John and I have just returned from a Bushman Family Reunion in Pennsylvania, where we celebrated the lives of my 3rd Great-grandparents, Martin and Elizabeth Degen Bushman. Martin Bushman was born here in 1802. His parents, Abraham and Ester Frank Bushman were also born here in the 1760s. The Bushman families had land in Gettysburg and Lancaster County. It was thrilling to walk where they walked and visit many of the cemeteries where family members rested.
We began our trip in Philadelphia, where we visited Independence Hall and the Old Town.We also visited the docks where my 5th Great-grandpa, Hans Heinrich (John Henry) Bushman landed when he came to America in 1753. He fought in the American Revolution.We visited Gettysburg, learned about what happened there, and visited the farms of my ancestors.Here is an account of 10-year-old Sadie Bushman, of Gettysburg, who helped comfort a wounded soldier:
This is a photograph of surgeon Benjamin Lloyd:This is one of the saws the surgeons used to amputate limbs:
These women were my women:
Here is another treasure we found in the Gettysburg museum:Here I am at Samuel Bushman’s home, which still stands in the battlefields of Gettysburg:
I finally got to meet a dear friend, Ellie Johnson. We’ve corresponded over the years about Elizabeth Degen’s Bible. She inherited this treasure and brought it to show.Ellie is showing this Bible to Richard and Claudia Bushman, our special guests.
We visited the Rock Ford Plantation, where all of Martin and Elizabeth’s children were married. Our family members were tenant farmers on this plantation.
Our group participated in the dedication of this memorial for our family members here.
We also enjoyed visiting Amish country–their markets and their farms.
Another highlight of the trip included a musical tribute to Elizabeth Degen Bushman that had us all in tears.
And we visited several cemeteries where our family members were laid to rest.Cherry and Bernard Silver, dear friends:
The Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, where Henry Bushman and Barbara Trout were married in 1764. They are my 5th Great-grandparents.
Another special guest, Elder John K. Carmack joined us.Historians, Claudia Bushman and Cherry Bushman Silver:
Visiting family grave sites at the Willow Street Mennonite Church & Cemetery:
Finding other family burial grounds in Amish farm lands:
I loved Ever Single Minute of this family reunion. I have returned home with a heart full of love for my ancestors and for their descendants. I met so many cousins! More than 200 family members from all over the country attended. I was the only one there representing Jacob Bushman’s line. He is one of the sons of Martin and Elizabeth, I love them, and their families, now more than ever!
I’m posting all of my photos on the Martin and Elizabeth Degen Bushman Family Organization Facebook page.