Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
There is a small military museum on site, which has exhibits of uniforms, medals, and other memorabilia. The California Korean War Veterans Memorial, erected in 1998. It consists of 16 five foot tall granite monoliths arranged in a circle. Engraved on each monolith is the name of the 2,495 veterans from California who died during the Korean War. The 11th Airborne Memorial is a granite and bronze monument that was dedicated on May 11, 2002, in honor of all airborne soldiers. The sculptor was William Porteus, a member of the 511th unit.
Friday, December 5, 2008
I would like to have the date of death etched into the headstone for Daniel. It sounds like a simple thing to have done, right? But sometimes my mind can come up with all kinds of "what ifs" and "but what ifs". Such as:
Would I have to prove that Daniel is my 3rd great grandfather to who ever is in charge?
Would I need permission to commission this? If so, then from who?
Would I need to be there in person to make sure the job gets done?
I am guessing that this isn't the type of thing you call around and get estimates for. How do I select someone to do the job and must it be a headstone shop or can anyone who owns a dremel do the job?
The owner of the plot at the cemetery was Earnest Francis Sheern who was my 2nd great grandfather. He died in 1939. So who owns the plot now? Do I need their permission?
Oh all those questions, had me thinking of more :
The plot has 4 graves on it that I know of, I was told that the plot holds up to 8 graves. The plot was paid for in 1911. When I die, could I be buried there? Would they make me re-buy the plot? How does this stuff work?
Just some things that made me go hhmmm. Time to go find some answers.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
An obituary for Ellen Delaney in 1901 said that she was buried at the catholic cemetery in Boston. In 1904 when Daniel died, his obit did not state where he was to be buried. I posted to a message board inquiring about the location of Boston Cemetery and was told that it wasn't called that anymore. It is now Mount Olivet Cemetery. About 5 years ago, I made a request to RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness) for a photo of the Delaney's headstone and a wonderful volunteer took the time to not only take the photo above but explain to me that Boston Cemetery and Mount Olivet were not the same cemetery. He said that for some reason the cemetery closed at Boston and that the majority of the burials in Boston were removed to Mount Olivet but he did not know when this happened.
I finally get someone at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Moline to check into the burials for me. I had asked if the church were indeed the caretakers for the cemetery and if they had burial records. I also asked why the cemetery at Boston closed and why the need to move the remains.
I received part of the answers to my questions. I was told that:
1. Yes, according to church records, Daniel and Ellen Collins are buried at Mount Olivet.
2. No, they do not know why Daniel's date of death is not on the stone.
3. The graves were moved from Boston Cemetery to Mount Olivet in 1961
4. No, they do not know why the cemetery at Boston closed and why the graves were re-located.
BIG BONUS INFORMATION = total confusion:
The reply also told me that the Delaney stone was located in Section 7, Lot 61 and in the same place are the graves of Ray Sheern (died 1907), Helen Sheern (died 1900) and Ann Sheern (died 1892) . The lot was purchased by E.F. Sheern in 1911.
Ann Sheern is my 2nd great grandmother and E. F. Sheern is her son my great grandfather. Ray and Helen Sheern are children of E. F. Sheern. E. F. Sheern married Jenny Delaney who is the daughter of Daniel and Ellen. Are you with me still?
Now with all this information here is my confusion:
E. F. Sheern buys the plot in 1911 in Mount Olivet but his mother and children and his in-laws the Delaneys died before that.
Let's assume that everyone was buried originally at Boston Cemetery. The church says that the graves were moved in 1961. Why would E. F. Sheern buy a plot that remains empty until 1961. E.F. Sheern died in 1939 and is not buried there.
Why was Daniel's death information never etched on his stone? His sons and daughter all had money enough to have it done?
Were the remains really removed from Boston Cemetery? Maybe just the headstones were moved?
By the way, Boston cemetery still has graves and markers.
Time to put on my rabbit ears and fasten my seat belt. It could be a bumpy ride on the way to finding the answers
Friday, November 21, 2008
Lavenia is the granddaughter of Richard Thomas (my 5th great grandfather) and grand niece of General Philemon Thomas (Richard's brother) whom you've seen mentioned before on this blog and over at The Educated Genealogist.
Joseph Payne Skillman is the son of Christopher Skillman and Henrietta Payne. He made a living as a ferryman. Pleasant Hill is situated at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers.
(Josias Skillman is the handsome man on the right with the spectacles)
Of course this is before my becoming The Educated Graveyard Rabbit. Not much gets by this Rabbit now!
