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Feb . 18, 2006

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IMPORTANT NOTICE TO OUR VISITORS! Our web site host, Tripod, has recently begun opening pop-up ads with every page you visit. We regret the annoyance this action has caused and have protested vigorously to Tripod. We remind you to close out these windows immediately so they don't overwhelm your browser or enable your pop-up blocker.

Congratulations to T-Shirt Winner!

...Dan McCumber of Petersburgh, high bidder on a Church Family tee-shirt at a recent dinner and silent auction benefit held at the Petersburgh Methodist Church (7/30/05) to help pay the medical expenses of Petersburgh native Melodie Rose Mooney.

In Memoriam

Willard S. Dougherty (1934-2005), husband of Patience Bierwirth Dougherty, a Frank Church family descendant.

Uncle Will returned to Hoosick Falls, NY this second week of June '05, to the friendly village in the hills of upstate New York that he grew up in. Long-time Mayor Don Bogardus was the first through the door at Uncle Will's visitation to pay his respects to a native son, one of many from Hoosick Falls who have spread out across the country with their roots in this small town along the banks of the Hoosic River, with its turn-of-the-century brick buildings, old churches, small shops, and streets lined with maples.

Uncle Will and I agreed that Hoosick Falls was a great town to grow up in, even though we were from different eras - his of the 40s and mine of the 60s - and he maintained a lifelong interest in the comings and goings and doings of his old friends and neighbors.

When you return to town as I do to soak up some old memories, be sure to look up and give an Irish tip to your Yankees baseball cap to Will Dougherty, who I'm sure has already been assigned the job in heaven to watch out for the town that he loved.

- Nephew, Dan Bornt

Jean Bierwirth Bornt Receives NSDAR Membership

Mrs. Jean Bierwirth Bornt, a Church/Stewart descendant, became a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the Revolution on July 7, 2003, based on the Revolutionary War record and contributions of Lemuel Steward(t). Her national number of 820016 can now be referenced by close relatives in their own applications for membership.


Petersburgh Cemetery Needs Our Help!

(reprinted from the Eastwick Press, May 23, 2003)

The Pleasant Valley-Meadowlawn Cemetery, located in Petersburgh, which is managed by the Pleasant Valley-Meadowlawn Cemetery Association is faced with the problem of not having enough money to cover expenses.

When a lot is put into Perpetual Care only the interest from that account can be used for the mowing of the cemetery. At this point in time when interest payments are low the expenses are more than the interest.

At this time the mower employed by the Cemetery Association mows the complete cemetery even though the rules say he should only mow the lots in the Perpetual Care. He does this because the cemetery looks better and it is more time consuming to go around the lots not in care.

The Association would like to notify people if their lots are not in Perpetual Care that it is available and you need only to contact the Association for information. If you are not sure if the lot is in care please contact the Association for that information.

Please remember that the people placed in the cemetery are loved ones and they deserve respect that they have earned. If you plan to be buried in the cemetery you should inquire as to the lot's standing, and if that lot is not in care, perchance now would be a good time to do so.

The Association would also be pleased if anyone would consider making a donation so that the interest it earns could also be used towards the upkeep.

The Pleasant Valley-Meadowlawn Cemetery Association thanks you for your past support and hopes to hear from you in the future.

Daniel McCumber, President
Karen Maxon, Treasurer
Pamelia Eggsware, Secretary


Richard Babcock Speaks at Grafton Historical Society
... Noted Area Historian Discusses Barns & Slavery

Reprinted from the Eastwick Press, July 26, 2002
By Judith Radford

On Wednesday, July 17, The Grafton Historical Society held a special program with noted area historian Richard Babcock as speaker. Babcock has given several presentations on his career as barn builder and restorer using skills taught to him by his father and grandfather. According to Babcock his family dates back to the revolution with ancestors such as Clinton, John and Thomas Babcock, all noted for building and restoring barns. Babcock said he has learned much about our American history from taking down and restoring barns, and researching their history through deeds, wills, and other documents.

Babcock said his research and old English records has led him to determine that the first slaves came to America in 1568 on five English ships trying to get into this country through the Gulf of Mexico. They were caught by a Spanish naval force and a huge sea battle ensued in which only a few ships managed to escape. Over 100 seamen were dumped into the sea because the captains determined there wasn't enough food and water for everyone to survive. Three of these seamen, named Ingram, Brown and Tweed, escaped and headed north through America with the assistance of Indians. Babcock stated these men learned the Indians, if treated with respect, would be great allies.

Babcock then went on to discuss all of his barn work and how one barn in particular, located in the shadows of Mt. Anthony (near Bennington) was initially a French built forest chapel, which Babcock believes was built in the 1540s. This old barn had a king post truss, found only in chapels. The barn was totally handcrafted using the "Scribe Rule of Building" and, according to Babcock, is the most intelligent and accurate means of building, even surpassing today's technological methods. He stated this method was used in 960 BC to build Solomon's Temple. Babcock discussed in detail how the scribe rule works.

He discussed the way the underground railroad worked in this region with slaves being hidden in barns and also helped and protected by local Indians. Babcock said that the Indians don't bury their dead, so the sites that people call "Indian burial grounds" are usually really slave burial grounds. Slavery ended in the northeast after the revolution, specifically in 1827 in New York, 1830 in New Jersey and the early 1840s in Pennsylvania. He described the way that New England protestant morality was instrumental in ending slavery in the northeast.

Babcock ended his talk with a poem he wrote about the unknown slaves who will forever remain unknown but free beneath the cover of white birch trees.

Dear Church Family Members and Friends: With the input and assistance from many dear relatives over several years in collecting and collating the huge amount of Petersburgh Church Family memorabilia and records, the help of three computers at times running simultaneously displaying different programs and databases and running the latest versions of the most high-tech web-authoring and photo imaging software, plus literally hundreds of hours in front of monitors assembling and creating the web pages, the Church Family website has come into being...but the job isn't done yet -

Church Family descendants, your comments, corrections, reminiscences, and photographs would be greatly appreciated for posting on this, YOUR site. Also, we'd like to provide links to your home pages. E-mail your comments and/or attachments to the Church Family web site at with subject "Church Bulletin Board." Or, read previous comments and then post your own comments directly on our new Weblog!

About the Website...

The design focus of this site has been from the start a presentation of the Petersburgh, NY Church Family Tree and the sharing of family memories in a format with a vintage, early 19th century feel. At the same time we hoped to provide a starting point for research into the American history of which the Church Family in America has played such an important role. As such, the size and scope of the site practically mandated the use of web-creation software for layout, to establish the multiple links, and for the website management.

Although it possible with modern photo-imaging programs to completely revamp a photograph's appearance, we attempted to maintain the old black-and-white pictures' original soft tonal and sometimes, blurred, image. If that meant sacrificing some clarity and contrast, at least the image would remain "true" to its unique capture of a moment in time so many years ago. Only one of the photos, the large double oval of Grandmother and Grandfather Church on the top of their page, required extensive reconstruction due to damage to the print. Several others needed touch-up of scratches, folds, and unsightly spots, which was done digitally, and a few were given contrast adjustments.

- Danny Bornt, January, 2002
PS - See my personal commentary page at "Webnotes"


"Church Family of Petersburgh, NY, featuring descendants of Frank & Myrtle Church" website copyright by Daniel John Bornt, 2002

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