An Old Newspaper Clipping

IObedience Ryan Obituaryt is incredibly exciting to find an ancestor’s record. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered the obituary for my paternal 4th great grandmother, Obedience Woodlief Ryan  (1743-1838).

Her husband, Philip Ryan, fought in the Revolutionary War and had died two years earlier.

Obedience’s obituary appeared in the Jan. 27, 1838 edition of Atlanta’s The Southern Banner. What made this find more special is to read about the spiritual heritage she left. I am descended through one of those great, great grandchildren mentioned in the article. Her strong faith in the Lord is an encouragement for her twenty-first century descendants.

Transcript of obituary: “Departed this life on the 25th ult. Mrs. OBEDIENCE RYAN, in her 93 year, a native of Hanover county, Virginia. In 1809 her family moved to Georgia, where she has remained ever since. She was a friend and neighbor of Patrick Henry, whose biography, by Wirt, was put in her hands a few years ago, and afforded her a high intellectual repast. Of the great orator she related several interesting and characteristic anecdotes. She was a woman of strong mind and fond of reading. Such was her familiarity with the sacred Scriptures, that a glance at the beginning of a paragraph, was sufficient to enable her to repeat most of it verbatim. She was a pious member of the Methodist Church. She endured her last illness, which was truly painful, with Christian patience. She was impressed with the conviction at the beginning of her sicknesss, that she was afflicted for the last time. She retained her mind to the last, and expressed great willingness to die, believing her peace made with God, and feeling wonderfully supported by a clear view of her acceptance with the Saviour. When asked by one of her daughters, if any thing pressed upon her mind, she answered, ‘Nothing; I am done with this world.’ Having set her house in order, she was ready to obey her Master’s summons to take her place among the mansions of the blessed. She has left a numerous offspring scattered over the South and West, to mourn her loss; having lived contemporary with a train of great, great grandchildren.”

This entry was posted in Family, Heritage, Scrapbook. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to An Old Newspaper Clipping

  1. Original documents are so precious. Such a surprise finding she was a neighbor of Patrick Henry. Thank you. I love historical stories.


    • Ruth Packard says:

      It was a surprise to find her friendship with Patrick Henry. I found a free online download of the William Wirt book written in 1903. Someday, who knows…maybe at Powells Book Store, I’ll be able to find a copy of the book!

      Thanks for posting!


  2. 6ftmama says:

    “Of the great orator she related several interesting and characteristic anecdotes.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have had those anecdotes passed down? Very special, Ruth. If you ever need help with your family history, I’d be happy to look into a few things for you.


    • Ruth Packard says:

      It would have been nice if all those ancestors kept journals! Who knows? Maybe they did and we have yet to find them! I used to ask and ask about ny heritage. All my dad would tell me is that we came from a long line of horse thieves!! I began research when I heard my mother telling our 12 yr old daughter about our Irish heritage. Excuse me?! Why was I not told this!

      Since then, I have found 14 great plus grandfathers who all fought in the Revolutionary War! I now research with cousins I have found online…one lives only an hour away! The research is probably now my favorite pastime! Check out my post called 500 Years Later (posted Dec 2012).

      If you are ever in Seattle, check out the 9th floor of the Library. It’s all genealogy!


  3. Julia says:

    What a great find, but more so to read an obituary that actually told you what a wonderful person she was. Oh, to be spoken so well of…


  4. Ethan Billhime says:

    Those are really cool to find. A friend of mines dad was cleaning out an old house and found a newspapaer somewhere in the house. He read a little bit of it and found it was from roughly 1953. It had a list of people who were entering the armed forces, and turns out, my friends great Uncle (I think it was his great Uncle) was listed in that paper. They put a star by it, framed it, and it is hanging on the wall in his parents bedroom.


  5. Nea says:

    Thank you for sharing this treasure.


  6. Michele says:

    This is so special! I love the uniqueness of what is shared in this Obit.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s