TO THE MEMORY OF GEN'L. PHILEMON THOMAS
WHO WAS BORN IN ORANGE COUNTY, VA.
FEBY. 9TH, 1763
IN BATON ROUGE, LA.
NOV. 18TH 1847
THIS TABLET ERECTED BY HIS CHILDREN
HE WAS A SOLDIER OF '76' AND OF '14', A MEMBER
OF THE CONVENTION THAT FRAMED THE CONSTITUTION
OF KENTUCKY AND A MEMBER OF HER LEGISLATURE
COMMANDED THE FORCES WHICH CAPTURED THE
SPANISH FORT AT BATON ROUGE IN 1810. SERVED
MANY YEARS IN THE LEGISLATURE OF LOUISIANA.
AND WAS TWICE ELECTED TO THE CONGRESS OF THE
U.S. THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER, HE WAS CALLED
A PATRIOT AND A GOOD CITIZEN - WE KNOW HIM
TO BE A KIND FATHER AND A FIRM CHRISTIAN.
"SIC TIBI IN TERRA LEVIS"
Of course, being the curious kind of Rabbit I am, I looked up the Latin. It translates pretty close to "May the earth rest lightly on you".
Friday, November 14, 2008
At the age of 20, Benjamin went to work at his father's lumber factory. Three years later, he received an interest in the business. His three older brothers left New Hampshire years before in the 1860s and set up a similar business in San Francisco. Their company, called C.H. Holt and Co., produced wooden wheels and later metal wheels for streetcars. Benjamin shipped hardwoods from New Hampshire to his brothers, who took the wood to dry in the arid climate in Stockton.
Benjamin Holt died 5 December 1920 and was buried at Stockton Rural Cemetery. In honor of Benjamin, we have a street and a school here in Stockton named after him.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
About 10 miles south of my home in Stockton is a little town called Manteca. The East Union Cemetery in Manteca is in a pickle. It's a complicated story, but here are the simple facts:
It seems that the cemetery had been operating for about two years without a valid license or a licensed manager as required by California State Law. The East Union Cemetery is privately owned and run by a board of directors. Delinquent loans and tax problems occurred under an earlier board, which had not met for at least two years and failed to hire a licensed cemetery manager, among other issues. The problems came to a head in late June after an administrative law judge ruled the California Department of Consumer Affairs Cemetery and Funeral Bureau could revoke the East Union Cemetery Association's license to operate.
Up to that point, the cemetery's plight was not known to the general community. Once it became public, a new, larger board was formed in a last-ditch effort to save the historic cemetery. In an effort to pay off loans and back taxes, this new board used money from the principal of the cemetery's Endowment Fund. Because they used the money for purposes other than what the Endowment Fund is legally intended for, The Bureau was left with no choice but to seize the account so that the Endowment Fund would be protected and not depleted further.
California law requires all private cemeteries licensed by the Bureau to establish, maintain and operate an Endowment Care Fund in a trust account. Every time the cemetery sells a "plot" - a burial space in the ground, a crypt space in a mausoleum, or a niche space for cremated remains - the cemetery collects an endowment care amount from the purchaser. All monies collected for endowment care must be placed in the trust account. The initial amount collected from the purchaser is what is referred to as "principal" and can never be utilized. Over time and through investments, the trust account continues to grow and generate interest income, and the interest income is what is available to use for the on-going maintenance of the cemetery into perpetuity.
The biggest dilemma by far is how and who would be responsible in burying the dead? For even though the state has revoked the cemetery association's business license and froze all of its funds, there was still the matter of the pre-paid burial plots. A legal provision allowed the association to hold the burials of individuals who have purchased their plots. But with the caretakers gone, who was going to dig the graves and take care of all the other tasks involved?
Enter a group of volunteers extraordinaire:
A retired law enforcement officer - Bill Good.A retired Bank of America president - Leon Sucht.A Sheriff's Team of Active Retired Seniors (STARS) volunteer - Victor Gulley.The director of the Manteca Historical Society and Museum - Evelyn Prouty.
Their new calling: grave diggers at Manteca's historic East Union Cemetery. Good, who took over as president of the reorganized cemetery association, learned by himself how to operate the cemetery's back hoe that is used to dig the graves. The rest of the work is done with shovels. That brawn part of the work is handled by Sucht, Gully and Prouty. They also had to learn by themselves how to operate the $18,000 equipment whose name none of them could tell but to which they have given descriptive name as "the casket-lowering thingy-jiggy".
