Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Mount Pleasant, PA
Written & Compiled by K. R. Overholt Critchfield July 20, 2006

Photographs by Karen & Lee Overholt 2000

It was a long time coming, but such a blessing!

In this title, I am referring to information, of course, as well as photographs. It amazes me when someone supplies a bit of data that I have been longing to uncover for a lifetime! Questions, questions, and more questions! Where are the graves of Abraham Overholt and Maria Stauffer Overholt, and what do they look like? Yes, Barbara Ford does report on page 33 of The Oberholtzer Book, "both bur Mt Pleasant Cem, Westmoreland Co," but a picture is worth a thousand words.

Where is the huge monument marked with the Overholt name, the one I remembered seeing in a photograph long, long ago, with my grandfather standing next to it looking sad and proud? Answer: Mount Pleasant Cemetery! Where are my grandfather's parents laid to rest? The Oberholtzer Book ends my line of descent with Abraham Stauffer Overholt (1817-1863) and Mary Ann Newmyer (1824-1877), the parents of George Washington Overholt, my Great-Grandfather. Winifred Paul's Along the Banks of Jacobs Creek lists the names of four children born to Abraham S. and Mary Ann as follows: "George W. m Agnes Ripple" [sic], John S., Norman, Mary." Actually, the proper spelling for Agnes' surname is "Riffle."

When will their dates -- long missing from my family tree -- be filled in? And when would I be really sure whether Mary Elizabeth was one child or two different children, because the handwritten name on an old facsimile page of a family bible gives no clues? Well, due to the kindness of a pair of Internet correspondents, many answers have been provided, and pictures, too!

To my knowledge, I have never been to Mount Pleasant, although there was a visit long ago to a very elderly woman who was bedridden. We had all just returned to the United States from North Africa, and my father took us to visit a lady who was dying. At one point, he brought me into the small bedroom where she laid. There were little lighted "prayer candles" around about, set on bedroom furniture. My father spoke to her and she could answer back. He then pushed me foreward to present me to her, a very shy eight-year-old. This was the oldest person I had ever seen! Did I actually speak to her? I do not remember.

To this day, I still wonder who that woman was. She could have been someone who provided foster care to my father and his brother, when they were very young. She may have been an aunt or great aunt. I may never satisfy my curiosity, but will certainly never forget that scene in the small bedroom. My father showed her great respect, even reverence, and he had prized me enough to present me to this very important woman, had chosen me for the presentation, instead of my rowdy brothers, maybe because I could understand the significance of it?

Last summer, my son Matthew and I almost ended up in Mount Pleasant during our "adventure in driving," but as soon as I spied the signs for Mount Pleasant, my first reaction (after huge exasperation!) was to find a place to turn around and head back toward the west. Perhaps I should have kept going, and discovered more long, lost relatives, but it was late and Matthew was getting testy.

Another Karen Overholt

It is always amazing to me when I make contact with another Karen Overholt (several have sent me a "hello"), but this Karen had written a couple years ago to introduce me to her husband Lee's connection through Jacob Stauffer Overholt (1814-1859), third child/second son of Abraham Overholt. The following goes up to Lee's grandparents and their children, which makes Max W. Overholt his father.

~ Lee Overholt's Branches ~

Abraham Overholt ((1784-1870)
m. (1809) Maria Stauffer (1791-1874)
8 Children
Henry, Anna, JACOB, Abraham,
Elizabeth, Martin, Christian, John.

Jacob Stauffer Overholt (1814-1859)
m. (1836) Mary Fox (1816-1895)
9 Children
Maria F., Elizabeth F., ABRAHAM FOX, Isaac, Mary Anne,
Fenton C., Christian F., Jacob Webster, Emma F.

Abraham Fox Overholt (1841-1927)
m. (1866) Martha W. "Mattie" Rist (1845-1881)
5 Children
Edwin Stanton, George W., Mary M., Gertrude R.,

Max Clark Overholt (1877-1965)
m. (1905) Mary Elizabeth "Mamie" Nettleton (1885-1965)
3 Children
MAX W., Gertrude I., Raymond L.

And now, thanks beyond measure go to Karen and Lee, who sent an e-mail on December 27, 2005, to share their opinions regarding my latest InterOverholt Memo. But my pleasure at striking a sympathetic chord quickly changed to elation, when I read, "I also was wondering if you have ever been to Abraham Overholt, Maria Stauffer Overholt and some of their children's burial sites? Several years ago, we went to the cemetery where they are buried, took pictures, etc. If you would be interested in any pictures that we took, I would be more than willing to scan them and send them as an attachment." Yes, I was extremely interested!

