Monday, October 20, 2008

Trip, Day 2

Woke early and couldn't get back to sleep, so started the Trip Day 1 post. Picked Marjorie up at 7:45, drove through rush hour traffic that was less bad than I expected, from DC to Baltimore to Havre de Grace (pronounced "Grah", BTW.) Then off I95 to PA route 222 to the site of the Robert Fulton birthplace. Hugh Rippey's land, to the best of my belief, lies just across the Conowingo Creek from the Fulton place. My preparations throughout the day were disappointingly incomplete, but a rescuer appeared.

Just as we'd found the Fulton house and parked, a man and a woman pulled in by us and stopped by the garden. As it turned out, they were planning to weed in the garden, but the woman was [?head} of the Southern Lancaster Historical Society, whose building was just across the highway from the Fulton house. She kindly let us in the building, showed us the files, gave dirctions, and generally was of immense help. Bottomlines:

  • although the Blacks were big in the area, the local researcher had been able to trace back to a Thomas Black and son Robert born in 1770. They didn't seem to tie to our Moses and Aaron Blacks, but we shall see.
  • Mary Rippey was buried in the Morrison cemetary--she's 1747-17??, so likely was Captain John's older sister. To be researched.
  • Also the McIntires in the cemetery, though we've still not clarified the interrelationships with Rippeys, etc.
We were successful in finding the Hugh Rippey farm, I'm confident (though I've been overly confident before) and possibly a house location. The current house, a very nice one, seems likely to have been built on the same site as a prior one--a sort of knoll over the lower creek valley (reminds me of the farm in North Fenton, which may be why I'm so convinced it's Hugh's--verrry logical.]

We came upon a good country restaurant on route 272, just northeast of the area, where we had a good, cheap lunch.

I'm sure I can blame the meal for interfering with good thinking, because after eating we started being less successful. We were not successful in finding the Morrison cemetery--it's off the road in a farmer's field and all we could see was corn. (Amazing to think of corn being grown on the land for 265 years, not to mention the years Native Americans may have grown corn there before.) We may have found the Mathew Rippey land site, more difficult because there are multiple tributaries of Fishing Creek that could qualify as the straight line.

We found the current Chestnut Level church (twice, actually, we got lost a bit and Someone may have tried to give us a Message). Then we crossed the Susquehanna into York County where our luck ran out and no rescuing angel appeared. We did find the Hively road and corner where I've noted that Captain John Rippey had land. I need to doublecheck the basis for that conclusion. The land near the river is very rugged and broken up, so it's difficult to see it as good farmland, though the Hively place was nice.

We found the current Chanceford Presbyterian church, and its graveyard, though I don't know of any ancestors who may be buried there (possibly Stewart cousins later). We missed the original Chanceford cemetery, so we agreed it was time to head west. I can revisit York and/or Lancaster as a day trip in the future, when I've got a better grasp on the materials, topography, and history.

So we traveled through York to the PA Turnpike and out to the Breezewood interchange, where we're spending the night.

[Note: editorial changes on Oct. 20, plus embedding slide show]

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