Thursday, June 27, 2013

Heritage Trail: Cramers in Pennsylvania

Our Cramer roots extend back in Pennsylvania to the eighteenth century: Adam Cramer, our German emigrant ancestor, was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.  These early Cramer, King, and Rambo lines settled in the western highlands of Pennsylvania, a wooded hilly area.  Adam and his son Samuel lived in the Milford Township area of Somerset County.  Samuel's son John and his wife Sarah (my third-great-grandparents) are buried in Kingwood (same cemetery as the Kregers).  John's son Hiram was born in Centerville, had a farm and store in Ursina, but ultimately moved west to Nebraska where he is buried.  His grandson Wally is my grandfather.

However, following their footsteps was a little tricky.  We found John and Sarah at the Kingwood Mount Zion Lutheran Cemetery on Route 281 just past the Humbert Road junction; their headstone is fading fast and is in the far back corner by the trees.
this cemetery, not the small one behind the church
John S. Cramer's headstone
Sarah's inscription on the side
I have a 1964 letter from my grandpa's cousin, giving directions to Cramer locations he visited in 1948.  He said, "Hiram Cramer's farm is between Ursina and Kingwood, closer to Ursina (maybe 2-4 miles).  I believe his store was in Ursina.  Traveling this route (north) the house (brick) is on the left and the barns on the right. At that time [now 65 years ago] the buildings were very well cared for and well painted, even to the shutters on the barns."  With our limited time (and the patience of my kids wearing thin) we were not able to pinpoint this location.

Our other destination was the Cramer-King Cemetery to see Revolutionary War vet Adam Cramer's grave.  Findagrave says this cemetery is located on Route 53, and their photo shows a large identifying sign. We approached on a foggy morning, and drove back and forth, asking several people for directions. We learned that the cemetery  is actually on Route 281 West, just north of the town of New Centreville.
Cramer cemetery (back by tree) viewed from the road when it's clear
What you have to do is start with a very patient husband.  Then you park at Zambo's Country Cottage restaurant, on the east side of the road (a cash-only establishment featuring ham-loaf dinner).

Then you have to be brave enough to unwind the chain on the cow pasture (don't touch the electric fence), and walk through the mist and manure.

Have faith that your destination is where the fireman pointed, somewhere in that fog (and that there are no cows in your way)

It's by the big evergreen tree

The sign is no longer there
But Adam Cramer's grave is.  Success!  

Now good luck finding your car again...

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