Yost and Silar in Bethel Cemetery

I’ve been on two genealogy expeditions recently. I didn’t have time to finish writing about my trip to Iowa before I went on a jaunt to north Texas with my husband and mother-in-law. So much to do!  Pictures to download and identify and organize, records to search, emails to send, notes to write, and a blog to boot. I’m just going to stick with my trip to Iowa for now and finish documenting our trip to Bethel Cemetery.

Bethel Cemetery is located in Lick Creek Township near the Van Buren/Jefferson County line.

Cemeteries in Van Buren County, Iowa

Martha Jane Yost Smith Norcross (mother of Andrew Washington Smith) was the daughter of John Yost and Barbara Silar. The Yosts are located on Rows 7 and 8 in Bethel Cemetery.

John Yost, Bethel Cemetery, Van Buren Co., Iowa

John Yost

Feb. 16, 1857
53 Yr’s, 6 M
& 25 D’s

Between the sun, the concrete-like dried moss, the script, and age, I couldn’t read the bottom portion of the marker. I hoped it would be easier to read on the computer…. not so much. I think it is a verse from a poem. If someone would like to decipher that for me, I would really appreciate it and would thank you profusely. I might bake you some cookies.

John Yost

John Yost and his wife, Barbara Silar, share a marker. Again – a verse near the bottom that I can’t read.

Unfortunately, her side is weathered and extremely difficult to read.

Barbara Silar Yost

Wife of
?  I can’t read the rest, but her obituary records her date of death as March 17, 1889, at the age of 88 years, 8 months and 12 days.

I didn’t get a picture of Dad(Jerry) with his great great grandparents. I think this was about the time I saw him down on his hands and knees trying to find Mary Ann Rutledge. 🙂

The children of John Yost and Barbara Silar are Martha Jane, Peter, Andrew, and Catherine.

Peter Yost and Margaret Ann Smith

Andrew Yost and Elizabeth Ann, Rebecca S. and Charles O.

Andrew is buried with two wives, Elizabeth Ann Robertson and Rebecca S. Dole, and a son, Charles O. Yost.

And here is where I messed up.

I saw several markers with the name Widger near the Yosts, but the name didn’t ring a bell. Turns out that was Catherine Yost’s married name and all those Widgers were Catherine, her husband and children. I didn’t take any pictures. Oops.

I saw several markers with the names Hall and Johnson – ridiculously common names, but both names in the Smith ancestry. I took pictures of them, but will wait to post them later since I haven’t had time to figure out if they are my Halls and Johnsons.

You’d think with a bunch of ancestors named Smith, Hall and Johnson, I’d have remembered the name Widger!

Tombstone Tuesday – Smith in Bethel Cemetery

As described previously, Dad(Jerry) and I searched for Mary Ann Rutledge in Bethel Cemetery to no avail.

We had better luck with our kin.

Dad with Andrew Washington Smith June 2012

Dad’s grandfather, Andrew Washington Smith, was right where he was supposed to be on Row 8. Yay! He had one of the larger grave markers  in Bethel Cemetery, so he was easy to find. Dad was just 4 years old when his grandfather died, so he couldn’t have known him well, but has a few memories and stories about him. One involves a 1918 Maxwell. I’m going to have to do a little research on that car and then I’ll share the story.

Dad with A. W. Smith and Martha J. Yost Smith Norcross

In the picture above, Dad is standing between his grandfather and great-grandmother, Martha Jane Yost Smith Norcross (Andrew W. Smith’s mother).

Martha Jane Yost grave marker

Martha Jane Yost and John H. Smith were married 25 June 1851 in neighboring Jefferson County, Iowa. The couple had three children: Andrew Washington, Sarah, and Emma. John H. Smith died 21 May 1861, at the age of 31. An entry on Findagrave.org records that John H. Smith is buried in Cumberland Cemetery in Jefferson County, Iowa.

Martha married Joel Norcross in 1882. Her tombstone reads:

MAR 21 1830
APR 16 1905

Her marker reads “Mother” across the top. On the other side of Martha is her daughter, Emma J. Smith.

Emma J. Smith grave marker

I have a lot to learn about this part of the family….

More Bethel Cemetery coming soon.