Roots 1998 Diary
Doug & Joan Mumma
This diary was created from a series of notes written about our genealogy trip through Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and Virginia from April 13 to June 16, 1998. These notes were E-mailed each night to our family and friends.
May 12, 1998 - Tuesday - Livermore, California, the night before we leave.
As you know, I have been busy for the last several months "over planning" this trip. Since some of you have received the detailed printed itinerary, you know that things are scheduled almost down to the minute as to where we will be and what we will be doing. So much for spontaneity! I'm tired before we even get on the plane, but am looking forward to becoming reacquainted with my cousins, both close and distant, as well as "discovering" new facts and interesting tales about my ancestors.
As you can well imagine, the lawn sprinkler system had problems today, I found a break in the pipes, and it rained all day, much to my annoyance. I had best get this message posted and get to bed as we need to be on the plane in less than 7 hours and I haven't even gone to bed yet. A typical trip for me!
I hope you enjoy these notes which I plan to issue every night. It remains to be seen if I am able to maintain that schedule. If you would prefer to not receive additional notes, send me a message and I will remove you from the distribution list. I hope we see you on the trip or in the near future.
May 13, 1998 - Wednesday - Dayton, Ohio
Other than morning coming too early, the day started well. It was not raining and the drive to the San Francisco Airport went smoothly. Almost too smoothly. We left the house at 5:45 am and arrived at SFO about 6:45. That is about as fast as we ever make that drive. Then it happened! The porter at the curbside check-in informed us that our 8 o'clock flight to Chicago was cancelled. I knew things were going too smoothly. After some anxious moments at the ticket counter, we were rescheduled out to Chicago on the 9 am flight. That wasn't a problem, however that meant we also had to book a new flight to Dayton. Unfortunately, that meant a 4 hour delay waiting in Chicago. Bummer!
Instead of having pleasant dinner with Gloria Mumma (my second cousin's wife) at her house in Union Ohio, we had to forage for food in the airport since we weren't scheduled to arrive in Dayton until 9 PM. Actually, the food court at the airport was not too bad. I had a Mexican enchilada that was fairly tasty. Joan, of course, brought her food with her.
The flight to Dayton was uneventful until the last 3 minutes before we landed and we went through a thunder cloud. We had just been served and I had a 7UP. Well, in a few seconds I had my 7UP on my tray table and then on my lap. Oh well. Just a klutz I guess.
We finally arrived at Gloria's house (10 acre farm), chatted for a while and then headed for bed.
May 14, 1998 - Thursday - Dayton, Ohio
After a good nights sleep we felt much better. The morning was beautiful and very pleasant. We really did nothing today, but loaf and get accustomed to the Eastern time zone. Toured the farm and watched all of the beautiful birds eating at the feeders. Gloria feeds birds for miles around. Later we took a quick trip to the local Meijer's store (somewhat like a "super" Safeway in California) and picked up some vegetables and a few other things. On the way home, we unfortunately drove by a "yard sale". Needless to say, I was forced to slam on the brakes after shouts from the girls. We are now trying to figure out how we will pack four whirly gigs into our suitcases going home. If Joan's shopping continues at this pace, we will have to drive all the way back to California with a bulging rental car instead of flying.
I called my cousin, Charles Mumma, to see whether he had made contact with Mrs. Schroeder about touring the old Jacob Hiram Welty Mumma (JHWM) homestead here in Dayton. It was built around 1850 by JHWM (my great grandfather) on the original land that his father, Jacob Mumma, bought shortly after he migrated to Dayton in 1827 from Sharpsburg, Maryland. The old home is listed in the National Registry of Historical Places. This was our second attempt to see the inside of the house. I was unsuccessful gaining a tour when we were here 3 years ago. Charles told me he had sent her a letter, but never received a reply. I gave Mrs. Schroeder a call and she answered the phone. After identifying myself and the reason for the call, she said, "I have no interest in showing anyone the inside of my house!" Darn! Oh well, from what Charles said about the condition of the house, it is probably just as well since the outside is becoming very run down and it is located in what is now an undesirable part of town. It is probably best to simply use my imagination and the information in the historical registry files about the old house in which my grandfather was born and was later home to some of the famous Dayton Gypsies called the "Stanleys".
Later in the day, the temperature continued to climb and the thermometer said it was about 99 degrees. It didn't quite seem that hot, but it was warm. This is quite a shock to our systems since we left California where it was raining and has not been above the 50's for the last week.
May 15, 1998 - Friday - Dayton, Ohio
Again we awoke to a beautiful morning. Joan decided to go with Gloria to Tipp City shopping while I did my thing, so off I went to the Dayton Public Library. Stopped at a post office on my way and put in my application for a new passport. The Livermore post office passport window was closed by the time I got there on the day we were leaving so I decided to simply do it on the trip.
At the library, I met Carol Medlar, a genealogy reference librarian who has been there for a long time. She is the sister-in-law of Beth Rauch, a new member of the Livermore Genealogical Society. After we chatted for awhile, I did some general nosing around the genealogy area. Checked the vertical files and found some letters from other Mumma researchers with whom I will make contact after I get home. One was Sandra Elaine Mumah, who lived in the Dayton area for quite some time and was involved in genealogy. I found she has recently published a book on the Shepherd family and it included a few generations of Mumahs. I looked in the database and found we have no one who spells their surname that was. It will be interesting to find out how far back she has traced her Mumah branch of the family. I did extract a fair amount of information from the Dayton City Directories on the Mumma family from about 1873 until 1900. Unfortunately, my direct line ancestors lived out of the city in the county area and were not listed, but the listings will help add information about a number of the Dayton Mumma families that I have been tracking. I also took a quick look in the 1830 Ohio census and found that Jacob and Henry Mumma, the progenitors of the Dayton Mummas, are listed under the surname of "Mumaugh". I couldn't remember if I have that data recorded at home. All in all it was a good day.
And, much to my surprise when I got home, I found that Joan had been out all day shopping through Tippecanoe City, and didn't buy anything! She found it was a quaint town filled with interesting antique stores and stately homes. I felt her forehead to make sure she wasn't running a fever and sick.
The day was about a little hotter than yesterday, which was around 86 degrees according to the paper. My listing of 99 degrees for yesterday was wrong, because the thermometer I was reading is on a sun-baked porch. I guess it baked my brain also.
May 16, 1998 - Saturday - Dayton, Ohio
The morning was beautiful again. I visited Don Bowman in the morning. Don is the historian for the German Baptist Church here in Dayton, called the Happy Corners Brethren Church. He is a very active genealogist for the local Dayton area, especially for Brethren information. Many of the Mummas in Dayton followed the Brethren religion. We had a good visit and he gave me some updates for my Cripe, Bowman, Funderburg, Rench and Ullery families. Don has only recently had acquired e-mail capability, so I took him on a tour of the Internet.
While I visited Don, Joan did some laundry and hung the wash on the clothes line, which took her back to her youth. My shorts were flapping in the breeze!
After lunch, Joan and I visited Charles and Aloysia Mumma. Charles is my first cousin once removed (what ever that means) who we have developed a close relationship with through the mail and our visit three years ago. Charles is 92 years old (young) and reminds us of Bill Todd, my step-father. Both look, act, and behave 15 to 20 years younger. We had a nice visit and I took him on a tour of the Internet. This was his first experience visiting web sites and seeing how e-mail works.
This was the nicest day so far as the humidity was lower, a breeze was present, and the temperature was a little cooler.
May 17, 1998 - Sunday - Terre Haute, Indiana
Well today was travel day. After breakfast, we headed off for Indiana. We stopped in Connersville and had lunch and conversation with my second cousin (my mother's Yeagers), Jayne Spencer and her husband Jack. We were expecting some simple sandwiches, but she prepared a full, sit-down meal, including rhubarb pie. Wow! It was delicious and I'm afraid I over ate. It was hard to continue driving with such a full stomach. I was ready for a nap.
Later in the day, we reached Terre Haute and went to the house of my first cousin once removed, Hellen Lammey and her husband, Al. She is also Jayne Spencer's Aunt. They graciously asked us to spend a few nights with them so we could more easily continue the wonderful friendship we had started 3 years ago.
I was hoping to turn in early, but e-mail replies kept me busy for an hour or so, but this is the last one.
May 18, 1998 - Monday - Terre Haute, Indiana
Again we awoke to a beautiful morning and the day continued that way. The high was a new record for this date in Terre Haute at 90 degrees.
Today was spend in the Terre Haute library. Most of the same librarians that we met 3 years ago are still there. A fellow that I had planned to meet at 1 o'clock arrived and gave me some material that he had gathered together for me 2 years ago, but simply never sent. While it was not as extensive as I had hoped, it was very helpful and consisted of newspaper accounts written about the murder of John Drake by a group of Union soldiers. My great grandfather and 7 other soldiers attended a Democratic party rally that was being held for the candidate who was opposing President Lincoln in the upcoming election. Numerous disparaging remarks were cast towards President and Mrs. Lincoln to which these soldiers took exception. The Union soldiers and the local boys got into some fights and a fellow by the name of John Drake was shot and killed. The probable killer was a private by the name of Brown, and he and five of the other enlisted men took off for Illinois. My great grandfather, who was a 1st lieutenant, and his friend were taken to the court house and charged as accessories to the murder and jailed, but later released on bond. In the meantime, the military picked up the other fellows in Illinois and brought them back to Indianapolis for a court martial. The governor of the state stepped in and stopped the civil trial and the court martial never held for the other fellows. Some strong North-South issues were at stake. A lot of bitterness still lingers about this incident that was not a very proud moment in the family history. I only learned about it a few years ago and found many family members here in the Terre Haute area are unaware of its occurrence. I hope to find more data tomorrow in the county where the murder took place, especially the trial records. I also expect to review my great grandfather's military records when we visit the National Archives in Washington D.C.
I also spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find my great grandmother's "Smith" family. During the period of interest, there were no less than twenty John W. Smiths living in Indiana. I initially tried to duplicate some information given to my by another cousin, but was unable to verify any of her data so I sent her a message tonight requesting further clarification. What was suppose to take a hour maximum, consumed a large chunk of the day with no success. Oh well.
