Betsy Greenway


Newark Valley, Tioga County, New York

Many friendships were formed and new relatives met, when Jerry, my husband, and I made a Genealogy Trip to New York State in April 2002. It was heartwarming to be invited into your homes and to visit your towns, museums and cemeteries, sharing your histories and memories. My husband and I will never forget the wonderful reception you gave us.


Carl and Wilma Betcher welcomed us into their home, the house where Allen Deforest Pitcher, my grandfather, was born. Trish and Bill, their children, made us feel welcome in their beautiful restored home. Wilma baked delicious rolls for us and tramped around cemeteries and Carl gave us the grand tour of Newark Valley.


Gerry and Ethel Curkendall are the Newark Valley friends, who found the house of the Pitchers, after I had posted a picture of the house from the 1950s. I had a nice chat with them, learning about the Curkendall's early ancestors in Newark Valley.


Ernie Miles (right) is the Webmaster of the Tioga County Site, and we found him at a McDonald's in Apalachin. Ernie has been so much help to me as I learned to send information to him for the web. He developed the Pitcher Homestead pages. Retired from IBM, he explained to us the intricacies of web management.


Tim Zimmer, pictured (right) with Betsy in Hollenbeck's Sure Save, is Betsy's third cousin, once removed. We met for the first time for coffee at the little café next to Hope Cemetery. Tim, descended from Ransom Zimmer, has given me much good Zimmer information, including that about Nellie M. Zimmer, which appears on the Tioga County Web Site.

Ed Hollenbeck

This is a picture of 4th cousin Ed Hollenbeck, owner of SureSave Grocery in Newark Valley, NY, taken recently by Wilma Betcher.


Shirley Callaghan and Ginny Mullen are two genealogists, who were a great aid to us on our visit. They went out of their way to find documents in the Newark Valley Historical Society. Shirley is the genealogist for Newark Valley and Ginny, the historian of Hope Cemetery, who helped us identify markers and find my grandfather's resting place, which had never been marked.


Carol Cooley of Cooley Funeral Home is shown doing a rubbing of the stone of Harrison and Eva Ann Zimmer Pitcher, my great grandparents. In her books we found that my grandparents were placed in the family plot, but no stone had been ordered. We commissioned them to add Allen Deforest Pitcher and Ida May Davis Pitcher to the east side of Harrison Pitcher's stone.


Don and Mary Zimmer welcomed us to their home where we scanned family photographs as we visited. Don is my 3rd cousin and is descended from Ransom Zimmer, a brother to Eva Ann Zimmer Pitcher, my great-great grandmother. Don and Mary have raised five children and live on the Peter B. Zimmer property in Newark Valley.

Maine, Broome County, New York


We went to nearby Maine, Broome County, to visit with Betty and Clyde Avery (right), who had traveled north from Williamsburg, Virginia, to meet us. Betty is a 4th cousin in the Settle/Pitcher line. They stayed with Betty and Leo Welch, long-time Maine residents, who have devoted much energy to the genealogy of Broome County. Betty is descended from the Paynes, Fogles and Settles. Betty and Clyde grew up in the town of Maine. Betty Welch has collected hundreds of photographs of the homes of Maine, as well as newspaper articles and information about many of the residents, past and present.


While visiting Betty and Leo, we met Don Olson, the superintendent of Maine Village Cemetery. We told Don about the disrepair of the Hollenbeck Cemetery in Tioga County. Jeremiah and Eunice Hollenbeck Pitcher, my great-great grandparents, are in that cemetery. His stone was broken and hers tipped over. Several Hollenbeck stones were upside down, the result of vandalism. Don offered to repair the stones. The same day he and his brother-in-law, Bob Ward, came to the Hollenbeck Cemetery and in two hours had set the cemetery straight, repairing Jeremiah's stone and cleaning and replacing others. We are very indebted to both of them.


We also visited Pitcher's Mill in Maine, which was owned at one time by Archie W. Pitcher, 1st cousin twice removed of Betsy. The Welches were instrumental in the restoration and painting of the mill.


We visited the Nanticoke Historical House in Maine with the Averys and Welches and found a photograph of John W. Pitcher, 1838-1924, 1st cousin 3 times removed, who married Amanda Jane Settle.

Lisle, Tioga County, New York


In Lisle, New York, I found 4th cousin Jane Daniels Youngs (right) and her aunt Jeanette Hollenbeck, 3rd cousin once removed. Jane and Jerry Youngs invited us to dinner and allowed me to scan their family photographs. Jane demonstrated the letter-cutting machine they use in the sign business that they operate from their home.

Gallupville, Schoharie County, New York


We were privileged to visit Chester Zimmer in Gallupville, New York. Chester, 94, has been historian of Gallupville for a number of years. He drove us around his town, pointing out the thousands of acres of land once owned by Zimmers. We met Naomi Zimmer Wikane, his daughter, who volunteers at the Old Stone Fort in Schoharie. Chester gave me copies of his Zimmer genealogy.


While in Schoharie we attended a Schoharie Historical Society meeting with Bill and Elaine Zimmer, distant relatives, as well. They took us to a fish fry for the local Little League, which was a delicious dinner.

We also met Ralph Miller, 5th cousin and a historian in Schoharie, who works with his brother Hal doing the Berne Historical Project site on the web. Ralph and his wife took us to Knox Cemetery, among the dozen or so cemeteries we visited in New York. I wish I had taken a picture of them, too.


Jerry and I had a wonderful dinner at the Tory Tavern in Schoharie. If you ever get to central New York, you must go there. Jerry was a very patient husband while I scoured the cemeteries for my long, lost ancestors.


We were fortunate to be at the Old Stone Fort when a Reenactment group was there, preparing to reenact Revolutionary War times. Everywhere we went in New York State, folks were into history and genealogy! Now I know what they mean when they say that Seattle, Washington, our hometown, is a NEW city! Everyone we met knew the history of his or her family, home and state!



Today we walked where others walked
on a lonely, windswept hill;
Today we talked where other cried
For Loved Ones whose lives are stilled.

Today our hearts were touched
by graves of tiny babies;
Snatched from the arms of loving kin,
in the heartbreak of the ages.

Today we saw where the grandparents lay
in the last sleep of their time;
Lying under the trees and clouds -
Their beds kissed by the sun and wind.

Today we wondered about an unmarked spot;
who lies beneath this hollowed ground?
Was it a babe, child, young or old?
No indication could be found.

Today we saw where Mom and Dad lay.
We had been here once before
on a day we'd all like to forget,
But will remember forever more.

Today we recorded for kith and kin
the graves of ancestors past;
to be preserved for generations hence,
a record we hope will last.

Cherish it, my friend; preserve it, my friend,
for stones sometimes crumble to dust
and generations of folks yet to come
will be grateful for your trust.

"Peaceful be thy sleep, dear Annie.
It is sweet to breathe thy name.
In life I loved you dearly,
in death I do the same."

Poem used with author's permission
From Genesee County, NY, web site, 5-10-01

Send comments or suggestions to:
Ernie Miles
Photos Copyright © 2000 Betsy Greenway. All Rights Reserved.