Tombstone ~ 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks ~ #21

SONY DSCSince January of this year I have been writing a weekly blog called “Thursday at the Cemetery”, and my first thought was, “I have tons of tombstones saved, this should be easy!”. Then I realized, I needed all those photos for future blogs, “insert sad face here!” So, I decided to go in a different direction.

I have always loved cemeteries, especially old ones with all the ancient stones that seemed to have some character to them. Growing up my family would visit the local Cemetery at least once a month, taking flowers or potted plants for the people we knew. My Mom would even pack a picnic lunch and we would sit on wooden benches in one section of the grounds and eat our sandwiches. I thought this is what everyone did and as a result, I never developed a “fear” of Cemeteries.

Obviously taking pictures of Headstones for “Find-a-Grave” came naturally for me. I find a gravehave taken 1000s of photos since I first started doing it 6 years ago. My daughter and two Grandsons often accompany me and the boys tend to ask a lot of questions. “Why does that one have a tree on it?” “Do all Cemeteries have grass like this?” “How come that one is completely covered with cement?”

To be honest, they have asked some questions that I didn’t have an answer for, so I had to spend some time researching. As I was looking for answers to their questions I even came up with some facts I had often wondered about myself. Here are some of the interesting facts that I discovered:

1. Before the 19th Century, there were no actual Graveyards. Most people were buried on Church_Building_and_Cemeterytheir family property or just outside the town limits. Later they began to bury people in the Churchyard which were usually fenced in and they felt very desolate. By the mid 19th Century most Churchyards were getting full and more people were living in larger towns. As a result, they began setting aside land specifically for Cemeteries. These were well maintained and had grass, trees, and flowers giving it a “park-like” feel. It was then that people began the tradition of picnicking in the Cemetery.

2. Up until the 18th Century, a lot of graves were covered by iron cages called “mortsafes”mortsafe or were totally covered with stones. There are 4 reasons given for this tradition:

* To keep animals from digging up the corpse

* To keep people from walking or sitting on the graves

* To keep the deceased from becoming a vampire or zombie

* To keep the grave from being ravaged by grave robbers.

3. Headstone engravers faced their own “Y2K problem” when still-living people, as many as 500,000 in the United States alone, pre-purchased headstones with pre-carved death dates beginning 19–.

wooden HS4. During the Civil War, the headstones were made of wood and cost about $1.73 apiece. After discovering that the wood deteriorated over a 5 year period and realizing how much it would cost to replace them so often they decided that they should be replaced with a more permanent marble or galvanized iron marker.

5. Arlington Cemetery began as a Cemetery for Union Soldiers only. In 1898, Presidentarlington William McKinley, a former Union soldier, spoke in Atlanta, Georgia, and said, “In the spirit of Fraternity it is time for the North to share in the care of the graves of former Confederate soldiers.” In consequence of his speech, by an act of the United States Congress, a portion of Arlington National Cemetery was set aside for the burial of Confederate soldiers. At this time 267 Confederate remains from and near Washington, DC was removed and re-interred at this new site at Arlington

6. There are several reasons that there are many unmarked graves:

* If the deceased was a bad person.

* If the deceased was an executed criminal.

*If the deceased was a pauper.

* If the deceased wanted anonymity.

skull-and-crossbones7. Puritans who were known for their tremendous piety, often had that Skull and Crossbones put on their Headstones. It was a reminder that they had gone to Heaven but if you did not believe as they did you would go to hell. It was called a “Memento Mori” which is Latin for “Remember that you will die”.

8. Many famous people made the decision to be buried in unmarked graves for a variety of reasons. Among those who chose no markings are John Wayne, George C. Scott, Frank Zappa, Roy Orbison, Mozart, Bessie Smith, and John Belushi.

9. You can learn a lot about the deceased by the symbols displayed on their Headstone. symbol_bird_gravestoneDuring Colonial times the person’s occupation was depicted by symbols. A gardener may have a shovel or rake, a carpenter may have a saw and a sheriff may have a star. There were also symbols for those who died young, mothers, lost their lives in a battle, or who were martyred.

Regardless of how a person feels about Cemeteries and burial plots, it would be impossible to work on your Family History without having to deal with them.

OH, BY THE WAY…..I haven’t “picnicked” in a Cemetery since I was 12 years old!

