Sunday, August 16, 2020

#75 - Trouble Making : Battle of Gettysburg and the Underground Railway in Adams County, PA

Two Stories of Trouble Making
Genealogy is boring. Walking through a field of broken headstones, or looking through old books, or at stained, black & white photos of old people is boring. Unless you knew the people, or know the stories. Personal history can be everything that a movie or play is: funny, tragic, mundane, sweet, horrific and etc.
 In 1987 my mother's sister Mardy (Margaret Tilton) recorded her mother's (double) cousin's reminisces in 1987.  Corrine was the best candidate to interview at the time as she was 10 years older than cousin (Elizabeth, Mardy's mother). Also, Corrine's father (Edwin C Tyson) was nearly 10 years older than Elizabeth's father. Not only that, he (Corrine's father) had been keeper of the family genealogy
I came across a transcription of the 1987 interview.
I excerpted two short stories told by Corrine (Tyson Lambert), so you'll read just a gist of the story, and neither is in perfect, fluid sentences.
The first story is of her newly-wed grandmother (Maria Edith Griest, w of Charles John Tyson) and her great uncles. 
The second is of her Maria's parents Cyrus Griest and Mary Ann Cook (Griest) who were Quaker participants in the local Underground Railroad in Adams County, PA (see map below to see how close their area was to Gettysburg).

Story #1 When Trouble Came To Gettysburg 
Little Brothers Run Off to “Rescue” Their Big Sister from the Battle of Gettysburg
As told by Corrine Tyson Lambert: [Charles J Tyson’s granddaughter]:
“Grandpa (Charles Tyson) had a hand for money… He was always doing something else. He had started with a photographic studio in Gettysburg, he was there until year after the battle.
Charles John Tyson 
And they stayed, Grandpa and Grandma, stayed living and working in Gettysburg until 1869.
Then the photographic business [called Tyson Brothers] went to his apprentice William Tipton.
Around that time, he had moved from Gettysburg up to the [Quaker] Valley. And he bought…he worked for his Father-in-law [Cyrus Griest].”
Corrine: “You see when she (Maria Griest his wife) was married (1863) her two little brothers [Griest brothers] Amos [age 15] and next boy both used to play with her--well, they were worried, because she was married, and she was in Gettysburg. 
And now part of the war was between them and her [they lived north of Gettysburg].
Maria E Griest 1861 bef marrying Chas Tyson
One day they heard somebody say, “I wish we knew whether Maria was safe,” because she had just been married [and living in Gettysburg].
And so these two little boys got up early and started on foot, without telling anybody. 
They went missing. 
They got halfway [to Gettysburg] and there was a barn there (for years I saw this barn). 
It was the one where they had gone, and they slept in the hay mow, and in the morning the farmer found them and sent them home.”
S: “They were headed for the battle of Gettysburg?”
Corrine: “They were headed for the Battle of Gettysburg. They were going to find Grandma, their sister, those two little boys. One of them was Uncle Amos. He was the youngest. And the next, must have been Uncle Cyrus.”
[Their journey would have been well over 10 miles]

Story #2 Quakers Running an Underground Railway Station in north of Gettysburg
As told by descendant Corrine
“Cyrus [Griest], whose wife was Mary Ann Cook...
Cyrus Griest h Mary Ann Cook

Mary Ann Cook w Cyrus Griest
My grandma [Maria Griest] was their oldest daughter.
Before Grandma was married, when she was 18--that was when the slaves hid in the caves up on Yellow Hill
Yesterday we went up there, and drove in back of that house and up in there.
And I could see where the path is still there that they took to go up there…I knew just about where it was and I could see where the path went up. 
The slaves would hide in the caves and come down at night.”
S: “And you can remember your grandparents talking about that?”
Red = area of Griest's & Wrights' Underground RR Stations Blue=Battle of Gettysburg
Corrine: “I remember my Grandmother [Maria Griest Tyson] told me all about that. And she taught in the schoolhouse which is the second floor of the springhouse and that is still there.”

For more information see this:

Stories Recorded & transcribed:

Participants: Corrinne Tyson Lambert (D of Edwin Tyson & Mary Hauxhurst) Margaret B. Walmer (M) (granddaughter of Chester Tyson & Bertha Hauxhurst, d Elizabeth Tyson & Chas Tilton), her son Sam Walmer (son of Margaret Tilton Walmer)
Conversation with Corinne Lambert, granddaughter of Charles Tyson & Maria Griest recorded conversation at Hill House (Flora Dale, PA); at the Tyson Family Reunion at Mapleton, near Aspers, Adams  County, PA, May, 1987

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