May 19, 1998 - Tuesday - Terre Haute, Indiana
Another record breaking day here in Terre Haute. Temperature was 93 degrees, but it was fairly tolerable as the humidity was OK during the middle of the day. Tonight, about 6 o'clock, the black clouds appeared and we had a spectacular thunderstorm with lightning and all of the trimmings. Always fun for Californians who normally don't experience such spectacles.
Today we went to the Vigo County Court House here in Terre Haute and requested a few death records in hopes of trying to pinpoint my great great grandmother's father who we believe was John W. Smith. Then it was off to Sullivan County which is the adjacent county to Vigo, but to the south. It was here that I hoped to find the actual records for the trial or court martial. We visited the Sullivan Library that is a wonderful old Carnegie building. One of the most interesting designs I have ever seen. They had essentially no information. They were not even aware of the incident in which John Drake was murdered. Next we went on to the local historical society which is located in an old "soda fountain" building, complete with the stools, etc. The lady who was there is the president of the society for this year and she was most helpful. She had a file on the subject that included some additional newspaper articles that were extremely informative. The main points in the article regarding the murder were:
1) My great grandfather was acquitted of any murder charges.
2) The person who did the actual shooting, Jasper Brown, was a real trouble maker and was killed in another fight less than a year later.
3) Within two months, the military held a court martial for two other fellows, William Brown and Mathias Brown (neither were related to Jasper Brown), but they were found innocent of murder charges and acquitted.
4) A civil trial was held 5 years later to try William Brown and Mathias Brown on murder charges, but after two days of testimony, the trial was dismissed when the previous court martial evidence was admitted into the trial. The judge ruled that they could not be tried twice for the same crime and were released.
5) We found some very interesting articles about the political atmosphere during that time period and the secret societies called the Knights of Golden Circle which were trying to over throw the U.S. Government. Sullivan County was one of the major areas where sympathies were strongly with South. The Drakes were probably involved. Since many of the local people deeply involved with the Knight of the Golden Circle and other secret societies that it was probably determined best that they not try to see more "justice" done. Stirring up the pot just might back fire in their faces as the government was hunting for many of these southern sympathizers.
Anyway, it has been interesting and I will still try to get both the court martial and the civil trial records. Now, at least, I know the correct county courthouse in which to look as the civil trial had a change of venue from Sullivan County to Vigo County.
May 20, 1998 - Wednesday - Indianapolis, Indiana
The storm passed very quickly and the dawn was clear and bright. It was very hot again, however the humidity increased in the late afternoon as the skies became very grey and dark. We had a very small amount of rain.
I started the morning be going to the Terre Haute Court House at 8 am. Boy, was it hard to get going that early as I have not been to bed before midnight. I ordered a copy of my mother's birth certificate. I found that her father's name was listed in the child's name location on the entry of birth. The clerk said that was not uncommon if the parents had not picked out a name for the child. Sometimes the parents came in later and provided the name and sometimes they didn't. There is also an error of about two weeks in the birth date that is very puzzling. I also talked to the clerk who keeps the old court records and she will go up to the fifth floor archives and dig up the 1869 trial transcript for the Drake murder trial. Hopefully the copies will be waiting for me when I return home.
We then drove to Indianapolis where I had arranged to meet a lady who has some very old Yeager records. She is not a Yeager, however her cousin's mother was a member of the DAR and had gathered a number of original Yeager letters written just prior to the Civil War. He is a Yeager descendant, but is not interested in genealogy so he gave her the material. Some of the material I had not seen before so it was rather exciting. Joan and I spent about 2 hours in a Kinko copy store making duplicates of everything that she had.
May 21, 1998 - Thursday - Ft. Wayne, Indiana
The day started fairly clear, but cooler than before. The prediction was for only 77 degrees, however the weather man was wrong again. It was in the mid to high 80s.
This was a fun-travel day so we decided to visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. What great timing with the race only a few days away. The traffic was terrible getting to the raceway, however we kept our cool and managed to find some parking close by. Today was "carburetion" day which means this was the only day that the cars are allowed to run the race track after qualification and before the Indy 500 is run on Sunday. It was really a thrill to hear and see the cars whizzing around the track. That sound of raw power coming from the cars is indescribable. We sat in the grandstands for a while behind the pole setter's pit, Billy Boat in car #11 which is sponsored by the Conseco AJ Foyt racing team. While we were watching, that car turned in the fastest lap time of 219+ miles/hour. It was really exciting to sit there and soak up some of the excitement that the fans will experience on race day. You do need ear plugs, however. It is so loud when the cars are passing in front of you, I had trouble talking to Joan. We walked around to the various places including the start/finish line, Gasoline Alley, and the Motor Speedway Museum. It was fun and we are glad that we took the time to experience some of the excitement of this national event that I remember listening to all my life on the radio (there actually was life before television).
At Joan's request, we drove back into the heart of Indianapolis and took a tour of the home of the 23rd President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison. It was a very nice tour and it was most interesting to see how they lived during that period. They had an interesting display of the gowns worn by the first ladies of America.
After the tour, we drove 2 hours north to Fort Wayne and registered in a Residence Inn. We have a wonderful room with kitchen facilities at a very modest price.
May 22, 1998 - Friday - Ft. Wayne, Indiana
We awoke to an entirely different day. There was a wind blowing, it was overcast and the temperature was cool enough that a sweater felt good when you went outside. This was the first day I put on long pants. The weather remained "unfriendly" all day. I don't think it got to 70 degrees, but if it did, it was just barely above. A good day to be in a library.
The Fort Wayne Public Library is a very nice modern library that is well arranged and convenient for the user. At each table, there is a power outlet so you can plug in your laptop computer. I personally like the fact that all private genealogies and histories are stored in the back room, inaccessible to the general public. You submit a request form for a book and it is delivered to your table within 20 minutes or less. Now that is real service! All of the printers and microfilm readers are quite new and work well. The one thing that blew me away was the fact they still use a manual card catalog in the old wooden trays. With everything else modern and electronic (including the visitor sign-in), I was taken back by this relic of the past. Joan was very pleased to see this as she is not computer literate and misses the 3x5 cards in most libraries.
I immediately put in a request for some Mumma family histories that I had not seen before and got Joan busy looking at the 1860 census for Vigo County, Indiana, looking for my great great grandmother's and grandfather's record. Nothing showed up so she started on the 1850 census, looking line by line since we knew the names of the children. After an hour or so, she came bubbling over saying she had found them. It was fun to see her share in the excitement of a "find". A minor problem, however, in the fact the mother's name listed was one that I had never seen before. My curiosity got the best of me and we spent far too much time doing census look-ups. Fortunately we found them appearing in the 1880 census and I found them in the Vigo County marriage records. I now have an entirely different name for my great great grandmother! So much for data given to me by others, even if they say "I found it in the census". Make them give you the volume and page number. Needless to say, this opens up a new avenue of investigation.
I did manage to review all of the books that had Mummas listed in the title or as major entries in the indexes. Three were particularly good. One, called "Because they were, we are" tracked the Canadian Muma family. It was written by Orpha Ada Yonge and was quite complete. I have not had an opportunity to check the entries against the entries provided by several other Canadians. It is probably very similar, but she did list her references.
The second book was called "Christian Strickler Sherk" that was written by Morris N. Sherk in 1994. I will probably try to buy a copy of this book. It tracks the descendants of Catherine Sherk (b. 28 Jan 1810) who married Jonas Mumma (b. 27 Jan 1801). Much of this data is contained in the Mumma database, however there were various references, etc. that will be helpful. These are descendant of the immigrant, Jacob Mumma in 1731.
The last book from which I copied may pages today was called, "Stricklers of Pennsylvania", written in 1941 by Abigail Strickler, et. al. My interest in this book was to discover the source of the entry for "Barbara Mumma and Henry Strickler" listed in Richard Huffman's book and Robert Moomaw's book. I think I found it on page 195, however there was no evidence that the Barbara Mumma listed is really Barbara Mumma . I am suspicious that this Barbara might be a descendant of the immigrant Jacob Mumma since I am quite certain that Barbara, the descendant of George Anthony Mumma, is a buried in the Mumma Cemetery at the Antietam Battlefield. My quest to sort this out continues. Since the Stricklers were Mennonites, I hope to get more evidence about Barbara at the Mennonite Historical Society in Lancaster, PA.
Sorry to bore some of you with these details, but others will be quite interested and this way I only have to record my information once. Needless to say, I would like to spend a week or two here in the library.
May 23, 1998 - Saturday - Dayton, Ohio
It turned out to be a very pleasant day in the northern Indiana area. It reached the mid seventies, humidity was relatively low, but there were a few scattered showers as we approached Dayton in the evening.
We left Ft. Wayne in the morning and drove a short distance east to the small town of Harlan, Indiana. The drive was interesting as it is in the Amish country of Indiana. We passed a few buggies running down the road and saw some farmers plowing the fields with horses. For "California people", this is always an eye opener and interesting.
In Harlan we met Mrs. Jeanne Zigler, who is my first cousin once removed and she had just celebrated her 97th birthday last Sunday. She is mentally very alert and we had a fun time visiting and sharing stories with her, her daughter Beverly and husband Ted, as well as another first cousin, Miriam Huff and her husband, Elton who drove down from Mishawaka, Indiana to meet us. Jeanne has led an interesting life in that she and her husband were Lutheran missionaries/doctors in India for 40 years. Jeanne's father was Reverend Aaron Klepinger Mumma who wrote the wonderful story about the trip his grandfather, Jacob Mumma and family, made from Sharpsburg, Maryland to Dayton, Ohio in 1827. We had a nice lunch with them before we continued on our way towards Dayton.
On the way, we stopped in Van Wert, Ohio where we met a more distant cousin, Mrs. Genevieve Huffine, who descends from George Muma. We had a nice visit with her and she showed me a wonderful genealogy chart that she created on a roll-up window shade. That is an interesting way to keep a long genealogy chart as you simply unroll as much or as little as you want to view. We had a fun dinner with her at a local cafe/soda fountain in the center of this small farming town of about 10,000 people. It was a classic restaurant so typical of a small town that it took Joan and me back in time to our youth. Genevieve said she worked as a waitress in this restaurant when she was a teenager, 70 years ago and she said it essentially looks the same today, other than they changed the wall paper. It has a row of stools along the counter and two rows of tables aligned in the narrow building. We thought we were in a time warp, both from the way the place looked, the way the people behaved, and the food they served. Great nostalgia!!!!
