~ 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."
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Deep in those rocks stacked beside the pond, nestled between the rolling hills and plowed under fields, lay over two and a half centuries of memories.
The quartz and river stones have all been washed, over and over, with centuries of relentless rain, changing seasons, and generations of lives.
Over time, the rocks have changed their shapes and some have become more flattened, some more colorless and are crumbling on the edges, due to the continuous exposure to the elements. Green moss is now growing in the crevices of those old stones, the mortar between them falling away.
I picked up a small crumbled chunk and held it between my thumb and forefinger. A chalk deposited itself onto my skin.
I imagined him standing there, staring into the distance with eyes full of dreams and seeing the changing of the seasons. Pondering the future, looking out over his land.
Behind me, the remnants of a stone chimney had stood the test of time. Beneath my feet, the ground showed no trace of where a floor, surely, once had once been.
A log cabin once supported this chimney.
This was their home place, called the White Oak Farm. My sixth great grandparents. Heinrich "Henry" Weidner.
Henry came here to this wilderness, alone, and then brought his young wife back with him. Into hostile territory. What a brave woman she was. Catharina "Cate" Muehl "Mull" Weidner. Daughter of Christophel Stoffel Mull and Anna Catherine Mull.
Christophel "Christopher" Mull was my 7th great grandpa.
He came over on the ship, "Pennsylvania Merchant" in the year 1731.
Nothing much else remains here now, from those days, except the old bones of our kin.
New trees have grown, new deep dark creature holes have been burrowed and new footsteps have trudged across the earth. I added my own to the collection.
The tree that once stood, not thirty feet from his chimney, is long gone.
This is the same tree that was painted bright red by the Catawba Indians as a sign to stay away, war was imminent. Danger was here.
I stood there and allowed myself to become as close as I could, to the man that once stood here, at his hearth.
Pioneer. Indian Fighter. Proud. Strong.
I am proud, too. So very proud to call this moment my own. My excitement could hardly be contained. I had found them. (With much appreciated help from a fellow descendant and new email buddy, I was given invaluable instructions on how to find the cemetery.)
I wished for the hundreth time, that my Dad could have been with me to experience this discovery.
Henry’s remains lie up the hillside from where the stone chimney stands. He is surrounded by his family, of his own generation and those down from him. This is the very place where the Memorial Service for Henry was held on May 30, 1894.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to have walked where he once walked. And to touch the stones that he himself, placed. One by one. His home, his hearth.
Without his courage, this German tenacity, who is to say that we would even be here now?
Henry Weidner was a brave North Carolina pioneer and had the first settlement in Catawba county, arriving in Philadelphia, on the ship ‘Molly‘, on Oct. 17, 1741.
The Indians were very hostile and Henry Weidner and Daniel Warlick II were camping under a tree one night when the Indians attacked them. Weidner and Warlick made a rush for their horses. Weidner took the lead shouting to Warlick to follow him. When they reached a swamp, instead of following Weidner, Warlick took a short cut and his horse became mired in quicksand. The last Weidner saw of his friend Warlick was when he was trying to fight off the Indians using his gun as a club, he was killed by the Indians. When a party of men returned to the scene a few days later and came to the tree where Weidner and Warlick had camped, they found the tree had been painted red as a sign of warning to the white settlers.
The "painted" tree was supposedly the result of an earlier massacre of the Mull Family during the French and Indian War. Tradition says the Weidner's and others were forced to leave their homes for safety. The friendly Catawba Indians painted the tree trunk red and agreed to keep it that way until it was safe for the settlers to return. Weidner and a man named Warlick had come back to the present Catawba County area to see if the danger had passed. That is when the attack occurred in which Warlick was killed.
The tree no longer stands, it was felled by a strike of lightning and crashed down in the mid 1940’s, according to Pete Robinson, a descendant that still resides on the land. He planted a tree where the massive old giant, once stood. His family's home (built in the 1800’s) stood where his modern house stands today. Mr. Robinson was very kind and hospitable to allow us access to his property, taking time to tell us tales and family history. A very nice man. He showed me the paintings, done by his wife, of the old Robinson homeplace and the old massive tree. The painting of the tree was done from an old actual photograph of the tree.
He showed me the rough hewn log from the old homeplace that proudly serves as his mantlepiece over his fire. He also showed me the front door, original to the old house, as well, complete with antique door knob and locking mechanism. You can see the glow in his eyes as he speaks, he is proud of his heritage.
Mr. Robinson built a pond near the old stacked chimney, in later years. He said while digging for the pond, he discovered the remnants of the foundation for the springhouse that once stood over Henry's spring. Story has it that the house was built over the spring to allow constant access to water in times of war with the Indians.
