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If you came to this posting thanks to my Desktop Genealogist Post “My Seneca County Ohio Roots,” then you know the story of how Feaselburg Cemetery came by its name. 

 

Two brothers, George and Henry Feasel took out land patents in Liberty Township of Seneca County, Ohio in the latter part of 1831.  George was first with his patents, with land entry records dated August 12, 1831. Older brother Henry, my third great grandfather, made his land entry on November 14 of that same year. 

 

Both George and Henry had large families, and soon the area was overrun with Feasels, leading to local people calling this part of the township, Feaselburg.  The cemetery which sits on the southwestern corner of old George’s original land, kept the Feaselburg name. 

 

Below is an 1865 plat map of a portion of Liberty Twp. showing the location of the various Feasel lands noted by the red dots.  The green dot is where the cemetery is located.

 

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Depending on whether you are driving south from Fremont or north from Tiffin, you can get to Feaselburg Cemetery by driving on State Route 53 until you reach the village of Fort Seneca.  Turn west on County  Rd. 30 (also known as Feaselburg Road).  Drive about two miles on County Road 30 until you get to County Road 11.  Turn north, the cemetery will be on the right hand side, just as you cross the railroad tracks.

 

While the cemetery is located on what was once George Feasel’s land and while there are eight different surnames listed on the markers, you should keep in mind that the cemetery inhabitants revolve around one set of siblings, the Andersons. 

 

The Anderson children were the children of Margaret Scott Anderson and Ezekiel Anderson.  Ezekiel died while stationed at Fort Findley during the War of 1812.  According to an abstract of the will dated 1813, Margaret was named administrator.  The children were listed as,[i] “Mary and Jane Anderson, both over 12 years of age in 1813, chose their mother as their guardian.  In 1814, Margaret Anderson and John Edgar were appointed guardians over the other three Anderson children, John, age 9, Esther, age 4 and Margaret, age 2.”

 

Three of these children, Jane, John and Margaret would eventually settle in Seneca County, and each is buried in Feaselburg Cemetery. 

 

Jane, the eldest of the three, was born August 29, 1802 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and was the wife of George Feasel.

 

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John Anderson, was born March 1, 1806 also in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.  He married Candacy Chaney and both are buried in Feaselburg Cemetery. 

 

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The youngest of the children, Margaret, was born November 12, 1812 in Ohio and was married to Daniel Lynch.  You can see on the map above, how close the Lynch land was to George Feasel’s land. Margaret and Daniel are my third great grandparents.

 

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Daniel’s mother, MaMe Linch, is also buried at this cemetery.  You can no longer read the inscription but the “MaMe” stems from her name, Martha Mercy Inks Linch. She was still living in Franklin County, Ohio in 1850.  Some time between 1850 and 1860, she must have moved north to live with Daniel.  Daniel was the only one of her children left living in Ohio after 1850.

 

Margaret Scott Anderson, mother of the three Anderson children, remarried after the death of her husband Ezekiel.  She and her husband, Jacob Isenhart Sr., are also buried in this cemetery.  A daughter by this second marriage, Harriet, has her first husband, Adam Yoder, and two of Harriet ‘s children, Oscar and Amanda finding their final rest in Feaselburg Cemetery.

 

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Looking Northeast from the cemetery you can see the sad remains of the George Feasel homestead.  And while it is a sad reminder of times past, there is comfort in the fact that the cemetery, located on the southwest corner of what was once George Feasel’s land, still remains a quiet, well-maintained momento of this once close-knit family.

 

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[i] Abstracted Wills 1805 -1831 From Franklin County, Ohio Court Records with Genealogical Notes, compiled by Blanche Tipton Rngs and Mrs. Francis Herbert Obetz and edited by Margaret Hiles Scott, 1982m  The Franklin County Genealogical Society.

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The last area of Ohio to be settled was that of the Great Black Swamp. The Greenville Treaty of 1795 had guaranteed this land to be used exclusively for the  Indians. Like so many guarantees made to Native Americans, the promise of this land would not last.  Successive treaties chipped away at the area, so that by 1820 most of the land was available to pioneers at the price of $1.25 per acre, with an 80-acre minimum.

