#22 Mary DeBolt ~ 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks

I’m back to blogging about my family history after a brief-ish summer hiatus! It’s so busy at home with my girls not in school or daycare and we have so many fun adventures and are also gearing up for a big Disney trip this fall, but now I’m hoping to get back on track with my blogging and catch up with everyone else. I’m 11 weeks behind though! yikes. Anyhow here is my next ancestor who is my husband’s 5 times great grandmother on his mother’s side.

Mary Debolt was born in Lancaster Co, PA on March 4, 1748 to Hans Michael DeBolt (1723-1788) and Elizabeth Burt (1723-1789). Mary’s grandmother, Mary Seaworth Chartier was the daughter of Martin Chartier (1659-1725) and his Shawnee wife Sewatha Straight Tail (1660-1759). Mary DeBolt married Ephraim Walters Sr. (1744-1835) around 1769/70. The two had 10 children, George Washington Walters, Elizabeth, John, Ephraim Walters Jr., Andrew, Jacob, Mary, Henry, Aaron, Charity. The two originally settled in Virginia where their oldest son George was born. Soon after his birth they moved to Fayette Co., PA. Mary DeBolt was a pioneer nurse, doctor and midwife among both the white settlers and Native Americans in the area now known as Fayette Co., PA. Family stories state that she would ride a pony to see her patients and that “she always took the most direct route, often having to jump small fences along the way.”

Mary DeBolt Walters died in the home of her daughter Mary in Greene Co., PA on December 18, 1842. She was 94 years old. She is buried in Jacob’s Lutheran church beside her husband Ephraim Sr.

I love to imagine her cantering over the hillsides and through the woods to give aid to those her were in pain. I also love that she was a doctor to Native American people, which I imagine might not have been very common at this time.  This is also amazing given the fact that her husband’s father, and three youngest siblings had been killed by a tribe of Native Americans on their farm in West Virginia. The four oldest children were taken by the tribe and raised as their own. Ephraim and his sisters Rebecca and Mary eventually left the tribes they were with. Ephraim’s brother John decided to go back to Native American culture after some time back with the Whites as he disapproved of the ways of the Whites. Mary’s husband, Ephraim, joined a militia where he taught the soldiers how to fight Native Americans as he knew their techniques and tactics. I do wonder how he and Mary came to terms with their differences. Was this something they ever talked about? Did he agree with her helping the very same people he was fighting?


And here’s a page for Mary DeBolt:


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