There has been a memorial marker placed recently, by descendants. The original markers for our ancestors have been replaced with new ones, the old worn markers are now proudly on display at the Catawba County Museum.
The site is on Robinson Road, outside of Hickory, North Carolina. The cemetery is up behind the barns that belong to Mr. Robinson, at the end of a gravel path through the trees. Sitting on a knoll, quietly, surrounded by trees and plowed fields below. Sunlight dapples through the trees, bidding you a friendly welcome.
Just waiting for you to come and visit.
NEW INFO FOUND about Heinrich "Henry" Weidner~
Heinrich probably began his exploration of North Carolina when he was only in his teens, as his mother's will notes that he left home "several years" before it was lawful. He evidently made several trips, trapping animals and selling furs back in Philadelphia as early as 1738. meanwhile scouting out the area, although he did not remove there permanently until 1750. Sometime during those earlier years he engaged in a wrestling match with a Scotsman, Joseph McDowell, in a friendly bout to determine which of them would settle in the area now called McDowell county. Needless to say, a quicker Scot got a knee trip on the heavier German. This match is still commemorated in that area. They remained friends, as in 1781 Col. McDowell convened the Militia Officers at Henry Weidner's to raise supplies to feed the army and horses. 1750 was the year he signed a quit claim deed for his brothers, (to the property in Cocalico Twp., PA.) outfitted his wagon at the blacksmith shop of Abraham Bertolet of Berks County, PA, and headed down to stay, with his 17 year old bride of less than a year. His stories of the area induced many others to follow him on down and become his new neighbors in Catawba County. He received his first land grant for 1000 acres in Sept., 1750, and eventually gained possession of 2,840 acres. He sold small portions to Michael Weidner, who may or may not have been related, Conrad Yoder, and George Wilfong. His property was located on the South, Henry and Jacob Forks of the Catawba River. He was sometimes referred to as "King of the Forks". Heinrich and his friends made themselves available for civic duties and responsibilities, and were much respected. In 1757 then Col. George Washington had recruited some Cherokee Indians to help fight the French. They were so much trouble he sent them back, and Henry Weidner was one of the militia officers asked to assist. He picked the group up in Ft. Dobbs in Statesville and escorted them to their lands in western North Carolina, being "careful to conceal all alcohol from the Indians". In 1759, an Indian attack on their settlement resulted in the death of his brother-in-law, and two nephews. The settlers evacuated to the home of his brother, Jacob Weidner, then in South Carolina, until a sign left on the white oak on his property by friendly Creek Indians let him know it was safe to return. The new home they built when they returned has since been torn down, but we have a picture of the stone fireplace remaining. This house, called the White Oak Farm, became a center for social and political activity for the county.
Heinrich was instrumental in solidifying his community in support of the Revolution, while at the time many parts of the South were wavering in their loyalties between King George and independence. The resolve of this local militia was instrumental in the defeat of Ferguson at Kings Mountain, which historians credit as the turning point for American victory. Heinrich lost one son in this battle, and another, our ancestor Daniel, is credited with shooting one of the fatal shots to Major Ferguson of the British forces on Kings Mountain. He used his father's six foot long rifle, kept for a while at the museum at the Guilford Battlefield, but it's present whereabouts are unclear. Heinrich and Catherine had eight children. Soon before his death he deeded or sold the rest of his property to his sons and sons-in-law. An indication of the high regard shown for Heinrich Weidner is the fact that a special memorial was held in his memory 100 years after his death on his old home-place, attended by hundreds, with speeches by all the local dignitaries, which are still on record.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Sometimes you get so blind to the things you see on a daily basis. You just pass on by, without a second thought about what may lie down a side path. Well, I ventured down a side path today and was well rewarded.
Remember our old Heinrich in the woods, there near Magnolia Grove?
Brother to our Johan "John" Philip Dellinger, Jr.?
Well, they had at least one sister, that made it to America as well.
Her name was Catherina Margaretha Dellinger. Her final resting place is right here in Dallas. Not even three miles from me. Imagine how surprised I was to learn that!
Catherina Margaretha “ Margaret” Dellinger was born in Oberacker Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. She died May 25, 1827. She married Michael Hoyle, 1761 in Hoylesville, Gaston, North Carolina. Michael was the son of Johann Pieter (Pioneer) Heyl/Hoyle and Susanna Catherina Dales, both of whom were born in Germany.
Margaret Dellinger Hoyle and Michael Hoyle had eight daughters and two sons.
Margaret and Michael are buried near Dallas, off of Dallas Cherryville Hwy. in a family plot, called Samuel Best Cemetery. Samuel Best was their grandson. He is buried here as well as other family members.
