Year by Year with Rev. Jeremiah Mark Carvell, Ph.D

Jeremiah Mark Carvell, my great-great grandfather!  He was born near McKees Half Falls, Pennsylvania.  Ever heard of it?  Didn’t think so!  Heading north up the Susquehanna River on the way to Williamsport, you’ll find it.  . . . but only if you don’t blink!

2 – number of sisters he had.  Joseph Britton Carvell and his first wife, Rebecca Mark, had a total of five children.  The first child, a baby girl, died in infancy, as did a brother, Josiah, born after Jeremiah. Two sisters, Lydian and Mary Ann were also younger than Jeremiah.

4 – age he was when his mother died.  Rebecca died in November of 1847, months after the birth of Mary Ann.  She is probably buried in Grubbs Graveyard in the Port Trevorton area, Snyder County, Pennsylvania.

9 – number of months it took his father to remarry.  In September of 1848, Joseph married Mary Hyle.  He was 29, she was 27.

12 – number of step-brothers and sisters he had.  Joseph and Mary, were the parents of,  in birth order, Richard, Robert, William, Cyrus, Jerome, Thomas, Benjamin, Joseph, Phoebe, Hannah, Elmer and Charles.  The family lived in Thompsontown, Juniata County.

1843 – year Jeremiah Mark Carvell was born.  His middle name was his mother’s maiden name.  He was born, the first son of Joseph and Rebecca Carvell, on March 3, 1843.  Out of five children born to this marriage, he was the oldest and only son to live to maturity.

1862 – year he enlisted in the Pennsylvania Infantry.  He enlisted at Harrisburg as a private, 6 August 1862, in Capt. A.B. Demaree’s Company I, 133d Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry.  He saw action at the  second battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and mustered out of service, at the expiration of the term of enlistment on 20 August 1863.

Picture was probably taken between enlistments.  Taken by nephew, Ray Jeremiah Carvell

Civil War Picture of Jeremiah Mark Carvell, Ph.D

1864 – year he re-enlisted in Civil War Service.   He enlisted in Carlisle, this time, on 31 August 1864, in Co. A, 9th Pennsylvania Veteran Cavalry.  He was discharged in Lexington, NC on 29 May 1865 at the close of the war.  He had seen action in as he marched to the sea in Georgia with Wm T. Sherman and rec’d wounds severe enough to be hospitalized in Hilton Head, SC.

1866 – year he made the decision to enter the ministry.  He started his ministry as an “Itinerant” Preacher, for the Church of God, starting in Perry County, and continuing down to Cumberland County, to Franklin County and east to Philadelphia.  He eventually ended up in Harrisburg, Middletown,  and back to Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.

1866 – year when he married Mary Jane Ziegler Gantt, a widow, in Dauphin, Pennsylvania.  She had been widowed since 1863 and brought a young daughter, Rosa Viola, to the marriage.

Marriage Certificate for Jeremiah M. and Mary Jane Z. Carvell

Marriage Certificate for Jeremiah M. and Mary Jane Z. Carvell

1867 – year he became a father for the first time.  His first child, Minnie May was born in Pleasant Grove, Lancaster County and died shortly after birth.

1868 – year he became a father for the second time.  Carrie Virginia was born in Newville, Cumberland County, on May 2nd of this year.  She was my great-grandmother, and the only one of Jeremiah and Mary Jane’s children to survive infancy.

1869– year he became a father for the third time.  Annie Lenora lived 8 short months, leaving the family to grieve for yet another child.  She was born in Bainbridge, Lancaster County and died in Palmyra, Lebanon County.

1874 – year his first son was born.  James Edgar Augustine was born in April 30th in York County, and died in September 1875 in Altoona, Blair County.  Mary Jane never fully recovered from the loss of her son.

1879– year he became a widower.  In February of this year Mary Jane died in Philadelphia.  Jeremiah had just become the Minister of the Philadelphia Germantown Church the year before.  Mary’s body was put on a train to Newport, Perry County, accompanied by Jeremiah and his daughters.  Her funeral was held in the Presbyterian Church in Newport, and her body laid to rest next to her first husband, Joseph Don Lobaugh Gantt. Jeremiah never remarried.

Mary Jane Ziegler Gantt Carvell, probably taken about the time of their marriage

Mary Jane Ziegler Gantt Carvell, probably taken about the time of their marriage

1885 – year when he received an A.M. from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.  According to a letter in file from the college, they bestowed an honorary degree on Jeremiah M. “Carvill.”  Throughout his life, his passion was learning.  His common school education was at the Millerstown Academy and after service in the Civil War continued in Markleysville.  He had tutors to continue studying philosophy, science, religion and classical studies.  According to his obituary, he began post-graduate work in philosophy at Wooster University in Ohio, “which he successfully completed in 1887, receiving his degree of Doctor of Philosophy.”  His passion for education is evidenced by his being one of the incorporators of Findlay College, in Findlay, Ohio.  Mention of this is made in “The History of Hancock County, Ohio.”

1894 – year he joined his wife and young children in glory.  His was a long, drawn out illness.  According to his veteran’s file, he died of cancer.  He did not leave his bedroom at the home of his step-daughter, the last month or two of his life. His obituary was a column and a half, full of accolades and details of his many accomplishments in life.

Springhill Cemetery, Shippensburg, PA

Springhill Cemetery, Shippensburg, PA

In addition to everything chronicled above, he served for many years on various boards and committees of the East Pennsylvania Eldership of the Church of God. He was actively involved in the organization of the Chatauqua at Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania, of which his great-great-grandaughter (me!) takes advantage of today!  He was also a member of the Dauphin County Bible Society, was Chaplain of the Grand Lodge Royal Arch Masons of Pennsylvania, a member of I.O.O.F. and the Valley Encampment and Grand Army Post of Shippensburg; past master of Big Spring Lodge of Masons at Newville, P.H.P. of No. 71 Royal Arch Chapter at Carlisle and P.E.C. of St. John’s Commandery at CarlisleWhew!

This picture was taken during his tenure in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

This picture was taken during his tenure in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

I probably know more about this man than any of my other ancestors.  His life is very well documented in newspaper archives, and books, letters, pictures and documents saved by the family.  This man, my great-great grandfather, truly walked his talk!

I wish I had known him in person.


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