52 Ancestors Week 21: Tombstone

+7 votes

Time for the next 52 Ancestors challenge...

52 Photos and 52 Ancestors sharing bacgesPlease share with us a profile of an ancestor or relative who matches this week's theme:


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You don't need to share every week to participate, but those who do will earn badges. If this is your first time participating and you don't have the participation badge, or if you pass a milestone (13 shared profiles in 13 weeks, 26 in 26, or 52 in 52) let us know here. For more about the challenge, click here.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)

30 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

Fun: Memory of going to the cemetery to visit my father-in-law with my mother-in-law and 5 or 6 little grandkids. One tot bent over the flower receptacle and started having a conversation with Grandpa! "Granpa! Why you live here now? Come to my house!"

Serious:The stone that gives me the some pause, is the one for Sarah Poling Driver. The inscription says she is the "Consort of Isaiah Driver" I thought that was rather bold for the times. Isiaih and Sarah need more work. Someday we may learn the story. 

by Lyn Sara Gulbransen G2G6 Mach 2 (30k points)
selected ago by Sandra Williamson
+8 votes
My paternal grandparents and great grandparents are buried in the same cemetery located in the sourth bay of los angeles, Califorina.
by Jennifer Robins G2G6 Mach 3 (39.1k points)
+9 votes

Jeanette Rose Lacroix married my great uncle Leland in 1930. As a beginner on WikiTree I struggled doing her profile, which was full of question marks. When a wonderful Find A Grave volunteer, Marilyn R., photographed her gravestone upon my request that was a major breakthrough. Thanks to that photograph Jeanette's second marriage to Edwin Cook was confirmed, and that helped to confirm other bits and pieces. Also it's a very good-looking gravestone.

(By the way, should we be saying 'tombstone' 'headstone' or 'gravestone'? I'm lost)

by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 6 (62.8k points)
+7 votes
I have visited several cemeteries and taken many photos of my ancestors tombstones ... I have also taken several photos in my small town cemeteries honoring requests by out of town people using Find-a Grave web site.

So, I guess should thank the Find-a Grave web site for their offering.  I have located several hundred tombstones for all the branches of my family.

And the search for truth continues!
by Bill Sims G2G6 Mach 6 (65.1k points)
+7 votes

As we come up to Memorial Day, I am remembering going to as many family cemeteries with my parents as we could.  Mom would have the back of our car filled with plants that she had potted herself, and many of the closer deceased relatives would get a plant for the season at their tombstone.  Or gravestone, as I would say.  This Memorial Day tradition is all over the world, and I remember my elderly relatives asking the younger ones to remember to do this when they could not anymore.   I will try to keep that tradition this year.   

In my own early genealogical work, I strove to find the physical gravestone as part of my search.   In those days sometimes we had to drive lots of miles and visit overgrown graveyards, looking at all the names to find great great grandpa.    I remember loving the concept of Findagrave when it became popular, obviously becoming so because many think as I do.  Seeing the actual gravestone, in context, with other relatives around, is often revelatory.   Conversely, not being able to find an extant gravestone is a block in my search.   While obviously not everyone had one, it is physical evidence of their lives , and keeps me on the quest to find that piece of evidence.  

An example from my family of an interesting gravestone is that of Solomon Towslee Jr., brother to my ancestor, who was killed in an accident at a routine visit to the mill.  This violent end was engraved on his stone.  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/43641149/solomon-towslee#source  ; https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Towslee-20

by Carolyn Adams G2G6 Mach 3 (34.5k points)
edited by Carolyn Adams
+8 votes

My grandmother Pearl Lovelace died in 1971, and she had wished to be buried with her first husband. I gave the monument company $100 to put her name on his tombstone. My husband was in Vietnam at the time, and we moved to California after he got home. Six years later in 1977, we moved back to Oklahoma, and we actually moved to the town where she was buried. I made a trip to the cemetery and realized they had never put her name on the stone. I luckily had the receipt in with her funeral papers, so I took it in and asked why her name was not on the stone, and they said it was an oversite. So two months later I went to the cemetery, and her name was still not there. I think they were planning for me to not come back for another 6 years. This time they said that they decided it would not look good because of the difference in time. By now I was very unhappy and told them that I was, since they had kept my money and done nothing. A week later I went to the cemetery and realized that they had not cut into the stone far enough to have the lighter color show, but it is fine, and her name is there.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (185k points)
+10 votes