All of my maternal grandmother’s great grandparents, came to Northwest Ohio in the early 1830’s and settled in Seneca County. 

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The picture in the banner of this blog is from one of the cemeteries in Seneca County, the Bettsville Liberty Cemetery, located in Bettsville, Ohio. One set of my grandmother’s great grandparents, Joseph and Magdalena Good, are buried there.

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If you have ancestors who are buried in Seneca County of Ohio, you can consider yourself lucky for a variety of reasons.

1. In 1987, the Seneca County Genealogical Society published a compiled transcription of the cemeteries of Seneca County, Ohio. The book is entitled, Seneca County, Ohio Cemetery Inscriptions/Compiled by The Seneca County Genealogical Society. According to World Cat, the book currently resides in at least 27 libraries across the US.

Having spent some time in many of these cemeteries, I can tell you that this compilation has within its pages, the inscriptions of gravestones that are no longer legible to the eye, making it a valuable commodity.

2. There are several websites with transcriptions and/or images of Seneca County Cemeteries. Below I have listed three that are noteworthy.

Ohio Gravestones.org – Currently this website has six cemeteries from Seneca County listed, but there are a total of 303 images available for view. There is also a nifty search engine, which is what makes a good website great.

Find A Grave – The undisputed big daddy of the gravesite websites, it has 104 of Seneca County’s cemeteries listed in its database. Some are well covered, some have only a few names available.

I say the next part with love, the search criteria is adequate, but with 29 million names in its database, it would be nice to narrow down the search criteria by county in addition to state. But even if this function never becomes available, I still love Find A Grave and all its many contributors.

Seneca County Ohio Cemeteries – I’ve saved the best for last. This is Kristina L. (Kuhn) Krumm’s website. Kristina and her legion of volunteers have put together a great website. She has included within her list, cemeteries that have been destroyed or moved, a reminder why documenting graveyards is important work.

There are 109 cemeteries listed, a one-word search engine, and some images.

In addition, with the permission of the Seneca County Genealogical Society, Kristina  has included township maps that show where the various cemeteries are located. These maps originally appeared in the Seneca County, Ohio Cemetery Inscriptions book. These maps print up nicely, and are invaluable if you are going to do some “tombstone hunting.”

Elsewhere on Kris’s website are the 1874 plat maps of Seneca townships, which take a while to load if you have an old dial up connection, but are worth the wait. She scanned them at a high resolution making the details legible. If you have Seneca County roots, and haven’t checked this website out, you need to take a little tour. For those of you who don’t have Seneca roots, take a look anyway. See what a great job that Kristina and the volunteers have done.

3. Finally, if you have Seneca County roots, don’t overlook the Hayes Presidential Center’s Obituary Index database. This is a consortium of Ohio Libraries that have included their indexed obituaries as part of the Hayes database. The Tiffin-Seneca Public Library was the first library to sign on to the project (after the Hayes Library, of course). The database is closing in on 1.5 million names, and has expanded to include some libraries outside of Northwest Ohio.

In the next few weeks, I will be taking a closer look at individual cemeteries in Seneca County.  Until then, a wealth of information is only a click away.

Additional Source of Information:

Knepper, George W., “The Official Ohio Lands Book,” 2002. Pamphlet, State Auditor of Ohio, http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/Publications/General/OhioLandsBook.pdf: 2007.

Early in November, before the weather became too cold for a hot house flower like yours truly to venture outside, my husband and I did some cemetery survey work.  The enclosed side show is that of Washington Chapel Cemetery in Washington Township, Sandusky County, Ohio.

Yesterday, we had the first snowfall of the season.  The warmer ground did not play willing host and the snow did not stick.  This morning I see small gentle flakes again trying to cover the ground. 

 

In honor of this first snowfall and because its timing coincides with my own personal reflections, I thought it appropriate to present a favorite poem of mine, James Russell Lowell’s “The First Snowfall.”

