Tuesday, August 9

TombstoneTues: Who's Buried in YOUR Backyard?

Cinamon Collins' latest Tombstone Tuesday post at (Mis)Adventures of a Genealogist is a humorous reminder of how easily one can overlook a possibly long-lost ancestor in one's own neighborhood.

GUNTER is one of the many lines Cinamon has been researching for years. One day her husband jumped on his bike to make an ice cream run...and came back with photos of the tombstone of a Gunter she'd never heard of, spotted while passing a small cemetery near their home that she'd never bothered to explore.

(The photo here is one of a pair in Cinamon's Tombstone Tuesday-Felix Gunter post. The other is a close-up of the inscription.)

Cinamon doesn't know yet if the long-dead Felix is one of her Gunters, but is flabbergasted that she wasn't aware of a Gunter buried "practically in her own backyard". But her post reminded me that my mother's Only Other Child was...and still is, for all I know...similarly oblivious. For much different reasons...

For 40+ years, MOC (Mother's Other Child) has lived just outside the town where our SACK great-grandparents are buried under a large, elaborately engraved stone only a few rows from where he's been attending annual Memorial Day and Veterans' Day ceremonies in addition to the graveside services of recently departed locals.

Knowing he inherited most of his genes from the side of the family that's never been at all curious about family history unless it involves a very famous or highly-decorated ancestor (or an unclaimed fortune), I'm not the least bit surprised that even his own last name at eye level on a large tombstone escaped his attention.

The SACK stone is at least 6 feet tall, much bigger
than it looks here. This was taken from the road.

(Both photos above made by the author on 12 May 2007.)

Another nail in MOC's coffin...if you'll excuse the pun...is that SACK is not a common name in those parts, so I seriously doubt the possible connection has escaped the more curious citizens he inevitably comes in contact with at the feed store and the local cafe.

Nor, small town life being what it is, can I imagine he hasn't been asked numerous times if he's related to the couple buried under the SACK stone.

~ John L. & Zerilda Jane (Conn) SACK ~
Oakwood Cemetery, Baldwin City, Douglas Co, KS.
(Photo made by the author on 12 May 2007)

I don't know, of course, how he replies to such queries, but I can tell you he's never once mentioned the existence of the tombstone to me, or to anyone else in the family who might pass this tidbit along.

The upshot being I searched in vain for John and Zerilda's grave(s) for well over 20 years in towns and cemeteries hundreds of miles away. If not for an unexpected entry in the 1900 census, I might still be looking for it!

How I finally found John and Zerilda's tombstone.

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Tombstone Tuesday is sponsored by GeneaBloggers


Cinamon Collins said...

LOL! Glad to know I'm not the only one with these misadventures! Thanks for the mention!

Cris A said...

Eerily entertaining :D

JamaGenie said...

Yes, Cris...but then I know you love to be eerily entertained. ;D

Toyin O. said...

Interesting post, thanks for sharing.