In Search of Roots

Been having a good time with friends and family. My dad’s motorcycle has been my primary mode of transportation and I’ve really enjoyed riding the many country roads. Not wild about the freeway construction which is beyond ridiculous.

I recently discovered the burial places of some of my dad’s ancestors and wanted to check them out and get pictures. One cemetery is in Manchester, Ohio in Adams county so I roped my cousin, Ann, into going with me. I told her we were looking for our great, great, great grandmother, Zeruiah’s grave and it was a flat red stone with raised letters. So, we spent the next 2 hours scanning each and every red stoned grave in the cemetery, which was pretty large. We never did find her, much to my disappointment.

We decided to try and find a small family plot known as Ellis Grove where Zeruiah’s parents were buried. I had looked at a map to find it, but left the map at my aunt’s house, but I was fairly sure I knew where to go. Driving down Fishing Gut Rd (how’s that for a name?) then wandering down another offshoot road, simply called “Old State”. We rode along that route until we came up with a blank. I then got her to go down a gnarly rutted and gravelly road which gave us both reservation about never being found again. Certain that the cemetery was not down there, we turned around.

Disappointed, we went back to Aberdeen where we hung out and watched the Ultralights fly overhead until dark.

When we got back to my aunt’s house I rechecked the maps and the tombstone photo. I had it all wrong. The stone was NOT red. “I am going to kick your ass,” Ann said.

“Can we go back and look at all the GRAY stones now?”

This morning, I was determined to not go home without finding that grave, so I rode the motorcycle to the cemetery and hunted. I knew now that it was located near a large Cropper family monument. Within the hour, I located the grave.

I called Ann and told her I was going to attempt to find Ellis Grove again. I knew now that it was off Fishing Gut Rd and then Wilson Rd (which we had seen the evening before) I said, “If you don’t hear back from me within an hour, come and find me!”

I rode the bike down a nice, paved winding country road until I came to close to where I thought the cemetery should be. I was halted by the last turn onto a steep, rutted and gravel road. No way I was taking the bike up there.

There was a nearby house and woman weedwhacking along the road. She turned off the weekwhacker when she saw me, looked at me as if to ask who are you and how hell did you find your way down here?

I got off the bike, introduced myself and asked, “Is there a cemetery up there?”

“It’s not public. It’s on private property,” she said.

“Oh.” I said, kind of let down. “I’m looking for Ellises”

“I’m not sure if the owner is up there. He usually lives in Bethel, but you can go thru my gate and walk up the horse path.”

I looked at the steep hill covered in brush and winced. I know about copperheads and other things in Adams county and I was not eager to go traipsing through there. “Is the trail pretty defined,” I asked.

“I’ll walk up with you.” She grabbed the weedwacker. “I”ll take this just in case.” She started it up.

I followed her as she blazed a trail, all the while looking out for snakes. We got to the top of hill and she lead me through some brambles and trees until we came to a barbed wire fence. I managed to get through it and on the other side were the graves I was looking for. “There are graves all over the ridge,” she told me. “A farmer let his cows run through here so a lot of the stones have been knocked over.”

Add caption

Seems that names are changed frequently

I called Ann and told her that I was safe and that my mission was accomplished. 

More later….

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