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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.

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