"Till the Break of Day": Philip Gatch and Some Descendants Through Three Centuries

"Till the Break of Day": Philip Gatch and Some Descendants Through Three Centuries
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Following the history of the Gatch family during the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, Milton McC. Gatch traces a quintessentially American story. Arriving in Maryland as indentured servants, the Gatches quickly became prosperous farmers adhering to the established Episcopal [Anglican] church. When Methodism was introduced, young Philip Gatch was converted and led his whole family into the new religious persuasion. As a circuit rider, he experienced persecution, and in Virginia during the Revolution he led an effort to establish an American Methodist church. At the end of the century, he took his family to the slavery-free territory across the Ohio River. There the family participated in the development of the village of Milford and of the state. They continued to be very active in the Methodist Church, which progressively became more settled and acculturated as a mainstream denomination. In the twentieth century, the Gatches continued to maintain their farms but earned their living in Cincinnati. Philip Gatch’s great-great-great grandson, torn between life on the farm and the culture of the city, became an Episcopalian, returning to the tradition that his ancestor had rejected. His turn coincided with the end of the family’s rural life as the farms were overwhelmed by urban growth and younger generations moved elsewhere.
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