Dr. Sholly

I found Dr. Sholly while stumbling searching through the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America.

Sholly was born to David S. (of monster porker fame)  and Lucetta in 1865, attended local schools, and eventually became a teacher before leaving to attend medical school, graduating in 1897.

These accomplishments alone are worth noting, but what makes them even more special is the fact that Dr. Sholly — Dr. Agnes Sholly — became a doctor just fifty years after Elizabeth Blackwell gained admission as the first female medical student in the United States.

I’m proud to have her in my family tree. But, when I looked at her findagrave.com page, I see it’s quite unnecessary to write a post because the writer of her memorial has already hit the high points.

I’ll just fill in a few details.

In 1888, when she was teaching primary school, Agnes received the princely sum of $22.00. Strangely enough, while there’s a good deal of variance in the salaries, it doesn’t appear to be gender related, which seems quite forward thinking for the time.

She was still teaching in 1893, but by 1894 was visiting home from college with a friend. Screen Shot 2020-04-19 at 2.23.23 PM

From the Pennsylvania School Journal, 1893

In February 1905, the Middleburg Post announced her marriage to C.W. Knights. I’ll share what it said.

Marriage Secret for Almost Two Years

It has just leaked out that Ex-Commissioner C.W.Knights, of Port Trevorton, this county, was married at Buffalo during the Pan-American Exposition to Dr. Agnes Sholly of Shamokin, a daughter of David Sholly of Selinsgrove.

The marriage was kept a secret on account of Dr. Sholly’s practice in Shamokin. The POST extends its congratulations to the couple, even if it is almost two years after the event.

I have to give the Post credit for referring to Agnes with the correct title of Dr., and not relegating her to Miss, as I might have expected from a newspaper at that time.

Also noteworthy (and timely) from her findagrave memorial: “Removing to Selinsgrove just prior to the First World War, Dr. Knights had planned to retire, but with the outbreak of the influenza epidemic, she opened her office in her home and continued with her profession.”

Her death came just twelve days before she was to be honored for fifty years of medical service to her community.

Addendum: I just realized I didn’t explain how we’re related. Agnes was my 2x great grandfather’s niece, which makes us some kind of cousin. I’m sure I could look up how many times removed. But if you really want to know, so can you. 🙂


Monster Porkers, Bushels of Buckwheat, and a Temperance Man: Using Chronocling America to Fill Out the Stories of Our Ancestors

A little background about “Chronocling America”:

“Chronicling America (ISSN 2475-2703) is a Website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. Supported by NEH, this rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress. An NEH award program will fund the contribution of content from, eventually, all U.S. states and territories.”

All that is to say it’s a part of Library of Congress (LOC) that provides access to digital copies of historical newspapers.

Like much of the online LOC, it’s easy to fall into, sometimes hard to escape. And I sometimes forget what a resource it can be for genealogy.

True, I’ve rarely found hard facts relating to birth, marriage, and death — the holy trinity BMD of genealogy — but I occasionally stumble across a jewel, like these tombstone inscriptions from Union County Pennsylvania. UnionTownshipTombstoneInscriptions1903
Many of the surnames match those of my tree, and eventually, I’m sure a first name will also match.

Recently I was scouring the site for Sholley ancestors and — once I remembered the Pennsylvania Sholleys spell the name as “Sholly” — I was overwhelmed with information, most of it unrelated to what I was searching for.

Who knew newspapers once published the names of those who subscribed and when their subscriptions lapsed?

Now I know my maternal grandmother’s great uncle David S. Sholly was a regular reader of the Middleburg Post. 

He was also a Justice of the Peace who performed marriages (many of them faithfully documented by the Post). And he was on the school board for Selinsgrove in the late 1890s.

Apparently, he was an early supporter of prohibition as well. sn84026106-18820928
The article reads:

Constitutional Prohibition Meeting

Port Trevorton, September 20, 1882

A public meeting in the interest of Constitutional Prohibition was held this evening in the Evangelical church at this place. The meeting was organized by the election of Hon. D Witmer, Pres. and D.S. Thursby, Sec. After singing a hymn, Rev.U. Gambler led an impressive prayer. The President appointed Rev. U. Gambler, Jeremiah Boyer and Daniel Snyder a committe on permanent organization. W.D. Blackburn, state organizer, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., then addressed the audience in an manner that will, no doubt, produce good results. 

