With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Show and Tell Friday ~ Holtzschwamm Church Plate

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Show and Tell Friday ~ Holtzschwamm Church Plate

Over the past several years, I have done extensive genealogy research on both my fathers line and my husbands fathers line. It was hard work but very rewarding as piece by piece a clearer picture of our ancestors emerged.
I was so excited to find this commemorative plate on eBay. It has great significance in my family history. My ancestors emigrated from the German Palatinate in 1717. They left persecution as Mennonites and arrived in the young colony of Pennsylvania, settling first in Germantown, moving on to Lancaster and then settling for many generations in York County.
The plate features Holtzschwamm Church (now known as Paradise Lutheran and Reformed Church) that dates back to 1775 and got its name from its location . Though the church is situated on a high elevation, much of the valley was a vast, woody swamp.
Holtzschwamm means woody swamp.
The first church was a log cabin building erected in the center of
the old graveyard.
(See the open area in the above picture)
The church in the above photo is the third one and was
erected in 1849 at a cost of $2,800.00.
For a time the building served two congregations ~
Lutheran and German Reformed
My forth Great-grandfather served as an Elder of the
Reformed Consistory in 1838.He and his wife are buried in this churchyard cemetery as are his son Jonas and many other family members.

His father, Johannes (my fifth Great-Grandfather) is here as well.
Born 1758, died 1814

One of the entrance gates to the graveyard.

Interior of the Building
including a potbelly stove (one of 4 used for heating)
A portrait of Moses Bentzel, the designer of the building
The organ (still in working condition)
One Sunday each fall, the building is opened and there is a special service held. (last pic)
Above photo taken October 2007

Show and Tell
Click above button to enjoy more Show and Tell with Kelli!


moreofhim said...

What a beautiful plate and how wonderful that you have a family connection to this church! Wow! What a treasure.

That cemetery looks very familiar. My father's family is from Pennsylvania and when I was young, I got very interested in genealogy and asked him for family information. This created a spark in him and he created a beautiful book of that side of the family information. When I went to visit him (over 30 years ago now!), he took me to a cemetery to show me where our family was buried. Now I'm going to have to pull out my books from him and see if it's the same one!

I'm so glad I found your blog. It's beautiful and I will definitely be back to visit. I came from Kelli's Friday Show & Tell - just so you know. :)

God bless you - Julie

Gee said...

I love the plate. Its simple but nice. Thanks for sharing.

Miss Jen said...

Wow.... what interesting history!!
Love the plate.... :>)
Thanks for sharing, Mrs.H.

Love~ Miss Jen

Hootin' Anni said...

You posted a most perfect show n tell...not only your wonderful plate [I love how you have it sitting atop a bible stack] and yet, you shared some wonderful history of the lovely church!! That was most interesting.

My show n tell is posted if you'd like to stop by today...it's my dining room centerpiece I made for Autumn! [with mouseover captions]

Mildred said...

What a rewarding and interesting history and wonderful that you located a collector's plate. Very interesting to read about.

Leann said...

Ahh, I drive past this cemetery every time I 'm in Lancaster County!!!

What a great feeling to know and connect with your family history. Good luck with future searching.

If you have time, please stop by The Old Parsonage, I love company.

Enjoy your day!

Walking on Sunshine... said...

Heading to Lancaster in 2 months, hopefully, if hubby's schedule doesn't change.

What a wonderful job you did on the research!

Enjoy your day!

crochet lady said...

What a gift to know so much of your families history.

marie said...

What a great bit of family history! I love the old church and all the photos. The organ is so beautiful, especially in the last photo with the fall colored flowers ~ the painting of Christ is wonderful.
Thanks for sharing your pretty plate and the memories it holds for you.

Kayren, Pink Daisy Girl said...

What a fantastic Show and Tell! I love the story you shared and the history behind the church. I'm amazed at the cost of the church in the 1800's.

Kitty Valerie said...

That is a plate to cherish.
Have a nice weekend,

Susan B said...

What a beautiful plate! And so nice that your family history is tied to the church. Thank you for sharing the interesting history. Have a wonderful weekend!

Jean said...

Beautiful plate and what a nice link to your heritage. Jean

Susan said...

How wonderful! My folks traveled to Sweden and found the old family church, with graves going back to the 1700's. It is so cool...like finding a piece of yourself!
I enjoyed your post.

Shana said...

What an interesting piece of your family history. Enjoyed visiting your site!


fitty's pinky rose cottage said...

thanks for this tour especially when the church reminds you of your family ancestors! and the plate is precious! thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!


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