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday at the Cemetery ~ High Point Cemetery ~ Hughesville, Pettis Co, MO Part 2

pic TATCI just completed a 4-week look at a cemetery in Lexington, MO where many of my ancestors are buried. I decided I would do the same with High Point Cemetery because, once again, I have a multitude of relatives buried here. High Point Cemetery was established in 1870.Hugh Point Cem sign This plot of land was organized as the First Old School Presbyterian Church in Pettis County in 1856 the congregation built a 60’x40’ brick church on this site. It cost between 4 & 5,000 dollars to build. The church was divided by the civil war and the building was demolished in 1877. All that is left of the building is the cement foundation. The cemetery surrounds the foundation.

Hugh Point Cem

 For the next few weeks, I will be highlighting a few of my ancestor’s headstone and give a little biography about each one.

 

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Roy Lee Hughes, my 1st cousin once removed, was born on July 18, 1891, in Malta Bend, Missouri. He was the 5th child born to Henry Siegel (1862-1919) and Myrtle Stella (Joslin) (1864-1934) Hughes. Roy had 4 brothers and 6 sisters. He served in the Army during WWI. After returning home he married Sallie Sarah Anthony (1894-1972) on October 8, 1921, in Sedalia, Pettis Co., MO. They had 4 sons and 5 daughters. He worked as a laborer on the Railroads in 1920 and by 1930 he owned his own farm. In 1940 Roy was working at the local Rock Quarry as a rock breaker. Roy died at the age of 76 on September 24, 1968, in Kansas City, Jackson Co., MO at the Veterans Hospital, and was buried with his ancestors in High Point Cemetery.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASallie Sarah Anthony, my 1st cousin’s wife, was born on August 15, 1894 in Morgan Co., MO to Wallace and Mary (Stephenson) Anthony. They had a total of 9 children. Sallie died on July 14, 1972 at the age of 79. She and Roy had been married for 46 years.

 

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Lee Roy Hughes, my 2nd cousin, was born on March 19, 1928, in Houstonia, Pettis Co., MO. He was the 3rd child of 11 born to Roy Lee and Salle Sarah (Anthony) Hughes. He had 3 brothers and 5 sisters. He married Mildred Allene Goolder on April 24, 1946, in Sedalia, Missouri. He then married Doris Blystone on May 25, 1953, in Sedalia, Missouri. He then married Donna Mae Gully on August 28, 1960, in Jackson County, MO. He enlisted in the Army on May 27, 1948, and was released from duty on April 28, 1952. He served as a Corporal during the Korean War. No records have been found concerning children being born during any of his marriages. Lee died on June 3, 2010, at the Veterans Hospital in Kansas City, MO. He was 82 years old.

 

walter Hughes HS

Walter Wesley Hughes, my 2nd cousin was born on August 27, 1924, in Houstonia, Pettis Co., MO. He was the 2nd child of 11 born to Roy Lee and Salle Sarah (Anthony) Hughes. He had 3 brothers and 5 sisters. Walter died at the young age of 16 on October 4, 1840. On September 13 Walter fell from a moving tractor while in the fields. He broke his left arm at the elbow and received a deep cut on the upper part of the arm. Two weeks later he was admitted to the hospital in Marshall, MO. because the cut had become infected. He died one week later from “blood poisoning”.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday at the Cemetery ~ High Point Cemetery ~ Hughesville, Pettis Co, MO Part 1

pic TATCI just completed a 4-week look at a cemetery in Lexington, MO where many of my ancestors are buried. I decided I would do the same with High Point Cemetery because, once again, I have a multitude of relatives buried here. High Point Cemetery was established in 1870. This plot of land was organized as the Hugh Point Cem signFirst Old School Presbyterian Church in Pettis County in 1856 when the congregation built a 60’x40’ brick church on this site. It cost between 4 & 5,000 dollars to build. The church was divided by the civil war and the building was demolished in 1877. All that is left of the building is the cement foundation. The cemetery surrounds the foundation.

Hugh Point Cem

 For the next few weeks, I will be highlighting a few of my ancestor’s headstones that are found in High Point Cemetery, and give a little biography about each one.

