Monday, October 26, 2015

The Case of the Missing Headstone

Well, it didn't take long before it happened to me.  And yes, if you spend enough time doing genealogy it will happen to you too!

My great great grandparents lived in Rock Port, Atchison County, Missouri.  My great great grandfather, Louis Phillip Kessler, died in 1911. After his death, his wife Helena  moved to Lyndhurst, Bergen County, New Jersey to stay with her daughter, Anna Bennett née Kessler. Helena died only three weeks after her husband, and is buried in East Ridgelawn Cemetery in Clifton, Passaic County, New Jersey.

As it happens, she is buried in the empty area at the base of a tree. There is no gravestone, marker, or tombstone. Nothing. I wrote to the cemetery and got back a good deal of details about the site. There are actually four unmarked graves at the tree base in section 11, lot 324, all related to the Bennett family: Anna Bennett, her husband Martin, Sarah Oldham Milligan (Martin's mother's sister), and my great great grandmother Helena Kessler née Spies (Anna's mother).

This is the exact tree
So, yes. Now, I have to buy a headstone.  Maybe even four of them, as only one would be a little strange. It will happen to you too. Enjoy!

Not only that, this was only the first unmarked grave I've found. The second occurred just a few months ago, with the discovery of a distant cousin buried in my own hometown, of all places!

Grave found, case closed.

1 comment :

  1. It's not unusual to see headstones with multiple people on them, even when deaths occur many years apart.