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REPORT OF ELEVENTH ANNUAL MOCK FAMILY HISTORIAN CONFERENCE

Fort Wayne, IN

October 5-7, 2001

This year, the eleventh annual Mock Family History Conference was held in Fort Wayne, IN. The dates were October 5-7, 2001. Once again on Friday evening, Mock Family Historian members, spouses and families gathered at the MFH Hospitality Suite in the Fort Wayne Hilton for an evening of getting acquainted and exchanging family material. It's always nice to see new faces. Special thanks to Gene Andert who co-ordinated with the hotel, arranging for the meeting rooms, the hospitality suite and the traditional Saturday night buffet supper. Martha Barnhart, who lives near Fort Wayne and a first time attendees, volunteered to pick up the refreshments for the Friday night gathering and wonderful pastries for Saturday and Sunday morning meetings. We were all very well fed! Martha came early and stayed late, helping to set up and clean up. Thanks again, Martha!.

Saturday meetings were devoted to our four speakers, each with an interesting and informative topic.

John Beatty or the Allen County Public Library, in Fort Wayne, spoke on the German Resources in the Libraries collection. Beatty noted that "More than a quarter of all Americans claim at least some German ancestry. The overwhelming majority of this group traces descent from the large group of German ancestors who entered the United States from 1850 to 1890."

Gene Andert presented a history of the "Soldier" George Mock family, covering the years from 1750 to 1910. George Mock was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, a member of the Seventh Pennsylvania Regiment, under Major Sam Hay. His Revolutionary War Discharge Papers are preserved in the keeping of current family members. George Mock held property in Bedford County, PA. His Will was executed there in 1810. Four of George Mock's children moved in the early 1800s from Bedford County, PA to Tuscarawas County, Ohio and from there to northern Indiana between 1835 and 1850. Michael Mock settled with his family in Elkhart County, IN; while John Mock, George Mock Jr. and Catherine Mock Engel settled in Kosciusko County, IN. Gene Andert is a descendent of John Mock and is the County Coordinator for the Kosciusko County, IN USGenWeb project.

Steve Lapp spoke on Early Mock Families of Indiana. Steve noted that..."in less than seventy years, from 1800 to just after the Civil War, persons bearing the surnames "Mock", "Mauck", "Mack", and "Muck" had settled in almost half of the counties in Indiana. They numbered in the many hundreds and probably over a thousand." Steve closed his talk with this story: Originally I told Barbara Dittig that I would speak on the Mocks of Indiana and Iowa - So I'll conclude by telling an Iowa farm story. Week before last , on a Monday afternoon, I drove way out in the country on a dirt road to a farmhouse in the middle of Monroe County, Iowa. I spied a farmer in the old barn at the end of the driveway, so I drove on up and got out. A Boarder Collie barked at me and I introduced myself to the farmer and told him I heard there was an old Watson graveyard somewhere nearby. He said, "Yes sir", and pointed out in his pasture, over a ravine, where a big bull was chewing on grass. "Mind if I take a look?" I asked. "Help yourself" he said, as he pointed out the way. "The bull won't hurt you." I gave him a dubious look and he offered to walk out there with me. We climbed over a couple barbed wire fences and trudged up a little rise in the field. The farmer pointed to some stones and a couple of granite monuments laying sideways in the grass. "You know," he says, "I been livin' here since 1945 and I believe you're the first person to ever come along and ask about them old graves." I walked over to the largest monument, got down on my knees and strained my neck to read: Isaac Watson b. May 28, 1816 d. Sep 1, 1883: Zeralda Watson his wife b. 1823 d. 29 Oct 1892 It was a four sided stone with "Margaret Watson" written on the opposite face. "Those are my great-great grandparents" I told the farmer. I proceeded to take some photographs of the Watson Graveyard and then accompanied the farmer back to his house where I loaded some photos of Zerelda and Margaret and other Watsons onto his new computer and gave him a copy of my family tree. He than told me "My wife will be real interested to finally know who those people are, buried in our back yard." We exchanged e-mail addresses, I thanked him for his time and effort, got in my car and drove off. Zerelda Mock Watson is the reason I became a part of this group of Mock Family Historians. I have his strange desire to keep something more alive than just those cold granite stones lying flat in some farmer's pasture, marking lives unknown, forgotten and unvisited. I know who they were! I know where they came from and what became of their children! I know and I care - we care! Thank you very much.

J. Douglas Mack spoke on Surnames, Their Origin and Changes. In his talk, he introduced DNA studies related to genealogy to the Mock Family History researchers.

The highlight of Saturday night's supper was the announcement of this year's recipient of the Mock Family Historian special award. James P. (JP) Mock. Ron Moore spoke of JP's years of outstanding and detailed research of the Mauck/Mauk/Mock/Muck/Mack families of early Virginia. JP was able to put together most Mauck families in early Virginia into family groups - all documented! This was a tremendous study using multiple types of records such as wills, deeds, marriage records, probate records, bible records, census and printed genealogies. He has about five generations of each of these families on his web page. Click here to visit the Mauck, Mauk, Mock Families of Virginia


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Gene Andert

2002 Mock Family Historian