 

Charley Hughes was born on December 20. 1868, in Henry, Benton County, Missouri. We are not sure of the year in which he was born because his Headstone says he was born in 1868, his death certificate says 1865, his daughter Margaret’s written genealogy says 1864, a page from the Hughes Family Bible says 1861 and my baby book family tree says he was born in 1867. Charley first married Clara Braden (1880-1903) on March 25, 1900, and they had a daughter and a son. After Clara died, he married Virginia Belle Hayes on January 28, 1904. They had 9 children, 5 sons, and 4 daughters. Charley was a farmer and a horse trainer. He raised prize-winning horses. He passed away on October 11, 1844.

Charley and Virginia Hughes HS

Virginia Belle Hayes was born March 18, 1880, in Pleasant Hill. Cass County, Missouri. She was the oldest of 9 children. She married Charley Hughes on January 28, 1904, in Cole Camp, Missouri. She took great care of her widowed husbands’ 2 children while going on to have 9 of her own. Two of her youngest boys died within a year of their birth. She outlived Charley by 7 years passing away on December 15, 1951.

 

 Henry Siegel Hughes was born on July 22, 1862, in Windsor, Henry County, Missouri. He is one of Charley Hughes’ older brothers. Henry married Myrta Stella Joslin (1864-1934) on March 5, 1882, in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri. They had 11 children, 5 sons, and 6 daughters. In the 1900 Census, his family is living Jefferson, Monroe County, Missouri and he owned his own farm. By 1910 the family had moved to Hughesville, Pettis County. Henry died on September 9, 1919, in Sedalia.

 

Henry Sigal and Myrta Hughes 

Myrta Stella Joslin was born on July 3, 1864, in New York State. Her family moved to Burns, Michigan when she was 6 years old. When she was 16 years old her family moved to Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri. Here she met and married Henry Hughes on March 5, 1882. They had 11 children in a span of 24 years. After the death of her husband in 1919 she continued to love in Sedalia until her death on April 30, 1934.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

Thursday at the Cemetery ~ City of Mesa Cemetery ~ Mesa, Maricopa Co, Arizona

pic TATCI wanted to showcase a cemetery that I believe is incredibly open to Genealogists. It has made it exceptionally easy to find graves and information about those who are buried here. One of my Grandsons is buried here. He was born and passed away in 1997. Once I discovered Find-A-Grave in about 2004 I have been photographing headstones and trying to help the family requesting the photo to fill in some blanks.

Mesa’s first small cemetery was established in 1883, following a smallpox epidemic thatmesa cemetery entry claimed the lives of 44 residents. As the community grew, more space was needed, and in 1891, the land was purchased along Center Street north of Brown Road for this purpose. To the north of the Cemetery office is a section dedicated to “those persons unknown buried during the Great Depression”. The area reflects on a bleak period of American history when even permanent memorials were a luxury. There are a few famous people buried here. Here are three of them.

Waylon Jennings – popular country/western singer and songwriter. Waylon Jennings grave is located on 9th Street. Park by the 1st garbage can south of B Street. Walk east 4 rows of graves to find his black granite monument.

John Lee – as Wild West entertainer “Powder River Jack”, he popularized the American folk song “Red River Valley”.

Ernesto Miranda – whose 1966 Supreme Court case resulted in the “Miranda Rule”, which requires that law enforcement officials inform individuals of their rights upon arrest.

Page list of mesa cemetery 1On their website, you can access a complete list of those who are buried here. Granted the list was last updated about 3 years ago but the staff is ready to help you. Online there are 1159 pages of names! Here you will find last name, first name, date of death, the location of the grave, if there is a headstone, name of the mortuary that handled the funeral or arrangements, and the age at the time of death.

There is also a map of the cemetery that shows each section by numbered blocks. If you notice on the list of names under the location it gives a number like the following example from the last name on the list:

Alford     Beatrice A     08/14/1949     0404-1-8     Yes     Hausner

The number 0404-1-8 means the grave is located in Section #404 Box #1 Grave #8

The grave locale is highlighted on the following map and legendInkedMesa Cemetery map_LI

The yellow highlighted square is section 404 which is located on 7th Street. There are round cement markers with the section number on it that is placed in the middle of it. Once you find this section you look at the block legend below and you can easily find the grave.

 

 

InkedLarge block_LI

I am sure this isn’t the only cemetery that does this but in all my years of cemetery hunting, I have never found another one that provides this much information and location online!

