A Piece of the Past: Part II

This isn’t my 3rd Great Grandfather who built the log cabin in the previous post. But it is his twin brother, Alexander, who settled west in Missouri. I’d like to think they were paternal twins, though, so maybe Noah looked like this.

The puzzle pieces that my distant cousin Jeff is reassembling once was a log cabin that this man’s twin brother, Noah, built for his family around 1853 in the hills of Roane County (at that time it was Jackson County, Virginia), West Virginia. He and his wife Elizabeth (Allman) Lawrentz raised children there, including my Great-Great Grandpa Alexander (obviously named after Noah’s brother), and when he died in 1880, their son Jacob Madison Lawrentz moved (back in, I assume) with his wife to stay with his mother. His family lived there to raise their children then moved out to a new farm house they built. His son James Roscoe Lawrentz acquired it in 1917 and lived there until his death in 1933. His widow sold it in 1940 to the Jarvis family, and so it was finally out of Lawrentz family ownership. About 87 years.  The Jarvis’s owned it until 1980 and it was sold to 2 more owners before it’s final owner in 2007. They still own the land, but now the pieces of the cabin are going to a new home! I’m excited to see it all put back together, and when it is, I think we’re going to have a Lawrentz reunion and meet there.

The pictures below show a log with the carved name “J. D. Lawrentz”, J. David Lawrentz was a child of Noah’s. Also, some artifacts my cousin and helpers found while dismantling the cabin. The little book is actually a half of a daguerrotype case, my cousin told me, that had fallen behind the wooden staircase wall.

It’s amazing to see something like this, so tangible and something I can connect to my personal roots. Not someone famous, not an historical figure. Just an American pioneer that set out just a little further west to buy land, raise crops and a family, and live their lives.

Even the little knowledge I have about my ancestors who lived so long ago, moves me. I may know dates and names of places for most of them, but to have seen and touched walls and walked on the ground they walked on everyday, makes me want to search harder and want to learn more about all of the people who make up the roots of who I am. 

 



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