The committee on permanent organization reported as follows: Pres. Hon. D. Witmer; Vice Pres. Gen. E.C. Williams, Daniel Krebs, Jacob Burns, Sec. D.S. Thursby, Treasurer T.W. Hoffman. 

Executive Com. D. Witmer, D.S. Thursby, T.W. Hoffman, Emanuel Bordner, J.B. Swartz, Samuel H. Snyder, David S. Sholly, Albright Swineford, E.S. Stahl.

Delegates. Rev. U. Gambler, Rev. J.W. Bentz, N.T. Dundore, T.W. Hoffman, H.  O’Neil, E.S. Arnold, Mrs. Maria Dundore, Mrs. Kate Bogar, Mrs. A.E. Williams, and others. 

Nine dollars were subscribed for the benefit of the State Association. 

On motion adjourned to meet the call of the President. 


It would appear David S. Sholly was quite the pillar of his community, if his press is anything to go by.

He makes my 2x great grandfather Peter look like a bit of a slacker.

But my favorite David S. Sholly story is about his “monster porker,” an 12 January 1888 article which states:

David S. Sholly, of Dundore, Pa., killed a monster porker on the 2d of January. The hog measured nine feet from from tip of nose to tip of tail, was three feet one inch high and measured six foot seven inches around the girth. The animal dressed 685-1/2 pounds and made 800 pounds of extracted lard. The hams and shoulders — after close dressing, weighed respectively 50 and 48 pounds. The animal was a male of a full Chester-White stock pair, purchased of Edward Walter & Son, West Chester, Pa., a very extensive dealer in blooded stock. Mr. Sholly states that he can supply parties with blooded stock in the spring.

Well, as Charlotte once said, “Some pig”!

David and Peter’s father was also a farmer of note.

On 6 November 1857, the Lewisburg Chronicle & West Branch Farmer featured this tidbit:

“Simon Sholly, of Chapman Township, Snyder county, has raised, by sowing 1-1/2 bushels of Buckwheat, 89-1/2 bushels.”

Good return on his investment, don’t you think?

I eventually found a newspaper mention of Peter, though not in the LOC database. A distant relative posted a scan of a news article about his death on Ancestry. He died in an accident at age 31, leaving four children and another on the way.

Article from Ancestry tree: Citation Information


FATAL ACCIDENT-On Saturday the 18th inst., as Mr. Peter Sholly, of Rye township this county, was on his wagon unloading wood, he slipped, and his foot catching in one of the standards he fell to the ground on his head and shoulders, receiving such internal injury as to cause his death on the Monday following. Mr. Sholly was only about 30 years of age. He leaves a widow and four children to mourn his sudden death.

Perry County Advocate & Press
Other information
Copied from microfilm the newspaper account of Peter Sholly’s death
Edit Source
Source Information
Advocate & Press
Newspaper Article May 29th, 1872, Perry County
Repository Information
No repository specified for this source.

Perhaps Peter didn’t have the chance to do anything noteworthy.


Losing My Tiny Mind over Genealogy

I’m taking a small break from genealogy, mainly because I’m losing my mind.

First, I was focused on my maternal grandmother’s father’s family, the Sholleys.

Patriarch Carl Schallin disembarked in America on 3 September 1739 from the ship Robert and Alice in Philadelphia. The ship departed Europe through Rotterdam, stopping in Deal, England on the way.

This much is generally accepted. He was one of many “Palantines” who immigrated to the U.S., frequently settling in Pennsylvania. A simplified version of their history reveals that many of the early settlers were Amish and Mennonites escaping religious persecution, while others arrived later in a bid to escape the devastation of wars in their homeland. According to Wikipedia, “between 1727 and 1775; some 65,000 Germans landed in Philadelphia.”

Carl was one of them, and I have several variations of a family tree — carefully typed out by my great grandfather’s niece’s husband — linking him to my great grandfather.

My research backs up much of that information, but it’s possible the husband missed a generation or I’m misinterpreting the way he laid out the information.