Also in the State of Arizona, they have a wonderful website where you can find both birth and death certificates at http://genealogy.az.gov/. Births are from 1855-1944 and deaths are from 1870-1969.

 

Do you know of a cemetery that has information online? If so, please share it with me!

 

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday at the Cemetery ~ Machpelah Cemetery Finale ~ Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO

pic TATCMachpelah Cemetery was originally known as the Waddell Family Cemetery. The first burial there was in 1839. In 1849, William Bradford Waddell donated his family’s cemetery, along with other nearby lands, to form Machpelah.

During the Civil War, many soldiers from both sides of the Battle of Lexington were buried at Machpelah. There is also a special memorial to the victims of the Saluda steamboat explosion of April 9, 1852. The Saluda carried Mormon immigrants from England and Wales who were traveling to Utah. Some of the bodies from that disaster are buried in a mass grave at the cemetery.

Among the prominent citizens buried here are Stephen Wentworth (founder of Wentworth Military Academy), Ike Skelton (US Congressman), William Waddell (one of the founders and operators of the Pony Express), and Gilead Rupe (the first settler of the area).

Cemetery records date only to 1885 with no record of earlier burials. Many headstones of the earlier burials can still be found. Records from the years of 1920 thru 1940 were destroyed by a fire. Just inside the south entrance is a kiosk with a database of burial locations.

Among those mentioned above are several of my beloved family members. This is the 4th and final blog about Machpelah Cemetery.

Gladys Irene Winningham Markel CousinGladys Irene Winningham, my 1st cousin, was born on May 6, 1930, in Chapel, Missouri, she was the second of 2 children born to Limuel Winford and Leola Belle (Hughes) Winningham. She married Charles Otis Markel on September 4, 1948, in Lexington, Missouri. They had three children, 1 son, and 2 daughters. She died on June 10, 2001, in Richmond, Missouri, at the age of 71.

Charles Limuel Winningham CousinCharles Limuel Winningham, my 1st cousin was born on August 12, 1925, in Missouri, he was the first of 2 children born to Limuel Winford and Leola Belle (Hughes) Winningham. He married Lillian Fletcher on April 29, 1952, in Benton, Arkansas. There is no record of any children. He died on May 14, 1981, at the age of 55.

Uncle Orville & Aunt MeadeCharles Orville Hughes, my paternal Uncle, was born on August 21, 1905, in Hughesville, Missouri, the oldest of 9 children born to Charles E and Virginia Belle (Hayes) Hughes. He married Meadie Louise Haller on September 15, 1928, in Sedalia, Missouri. Meadie was born on January 19,1903 and died on April 4, 2001. They had three children, 2 daughters and 1 son, all 3 of them died before the age of 18. He died on July 1, 1987, in Lexington, Missouri, at the age of 81.

Aunt COra Walt GoodmanCora Walt, my 2x Great Aunt, was born on January 29, 1874, in Camden, Missouri, the 6th of 10 children born to Peter and Elizabeth (Marsh) Walt. She married Marshall D. Goodman on March 16, 1898, and they had six children, 4 sons, and 2 daughters. She died on August 30, 1919, at the age of 45.

SONY DSCWilliam Francis McGowan, my 2x Great Uncle was born on October 9, 1858, in Ray, Missouri the oldest of 8 children of Captain James and Lucy (Reavis) McGowan. He married Susannah Mullikin on November 7, 1882, in Wellington, Missouri. They had six children, 5 sons, and one daughter. He died on July 16, 1934, in Lexington, Missouri, at the age of 75.

Thomas William McGowan CousinThomas William McGowan, my 2x Great Uncle was born in 1877 in Ray, Missouri the second of 8 children of Captain James and Lucy (Reavis) McGowan. He married Lucy McDowell on July 26, 1905, in Lafayette, Missouri. They may have had children but I have no record of them. He died on September 19, 1945, in Camden, Missouri, at the age of 84.

James D McGowan Jr CousinJames Daniel McGowan Jr, my 2x Great Uncle, was born on November 12, 1862, in Ray, Missouri, the third of 8 children of Captain James and Lucy (Reavis) McGowan. He married Mary Alice Mulligan on November 12, 1883, in Lexington, Missouri. They had six children, 3 sons, and 3 daughters. He died on October 16, 1936, in Lexington, Missouri, at the age of 73.

