TOGA - X - 2002.
The O'Neal Genealogy Association Expedition 2002,
Day 3, The Peter O'Neal Reunion

      We awoke on day 3 of the  TOGA-Xpedition, 2002 and dressed in our best Sunday go to meeting shorts and tees and began our journey south from Bedford to the Annual Peter O'Neal reunion. By the time we finished loading up our vehicles for the trip we realized that there would be no respite from the heat wave that seemed to be accompanying on our trip. At 8:00am it was already 93 degrees outside. We were also a little tired from staying up late the night before, watching the news as the Miners from Somerset, Pennsylvania were pulled up, one by one, from the water filled mine they had been trapped in since Thursday. (This was Saturday night.)

There was a lot of people at the reunion this year, and just as importantly, lots of good food. Everybody brought a dish and it was quite a culinary feast after living on restaurant food for 3 days. We enjoyed the company of our cousins, the stories and tall tales told about our ancestors, and the genealogy, too. Lots of researchers brought along their genealogies, photo albums, and handouts. We all traded cards and information, email addies, etc.

    Clifford O'Neal, President of the Peter O'Neal Reunion committee gave a very nice dissertation on the O'Neal Family and the roles they played in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. He also presented us with a photocopy of Bennet O'Neale's letter, which Bennet wrote to his nephew in 1859. (The best we can tell, the letter was meant for a son of Bennet's brother, John.)
    During a conversation with Glenn Nave, he mentioned a cemetery he had passed on the way to the reunion. He said it was in Allegany County, Maryland and had 17 O'Neal stones in it. We decided that when the reunion was over we would go in search of the Cemetery. About 4pm people started packing up and we did likewise. We were anxious to go find the Maryland cemetery.

The O'Neal Genealogy Association Expedition 2002,
Day 3, William Columbus O'Neal

    It must have been an exciting day for Edward and Libby O'Neal when their first child was born in the little town of Flintstone, Allegany County, Maryland. Named William Columbus O'Neal, he was born in 1834 to Edward O'Neal, a sixth generation American and his lovely wife, Sarah Elizabeth, "Libby" Fisher.
They affectionately nicknamed him "Lum" and the name stuck. It stuck through his twelve brothers and sisters, his numerous descendants and right up until this moment. Et the 2002 Peter O'Neal Reunion we met Tom and Ann Mackie from Michigan, who displayed his photos, and proudly announced to observers, "This is Lum!"

I'd like to thank Tom and Ann, not only for sharing this piece of O'Neal history with us, but also for allowing us to copy their photos and share them here in the newsletter. As you can no doubt see in the photos, Lum was a dashing young fellow and from the look in his eyes in the photo, was always ready for adventure.
At age 17 we find Lum listed as a farmer in the 1850 census. Then again in the 1860 Census of Allegany County, Maryland.

In 1869 Lum took a bride, namely Sarah Morgan. (If you'd like to learn more about the adventures of the Morgan Family and the role they played in settling this area, pick up a copy of "That Dark & Bloody River", by Allen W. Eckert.) Lum and Sarah raised up four children, all of whom were born in Allegany County. At some point it seems the children went off to make their fortunes, as children have always done. Part of the family migrated north to Bedford County, while the rest moved toward Cumberland, Maryland.

The O'Neal Genealogy Association Expedition 2002,
Day 3, Pleasant Grove Cemetery


From the reunion we headed south and in no time at all crossed the border into Maryland. A few miles down the road and we arrived at the Pleasant Grove Methodist Cemetery, in Flintstone, Allegany County, Maryland.  And as Glenn Nave told us at the Reunion there were 17 O'Neal Tombstones located here.
We photographed the stones and will be placing the photos on the TOGA Website shortly. On the next page of this newsletter we'll add the transcription of the stones.

The O'Neal Genealogy Association Expedition 2002,
Day 3, Pleasant Grove Methodist Church Cemetery Tombstane Transcription

Pleasant Grove Methodist Church Cemetery
Flintstone, Allegany County, Maryland
GPS Coordinates, N39 40.737 W78 40.734

          Surname Given.............Spouse.......................B'date........Death...........Epitath
          O'Neal George P............Lena A. Unknown.......1914...........1980 ............In God's Care
          Unknown Lena A...........George P. O'Neal........1910...........1966.............In God's Care
          O'Neal James W............Anna R. Unknown.......1907...........1970 ............In God's Care
          Unknown Anna R...........James W. O'Neal  ......1914.......... 1991.............In God's Care
          O'Neal Harry.................Bessie E. Unknwn........1878...........1965.............Father
          Unknown Bessie E. .......Harry O'Neal...............1879 ..........1941.............Mother
          O'Neal M. Girtrue .........?..................................1880...........1959.............N/A
          O'Neal Walter Clay .......? .................................1886 ..........1952.............N/A
          O'Neal Walter Graydon .?..................................1919...........1924 ............N/A
          O'Neal Helen Estell ........?..................................1892...........1965 ............N/A
          O'Neal John E.  ..............?.................................12/3/1876...1787.............N/A
          O'Neal James L. .............Mary C. Unknown......6/13/1844...2/24/1910.....Father-Gone but not Forgotten
          Unknown Mary C. ..........James L. O'Neal ........2/11/1854...8/2/1825 ......Mother-Gone but not Forgotten
          O'Neal Harold  ...............Flossie E.Unknwn ......1905...........1986............ N/A
          Unknown Flossie E..........Harold O'Neal ...........1909 ..........1977 ............N/A
          O'Neal Benjamin F. ........Lonie Unknown ..........1881  .........1930.............N/A
          Unknown Lonie  .............Benjamin F. O'Neal ....1884 ..........1968 ............N/A
          O'Neal Earl F.  ...............?  ................................6/21/1914...12/17/1967..Maryland Pvt US Army World War II

Photographed and transcribed by Bev Crowe and John W. O'Neal, II, Sept. 2002
 

From the cemetery we began heading south east toward Rockville and Montgomery County, Maryland, where we would be spending the next few days. Thus far, the TOGA-Xpedition was mostly field trips and sight-seeing. From here on out we'd be spending a lot of our time in Libraries and Courthouses. We arrived in Rockville about 7pm and set up our laptops in the motel rooms and began the arduous task of copying all the information we had accumulated in Pennsylvania. We transferred our data from digital cameras onto zip disks, hard drives and CD's. We'd also use the phone lines in the motels to log in and get our email messages during the trip. We had a few problems with the phone lines and with the furniture locations in relationship to the phones, etc. At a couple of the rooms we stayed in we had to rearrange the furniture to accommodate our "data transfer" sessions. As the expedition progressed we began meeting each night to go over our data, share pizza, and decide what we felt we should do the next day.