After dinner we continued our drive to Dayton (actually a small town north of Dayton called West Milton), arriving about 9:30 tonight as we completed our 675 mile excursion into Indiana.
May 24, 1998 - Sunday - Dayton, Ohio
We had some lightning, thunder, and light rain during the night. Nothing significant enough to keep us awake. About 11 a.m. the sun broke out and the weather improved all day. It was very pleasant by night fall.
Joan and I lounged around in the morning while Gloria went to church and said a prayer for us. I told her it was too late to save us anyway.
During lunch, we watched the start of the Indy 500 and then headed off to the United States Air Force Museum. That is a fantastic place and we only had time to scratched the surface before it closed. You could spend several days looking at all of the exhibits in great detail. At least we raced around and got the full favor of the Museum. It was interesting that we found a memorial plaque to the women who served during WWII as WASP. The WASP served as pilots to ferry aircraft from base to base in non-combat situations so as to free the male pilots to fly combat. It turns out that my Aunt Betty Mumma Michell's step daughter, Marie Michell, was one of about 30 WASP who crashed and died while piloting an airplane during the war. It was appropriate to be able to recognize her name and deeds while serving her country on this Memorial day weekend.
We returned to Gloria's house and had a barbecue. Everything went well until the wind shifted and blew the smoke into the house. After the smoke alarm went off, I got smart and closed the door. Other than that minor incident, the dinner was fantastic.
May 25, 1998 - Monday - Memorial Day - Dayton, Ohio
The morning started a little foggy and cool, but the skies cleared somewhat and it was very nice. As we drove off, we soon had the air conditioner on so that should tell you it wasn't too cool.
Since we hadn't visited any cemeteries yet on this trip, we deemed it an appropriate thing to do on Memorial day. When we were here three years ago, we had attempted to find the grave site of my great great great great grandparents, Jacob and Catherine Funderburgh. The graveyard is located on the private property of the Southwestern Portland Cement Company just outside of the little town of Fairborn, OH, a suburb of Dayton. We had previously walked within 30 feet of the cemetery, but missed it because of the dense underbrush. This time, I called Alvin (Al) Funderburg, the author of the Funderburgh book and the "rediscoverer" of this lost cemetery, and asked for his help. He graciously drove us to the site and after a little hunting around, we located the graveyard. Jacob died on December 13, 1813 and his wife died about 1825. There are a few other headstones in the graveyard, however no one has been able to identify who else is buried there. Al has spent a lot of time, money and effort fixing up the cemetery after he discovered it in 1963. There are probably only a few dozen people have visited the cemetery in the last 35 years.
Al then asked if I would be interested in seeing the graveyard of several of Jacob and Catherine's children, including our common ancestor, Jacob Funderburgh. I was unaware his grave site was also in the near vicinity so I jumped at the chance. Al then guided us to the small town of Donnelsville, about 6 miles north of Fairborn. We then drove into the farm of Gary and Carolyn Cummins and asked permission of Carolyn to visit the old Funderburgh cemetery. I had no idea it too was located on private property. Carolyn granted us permission and because the ground and path to the cemetery was in such bad shape and muddy, she asked her 13 year old grandson to drive us to the cemetery in a small, 5 wheeled dune buggy/truck called an "Alligator". It was a little cramped, but it sure beat walking a half mile through waist high hay and mud. The cemetery was in quite good shape because the county is obligated to maintain graveyards of this type and they had recently been there and cut the weeds, etc. Again it was nice to be able to "talk" to another one of my ancestors. The conversation was a little one sided, but that is OK.
Later in the afternoon, we returned to Gloria's farm where we were joined by my first cousin, Betty Mumma, and my first cousin once removed, Charles Mumma and his wife, Aloysia, for a Memorial Day dinner. An enjoyable time was had by everyone as we traded jokes, stories, family tales and lies.
May 26, 1998 - Tuesday - Dayton, Ohio
It was a spectacular morning when I awoke. The sun was bright and clear. The daytime temperatures rose to the 70's and it was a glorious day.
I left Joan home at Gloria's place to wash clothes while I went into Dayton to the Montgomery County Records Office. Here I did a variety of searching. I checked various indexes and records for births and deaths for all Mummas prior to 1900. Found a large number of errors both in name spelling and in dates. In one case a child's name was listed as Terry whereas the correct name was Perry. By looking at the actual record entry, it listed the "tax assessor" as the person who provided the data for the children's births. In this case, it was not an interested party and he was not very careful. I found errors in all four of his entries.
I obtained the complete probate file for my great grandfather, Jacob Mumma, estate along with his will. Probate files always interesting as they contain the inventory and assessor's estimate of the estate value, as well as the final sale of all items, include the name of the person who bought it. I obtained similar information for the estate of his brother, Henry.
I then wanted to search the deed files for some missing information regarding the Gypsies who swindled my great grandfather out of his homestead. Three years ago the County Records Office maintained the old deed files, however they moved them back to the county assessor's office so I had to race across town late in the day to that office. Fortunately, I had the name of a "helpful" gal who gave me some quick tips and had some copies of records made for me after hours. That was most unusual. I still need to order some additional records, but at least I now know which ones I need.
After the government offices closed, I went back to the public library and made some quick copies of a few city directories and some printed census indexes for 1880 and 1900. They were handy and convenient. I am still looking for solid evidence my grandfather was a part owner of a chewing gum factory that produced "Fan Tan" chewing gum. I will probably resort to hiring a local researcher who is familiar with the old companies and corporations. Most of the family can clearly remember going to the factory and always having samples of chewing gum around.
These activities fully consumed the day and I hurried back to Gloria's farm. We needed to pack tonight as we have decided to leave Dayton one day early so we can tack it on to the beginning of our stay in Lancaster.
May 27, 1998 - Wednesday - Morgantown, WV
It was a beautiful morning in Ohio and all day during our 300 mile drive to Morgantown, West Virginia - Not too hot and not too cold, but just right. After we had dinner in Morgantown, I noticed a sign with a thermometer and it said it 73 degrees at 9 p.m.
On the way, we stopped in Newark/Dresden, OH and visited the Longaberger Basket Company, which I guess is a big deal to people who are into baskets. It is really hard to comprehend the size of the plant and the number of people they employ, just to make baskets for home parties. Nice baskets, but they sure are expensive! Of course, they are all made by hand. The girl said that they currently employ about 4000 people, not including the 'sales consultants'. One of the things that they are famous for is the design of their corporate offices. It is in the shape of a basket, including the handles. Boy does that building look weird as you drive down the highway. You can get a look at it by going to the following URL which has a photograph of the seven story building. It is their new corporate office which has 500 employees.
May 28, 1998 - Thursday - Frederick, Maryland
We had a nice leisurely drive from Morgantown, WV to Frederick, MD. We stopped in Cumberland, MD and toured around the town and we had lunch in a very quaint restaurant. We were most impressed with the effort the town is doing to revitalize the downtown area and make it attractive to tourists. We enjoyed it very much.
May 29, 1998 - Friday - Frederick, Maryland
The morning started very nice, however the air quality got progressively worse as the day wore on. The temperature peaked in the high 80's or low 90's with fairly high humidity. Just before I started writing this message, a small thunderstorm passed by with a little rain. It is gone now and things are quiet, but warm, at least it is a warm night by California standards.
I spent some time in the Frederick County Public Library in the Maryland Room where they keep their special collections of local family histories and special materials about Frederick County. I managed to find some material about the Blessing family through some co-lateral families. Most of the material I found I had already obtained or had been sent to me by others. I put some books aside to copy tomorrow as I was running out of time.
I next visited the Frederick County Historical Society which probably has a better collection of genealogical materials and is a little better organized. I first went though their "vertical" files to check the Mumma and Blessing surnames, but was disappointed. There was still only one small article in the Blessing file and the Mumma file only had one additional piece of information since my last visit 3 years ago. The new item was a copy of my trip report that I sent to all of the libraries that I visited. Obviously not much activity on these surnames. I did find a little information about the Blessing family through a "Trout" family book that may be of some help. There was one book of interest that was printed in 1930 and discussed the history of the United Brethren in Christ Church and it gave some clear descriptions of where some of the church founders and leaders, Peter Kemp, Christian Newcomer, and George Geeting, lived in area around Frederick and Washington County.
Again, time ran out and I left the Historical Society to race (a few blocks away) to the county court house. My only goal here was to quickly search the deed indexes to discover if my gggrandfather, Jacob Mumma, had bought or sold any land in Frederick County prior to 1827 when he migrated to Dayton Ohio. Fortunately, the early records are fairly well indexed and I was able to search the time of interest fairly quickly. In the 1805-1811 time frame, I did find an entry for a W. Mummer, however there are no Mummas of the right age, etc. whose name began with a "W". I finally found a Jacob Mumma who bought and sold some land in Frederick county in 1826, but I am afraid it is not my Jacob. At the same time frame, my Jacob had an uncle named Jacob Mumma who was a wheeler dealer in land (he is the one who purchased the Mumma farm that is in the middle of the Antietam Battlefield). The reason I am sure it is the wrong Jacob is I took a quick look at the deed and it listed Jacob as living in Washington County and this is where the uncle lived. My Jacob was born, married and six of his children were born in Frederick County so the deed should have said "Jacob Mumma, of Frederick County" but it didn't. I will check with the records at the Battlefield library on Monday and see if they have a record of this transaction. About this time, the county offices closed and I left to meet Joan who was off exploring Frederick.
Since it was still early, we bought a good atlas of Frederick County and set out to try and find where Peter Kemp lived and was possibly buried. As I said earlier, Peter Kemp was one of the thirteen founders of the United Brethren in Christ Church, and the formal organizational founding occurred in his barn, on September 25, 1800. An informal or verbal founding of the church occurred around 1767 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Fortunately, the helper at the Historic Society was able to give me quite clear directions how to find the lane on which Peter lived and the nearby cemetery. It is only two miles west of Frederick. With his instructions and our new map, we drove right to the cemetery. He said the barn, if it was still standing, was directly at the end of the road.