John Walter McGowan CousinJohn Walter McGowan my 1st cousin 2 x removed was born on January 17, 1886, in Lexington, Missouri, the oldest of 6 children of James Daniel and Mary Alice (Mulligan) McGowan. He married Helen E. Smith in 1914. They had one daughter. He died on December 21, 1951, in his hometown at the age of 65.

Cousin Maggie May Jennings DannerMaggie Mae Danner, my 1st cousin 1x removed, was born on July 29, 1930, in Lafayette, Missouri, the last of 5 children born to David and Cora Ann (McGowan) Danner. She married Lucien Aubrey Jennings and they had one daughter together. She then married Garner Melvin Race on June 9, 1981, in Missouri. She died on January 19, 2009, in Lexington, Missouri, at the age of 78.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday at the Cemetery ~ Machpelah Cemetery pt. 3 ~ Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO

 

pic TATCMachpelah Cemetery was originally known as the Waddell Family Cemetery. The first burial there was in 1839. In 1849, William Bradford Waddell donated his family’s cemetery, along with other nearby lands, to form Machpelah.

 

Machpelah Cemetery map

 

During the Civil War, many soldiers from both sides of the Battles of Lexington were buried at Machpelah. There is also a special memorial to the victims of the Saluda steamboat explosion of April 9, 1852. The Saluda carried Mormon immigrants from England and Wales who were traveling to Utah. Some of the bodies from that disaster are buried in a mass grave at the cemetery.

 

Among the prominent citizens buried here are Stephen Wentworth (founder of Wentworth Military Academy), Ike Skelton (US Congressman), William Waddell (one of the founders and operators of the Pony Express) and Gilead Rupe (the first settler of the area).

 

Cemetery records date only to 1885 with no record of earlier burials. Many headstones of the earlier burials can still be found. Records from the years of 1920 thru 1940 were destroyed by a fire. Just inside the south entrance is a kiosk with a database of burial locations.

 

Among those mentioned above are several of my beloved family members. Too many to feature in just one blog so, over the next few weeks, I will post between 3 and 6 headstones with a short bio of each person.

 

 

 

 

John Henry McGowan HSJohn Henry McGowan was born on May 10, 1863 in Henrietta, Ray Co, MO. He is my maternal Great Grandfather. He was raised on the family farm, helping with the chores and with the planting. He had 4 brothers and 3 sisters, In 1885 he moved to Lafayette Co and met Asenath Walt. They were married on May 30, 1887, and they had 5 daughters and 2 sons, one who died at birth. John worked his entire adult  life in the coal mines located around Lexington. He died on April 26, 1957. He had lived the last 8 years of his life in the Goodloe Rest Home located in Lexington. He died at the age of 93 of skin cancer with metastasis. He had the cancer for 5 years. He outlived his wife by 26 years.

 

 

 

Asnath Walt McGowanAsenath “Dolly” Walt was born on February 27, 1863, in Camden, Ray Co, MO. She is my maternal Great Grandmother. Her father worked as a carpenter and a wheelwright so she was raised in town. She was the oldest of 10 children, she had 6 sisters and 2 brothers. She married John Henry McGowan on May 30, 1887, and they had 5 daughters and 2 sons, one who died at birth. She died on February 19, 1930 at the age of 67. The cause of death was labored pneumonia.

 

 

 

James D McGowan HSJames D. McGowan was born in 1837 in Madison Co, Tennessee. He is my maternal 2x Great Grandfather. His father came to America from Ireland and he was a proficient farmer. James had 8 siblings, 4 sisters, and 4 brothers. He was the middle child. In 1854 his family moved to Camden, Ray Co, MO. He married Lucy Reavis (1836-1878) and they moved to Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO, buying a farm. They had 8 children, 5 sons and 4 daughters. When the Civil War broke out James joined the Tennessee Infantry CSA and reached the rank of Captain. His beloved wife died in 1878 just one year after their last child was born. James died on December 3, 1901, at the age of 64.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

