Documents from our immediate family included birth certificates, marriage licenses, death certificates, family Bibles, obituary clippings, and photographs. The primary reference point for the rest of the database is the federal censuses from 1850 onward.
Public records at the Lebanon County Historical Society include:
- Obituaries from the microfilm archives of the Lebanon Daily News and other extinct newspapers. Also see Internet Resources below.
- Marriage License index and microfilm archives.
The Hauck Research Archives at the Historical Society houses hundreds of family genealogical histories in book form, some of which are bound copies of the original hand-typed document. It will be the task of a future generation to retype them into digital form so that all may share in that wealth of information. The following books were particularly helpful in my research:
- A Compilation of the History and Genealogy of the Blauch-Blouch-Blough Family 1750–1980. Compiled and edited by Herbert R. Blouch and Mildred C. Blouch.
- Pennsylvania German Ancestors, by Anne Frysinger Shifflet, 1999.
- Heilman Family Genealogy, by Robert A. Heilman, 1992
- Catherine Killinger Reese, by Olive S. Kreider
Some birth and death dates were obtained from the Social Security Death Index, which is a public record that lists recipients of Social Security death benefits, now available free of charge at FamilySearch.org. In the absence of an actual birth document, such as a family Bible or church record, tombstone inscriptions and Social Security records would be considered the most reliable source of a birth date. However, in my own family, I know of one Social Security record that has an incorrect year of birth, and I know of one tombstone that has an incorrect date of birth. Nevertheless, we must keep in mind that there is no intrinsic value in the precise date of birth of an ancestor. The value lies in the context of that birth – to differentiate that person from all others, to know who that person was.
Burials at the following cemeteries were visited and the gravestone inscriptions verified:
- Steelstown EC Church – St. John’s Evangelical Congregational Church, formerly the United Evangelical Church, located in the village of Steelstown in North Annville Twp, Lebanon County, PA. [Map]
- Bellegrove UM Church – Bellegrove United Methodist Church, formerly the Evangelical United Brethren Church, located along Route 934 in the village of Bellegrove in North Annville Twp, Lebanon County, PA. The cemetery is commonly called the Bellegrove North Cemetery, to differentiate it from the Lutheran Church cemetery. On Christmas morning, 2007, I photographed every legible grave marker. Feel free to contact me to request a photo. [Map]
- Water Works Church – Water Works United Methodist Church, formerly the Evangelical United Brethren Church, located in the village of Water Works in North Annville Twp, Lebanon County, PA. In the summer of 2006, I transcribed every legible grave marker in the Water Works cemetery. [Map]
- Kauffmans UM Church — Kauffmans United Methodist Church, formerly the United Brethren Church, on the site of the former Mennonite Meeting House, located along Route 934 one mile north of Annville in North Annville Twp, Lebanon County, PA. In the spring of 2008, I photographed every legible grave marker. Feel free to contact me to request a photo. [Map]
- Bellegrove CE Lutheran Church – Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, located one block east of Route 934 in the village of Bellegrove in North Annville Twp, Lebanon County, PA. The cemetery is commonly called the Bellegrove South Cemetery, to differentiate it from the Brethren Church cemetery. [Map]
- Ono Cemetery – The Ono community cemetery, located along Jonestown Road west of the town of Ono in East Hanover Twp, Lebanon County, PA. The town and the cemetery were formerly called Mount Nebo. [Map]
- Ebenezer Cemetery – The Ebenezer United Brethren Church cemetery, located directly behind the old church building along Route 72 in North Lebanon Twp, Lebanon County, PA. [Map]
- St. Thomas United Church of Christ – known historically as Wenrich’s Church, located along Linglestown Road, east of the town of Linglestown in Lower Paxton Twp, Dauphin County, PA. [Map]
Additional cemeteries cited in the database include the following:
- Mount Annville Cemetery – The Annville community cemetery, located along Route 934 on the north side of Annville Twp, Lebanon County, PA.
- Grand View Memorial Park – Located along N. Weber St, northeast of the town of Annville in North Annville Twp, Lebanon County, PA.
- Gravel Hill Cemetery – Located along Gravel Hill Road, north of the borough of Palmyra in North Londonderry Twp, Lebanon County, PA.
- Bindnagle Lutheran Church – Located at Bindnagles Road, north of the borough of Palmyra in North Londonderry Twp, Lebanon County, PA. [Map]
- Hill Lutheran Church – Located along Mill Street, north of the borough of Cleona in North Annville Twp, Lebanon County, PA. A complete list of historical burials is included in the Publication cited below. [Map]
- Dohner Mennonite Church – Located along Cedar Run Road, east of the village of Water Works in North Annville Twp, Lebanon County, PA.
Some Internet sites provided direction in the research. The following sites contain primary source materials transcribed for the Internet and were particularly useful:
- Lebanon County Genealogy, hosted by David N. Blauch.
- Dauphin County Names, hosted by Robert L. Maley — this website is no longer online, but I believe the genealogy data has been transcribed onto RootsWeb.com.
- Annville and Lebanon County Genealogy, hosted by Linnea Travis Miller.
- Obituaries from the Lebanon Daily News, courtesy of CharoGen website.
- Obituary abstracts from the Lebanon Daily News et al., courtesy of Krista Gable et al. on the US GenWeb server.
- Cemetery surveys on FindAGrave.com. This site allows users to submit cemetery data in a collaborative effort, which is then searchable by name, location, or specific cemetery.
Additional genealogy data was found at other family websites and at Rootsweb’s WorldConnect Project. For this genealogy project, no data was imported from others, although I did use other sources to clarify some maiden names or precise dates. As with much of the Internet’s public postings, without source citations, genealogy information must be taken at face value. It is often difficult to distinguish between information which is documented independently and information which is merely copied from one database to another, with the potential to perpetuate errors.
- Cemeteries of North and South Annville. Compiled and transcribed by Christine E. Weaver. Lebanon County Historical Society, Lebanon, PA, 1974.
- Hill Lutheran Church (Berg Kirche) — Sestercentennial History 1733–1983. Reprint of the Bicentennial Edition with Additions. Edited by P. C. Croll. Lebanon County Historical Society, Lebanon, PA, 1983.
- One Room Schools in [Lebanon County], 3rd Edition. Compiled and edited by Wayne Anspach. Lebanon County Historical Society, Lebanon, PA, 2005.
- Pennsylvania German Marriages, translated by Donna R. Irish, 1982
- Water Works Church 150th Anniversary 1843–1993. Elaine Hitz Snyder. Edited by Elizabeth Snavely and Verna Snavely. Published by the Water Works United Methodist Church, Annville, PA, 1994.
The banner photo at the top of the page was taken from Harrison Drive looking northeast toward Water Works.