We parked the car and proceeded to stomp around the cemetery, reading the tombstones. Within a few minutes, Joan, shouted that she "found it". She is getting so good at this that I need to keep her around on these safaris. I took some pictures and said "hello" to Peter. Next we took some pictures of the barn which is a most impressive structure. The end wall was constructed of stacked slate. As we looked around, we also found his house and as we approached to take a picture, a lady came out of the barn. We introduced ourselves and I told her my interest in United Brethren since Christian Newcomer had left one of their meetings in Oct of 1809 and went to Sharpsburg to say a funeral discourse for his relative, my ggggrandfather, Henry Mumma. In all likelihood, Henry followed the United Brethren faith at that time, even though he was born in a Mennonite family. The Mumma and Newcomer families were neighbors in Lancaster, PA. I digress! Anyway, the lady seemed pleased in our interest in the cemetery, barn and house so she asked if we would like to take a tour of the inside. Of course we jumped at the chance. This house was probably built in 1750's since it constructed by Peter's father, Frederick Kemp. Of great interest, she had the original "proclamation" in a frame hanging on the wall. There are pieces of things that are still original including some door hinges, etc. It was exciting to stand in a 250 year old house that quite possibly ggggrandfather might have visited. It kind of gripes you if you're into this type of thing.
As an interesting side bar, the lady who showed us through the house told the following story. Her grandfather bought the farm, about 160 acres, during the depression (1930's) from a fellow who went bankrupt. He, and later her father, lived and worked the farm. She never paid much attention to the history of the original owners and their religion, just like most young people. A few years ago, before she and her husband occupied the house, they were living in Iowa. Although the United Methodist was not her normal religion, they attended that denomination because it was close and convenient. One day the minister was discussing the founding of the United Methodists and mentioned that the founding of one branch of the church was begun just outside Frederick Maryland. Her ears perked up since that was her home town and then he mentioned that the founding started in Brother Kemp's barn. She could hardly believe her ears that it was on the farm she grew up on. Until that time, she was unaware that the United Methodist Church was formed by joining the United Brethren and the Methodists in the 1950's, I believe. I don't have those details at my finger tips. Needless to say, it was a thrill for her to share this fact with her astonished minister. She and her husband moved back into the house and farm in about 1990, after it had been vacant for quite some time. We thanked her for her hospitality and then went to dinner, quite satisfied with our fun "discovery".
May 30, 1998 - Saturday - Frederick, Maryland
The day started off very nice with clear skies. As the day continued, it got very warm and was in the 90's. No, Joan told me to say it was HOT! At least the rain has stayed away so far on this trip.
Well, I forgot to report that I have a full blown case of poison ivy. That will teach me to go in the bushes hunting grave stones. I got it when hunting my Funderburg ancestors who are buried in Fairborn, just outside of Dayton Ohio. At first, I thought it was just a bunch of mosquito bites, but now it is spreading over my neck and wrists. Of course I scratch the areas so it continues to spread. Needless to say I need to watch where I scratch!!
This was a very busy day of touring, etc. It started with a tour of the Monocacy National Battlefield which is just outside Frederick. This is called the battle that saved Washington, D.C. even though the Union forces were beaten and the reason is the battle slowed the Confederate troops from advancing for a day and a half, giving the Federal troops enough time to bring in reinforcements.
For the next two hours, I went back to the library and made some copies of books that I didn't have time to do yesterday. While I was doing that, Joan went to the Barbara Fritchie House (a 90 year old uppity woman who leaned out of her window and waved the American flag in the faces of the Confederate troops as they passed by). She also went to the Roger Brooke Taney house (the Supreme Court justice who swore in 7 presidents and made the decision on the Dred Scott case) and it includes the Francis Scott Key Museum.
We joined forces again and visited the Civil War Medicine Museum which was interesting, but a little gory. I can see why one didn't want to become wounded in that war.
Next we took a 1 1/2 hour "walking tour" of downtown Frederick. It was most interesting and informative, but only a few mad dogs, Englishmen, and Joan & I were out in the afternoon heat!
With 30 minutes to spare before it closed a 4 p.m., we raced to the Shifferstadt house which is the oldest house in Frederick, built in 1756 by some German immigrants. That was an interesting house to look at because they had exposed some of the interior walls to show the construction, etc.
Wow!!!! It took a long time just to write about what we did, let alone do it. Today was hard on limb and body. Not to slow down, we decided to take a drive before dinner and look for Christian Newcomer's house and grave site. We knew it was in the area called Beaver Creek, just west of Hagerstown. We had just enough information to find it. The house was fairly similar to a photograph that was taken in 1938, however it has been extensively remodeled and a wing added. In front, along the road, a small brass marker proclaims this is the house where Christian Newcomer was born and lived. This was the home of the circuit riding "United Brethren in Christ" minister who "preached a funeral discourse at funeral of Henry Mumma in Sharpsburg". Henry is my ggggrandfather. We found the Newcomer Cemetery which is adjacent the Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren, a short distance away. There is only a plain stone monument erected with the name "Newcomer" written on it since Christian did not want a specific headstone placed.
As we drove back to Frederick, we had a nice dinner in a little restaurant called Hagen's Tavern. Joan was one tired "puppy" and she went to bed almost immediately after we arrived at the motel while I took care of messages. I also made some calls to the "Blessings" living in the area, but either found new transplants to the area who are not related or people who didn't want to talk to me. Such is life.
May 31, 1998 - Sunday - Frederick, Maryland
Again the day started off very beautiful, but warm and it became hot (in the 90's) and humid. Just before I started this message last night, a large thunder storm passed by and we got a significant amount of rain.
The first place we went this morning was back out to Peter Kemp's house which is just West of Frederick. I discovered that I had inadvertently taken the camera off of "automatic" and I know some of the pictures I had taken yesterday were out of focus. You can't trust me to even do simple tasks!!!
Then we continued on my quest to visit the cemeteries of my Mumma and Blessing ancestors and get a feeling for the area in which they lived and traveled. In the area of Ellerton we stopped at St. John's Lutheran Church which is in a sparsely populated area, as is most everything. It is a very picturesque church. Here I found George Blessing and his wife, Susan. It was at 12 noon and we were soon serenaded with some nice church bells that were hooked up to an amplifier system. This lasted about 10 minutes and was very pleasant experience in this quiet area. No cars passed the entire time we were there.
Driving all of the back roads, we wandered our way to Boonsboro and drove through some of the cemeteries just looking at the family names on the stones. Next we stopped at the Keedysville Cemetery where I found one Mumma buried. That cemetery is not in Frederick County so I didn't have a listing of the people buried there.
Another quest was to visit the grave and farm of George Adam Geeting, who was one of the founders of the United Brethren in Christ Church. I knew he was in the Mt. Hebron Cemetery, just outside of Keedysville and we had it located on our map. After driving down the correct country road for a while, it ended in a farm. Now we knew we had a problem. As we were turning around, a fellow came walking down the road to his house. We told him what we were looking for and he explained that the road didn't go through any more to the cemetery but we could drive to the cemetery by going around to the other end where it connects to another road. Our map didn't show this portion of the road. He explained that the road leading to the cemetery started just past a stone bridge over Little Antietam Creek. He said the road, which is still a county road, looks like it is the road to the farmer's house. He said the farmer sometimes tries to keep people out, but to just ignore him and drive to the cemetery. We followed his instructions and sure enough, we found the little road which was one you would bypass if not told exactly how to get there. We had to open a gate and then drove about a 1/4 mile on a grassy farm road to a wonderful, stone fenced cemetery with a large monument in the center. The monument was a tribute to the founders of the United Brethren Church and stated the fact that they first started preaching in the Geeting Meeting house which had been located nearby. Geeting, Newcomer, Kemp, and others started preaching here in the 1780's, before they formed the United Brethren in Christ Church after being shunned by the recognized churches of that period. There probably hadn't been a burial in the cemetery in over a hundred years. We found George Geeting's gravestone and said "hello". It was a wonderful experience and it was serendipitous that we found the farmer who was able to guide us to this place. One of my primary interests in visiting these locations is because Christian Newcomer refers to them in his diary and now I have a feeling as to where these landmarks were located and how far they traveled to meet together. Geeting's farm and the meeting house is only two or three miles from the Mumma farm and a possible location where my gggrandfather is buried. I am now confident that my Henry was either buried in the Mumma Cemetery (called the Orndorff Cemetery at that time period), at the old Brethren Cemetery in the center of Sharpsburg, or at the Geeting Cemetery we just visited. Unfortunately I will never know for sure, but it has been fun visiting these probable locations. Even if a head stone was still standing for him, most of them of this early 1800 era are not legible.
We now headed south, back into Frederick County to the towns of Jefferson (called New Town-Trap in the early days) and Petersville. Both had very beautiful little old churches and cemeteries. It is in St. Mark's Cemetery in Petersville that we photographed the grave of my ggggrandfather, Phillip Blessing, b. 18 March 1762 and died on 8 September 1832. Several of his children are also buried there as well as his uncle or father, Abraham Blessing who was born 15 May, 1739 and died 24 June 1814. I was very pleased to find these graves which are in the southern part of Frederick County, not far from Harper's Ferry.
Now that we were "cemeteried out", we drove into Harper's Ferry and spent about an hour. Of course that didn't allow enough time for Joan to do any serious shopping, but she did managed to buy a few things. It is always fun to walk across the Potomac River on the railroad bridge. The bridge is part of the Appalachian Trail and there were many people using it for day hikes. I think this is one of the most picturesque towns in America where the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers meet.
We rushed on to Sheppardstown, West Virginia where we met Phyllis Harmon for dinner at a quaint little restaurant called "The Yellow Brick Bank Restaurant". Phyllis is a "Moomau" descendant and she drove up from her home in Winchester, WV. The Moomau branch originates in Hardy County, West Virginia and is the only group that uses that spelling. It is also one of the few groups that we cannot tie into the main Mumma tree. A Frederick Moomau just appears in this county in the early 1800's and nothing about his ancestry has been discovered.
Again after a very busy day we dragged ourselves back to the motel where I made a few telephone calls to some local Blessings and a group of Mummas who live in the northern part of Frederick County. I will tell you more about them after we visit them on Tuesday as we journey to Lancaster, PA.
June 1, 1998 - Monday, Frederick, Maryland
In message #15 I mentioned that I was looking for evidence that my grandfather was involved with the "Fan Tan" chewing gum factory. To this end, I hired a Dayton historian by the name of Curt Dalton to assist me in this quest. Yesterday I already got an answer from him saying he found my answer and it took him all of a half an hour. At the ridiculous fee of $7 per hour, it cost me all of $3.50 to find the answer. Here is what he said:
"Hi. Found the information that you wanted. Albert M. Mumma was the president of Gem City Specialty Company. The Gem City Specialty Company was incorporated May 1914. Capital, $15,000. Located at 23 E. Second Street on the Fourth Floor. Albert was president, N. A. Teeter, Vice President and General manager, William A. Gearhart, Sec., and George F. Kem, Treasurer.
