it became very warm in the room. He and his lady friend were sitting near an old Grandfather clock and he opened the door of the old clock to let in some fresh air much to the amusement of the young folks.
He was a contractor and builder by trade… and a good one… did good honest work and was in great demand wherever he was known. IN his day he made all the window sash and doors by hand. And before he had his wood-working machinery he did his planning by hand. The mortises were all made with a foot-power mortise machine. He sawed out all his brackets and scrolls for porches, around cornices of houses, and fancy banisters with a foot jig-saw. He operated a sawmill and several different kinds of wood-working machines later. He hired a great deal of help and made most of his sash and doors in his shop at home if the job was near enough at hand.
He was stricken in the very midst of his career and in the prime of his life with a paralytic stroke, after which he was never able to work at his trade or even superintend his work, much to his disappointment. It grieved him very much to give up his work.
Years ago when Father and Mother visited Ohio, Father said he would like to go to Youngstown and see the house he built that was finished all over in walnut… so they borrowed a buggy and made a trip to Youngstown. Father received a lot of satisfaction from seeing this house. I don’t think there are many, if any, houses built now-a-days finished in walnut.
Henry Linhoss (Brother to Philip Linhoss)
Henry Linhoss was born the 20th day of July, in the year of our Lord, 1810, in Germany in the state of Hesson Cassel, in the county of Rodenburg, in the town of Weisenhasel. “I came to America in 1838. I was married to Catherine Wetsel the 30th day of June 1840. And on the 6th day of October the same year moved to Dayton, VA. Me and my companion lived together for 33 years till she died. We were blessed with seven (7) children, four boys and three girls, of whom only one is living.”
This account was found among Uncle Frederick’s papers, and was written by Henry Linhoss himself.
Henry Linhoss was a shoemaker by trade, and worked at his trade all his life, or as long as he was able. Father used to take us down and have our feet measured and had our shoes made. He was well versed in Scripture, having committed a great part of the New Testament to memory. He had a remarkable memory, for he could pronounce the words that were too hard for me when I read for him which I did very often. The first thing he would say to me was “Vell Minna, have you been readin’ dat Good Book?” He worked with the open Bible on the floor beside him. Read awhile, work awhile.
His shop was at the North end of Dayton, VA. His home was the brick house across the street from the shop (where kirkpatrick’s used the live). Later he bought the Holsinger Farm where his Granddaughter Lillie and husband now reside.
Frederick Linhoss (Brother to Philip Linhoss)
Frederick Linhoss was born the 29th of May 1823 in Germany and came in America in 1839. Landed in Baltimore sometime in September of the same year.
He was married. His first wife was Etta B. Garber, who died in 1876. Two children blessed this union. One died in infancy and the other still living (Annie Linhoss Wampler, died since this was written).
In April 1878 he married Frances Spitzer. He died May 18, 1894 aged 70 years, 11 months, 20 days. He is buried in the Brethren Cemetery at Linville, about 1 mile S.E. of Broadway, VA. He fought in two wars, the Mexican War and the late Civil War. He was wounded in the ankle during the late war which caused him much suffering in after years. He fought in the Battle of Manassas, Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Battle of the Wilderness, and others.
Frederick Linhoss enlisted at Harrisonburg, VA in the regular army under Capt. Getty in the year 1846. Went to Fortress Monroe and from there to Mexico. Was there until 1848 then back to Fortress Monroe and from there to Florida and stayed there until 1850.
The above account was written by himself. He spent the greater part of his time, when not traveling, at his brother Henry Linhoss home in Dayton, VA. He traveled extensively, having been to Mexico, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, West Virginia, and Virginia. He was a shoemaker by trade and worked at his trade all his life.
Conrad Linhoss (NOT the son of Philip and Barbara)
Conrad Linhoss was born December 31, 1817. Died June 25, 1890. Aged 71 years, 5 months, 25 days. Susan Barrett widow of Conrad Linhoss died at her home in New Market, VA April 10, 1901 aged 75 (?) years, 3 months, 9 days. Susan Barrett Linhoss was born December 31, 1825.
Conrad and Susan Barrett came from Germany in the same ship in the year 1847 and were married July 27, 1847, the same year they landed. And located near New Market, VA. Conrad Linhoss came to America from Kurhessen, Rodenburg Count Germany in June 1847. Conrad and Susanna Linhoss were members of Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church at New Market, VA.
Notations made on scrap paper by Julia R. Nicolds (wife of Elwood K. Nichols) while visiting in Virginia on September 1962.
Mole Hill Homestead, which was on up past the home occupied in the last 75 years by the Linhoss children.
Barbara Ross (probably Rares) Linhoss.. great, great, grandmother to Elwood Nichols children.
George Linhoss made brick for Jess Esterly’s house.
Adam Linhoss stricken with a stroke when 52 years old.
Notations jotted down in 1962 by J.R.N.
Linhoss House built by Adam Linhoss in 1870
It is not recalled what this is but is written thus:
Gold on Black
In loving remembrance of
our dear Parents
Philip Linhoss … Gf. Adams Father
Died April 10, 1896 Aged
80 yrs. 2 mo. 27 da.
Samuel Wenger … Grandmother Linhoss’ Mother and Dad
Died Sept. 1861 Aged
48 yrs. 1 mo. 25 da.
Eva Wenger
Died Feb 4, 1898
Aged 84 yrs. 2 mo. 2 da.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday

Wilhemina Keim, my husband Jeff's great grandmother buried in the St. Joseph Cemetery, Geistown, PA. On our way home from Pittsburgh in June 2016 we decided to take a detour to Johnstown, PA to locate Wilhelmina. 

Tombstone for Wilhelmina Keim