Thursday at the Cemetery ~ Machpelah Cemetery pt. 2 ~ Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO

pic TATCMachpelah Cemetery was originally known as the Waddell Family Cemetery. The first burial there was in 1839. In 1849, William Bradford Waddell donated his family’s cemetery, along with other nearby lands, to form Machpelah.
During the Civil War, many soldiers from both sides of the Battle of Lexington were buried at Machpelah. There is also a special memorial to the victims of the Saluda steamboat explosion of April 9, 1952. The Saluda carried Mormon immigrants from England and Wales who were traveling to Utah. Some of the bodies from that disaster are buried in a mass grave at the cemetery.
Among the prominent citizens buried at Machpelah are Stephen Wentworth (founder of Wentworth Military Academy), Ike Skelton (representative to US. Congress and chairman of the Armed Services Committee), William Waddell (one of the founders and operators of the Pony Express), and Gilead Rupe (the first settler of the area).
Cemetery records date only to 1885 with no record of earlier burials. Many headstones of the earlier burials can still be found. Records from the years of 1920 thru 1940 were destroyed by a fire.
Just inside the south entrance is a kiosk with a database of burial locations.
 Among those mentioned above are several of my beloved family. Too many to feature in just one blog. So, over the next few weeks, I will post 4 or 5 headstones with a short bio of each person.

 Margaret Ruth Hughes was born on November 14, 1919, in Sweet Springs, Saline Co, MO. She died on November 26, 1988, in Buckner, Jackson Co, MO. She is my paternal aunt. She was the 10th child and the 5th daughter born to Charles Hughes and Virginia Hayes. She was married twice first to a sailor named Kenneth Smith with whom she had her 1st son. Her husband was shipped off to war and he never came home. Her 2nd husband was Paul Dwain Palmer. They had 2 sons and 1 daughter. Their 1st son died at the age of 7 months. She died from cancer at the age of 69. You may read about her incredible life here: https://wp.me/p4gvQU-wj

Margaret & Paul Palmer

Paul Douglas Palmer Sr was born on August 19, 1915, in Winona, Shannon Co, MO. He died on June 1, 1993, in Buckner, Jackson Co, MO. He worked for the Gulf Oil Corporation aboard the vessel “Gulfwave” as a fireman during WWII. After that, He worked for the Missouri State Highway Department until he retired in 1987. He loved the Kansas City Royals and he never missed a game. He died of a heart attack at the age of 78.

 

Paul Douglas Palmer JrPaul Douglas Palmer Jr was born on July 13, 1951, in Kansas City, Jackson Co, MO and died on February 19, 1952, from a viral infection and pneumonia.

 

 

 

Madonna Rose Palmer was born on January 1, 1964, in Kansas City, Jackson Co, MO. She died on August 21, 2001, in Higginsville, Lafayette Co, MO. She married twice 1st to Raymond Darnell and had a son. 2nd to John Anthony Bell and she had a daughter. She died of colon cancer at the age of 36.

Madonna & Darrell

Darrell Dwain Palmer was born on November 15, 1955, in Kansas City, Jackson Co, MO and died on June 24, 2016, in Kansas City, Jackson Co, MO. He never got married but he did have one daughter. He worked multiple jobs such as a truck driver, oil rigging, and too many other jobs to list. He died of brain cancer at the age of 61. BOTH MADONNA AND DARRELL WERE CREMATED AND PLACED ON TOP OF THEIR PARENTS.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday at the Cemetery~Machpelah Cemetery pt. 1~Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO

Machpelah Cemetery photoMachpelah Cemetery was originally known as the Waddell Family Cemetery. The first burial there was in 1839. In 1849, William Bradford Waddell donated his family’s cemetery, along with other nearby lands, to form Machpelah.

During the Civil War, many soldiers from both sides of the Battle of Lexington were buried at Machpelah. There is also a special memorial to the victims of the Saluda steamboat explosion of April 9, 1952. The Saluda carried Mormon immigrants from England and Wales who were traveling to Utah. Some of the bodies from that disaster are buried in a mass grave at the cemetery.

Machpelah Cemetery map

Among the prominent citizens buried at Machpelah are Stephen Wentworth (founder of Wentworth Military Academy), Ike Skelton (representative to U.S. Congress and chairman of the Armed Services Committee), William Waddell (one of the founders and operators of the Pony Express), and Gilead Rupe (the first settler of the area).

Cemetery records date only to 1885 with no record of earlier burials. Many headstones of the earlier burials can still be found. Records from the years of 1920 thru 1940 were destroyed by a fire.

Just inside the south entrance is a kiosk with a database of burial locations.

