Category Archives: Cemetery

Cemetery/Graveyard News

Who Was Henry Ferriss and Where is He Buried?

Denise Crosby asks Who was Henry Ferriss and where is he buried?, in The Beacon News (Illinois) about a lost tombstone that almost ended up in the city dump.

Excerpt from the article:

When Mike Chapin showed up to help with the rehab of the house that was part of the city’s Rebuilding Together Aurora project last weekend, he didn’t expect to find a mystery.

What he did find was an old white tombstone — leaning against a tree and waiting for garbage pickup, along with other refuse that was taken from this property in the 200 block of South Ohio Street.

Seems the grave marker had been removed from the back yard during the cleanup. The owner didn’t know how it had gotten there but seemed mighty glad someone was taking it away because, well, who really wants to have a tombstone in their back yard?

It reads: Henry C.; Son of Reed & Lydia Ferriss; died Jan. 25, 1848; Aged 19 years, 5 mos. & 21 days.

Chapin, who is a Noon Rotary Club member and public relations director for the West Aurora School District, was intrigued. Which doesn’t surprise me because he used to be the managing editor here at The Beacon News and no doubt will always have a journalist’s eye for a good story.

Besides, he likes genealogy. So he grabbed the tombstone (actually, he had to have someone help him lift it) and threw it into his extremely messy trunk — with the intention of dropping it off at the Aurora Historical Society and hoping the folks there would figure out what to do with the old stone.

“I just knew the city dump was an inappropriate place for it to go,” he said.

If any of that sounds familiar, they could use some help in identifying who Henry was, and where he ended up at. Denise’s contact information is linked at the at the article above, or perhaps contact the Aurora Historical Society. It’s a genealogy mystery worth solving, so that Chapin can get the tombstone out of his truck.

160 Year Old Cemetery Restored (Monroeville, IN)

Kevin Leininger has an article in the News-Sentinenel (Fort Wayne, IN), Groups unite to restore 160-year-old cemetery near Monroeville about a genealogist and county coming together to help clean up a cemetery.

Except from the article:

Life is returning to a long-neglected cemetery in southeast Allen County a century after the last burial there, thanks to an unlikely alliance between government officials and one man who refused to let the past die.

“The first time I came out here, it was so sad I cried,” said Adam Barrone, 28, whose childhood fascination with his grandmother’s family history stories led to a job in the Allen County Public Library’s genealogy department and to a discovery that has consumed him for nearly a decade.

When Barrone’s research led him to the 160-year-old Brown family cemetery south of Monroeville eight years ago, it seemed little had been done to maintain the half-acre plot since Sophia Rider’s burial in 1906. Many headstones had nearly been wiped smooth by a century of wind and rain. Some had broken or toppled over; others had sunken deep into the soil. A dense thicket of trees, bushes and weeds made the cemetery nearly invisible from nearby Whittern Road.

But that is changing, thanks to $20,000 from the county and the help of various organizations who, like Barrone, believe the area’s pioneers deserve not only to rest in peace, but in dignity as well.

Surprising he’s so young, but great to see people are taking an interest in preserving these before they are lost.

Genealogy Began as Hobby, Became More

Aileen M. Streng has an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA), Genealogy began as hobby, became more, about a great grandson finding and proving his great grandfather’s grave and making sure that it would be properly marked.

If a headstone was placed on the grave of Charles William Jones when he was buried in 1909, it is long gone.

So is the Belle Haven Baptist Church that stood beside the cemetery and the village of Kopp that surrounded it.

Jones’ great grandson, Raymond Webster “Buck” Jones, however, made sure that he wouldn’t be forgotten. After five years of researching his family history, he was able to locate and prove to the federal government where Charles Jones was buried in the Belle Haven cemetery at the Quantico Marine Corps base.

“I’m 78 years old. Once I die, this would never have been done,” Buck Jones said.

There is another article in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette that is a reprint of a Washington Post article by Theresa Vargas that covers this as well, with more information.

RANDOM THOUGHTS: A “Found” Cemetery is a Treasure

Good article, RANDOM THOUGHTS: A “found” cemetery is a treasure, in the Crossville Chronicle, (Cumberland County, TN), by Dorothy Copus Brush, about people who go out of there way to clean up cemeteries as well as document them. Without these people over the past decades, there is no telling how much important genealogical information would have been lost, as well as families being able to find some closure and/or care for the graves of their ancestors.

Excerpt from the article:

The next letter was sent to the local public library and that reply answered my questions. The library director sent a copy of the history of the cemetery. About a quarter acre had been established by one of my grandfather’s grandfathers as a family cemetery in 1834. Twenty years later that grandfather and his wife “in consideration of the sum of 5 cents to them hand paid” deeded slightly more than half an acre to the Methodist Episcopal Church as the site for a church. That transaction included the family cemetery which then became a public burying ground.

That history included the names and dates of the 25 persons laid to rest there. The director wrote the information had been gathered by two local women who had spent years visiting old cemeteries filled with weeds that were almost lost. They indexed old courthouse records and gathered memories of older residents. Their research filled many books and they donated these to the library. He wrote, “It is a monumental work, completely unpublished and available nowhere else.”

It’s a good article stressing the importance of recording and maintaining even the smallest of family cemeteries (which in some cases can be overwhelmed if they become public cemeteries, as well as the information lost about the original cemetery and those buried there).

Clooz Beta, House History, and Genealogy

I see that Clooz 2.0 is undergoing beta testing. Clooz is billed as a “electronic filing cabinet that assists you with search and retrieval of important facts you have found during the ancestor hunt” by its developers, and they’ve certainly added a few interesting things.

Three things about this new version of Clooz caught my eye (and they certainly helped me decide to add this to my collection of genealogy software):

1)Mapping. I think that within a few years, all major genealogy applications should have some kind of mapping features, or at least the ability to interact with the various online mapping resources. While I use now use a Mac most of the time, I have Windows-based genealogy software that I can’t let go of. I was at a “gathering”, if you will, of Mac users, and one was showing me MacFamilyTree ( and specifically they were showing me the map feature. I was very impressed. I’ve talked about this before, and I’ve seen an online demonstration of somebody using Google Maps with their website (they were using The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding) and in addition had the Google Maps thing somewhat integrated with their site – very neat).

2)Business/Business history related records. I think that as people dig up more information, they are going to want to keep more of that information, and Clooz has specific features to track business histories, or employment, and this could be a nice feature if you have a family-owned business.

3)House/Structural genealogy and history. This could also tie into the mapping I mentioned above, as people do like to go and look and see where their ancestors lived.

I’m very interested in mapping software for many reasons:

    * Cemeteries – tracking which one is where
    * Homesteads – where people settle
    * Migrations – how far people moved

It’s one thing to see a list of locations that somebody lived in. It’s quite another to see, on a map, that between 1805 and 1830 they moved from Virginia to Tennessee to Arkansas to Texas. You don’t think about the distances involved and the territory and terain until you see on a map, an approximation of where they lived.

Clooz is shaping up to be pretty cool, and once 2.0 comes out I hope to give a try and do a review. The beta is free and open to anybody right now, and stops functioning around the middle of April.

From: Genealogy Software News