Monday, January 16, 2023

January 16, 2023 Genealogy ~ ZACHARIAH WHEAT FAMILY CEMETERY

What you are about to read is more than 'discombobulated'😁. It is downright F.R.E.A.K.Y

But first things first...... the facts: My name is Teresa Kay Hamilton Sharpley, age 74, and I am married to Ronald Sheppard Sharpley, age 75. We have been married for 52 years, have 3 adult children (all married) and are are blessed to have 5 grandchildren. We both were born in Roanoke, VA; attended schools in Roanoke, married in Roanoke, VA; and have lived in our Roanoke home since 1974. Ron has been retired for almost 9 years, and I was a 'stay-at-home-mom'(whatever that means😂). During the 'stop-the-world' pandemic, Ron and I decided to 'wrap up a few loose ends', get our papers in order, clean out file cabinets, update wills, clean out closets, drawers, attic, repaint and carpet a few rooms, yada yada. We rummaged through volumes of scrapbooks, boxes of photos, and tried in earnest to chase after our 'genealogical roots'. I created 8-10 personal blogs about my heritage, which have been copied and printed. Ron's descent had been thoroughly documented by his Mom. On a humorous note, I suppose you would say that we have entered that last leg of our journey on the planet! But don't get the shovel out, people, because we ain't done yet😘!  Honestly, our kids have not gone wildly insane over many of our worldly possessions (and that is OK), but perhaps one day they MAY want to read and share the following findings with their tribe! After all, I DID marry my cousin😮! Ron and I have 'documented facts', tracing our roots much earlier than the Revolutionary War. Day trips to courthouses, cemeteries, online genealogy sites, libraries, etc., provided us with not only excuses to get out of the house and frolic, but gave us the opportunity to gather data to support our findings. *All birth, death dates have been verified. Most marriage dates have also been documented. Many, but not all, burial sites have been confirmed.* 

Especially for me, genealogy isn't about just doing the research. It's about telling the stories and ensuring that my ancestor's legacies live on for generations to come. Genealogy has a way of making abstract history real. I can't speak for anyone else, but I personally think that this hobby has become "a cultural phenomenon - fueled by sophisticated technologies and driven by a relentless fascination with who we are". We already know what happened THEN. The bigger issue is: Can we learn lessons that sustain us. What's the story behind a family's idiosyncrasies? Why the auburn hair? an explanation for that nose, or a particular behavior? "With these stories, the truth is only the beginning of the journey. In an era that spells the end of family secrets, many of us are faced with profound surprises about ourselves and our families, answers to questions we never even realized we were asking."

Welcome to the twisted vines....... and I DO mean twisted. Ron and I followed the gnarly dense thicket (more briers than brush) to the base of said tree trunk. Finding the ZACHARIAH WHEAT FAMILY CEMETERY, on January 16, 2023 was our mission. We had maps in hand, fairly accurate directions, coordinates👉 37.47137, -79.50667, an aerial view map via zoom earth, and an extensive list of 28+ cemetery memorials to be located and photographed. Boy, this day far exceeded our expectations!

On a side note: The head of the household was Zachariah(L?) Wheat, who married Edith Chastain. Their double marker is shown below! They had 14 children!Their children married, and named their kids Zachariah, Elizabeth, Joseph, Mary, oftentimes using the same names as generations before them. Yes, quite confusing! Judging from the number of 'Zachariahs' in the family cemetery(at least 3), confirms my confusion! 

 One of their children was HAZAEL. It was of utmost importance to find his marker! and we did!

Unquestionably, we did not allow adequate time to photograph all of the markers, but we made great strides!(Hint: We will be returning!) Brothers, Sisters, Mothers, Fathers, Infants, and large initialed rocks........ told stories that will never be forgotten. Oh how our pedigree chart has increased, intersected, and entwined!😲


We encountered a few scrapes, endured a few falls, and survived a few booboos...... all in the pursuit and search for family history😁!

Ronald Sheppard Sharpley's Mother was Dorothy Lucille Stanley Sharpley, who married Winston Sheppard Sharpley. (Both are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Roanoke, VA). Photo below was taken on their wedding day.December 9, 1939.
Dorothy's Father was Raymond Forrest Stanley, born in Bedford, VA, and married Alice Elizabeth Hess Stanley. (Both are buried in Sherwood Memorial Park, Salem, VA). Photo below is Raymond.
Raymond's parents were John Washington Stanley and Verona Blanche Jennings Stanley.(Both are buried on a hill at Suck Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in Bedford VA (3887 Jopling Rd, Rt 643)
Verona's parents were Rachel Jane Minerva Wilkerson Jennings, and James Wheat Jennings. (Both were born and died in Bedford Co, VA, and are buried in Mountain Cemetery, Peaksville, Bedford, VA (Wheats Valley Rd, across the street from the Bedford Reservoir).

James's Mother was Elizabeth (Logwood)L. Wheat, who married James Chappell Jennings. 
Elizabeth's parents were Zachariah Wheat and Edith Chastain Wheat. I'm repeating myself here, but both were buried in the Zachariah Wheat Family Cemetery(As previously mentioned, Zachariah and Edith had 14 children.) In addition to Elizabeth, there was a son......... HAZAEL WHEAT. Hazael and Elizabeth were brother and sister!

****Here begins that twisted vine that resembles an exceptionally dense thicket****:
Teresa Kay Hamilton Sharpley's Mother was Mary Lee Anderson Hamilton, who married Carl Cannaday Hamilton. (Both are buried in Sherwood Memorial Park, Salem, VA) Photo taken on their wedding day, December 11, 1947
Mary Lee's Mother was Eva Kathryn Thomasson Anderson, who married John Alexander Anderson, II. (Both are buried in Sherwood Memorial park, Salem, VA) 
Eva Anderson's Mother was Nannie Lucille Davis White, who married Joseph Green Thomasson.
Nannie's Mother was Lucy Davis Wheat White, who married William Henry White.
Sadly, no photos have been located, but birth, marriage, and death dates have been verified.
Lucy's Father was Hazael Wheat, who married Eliza M Tinsley Wheat. (As previously written, Hazael is buried in the Zachariah Wheat Family Cemetery and as previously written, Hazael's parents were Zachariah Wheat and Edith Chastain Wheat.

Check out the chart below and make your own conclusions! 
I think I married my cousin 😲😲😲
Of particular interest to some: 
1.Link: Bedford Co. John/Zachariah/Joseph 1700's (👈Click on highlighted link to read)
2.Reprint from the book "BEDFORD HISTORY BICENTINIAL" 👇