On a visit to Frankfort, Kentucky during the early 1960's my mother took my young sister and our cousin (both under 10) to visit some famous graves. (Good times, eh, genealogists!) Soon they came to the Memorial for Daniel Boone, which is a towering, upright tombstone. My sister became unusually quiet, which my mother took as a sign of reverence. After some deep reflection, my little sister finally asked, "Did they bury him standing up?" 


by Bill Vincent G2G6 Pilot (112k points)
edited by Bill Vincent
+6 votes

2G Uncle John Limbrick Truslow was born in Lynchburg, VA  shortly before the Civil War broke out.  The son of a jeweler, Uncle John had wanderlust and took a job with the railroad when he came of age.  He married Julia Boring Howard on 27 June 1872 in Talbotton, Georgia .  THe young couple began moving around the country, briefly living in San Francisco before settling in Santa Barbara, California where he died on 5 September 1901 of "General Paresis."  His widow lived in their home at 221 W Figueroa St., Santa Barbara until her death in 1933.  They are buried under a simple headstone in Santa Barbara Cemetery in Santa Barbara.

by Dorothy O'Hare G2G6 Mach 1 (19.3k points)
edited by Dorothy O'Hare
+8 votes

Not long after I started working on genealogy, and before I joined Wikitree, I went to the Burghley Horse Trials, in Stamford Baron (England) in 2011.  My maternal grandmother was born in Burghley Park, and I still have relatives in the area.

While I was there I visited the various villages where my ancestors had lived, and the associated parish churches.  One of the places I went was South Luffenham (Rutland), where my records show that my third great grandfather  George Brown (1811-1888),  poor shepherd, was born lived, died, and was buried.

When I visited the church and the graveyard, my expectations were not high  I thought that, if anything, I would find a small, nearly illegible, grave stone in some far corner.

Imagine my surprise  when, entering the graveyard, the very first gravestone (there is a picture on his profile) I stopped to read, about 2-3 feet tall, still clearly readable, read

"In Loving Memory of 

Charlotte Wife of 

George Brown

Who Died September 18 1883

Aged 73 Years

Also of

George Brown

Who Died October 19 1888

Aged 77 Years"

(followed by a biblical quotation)

My question is how a poor shepherd was able to afford what must have been an expensive gravestone? (None of his children were more than "Ag Labs", so they didn't have much money either.) And why was it placed in such a prominent position?

by Janet Gunn G2G6 Mach 7 (74k points)
+7 votes

I have not found any tombstones of direct ancestors yet. I have been to a few churchyards where records say distant ancestors were buried but there are no surviving memorials, assuming they ever had a gravestone erected.
A few of my closer ancestors were buried in London and Birmingham but so far I have not made the trip to try to find out if they have memorials and I have not found them on Findagrave or Billiongraves.
The closest I have found online is my great uncle William Unwin who was cremated at Enfield Crematorium, London. I don't know if there is a memorial in the Crematorium's memorial garden but I managed to find his entry in the Book of Remembrance so I edited and cleaned up the image I found online and I think it makes a nice addition to his profile.
Note: I have visited Tombstone, Arizona as a tourist - not in anticipation of finding any relatives. It is an interesting place to visit if you are in that part of the world.

by Ray Hawkes G2G6 Mach 4 (46.9k points)
Did you add the colouring to the letters or was this how it was before you cleaned it up?
The colouring was already there. It seems to be a standard style for british Books of Remembrance at Cemeteries and Crematoria.

