My first time I found documentation on my 3x great grandfather was in 2000 and it was purely accidental. I had been tracking my great grandmother backwards and was hoping that the 1910 census would show her married and possibly with a child or two. While I was very happy to find this was the case, I was not surprised by the information. The surprise that I found in this census was that not only was she living with her husband and child but was also living with her grandfather who was listed as the head of the house. There he was, Henry Wetzel aged 64…living right where I knew our people were from. At that instant, not only did I feel connected with Henry but I was also drawn to Trevorton like never before.
In a relatively short period of time I found that Henry had moved to Trevorton by 1870. At some point between 1880 and 1900 he purchased the home where multiple generations of my family would be born, live and die. It is this home where I found him in 1910.
To say I am obsessed with this house might just be an understatement. After Henry’s death in 1913, his son Howard purchased the home from the estate and in turn raised his family in the place he grew up. Though I was not certain what happened to the house after 1940, I never stopped looking or searching for more information on it.
In 2012 I met many of the descendants of Howard and was incredibly happy to find out that the house remained with the family until after Howard’s passing in 1957 and that everyone had many wonderful memories and stories of the “Wetzel Homestead”. Through this portion of the family I have had the privilege to view many old family photos that clearly show the importance this house played in the lives of so many. It was also through these photos that I realized that I knew this house. This was the green house directly across from the school I attended in my youth.
I have made the three hour trip back home many times for genealogical research and always make sure to take a quick drive by though always refraining from knocking to ask for a looksie. Can you imagine my surprise when I opened my RSS reader a couple of weeks ago only to have the address of my ancestors home jumping off the screen at me. The news article was about the “life change” the owners were experiencing and while I feel bad for them, I couldn’t stop my first thought from wondering if my house was going to be put up for sale.