The company was not listed after 1916 in the city directory. My guess is that if Fan Tan carried on after this date that the company sold out to Bee Bee Confection since this was the only company in the Dayton area after 1916 to be reported as making chewing gum. Albert Mumma was listed as living in Salem Heights at the time the company was in business. If you think that the company might have reopened later on I will gladly check for you, but I sincerely doubt that was the case. I can also check for his obit if you still want me to. Let me know. So far I have about a half-hour charged. Just lucked out finding the company so quickly."
So now I have my answer that yes, my Grandfather did own a chewing gum business.
Today the morning was bright, clear, and much cooler. I decided to put on long pants after wearing short pants since the day we arrive in Dayton Ohio. It never got very hot and it was just pleasant all day.
We started the morning by driving to Sharpsburg, MD where the Antietam National Battlefield is located. I had hoped to meet with Ted Alexander, the Battlefield historian, however he was out for a few days on medical leave. He notified his staff to accord us appropriate courtesies and we had free reign of their research and library facilities. I went through their vertical files about the various families and battlefield subjects. Of course their main focus is the Civil War so they don't do a lot of work prior to that time period. I did find a few articles that were interesting and useful. The most important piece of information was a genealogy on the Sherrick family which suggested that the Barbara Mumma, who was the second wife of Jacob Sherrick, may well have been the Barbara Mumma who was the daughter of Leonard Mumma. More ammunition to alter our current thinking about the husband of Barbara. I feel I will solve this issue when I have an opportunity to check the Mennonite Library in Lancaster. I did obtain a land ownership map of the Sharpsburg area dated 1859 and it should prove useful as I try to reconstruct where Jacob and Henry lived in the 1810 time frame. We then drove out to the Mumma cemetery and I took some overall photographs of the cemetery, as well as a few close up pictures of specific tombstones.
Before we left Sharpsburg, we stopped at Wilmer Mumma's house and paid him a courtesy call. Wilmer is a crusty old curmudgeon (and a 5th cousin) who is opinionated about everyone and everything. He has written a few pamphlets about life in and around Sharpsburg during the Civil War. They are sort of interesting and entertaining, however Wilmer doesn't acknowledge that life existed before the Civil War. He is an interesting guy, but he hasn't proved to be very helpful so far, with my Mumma genealogy efforts.
We then drove to Hagerstown, MD and went to the public library, specifically the Western Maryland Room, where they house all of the counties histories and genealogies. I did find a few things of interest, however I had done a fairly good job of "mining" this library on my previous visit. Found almost no information on my Blessings and little new information on the Mummas. Time flies by quickly when you are having fun and soon we were thrown out because the library closes at 9 p.m. We drove back to Frederick to get some sleep.
June 2, 1998 - Tuesday - Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Again we awoke to a beautiful morning in Frederick. It continued that way the entire day, but it did become rather warm in the afternoon. About dinner time (7 p.m.), some dark clouds formed and we had a small amount of rain. Later, when we reached Lancaster, a larger storm came through with significant lightening, thunder and rain.
And now for the poison ivy update. Joan now has it and it is spreading! Needless to say she is not a happy camper and gives me one of those glares that only she can give. Oh well!!!! Mine is still spreading too, but I am exercising great constraint and not scratching the nasty little blisters.
After breakfast, we headed north from Frederick. Since my great great great great great grandfather, Walther von der Burg , was buried in the area, we decided to stop by his grave site and say hello. It was on our trek to find his son's grave site in Dayton that I got the poison ivy, so I was a little apprehensive. Fairly clear instructions are listed in the Funderburg genealogy book, however it was written 35 years ago and many things can change in that amount of time. "Damn the torpedoes" we cried and off we went into the hills of northern Frederick County. I don't know why my relatives couldn't have been buried in standard, organized cemeteries instead of these small family plots on rural farms. Anyway, we used the instructions in the book and arrived at the described farm. Then the instructions became a little vague as Alvin Funderburg described how he found the grave site, and I quote, "After arriving at the plantation of Walther, we were standing near the Coppermine house, then empty, wondering how to locate the family graveyard. The sky was dark with very heavy clouds. Suddenly a stream of dazzling sunlight came through the clouds, illuminating a small plot on a distant hill. We proceeded, without a word being spoken, to this small plot. Lo! there was the graveyard." Joan and I had one small problem. There were no dark clouds, the sunshine was bright everywhere, and the occupants of the house were not at home. Undaunted, we searched south, north, and just about everywhere I thought it might be reasonable to look. I even passed through a stock gate out into the field amongst the cows and bull. Not a smart thing to do, but I have never been accused of being overly bright. I took some comfort in the fact that all of the cows had tags in their ears with names written on them, such as Ann, Vicki, Sherry, etc. I figured any cow with a name tag couldn't be all that mean. I was right and they completely ignored me. It didn't help, however, as I still didn't find the grave yard in that direction. Reluctantly, we gave up the search and headed back into the small town of Woodsboro to find a "potty" for Joan. All of the women reading this can relate to this affliction. A local restaurant was all that we could find that might have suitable facilities. While Joan was doing her thing, I looked up the name and telephone number of the farm owners (their name was on the mail box on the county road) so I could call or write them later. On a whim, I asked the waitress if she knew Folly King, the current owner of the farm who lived on Etzler Mill Road. She said she didn't, but there was a fellow eating his lunch with his wife in a nearby booth who lived very near that area. We talked to him and he said that he did know where the that small cemetery was located, he hadn't been there for many, many years, but he would be happy to take us there after he finished lunch. Needless to say we jumped at the opportunity, so back again we headed into the country. After a while, near where we had been before, he suddenly turned off of the road (almost gravel by this time) into a field. We followed with the rental car and we drove about a 100 yards along side of a large wheat field. Then he stopped near a hedge row that separated that field from an alfalfa field. He said, I believe it is on top on yonder hill which was about 100 yards to the side of us. Off we went through the waist high wheat. Sure enough, when we reached the top of a small hill, the hedge row bushes widened and there I found the stone walls of the cemetery completely hidden by bushes and trees. When we returned to the car, we walked through the alfalfa field and it appeared that a vehicle had recently driven to the cemetery. When Al Funderburg visited this cemetery 35 years ago, there were only two small trees in the middle of the stone wall and the country side was wide open. Now the trees have grown and the bushes and vines have taken over. It was very thrilling to find the family plot. There were two obvious tomb stone bases, but the tops were missing. One had a small inscription on the bottom of it that I was unable to read. I wish I had a shovel and some time so that I could clear some of the debris and possibly find the top of headstones. Joan and I felt it was very serendipitous that we went to that restaurant and found a person who knew exactly where this cemetery was located. His wife is from this area, but was totally unaware of the cemeteries existence. Anyway, Walther was born in Germany in 1715, immigrated to America in 1738, joined the German Baptist Church in 1742. He returned to Brandenburg, Germany in 1743 and married Catharine Stoll. They returned to America and were in Hagerstown, MD in 1752. Because of difficulty with Indians, he moved his family to this northern part of Frederick County. He died in the summer of 1778.
We felt this was a wonderful accomplishment for the day. We continued due north to the little town of Rocky Ridge, MD not far from a place that is called "Mumma Ford Road". I always like to visit places that have identified landmarks with the Mumma name. As I mentioned in one of the previous messages, I found several Mummas buried in the two cemeteries in Rocky Ridge and there are also two Mummas listed in the telephone book for this little wide spot in the road. I talked to both of Mummas on the telephone and made an appointment to meet with Ken and his wife, Betty, since they had the most interest in genealogy. We had a delightful time visiting them. They pronounce the name "Mum-ma" instead of the classic "Moo-maw". They had been in contact with a lady from Ogle County, Illinois who descends from the "Antietam" Mummas. They had not heard from her for several years and she has probably passed away. She thought that they descended from the Antietam branch, but I think she made several big assumptions and leaps of faith. Unfortunately, Ken could not supply any information further back than his grandfather, who died in 1924, before he was born. Both he and his brother had no idea about any ancestors further back. When I asked him about a Christian Mumma (b. 1822 - d. 1898), who was buried in the nearby Brethren Church, he was totally unaware that a Mumma was even buried in the cemetery. That blew me away, so I left them with a task to see if they could check with the "moderator" of the church and discover any additional information. Ken's little church is particularly interesting in that it is one of the few churches around that hold different denominational services on alternate Sundays. On one Sunday, it is a Lutheran service and on the next Sunday, it is a Reformed Church of Christ service. Ken's wife said he only goes to church every other week. That is what his mother did and he isn't going to change!
I then asked if he knew how Mumma Ford Road got its name and again I drew a blank. He had no idea and it seemed like it never passed his mind to think about it. Mumma Ford is only two miles away. Some people's lack of curiosity really surprises me some times. Anyway, we had a delightful time and bid them adieu after a few hours.
Of course Joan and I had to drive down to Mumma's Ford, photograph the sign, drive over the bridge (modern times now) and talk to the folks who own some land next to the bridge. Of course they too had no idea how it got its name but they too pronounced it as "Mum-ma". I guess I will have to hire a Frederick County researcher to chase the land titles in this area. I would guess that some Mummas owned land in the area in the 1700's. With luck, it might even be Christian Mumma or his father. We have some Mummas who moved to northern Frederick County in the early days and then some of the siblings "disappeared". Maybe we can unlock some of these secrets.
We were now completely off of our schedule, but that is normal. We continued on the county road due north again and arrived at the town of Emmitsburg, which has many historical and important sites to visit. We first stopped at the National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes. This Grotto is a replica of the Grotto of Lourdes in France. This is a very important shrine to Catholics and it is a most impressive and serene place. It was especially nice since it was late in the day and there were only a few other people there. A lady we talked to said it is a mob scene on the weekend as people make a pilgrimage here.
We also stopped at the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Sister Seton was the founder of the American chapter of the Sisters of Charity and begun the first parochial school in the country. She was canonized in 1975, the first native-born American woman to be so honored.
