Update: OT Professor Reuel Keith
Dennis Earle is descended from Unite Kieth, the brother of Reuel, who is his 4th great grandfather on his mother's side. All of the following information and photography comes from Dennis Earle. He also recommends a very interesting Website called "Find a Grave," to which he has contributed (click here).
Reuel Keith was born in Pittsford Vermont June 26th 1792 and died in Sheldon, Vermont, September 2nd 1842. He is now buried behind the Grace Episcopal Church in the little town of Sheldon.
The Keith's were quite prosperous there. A few of the brothers were iron-workers, building and operating blast furnaces. Most of their product was large cast iron kettles that people would travel long distances to purchase. These were used for making potash, which was one of the major exports and cash crop of Vermont in trading with Canada.
Keith's publications include the 1836 English translation of Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg’s book Christologie des Alten Testaments, “Christology of the Old Testament.” He graduated from Vermont’s Middlebury College in 1814, the college where Kate Sonderegger, now on the VTS faculty, used to teach.
Keith studied for the ordained ministry under John Prentiss Kewly Henshaw, he was ordained deacon on May 10, 1817, and became assistant to the rector at St. John's, Georgetown, D.C. (Evidently, several of those villages were then known as being within the District of Colombia?) This he resigned in 1820 to accept the chair of humanity and history at William and Mary college. Then, from about 1823 he was a professor at Virginia Theological Seminary until about 1840. During this same period, he received the degree of D. D. (Doctor of Divinity) from Middlebury College in 1827.
Grave stone showing "D.D." degree (actual photo):
It also interesting is that Keith officiated at Robert E. Lee’s wedding June 30th, 1831! (See R. E. Lee: A Biography by Douglas Southall Freeman, page 106, as well as foot note). Dennis Earle adds that he was most delighted to learn this, being a student of the war of the rebellion and having Paternal roots in Arkansas--his father was born and raised there and he has distant family members who fought and died for the south. He is completely dumbfounded as there are many Keith family Genealogists past and present and this is the first he has heard of the fascinating life of Reverend and Doctor Reuel Keith. He can only speculate as to the reason for this (apparent) omission by Keith Genealogists and wonder if it had to do with hard feelings about the war and was at some time past purposely buried, so to speak.
Thank you for this rich information and for the photographs, Dennis!