On our last couple of adventure days, we have been finding the graves of our ancestors in Ohio. Mom and Dad wanted to visit the cemeteries where their parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents are buried. We picked a couple of cool but sunny days to explore and look for the graves.
Mom’s people come from Wayne County in Ohio, so we started there. We met Aunt Anne and Uncle Paul at the Buckeye Agricultural Museum and Education Center in Wooster. This is the museum that Uncle Paul started a few years ago. I wrote about it previously in the blog and you can read that post here. The museum is a lot more filled-in than when we were there before and has a lot of fascinating displays telling the stories about farming in Ohio. Uncle Paul has many plans for continuing to expand the museum, including an old wood barn that will be reconstructed inside the museum. After seeing the museum and eating lunch, we were off on our cemetery hunt.
The first cemetery we stopped at was the Beech Grove Cemetery across from the Chippewa Church of the Brethren. We found George and Isabella Irvin, my mom’s paternal great-grandparents. George was the first Irvin in Wayne County and he farmed the “Irvin Homestead” starting in 1853. He was an elder in the Chippewa Church of the Brethren and helped to found Ashland College.
Next we went to the Canaan Cemetery where more of the family is buried. We found the graves for Mom’s parents, Lois and Arthur Irvin and her brother, George Irvin who died in 1980. We also found the graves of Grandpa Irvin’s parents, Carrie and Joseph Maximillian Irvin. All three tombstones were in a line together. Carrie was born a Parmenter, so we also located the graves of her parents, John William and Lovina Parmenter in the same cemetery.
Our third cemetery was the Mohican Cemetery, on the grounds of Mohican Church of the Brethren in Wayne County. Mom’s maternal great-grandmother is buried here, Martha Jane McVicker Kline, next to the baby that died with her in childbirth. We were saddened by the single tombstone with the tiny tombstone next to it. A lot of women died in childbirth at the time.
We stopped at the Old Dutch Reformed Cemetery because Mom remembered that her mother always said they had people buried there. But Mom didn’t know who it was so we didn’t have anyone specific to look for. Turns out Mom’s great-great grandparents are buried there, George and Hannah Hubler, but I had to do more research to figure that out.
Martha Jane McVicker Kline’s husband, John Kline, Jr. is buried with his second wife in the West Salem Cemetery, which is where we headed next. The West Salem Cemetery is much larger than the other three cemeteries, and it took us longer to find the graves we were looking for. We found John and Sabina Kline in a corner of the cemetery. We also found Mom’s maternal grandparents, George and Carrie Kline, but they were more difficult. George is buried next to his first wife, Alta, and they share a tombstone with her parents, David and Fianna Reaser. His second wife, Carrie, who was Mom’s grandmother, has a small headstone in the middle of the row. We also found the tombstone for William and Sarah Jane Hubler, Mom’s maternal great-grandparents.
Our search for graves continued in Hancock County, where Dad’s relatives are buried. We started at the Clymer Cemetery, across the street from Pleasant View United Methodist Church. The most recent burials were the easiest to find. Aunt Joan, Dad’s sister, was buried in 2016. She is next to their parents, Grace and Dale Clymer. Mom and Dad have their headstone on the other side of Aunt Joan. They already have it carved, except for the dates of death, and even put the Clymer name on the back of the headstone. That will make it easier for future generations to find.
The Clymer Cemetery was particularly interesting because there were so many Clymers buried there. I don’t think of Clymer as a common name, but at least 1/3 of the people in the cemetery were named or related to Clymers. I’ve never seen so many Clymers in one place! We found great-aunts and great-uncles and lots of cousins once or twice or many times removed. Francis Clymer was the first to come to Hancock County in 1835. He and his wife, Susannah, were founding members of the United Brethren Church in Union Township and Francis donated the land for the Clymer Cemetery. Francis and Susannah were Dad’s paternal great-great-grandparents. Their graves were the closest to the entrance of the cemetery, although it took us a while to find them. There were so many Clymers!
In addition to Dad’s parents and great-great-grandparents, we also found his paternal great-grandparents, Francis Harris and Ama Clymer. The most difficult grave to find was Dad’s grandparents, Abraham Harris and Cora Belle Clymer. They weren’t even close to any other Clymers. We only found them after we systematically walked up and down the rows until we located them. Persistence pays off!
The second cemetery we visited was the Flick, or Tawa, Cemetery. This was much smaller than the Clymer Cemetery, although there were still lots of Flicks. We started with Calvin and Irrilla Flick Dietz, who were Dad’s maternal grandparents. Calvin was the first Dietz in Ohio, although another branch of the family had moved to Hancock County previously and changed their name to Deeds. We saw the graves of lots of Dietzes when we were in Pennsylvania a couple of years ago.
From there, we worked our way back. We found the graves of Thomas and Sarah Deeds Flick, Dad’s maternal great-grandparents, and then Mary and John Flick, his great-great-grandparents. These tombstones were all interesting because they weren’t your usual rectangle. The most exciting find of the day was Jacob and Mary Fox (Fuchs). These were Dad’s great-great-great-grandparents. On their tombstone it said that Jacob was a Revolutionary War veteran, and we had no idea about this history in the family. Finding their tombstone led to the research that Tom did to find out more. I wrote about that in Tuesday’s post on the Military District in Ohio.
It was good to visit all these graves with Mom and Dad. Tom and I learned a lot about the family history, and enjoyed hearing their stories about their grandparents. We saw some houses and farms where my grandparents and great-grandparents lived or grew up and where my parents visited and played. It feels good to know more about my roots. How about you? Do you know where the graves of your ancestors are?