Friday, February 22, 2013

Funeral Customs?

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about funerals.  Random, I know, but we got to talking about it after she saw a photo of my family dressed up and asked where it had been taken.  When I responded it was taken at a restaurant after my grandmother's funeral she seemed more than a bit shaken. 

I replied that in my family, while it's obviously okay to cry at the funeral itself, you are supposed to use the wake to celebrate the person's life, and it is not supposed to be a time for tears.  Instead, you're supposed to eat, drink, and reminisce about the good times with the person.  When I told her this, she was rather shocked by this and thought it was very strange, and honestly I think she thought it was in poor taste.

I'm curious what everyone elses' experiences are in the matter?  Is this just a tradition passed down by family country of origin, or is it family specific?  If it matters, my family is primarly German, Irish, and Scottish and if religion matters, Catholic.

I've truly never given any thought to it because it was just the way it was done in my family.  But now I am curious.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Blog

Well, I've started yet another blog, lol.  This one *hopefully* will be helpful to others :)

Essentially this will be a place to find easy answers as to where, how, and when you should do onsite research in Pennsylvania.  It will be broken down by county, and will eventually have quite a few details.

Please note this is a brand new startup, and is of course a work in progress.  It will take a while to get the site up to speed, but I do plan to make updates regularly.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Searching for the Diehls and Koontz' in Loudoun County, Virginia

In attempting to trace my ancestors out of Bedford County, PA, one line traces back into Loudoun County, Virginia.  I will update with the records found later.  This is just an overview of the facts and my theories to this point.

Mary Koontz (1789 - 1864), wife of Jacob Shuss, is from this lineage.  It is her parents that started in Loudoun Co, VA.  And Mary herself was born in Virginia.

Mary's father was Adam Koontz who lived from about 1770 - 1848.  His surname has been recorded as everything from Koontz, Koons, Coons, Count, Counts, Coonts, and everything in-between.  His parentage is officially uncertain.  Many people have claimed that his parents are "Adam Counts" and his wife Mary of Loudoun County, VA.  They did after all move to Bedford county, PA, and they are the right age.  However, since Adam "Jr" is not listed in Adam "Sr"'s will, I personally doubt this account.  Adam Sr specifically mentions his children, "David, Elizabeth Smouse, Henry, Nicholas, Peter, and Abraham".  While it is conceivable he simply did not mention a child, perhaps due to a falling out, or perhaps he had already received his share, I find this highly unlikely.

My personal belief is that this "Adam Sr", as I will refer to him, was Adam's uncle.  In 1762, both Adam Counts and a Henry Counts received a "lease of lives" from Charles the Earl of Tankerville.  Adam's states that he was 20, his wife Mary was also 20, and their son David was 1.  Henry's puts himself at 27, his wife Katherine 20, and their daughter Salomay as 3 years old.  It is worth noting, they both seem to live very near one another for many years.

The only reference I can find to Adam's father is one in a history of Bedford county.  In it, it is noted that "Adam Koontz's father settled at Clevian Springs at a very early day, but was driven away by Indians".

Next, we see Mary's mother was an Edna/Mary Diehl (1767 - ?).  Just like her husband, her last name has many variations.  Among them are Deal, Deel, Teel, Teal, etc.  She was alive at the time of her husband's death in 1848.  Her ancestry is also uncertain.  It is, however, fairly certain that her grandfather is a Joseph Teel/Diehl (1760 - ?).  He and his family lived very near the Koontz/Counts family above, and actually in some cases had land adjoining one another.  In 1762, Joseph has sons, Joseph age 28, Peter 15, Henry 13, and George 5.  Joseph also had a son Samuel who would have been about 22 at this time (though not recorded in the lease of lives).  It is possible he had other sons, but I have not seen any hard evidence to them yet.

Samuel Diehl as is well known, moved from Loudoun County, VA to Bedford, PA.  He, like Adam Koontz Sr, has a will in the records.  Once again, there is no trace of Edna/Mary Diehl Koontz.  It is therefore unlikely she was his daughter.  Given the ages of his brothers, it seems most likely, Joseph or Peter is Edna/Mary's father.  Henry Diehl is also a possibility.  George is obviously too young.