I live in North Huntingdon township in Pennsylvania. Merle, and the rest of our family, as you mentioned, are from the Helixville/Bedford area of Pennsylvania.
We are obviously cousins of some sort and it would be nice to make a connection.
Since I have been a young child, I have tried to track the movements of Oliver P. Niley. In 1982, my aunt, Mary Lee Quinn, published a small book detailing the descendants of Avery Hinson, the youngest of Oliver Perry Niley/William Hinson and Catherine Miller. I have been hooked on our family's history since then. To the extent that my youngest son is named Oliver after then man we speak of.
I am interested in sharing any information that I may have, but since I have not been able to trace much written information after capture in Vicksburg and jumping off the train in Gallitzin, outside of Altoona, PA, it seems you may actually be able to help lead me in a good direction.
I would appreciate any information you might pass along.
Also, if you have any interest in the home region, I'd like to invite you to our annual family reunion (of Avery's descendants) in the Bedford, PA area. It is always on the 3rd Sunday of August at noon.
Great luck in all your research, it really is such a beautiful and inspiring story. I'm so glad the people take the time to get to know it. God Bless.
Hoping to hear from you,