Thursday, July 2, 2009

Marriages and Deaths

Wednesday was a day of discovery. I discovered just how nice, friendly and helpful some courthouses are. At the Ohio County Courthouse we could wander through most of the record books and get what we wanted and there was always someone to ask if you needed help. I learned how to read an old marriage record index (not quite as easy as you may think). We found bunches of marriage certificates with the one I found most interesting was that of my great grandfather Nehemiah Nickerson. He was married to Amanda Eliza Robinson on July 4, 1866. The record had a note written at the top in the handwriting of Amanda's father, Israel Robinson, giving his permission for the wedding. Israel was born in 1812 and Amanda was his second oldest daughter. Earlier in the day we had gone graveyard discovering in the Greenwood Cemetery in Wheeling. A most helpful place this was as they had easy to find indexes listing all the information. We were given a map of the place and off we went. We had some trouble but ultimately found what we were looking for. Grave stones of Nehemiah and Amanda, Henry Nehemiah Nickerson who was awarded the Medal of Honor from President John F Kennedy and John Robinson who was Amanda's older brother.

We also found a detailed story about my uncle John Griffith and his son Walker who had both drowned in 1968. Walker had fallen into a rained swollen creek he had been told not to get into and was washed away. His father John jumped in to save him and both perished. Walker's body was not found until the next day some 12 miles downstream from where he had fallen in. I knew about the story from my mother years and years ago, but reading it in detail made me realize yet another reason why I am so attracted (addicted?) to this study of genealogy. I want to leave a detailed history for my descendents that gives not only the facts but the stories; good, bad, sad and happy all.

The plan for Thursday is to move on to Steubenville for more of the same and perhaps back to Wheeling for more "digging".

All in all, another very fulfilling day.

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