Friday, August 12, 2011

John and Margaret Mathers Grim


You are looking at one of my most treasured finds during my recent genealogical trip to Louisa county in search of my ancestors. In digging through online records, I had found a genealogy quarterly magazine published by the local historical society of that county that according to their index, had two articles on the Grim family. One was titled "The History of the Grim Family" and the other "The Grim Family Reunion". I was expecting only some articles that would perhaps present a few clues for me to track down and they did have that but what I wasn't expecting and what they had were these two pictures.

The top picture is of my 3rd great grandparents John and Margaret Mathers Grim. My research has traced the family to western Pennsylvania post Revolutionary War but I have yet to find the original immigrant from Germany. According to this article, the Louisa county Grim family were part of the "Pennsylvania Dutch" who had lived in Germany near Holland in the Rhinelander Crefield. The left in 1683 with 13 families and settled in Germantown, Pennsylvania and have been called the "Mayflower of the German immigration". The article goes on to say that the Louisa county Grim's are descendants from Adam Grim (my fifth great grandfather), a Pennsylvania miller by trade, who had dropped the second "m" in their name. He and his wife Mary settled in Lawrence county, Pennsylvania in Washington and Slipper Rock townships in 1814. Then things start getting confusing. The article says that this Adam (the miller) had nine children including one named Adam whom I will refer to as Adam2 and another named John whom I will refer to as John1. It says that John1 had a son named John2 who is my John pictured above. The problem is that I have lots of information from census records to death and obituary records who say that John2's father was Adam2. Mistake on the part of the author of the article, author of a book mentioned below that was used as a source for this article or on my part? I don't know but I do know I would like to obtain the source book and contact the author of the article whose Aunt Jennie is quoted often in it as another source of information on this family.

The article went on to say that my John, John2, got his first farming job for David Woodruff near Louisa Center running a grist mill on Long Greek and later moved to the Darius (Dunk) Key farm south of Cairo. (He later named a son Darius afer Mr. Key. John2 wasn't an ordained minister but did do some preaching and was an elder in the church. His son John3 would go on to get ordained and preach in Lousia county. The rest of the article covered the where abouts of John2's four surviving sons.

The article mentions a source of information for some of this as a genealogy book called "The Grim Family" by Carol Herrick which I have so far found no proof that it existed much less can be bought. If any of my readers out there can figure that mystery out, let me know as I surely would like to read this book.

The article on the "Grim Family Reunion" also yielded a photograph that I have spent hours looking at. It is of a family reunion in 1925, the first year it was held some six years after the death of John2 and at the home of John3. Six of the seven children of John2 who survived to adulthood are pictured in this photo along with spouses, children and grandchildren. Best yet, there is a legend identifying each one by name. John3 is the fellow in the dark suit standing on he bottom step of the porch just above the little boys sitting at the bottom center of the photograph. His brother and my 2nd great grandfather 'Billie' Grim is also wearing a dark suit and is standing over the right shoulder of the lady holding a baby boy next to all the seated children in the bottom center of the photograph. This is the only picture I have of any of John2's children. According to the article, this family reunion still goes on every year to this day and I hope that perhaps someday soon, I can attend one of them.


[Post addendum: Since writing this, I have since made contact with the author of the articles and through him am in the process of contacting Carol Herrick who is still around and may have a copy of that book although it sounds as if her genealogy only goes back as far as mine. I am also on the mailing list for the family reunion which coincidentally is occurring tomorrow which I am unable to make. Perhaps next year. The cherry on top of all of this is that I have also made contact with the resident genealogist of the group and sometime in the future will have to set up a meet and greet to swap information.]

1 comment:

R. Sherman said...

It's amazing all the resources which are out there if you just do a little digging. My Uncle picked up a hitchhiker once who was traveling in the States from Alsace. He (my uncle) mentioned our ancestors and the guy ultimately went home and poked around, primarily because he was grateful for the ride and the meal. He wound tracing the paternal side of our family through multiple generations to the 15th century in one village in the Voges Mountains of Alsace.

Strange stuff.

Cheers.