Next we visited the National Fallen FireFighters Memorial located on the campus of the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg. We were unaware this memorial was in this area, but decided to stop. Joan's nephew, Clay Cutter, drowned in Convict Lake, California, in the winter of 1990 as he was trying to save the lives of several teenagers who had inadvertently fallen through the ice on the lake. Since Clay was a Forest Service Ranger performing his duty, he was posthumously given many awards for his unselfish distinguished service. His name was listed among those firefighters who gave their lives in 1990. It was a very moving moment to stand there and reflect on the great loss of this fine young man in the prime of his youth, leaving behind a wonderful wife and family of three young girls. It brought a lot of tears to our eyes.
As time was getting late, we had a wonderful dinner at the Carriage House in Emmitsburg before continuing on to Lancaster. This was a very busy, rewarding and emotional day. Again we were completely exhausted.
June 3, 1998 - Wednesday - Lancaster, PA
After last night's storm, we awoke to some wind and it was a bit cooler. It never really got very hot today. It stayed nicely in the 70's. Towards late afternoon, it became a bit overcast.
After a late start this morning, I went to the Lancaster Mennonite Library and spent the rest of the day. Initially I met the David Rempel Smucker and went over the material that he had prepared for me. I had requested that he locate on current road maps the approximate locations for Leonard, George Anthony, and Henry Mumma's land holdings. I was modestly pleased with his work. Did some of what I wanted, but not all. Leonard's land is fairly easy to identify on a county map as most of the roads bound his property. It is located in Terre Hill, Earl Township and is about 20 miles east of Lancaster.
The land of his son, George Anthony Mumma is a little less clear as it is in an area that is fairly developed and few of the old roads/trails exist today. We should be able to locate the various pieces of property within a small amount of error. With these maps, I should be able to drive to the homesteads and the churches that existed at that time.
I did a couple of quick things. I determined from an Engle genealogy that the Claude Engle that I have been trying to find is long deceased. His birth year was 1880 so I can wipe him from my memory banks. I had run across his name in connection with some Mumma reunions that had been held in the Harrisburg, PA area many years ago.
I then proceeded through the Mumma vertical file. Wow! The file is now about 4" thick and has letters between many of the early Mumma researchers. Naturally I wanted to read everything quickly just to see if there were any hidden gems. I did find one letter between a German researcher, Norbert Dautzenberg, in Aachen and a Robert N Mumma who was living in Harrisburg in 1985. Obviously I need to find Robert N. Mumma if possible and see if Norbert continued to find additional data. Norbert was doing some Mumma research for Robert. I ran out of time to finish the file so I will go back tomorrow. I also want to check on my connect to Herr through George Anthony Mumma's marriage to Barbara Weber. I could easily spend a week or two here digging through the files and archives.
June 4, 1998 - Thursday - Lancaster, Pennsylvania
The morning was nice and clear with almost no wind. Wasn't overly warm in the beginning but finally topped out around 70 degrees by afternoon.
I went back to the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society to quickly finish reading the material in the vertical file and check on one or two things so we could get into town in the afternoon. WRONG!!!! It was about 4 PM before I finished some of the things I wanted to do. I didn't find any large nuggets of information, however there were a number of collateral family genealogies that contain great information, especially since I want to solve the Barbara Mumma/Sherrick/Hertzler issue. Also tried to trace the source of the Hans Herr connection through Barbara Weber and I think I have found where most of that information comes from, however I don't have time right now to do all of the reading, etc. All I mainly did today was quickly scan read books and make copies. In order to get out of there, I had to give them $225 for 133 photocopies, the research effort by David Rempel Smucker regarding the location of the properties and all of the books and pamphlets I bought. It is like a candy store. I wanted to buy every book they had. They have super facilities and one could easily spend a week there. The surroundings are pleasant and the staff knowledgeable and helpful. The only minor drawback is they don't have a printing microfilm reader and everything is indexed on 3x5 cards. They still had Dr. Kloepfer listed as a Mumma researcher and he has been dead for 16 years.
We did learn that the Lancaster Historical Society stays open until 9:30 on Thursday nights so we decided to eat a little early and then drive into town and check out the facilities so I would know how much time I would need to allocate to that facility. I knew that much of their material was duplicated at the Mennonite facility.
We returned to the motel and of course I took too long answering some e-mail messages. Finally we got away and had a nice dinner in a restaurant we ate in when we were here six years ago. After dinner, we drove to Lancaster and arrived at the Historical Society about 8:15, so I did have enough time to explore the facility and become familiar with their holdings. I viewed the Mumma vertical file and found a number of wills and estate administrations that are very interesting and I will copy them tomorrow. They also have complete copies of all the county deeds so I will attempt to obtain the deeds for Leonard's, George Anthony's and Henry's land transactions. It was a very useful trip and I think that we are sort of on schedule. HA! HA!
June 5, 1998 - Friday - Lancaster, Pennsylvania
The morning was fairly nice and clear, but cool. Temperature was in the high 60's and comfortable. Around 7 PM tonight, we got a little rain from some clouds that passed by.
We got away late this morning as usual. Stopped by the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society and I looked up one reference. Then we drove into Lancaster.
Since the Mumma Pretzel Company is only open until noon on Saturdays, Joan and I stopped by so we could visit the inside and talk with the owners. What a fun place to visit. It is located on 4th Street in the downtown area of Lancaster. When we turned onto 4th street I was sure we had made a mistake because it is a residential area, however there it was, a small brick building next to a rows of houses. We went in and introduced ourselves. Betty Warfel, one of the owners greeted us and was expecting our arrival. I had talked to Lester Mumma who lives in Lancaster and he called his aunt Betty. In fact, Lester's father is 70 years old and still works in the pretzel factory. Originally, the building was owned by the Kissinger Pretzel Company, however they went out of business many years ago. Betty and Ken Warfel bought the building 16 years ago and started the "Mumma Pretzel Company". We had a wonderful time talking to Betty who told us all about the pretzel business. All too soon we had to leave and continue on, but not before she gave us two soft pretzels to munch on. Boy did they taste good. This is a "must stop" for all Mummas if you ever visit Lancaster.
Next we went to the Lancaster Historical Society and I picked up where I left off last night and Joan went to tour "Wheatland", President James Buchanan's Home which is on the same grounds. I guess I miss judged the amount of material I found interesting in the vertical files. About 110 copies later, I was finished with that task!
While I was working, Lester Mumma , stopped by and we were able to meet and take a little time get acquainted. He is just getting into genealogy. Unfortunately our time together was all too short.
Then I proceeded to view the microfilm indexes of Deeds for Lancaster County up to about the year 1800 for all of the Mummas. I did find a number that were of interest to me. Fortunately they have copies of the deeds on microfilm, so I didn't need to go to the county courthouse to view or copy them. I managed to get about 10 deeds done before 4:30 arrived and they closed, throwing me out. I also couldn't convince anyone to stay for another half an hour so I could finish. Obviously these people need retraining and a realignment of their priorities!!!!
Joan and I then drove to the center of town and Trinity Lutheran Church where my great great great grandfather, Henry Mumma, and Juliana Heckman were married on 22 April, 1780. The church is one of the oldest in Lancaster. It was formed in 1729 and the current building was built in 1761. Unfortunately it was just 5 o'clock when we arrived and Church itself was closed. The tower bells playing for about 15 minutes and one of the locals walking by asked us what the occasion was, since that normally doesn't happen. I guess the church was just glad to see Joan and me and showed us its appreciation. It was a nice touch.
Then off we went to a wonderful restaurant called "The Stockyard". President Buchanan owned it at one time. Not cheap, but the food was superb and they accommodated Joan's special needs very well. A short driving tour of the beautiful old homes of Lancaster City finished off the day nicely. I am trying to get this message finished early so I can get to bed and rested for our driving tour of "Mumma Homesteads" and Lancaster County historical sites tomorrow.
June 6, 1998 - Saturday - Lancaster, Pennsylvania
We awoke to a nice morning with bright sunshine, a little wind and slightly cool. As the day progressed, it became warmer (low 70's) and very pleasant with nice white puffy clouds in the sky. A glorious day!!!
Stanley Allan Mumma  and his son, Stephen, drove down from College Park, Maryland to join us on our Mumma homestead and historic sites tour. Stanley is a professor of engineering at Penn State. We are 5th cousins, once removed.
Our initial stop was at the Mumma Pretzel Company, located in Lancaster, as I was hoping to watch them make the pretzels. It is completely done by hand. Unfortunately, we were too late to watch this operation.
We then drove down to the town square and went to the Central Market which is one of the oldest enclosed markets in Pennsylvania. There is a Mumma Pretzel stall in the market so we had an opportunity to meet Ken Warfel, the owner of the company and to have our pictures taken in front of the stand. It is really a fun market with lots of vegetable, bakery, meat, and "put-a-round" stalls. It was hard to drag Joan out of there to continue the tour.
As we got to the car and I fished for the keys, a cold sweat came over me. I had locked the keys in the car and we could see them sitting on the seat!!! I was ready to shout some profanities, but controlled myself somewhat. I had horrible visions of sitting around Lancaster for several hours waiting for roadside assistance. Fortunately, there was a AAA office directly across the street to which I immediately rushed. From there I called emergency services, they verified I was indeed an AAA member by calling California (I guess I looked a little shifty) and then a tow truck was dispatched to help. They said it would be about 20 minutes. I walked back to the car and told everyone the situation and then went back to the AAA office to wait. Lo and behold, the tow truck had already arrived. He popped open the door in a couple of minutes and we were ready to again resume our tour. Our loss of time was at the most 45 minutes and possibly only 30 minutes. The gods were smiling down on me today. It was agreed that I couldn't be trusted any more, so from then on, I had to show the keys before the doors were locked.
Next was a stop at Trinity Lutheran Church so we could go inside and see the interior. It is really very spectacular and as we walked in, the organ began to play. It is getting eerie that music happens when Joan and I approach churches. Maybe that is a message or sign to us!!! No matter what, we enjoy it. Actually, a wedding was scheduled in a few hours and the organist was practicing. It was a lovely church and a docent gave us some literature and information about the church. Although the interior was quite different from the time my great great great grandfather was married in the church, it was fun to stand near where he stood 218 years ago. The organ, however was there at the time of his marriage, so perhaps, we heard some of the same songs that were played for him and his bride.
