Tuesday Tales From the Road – Pennsylvania

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CGS member Mary Mettler is still on the road. Installment number three includes photographs:

Pennsylvania just drives me nuts! What I would do for birth, death, baptism, marriage and decent military records! I spent 4 days in the Lancaster County Historical Society in a vain attempt to find Capt William Scott’s parents. I used wills, land records and Orphan’s Court records to build all the Scott families and managed to eliminate all the Williams. I had a great lead in that Capt William Scott, Abraham’s nephew was one of two executors. Drat! I went to the will and no Capt Wm Scott! He also has a cousin, John. Well, every Scott family starts out with the first two sons named William and John!

Kevin Shue, the great genealogist at LCHS really got into it and was phoning his friends in the Archives in Harrisburg, all to no avail. The pension application did say he was “living” in Lancaster County at the time of the Rev War, so perhaps he was born elsewhere. Even though I am depressed, I perked up today as I looked at my findings. I did get quite a bit of information on his first wife and her family, so all was not lost. It did underline for me why I always want to have a few “sure things” to help out, when things are tough.

Kevin Shue and Mary, courtesy of Mary Mettler.

I drove over to Carlisle on Saturday and took a first swing through the Old Graveyard where William Scott and his two wives were buried, when the gravestones were read in 1898. He is not on their Rev War list (not too surprising, as his service was in Lancaster County not Cumberland County), so no nice marker. I searched for an hour until the spiders started crawling up my pant legs! I’ll wait for my nephew, Dave’s arrival tomorrow, as he is always lucky with graves. Also the Cumberland County Historical Society will be open, and maybe they have a map of the graveyard. The recent book which published the 1898 readings said that many of the stones have disappeared or been relocated. More frustration? We will also drive toward Mechanicsburg to find the graves of Capt John Lamb, my first Patriot. At least I know there are probate and land records for John Lamb and his father, Samuel Lamb. Hopefully, William Scott will have some, too! Oh well, no one said it was easy all the time!

BTW, I had a nice 4th of July weekend in Akron, Ohio with two sisters. A niece and her daughter came down from Cleveland, and we had ribs and watched the fireworks. I stayed Monday to have lunch with three high school friends. And, the weather has been pretty good! Very little rain and not too hot – have gotten all my morning runs in. I did take time to see President Buchanan’s home in Lancaster, as it was right next door to LCHS. And Molly Pitcher is buried in the Old Graveyard in Carlisle. I learned she got her nickname from the pitcher of water she always carried while she nursed the troops.

Mary Pitcher monument, courtesy of Mary Mettler.

I miss not having you guys to discuss genealogy issues with. I’ll be glad to see Dave tomorrow, but we won’t have enough time to cover everything. We have CCHS, the town records, the Harrisburg Archives and the Carlisle Military Institute to cover, as well as the graveyards. I’m afraid I will have to stop again on my way home. Oh, and neither Lancaster nor Carlisle Hist Soc will let me use my scanner! They charge 50 cents a copy, and I think they want the revenue. I offered to pay them that amount for each page I scanned but no deal. No problem in Illinois or SLC. Kent Memorial Library in Suffield has said okay, too. Bummers in PA!

From your roving reporter,

Read the entire series:
Part One: Salt Lake City
Part Two: Indiana
Part Three: Pennsylvania
Part Four: More From Pennsylvania
Part Five: Washington D.C.
Part Six: Suffield, Connecticut
Part Seven: Vermont
Part Eight: Dorset, Vermont
Part Nine: West Point and Back to Pennsylvania
Part Ten: Some Final Thoughts From Home



  1. Elizabeth O'Neal  August 12, 2008

    Mary –

    In libraries where they won’t let you use your scanner, you can try *discreetly* using a digital camera to make copies. The quality isn’t as good, but the price is right!

    P.S. I looked up Capt. William Scott (m. Margaret Lamb) in the DAR Ancestor Database, thinking maybe there was someone you could connect with to compare notes, but it looks like only 1 application was submitted for that patriot. You’ve probably already done this but: is this your guy and your application?

    Sounds like a great trip!