Note for:   Minnie Speary,   17 JAN 1878 -          Index
The 1910 census show her at age 31 living with her father & brother Ernest in Luzerne County, Pa.


Note for:   Ernest Speary,   13 NOV 1888 -          Index
     Place:   Cherry Grove Cemetery, Nordmont, Sullivan County, Pa

Individual note:   
never married, Veteran of WWI - Pvt 1 C1-311MG BN 79 Div. During WW I he was in the Argonne Forest Battle, all but a few of his Company were killed.
He was caretaker of the King Farm at Nordmont, Pa. The King family were next farm neighbors to Christopher Speary.
The 1910 census show him at age 23 living with his father & sister Minnie in Luzerne County, Pa.


Note for:   Ruth F Speary,   4 MAY 1899 -          Index
Shown in the 1900 census as Florence Ruth Speary


Note for:   Christopher B Speary,   7 JUL 1813 - 2 MAY 1893          Index
     Place:   Cherry Grove Cemetery, Nordmont, Sullivan County, Pa

Individual note:   
Christopher Speary was born in Huntington, Luzerne County, Pa & first arrived in Davidson Township, Sullivan county with his brother Samuel in 1826 at the age of 13. His father, Miles, had arrived earlier. He returned to Huntington, Luzerne county, at the age of 25 and married Rachel Jane Benscoter.

Christopher & Rachel left Huntington in a buggy drawn by 2 horses & were headed for Illinois when they stopped in Davidson township to visit Christopher's father Miles. While there Miles offered them 50 acres of land as a gift if they would settle & farm there rather than continue on to Illinois. They accepted.

Christopher originally built a 2 story log house on the property. The first floor contained a kitchen, bedroom & buttery while the second floor held 2 bedrooms.

In total, Rachel & Christopher had 14 children. Their first 2 children were twins born in 1839 - both died as infants - no further information (names, dates, etc.) is available. This information is from Eudora sicks notes read at the 1937 Speary reunion & also a story recounted by Alice Brown in a letter dated June 4, 1978.

As their family grew, their farmhouse had another bedroom & kitchen added but in 1873 a new house was built on the Christopher Speary homestead. In 1937 this farm was owned by Frank Speary - Christopher's grandson.

Elk Lick had never had a church & held their services in the Elk Lick School or outdoors in a cherry grove in good weather. Although land had been deeded & a board of trustees elected in 1858 the citizen's could never afford to build a church for themselves. In 1893, Christopher Speary left in his will $300.00 for use to build the Cherry Grove Church. Because the labor & lumber were donated the $300.00 was enough to pay for construction . It took an additional 2 years to complete as the citizen's could only work on the church in the time they could spare away from their farms.

Christopher is buried at Cherry Grove Cemetery, Nordmont, Sullivan County, Pa.

There are additional pictures of Cherry Grove Church shown with his wife Rachel Jane (Benscoter) Speary


Note for:   Rachel Jane Benscoter,   30 JUL 1817 - 28 JUL 1890          Index
     Place:   Cherry Grove Cemetery, Nordmont, Sullivan County, Pa

Individual note:   
Rachel Jane Benscoter remains somewhat of a mystery. According to the notes of Eudora Jane Speary Sick - daughter of Dorson Speary & Rachel's granddaughter:
A man & his wife - a Mr & Mrs. Brown - were passing through Huntington & spent the night of August 5, 1818 at the Benscoter home. During the visit, Mrs. Brown gave birth to Rachel Jane. The notes state that because the Benscoters had no family of their own they wanted to keep the baby and that the Browns gave their consent.
These notes were read at a Speary Family Reunion in 1937 and according to notes dated November of 1962 were in the possession of Adona Sick - Eudora's daughter.

In a letter dated July 29, 1978 from Alice Brown - granddaughter of Lucy Ann Speary (Rachel's daughter), Alice recounts a story told by her mother how Rachel's older brothers ( 3 or 5 of them) would carry her over puddles on the way to school. Obviously one story or the other is not completely accurate. If Rachel had older brothers then the story of the Benscoters having no family of their own is inaccurate. Perhaps they simply had no girls & that is why they desired to keep the Brown's baby.

In yet another letter dated 1978, Mrs. Lynn Cerveris - descendant of Christopher Speary & Rachel Jane Benscoter - tells how her Grandmother Sally (Sarah Eliza - daughter of Christopher & Rachel) stated that her mother was an Indian. While this may be a first hand story told by Rachel's daughter there is no evidence to support it. In fact, both Mrs. Cerveris & Alice Brown state in letters, again dated 1978, that Rachel Jane was noted as having bright red hair, deep blue eyes & fair skin (not exactly traits anyone has ever associated with any Indian tribe that I am aware of).

Rachel Jane was also noted for being left handed & a family story tells that she hired a woman to teach her daughters how to sew because she felt that she would be holding the needle in the "wrong hand" while teaching & would confuse the girls. According to Eudora Jane Sick's notes, Rachel Jane was a very efficient woman who also raised, spun & wove flax & wool, dried berries, fruits & pumpkin and made clothes for her large family.

Searches of the Van Benscoter book owned in the 1970s by Mr. Floyd Tubbs of Shickshinny, Pa showed no mention of a Rachel Jane.

Rachel Jane is buried at Cherry Grove Cemetery, Nordmont, Sullivan County, Pa. Her tombstone (which is also Christopher's stone) reads:
Wife of
C.B. Speary
July 28 1890
72 Yrs 11Ms
& 28 Day
This would make her birthday July 30, 1817 - which does not match the Aug. 5, 1818 story involving the Brown family.