Arnestus Dietz is my paternal great-great-great grandfather via my great-grandmother Helen Louise Dietz. I have quite a bit of information on Arnestus:
- He was born on March 18th, 1818 in Pennsylvania.
- He had a brother named Jeremiah.
- Sometime around 1846, he married Elizabeth Brown Smith of Ceres, McKean, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth Smith’s obituary mentions the age she was married. I have a photo of Elizabeth, pictured here:
- He appears in the 1850 Federal Census in Sharon, Potter, Pennsylvania. Along with him are listed:
- Elizabeth (Spouse, age 25)
- Mary J. (Daughter, age 3)
- Clinton (Son, age 1)
- He appears in the 1860 Federal Census in Washington, Jefferson, Pennsylvania. The last name is spelled as “Deets” in this census record. Along with him are listed:
- Elizabeth (Spouse, age 35)
- Mary (Daughter, age 13)
- Clinton (Son, age 11)
- Allen (Son, age 9)
- Clara (Daugher, age 6)
- Lucinda (Daughter, age 4)
- George (Son, age 10/11 mo.)
- Sometime in the mid 1860s, the Dietz family moved to La Crosse Wisconsin. Arnestus was in his mid 40s at the time.
- He appears in the La Crosse Directory for 1866-1867 as living in La Crosse.
- He died 12 August 1868 in La Crosse. He is buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in La Crosse, which gives exact dates of birth and death.
Some information can be gleaned from the book “The history of Ceres and its near vicinity, from its early Settlement in 1798 to the present.” Arnestus, along with his brother and wife, are mentioned in the book:
Later he removed to Friendship [PA], and Jeremiah Deitz, who had a blacksmith shop near, lived in the house for several years. Arnestus Deitz, his brother, who lived with him for a time, married Elizabeth Smith, second daughter of Harry Smith. They lived on the Phelp's place for a time, but removed to Ohio, and later to Wisconsin, where Mr. Deitz died, after a long and lingering illness, leaving his wife and six children.
That is the extent of the information I have on Arnestus. What I do not have is the name of his father, which makes any further research of my Dietz lineage impossible. I would love to further this research, if you have any thoughts on this, I would be very grateful!
There are many Cox ancestors buried at Old Johnsonville Methodist Church Cemetery. The cemetery is located south of Johnsonville, South Carolina, off of South Georgetown Highway.
Here is a photo of Johnsonville Methodist Church itself. The church was founded in 1915.
The first plot I will cover is that of my great-grandparents. Another Cox family plot, much older, exists in the cemetery. I will cover it in a later post. My great-grandparents were:
- Robert Dudley Cox, Sr. (b: 27 Jan 1885, d: 9 Dec 1967)
- Helen Louise Dietz (b: 29 Jun 1889, d: 6 Aug 1981)
Their plot is about 8 feet by 6 feet rectangular, marked by marble stones. In the center is a bench style headstone, which I believe mark Robert and Helen. The reason I say “believe”, is that I could not find the names on the headstone, but there were two depressions in front of it. It is possible the markers with their names have sunken and grown over. I did not try to feel around on the ground for them. On the headstone is a quote from the Song of Solomon, 2:17: “Until the day break and the shadows flee away…”
The headstone of Robert and Helen is in proximity to another headstone, that of a son:
- Horace Harlow Cox (b: 1 Jan 1917, d: 1 Jan 1945)
Horace’s headstone is within the confines of the plot’s marble markers.
No other closely related Cox members are within the plot.
I had a very interesting experience while doing some research on my paternal great grandmother, Helen Louise DIETZ. Helen’s paternal line leads to an Arnestus DIETZ of Pennsylvania. I had very little information on him other than his birth and death dates from his gravestone in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I hadn’t looked into him in some time, but I decided to do a Google search to see if anything came up. A hit I hadn’t seen previously came up, that was a link to a book indexed at archive.org, “The history of Ceres and its near vicinity, from its early Settlement in 1798 to the present.” It was worth a bit of investigation.
I was stunned to find out that the book is apparently a local history of Ceres, New York and includes detailed information about my ancestor. Some quick research showed that Ceres is very close to the southern border with Pennsylvania. The book was written near the turn of the century. The data about my ancestors was very rich, shown by this excerpt:
Later he removed to Friendship [PA], and Jeremiah Deitz, who had a blacksmith shop near, lived in the house for several years. Arnestus Deitz, his brother,
who lived with him for a time, married Elizabeth Smith, second daughter of Harry Smith. They lived on the Phelp's place for a time, but removed to Ohio,
and later to Wisconsin, where Mr. Deitz died, after a long and lingering illness, leaving his wife and six children.
It was almost surreal to read this. Could this really be my ancestor? Some deeper reading and fact checking against the information I had pretty much confirmed it. What a find!
It makes me wonder what my children will find when more and more books come online and get indexed by organizations like Google and archive.org.