Sunday, August 18, 2013

The senior Waynicks: Peter and Susannah

As seems only fair, Waynicks occupy the highest ground in the cemetery southwest of Chariton that bears their surname, from Nancy Ellen (Waynick) Davis and her family on the west to Lulu (Waynick) Crozier and her infant child on the east.

More than 50 family members are gathered there around the graves of Peter and Susannah Waynick, patriarch and matriarch of the Lucas County family.

Susannah survived only two years after arriving in Lucas County from Indiana in 1850, dying just after Christmas 1852, age 54. Although her husband, Peter, survived considerably longer, until 1864, it is extremely difficult to characterize either. 

No local histories contain accounts of their lives, many of their children died relatively young and descendants scattered like buckshot. With them, went the stories.

We do know that both Peter and Susannah were born in North Carolina, Peter on or about March 5, 1794, and Susannah, 4 October 1798. Guildford County is mentioned most often in relation to them, but the family was living in nearby Orange County, census records show, during 1830. 

Waynick is an anglicised version of a German name, Wenig, according to historians of other family branches. George Wenig reportedly arrived in Philadelphia on Sept. 27, 1752, aboard the ship "Nancy," which had sailed from Rotterdam. He settled near Hanover, Pennsylvania with his wife, Julianna.

Two of their sons, Ludwig and Daniel, migrated from Pennsylvania to Guilford County, North Carolina, settling on Reedy Fork Creek near Greensboro in 1790. Daniel had married Elizabeth and they had eight children, including Peter.

Sometime during the late teens of the 19th century, Peter and Susannah Broom were married, probably in Guilford County, and North Carolina remained their home for perhaps 15 years. The last of the Waynick children to be born in North Carolina, Orela Ann, arrived on May 2, 1831, and not long after the family set out for Indiana.

Their destination was Warren Township in west central Putnam County, just south of the county seat, Greencastle. U.S. General Land Office records show that Peter entered his first tract of land in Putnam County during July of 1832.

Although Putnam county histories acknowledge that Peter and Susannah were among the first settlers of Warren Township, further details are lacking. It is an undocumented family tradition that Peter, a staunch Methodist, was among the early trustees of Indiana Wesleyan University (now DePauw University), founded by Methodist preachers in Greencastle during 1837.

But the only documented connection with DePauw involves the youngest Waynick son, McGrady Clay, who returned to Indiana to obtain a college degree and training as a Methodist preacher there.

In all, Peter and Susannah would have a dozen children who survived infancy. Gaps in the birth sequence suggest that there were others, who died young.

Older sons Wyatt W., Iverson D. and William D. blazed the trail west to Lucas County, arriving in June of 1848. Daniel D. and his sister, Louisa J., followed during 1849; and Susannah, Peter and the younger children followed in 1850. Peter's first land claims in Section 1 of Warren Township were entered during September of 1850.

When the first Methodist preaching services were held in Chariton by the Rev. E.L. Briggs during 1851, Peter, Susannah and their daughters Orela and Nancy Ellen, were there and were listed as charter members of the Methodist congregation that he organized.

As noted earlier, the Waynicks' daughter, Orela Ann, died during the family's second year in Lucas County, at age 20 on Sept. 20, 1851, and hers was the first burial on the point of land that became Waynick Cemetery, owned by her brother-in-law and sister, Samuel A. and Louisa J. (Waynick) Francis. Most likely, the Francis cabin was just south of burial site. Peter and Susannah and their younger children were living nearby.

Just after Christmas the next year, on Dec. 29, 1852, Susannah Waynick died at age 54 and was buried beside her daughter.

By the time the 1860 census of Lucas County was taken, Peter --- then in his late 60s --- and his youngest son, McGrady, were living with their son and brother, Iverson H. Waynick and family, in Chariton Township, northeast of Peter's 1850 claim.

Peter died four years later, in his 71st year, on August 24, 1864, and was buried by Susannah's side. Their remarkably well-preserved tombstones survive, but there are few other traces of them now in Lucas County.

No comments: