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Forney Grave Yard
Lancaster County
Pennsylvania  USA

Search Forney Grave Yard:
First NameLast Name

Cemetery notes and/or description:
Photos and detailed information about this gravestone can be viewed at -

The land is bordered to the west by Newport Road (Hwy 772), north by Cocalico Creek Road and south by Oregon Pike Road (Hwy 272).

UPDATE in 2013: David Forney sent the following GPS numbers:

Lattitude: 40° 08' 16.72" N
Longitude: - 76° 13' 07.34" W

NOTE: When I typed in the above Latitude and Longitude numbers they would not be excepted by Find A Grave - I believe they are missing a number or the decimal point is in the wrong place. Or I did it incorrectly. I entered a Latitude and Longitude location by looking at the Satelite map picture - it should be pretty close.
The burials I listed were on page 17 of the cemetery book - more burials may have been on page 16. I also added the ones at the website.


Photos of the Forney Graveyard are courtesy of David Forney.

The following information is from the above website which I pieced together and from a email from David Forney:

1. The map above shows the original land grant warranted to Peter Forney January 19, 1733, and deeded March 14, 1738. His imeadiate neighbors were George Wolf; John Smith, his father in law; Frederick Becker (Aka Baker); and Heinrich Zimmerman (Aka Henry Carpenter). The approximate location of the family grave yard is also shown on the map.

2. The satellite image (shown on Peter Forney's memorial) shows the land its boundaries, and the location of the family grave yard. The area circled to the north was the land owned by Peter Forney's brother, Christian Forney. The land was passed down from Peter Forney to his oldest son Abraham Forney who passed it down to his son Peter Forney who passed it down to Ulrich Burkholder the husband of Peter Forney oldest daughter Ann Catherine Forney. The land has remained in the Burkholder family for over 200 years since until recently when much of it was sold off approximately two or three years ago (2007-2008) and subdivided. The current Burkholder family residents still retain the portion of the land which contained the home of Peter Forney the original land owner, where they operate a flower store.

3. The satellite image above (I did not add this photo) shows the land as it is today (2009) after it was sub divided. The grave yard can be seen in the satellite image. At some point the land that the Forney grave yard sits on became the property of a corporation created by the family to preserve the graveyard. A. Elizabeth Forney in her will written in 1907 bequeathed $400.00 to Zion Luthren Church to maintain the graveyard.

4. Caption for the photo of the Graveyard - The ground around the graveyard appears to be over grown and unkempt, it is unknown how far the deeded land for the graveyard extends beyond the walls of the graveyard.

5. On May 30, 1919 103 members of the Forney family met near Brownstown for a family reunion. During this reunion a monument to the family was unveiled along with numerous improvements to the graveyard. The improvements included the placement of granite field stones to mark the graves of the family members whose headstone could not stand the trials of time. As will be seen the older stones continue to degrade with time.

6. Caption that accompanied the LARGE FORNEY MONUMENT Photo -
The monument commemorates Peter Forney his wife Ann Smith and their acquisition of the land in 1733. Through the tireless efforts of the family descendants Gottfried Fahrni we now have irrefutable proof that Peter Forney was in fact a Swiss immigrant who came to America in about 1727. The name "Forney" was Americanized to English pronunciation from the earliest known Swiss spelling of "Farni". as language rules progressed the swiss spelling ultimately became "Fahrni". There is also strong evidence that Peter Forney and his wife Ann Smith were Amish Mennonites when they arrived in America.

7. Unlike the perimeter of the graveyard, inside the walls the grounds are very well kept.

8. For many years I believed I was directly connected to this line, and in fact I still may be. We hope to have someone from this line contribute a DNA sample to verify. Because I believed this line was the progenitor of my Johann Karl Forney, I spent considerable time researching this line. Few families have such a rich heritage. This line has been advanced beyond belief in the past year due to the efforts of Gottfried Fahrni. Gottfried who is a Swiss native contracted a swiss Genealogist to research his family

As it turns out just as suspected the line of Peter Forney and Anna Schmid are definitely from Switzerland, it appears they may well have been Mennonites. In another interesting twist Peter Forney and Anna Schmid were not the immigrant ancestor but in fact it was his father, Abraham Forney. We also learned that Abraham's wife was not Anna Cash as originally thought, her name was actually Anna Carli. Gottfried has copies of the baptismal records that clearly identify Abraham's wife as Anna Carli. This is just one example of the type of documentation Gottfried has. Baptismal Record for Barbara Forney. There is also one for, Catherine, Anna, and Christian.
One of the things I have been working on is to create an inventory of the Forney grave yard. In the fall of 2009 my sister was in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on business. I asked if she could stop by and take some photographs of the Forney Land and the graveyard. You can see where the grave yard is, and the grave stones here: Forney Grave Yard

Email from David Forney (January 2013) -

"I have researched the 7 principal Forney families for over 25 years, the particular line buried in the "Forney Grave Yard" are what I refer to as the "Lancaster Forney's" I have this line back to the 16th century. They were of Swiss origin however Peter Forney who married Anna Smith may have lived in Germany for a short time before migrating to America. The land upon which this grave yard is located belonged to Peter Forney who married Anna Smith and was warranted to Peter Forney in 1733. The land ultimately passed to Peter's great granddaughter Ann Catharine Forney; who married Ulrich Burkholder. When the grave Stone pictures were taken by my sister in 2010, the Burkholder family still owned the land.
I wanted you to know you have my permission to copy the grave stone pictures and place them on Find a Grave if you like. I am now -- (I removed his age) years old and someday I am quite sure my site will be gone. It would be a travesty for the photos on my site to be lost to future generations.
You will notice on my site are also some stones in the grave yard belonging to the Getz (GETZ / GÖTZ / GOETZ ) family. I have struggled to find how they are connected to the Forney's. I have yesterday received an Email from a Getz descendent who claims to be able to provide the connection. As soon as I get the info I will pass it on and perhaps you can add them to the Find a Grave site. . . . ."
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Forney Grave Yard
Added by: Dana Dancy
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