Pike Township, Bradford County, PA
|Name of Cemetery: Ford Family Cemetery
Read By: Lyle Rockwell
Date Read: 11-April 2009
GPS Coordinates: N41 - 49.097, W76 - 8.548
Typed By: Lyle Rockwell
Published by JoyceM. Tice May 2009
|Last Name||First Name||Date of Birth||Date of Death||AGE||Inscription/RELATIONSHIP/COMMENTS|
|(____)||(____)||Small stone weathered unreadable|
|Ford||Lucy A.||4/1/1860||15y7m20d||"Daughter of Isaac & Amanda Ford"|
|Ford||Isaac||4/15/1860||59y1m29d||Weathered so some is unreadable|
|Ford||Amanda||9/22/1869||63y2m7d||"Wife of Isaac Ford"|
|Ford||John B.||5/05/1866||35y4m/18d||"Of Co. E 199 Reg. P. Vol."|
|Ford||Lafayette||8/19/1862||4y7m27d||Weathered so some is unreadable|
|(____)||J.||Weathered so some is unreadable|
|Ford||Amanda||10/21/1837||21y/9m/10d||"Daughter of Isaac & Amanda Ford"|
|(____)||(____)||Weathered so some is unreadable|
|Ford||Sarah J.||12/04/1846||"Daughter of John & Sarah Ford Jr."|
|(____)||(____)||Several other small field stones with no dates or names|
I plan on photographing the Ford Cemetery in Pike Township next, when I finish the Stevens Cemetery. Here is an article I found that be includesd on the Ford Cemetery web page:
Submitted by Lyle Rockwell
One picture is from the main road, so you can see you have to walk across the open field to get to this old cemetery in a bunch of trees. The other photo is standing in front of the stones looking east.
From an article titled "The Settlers", May 1992 (Bradford County Historical
THE FORD FAMILY CEMETERY
by Jeannie Vuichard
In the 1790's three brothers, John Isaac, and Bela Ford came down the
Susquehanna River from New York and chose to settle in the Wyalusing Valley.
Descendants of theirs continue to return to this area each summer. The
children and grandchildren of Herman F. Ford spend time together each year
on "Ford Street, " southeast of LeRaysville. Interest in family history
has grown in recent years, particularly after reading the journal
of Franklin F. Ford, written in the 1920s. Included in his journal
was the following: "Amanda Ingalls Ford died on Ford Street, Pike Township,
Bradford County, PA on September 22, 1869 of consumption in the 63rd
year of her age. She was a worthy member of the M. E. Church at LeRaysville
for forty years. She was patient in sickness and in health. Her piety was
practical, benevolent, and useful. Though her family, church and neighbors
deeply feel and mourn her absence, our loss is her infinite gain."
These words were spoken by Reverend A. C. Sperry at a small family cemetery in Pike Township, southeast of LeRaysville, where Amanda Ford was laid to rest next to her husband, Isaac, and several children in 1869. They were recorded in the LeRaysville Advertiser and later copied into the journal. This journal inspired the descendants of Amanda and Isaac Ford to venture to the all-but-forgotten, small family cemetery. "We went looking for names and dates that corresponded to the names in the journal," Jeannie Vuichard, daughter of Carmen (Ford) Hight, stated."
From the road, the only visible signs of the cemetery were two maple trees standing in the middle of a pasture. When the small band of relatives reached the site, they realized that just looking at the tombstones would be difficult. They had to first work their way through a mass of brambles four or five feet high. When these brambles were finally penetrated, the only thing found still standing was one broken tombstone - the top nowhere in sight.
The rest of the tombstones were scattered randomly among briers and weeds. Some were still intact but most were shattered beyond legibility."We knew that where the tombstones were could not be the actual grave sites because of the way they were piled on top of each other, " explained Vuichard. "We therefore took the liberty to remove them so we could clear the area and locate more stones."
After all the weeds were moved, the search began for the missing pieces of the stones. The main objective of the search was the top portion of the only standing stone.
"We were all curious as to whose stone it was, for the part that was missing had the name on it," stated Sharon Wheeles, another daughter of Carmen(Ford)Hight. Wheeles later found the top piece buried about a foot deep. The stone belong to John B. Ford, a son of Isaac and Amanda Ford, who was a soldier of the Pennsylvanian Volunteers during the Civil War, and who died May 5, 1866.
Two other well-preserved stones were found completely buried, but intact. These stones have an air of mystery about them, for there is no record of the names in the family history. They are Gurdan Stanton (Died 1851 Age 46) and William Brumley. Hopefully, information about them will surface in the near future.
The small band of workers, including family members from seven to seventy, spent every morning for nearly a week turning over soil looking for broken fragments of the shattered stones. Coming from various backgrounds, the family members had no previous experience in historical restoration. "It was our own archaeological dig," Rachel Wheeles, granddaughter of Carmen Ford Hight, commented. " Most of the time it was just backbreaking work, and some mornings we wouldn't find anything. Then we would find a missing piece that
allowed us to finally decipher a name and it made all the work worthwhile."
After all the earth had been turned over and carefully searched, the job of piercing and resetting the stones began. This too, was heavy work, for holes had to be dug deep enough to set the stones firmly in the ground.One disappointing morning when the workers arrived on the site, they found half the stones, set the day before, had been knocked over by a cow. The owner of the property, Vern Alderson, and his brother-in-law, Carl Russell, graciously donated supplies to put up a barbed wire fence, enclosing a forty foot area in the center of the pasture. So, with the cow problem solved, and the majority of the stones pieced together, the stones were set, restoring the family cemetery. Now, thirteen complete grave stones, dated from 1813 to the 1860s are properly displayed.The family planned to rededicate the cemetery upon completion, but the ceremony had to be postponed due to a heavy rainstorm. Tentative plans are to hold a service in July 1992 during the Ford's family reunion.