The Whites of Whitesville: Tombstone Tuesday

Not long ago I took a genealogy field trip from my home in northeastern Pennsylvania to Allegany County, New York, following the Appalachian ridges to the hills of my ancestors, great-great-grands Ira and Serena White Sayles.  A wonderful thing happened on the way back south – I found Serena’s hometown, Whitesville.

Settled in 1821 by Samuel S. and Nancy Teater White

What I Found Between the Hills

In a preparatory internet session I had found an index for the Whitesville Rural Cemetery, which had not included my third great-grandparents, Samuel S. and Nancy Teater White, Serena’s parents and founders of this hamlet.  So on my way into town, I just drove by the gates of the meticulously maintained grounds.  At the other end of Main Street I parked and snapped a photograph of the beautiful town signage, returned to the car and promptly went right back down Main Street the way I had just come.  Why?  A nudging from the past?

I drove into the cemetery, about thirty yards, and parked.  The tombstones were old here, lichen and moss gently adorning the rock, and my sense was that I had reached the burial grounds of my ancestors.  I stepped out of my car again, camera slung over my shoulder, and pointed it at a neutral object to get a light meter read on the gray, overcast fall day.  Turning, I approached a magnificent stone:

Samuel S. White, deceased September 4, 1860, Aged 63 years, 10 months and 17 days

Nancy White, deceased January 25, 1863, Aged 68 years, 4 months and 5 days

Hands clasping, one male, one female. Surrounded by wreath of flowers and the words Our Father above and Our Mother below.

I found my peeps!

Or maybe, they found me.

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