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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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By Kay Strickland

I am a keeper of my family's lore, chasing after my ancestors' tales in south central New York, southwestern Pennsylvania and Southside Virginia. The stories and photographs that I share on this blog are my intellectual property. While I do my very best to provide well researched posts, I do not pretend to have reached genealogical proof standards. Therefore, much of this work is to generate conversation among interested parties. If you would like to share my work or my records, please contact me: dkaysdays (at) gmail (dot) com.

2 replies on “The Whites of Whitesville: Tombstone Tuesday”

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