 

I loved the poem when I first learned a couple of the stanzas in fourth grade, but it wasn’t until I was required to memorize the whole poem in seventh grade that it officially became my favorite poem.  I didn’t know it then, but I had found a poem that would one day give me great comfort.

 

Lowell wrote the poem in 1847 after the death of his eldest daughter, Blanche.  Of the four children born to Lowell and his first wife, Maria, three would die at young ages. The surviving child, a girl, was named Mabel.

 

 

The First Snowfall

 

The snow had begun in the gloaming,

And busily all the night

Had been heaping field and highway

With a silence deep and white.

 

Every pine and fir and hemlock

Wore ermine too dear for an earl,

And the poorest twig on the elm-tree

Was ridged inch deep with pearl.

 

From sheds new-roofed with Carrara

Came Chanticleer’s muffled crow,

The stiff rails were softened to swan’s-down,

And still fluttered down the snow.

 

I stood and watched by the window

The noiseless work of the sky,

And the sudden flurries of snow-birds,

Like brown leaves whirling by.

 

I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn

Where a little headstone stood;

How the flakes were folding it gently,

As did robins the babes in the wood.

 

Up spoke our own little Mabel,

Saying, “Father, who makes it snow?”

And I told of the good All-father

Who cares for us here below.

 

Again I looked at the snow-fall,

And thought of the leaden sky

That arched o’er our first great sorrow,

When that mound was heaped so high.

 

I remembered the gradual patience

That fell from that cloud-like snow,

Flake by flake, healing and hiding

The scar of our deep-plunged woe.

 

And again to the child I whispered,

“The snow that husheth all,

Darling, the merciful Father

Alone can make it fall!”

 

Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her;

And she, kissing back, could not know

That my kiss was given to her sister,

Folded close under deepening snow.

 

Sources:

 

Sullivan, Nancy, ed. The Treasury of American Poetry. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1978.   

 

Lowell, James Russell.  Wikipedia. Accessed November 16, 2008.

 

 

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Okay, the first time somebody sent me a graveyard pic (from Nebraska, no less) I was all like EEEW! It creeped me out, I must confess.  That didn’t last very long, as I realized that if I wanted to obtain names and dates, tombstones often offered the best route for doing this.  Eeew, indeed!

 

Now I plan whole vacations based on what graveyard I am hot to visit.  It helps if you are blessed with a soul mate, who doesn’t mind going through cemeteries on vacations, with nebulous instructions to “Look for Lynches.”  

 

So, when I have the time, I spend a lot of it in cemeteries.  Which is why when Terry Thornton asked me to join The Graveyard Rabbit Association, I said yes – most definitely yes.

 

The Association was formed for the august purpose of promoting the historical importance of cemeteries, grave markers, and the family history to be learned from a study of burial customs, burying grounds, and tombstones.   As a group we pledge to promote the study of cemeteries, promote the preservation of cemeteries, and promote the transcription of genealogical/historical information written in cemeteries”.  

 

As you can see by the name of the blog, I’ve chosen the Great Black Swamp as my area of interest.  Historically the Great Black Swamp consisted of twelve counties in Ohio and Allen County in Indiana.  I am concentrating on only the counties in Ohio. 

 

The diagram below shows all the counties encompassed by the Great Black Swamp. Those counties include Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Lucas, Wood, Hancock, Henry, Allen, Putnam, Paulding, Van Wert and Defiance counties.  That’s a big chuck of territory to be sure.

 

My hope is to con sweet-talk encourage someone into co-writing the blog with me. For those of you who don’t want to make that kind of commitment, but might be interested in writing a piece now and then, please be sure to contact me at Blackswampbunnyataol.com.  Come on, don’t be shy, you have a voice that is waiting to be heard.

 

For more information about the how and why the association was formed please visit our founder, Terry Thornton’s website, The Graveyard Rabbit Association. For an answer to the question, “Why the graveyard rabbit,” see Terry’s personal blog post here.

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