~ The pieces are all sewn together, stitched with love.........and a quilt tells a story and the story is our past ~

The Arrowood family immigrated from England to Maryland in the 1700's. They went south, eventually settling in the mountains of North Carolina. Later , some went further south, into the Piedmont of North Carolina, in search of work and a better way of life.

I am in search of my family.

I search for those that came before me, and lived their lives as best they could. I am in search of their stories, how they lived, and how they loved.

I shared this love of seeking the past with my Dad, sharing each new finding with him, the thrill in his heart intermingling with mine. I continue this search in his honor, and hope to know these people of ours when I join up with them all in heaven.

~ Steve Lewis Arrowood 1932-2008 ~

Come with me, back to a simpler time and place. A place far removed from the hectic pace of today. To a time when life was hard, but the rewards were great. When your quality of life was determined by your own sweat, your own toil, and your own ingenuity.

Would you like a glass of sweet tea? Let's sit out on the porch where we will catch the sweetly scented breeze of summertime. Maybe Grandma will fry up some of her wonderful chicken... Time slows here.


"We shape our lives not by what we carry with us, but what we leave behind."

~You live as long as you are remembered.~

"Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. " Author: Unknown

"But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you from the wisdom of former generations."


Arrowood Family

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Rhyne Cemetery ~ In Search of Barbara

Peter "Heyl" Hoyle was the German pioneer to this area that built the Historic Hoyle house in Gaston County, that I have mentioned before. He is my 6th great grandfather through my Mother's side of the family.

Peter had a son named Michael that married Catherina Margaretha Dellinger. She is buried alongside of Michael in the family plot not far from where I live. I wrote about finding her in the Samuel Best Cemetery in the middle of a soy bean field.

She and Michael had at least eleven children that lived until adulthood. One of those was a daughter named Barbara "Barbery" Hoyle. Barbery, as she was called, married Michael Rhyne. The Rhyne family was a prominent Dallas area family.

I had a lady to stop here, at the house, one day and ask about a cemetery that was located on the road that I live on. I asked her who she was looking for and Russ said to the lady, "Now if you are looking for a cemetery, this is the gal to talk to", and he motioned toward me.

I thought instantly, OH, GOODIE! ...another QUEST!

So I searched and found a notation about a 'Rhyne' cemetery. Sure enough, just right up the road..It was like someone rang a bell , DING! and I was off in a flash.

We talked to a lady that lived in a small apartment, and according to my info, the cemetery was in the trees behind her property. She said she had heard that there was a cemetery back there, in the brambles but had never been back there, herself.

You just have to stop and wonder about those people that do NOT go into the dark, unknown woods, with all the spiders, ticks, and vermin, hiding in every nook and cranny, just waiting to get you. I mean what in the world are they thinking?

There are souls back there, buried in sacred ground , just waiting to be discovered again! Grin.

Not many people are quite as excited about doing something like that as I am, apparently. Russ goes just to keep me in check , well I am excited, and to just generally watch over me, I am sure.

One trip into the woods landed me with quick swelling lips. lots of itching, and some sort of allergic reaction, not so good at the time. After a quick trip to the emergency room, I was all better. Never saw whatever it was that got me. Probably just as well that I never saw it. ;-)

We made our way into the undergrowth and there were young sprouts of poison ivy, just everywhere. Yikes! and of course, I had on sandals. But I inched my way and carefully placed each foot fall, and made my way in.

People clear the land, well meaning, I am sure, but that just lets the weeds and such take over, in the woods. The gate was located on the other side from where we were, of course. The gate opened onto an open field. If you were to drive past , you would never dream a cemetery was in there. The woods have grown in around the area, high and tall, and the vines have pulled down a lot of the markers.

The earth is claiming the stones, one by one, as it's own, and pulling them under, and out of sight. Many will be lost before too long. The periwinkle grows thick and verdant in the shadows beneath the old trees. Cool and dark, with dapples of sunshine falling on the fallen tombstones.

Barbery Hoyle Rhyne rests here in the cool grass. She rests, alongside her beloved husband, Michael. Her son, Jacob Miles Rhyne is also buried here. His date of birth was October 4, 1793. Barbery was 33 at the time of his birth.

I stopped and wondered about this lady. Living during the time she did, she must have been tough. I imagined what their home must have been like, wondered were it once stood, somewhere close by.

Now, here I am, living just up the road, just a scant distance from where she is buried. She is my 4th Great Grand Aunt through my mother , and she is my 1st cousin, 6 times removed, from Dad*s side. She was Dad's 1st Cousin, 5 times removed, the same kinship for you, if you are from his generation. Imagine what this lady saw in her lifetime.

Barbery's sister Catherine, married George Huffstetler, and their daughter Mary Anne Huffstetler, married a McCarter in South Carolina and she became my 3rd Great Grandmother.

Imagine my surprise when my tree search doubled back on it's self! You have to remember that there were only so many pioneer families and eventually through the generations, they were bound to intermarry.

So in retrospect, I was elated to locate Catherina Margaretha Dellinger Hoyle in the soybean field, when I thought she was just my 5th Great Grand Aunt, but imagine how exciting when I realized she was also my 5th Great Grand Mother!

How many people have been allowed to experience that wonderful moment, finding the ancestor's grave so close by, resting and waiting, all that time?

I feel my angel guided me that day, for sure.

I ran into a fellow at a local old fashioned 'drive- in' for old cars, not long ago. Our conversation led from one thing to another and suddenly he said, " I have seen your car at cemeteries before." I said, "Well, most likely you have."

He smiled and said, "I am doing the same, researching my family tree." The course of conversation took a sudden turn, and no longer did it involve Russ and "four barrel carburetors with fuel injections."

Russ just smiled and we were off in a totally different direction. This burly, balding man standing beside his rebuilt '50 Chevy had the biggest smile on his face.

He told me of his finds, high atop of mountains. He told me how he stumbled into locating a grave, many before him, had not been able to find. He had a faraway gleam in his eye, when he spoke of his search and his ancestry. "Rewarding and heartfelt" were words that he used in his descriptions.

I felt a instant kindred spirit and he did , too.

We are out there, everywhere, us semi-crazy people that are searching for people long gone. Who they were, and how they lived, and loved.

We are really serious about it, folks.
So, " just don*t get me started", Russ advises, or we will be there all night, talking about it.

Big Grin. Be forewarned: You may bump into this graveyard rabbit anywhere, anytime.


  1. My ancestors (Samuel Hawkins) lived nearby the Hoyles and Hovis families, Linebergers, Rhynes, Fite, Weathers, &c. nearby here for many decades beginning in the late 18th century. I enjoyed your post very much.

  2. Greetings, Del!
    So glad you have enjoyed my lil' blog. As your family lived so close by, I am sure we are somehow "cousins", all seem to be connected if you search back far enough. :-)
    Wishing you much luck, as your continue your own journey to your past.

    Come back and sit a spell with me often.

    Smiles, Martha Jane