|Mary Jones 1861-1946|
at St. John's in the Wilderness Church, Stony Point NY 1903
|Johnsontown School and Oscar Jones, school custodian and my cousin.|
Homes and buildings were demolished, creeks were dammed to create swimming areas and people gathered their belongings and moved. To this day, all that remains are a handful of stone foundations, a marker indicating where the school house once stood and a several crumbling cemeteries.
Driving through this park land regularly made me want to learn more about Mary and her family and soon after I started to do research, I got really lucky. Seriously, I won genealogy lotto.
First, my Mom's cousin Bill decided to downsize from a very large house to a small apartment. This meant he no longer wanted to hold on to the boxes of papers, photos, and other paraphernalia that had been in the attic of one relative or another for years. Bill would sit with me and put things in context, he could identify many of the people in the grainy black and white photos, he would tell stories of aunts, uncles and grandmas, including Mary. "Take this box of papers or I am throwing it out," he said. That box held yellowed clippings of obituaries, marriage licenses, and Mary's confirmation certificate.
Bill would call me whenever he found a new box and I broke into tears when he unearthed the bible where Mary had scrawled the names, dates of birth, and death of all her siblings.
The second lucky thing that happened around this time was that I learned about Mary's connection to St. John's in the Wilderness Church. The one building that remains in the park.