Sunday, November 30, 2008

JONATHAN HUNSICKER AND HIS WIFE MARY ANN JONES - Above are pictures of our ancestors Jonathan Hunsicker and his wife Mary Ann Jones. Cindy has a coverlet sewn by Grandma Jones (see her ancestry below - i.e. descent from Gabriel Jones and U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall). Jonathan Hunsicker was born on July 12, 1810 in Winchester, Virginia. He was apprenticed to the family's neighbor James Kern, for whom the town of Kernstown was named, to learn how to build Conestoga wagons. Later he was to name his son, Taylor Kern Hunsicker, after both James Kern and the Taylor who owned the Taylor hotel in Winchester (which Stonewall Jackson is often pictured in front of) and who founded the medical college in Winchester. After his apprenticeship ended, Jonathan Hunsicker moved to Harper's Ferry to help build the new B&O railroad - the first railroad in America. He lived there during the Civil War - with our ancestor Taylor Kern Hunsicker being born in 1848 before the Civil War. After the Civil War, Jonathan Hunsicker and his wife and all his children moved to Byers, Ohio (or Byer Junction). This was east of Chillicothe and was where the B&O Railroad split with one line going to Cincinnati and another going to Columbus. At that time, both lines were single tracks, so Byer was an important junction to make sure that the trains were switched to the right track - and to refuel and provide water for the trains. Almost all the homes in the small town of Byers were built by Jonathan Hunsicker and his sons who continued to live there or nearby and work for the B&O railroad. My grandmother used to take our mother every summer to visit our Hunsicker relatives in Byers, including Jonathan Hunsicker and Grandma Jones Hunsicker until their deaths. On a visit to Byers, I once met an elderly lady who remembered our great-grandfather Taylor Kern Hunsicker and our great-grandmother Flora Vanetta Hunsicker (her father was head of the telegraph operators). She told me how it was only a week before my visit that the last of our Hunsicker relatives in Byers had passed away. On another visit to Byers, when Linda was looking at the tombstone of Jonathan Hunsicker and removing the vines so that she could read it - it toppled over and almost crushed Linda and Kristin (since apparently the vines had been what was holding the monument up). It is a large obelisk type monument - that might still be laying on the ground since we were unable to lift it - but it might have been put back upright by the township who maintains the Byers cemetery.