Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's Going On?

It's been a while since my last post... Hey, folks, I'm not in Indiana any more!

I left Northern Indiana two weeks ago (September 5th) heading East to meet up with a friend at Acadia National Park in Maine. Took U.S. 30 from Columbia City, all the way through Ohio into Pennsylvania. It was a long day of driving and getting through the Pittsburgh area was a challenge. I stopped that night at Keystone State Park near Latrobe (a few miles west of Pittsburgh).

About mid-morning on the 6th, I made my way to the very nice Westmoreland County Historical Society in Greensburg. If you have ancestors in Westmoreland County you will definitely want to spend some time there. The staff is nice and very helpful. My time was limited but I managed to spend four hours there with possible confirmation (or at least a clue) to a connection to the Williams (Willems) family.

George Yarian (Yerion, Yearian) married Margaretha Williams about 1770 (They are my 5th great-grandparents). Several years ago, I received a few pages (without sources) from "Early German Hawk Families of Westmoreland County, PA" by Kenneth Hawk Slater which included information on Sarah Willems who married Conrad Hawk. She is reportedly a sister of Margaretha Willems. Also listed as their siblings were Catherine Willems, who married Abraham Frantz (France) and Anna Maria Willems who married Nicholas Kepple (two sons of Anna Maria and Nicholas married into the Yerion family). The parents of the Willems children are reportedly Thomas and wife Naeima Willems. The above named children, along with brothers Daniel and Thomas Willems moved from Northampton County (originally part of Bucks) to Westmoreland about 1780.

An article about Abraham Frantz was published in volume 11 number 3 of 'Old Westmoreland' magazine, which the Historical Society has. It appears to confirm some of the above information. Again, however, no sources were included so much research remains to be done to verify that connection.

It was nearly 2 p.m. when I left Greensburg. Traveling east on U. S. 30 about 3 o'clock I realized I would pass by the Flight 93 Memorial and decided to take the time to stop.

To be continued...

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