This week I will be featuring this small quaint cemetery, located in the town of Buckner about 28 miles east of Kansas City. The grounds of the cemetery is dotted with so many large trees that almost every stone is in the shade!
I have two ancestors buried here. My maternal Grandparents.
John Pleasant Smith Sr was born on September 8, 1882, in Hazel Hill, Johnson County Missouri. He is the only son born to Pleasant Smith (1853-1893) and Sarah Jane Page (1860-1938). He was raised by his mother as his father deserted the family shortly after he was born. He married Ella McGowan (1888-1921) on September 17, 1904, in Lexington. Lafayette County, Missouri. They had 6 children, 3 sons, and 3 daughters. John held several jobs throughout his life. He was a farmer, a grave digger, a coal miner, and a carpenter. After the death of his wife Ella, he married Nellie Jane Barrett (1879-1948) on May 8, 1926. After Nellie Jane died he then married Nellie Robinson (1885-1987) on February 15, 1949. John died at a hospital in Independence MO. He died from a broken neck after 5 days in the hospital. His 3rd wife Nellie had pushed him over a lawn mower which resulted in the neck breaking. He died on June 25, 1968 at the age of 85.
Ella E. McGowan was born on September 17, 1904, in Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri. She is the oldest of 8 children born to John Henry McGowan (1863-1957) and Asenath “Dolly” Walt (1863-1931). She had 2 brothers, and 5 sisters. She married John Pleasant Smith (1882-1968) on September 17, 1904, in Lexington. Lafayette County, Missouri. They had 6 children, 3 sons, and 3 daughters. Ella was born with Valvular heart disease and had to be careful with overdoing it her entire life. The strain of having 6 children in 14 years was too much for her condition. She died of a heart attack on November 19, 1921, at the age of 33.
I have always felt out of place when my friends and I have talked about Genealogy. We would share about our parents and in most cases, I would discover that my parents were older than most of theirs. As an example, when I was 10 years old my Dad was 50 years old and my mother was 46 years old.
When I started researching my family tree, I discovered a shocking fact. All of my Grandparents were way older than any of my friends Grandparents were. Here is the break down of both my maternal and paternal Grandparents and their ages.
John Pleasant Smith
On my maternal side my Grandfather is John Pleasant Smith. He was born on September 8, 1882. That made him 73 years old when I was born, and he was 86 when he died in 1967. My Grandmother is Ella McGowan. She was born on November 6, 1888. She was just 33 years old when she died in 1921. That means she died 34 years before I was born.
Charley and Virginia
On my paternal side my Grandmother is Virginia Belle Hayes. She was born on March 18, 1880. She died in 1951 at the age of 71. She died 4 years before I was born. My Grandfather is Charles “Charley” Hughes. He is my biggest dilemma. I do not have a definite date of birth for him. His Headstone says he was born in 1868, his death certificate says 1865, my Aunt Margaret’s hand-written genealogy says 1864, the page from the Hughes Family Bible says 1861 and the family tree in my baby book says he was born in 1867. So depending on which date is correct he was born between 87 and 94 years before I was born. He died in 1944.
Because of the ages of all my Grandparents, their children were born between 1900 and 1919. I have no living Aunts nor Uncles. The last one died 34 years ago. I have one living first cousin on my maternal side and 2 on my paternal side that are still alive. All 3 male cousins are much older than I. That is just 3 of the over 50 first cousins that I had.
I know that there is probably a lot of people who can say their Grandparents were much older than most of their peers Grandparents. I just find it fascinating that all of my Grandparents were so much older than the norm!