Hershey’s Gather in Paradise

Sunday was another Hershey Reunion and was held at Paradise Park in Paradise, PA. Every one of Frank and Lydia (Buckwalter) Hershey’s children, who had children (Esther, Torrey, Ruth, Frank, Elmer, Ada Mae, Ephraim, Vera), had representation. Lots of grand and great-grandchildren were there to meet their cousins and have fun. Granddaughters Linda Lee Hershey, Lisa Wilson, and Laura Denlinger, led the smaller ones with peanut scrambles and other games. Many of the kids brought their bicycles and enjoyed riding around the park.

The adults caught up on new additions to their families, shared stories of their parents and reacquainted themselves with cousins they hadn’t seen in a long time. Raymond Denlinger retold some stories of his aunts and uncles that he remembers hearing and others chimed in with some of their own.

We meet every year on the last Sunday of August. I’ve been attending for 28 years and I’m only an in-law, so you can imagine how many years this has been going on. We still enjoy the time together. Aunt Arlene Hershey (wife of Ephraim) is the only one left of her generation, but don’t think for a minute that bothers her. This lady is an inspiration to everyone. She still maintains a Bed and Breakfast in New Oxford, PA, and does it all by herself. She doesn’t stay at home when there is no one to take her, she goes by herself and enjoys every minute.

We have found another Hershey along the way, who is a descendant of Tobias K. Hershey and Mae Hertzler. She is related in two ways to this group of Hershey’s. Tobias’ sister Hettie married Ira J. Barge, whose son is Melvin K. Barge. Melvin married Ada Mae Hershey. So our new-found cousin, Julie Hershey is related to the Hershey’s and Barge’s who are directly related to Frank B. Hershey, patriarch of this family reunion. The common ancestor is Jacob and Anna (Newcomer) Hershey (Gen 3/4 in the Henry Hershey 1929 book) whose sons are John and Joseph. John Hershey, Julie’s ancestor as well as my mother-in-law, Edna Phenneger Hershey and Joseph who is the ancestor for Frank Hershey’s family. Are we having fun yet? Maybe just buy the book – “Hershey Family History” by Henry Hershey, 1929. You can find it at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society on Rt. 30 in Lancaster, PA. I did an index for the book, that can be purchased on this website.

Challenging DAR Applications

I’ve been working on a couple of challenging NSDAR applications this month and have found how many times people on the internet perpetuate incorrect data. One thing that the NSDAR genealogy course teaches is that if they were born in KY, then their parents had to be in KY at some point, preferrably when their child was born. If you don’t find them there, then you probably have the wrong person. Also, being born in PA and you find a person with that name on the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum commission’s list of soldiers in Pennsylvania, that this is your ancestor. You need to keep looking, READING, and do the math. If you have a picture of a tombstone from Findagrave and the date of death on the stone says 1833, then he couldn’t possibly be writing letters in 1883. This isn’t rocket science folks, just simple math– 1883 comes after 1833.

NSDAR will tease all of this out of the documents you provide. As an applicant, you can do this too, you just need to reason it out as to time and place. If you put down a date or place, do you have a document to prove it? I liken it to being an agent on NCIS or CSI. You don’t have the blood and guts, but need the reasoning power.

Genealogy Has Lost a Treasure

I was sorry to receive a notice that a premier Pennsylvania German researcher has passed away. John T. Humphrey, author, researcher and friend died in Washington DC on August 12, 2012. I have no further details yet, but am really feeling the loss of this wonderful man. John was a prolific writer. Anyone who has researched in Pennsylvania has used his birth records books or his Pennsylvania Research: County and Township Records book. The most recent program where I heard John speak was at the National Genealogy Society meeting in Cincinnati in May. He was so knowledgeable about German research and a terrific speaker.

While talking with a friend from the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, she made the comment, “if you think of Pennsylvania German research, John was who you pictured”. I agree. He will be greatly missed.