For those who wish to make donations to help the cemetery, they can do so by sending checks to the Friends of the East Union Cemetery. Funds given to this organization do not go to the state but are strictly used to help the cemetery. An account has been opened at Delta National Bank in Manteca where people can go to make contributions. Donations can also be sent to: Friends of the East Union Cemetery, P.O. Box 591, Manteca, CA 95336.
For more information on how to help Friends of the East Union Cemetery or how to become a member, call (209) 823-8533.
An aside: In 2003, Travis Haroldson of Boy Scout Troop 438 catalogued the cemetery for his Eagle Scout Project. You can find the entire cemetery transcribed here.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
How much does it cost to become a member and use Find A Grave? Nothing. Find A Grave is completely FREE! They do not charge anything for any of their services. You can become a member, create a memorial, submit data, add flowers, add photos and search the database at no charge.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Most cemeteries in California are located on the outskirts of town. My feeling is that it was done this way because having to look at a cemetery all the time is bad for business and new housing developments. "Out of sight, out of mind". It is too sad to have to look at a cemetery everyday. West Coast people only want "Happy Thoughts". Yes they deal with death, but they deal with it as quickly as possible and then try to forget about it. My father died in 1988. He is buried in Fresno, about 3 hours from where I live. I am ashamed to tell you that I have not been to visit his grave since the day we buried him.
I was very nervous about just driving right up to a headstone, get out of the car, take pictures - like I was a tourist on vacation. Where I come from, you just don't go walking around in a cemetery. Not unless you have been double-dog- dared on a cold and windy night by a bunch of juvenile delinquents. Or so I am told.
Unlike most West-Coasters, the East Coasters like to keep their dear ones close to them. Even if they've been dead for over 150 years. I notice that the people in North Carolina have a way different attitude towards death than most people I know in California. Death isn't a scary thing to them. The graves I saw in these 3 counties were all well cared for. Most had fresh flowers. It didn't seem to matter if the person had died 1 day ago or 100,000 days ago. Visiting kin at the cemetery is something you do.
After spending a couple of weeks in these counties I got over the creepiness by telling myself , "Self - you are a professional and you are here doing your job. Remember that job you love so much?" Slowly, without my even noticing right away, I was pulling a weed or two, bringing flowers with me in case I found an ancestor that day and felt myself connecting with these people who basically gave me life.
Each one that I shared with you was a pioneer in the tri-county area - John Teeter Beam and his son John Beam, Peter Hoyle and his son Michael Hoyle, Sebastian Bess and All arriving around 1740-1760 and there are descendants of all these men still living on the same land to this very day!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
The pictures I took when I was there in 2005 came out horrible. It was late afternoon and the lighting was nonexistent. I would like to thank Mr. Richard Jordan who is a volunteer photographer at http://www.findagrave.com/ who went out to the cemetery for me and took the photos for me.
This is the entrance of Whitesides Road. You drive up this gravel path and the cemetery is on the left.
A group of descendants put up the brick wall around the stones.
In memory of John Beam, who died October 24, 1822, aged 52 years. "O yea whose cheeks the tears of pity stain; Draw near with reverence and attend; Here lies the husband's dear remains; The tender father and the generous friend."
Mary Hoyle Beam is the daughter of Michael Hoyle and Margaret Dellinger. I was only able to make out her name, birth - 1768 and date of death - 17 January 1847.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
In memory of
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
This cemetery is the home to a monument placed to honor my 8th great grandparents Peter Hoyle and his wife Catherine Dales.
The monument was originally located at the Hoyle Homestead just outside of Dallas, Gaston County, North Carolina. The Hoyle House was built between 1750-1758 by Peter Hoyle and his sons and features rare corner post construction. It is the only known remaining structure in North Carolina with this type of construction and is listed on the National Historical Register.
For those who live in the area, the Gaston County Museum has a new exhibit - "The Hoyle House" which runs until October 25th. Better hurry!
If only all my ancestors left behind this kind of information.....the thrill of the hunt wouldn't be there, would it?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I made a trip to North Carolina back in 2005 and visited with quite a few of my ancestors at their final resting places. I had never before been to visit an ancestor. The feeling I got from each and every one I went to was special. I told each of them thank you.
It still is mind-boggling to me that it took all of my ancestors - hundreds of them - all being in the right place at the right time for me to exist.
While most of the Graveyard Rabbit websites you come across are specific to certain geographical locations, The Educated Graveyard Rabbit will take you to cemeteries located across the United States.