 

Amongst those mentioned above are several of my beloved family. Too many to feature in just one blog. So, over the next few weeks, I will post 4 or 5 headstones with a short bio of each person.

 

DadBenjamin Douglas Hughes was born on August 15, 1915, in Hughesville, Pettis Co, MO. He died on June 24, 1974, in Hollywood, Los Angeles Co, CA. He is my Dad. He was the 8th child and the 4th son born to Charles Hughes and Virginia Hayes. He was married 3 times, the 3rd time to my mother, and he had 3 children. The 1st one by his 1st was a son who died when he was 2 months old. The other two were my sister and I. Starting at age 15 he had a variety of jobs. He worked on the family farm, trained horses, worked in the coal mine, was a butcher, worked for the railroad, participated in the CCC in 1935 and was a carpenter and bricklayer. He died from lung cancer at the age of 58.

 

 

Ellie Hughes Willard Hankins was born on February 5, 1905, in Pettis Co, MO and died February 25,Aunt Ellie 1973, in Kansas City, Jackson Co, MO. She had a twin sister named Nellie. Ellie and her sister were both born with a hair lip which was eventually corrected when they were 10 years old. Her first marriage was to Mitchell Lee Willard when she was 17 years old and Mitchell was 24. They had 7 children, 3 daughters, and 4 sons. Mitchell died in January 1950 leaving Ellie a widow with 5 children under the age of 18. In November the same year, she married Chester Hankins. She died of heart failure at the age of 63.

 

 

Mitchel WillardMitchell Lee Willard, the husband of Ellie Hughes, was born March 25, 1898, in Kirksville, Adair Co, Mo and died January 30, 1950, in Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO. He worked as a Government River Worker and he was a farmer. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

 

 

John Henry McGowan, my mothers’ Grandfather, was born on May 10, 1863, in Henrietta, Ray Co, MOJohn Henry McGowan 2xGGrandpa and died April 26, 1957, in Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO. He married Asenath “Dollie” Walt on May 30, 1887. They had 8 children, 6 daughters, 1 son, and one child who died at birth. He worked in the coal mines around Lexington his entire life. His wife “Dollie” died on February 19, 1931. He lived alone in a home he owned until he was 85 years old. He lived the last 8 years of his life in the Goodloe Rest Home located in Lexington, MO. He died at the age of 93 of skin cancer with metastasis. He had cancer for 5 years. He also had Heart Disease.

 

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

10 More Facts About Cemeteries

whisperingMy husband and I had dinner with some good friends the other night. They know about my obsession with all things Genealogy so the talk quickly turned to their search for ancestors. During the conversation, I whispered to my friend “I love visiting cemeteries, especially old ones”. I wasn’t sure how she would respond as most people think it is creepy to do this. Her face lit up and said, “Me too!”. The next hour was devoted to “Cemetery” talk. Ancestor Hunters have no problem discussing this topic so in honor of that, here are 10 interesting facts about cemeteries.

♦ Located on Route 80, near Tombstone, Arizona, the Boot Hill Graveyard became the Tombstone-Boot_Hill_Graveyard-Graves_of_Billy_Clanton,_and_Frank_and_Tom_McLaury_2final resting place to over 250 gunslingers, miners, and other fearless wild west pioneers. Humorous headstones are scattered over the hill. Those like “Here lies George Johnson, hanged by mistake 1882. He was right we were wrong. But we strung him up and now he’s gone.” and “Here lies Lester Moore, Four slugs from a .44, No Les No more.”

♦ What is the difference between a cemetery & a graveyard? Graveyards are in the “yards” of churches and is always adjacent to and part of a church.

♦ Arlington is the only national cemetery to hold servicemen from every war in U.S. history. Although the first military burial at Arlington National Cemetery didn’t occur until 1864, the burial ground holds the remains of those who fought in every war since the Revolution. In 1892, soldiers killed in the Revolutionary War were re-interred from a Georgetown cemetery, and casualties from the War of 1812 have been reburied at Arlington as well.

