Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Graphic by footnoteMaven

Graveyard Rabbit Association

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Update to Wreaths Across America

I finally recieved the photos that were taken when I participated in Wreaths Across America on December 13th at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Gustine, California.

I am the Rabbit with the blue coat!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wreaths Across America

REMEMBER the fallen

HONOR those who serve

TEACH our children the value of Freedom

This is the motto of Wreaths Across America, a nationwide project, started by one man who simply wanted to show his remembrance for fallen soldiers.

The Wreaths Across America story began over 15 years ago when Worcester Wreath Company (a for-profit commercial business from Harrington, Maine) began a tradition of placing wreaths on the headstones of our Nation's fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery during the holidays.

Humbled with a new understanding about the impact the Arlington Wreath Project has made, not only in honoring the dead, but recognizing the sacrifices of the living, Morrill Worcester - President of Worcester Wreath Company committed himself to doing more, by reaching out across the country.

On Saturday, December 13th, along with members of El Toyon Chapter NSDAR, I went to the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Gustine, California to attend the wreath laying ceremony. It was a very moving experience. We laid wreaths on the graves of my step-father Lyle Dean Hartley, a past regent of El Toyon Chapter NSDAR Esther Bonta and the husband of a chapter member Milton Farley.

A little about San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery - In 1989, the Romero Ranch Company donated land to the Department of Veterans Affairs for the creation of a National Cemetery. The first phase developed 105 acres of the land, and was completed in May 1992, giving enough space for the interment of over 20,000 remains.
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.
(Photo of Arlington National Cemetery by James Varhegyi)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Engraving After The Fact

My post yesterday about my 3rd great grandfather, Daniel Derondo Delaney, got me to thinking.

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

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