Pilgrimage to Prospect

I spent my day on a pilgrimage—researching my Cronise and Fundenburg ancestors. The journey began with a visit to the Frederick County Historical Society in Frederick, Maryland. And I hit the jackpot! I spent over $60 on photocopies of letters from the 1850’s written to and from my ancestors Catherine Fundenburg and Jacob Cronise who were living in Monrovia, Maryland as well as research notes on both families from a cousin in the 1950’s. I also found a picture of a portrait of Catherine Fundenburg Cronise as well as some of her children.

After paying off my photocopy bill, I drove north of Frederick to the little village of Utica where Catherine and Jacob lived just after they were married. A cousin had written that Jacob’s abandoned mill was still standing in the early 1950’s but I was not able to find it. My guess is that it’s lost to the ages.

My pilgrimage ended in the nearby village of Lewistown where I found the home of Catherine’s parents Walter Fundenburg and Elizabeth Studebaker—“Prospect 1776”, where Catherine was born in 1784 and where she and Jacob married in 1806. The house is still standing and is beautiful. It is now called “Poff’s Prospect”. Walter, Elizabeth and several young Fundenburg and Cronise children are buried in the family plot in the middle of a hay field with a beautiful view of the Catoctin Mountains.

After the owner’s son turned off the electric fence, I walked across the field to visit the graves and took photos of the tombstones. I then enjoyed a nice visit with the current owners of the farm and learned they raise 20 head of Angus cattle, and enough corn to fill the silo to feed the cattle. It is a peaceful spot not far from the busy highway 15. Over the years I have passed by numerous times without realizing the significance that particular farm held for me and my ancestors—our Old Old Old homeplace! And I did feel right at home there. I’m thankful it is still preserved and maintained and used as a working farm after 234 years of continuous residence. This farm passed out of my family many years ago but I still feel a connection to this place today.


About Cindy Jones Nicewarner

I’m on a personal mission to locate my kin, dead or alive—Whatever it takes, wherever it leads, I keep digging until I surface with those hidden golden genealogical gems. I get a thrill from busting through brick walls and mining mysteries. I live for this. Well that and documenting my sources, and keeping meticulous notes, and filing all of my discoveries. This is my thrilling exciting life of a professional genealogist--assembling clues in the never ending quest to discover the deeper profound meaning of our family relationships across the generations.
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2 Responses to Pilgrimage to Prospect

  1. Becky Cumins says:

    Hello Cindy,
    I live in Virginia and have been researching my family history for some time. I am descended from Louisiana Annah Funderburk and recently discovered my Funderburk family about six years ago. We go to the family reunions in Arkansas and have been learning a lot. I am a member of the Frederick Md Historical Society and have been looking for Prospect home for several years. I have been suspicious that I have been driving by the house and cemetery but just today some further research, a trip by the cemetery decorated with a wreath, and your information pretty much confirms it! I have been to Schloss Burg a.d. Wupper five times with my family and to the Cologne Dom where Engelbert (the owner of Schlossburg) and the ArchBishop of Cologne lived. I am going back to the house after reading your email and introduce myself and see if I might see the cemetery. The description of the house is that it was originally painted yellow, had a 1776 cornerstone and was decorated with beautiful German furniture when it was built. Would love to share info with you if you are interested.

    Becky Cumins
    9260 Weathersfield Drive
    Bristow, Va 20136

  2. James Jette says:

    Thank for sharing your pilgrimage to Prospect 1776. I made a stop there on a trip from my home in Cleveland, OH to Washington DC on 4/8/13. Walter’s brother Daniel (1748-1813 and my direct ancestor) probably left the farm in 1810 and eventually settled in Greene County, OH where my grandmother Mary Funderburgh would be born in 1916. Part of of the land Daniel purchased form the US Government in 1810 is still titled to a Funderburgh.

    My visit was unannounced, the gate was closed, and there appeared to be no one at the house so I did not see the cemetery as I’d hoped. It was a beautiful sunny day and I did take several photos from the road. The house and countryside were gorgeous and I felt the same sense of attachment to the place.

    I would be happy to share my photos if you are interested.

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