♦ In 1876 a handful of mobsters botched a morbid plan to kidnap the body of Abraham Lincoln and hold it ransom. The hapless grave robbers were arrested just a few days later. Fearing another attempt, the government secretly hid the body of the sixteenth president in an unmarked grave for 25 years. Then in 1901, under the urging of Robert Lincoln, the president’s only surviving child, Lincoln’s body was dug up and placed inside a steel cage, lowered into a 10-foot-deep vault, and buried under tons of concrete. He’s still there today, in his tomb, on the grounds of Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Hollywood forever cemetery♦ Cemetery tours are now big business. One such cemetery, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood California has maps to the Star’s graves available for tourists. This is also an old cemetery – established in 1899, and filled with tall, old-fashioned headstones and towering monuments, including a few unusual ones shaped like obelisks and a rocket ship. Many tour companies in Los Angeles offer tours of the many “celebrity” graveyards in the area.

♦ Family (or private) cemeteries were a matter of practicality during the settlement of America. If a town or religious cemetery had not been established, settlers would seek out a small plot of land, usually in wooded areas bordering their fields, to begin a family plot. Sometimes, several families would arrange to bury their dead together. While some of these sites later grew into true cemeteries, many were forgotten after a family moved away or died out. Therefore, some of our ancestors’ graves from the 1600’s may never be found.

♦ Visitors to loved ones interred in Jewish cemeteries often leave a small stone on the top of the headstone. There are prayers said at the grave site, and the stone is left on the visitor’s departure. It is done as a show of respect; as a rule, flowers are not placed at Jewish graves. Flowers are fleeting; the symbol inherent in the use of a stone is to show that the love, honor, memories, and soul of the loved one are eternal.

♦ Columbarian walls are a common feature of many cemeteries, reflecting the increasingColumbarium walls use of cremation rather than burial. While cremated remains can be kept at home by families in urns or scattered in some significant or attractive place, neither of these approaches allows for a long-lasting commemorative plaque to honor the dead nor provide a place for the wider circle of friends and family to come to  mourn or visit. Many cemeteries now provide walls (typically of  brick or rendered brick construction) with a rectangular array of niches, with each niche being big enough to accommodate a person’s cremated remains. Columbarium walls are a very space-efficient use of land in a cemetery compared with burials and a niche in a columbarium wall is a much cheaper alternative to a burial plot. A small plaque) can be affixed across the front of each niche and is generally included as part of the price of a niche.

♦ Stamps Cemetery (Witches Cemetery), Tennessee. This cemetery is old, unconventional, creepy, located around backwoods and less popular. The tombstones are lined in Zig-zag pattern and some of those stones are marked with pentagrams. It is believed that that cemetery belongs to dark witches. There are lots of eyewitness who saw strange appearance around the area

♦ Meaning of symbols on Headstones:

  • Arch: Rejoined with partner in Heaven
  • Book: Faith, wisdom
  • Peacock: Eternal life
  • Tree trunk: The beauty of life
  • Crossed swords: Life lost in battle
  • Garland: Victory over death
  • Anchor: Steadfast hope

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

I Do Not Like This Part of Genealogy!

bennyMonday we attended the funeral of my husbands’ Uncle Benny. He was 94 years old and had lived a long, wonderful life. I don’t know about you but this is the part about Genealogy that I really don’t like. You know… the part where you have to fill in the death date and other information for a just deceased relative.

Doing this makes you think of so many things. Of course first and foremost about the person who has just died, about their lives and their family. You remember the time spent with them and the conversations you had. Then your mind wonders to others you have lost and all the details about them. Then, inevitably your mind begins to grasp your own mortality.

Bennys casket

When this happens we think about the things we have done in our lives, both the good and the bad, we think about those we love and those we have known. If you are anything like me you wonder “How much time do I really have left?”  In light of that question I began to realize that I am lacking in so many things and I have started to make a promise to myself to no longer waste time and be sure to do those things that I feel are the most important to me. Things like spending more time with family, being more faithful to the Lord, and getting as much done on my Family History as I can.

making a vowOne thing that stood out to me at the funeral was how people were saying how quickly Uncle Benny had passed. He had not been sick and had no “diseases”, he had just went to bed that evening and died peacefully in his sleep. Even though he was up there in years and it was inevitable, it still caught them all by surprise. So as a result, knowing we are not guaranteed tomorrow I have made a vow to get all of my Genealogy paperwork in order. I will make sure that all the stories I feel needs to be written are written, all the photos will be labeled and I will make sure I know who will take my place as the Family Historian when I am gone.

So, even though writing in the death date of a beloved relative is my least favorite thing to do, it has inspired me to do more with my own life.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.