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January 4, 2014

Tracking Matthew Patton

Descendants of Clinton County's oldest man find 19th century ancestor's grave

(Continued)

MOOERS —

Mother and daughter started digging.

“I saw the date he was born and when he died,” Gariepy said. “I kept digging in case of stuff written on the tombstone, and it started to move. My mother grabbed it and started pull it out of the ground. You can see it was cracked. It had broken off from something it was attached to.”

Determined to resurrect their ancestor’s tombstone, they cleaned it with windshield-washer fluid. White insisted they stand it upright.

“I said, ‘You can’t do that,’” Gariepy said. “My mother said, ‘Why not?’ It was pretty neat.”

Trembley was surprised of his mother’s and grandparents’ success in locating Patton’s grave.

“He didn’t come with us, so he didn’t see it,” Gariepy said. “My parents took pictures of the tombstone. It was really amazing. He (Patton) lived that long back then; he was having babies in his 80s. It was very odd. This ancestry thing is amazing.”

Now, Patton’s lineage is at a standstill in Ireland.

“I don’t know if he had kids back in Ireland,” Gariepy said. “He came with his first wife. We’re related to his last wife, Eliza Elizabeth Lacey. She is my great-great-great grandmother. He’s my three-greats-grandfather.”

She hopes some unknown relative in Ireland, Canada or the United States has an image of Patton.

“I’ve been online looking but I can’t find anything. I found a picture of his daughter, Margaret Susan Patton, my great-great grandmother. They weren’t very attractive people back then.”

Gariepy also doesn’t know who Eliza Elizabeth Lacey’s parents were or Patton’s.

“We had no clue we had a grandfather that lived to be that old and had ancestors from Belfast,” Gariepy said.

Her family’s oral history didn’t include Irish ancestry.

“Definitely, I know there is some Irish,” Gariepy said. “Not a lot, just him so far.”

Email Robin Caudell:rcaudell@pressrepublican.com

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