New content has been added to the “Articles” navigation — a short history of the East Bend Mennonite and Memorial Gardens Cemetery (Fisher, Champaign County, IL), first published in the April 2018 issue of Mennonite Family History, along with photos and a list of surnames.
New content has been added under the “Articles” navigation — an in-depth investigation of four Bircky/Bürcky families that lived in Bavaria at the beginning of the 1800s. Many of their descendants immigrated to America. First published in the April 2018 issue of Mennonite Family History, the article is authored by Bavarian researcher, Herbert Holly.
Three New Articles PostedMills, Dent and Fenwycke Families of England
Rhodes Anabaptist-Mennonite Cemetery
In the beginning of 2017, an association was formed for the preservation of the Anabaptist-Mennonite cemetery in Rhodes, France. It had become overgrown, some gravestones were leaning badly, the back wall had deteriorated, and nameplates were missing.
The land on which the Rhodes cemetery was created belonged to the Pelsy family. Three descendants of Jacob Pelsy had inherited the land: Christian, Jacob and Nicolas, who are buried there with their wives, Catherine Abresol, Madeleine Schertz and Barbe Abresol. They are three of the fifteen children of Christian Pelsy and Catherine Werckler who did not emigrate to America. All three had homes in Rhodes. Among surnames found on the site are: Pelsy, Abresol, Hirschy, Wagler. (Jean-Paul Pelsy)
As one would expect, members of the Pelsy family initiated the preservation work, and after contacting descendants and interested parties in both Europe and the U.S., funds were donated toward the project. During 2017 several goals were met:
- Members of the executive and a few volunteers cleared the brush, cut down the trees and straightened the tombstones.
- The Rhodes municipality committed to build a parking lot in front of the cemetery with appropriate drainage pipes on the whole width of the site.
- A lecture on September 9, 2017 was held in one of the halls at the Parc Animalier Sainte Croix in Rhodes. Mr. Pierre Singer, director of the park, offered free use of the hall. There were about 60 people in attendance, several registering as members of the association, which puts membership at 25.
Below are photos received showing the cemetery before work began, and work progressing during the year.
Daniel Schrock and Barbara Yoder line of Schrags
Daniel D. Schrock (1821-1880) and Barbara Yoder (1830-1877) arrived in Aurora, Preston County, West Virginia, about 1859 from Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Their descendants hold a reunion every year at Deep Creek Lake, near Oakland, Garrett County, Maryland, usually held on the 3rd Saturday in July. I was recently sent this photo from their 2011 reunion by a descendant. Click on the photo for a larger image.
This family line probably intersects with our Schrock line at Niklaus (b. 1660) and Christian Schneider. Their son Ulrich (Niclaus) Schrag (b.1688) and Elisabeth Meyer are believed to be the parents of three sons; Johannes (b. 1730), Ulrich (b. 1740), and Casper (b. 1745). From Casper the direct descendants are as follows: David (b. 1786), Daniel (b. 1821), David (b. 1852), Scott Cleveland (b. 1884), Eva Grace (b. 1917).
100th Anniversary, Marriage of Alvin Birkey and Amelia Zehr
Today, January 29, 2013, marks the 100th anniversary of the marriage of Alvin Birkey (1891-1973) and Amelia Zehr (1891-1965). They were married at the home of Peter and Barbara Heiser Zehr, rural Foosland, Illinois by Samuel Gerber of Tremont, Illinois.
In honor of the anniversary, here are a few photos of the couple and their family.