January 2, 2012

The Jefferson County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society celebrated the holidays with a luncheon at the Hilltop Presbyterian Church Fellowship Building, with the meal served by the church.

Flora VerStraten-Merrin, chapter president, conducted the business meeting and held a drawing for two gift baskets won by Bill Bray and Judy Schmidt.

As part of the business meeting, Elder Albert and Sister Lynn Mooney of the Church of Latter-day Saints, on an 18-month mission for the church and Utah Genealogy Society, were recognized for assisting with documentation and preparation of records in a digitalization and preservation project for the county chapter.

Following the lunch, Bray gave a Power Point presentation that included pictures of old homesteads and businesses once existing in Knoxville.

A guest from the "other side of the pond," Gillian Peskett traveled from England to attend the chapter luncheon and visit cousins discovered while looking for her family roots in Jefferson County. She shared her connections to the county and why she joined the genealogical organization. In 1813, some of Peskett's ancestors came here from England and settled in the area in and around Mount Pleasant.

Peskett came for a family gathering with local relatives and ones from Georgia and Wheeling. She also came to meet chapter members. Peskett is researching family names, such as Pyle and Bone. She found the chapter on the Internet and has been communicating with VerStraten-Merrin for a few years.

Peskett said she researches genealogy through the local OGS chapter, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Another couple, Larry and Rena Goss, traveled from Indiana to attend the luncheon and do research at the chapter office while in town. "I had a few genealogical items to do in the court- houses in Steubenville and Cadiz and in the Schiappa library. I unexpectedly was able to get into the genealogical chapter office on Saturday and was thankful for that," she said.

"I had to confirm some volume and page numbers from the early common pleas journals, scanned from journals in 2006 when they were in the courthouse, and was pleased to see the journals in the condition they are in. Lynn and Albert Mooney were generous to let us in the office and help to find things," she said.

"My connections to the county go back to 1804, when my great-great-grandfather, Josias (aka Josiah) Glover Sr. came to Smithfield from Baltimore. He emigrated permanently with his wife, Sarah Hall Glover, in 1808 and established a hotel/inn/tavern, known as the Sherman House," she said.

"Three of his sons, Josiah Jr., Cuthbert and William Glover, all paid for their tavern/hotel licenses to keep hotels in their residence for many years. Josiah Sr. purchased land in 1814 in Smithfield Township. His son, Josiah Jr., my great-grandfather, built a country inn catering to men driving their animals to the river for market. The land was in the Glover name until 1932," Peskett explained.

"My maternal line of Grove, Furbay and Luke, were settled in Short Creek, Harrison County; however, several also live in or near Adena. My maternal grandfather and grandmother, Isaac V. and Lyda Furbay Grove, bought a farm one mile north of Adena in May 1912, adjacent to Rehobeth Cemetery. That farm, after nearly 100 years, is still in the Grove name," Peskett said.

"I grew up in Adena and graduated from what was formerly known as Adena High School and later from Muskingum University. My first teaching job was at Springfield Local High School, near Amsterdam. Although I have lived away from Jefferson County for many years, this is where my genealogical interests and research are centered. Besides the name Glover, the surnames of Gill, Barkhurst, Owen, Bickerstaff, Crowley, Jones, Horner, Grove and Furbay are in my Jefferson County ancestry. I think about Jefferson County every day, just wished I lived closer," Goss said.

Also in attendance were Curt and Virginia Glenn, who shared some of their projects from the past year, including the Ross Township Monument Restoration Project, cemetery cleanups and adding an addendum to the Yellow Creek book series.

An election of board members was held with VerStraten-Merrin as president; Judy Schmidt, vice president and program chairman; Gail Komar, treasurer; Naomi Furbee, recording secretary and newsletter editor; Buddy Merrin, senior trustee; John Flennkien, and Gordon Grafton, trustees. Other officers are Kitty Kutchmark, publication chairman and researcher; and Komar, first and pioneer family chairman.

Records project volunteers are Elder and sister Pace, the Mooneys, John and Ida Flenniken, Betty Zimmerman, JoAnn Stives, Martha Sisler, Komar and VerStraten-Merrin.