Goodnight and I went back to the cemetery we visited a week ago.
When we went to Wisconsin last week, I didn’t have any confirmation of any specific family grave sites. I only had written family information that stated a long-standing family affiliation with a particular church and I made an assumption that I’d find family there. We didn’t have the luck that I had hoped for.
During the course of this past week, I was able to complete enough genealogy research to be able to know whose graves we hoped to find. I took a list and was determined NOT to leave until we saw every last one of them.
Goodnight and I stopped for flowers first. We needed two bunches for all the family we had in mind.
My first goal was to find the grave of one of my great-grandfathers. I had an article about him that stated he was buried “near” the town we visited and didn’t think that back when he was buried, his plot would not have been in town. The town has grown and so the entire cemetery is well within the city limits.
We found him! We found my great-grandfather, his wife, and several adult children all in the same large plot. There was a large stone with the surname and individual flat markers for each family member there. We missed them last week because they were in a section of the cemetery where the names were not visible from the cemetery roads. Because I thought my great-grandfather was buried out of town, we didn’t look too hard for his stone there. We brought tools along to clean up around the flat markers. Goodnight was very helpful with brushing around the lettering so each name is now legible. I pulled weeds and cut back some turf that had overgrown the markers. We got them all spiffed up.
While we were cleaning up the third family plot we missed last week, a deer scampered through the cemetery. It was a yearling. It skipped passed us and headed toward the oldest section of the cemetery where GN and I found the grave of a ten-day-old baby boy relative last week. The yearling stopped near his marker, turned and looked at us, then continued on its way out of the cemetery. When we finished cleaning up the fourth family stone and plots, I went to the car to get my notes. There was another child who died very young. My online research didn’t give a birth or death date. I had only found the year of the baby’s death.
I had a suspicion that we needed to look where the yearling had stood for a moment: not because the yearling paused there and I took it as a sign, but because the year the baby died would put it in the oldest section. Sure enough! That little guy was buried right next to the little guy whose grave we saw last week.
The second little guy died the same day he was born and apparently was never named (at least not on the marker.) The two baby boys were cousins to each other and grand-children to my great-grandfather. I lost it! My eyes turned to running faucets as GN and I cleared off the markers and laid flowers there. (Dancing: one of the yellow roses was from you. Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness.)
Goodnight and I found the graves of both baby’s parents. They were not in the same old section of the cemetery. Perhaps they couldn’t afford a large family plot when they lost their babies, but bought plots later in life and were at least able to be nearby.
Before we left the cemetery, we went back to the one family plot we had found last week. I brought enough flowers for everyone, so that was our last stop. What do you think we found there? Because my granddaughter and I were actually cleaning up the plots this week, and setting things down to pull weeds, and then taking notes of dates, etc., we were using more space than when we just stood there last week. Sure enough . . . I spotted the little grave of another baby boy.
This little guy was only three months old, but at least this family was able to have the same plot. In all, we found nineteen family members today . . . everyone on my list plus the third baby boy.