More photos from the Old Prophet Cemetery.
There are two family names in this cemetery: Proffit and Catron. The county histories explain the relationships between the two. There were at least two marriages between Proffits and Catrons. Two different Catron men who are buried here had married Proffit women, each woman a daughter of the Adam and Christena Proffit who are also buried here. The Proffits and Catrons originally came from Germany, then lived in Virginia and Tennessee before moving here.
This is a different route for Germans to have arrived in Indiana than the more well known Cincinnati route. (Some of my own German ancestors came to Indiana via Cincinnati.) Googling for additional genealogy information suggests that a lot of Proffits remained behind in Tennessee.
In one place the county histories state that the first two families came in the 1830s; in another the mid 1840s. The land here was a part of the Miami Reserve that was lopped off and ceded to the United States in 1834, so I suppose either is possible. But if this land was put up for sale by the government as soon as possible after the 1834 treaty, I would think it would have all been snatched up by the mid 1840s.
A search on switchboard.com suggests that there may be living descendants in some of the nearby towns and metropolitan areas. Maybe there is a family historian who has more accurate information about this.
Another item caught my eye. One of the Catron-Proffit couples were said to be “earnest and active” members of the Lutheran church. That’s not surprising for people who originated in Germany. But it was the other Catron-Proffit pair who named their youngest son Melancthon. (My comments on a recent American Historical Review article about Martin Luther and Philip Melanchton are in one of my other blogs, in an article titled, “The wide-bodied theology of Martin Luther.”)
I thought those must have been hard-core Lutherans to give their son an uncommon name like that — especially a youngest son. Usually parents have mellowed by the time the youngest comes along. (I mentioned that name to our pastor this morning, and he reminded me that in the movie, Babbette’s Feast, one of the daughters was named for Philip Melancthon. But her name was Philippa, and besides, that’s fiction.) Anyhow, it makes me wonder if there was some other connection in ancient family history that resulted in this name being given.
Well, enough of that.
The above photo shows the south side of the tree line. That’s the path I took back to my bicycle, which I had left next to the road. It would be a lot different trying to walk to the cemetery after the corn has grown tall.
Here are some links I found while looking for the above information:
A genweb compilation of tombstone information from the Proffit cemetery. (It wasn’t hard to find once I knew to search for Proffit instead of Prophet.)
The Indiana Pioneer Cemeteries Restoration Project. (I’d like to support them by buying one of their T-shirts, but I wish they had more color choices.)
YTD mileage: 1030.5