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Rhodes Anabaptist-Mennonite Cemetery

Rhodes Anabaptist-Mennonite Cemetery

Photo taken by Donna Birkey while visiting the cemetery in 2008.

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:

  1. Members of the executive and a few volunteers cleared the brush, cut down the trees and straightened the tombstones.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

A Facebook Page has been set up for this project as well.
You can find a location map for this cemetery in our Cemetery section.

Below are photos received showing the cemetery before work began, and work progressing during the year.

Cemetery before work.

Cemetery before work.

Work in progress.

Work in progress.

Cemetery after work completed.

Yet to be completed – Nameplates

Yet to be completed – Back wall.

Daniel Schrock and Barbara Yoder line of Schrags

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.

Steve Arnold photo copy

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

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.

Alvin and Amelia's wedding photo

Alvin and Amelia’s wedding photo

Alvin and Amelia's wedding photo

Alvin and Amelia’s wedding photo

Marriage License

Marriage License

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A & A's children

Alvin and Amelia’s children. Born from Dec. 1913 to Feb 1933.
Oldest to youngest: Ellis “Turk”, Viola, Marvin, Floyd, Ivan, Margaret,
Carroll “Kelly”, Delmar “Del”. Roy Emery was born Aug 1923 and
died about a month later.

Metal plate from the casket of little Roy Emery who died about a month after his birth.

Metal plate from the casket of little Roy Emery who died about a month after his birth.

Illinois Stalter Relatives Sought

Name: Priscilla (Stalter) Mendez
Email: wilcilla@comcast.net
Comment: Hello,
I will be visiting the Eureka area on Oct. 5,6 and 7, 2012 and will use information from your blog to help with my Family tree. Doing this is new for me but my father came from there and most of that side of the family is unfamiliar to me. Any relative of the late Ruth and Lee (Levi) Stalter who would like to meet during the above dates for a cup of coffee or tea somewhere in the area, please let me know. My email is wilcilla@comcast.net

with kind regards,
Priscilla

The Cane Belonging to Joseph Schrock (1828-1901)

The Cane Belonging to Joseph Schrock (1828-1901)

I recently spent several days in Eureka, IL, and one of the interesting activities while there was to see, handle, and photograph a 100+-year-old-cane belonging to Joseph Schrock, son of Johannes and Catherine Salzman Schrock. I asked Byron Schrock to document the cane’s history and project its future. His story and my photographs are below.

Donna Birkey

Joseph Byron Schrock holding his great grandfather’s cane

Detail of cane antler handle

Detail of cane decoration

Cane Tip

The cane belonging to Joseph Schrock (1828-1901) is presently being handed down through each succeeding generation to a male named Joseph, or a close derivative. As far as we know, Jonathan Schrock (1861-1947) had possession after his father died in 1901 until he died in 1947. My earliest remembrance was of my father, Joseph Benjamin Schrock having possession and storing it in a hall closet. He told us it was his grandfather’s cane. When he died in 1991, my brother and I agreed to keep its possession in the hands of a descendant having the closest namesake of “Joseph”. Therefore I, Joseph Byron Schrock (b.1945), had possession until the next heir, Kevin Joseph Schrock (b.1975), my nephew, was settled in a home in about 2005. The cane will reside with Kevin until the next three heirs are older and settled.  The next in line is my 18-year-old grandson, Eric Joel Schrock (b.1994). Following him will be two great-nephews named Caleb Joseph Schrock (b. 2001) and Josiah Frederick Schrock (b.2006). All three future custodians are great-great-great grandchildren of the original owner.

The cane is exquisitely made, having a handle of antler fitted over brass. Even the pegs holding the antler parts to the handle are made from antler. The tip of the cane is also made from antler. The wood cane itself appears to be maple, but we’re not positive. From the length of the cane and from family hearsay, Joseph Schrock (1828-1901) was a big man, perhaps six foot, five inches tall. The cane is over 100 years old.

–By Joseph Byron Schrock

ABC 7 News Chicago Newscast with Courtney (Hatch) Sensenig, Michelle Obama, and Gov. Pat Quinn

Here is a video taken of the ABC 7 Newscast reporting on Michelle Obama’s visit to Chicago for the signing by Governor Quinn of an Illinois law making it easier for service personnel families to transfer licenses from state to state.  Jim and Jan (Heiser) Hatch’s daughter, Courtney Sensenig, a nurse and US Navy wife at Great Lakes Naval Station was introduced by Governor Quinn and then Courtney introduces Mrs. Obama.

Courtney is a granddaughter of Elmer and Eileen Bruehl Heiser Schrock

Courtney (Hatch) Sensenig at Senate Bill 275 signing

Courtney (Hatch) Sensenig (far right) watches Governor Quinn sign Senate Bill 275 bill along with Michelle Obama and other dignitaries.

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