There was a lot of bleed through of colour from the other side of the sheet so I used some filters to eliminate that and make the background solid white as well as cropping the part of the page I wanted.
+5 votes
So far 3 members of my immediate family have passed away - my brother, my sister and my father.

My father was cremated and his ashes were later scattered so he does not have a tombstone.


My sister was also cremated but her ashes are buried. There is a photo of her headstone on her profile.


My brother died as a baby and is buried in the family plot that is now over 60 years old.


My grandparents also have their tombstone in Dunedin, NZ. This one is at Andersons Bay cemetery.

ago by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (742k points)
+6 votes
In 1979 the broken grave stone of Captain Nathaniel Fowler https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Fowler-8650 turned up as a prank on the doorstep of a real estate office on the Bothell-Everett Highway, some 15 miles from its home in the Mukilteo Pioneer Cemetery in Mukilteo, Washington.  This was, fortunately, the event that finally brought the neglect of the cemetery to an end.  The cemetery had been neglected since the 1920s; tombstones lay broken or vandalized, and a sea of ivy and blackberry vines covered all.  Periodic attempts at cleanup had been made but restoration was not yet attempted.

The City of Mukilteo at that time did a title search and discovered that the cemetery was still on the tax rolls, that Snohomish County had no record of its present owner, and that it could potentially be developed into housing.  This prompted the city to begin the process of purchasing the land and in 2005-2007 the grave stones were mended and restored.  

Captain Nathaniel Fowler finally got his official Civil War marker in 2009 due to the efforts of the Mukilteo Historical Society.  He was the brother of Jacob Fowler, Mukilteo's co-founder, and he was probably the first burial in the cemetery.
ago by Margaret Summitt G2G6 Mach 9 (91.8k points)
+7 votes

I wish my father was alive so that I could share with him the things I have learned about the family.  He was interested in genealogy, but had no family members to talk to, the internet did not exist, and we lived in a town that did not have any type of genealogical society.  He wrote a lot of letters, got a few responses, but a good day for him was when he got a new rubbing of a relative's tombstone.

ago by Colleen Chapin G2G6 (6.3k points)
+5 votes

Shot in the back by Buford Tannen over a matter of eighty dollars? What kind of a future do you call that?!

This week, we go searching for a tombstone. 


No. Not the pizza. Mmm. Deep cut was deep.

ago by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (310k points)
+5 votes
My grandpa, Ike Barr, was very fond of westerns.  I'd imagine he probably liked the movie "Tombstone."
ago by K. Anonymous G2G6 Pilot (110k points)
+6 votes

i have used my 2nd great grandparents as their gravestone was the 1st i found myself - it's here on my blog

ago by Amy Lackey G2G6 Mach 1 (13.2k points)
+4 votes
Week 21 - Tombstone. This week I am selecting George Buttrey-35, although he, as many other of my ancestors, didn't have tombstones, or headstones. It seems a lot of my ancestors either couldn't afford it, or it wasn't a big priority.

Anyway. MOST FUNNY INCIDENT. I went to see where George and his wife Alicia were buried, as you do. And couldn't find a head stone. But what I was told by the volunteer at the cemetery at the time was, some helpful person had come along at some stage, and had collected up all the markers to be helpful, and returned them to the shed. Apparently it was the only record that the cemetery had, inrelation to where anyone was buried, who didn't have headstones. So it sounds like they can't bury any new people there now, because they don't know where the available spots are. I was asked not to tell anyone, so I won't say where.

And that wasn't the end of my adventure there on that day. I did discover another headstone, with the same Buttrey surname. So, as you do, I looked into that person instead, and discovered, yes, they were both related. The couple in that plot, that is, where both related. George's brother, married his own niece, and they had five children. A very different find. Marrying his own niece, means that 75% of their DNA would have been the same. I'm not sure how the kids turned out. I hope they were alright.
ago by Ben Molesworth G2G6 Mach 2 (20.7k points)
+6 votes

One of the most compelling headstones that I found was that of my 2x Great Grandmother, Eliza (Burns) Flood, who was buried with her infant son, Ulyssus. Eliza and her husband, Edward, came from Ireland during the famine to the United States. They settled in Fremont, Winona, MN about 1865.