I’ve been chipping away at this mystery bit by bit, but found myself getting frustrated by the variety of names my family chose to take. The surname Schallin has become Schally, Shally, Sholly, Sholley (my branch’s preference), occasionally mis-indexed as Shelley, Shelly, Shol, and any number of variations.

Also, all the women seem to be named Susannah, and the men are mostly Peter, William, or Simon, and, of course, they are often listed by other names probably because there were too many Peters, Williams, Simons, and Susannahs to keep them all straight otherwise.

I got fed up and turned to the Kreighbaums (my maternal grandmother’s mother’s side) for some more fun. Her father was named John Kreighbaum.
As was his father.
As was his father’s father, and possibly his father’s father’s father.

Fortunately, only three of them lived most of their lives in Stark/Summit County, Ohio (or so I thought). My 3x great grandfather moved here from Pennsylvania, and I’ve not yet reached his father in my research.

I was doing well with the John Kreighbaums (or so I thought) until I came to a list of their tax assessments from Stark County in the early 1800s. There was a more than a page of them listed on Family Search, ranging from 1817 to 1834. The problem is, there are two listed for 1819, four for 1830, two for 1831, and two for 1834.

To figure out this mystery, I reviewed all the censuses possibly connected to any John Kreighbaum in Stark County during that time period — carefully listing the information I found, including not just the township names, but also the number of household members of different ages listed (in 1830 and 1840 censuses), names and ages of the members in later censuses, and, crucially, who were their neighbors.

It turns out John’s wife, Nancy, sometimes went by Anna. Knowing this helped me realize my JKs stuck around the Green Township area, which means some of the other records I’d attributed to them were incorrect.

I deleted those documents from my tree.

However, sorting out the tax records proved more difficult because several don’t say what township they’re for.

My John Kreighbaums were born at or around the following years: 1786, 1811, and 1846. So, the records from 1817 and 1818 are definitely the 1786 John, and in reviewing the second record for 1819, I’ve just discovered it’s another county.


Looking with fresh eyes at the 1830 records I find them not as difficult as I thought. One is a duplicate, bringing the total down to three, and all three of those have townships listed, but only one is Green.

Down to one record for 1830!KreighbaumJohnTax1830

In 1831, I had two records, but again only one for Green. That John is listed with a middle initial of “W,” which may add to my knowledge of him.

The question is, which of my  two older Johns is it?

I’m going with the 1786-born John, as John #2 was still unmarried and probably still working with his father.

This seems likely as there’s no other John Kreighbaum household listed in the 1830 census in Green.

At any rate, that’s one less record to confuse me.

Last up was a record of a John W. Kreighbaum in Lake Township I’d marked as 1834, but couldn’t replicate where I found it.

Solution: Delete it! Because my John Kreighbaums didn’t live in Lake Township.

At least, I think none of them did.d

Clearly, I really needed that break from the tax records.

Equally clearly, I need to explore the documents again.

And lest you think I’m exaggerating about name variations, here’s a list of known variations of the Kreighbaum surname from the Kreighbaum family heritage site. It’s even worse than the Sholleys!Screen Shot 2020-04-18 at 1.26.32 PM

Addendum: I was able to take the time to write this post today because someone from the grocery store where I work was diagnosed with Coronavirus, and the store is being deep cleaned. I’m not sure who is ill, but hope you will send prayers, good wishes, positive thoughts that they will be fine.

Also, there have been several deaths in area nursing homes, which is worrisome since my mom is in long-term care.

So far, they are healthy at her facility, with no cases, but I know it would be so easy for it to sneak in despite the many precautions they are taking.

I remind myself there is medical care at hand to keep an eye out for any symptoms, and she would be equally, if not more, at risk of exposure had she stayed where she was. Since she’s had a few falls, it’s possible she might not have even made it this far.

Still, it’s scary to not be able to do anything.

On the bee front, our third hive didn’t make through the early spring, which means we lost all three. We had the county apiary inspector come and have a look at the deadout, and he agreed it was probably a combination of factors. We reviewed our plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and he seemed to think we’re on the right track.

Though we’d already ordered a package from California through our local beekeeping supply shop, The Engineer and I decided to order a locally raised nuc (nucleus hive) from the inspector. It will be interesting to see how they compare through the upcoming seasons.

Meanwhile, keep your distance, wear your mask, and wash your hands.