James O'Neal Family Cemetery Restoration Project Page


A Recent History of the Cemetery

The James O'Neal Family Cemetery was found by our cousin, Kenneth O'Neal in  November, 2001 Here's Ken's report. We had some time  & the weather was
OK, so we went to Bedford and  found the James O'Neal Cemetery. Here are the directions to the  Cemetery. Take RT 26 out of Everett, 3 miles, turn left
on W.Mattie Road, go 1/ 10 mile to a sharp right bend, park or pullover on the left side of bend. Walk back the dirt road on the left, and go about 50
yards. The Cemetery is in the field about 100 yards, at 11 o'clock on left.    Ken

Here's the cemetery as cousin Ken found it.

(Right click to see larger image.)

My first thought on seeing the photos is the terrible condition of the site. Ken said he was  also concerned, so he contacted the landowner, Mr.Wayne Sollenberger. On Nov 13th, Ken reported  that Mr.Sollenberger gave his permission to put a fence around the site. Ken told him that we would keep the fence about 2 to 3 feet from the stones so as not to take away from his field, but enough to protect the stones.

Ken found Catherine's stone broken and temporarily stood it back up. John H's and Anna's stones were listing badly. Ken said groundhogs where making homes under the stones, causing them to lean and eventually fall over. Unfortunately, James' stone is totally unreadable and will need to be replaced. To see a writeup and additional photos go to http://www.onealwebsite.com/jocem.htm

Let the restoration begin !

As you can see for yourself the James O'Neal Cemetery site is in bad shape indeed and without our help will not exist much longer. Between the groundhogs, the
weather and perhaps a farmer who is not as careful as Mr. Sollenberger has been,  the loss of this family cemetery and piece of our family heritage is inevitable.

So, to the task at hand. First, what needs to be done?
We need to get a work crew to the site to restore the underpinnings of the leaning stones.
We need to replace James's stone altogether and we need to repair Catherine's stone.
We need to put up a protective barrier around the site.

OK, how are we going to coordinate this.

 Ken has agreed to act as the coordinator for this project. He lives closer than most of us, knows the area better than any of us, owns a truck, and knows the owner
   of the land. Therefore he is the logical choice to become acting Chairman of the James O'Neal Cemetery Committee. Ken will coordinate work parties, gather
                materials, etc.I will communicate and publicize Ken's needs through the web site, the newsletter and through email notices.

What are we going to need to restore the James O'Neal Cemetery?
Bottom line, we're going to need two things, money and strong backs.

What can I do as a member of the O'Neal Family to help out?
There are several things YOU can do to help.

Volunteer for a work party
Donate funds to help with expenses

                   Help us spread the word. Each one of us has brothers and sister, cousins, aunts and uncles, some even have parents left.
                           Show this article to every Family Member you know and ask them to volunteer time and/or money.
        Talk to members of your community. Can you get your local Hardware Store to donate some fence? Some QuickCrete?
Do you know a stone cutter?

OK, so we're going to restore the James O'Neal Family Cemetery.
It sounds like a fun project . How do I help and/or donate?

Work Parties
If you want to volunteer for a work party, contact cousin Ken. He will be setting up the dates and times. You can contact Ken by email at kon@hhs.net or contact me at johnoneal@onealwebsite.com. I will be posting the work parties on the James O'Neal Cemetery Restoration page on the O'Neal Web Site and in The O'Neal Genealogy Association Newsletter.

Send monetary donations to Ken also. His snail mail address is listed at the bottom of the page.
When you send donations to Ken, send me an email. Ken will confirm when he receives the donation and I will send you a receipt.
The same goes for material donations. Receipts will be sent on O'Neal Genealogy Association stationary and can be used for tax purposes.

Thanks and Recognition
                  We want to recognize every person who contributes to this noble effort to save a small piece of our O'Neal Heritage.
                  Every contributor will have his/her name  immortalized on the James O'Neal Cemetery Restoration Contributors page,
                              both on the O'Neal Web Site and in The O'Neal Genealogy Association Newsletter.
(Amount of donations will be kept confidential. Only donors will be listed.)

Kenneth O'Neal Information
E-Mail: kon@hhs.net
Ken O'Neal
227 Swink Hill Rd.
Connellsville, PA  15425