The next stop was at the Hans Herr House (actually built by his father, Christian Herr), but Hans served as the Bishop of the local Mennonite group so the house was always called "Hans Herr's house". The docent who greeted us and led the tour was Doug Nyce. Small world! His wife is Dawn Leanne Mumaw , who is related to Stan and me. She and Stan are 5th cousins and she and I are 5th cousins, once removed. We had a very nice tour of this Swiss/German house which is the oldest house in Lancaster County (built in 1719) and the oldest Mennonite meeting house in America. It is always possible that George Anthony and Barbara Weber Mumma attended a meeting here at one time since they followed the Mennonite faith. The architecture and building methods of these old houses are impressive and interesting. You too can take a look at this building by visiting the following Web site: http://www.netconexinc.com/hansherr.
From here we drove out to Hempfield Township (west of Lancaster a few miles) and to the vicinity of George Anthony Mumma's property. George later willed this property to his sons, Henry, David, and Jacob. The property lies between US Route 30 and State Route 23 (Marietta Pike) and to the west of Stony Battery Road. It is a very nice piece of property (about 370 acres) of rolling hills. There are some home subdivisions in the area at the present time so it is a little hard to fully envision his land.
With time passing faster than scheduled, we raced to Ephrata and the Ephrata Cloister. We only missed 5 minutes of the last tour of the day. This wonderfully restored facility was a community of religious celibates who practiced an austere lifestyle, emphasizing spiritual goals rather than material ones. Needless to say this order died out after one generation. Celibacy is not a practice that allows for continued growth!!!! One of the things that this Cloister is noted for is publishing and book printing. Many other religious organizations used them to print their religious materials.
Next was a visit to the Muddy Creek Lutheran Church which our Mumma progenitor, Leonard (Leonhardt) Mumma, attended and was a founder. The old church has long since been replaced by a fairly modern facility. In all likelihood, however, Leonard and his wife are buried in the old cemetery with unidentifiable gravestones. Many old headstones date back to the early 1730's and are inscribed in German. Unfortunately most of the old stones don't have writings that can be read. It was still fun to walk in the "footsteps" of our ancestors.
We drove due south a few miles to Terre Hill and drove the perimeter of Leonard's original land grant. His property of about 228 acres was approximately bounded by Lancaster Avenue, Centerville Road, Wide Hollow Road, and Twin Hill Road. There is a beautiful view of the valley and farm lands that stretch into Lancaster. Leonard's property was located near the top of a small hill or rise. Joan would have been very happy to have just sat there and soaked in the beauty. What a wonderful place to live if you didn't have to work every minute of the day to feed and cloth your family to simply exist.
Our final stop of the day was at the Trinity Lutheran Church in New Holland which Leonard also attend and where some of his children were baptized. Again the original church is long gone, but the cemetery is very old, being one of the oldest organized church and cemetery in Lancaster County. The Reformed Church is located adjacent to Trinity and it is very beautiful, having been built about 1799. Again, this was a very picturesque place.
With that, we ended the tour about 7:45 PM and said goodbye to Stan and his son who had a long drive ahead of them as they headed back to College Park, PA.
June 7, 1998 - Sunday - Annapolis, Maryland
The day started rather clear and cool. As we drove towards Annapolis, clouds appeared in the afternoon and we had a few sprinkles, but nothing heavy. The temperature was in the high 60's.
We drove south east from Lancaster through Strassburg and the farming countryside. There were many Amish buggies on the road going or coming from their Sunday "Meetings" at neighboring farms. Our first stop was in Chadd's Ford, a small community north of Wilmington, Delaware. Here we visited with John and Eleanor Blankenbaker. John I have met through the Internet, primarily through his "After Germanna" quarterly newsletter and his continuing contributions to the Germanna List. The term "Germanna", refers to several groups of German immigrants who came to an area of Virginia just south of Culpeper in 1714 and 1717. They are rather unique in that they were not a part of the normal immigration through the northern ports and Philadelphia. It is in 1717 that my mother's Yeagers (Yagers) arrived and John's Blankenbakers came in 1714. It turns out that John is also a volunteer docent one Saturday a month at the Hans Herr house in Lancaster. It was with general genealogy and historical interest that I wanted to meet he and his wife. We had a wonderful meeting and they prepared a delicious lunch, including some fresh bread they had just baked. In the early afternoon we bid adieu to them and continued on to our final destination of Annapolis, Maryland.
That evening, we were invited to dinner with Mike Mumma  and his wife, Sage, at the Annapolis Yacht Club. After a very nice dinner, they took us on a driving tour of the old part of Annapolis which was most interesting. We then drove to their house where Mike and I discussed his efforts in tracing his ancestry. Mike descends from Jacob Mumma, the first clearly recorded Mumma progenitor to arrive in America in 1731, a year before my progenitor, Leonard (Leonhardt). Mike is doing a very meticulous job of extracting documented evidence as he is working backwards from himself. Mike was born and raised in Lancaster County and has the advantage of intimately knowing the landmark names in Lancaster and Dauphin Counties. He is expressing some concerns with some of the initial children and links that are shown on the Jacob Mumma line. I too have concerns about some of the early data and encouraged him to continue digging. I am hopeful that he will be able to sort out some of the confusion on that line. Of course we didn't get home until after 11 PM.
June 8, 1998 - Monday - Washington, D.C.
The weather started out cool with a brisk breeze. Last night was the first time we used a blanket. As the day progressed, the temperature increased, the wind decreased even though there were some dark clouds that passed overhead. By dinner time, the skies cleared and it was beautiful.
Last night was a very quiet night even though we were sleeping next to a field where over 300 people resided in the open. What helped is they were dead. This is the first time that we have had a motel room adjacent to a cemetery.
Today Joan and I played like tourists and explored the old parts of Annapolis. Fortunately for Joan, the Maryland State Archives are closed on Mondays. We took a very interesting 2 hour "walking" tour of the town and the Naval Academy. It was most informative, impressive and one that we would recommend to anyone visiting Annapolis. The tour guide was really moving fast in order to cover a lot of ground and show us everything. Boy are my feet tired tonight.
Next, we toured the William Paca House and Garden. This house was built around 1763. It was interesting to contrast the building style of this English house with the German style houses we visited in Frederick, Maryland and Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Later, we had dinner at a great seafood restaurant called O'Learys. We got there by taking a little water taxi from the main dock across to the other side of the river. I was too tired to walk across the bridge. It was a very nice way to end our brief stay in Annapolis. We then drove to Washington D.C. and checked into our motel in the downtown area near the Watergate. We were most pleased with our room at the Double Tree Guest Suites. Only $129 for a bedroom, living room/dining room, full kitchen, and bathroom. That is a real bargain for the location and amenities.
June 9, 1998 - Tuesday - Washington, D.C.
The morning started off very nice, however when we finally left the National" Archives in the afternoon, it was raining outside. Of course we didn't have our umbrellas with us, but the "Metro" station is just across the street from the Archives and the "Foggy Bottom" station is only a block and a half from our hotel. We didn't get too wet.
Poison ivy update. I was hoping not to report on this subject again, but it is still with us with no real improvement for Joan. When she awoke this morning, one of her eyes was almost swollen shut and lots of red irritated areas on her face. We have been applying various salves, ointments and other medications without much success. I guess we need some more hot weather to dry out the little blisters. Of course I have alligator skin so my case is not so bad. I just rub and scratch it anyway.
As you can tell from the weather report, today was the day for our visit to the National Archives. Fortunately, a Mumma descendant by the name of Jane "Budge" Weidman [U1-143561321] works at the Archives. She met us in the lobby and took us on a brief tour of the reading rooms, etc. and showed us the ropes. I had decided in advance to look for two things. One was the military service & pension file for my great grandfather, William Franklin Yeager, who served in the Civil War as a 1st lieutenant with the 43 Infantry Indiana Volunteers, Company D. By contacting "Budge" in advance, she was able to request the files and have them already delivered to the reading room. That saved us two hours of time to start with.
The files were most interesting and I was able to correct some family legend and lore. "Frank", as he was known, entered the service as a sargent, not as a 2nd lieutenant, and he mustered out as a 1st lieutenant, not a captain. Again it shows that you need to check everything out yourself if you want to be absolutely sure of your data. There was very little mention of the murder in which he was involved so we pursued that a little further and requested the files for the Brown brothers, for whom a court martial was held. Unfortunately, the court martial files had been moved to another file box and we will need to return tomorrow and request that box so that I can put closure on this subject and write up a summary report. It was most interesting to read some of the actual documents that my great grandfather wrote in support of his claim of a war related injury and to request an increase in his pension allowance. We were also able to watch the faltering of his signature from the time he initially submitted his pension application in 1880 until one on the last updates he signed in 1912. The first signature was strong and then it slowly became very shaky, with finally just an "X" being marked.
The second objective was to try and find any evidence that my great great grandfather, William Bryant, served in the Revolutionary War under General Washington. I looked previously in various indexes, but never found clear evidence. The fact of his service had been stated in a biographical sketch for his grandson, found in a 'Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton Benton, Warren, and Pulaski Counties Indiana' book. The biographical sketch said he served under General Washington for seven years and was present at the British surrender. We searched all of the muster rolls, pension files, etc. for a likely "William Bryant" candidate, however none was found. If he served that long a period of time, he should have appeared on some muster roll a one time or another. My suspicion is he either went by another name or it is pure family fantasy.
Anyway, we had an interesting time wandering around the Archives getting lost. We took the elevator to the 11th floor from the 2nd floor to get to some military records. When we came down, we pushed the button for the 2nd floor and promptly came to a floor from which we could not escape. Finally someone took pity on us and showed us the way back to the 'real' second floor. When we went up again to the 11th floor, we asked someone how to get back to the 2nd floor again. Simple, he said, just push the button marked with a "7". ????? Oh well, we did and it worked!
Anyway, it is an impressive place and photo copies are reasonable at 10 cents a page.
June 10, 1998 - Wednesday - Washington, D.C.
We awoke to gray skies and some minor drizzle. The temperature stayed in the high 60's all day with high humidity so it never felt very cold. No serious rain, but the streets became damp from time to time.
