I just discovered a great source (with lots of pictures!) for the Montgomery line of my family tree, which I haven’t spent much time exploring yet. This new source is an old book, available for free on Google books, called “History of the descendants and connections of William Montgomery and James Somerville, who emigrated to America from Ireland, in the opening years of the 19th century” by Frank Montgomery, 1897. There’s so much in this book that I want to go through carefully, but one of my favorite things I’ve found so far is my 5x great grandmother’s (Mary (Grimes) Montgomery) testimony of her Christian faith, along with her photograph. Since my own faith is an important part of my life, I enjoy finding things like this that show that an ancestor too found faith in God to be an important and meaningful part of their life.
Mary Grimes was born in 1784 in Bath County, Virginia. She married Henry Montgomery in 1810, and then they moved to Licking County, Ohio, where she spent the rest of her life until her death on 14 Oct 1865.
Here is Mary’s testimony (from p. 33ff of the book listed above), which is said to be “her own language”:
“When I was quite young my parents moved to Greenbrier, now Pocahontas County, West Virginia, which was then infested by bands of Indians who burned buildings, drove away stock and even killed many of the settlers. My oldest brother, Arthur, was a soldier in the Indian wars, and took part in the great battle at Poing Pleasant, at the mouth of the Kanawha river.
“Among the first ministers of the gospel in that country was that man of God, Rev. James Ward. He often rested a few days at my father’s house. Here he formed his first class, which was composed of myself and two other women. I always called him my father in the gospel. In the year 1803 [when she was about 19], at a camp-meeting, I gave my heart God and my hand to the church. Soon after my conversion, while reading Mr. Wesley’s sermon on ‘Sin in a Believer,’ I greatly desired a deeper work of grace. I sought it night and day, and while at another camp-meeting experienced the blessing of perfect love.”
This testimony seems to be an excerpt of an obituary, which goes on to say that Mary’s funeral procession to Hanover cemetery “was the largest ever witnessed in that part of the country.”