Edward and Eliza had eleven children between 1854 and 1875. Eliza died on 2 October 1876 and is buried in the Old Scotch Cemetery in Fremont. Her son, Ulysses died 3 year before (1873). Her husband and children erected a headstone that read "Eliza Wife of E. FLOOD, died Oct. 2, 1876, Aged 45y's 4m's 20d's ULYSSUS G. Son of E. & E. Flood Died Sep. 2, 1873, Aged 1 yr 4m's 23 d's.

What makes this a special headstone is that it was the first 'hard' evidence that I found for these Flood ancestors when a nursing school classmate and I drove to Fremont, traveled miles out of our way and finally 'discovering' this Old Scotch Cemetery! Linda and I walked along separate rows looking for Baldwin and Flood names. Linda discovered the headstone and the information was consistent with the death records we found for Eliza and Ulyssus at the records office in Winona, MN. This was well before computers, DNA and any form of online evidence.

Eliza and Ulyssus G. Flood headstone

ago by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (221k points)
+5 votes

My father, Marion Johnson was a World War Two combat veteran. Although he spoke very seldom about his service, I know he was proud to have served.

He and my mother, Lois Canfield Johnson, are buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, MO.

ago by Ron Johnson G2G6 Mach 1 (15.4k points)

How can I import the photo of their gravestone? I tried using the Image thing, but either it doesn't work, or I messed up somehow. More likely the latter LOL.

The link to their headstone is  https://www.wikitree.com/photo/jpg/Johnson-66923-3

I had the same problem, so I will interested in what feedback you receive.
+4 votes

I'm really enjoying this 52 ancestors challenge. It has led to a fascinating bit of research for me and now I have the opportunity to share it. Two weeks ago, another Wiki-Tree-er shared about the service of his ancestor, LNAB Lindley, a Quaker from Indiana. That reminded me that I have Quakers and Lindleys from Indiana in my ancestry, and set me off on the quest to connect them to the older ones that I knew already had profiles here. It was hard doing it from recent to more distant past, so I worked "down" the tree from more distant to more recent and adding as many sources as I could as I went along. Success! ... although I accidentally created a duplicate, it has already been merged and the Lindley chain is complete.  My connecting ancestor, the one in my line who moved to Indiana from North Carolina, is James Lindley . His family were Quakers, and the Battle of Lindley's Mill was fought on the family's land during the Revolution. His parents were shot as Tories before the battle (or worse, his father shot his mother fearing she was about to betray him, as some stories recount), and his grandfather (also named James Lindley) had been executed as a traitor in South Carolina a few years before. His great-grandfather, Thomas Lindley, the owner of the mill, died either in the battle or from shock and grief in its aftermath. Also, making my research work harder, there are multiple genealogical records (including FS and Find a Grave) that list as his parents as a couple I believe are actually his great uncle and his wife. So, editing the profiles for James and his parents (Simon Hadley Lindley and Hannah Massey) was a little out of my comfort zone, but I'm fairly confident that I have the ancestral chain correct. If any more experienced genealogists have additional sources, or can improve the profiles in his line, great! It's a fascinating chain of history, and following it and researching it from my Ancestry tree was one of the things that led me to WikiTree in the first place.

The prompt this week: Tombstone. Well, I'll go one better. James Lindley is buried in the Lindley Cemetery in Kokomo, Howard Co. Indiana. For all the violence his immediate ancestors experienced, he seems to have led a very peaceful life, although I think he was no longer a practicing Quaker. After his marriage to Susannah Stout he moved west to Ohio, and later to Indiana. He had 13 children (two of whom are on WikiTree so far, and I hope to add the rest). He is the oldest Lindley in the Lindley Cemetery. His tombstone is fairly plain. But I'm very excited to have found out more of his family's history, and discovered more cousins.

ago by Katherine Chapman G2G6 (9k points)

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