The first thing I did this morning was race back to the National Archives at their opening time of 8:45 AM so that I could put in a request for the court martial transcripts. You must do this before 9 AM, the cutoff time for the first files to be "pulled", otherwise it would be another hour before you would get your material. I got lucky and just made it under the wire. Fortunately the box that came down had all of the information I wanted so I copied the entire contents. I now have a copy of the complete court martial proceedings. It is really interesting to hold the original transcript that was hand written by the court clerk in 1864. With luck, the transcript of the civilian trial for the same offense will be waiting for me when I get home. All of the accused were acquitted of all murder charges at the conclusion of the court martial. My great grandfather, William Franklin Yeager, was not among the accused or even called as a witness and this surprised me.
Joan joined me and we went to the DAR Library and Museum at 1776 D Street. Who knows how they got that address. A little politics and bribery, I think. Anyway, it is a very impressive building. Their library is housed in the building's original auditorium. A beautiful setting with lovely balconies, etc. that now contain stacks of books, etc. I went through their card catalog and analytical index looking at the Mumma surname. A few of the references to old county histories were new to me so I had some of them copied. I then went to the patriot index and checked all of the Mummas that are listed which were Henry Mumma, Jacob Mumma, John Mumma, George Mumma and Christian Mumma. I then asked to see the application files for the Mumma descendants who have developed a lineage to these patriots. They will only provide you with the applications of the last 3 applications for a patriot, unless you specify differently. Because time was running short, I only was able to view 4 of the records that were on microfiche. Of particular interest to me was the application for Henry Mumma. It listed him as marrying a Hertzler in Maryland and one of the children listed was my ggggrandfather, Jacob Mumma, who married Mary Blessing. This application is totally wrong since my Henry never served in the Revolutionary War nor did he marry a Hertzler. There is a procedure to correct the information by sending a letter to the "corrections genealogist" which I will do at a later time. I did not have a opportunity to compare the other genealogies to determine if they too are in error. Again this a prime example of how inaccurate the genealogical information is in the DAR applications.
After a nice fish dinner in a nearby restaurant, we took the Metro (subway) to the Library of Congress, since the reading rooms are open until 9:30 PM on Wednesday nights. What an impressive place! We probably won't have an opportunity on this trip to return for a full tour during the daytime. Got to leave something else to see when we return to Washington on another trip.
June 11, 1998 - Thursday - Washington, D.C.
As the weather man predicted, the day was similar to the previous, overcast with a tiny bit of drizzle late in the day. Temperature was in the high 60's.
Today we went to the Smithsonian - Museum of American History. What can I say! The place is bigger than life and our bodies are worn out after exploring 3 floors of wonderful exhibits and displays. The thing that is always impressive is that you are looking at the real thing and not a replica of everything that is shown. I also had previously missed the fact that James Smithson, an English scientist who had never been to America, bequeathed his entire estate to the United States government "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." That is how the Smithsonian was started in 1846.
Joan and I have been very impressed with our visit to Washington. The buildings are so massive that they simply take your breath away looking at them. We had forgotten that fact from our last visit 20 years ago. We were also surprised at the small amount of construction that is taking place and what we did see, didn't detract from the beauty of the city. What we saw made us rather proud of Nation's Capital. The timing of our visit was great as it after most schools have closed so there are few school kids on field trips and we are just ahead of the summer vacations by families. A great time to travel.
June 12, 1998 - Friday - Manassas, Virginia
The weather was cloudy when I woke up, but there was no rain. The temperature was in the high 60's. In the early afternoon, when we reached Manassas, the sun came out, the temperature jumped to the high 80's and we were dying with the humidity. Thank God the temperature was as cool as it was when we were "hiking" around Washington. It looks like I will be wearing short pants again for the first time in two weeks.
Since I didn't get a chance to finish the things I wanted to look up at the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), I let Joan sleep in and I walked to the DAR building. Again there was a graduation happening nearby and I asked a street vendor what was going on. He said, it is another local high school graduation. Most of the local high schools rent the DAR's "Constitution Hall" in which to hold their graduation ceremonies. It is a nice large facility that will hold all of the graduates and their guests. I then when about my business and rechecked all of the DAR members application files for the various people who have put in a lineage for the various Mumma "patriots" who served in the Revolutionary War. All of the people who submitted on Henry Mumma made errors in Henry's lineage, primarily his wife who they list as a Hertzler. His correct wife's name was Julianna Heckman. I will work on this data when I get home and write up a "statement of facts, corrections and conclusions".
When I got back to the hotel, we checked out and headed for Manassas, Virginia to spend the rest of the day with my 96 year old step-father, Bill Todd. Bill has been living with one of his daughters, Marilyn McCoskey, in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho since my mother's death, but came to Manassas to spend some time with his other daughter, Joan Budd. It is always fun to see "Bill" and I like to brag about him. He got his first computer and learned how to use it at age 84 and we had to upgrade him once because the first machine was too slow for him!! He has his own e-mail address and regularly sends Joan and me messages. He has all of his hair, can read without glasses and his hearing is very good. Still drives a car and his license is valid until he is age 100. He is everything I would want to be, should I live to age 96. He took us out for a great dinner and then we returned and played a rousing game of Mexican Train, a domino game that he and my Mom loved to play. I got lucky and won, but it was very close and the last hand determined the winner. It was just the luck of the tiles.
June 13, 1998 - Saturday - Virginia Beach, Virginia
There was a storm during the night with thunder and rain. There was a little fog when we woke up, however it disappeared when another rain shower passed by. The weather was warm and muggy. We had some rain during our drive to Virginia Beach, but nothing serious. Shortly after we arrived, a big thunder storm hit and there was lots of rain. We were glad we had already arrived at my sister-in-law's (Jean Mumma) house.
On the way, we stopped at Williamsburg and were planning to have lunch there and snoop around a little, however there were so many people (summer vacation had just started) and none of the restaurants could accommodate Joan's needs so we just drove on to Virginia Beach. We have been there a number of times so we didn't feel we were missing that much.
That evening, we were joined for fun dinner with my niece, Susie Saburn, her husband, Don, and two of their children, Tim and Mary Beth Saburn.
June 14, 1998 - Sunday - Virginia Beach, Virginia
The sun was out bright and clear this morning. The humidity was acceptable, even though it was about 85 degrees. It continued that way throughout the day and into the evening. It was a glorious day! These warm evenings are one thing we don't have in California. Cool evenings are great for sleeping, but it is nice not to have to put on a sweater.
It was nice to have "lazy" day with no appointments or anything else scheduled. Joan did a load of wash so everything would be clean when we go home. In the evening we went out for a nice seafood dinner. Upon arriving home, the fireflies were lighting up in the yard so we caught some for Joan to see. She couldn't remember ever seeing any on our previous trips east. They are a really interesting insect to watch. Another thing we don't have in California.
June 15, 1998 - Monday - Virginia Beach, Virginia
The skies were cloudy when we awoke this morning. After breakfast, I journeyed out to get two flapper valves for the toilets. There are always some minor things to fix when I visit Jean. While I was in the hardware store, the skies opened up and it rained very hard for about 5 minutes and that was the extent of today's rain. Later the sun came out and it became very hot and muggy.
The rest of the day was spent lounging around, resting up and packing to come home. It was interesting trying to get 4 whirligigs packed into the suitcase in a way that they won't become splinters by the time we arrive in Livermore.
We had an early dinner in the afternoon with my niece, Susie Saburn and her family since they had a four hour drive to return to their house in Forest, Virginia.
June 16, 1998 - Tuesday - Livermore, California
The day started out beautiful, but hot. At 7 AM the sun was out and the temperature was 85 degrees. It looked like it was going to be a scorcher in Virginia Beach. The weather was nice an warm when we arrived in San Francisco and turned into a nice balmy evening.
Our plane left Norfolk for Chicago at 10:30 A.M. and on schedule. Because of the storms in the Chicago, we took a circuitous route getting there, arriving about 10-15 minutes late. Our next leg took off on schedule as we headed for San Francisco and arrived around 2:55 as predicted. We finally arrived home about 5:30. We did run into some ugly traffic on the San Mateo Bridge. Wow! Did home feel good!!!
We had a wonderful trip and I feel I accomplished everything I had hoped to do. More information than I expected in some areas and less in others. Now I have to carefully sort and review everything which will take some time. I hope you enjoyed these messages about our adventures and misadventures.
And now for a final update on the poison ivy. Mine is almost dried up and under control by doing nothing. Joan still has a few patches that are giving her a little trouble in spite of the various lotions and potions she has been applying.
As a conclusion to the trip, listed below some observations we made and things that made an impression on us, a couple of Californians, born and raised.
Conclusions & Thoughts
1) People in the east, especially the women, spend a large fraction of their lives riding on lawn mowers. Some people claimed it was therapeutic or a way to escape the kids for a while. The sizes of the lawns that people mow is over whelming.
2) Almost universally, in all of the areas we drove, we found a lack of signs to help us find our way. In many places, street signs were either not posted or we would hunt and hunt to find a small one hiding behind some tree limbs or in non conventional location.
3) The Washington D.C. Metro transportation system is fantastic and efficiently moves people. We used it extensively, along with our feet for getting around.
4) The best hotel that met Joan's needs was the Double Tree Suites in Washington. The staff was very courteous, friendly and knew that their job was to make our stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. On the day we left, I saw our maid for the first time and she greeted me by name - Now that is impressive!
5) Annapolis was the only place where the people we met seemed to have an "attitude"! The sales and service people gave us the impression we were putting them out to serve or help us. A nice place to visit, but I would go out of my mind putting up with such incompetence and lack of service.
6) The hotel with the best value meeting our needs with kitchen facilities was the Residence Inn in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Only $65/night for a bedroom, living room area, fireplace, kitchen, etc. It was very nice and comfortable.
7) The buildings in Washington D.C. seem to be bigger than those in any other place. At first they don't appear to be so big until you realize you have been walking for 5 minutes and you still haven't reached the other end of the block.
8) It is weird to wear short sleeve shirts and no sweater when it is raining outside. When it rains in California, it is cool and you bundle up!
9) During the trip we drove 2850 miles and flew 4910 miles for a total of 7760 miles. No wonder our behinds are broken!
10) We also confirmed that California has the worst traffic of anyplace. When we arrived back in the Bay Area, it took us one hour to cross the San Mateo bridge which is only 5 miles long. Oh well!
Until we meet again on another trip...
Bye for now....
Doug and Joan
[Copyright 1998 by Douglas and Joan Mumma, 2123 Farmington Place, Livermore, CA 94550]