Friday, March 27, 2015

John McLaughlin Vorhies

     John McLaughlin Vorhies (1850-1939) was the son-in-law of Sarah Jane Swartzel Withrow.  He married the second child of Sarah and Joseph. John Mac and Ginevra were married in the spring of 1875 in Jasper County, Iowa.  They moved along with her parents and family to Greene County in 1876.  Ginevra gave birth to their first child, Estella, a month after that move.  This part of the family story has been covered in earlier posts.

     Let's get to know John Mac or J.M. Vorhies as he used as a signature.  Because he lived until 1939, my mom, her siblings, and first cousins knew their great-grandfather.  As a kid and later, I have always heard him called John Mac. The way I have written Mac is purely for pronunciation reasons.  I always wondered what if anything the Mac stood for.  Finally, I have fiqured it out or at least what makes sense to me.  His mother was Jane McLaughlin (1817-1862).  She was born October 21, 1817 in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  I believe he was given his mother's maiden name as his middle name.  I also have several unofficial documents with his name listed as John McLaughlin Vorhies.
     John Mac's father was named John William. He was born in Guernsey County, Ohio on March 29, 1817.  He and Jane married June 15, 1837 in Guernsey County, Ohio. ( I suppose her family had moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio but I will have to look into that)  They had nine children. John Mac's obituary states that, "He was the last of his family to go, having been preceded in death by his parents, three brothers and five sisters."

     According to a previous family historian, John Mac's father owned 400 acres in the southeast corner of section #25 and northeast corner of section # 36 in Lake Prairie Township in Marion County and maybe some in Mahaska County. I have not verified this information as of yet.  I think there could be a lot to discover about John Mac's family if I would ever get in my car and drive to Marion County. 

     I did, however, find the graves of John and Jane Vorhies, my 3rd great grandparents. I had a piece of information that indicated they were buried in Porter Grove Cemetery about 4 miles SE of Pella, Iowa.  On lovely day in 2009 while driving from Springfield, Illinois to my home in Iowa,  I took a little detour, searched, and found Porter Grove Cemetery near Pella. After driving on gravel roads and making a few wrong turns,  I was surprised to find a beautiful and well kept country cemetery.

If you read the photo dates, you might be confused. It is not February. It is August.  My camera calendar was incorrect.

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