I am a 7th generation descendant (granddaughter) of Mark York and his 1830’s tavern still stands in Rockford thanks to the efforts of the Rockford Preservation Society. Since I first visited the tavern in 2003, the society has worked diligently to raise money and awareness to save this historic building along with several other historic buildings in the village.
Over Labor Day weekend, they pulled off the impossible inviting descendants from several families who lived and worked in Rockford during the 1700 and 1800s all to sit down for a Rockford Family Reunion complete with dinner, music, exchange of historic documents and tours.
I cannot tell you how amazing it felt to meet my relatives from Ohio, Virgina and even Yadkinville all connected by a single man - Mark York. We are seven generations removed on paper, but so bonded over the York's family history. I am from the Adam line. He left his baby son Martin after his wife died with relatives in Grassy Creek and rode to Fairview, Arkansas to start a new life as a farmer. He had eight more children and died 1921. My new found relatives and the Preservation Society provided me with photos. For the first time, I saw pictures of his son James Martin York and his family. I was also able to find his tombstone and would very much to connect with his side of the family.
I cannot say enough good things about the Rockford Preservation Society. Even though grant money has dried up, they continue to find ways to raise money, to stablize buildings, to paint and keep the grass mowed. They are truly a testament to the spirit of historic preservation and deserve all the support that we family descendents from Rockford and the community can give them.
Ms. Shannon Cavanaugh
Folly Beach, S.C.