I have a copy of a letter written by Keziah G. Shanafelt of which the original is in the possession of her descendant, Mrs. Laurel S. Powell of Pebble Beach CA which states the following:
You requested me to give you some account of my life and that of my ancestors. Well, I am glad you are of an inquiring mind and not afraid to inquire about my forefathers. I will comply with your request as well as I can, yet it is a hard undertaking for me here alone, not a relation this side of the mountain to try to bring to mind things long past and gone, and many things I could almost wish to remember no more.
My grandfather's name was Moses Greenland. He was born in Harford County, Maryland. His Father's name was Richard and came from England. He had two sisters, Nancy and Naoma. His sister Naoma was sick, the house burnt down, her and her child both perished in the flames. His brother Abner died in the State of Ohio. While a young man he went to the State of Maryland, Baltimore County. There he married Mary Loveall. Winchester. They had six children: Nathan, Nancy, Abner, Caleb, Sarah and Joshua. Abner died young. I never saw him. Grandfather then moved to Huntingdon County while his children were all single. They was among the first settlers. They had to bear the heat and burden of the day--but few neighbours, only here and there a hunter's cabin. I remember seeing the remains of one near my father's house where the orchard now is.
Nathan, the oldest son, helped his father improve his farm near a year, then went back to Baltimore County to fulfill a promise previously made to Sarah Corbin, my mother. They was married, then came back to Trough Creek Valley.
Grandfather bought land, divided it with his three sons, went back to Baltimore to settle up his business, but never returned. He took the plurisy and died there. They sent for grandmother. Her and Lawrence Swope, his son-ion-law, arrived there just before he died.
Grandmother had three sisters and two brothers. Nancy was married to Jacob Dean, Nelly to William Kelly, Hannah to the Ploughman. She died near Baltimore. I never saw her. Her brother David was married to Mary Chilcott, old Richard's sister. He moved to Lake Aray and died. William Lovall and his sisters ly in the graveyard in Trough Creek Valley. My great granmother was a widow. She lived and died with her son David. I have often seen her and remember well the day she was buried. Granmother's brothers and sisters moved to Trough Creek Valley soon after she died and Aunt Nelly Kelly was a widow many years. She was ninety-nine years old when she died. Aunt Nancy Dean was struck with palsey, was helpless near a year. Grandmother lived till she was three score years and ten then died with dropsey at her old home with her youngest son Joshua. Nathan, my father, was married to Sarah Corbin. They had eleven children, all living yet as far as I know, only the first child, a little brother, died in infancy, its little bones ly mouldering in what was then granfather's orchard.
My father learnt his ten children to earn their bread by the sweat of the brow and not be ashamed to labour with their hands. Aunt Nancy was married to Amos Loughery. He died when I was young with consumption. She then married William Hudson. I saw her married. She died in Casvill at Jacob Greenland's. Aunt Sarah married Laurance Swope. He died in Casville with palsey. She lived and died with her daughter Anna Turner. Uncle Caleb married Betsey Lovall, his cousin. He is living yet, the only uncle I have living. Uncle Joshua was married to Anna (Stains). He died in Huntingdon by a fall from his horse. He is buried at the graveyard where his mother and nearly all my old friends lay. His wife moved to Iowa. Died last winter.
Father was born July 8, 1775. He died 27 June, 1854.
Father was baptized by immersion in his father's meadow when I was quite young. Was deacon for many years. He always lived on the farm where he commenced housekeeping. Although the first house he built was burnt down, I have some faint recollections seeing the house burning wherein I was born. He was building a new house at that time. He had his thigh broken by a waggon running over him. He showed me the place where the accident happened long before I was born. He had many hardships to encounter. There was no store nor doctor nearer than Huntingdon.
I hope you will never think the less of your ancestors nor none of the first settlers of our now happy country because they had many hardships and trials to go through that their descendants can form no idea of, but always feel thankful that you enjoy many blessings that your mother and forefathers was deprived of.
Now my dear son, according to your request I gave you a small history of my honored father now in his grave. It caused me many a silent hour yet I done it willingly hoping it may be of use to you when I ly silent in my grave.
This is the first of two letters. The second dwelling the Corbin side.
If anyone would like more info on this letter, contact me.
Raygena in Iowa
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