Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I ♥ Cemeteries



Sounds crazy to normal people, I know. They are so beautiful (most of the time), dignified, peaceful, historic and educational. I have had my share of frustration over them too, mostly dealing with the people running them. (Mt. Moriah comes to mind....grrrr!)

But, oh, the cool things I have learned while digging through cemetery records! Never underestimate their importance!

Just recently, I decided to send for a bunch of records for 2 Philadelphia cemeteries - Odd Fellows and Mt. Peace - both run by Lawnview now (Odd Fellows was removed and reinterred at Lawnview in the 1950's).

I had quite a list of people, mostly not direct ancestors, but knew that these indirect people could very well open doors to the others. Two I was sure had been taken to Odd Fellows were the twin baby girls of Rebecca & Samuel Hopkins that died a few days apart in August, 1870. The parents were both buried in Fernwood later, so I was curious about these babies and who may be buried with them.

The record showed the plot belonged to a Delia McCullough, no one I knew. There were 4 McCulloughs buried there, then a "Mrs. Hopkins infant - stillborn" in February, 1869. Then came the twins, then a Kate S. Hopkins in March, 1871. After them were 4 more folks I didn't know.


Curious about the other 2 Hopkins, I searched the LDS site for their death certificates. Much to my surprise, the baby's parents were listed as Melvin & Catherine Hopkins. Melvin was my great-great-grandfather whom I never knew was married before he married my great-great-grandmother! Oddly, the undertaker's name was Samuel G. Hopkins, Melvin's dad, and had his address as well. Weird.

 


I then found Kate, 23 years old, died of anasarca (general edema usually caused by liver or renal failure). Her death notice confirmed their marriage and that her parents were the late John & Delia McCullough. Her funeral was held at her father-in-law's.



I went to the 1870 Census to find Kate and did find her in the (crazy) 2nd Enumeration living in the same house as Melvin and his parents, but is shown under her maiden name. 1st Enumeration she's not there at all. Weird, but that 2nd census is whack.

The other folks buried there are Kate's brother, grandmother, sister and 2 of her sister's children.

So, there you have it. A marriage and a child I would never have known about thanks to a cemetery.

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