J. G. Francis & Others

From History and Genealogy of Early Pioneer Families of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, by Rev. Jay Gottwals Francis (1870-1958), edited by Bettie M. Light Behr, Clossen Press, Apollo, PA, 1990. "The East Lebanon Cemetery" pages 13, 18:

Francis quotes a letter from a Mrs. Sadie Gebhard to the Lebanon News, February 1948: ". . . I remember when they were getting the ground ready, how they removed bodies that had been buried on the land, which was farm land; they were buried a long time. We kids stood by and watched the men dig them up. . ."

Francis goes on to quote a conversation with Mrs. Gebhard ". . .there were broken burial boxes which crumbled, broken bones, a hair comb. . .". "She thought there were some graves with tombstones left undisturbed, which had a fence around them." (Perhaps the very stones that were found by Croll and removed in 1894 by Asaph Light?)

Francis' son Willard found a note that suggested J. G. later thought that the John Light who served as secretary for the meeting which drafted the Lebanon Resolves might have actually been another John, the son to II Jacob, 1730. However, the SAR appears to be decorating the grave site of Johannes Licht, 1725/26 (II John Light) if not Johan (who also did not serve according to Francis).

From Francis, page 644: "The immigrant I John Light had d. in 1759, during the French & Indian War. All his sons were living during the Revolution. II Jacob & II Henry above, the two youngest sons, are listed as in the service. II John & II Martin in 1781 had passed their 53rd year & were beyond the age for military service; but you will notice that II John had three sons in the service, the 3 oldest; the three youngest being too young for service. II Martin's son Jacob is in the service, his only other son being too young. II Jacob is h1mself in the service, & so is his only son III John. II Henry of the Fort is in & so are his 2 oldest sons III Henry the Fuller, & III John, a single youth. All of our Lebanon County Lights, 9 in number, of military age in 1781, were in their country's service. It is our contention III John, II Jacob's son, was the John Light who was Secretary of the meeting held in 1774 to protest against British outrages in Boston, of which meeting John Philip DeHaas was chairman."

Francis also writes about Johannes Licht* the immigrant: "John Light and his wife who died in 1758 were likely buried in the Light cemetery at 11th and Monument Sts which in after years became the cemetery of Salem United Bretheran Church. When the bodies were later moved to Ebenezer, the father and mother were left behind, the city of Lebanon in large measure their monument."

Final note from Francis: "III John Light, p. 250, son of II Martin, m. Mary Light...... III John died rather young, age 46 years......He is buried beside his Uncle II John in Ebenezer Cemetery & was doubtless previously buried in the same cemetery with him at 3rd and Lehman Sts. He (III John herewith) had buried a son here---".

From the History of the East Pennsylvania Conference of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ a quote by Dr. P. B. Gobbles:

"As a matter of record., something may be written concerning the burial places of the sainted dead of the congregation. There was a cemetery on the old meeting house plot until the year 1876 when, the dead having been removed, the ground was sold for $1,300 as building lots. In the year 1850 a burial plot--probably the oldest graveyard of the Light family--at Eleventh and Mifflin Streets came under the care of the church trustees through a bequest by the late Joseph Light. In that year the executors of the said Joseph Light, deceased, gave a deed for this plot to the church trustees in trust for the congregation. Four years later the trustees purchased an additional eighty-seven perches adjoining the original plot. In 1880 the trustees were given authority to sell the ground. By that year the congregation had possession of a new cemetery at Ebenezer. In this latter and in Mt. Lebanon Cemetery one can now find the tombstones which once marked the resting place of those interred in the two older cemeteries."

*The spelling of Light as Licht continues on various tombstones and in various records at least through the first five generations and is genealogically appropriate, even though the Revs. Croll and Francis chose not to use it. The marriage record of Martin and Susannah Light (V. Martin, Francis, page 128) is located in the record of the Trinity Tulpehocken Reformed Church: "Martin Licht and Susannah Steckbeck, April 3, 1842 (married by) Rev. Thos. H. Leinbach." Martin's father's gravestone spire at Kimmerling's is carved with both "Johannes Licht" at the base and with "John" on the spire, his will is signed "John Light".

 

Light's Fort

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