In a subsequent e-mail, Karen wrote, "I thought that the attached pictures would be the ones that would interest you the most. The two large family stones are very close together and around each of the family stones are the smaller stones for individual Overholts. These photos were taken in 2000, and at that time I had only been working on the Overholt family line for a short time and wasn't sure exactly what tombstones I was looking for, except my husband's direct line. As we were looking for those Overholt stones, we took pictures of other Overholt stones, thinking they would probably fit in the family as I did more research. Hopefully, we will be able to get back to Westmoreland and Fayette counties again."

The Remembered Overholt Monument

Additional Overholt Family Monument

~ Abraham "Abram" Overholt (1784-1870) ~
My Great-Great-Great Grandfather

~ Maria (Stauffer) Overholt (1780-1874) ~
My Great-Great-Great Grandmother

~ George Washington Overholt (1845-1908) ~
My Great-Grandfather

~ Agnes G. (Riffle) Overholt (1859-1933) ~
My Great-Grandmother

~ Mary Elizabeth Overholt (1897-1916) ~
My Grandaunt, sister of my grandfather, George Frederick Overholt (1892-1966)

Two Thimbles of Information

I used to say that the data I had on my immediate Overholt ancestors could fill a thimble. Now I have at least two thimbles of information. My deepest thanks go to Karen and Lee Overholt for this additional thimble-full! These photographs are such a boon, such a blessing!

The jargon of genealogists refers to "brick walls" as the point wherein their data goes so far and no farther. Articles deal with all kinds of brick walls that researchers hit, but after persistence and attention to detail -- a little work, a great deal of luck, and the beneficence of heaven -- suddenly is revealed their long, lost relatives. "We were always here," they seem to taunt, "all you had to do was look for us!"

So much valuable genealogical information has come my way through the World Wide Web! Back in the summer of 2001, after sharing the data on my copy of a marriage certificate for George and Agnes, the wife of a distant Riffle relation, Linda (Tichy) Riffle, supplied me with the following list of Riffle siblings. Linda's husband descends from Peter Francis Riffle.

William & Catherine Riffle
10 Children
William M. (b.30 Apr 1857)
Ambrose H. (b. 30 Apr 1857)
AGNES G. (b. 13 May 1857)
Peter Francis (b. 8 Apr 1861)
Ann Mary (b. 25 Apr1863)
Rose Ellen (b.30 Oct 1865)
Angela Josephine (b. 26 Dec 1867)
Joseph J. (b. 13 Jun 1871)
James Martin (b. 13 Jun 1871)
Fred L. (b. 23 Jul 1873)

It is interesting to me that Catherine had two sets of twin boys, and that four children were born in the month of April. Linda wrote, "Most of them lived in/near the Wayne County area of Ohio . . . So far my pursuit of William and Catherine Riffle has yielded that they were both born in Pennsylvania [town or county unknown]. They moved to Wayne County, Ohio, before the birth of William M. and Ambrose H. My search is just getting underway, so you'll hear more from me in the months ahead . . . Still can't believe my stroke of good fortune in finding the right George W. Overholt connection, and am very glad to meet you!"

Luckily, even a thimble-full of information, when shared with others, can lead to even more valuable information.

Online Resources

In the course of my work on this web page, I found resources online regarding Mount Pleasant, PA, and the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. You may wish to check out the following URLs.

Mount Pleasant, PA
(includes history, local attractions, pictures, local cemeteries, etc.)

Mount Pleasant Cemetery
(list of "old settlers" presented by Constance Mayo, taken from
History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 1882)

Constance Mayo has another web site, Pennsylvania Pioneers Master Index, which includes many databases that are restricted. However, a few of the accessible ones have information of interest to anyone researching the gravesites of members of the Extended Overholt Family. Click on her "Cemeteries" button, and it will take you to a list of URLs, including The Markle Cemetery, Mount Pleasant Cemetery (listed above), and Old United Presbyterian Cemetery.

Keep in mind that Mary Ann Overholt (b. 1846), the daughter of Jacob S. Overholt (1814-1859) and Mary Fox (1816-1895), married Capt. Cassius Clay Markle, and had six children: Cyrus Painter Markle, Thomas M., Mary O., Sarah B., Jessie B., and Margaret Z.

Also, Mary Ann's youngest sister, Emma F. Overholt (b. 1856) married George A. Markle, and (as per A. J. Fretz) had at least two children: Gertrude A., and Howard O.

And lest we forget, Abraham Overholt Tinstman, son of Anna Overholt (1812-1866) [daughter of Abraham Overholt (1784-1870) and Maria Stauffer (1791-1874)] and John Tinstman (1807-1877), married Harriet Cornelia Markle.

I spied other familiar surnames among those listed on the Old United Presbyterian Cemetery web page.

End of Page . . . . Return to Karen's Branches.