MCGS embraces new First Families inductees


By Rhonda Bletner - [email protected]



MCGS President Ann Artrip presents a First Families certificate and pin to Susan Hoffman Matthews. Matthews proved her ancestory through Mary Jane Fluckey Morton, Adam Fluckey, Mary Sellars Fluckey, George Fluckey, Andrew G Hines, David Hines, Adam Hines, Nancy Linder Hines, and James Linder.


Rhonda Bletner | Morrow County Sentinel

Joan Rathburn Jagger receives her First Families pin and certificate from MCGS President Ann Artrip. Jagger’s First Families ancestors are Martin Gates, Mary Poole Gates and Isaac Gates.


Rhonda Bletner | Morrow County Sentinel

MCGS President Ann Artrip, left, congratulates new First Families members J Michael Patterson, James Maurice Patterson, James Samuel Patterson, and Brian Charles Patterson. They proved their ancestors Henry Fleming, Isaac Fleming, Elizabeth Wyan Fleming, James Fleming, and William Heverlo.


Rhonda Bletner | Morrow County Sentinel

MOUNT GILEAD — The Morrow County Genealogical Society (MCGS) celebrated its 34th year of First Families of Morrow County, Saturday, May 21. To obtain membership in First Families of Morrow County, an applicant must prove a direct descendent resided in Morrow County as of 1850.

“In the past 34 years, our lineage members have proven 721 ancestors. This year we have 17 new lineage members who have proven 36 new ancestors,” First Families Chair Donna Ufferman said in introductory remarks.

The afternoon lunch and induction began with opening remarks from MCGS President Ann Artrip, followed by a candle lighting ceremony to symbolize the past, a bright light to honor the brave people who endured to form the county; the present, to honor the inductees for their pride in their ancestory; and for the future, for descendants who will gain pride through the research the inductees conducted.

The 2022 First Families inductees are Devera Dawn Ritz, Mary Kay Disterdick, Vincent Jay Brown, Shirley M. Meckley, Linda Jeanne Shields, Martha Lynn Vaughn Mooney, John Howard Weaver, Howard L. Black, Susan Marie Hoffman Matthews, John A. Keller, James Maurice Patterson, J. Michael Patterson, James Samuel Patterson, Brian Charles Patterson, Lewis Pierce Kinney, Ronda Stall, and Barbara “Joan” Rathburn Jagger.

Some inductees proved their First Family through single ancestors, other had as many as 10 Morrow County ancestors. Inductees are as varied as their ancestors, and they applied from distances as far as Texas.

The proven first family ancestors create a vignette of early Morrow County settlers.

For example, Vincent Jay Brown’s ancestors included Randolphs, Butters and Chilcote surnames. His Butters ancestor was Rev. Alford Butters who came to Morrow County at the close of the War of 1812. He was a physician and a minister and is reported to have preached dressed in his deer skin suit and with his rifle on the opposite side of the room.

One of Linda Shields’ ancestors, Peleg Thomas Sherman, walked all the way from Vermont in 1817 to choose property in Morrow County ,and then he walked back to Vermont to get his family. He was a wagon maker and woodworker and built the first brick home in Bennington Township.

One of Susan Matthews’ ancestors, George Fluckey, came to America from Germany, fought in the Revolutionary War; and a tailor by trade, he made a suit of clothes for George Washington.

And Lewis Kinney’s relation Perry M. Pierce, represents some of the agricultural roots of Morrow County and was a respected farmer.

The event concluded with Guest Speaker Richard Gladden and his address “Preserving Your Family History.

Gladden grew up in Mount Gilead and graduated in 1968 and then went on to Miami University. Now retired from Miller Brewing and Kraft Foods, he currently lives in Powell.

“I’ve always had an interest in history and family genealogy. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my family from Morrow County. The Vanatta family is my connection. My grandmother was Laura Venatta and my great grandfather Henry Vanatta, Henry Clay Vanatta, and Washington Vanatta and James Vanatta are the ones that came to Ohio in 1828,” he said.

Gladden’s talk focused on how to create family history books using photos and texts uploaded to publishing programs like Mixbook (www.mixbook.com), which he uses. The book examples he passed around were attractive hardbound books with well-designed pages.

Anyone interested in learning about their Morrow County roots, The Morrow County Genealogical Society, founded in 1976 by Dan Rhodebeck, is located at 35 East High Street, Mount Gilead. The historic building was formerly known as the Beebe House. It is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The website is https://morrowcountygenealogy.org/

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MCGS President Ann Artrip presents a First Families certificate and pin to Susan Hoffman Matthews. Matthews proved her ancestory through Mary Jane Fluckey Morton, Adam Fluckey, Mary Sellars Fluckey, George Fluckey, Andrew G Hines, David Hines, Adam Hines, Nancy Linder Hines, and James Linder.
https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2022/05/web1_DSC_0666.jpgMCGS President Ann Artrip presents a First Families certificate and pin to Susan Hoffman Matthews. Matthews proved her ancestory through Mary Jane Fluckey Morton, Adam Fluckey, Mary Sellars Fluckey, George Fluckey, Andrew G Hines, David Hines, Adam Hines, Nancy Linder Hines, and James Linder. Rhonda Bletner | Morrow County Sentinel

Joan Rathburn Jagger receives her First Families pin and certificate from MCGS President Ann Artrip. Jagger’s First Families ancestors are Martin Gates, Mary Poole Gates and Isaac Gates.
https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2022/05/web1_DSC_0677.jpgJoan Rathburn Jagger receives her First Families pin and certificate from MCGS President Ann Artrip. Jagger’s First Families ancestors are Martin Gates, Mary Poole Gates and Isaac Gates. Rhonda Bletner | Morrow County Sentinel

MCGS President Ann Artrip, left, congratulates new First Families members J Michael Patterson, James Maurice Patterson, James Samuel Patterson, and Brian Charles Patterson. They proved their ancestors Henry Fleming, Isaac Fleming, Elizabeth Wyan Fleming, James Fleming, and William Heverlo.
https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2022/05/web1_Pattersons.jpgMCGS President Ann Artrip, left, congratulates new First Families members J Michael Patterson, James Maurice Patterson, James Samuel Patterson, and Brian Charles Patterson. They proved their ancestors Henry Fleming, Isaac Fleming, Elizabeth Wyan Fleming, James Fleming, and William Heverlo. Rhonda Bletner | Morrow County Sentinel

By Rhonda Bletner

[email protected]