Friday, June 20, 2014

Looking for cousin Lillian

I put myself into the car  and drove one-hundred and twenty odd miles out to Jefferson County, Ohio from Columbus. I had a feeling that there was an obituary for my 1st cousin 3x removed Lillian (Lydia). It was a trip that taught me a history lesson. My cousin's obituary says she was a member of the McIntyre A.M.E. Church. I drove around Jefferson County until I found McIntyre. It was no more than a church and a few double wide trailers. The only house is the house of the minister which sits next to the church. I knocked on the door and she came out to speak with me. The questions I asked required that she call the elders of the church to ask where the burial records were kept. The person on the other end of the phone told us to go to the basement of the church and look through the burial records. She unlocked the doors and we walked down the steep and narrow steps. We walked back through what looked like a dinning room to a small office in the corner of the building. She opened the filing cabinet and pulled out the burial records. As she looked at the records, she asked me to double check as she lay them down on the desk. We couldn't find a record for Lillian. She sighed as she said we would have to walk the graveyard. Walking the grave meant keeping balance on a steep hill. I don't know how they bury people at such an angle. Before calling another person on the phone, she yelled, "be careful of the snakes." The person on the other end asked a lot questions. I told the person who was with me that my cousin had married Jeremiah (Jerry) Carter before she married John Webster. Jerry Carter had passed away. Prior to being lost in the country and County of Jefferson, walking the steep snake filled hill, I went to the Schiappa Library. I went there to recover Lillian's obituary. Her obituary said she was a member of the A.M.E. Church and was buried in the McIntyre cemetery. I asked the librarian about the history of McIntyre. She placed a book and a dissertation on the history of McIntyre on the table in front of me.  It turns out that land in McIntyre was purchased by a Charles City County, Virginia slave owner. He put in his will that upon his death his slaves receive their freedom and land in McIntyre. I believe a man named Benjamin Ladd went to McIntyre prior to 1829 to survey the land. When Thomas Beneford died, the slaves received their freedom and were taken to this place. When I was in the cemetery, I saw some of the same names mentioned in the dissertation.

McIntyre, Ohio Thomas Beneford Slaves p.149

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