Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Scott/Waterton Cemetery, Luzerne Co., PA #1

In 2008, I traveled to Pennsylvania to attend the Federation of Genealogical Society Conference held in Philadelphia.  I had won a free registration!  I wrote about this trip in my blog:  Pennsylvania Wanderings This blog was moved to Wordpress:  That blog is getting old and the links may be broken but it was about the Philip Goss family history where I identified the locations and historical sites that were a part of their lives and about the area they settled in 1769. 

I am working my way to more on the Goss family in the blog:  Solomon Goss of Fearing Township in Ohio:  Solomon Goss was a son of Philip Goss and Mary Kendall Goss who migrated from Becket, Massachusetts and headed to the area around the Susquehanna River near Wilkes-Barre which later became Luzerne County, PA. I have been tracking the Goss family and their migrations through the generations.  I sort of did it all backwards.  I started in Pennsylvania and then went back as far as Lancaster, Massachusetts where I picked up the trail of Philip's great grandfather Philip Goss I (1654 to 1698) who had settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts and migrated to Lancaster, Massachusetts.  See my Massachusetts Meanderings blog where you will find links to more cemeteries I visited which I have posted. All my blogs are listed on the right side of this blog with links.  

While on this trip I stopped at various cemeteries that were of importance in the Goss Family history but as usual some graves are long destroyed, missing, simply lost to time and neglect, or the person never was buried properly for the time period was 1769 to about mid 1800's.  Yes, it was during the Revolutionary War and a lot of destruction occurred in this area of the records, graves and more. 

One of the most important cemeteries is the Scott Cemetery (also called Waterton) in Huntington township in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. It is northwest of Shickshinny, PA.  

Directions:  I took route Rte 11 to get to Shickshinny (northeast of Bloomsburg) which is on the northern side of the Susquehanna River. You can take Rte 239 to Huntington Mills and then turn south on the Waterton Road.  The cemetery will come up on your left side, past Cann Road and Hubbards Flats Rd. Or you can take Rte 239 to Koonsvilles and turn on left onto the Sunshine Rd. and then left on to the Mountain Rd. till you get to Ridge Rd. and turn right and right again onto Winding Rd. which becomes the Waterton Rd. and the cemetery will come up on your right.  This second route is very lovely and the road just sort of meanders along giving you a good idea of what the area is like. I don't have the distances but it is not as long as it may seem.

Try Interment for a listing of the graves: 

Try Find A Grave:

Sources:  Burial Records of Luzerne Co. PA 1997 comes in several volumes and published by the Northeast Pennsylvania Genalogical Society, Shaverton.  The Family History Library has many of these volumes.

Luzerne County PAGenweb:  There is lots to explore on this website including a list of the cemeteries in Luzerne County, PA.  This is loading slowly so be patient.

The cemetery is across from a beautiful white farmhouse which might have been the home of Obadiah Scott another family member and father of Olive (Scott) Goss, Solomon's wife. I chatted with the owner who was very kind and he mentioned old pine board floors but didn't seem to know the history of his house?  It might possibly be a newer construction?  The cemetery is on a hill and in a big huge meadow across from this house.  The older part of the cemetery is on the southeastern edge.  You can access it by dirt roads. 

White house across Waterton Rd from the cemetery

The Welcoming Sign for Scott Cemetery

An overview photo of the Scott Cemetery
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Genealogical Society has a great many cemetery publications and a wonderful map on their wall showing where all the cemeteries are in Luzerne County with red dots.  They were very kind and helpful.  They moved, so make sure you have the correct address in Shaverton.  They were cramped for space when I visited them in 2008. 

The link is here:  

I wrote about my visit in the blog Pennsylvania Wanderings and also in my journal.  I always journal my trips because you will forget what you did and when and I do refer to them.  They are bit more detailed and talk about personal things and impressions, so this is edited...

I wrote this in 2008.

"...I headed up to Shavertown to do research at the Northeastern Pennsylvania Genealogical Society.  I came into Shavertown much faster than I thought on Hiway 309 and turned at the light onto Central Ave and N. Main was right there so I turned onto it and drove down the street.  I also had to backtrack and I noticed some people waving at me.  So I decided that was probably the place I was looking for.  I pulled up and Ann said are you Bonnie and I said “Yes.”  NOTE: They have moved since then so go and get proper directions.  
 I was greeted by Ann, who was pleasant and welcoming and introduced me around to the people crowded into this little building.  They are hurting for space and room to do their activities.  I wish I was rich for I would have just written a check for some $$ to help them with their organization.  Every time I asked Ann permission to do something she said “Yes.”  I was walking out of the building to eat my banana and she said that it was okay, wow! It was okay to take photos of the map of the cemeteries on the wall.  They need to make that into a money making project.  They could charge $10.00 for a map. 
 I worked through their cemetery binders and took copies of some of the information.  I started a list of the cemeteries I thought I might want to visit.  I am not finding Obadiah Scott’s name but then his stone may have been destroyed or something?  I looked through their books, stacks, and microfilms indexes. I was also hunting for any record of Phillip Goss IV's grave but it was not forthcoming. 
 Ann told me that another lady was by and I thought it was my cousin but that was not the right person.  I explained our connection.  I chatted with the people there in the room and Ann helped me get items from their collection.  I finished up about 3 p.m. and became a member of this NE PA Gen Society because of the warm and friendly welcome.  It was $20.00 and that was a good value for finding out more information on the cemeteries.  The map of where the cemeteries are is worth a great deal.  Apparently there is a man who knows a lot about the cemeteries. I didn't get his name. I wanted to know when they were established and by whom but Ann didn’t have that information. 
 They have a collection their donated by a man and I looked through that, Espy, I think. That is okay because I did not find anything of use in it.  They did have a complete copy of the Mountain Echo newspaper series on the Huntington Valley by that lady but Ann said someone else had written something and their copy had disappeared or been stolen.  I wrote that down.  I also took photos of the society inside and outside to post on my blog.  Ann was okay with that and so I clicked away.  I said my goodbyes and left about 3:20 p.m. and went in search of a place to eat..."
Here is a sample of the map on the wall of the Northeastern Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania.  I believe that all genealogical societies should do this type of identification of the cemeteries and there locations.  I have seen this only in one other society and I have visited many.  Like I said before copies could be sold for a small fee per township?  Of course you do not have a list of the names of these cemeteries because you need the whole map with the legend.  Sorry but I may be pushing it by posting this here, they did say I could photograph it.

I actually made my own map of the cemeteries I was interested in and targeted:

Just click the picture and then you will get a bigger copy, print that and I hope it helps.  Don't forget to click your back button or the tab at the top to return to this blog.  More to come on this cemetery. 

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