Randy Seaver has invited us to indulge in some “Semi-Random Research” during his weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun at Genea-Musings, saying:
Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:
1) We're going to do a little bit of Semi-Random Research tonight...
2) Go to your family tree database of choice (you know, like RootsMagic, Reunion, Ancestry Member Tree), and determine who the very last person on your list of names is.
3) What do you know about this person based on your research? It's OK to do more if you need to - in fact, it's encouraged!
4) How are you related to this person, and why is s/he in your family tree?
5) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post.
I decided to take Randy up on this challenge, because the last person in my Reunion database is from a family I haven’t written about before. His name is Lewis Zirkle, or in the original German, Zerckel. The surname is sometimes found in American records as “Circle.” Lewis is a collateral relative to me, related by marriage to my seventh-great-aunt, Mary or Magdalena Roush.
Lewis Zirkle was born about 1740 in Telford, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.(1) He was one of several sons of Lewis Zerckel the elder, who emigrated from Germany and later migrated from southeastern Pennsylvania to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia before the Revolutionary War, the same as Mary’s father, John Adam Roush (Johan Adam Rausch).
Lewis Zirkle the younger settled on Smith Creek in Rockingham County, Virginia, near the town of New Market. Family lore holds that he and Mary had four sons and four daughters. They remained on their Smith Creek land all their lives. At the time of Lewis’ death at age 77, he owned 1500 acres, with a tannery and a mill. He died January 22, 1815. He and Mary are buried in the graveyard of St. Matthews Lutheran Church in New Market.(2)
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution has recognized Lewis Zirkle as a patriot for his contributions to the Revolutionary cause.(3)
The histories of the Zirkle and Roush families intertwined further with other marriages, even as descendents of both families moved westward and settled in Gallia County and Meigs County, Ohio. In studying one family, it helps to study the other. They played a big role in each other’s cast of friends, associates, and neighbors over the course of multiple generations.
Thanks for this challenge, Randy!
(1) Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com: accessed 11 April 2010), Lewis H. Zirkle memorial, no. 33568802, created by Jonathan Grimm on 5 February 2009, citing Saint Matthews Cemetery, New Market, Shenandoah County, Virginia.
(2) Lester L. Roush, History of the Roush Family in America, vol. 1 (Strasburg, Virginia: Shenandoah Publishing House, 1928), p. 677-682.
(3) “Ancestor Search,” Genealogical Research System database, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (http://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search/?tab_id=0: accessed 12 January 2013), Lewis Zirkle, ancestor no. A131098, Virginia.