The wind howled around us, out on the open field where we found her. The field is sown in soybeans during the growing season, but now lies dormant and barren in the middle of winter. The ground level of the cemetery is higher than the surrounding field from countless years of plowing it under. I squished on through the muck, not letting a few inches of recent rain “muddy” my thoughts..although they did do a number on my shoes..
The descendants have placed newer markers to replace those that have been worn over time. There is a lone cedar that stands guard over the graves. Margaret and Michael, share a stone that is lightly etched with the dates of their lives.
I stood there and reflected on how many times I had passed this side road and never given it more than a passing thought. She rests here beneath this tree, my kin. She just waited for me, all this time, patiently, like all the rest. I stood before her marker and touched it’s surface, as I have all the others before.
I said , "It is just me, your 5th Great-grandniece, come to visit you".
I wonder about this lady, and all she must have endured, living in that timeframe. Bearing ten children. Then having to survive burying six before she died. It was a punishing time to live in, but she survived to age 82 years old. Imagine what she saw in her lifetime, coming to a new country, bound for the unknown. New world, new language, everything different. But she did well.
Rest in Peace, Margaret.
Inscription on Margaret Dellinger Hoyle and Michael Hoyle’s tombstone.
In memory of
Michael Hoyle died March 12, 1792, aged 62 years
Margaret Hoyle died May 25, 1827, aged 82 years
" Children, dear, as you pass by, Pray on these lines do cast an eye.
As you ware young, so once ware we; Prepare for death and eternity."
SOURCE: "OUR KIN" By Laban Miles Hoffman, 1989 Edition, Chapter 7, Section 3, Pages 412 - 413.
"Michael Hoyle, son of Peter Hoyle, the pioneer of this family, according to the sketch of the family copied in the beginning of this Chapter was born in the year 1738. He married Margaret Dellinger, sister of Henry Dellinger. He lived on Big Long Creek on a farm, part of which he purchased from Zachariah Routh, November 25, 1769, but he had lived on other land adjoining this tract prior to this purchase. This homestead was situated about three-quarters of a mile northwest of what is now known as the White & Jenkins Mill, three miles west of Dallas. He died after rearing a large family, and after an honorable useful life, on the 12th day of March, 1793. He is buried on his old homestead and many years later his widow was buried by his side. A single large marble slab for both of them is bunglingly inscribed: "In memory of Michael Hoyle. Died March 12, 1792, aged 62 years." "Also Margaret Hoyle died May 25, 1827, aged 82 years. Children, dear, as you pass by, Pray on these lines do cast an eye. As you ware young, so once ware we; Prepare for death and eternity."
Michael Hoyle’s Last Will and Testament:
"In the name of God amen I Michael Hoile of the County of Lincoln and State of North Carolina farmer Being very sick and weak but of Perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God Calling into mind the mortality of my body and holding that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordane this my Last Will and testament that is to say principaly and first of all I give and recommend my Soul into the hand of God Almighty that gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be buryed in decent Christian manner at the Disission of my Executors Nothing doubting but at the general predirection I Shall receive the Same againe by the mighty power of God and as touching Such Wordly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me with in this Life I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form
"first I order my lawful debts to be paid of my estate Seckond to my Dearly Beloved wife Margret I give one Negro wench called Dinah one bright Bay Horse Sadle and bridle one bed with all its furniture with two cows which she Choses herself with her living in the House where She Now lives on with the third of of the Land her Lifetime Likewise I give my well beloved son Petter one hundred ninety six acres of Land on the North Side of the South fork of the Cataba River on which he lives Likewise my well beloved son John I give him a Hundred and fifty acres of Land on which I Now live one Horse Sadle and Bridle out of my moveable Estate to the value of twenty five Pounds I give to my beloved daughters Cathren Elizabeth Margret and ann to each one Horse Sadle and Bridle with -aws and Household furniture to the amount of thirty Pounds Likewise I order that the other three Negros Emy Sal & -eat with my Still with the vesils and to Remaine on the plantation for the use of my Children and old woman the Still is for the use of all my Children at Home and abroad as they agree it ammong themselves for the time of five years the Remainder of my moveable Estate is to divide among themselves as they can agree if they Choose the help of a Neighbour or two to divide they are welcome
"I constitute and ordaine Margaret Hoils and Petter Hoils to be my Sole Executors and I do hereby uterly disalow Revoak and disolve all and every other former testaments wills Ratifying and Confirming this and No other to be my Last will and testament in witness thereof I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal this Second day march in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Three Signed Sealed published pronounced and declared by the said Michael Hoils as his Last will testament in the presence of us who in his presence and and in the presence of each other have Hereto Subscibed our Hand" testors
(signed) Samuel White
(signed) Michael Hoils seal
(signed) Joseph Holloway
(signed) Joseph Jenkins