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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Yoo-Hoo! Are You In There Daniel?

This headstone is located in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery just outside Moline, Elk County, Kansas. I have spent 5 years trying to confirm if my 3rd great grandfather, Daniel Derondo Delaney, is buried with his wife Ellen Collins. The headstone does not have the date of death on it. In the last week or so I have received an abundance of information and my answer is : I'm not sure either of them are buried here!

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


Julie Cahill Tarr said...

Wow, that's quite a mess you have there. Hope you get it all straightened out, as I know you will.

wendy said...

Sheri - just a comment on the etching of a death date. My aunt & uncle's two kids (one of which has the money & was the contact person for interring of their ashes) has not bought or had a gravestone laid and it's been two years since her mother died & both her parents' ashes were interred. The cemetery keeps calling my mom (who is local) and she's contacted my cousin but no one is doing anything. So just because the $$ is there to have it done, doesn't necessarily mean it will get done.

Sheri said...


Any idea how much it would cost to have a date etched into a stone? I would like to have it done provided it isn't going to break the bank.