The photo above was taken a couple years ago when I visited Beard Cemetery. I visited the cemetery with my grandparents and brother because we were looking for Oswalt tombstones in Saint Joseph county. One of the books of cemetery transcriptions had a transcription of Beard Cemetery, and the last name of Oswalt was mentioned. So, before we left Saint Joseph county (at the end of our second trip), we stopped at the cemetery, and I took pictures of the Oswalt tombstones. This tombstone is of Albert Oswalt, but I have not uncovered a connection. Thus, I do not believe he is related to my Oswalt family.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
When I left off, my grandfather and I were planning on making a trip down to Three Rivers, Michigan. We decided to go make a trip in July, and stay at a hotel there for about two nights. After checking into the hotel, we went to the county courthouse in Centreville, - a village about five miles from Three Rivers and a 5-10 minute car drive between the two places- and did a little research into the vital records held in the county clerk's office. After ordering a marriage certificate, I asked one of the assistant clerks about local funeral homes that might have existed back in the 1940s, and the clerk wrote down two funeral homes in Three Rivers where I could ask about my ancestor's possible burial. After I received the information, my grandma asked about a good place to eat dinner, and the clerk suggested a place.
At dinner, I discussed with my grandparents and brother our plan of action for the next day to find my grandpa' grandfather. After dinner we went back to our hotel, and relaxed before going to bed. ...
At the moment I have to stop with my story since I am behind in posting this article, but hopefully, I will be able to finish it in part three. Stay tuned for the next part. Enjoy!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
(As a side note, I just want to mention that I was originally supposed to write the column for this week, but since I have finals this week, I haven't had any time to write very many posts. Therefore, I want to thank William Morgan for taking my spot. I am extremely grateful. Thank you.)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
This photograph is of the tombstones to the right of my Stout ancestors' graves, and I took this photo at the time I took the other photos. (You can read more about my tip on taking pictures of other nearby tombstones here.) The surname on these stones are Stuby. As far as I know, there is no connection between that family and my ancestors.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Until a few years ago, no one in my family knew where our ancestor (whom I will call John) was buried. Or at least those of my family members who were still alive who remembered him. The only person who knew was my great-grandfather, and he died several years before I was born. Plus, he did not like talking about his family history, so it almost seemed as though the secret of the location of John's burial was buried with my great-grandfather when he died. Or so it could have turned out that way, if it were not for my grandfather. My grandfather had the desire to find out where John, his grandfather, was buried, and he expressed that wish to me several times since I had taken over the research into our family's history. So, one of my earliest research goals was to help my grandpa find John.
So, what did we know before we began searching for John's grave? Well, we knew John had either died in 1940 or 1942 in Detroit since my grandfather remember John passing away and remembered attending his funeral. Unfortunately, we did not have an exact date of death for John, and since we did not have that date of death, we couldn't order his death certificate. (You have to have an exact date of death in order to obtain a death certificate from Detroit, and since we did not have that date, we obviously could not get the certificate. Obtaining a death certificate through Detroit is cheaper than obtaining it through Lansing.) Of course, that death certificate would not have helped us if we had been able to obtain it. (I'll explain why, later.)
Since John died fairly close towards the end of the Great Depression, my grandpa's family did not have a lot of money, and in consequence, the funeral they had was small. (My grandfather is unsure if there was a funeral notice in the newspapers since the funeral was held within a couple days of John's death.) The day after the funeral, my great-grandfather arranged to have himself and John's body transported to Three Rivers by train. Once my great-grandfather arrived in Three Rivers, we know he was picked up a local undertaker since he told my grandpa about being picked up. What we did not know was where my great-grandfather had John buried. My great-grandfather apparently only had a limited amount of time before he had to catch the train back to Detroit, so he did not accompany the undertaker to the burial site. All we know is that my great-grandfather later received a letter informing him about where John was buried, and of course, my grandfather was of the opinion that the letter was eventually thrown away. So, in short, we did not have a clue as to where John was buried.
Based upon what we did know, we figured that John had to have been buried in a cemetery somewhere around Three Rivers, but we did not know at the time if it was north, south, east or west of the city. After my grandpa spoke to his sister, he thought that maybe we could narrow our search down to cemeteries south of Three Rivers. Of course, we were just speculating as to the location, but we decided to make a research trip to Three Rivers in the summer to see if we could find John's grave.
In my next post, I will continue with the search for John's grave once we reached the Three Rivers area. Stay tuned ...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Since today is Veteran's Day, I thought I would honor all those who served by posting photograph of a tombstone today. The tombstone above is of Benjamin F. Oswalt who served in the Civil War. He is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Three Rivers.
I suspect that Benjamin Oswalt is a brother to my ancestor, Adam Oswalt, but I do not have any direct proof to substantiate that belief. All I have is his marriage record, which does not name his parents, that includes the witness, Daniel Black who was the first husband of Margaret Oswalt. (In her second marriage record, she listed her parents as Benjamin Oswalt and Mary Robb. Adam's death certificate gives his parents names as Benjamin Oswalt and Mary Rough, but since the record is a death certificate, his mother's maiden name could be wrong.)
For this Tombstone Tuesday, I have decided to post a photograph of another Stout tombstone from Prairie River Cemetery. The grave above is of Laura (Tompkins) Stout, the second wife of my ancestor, Peter Stout. I am not descended from Laura, but from Peter's first wife. As far as I have been able to uncover, Peter and Laura did not have any surviving children, if they had any children at all. I hope you enjoy this photograph.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
The photograph is a section of a picture I took of my ancestors' graves in the Prairie River Cemetery in Centreville, Saint Joseph county, Michigan. (I will be posting a little bit more on my ancestors' graves on Tuesday.) I just cropped out the the tombstones of my ancestors and left the rest of the tombstones in the picture. Nothing says graveyard better than a group of tombstones, right?
Anyhow, have a happy Halloween! Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
- Beard Cemetery, Saint Joseph County
- Calhoun Cemetery, Saint Joseph County
- Prairie River Cemetery, Saint Joseph County
- Placeway/Whitcomb Cemetery, Livingston County
- and of course many others ...
The cemeteries above are either ones where I have ancestors buried or ones that I am familiar with, and thus, these cemeteries will be among the first I will write about. Please stay tuned for future posts! Thanks.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
For this Tombstone Tuesday, I have decided to post a photograph of my ancestor's grave. This is the tombstone for Adam Oswalt, and since he was a veteran, his tombstone gives the name of the war he served in (which happened to be the Civil War) and the regiment as well. Adam is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Three Rivers, Saint Joseph County, Michigan. I realize Three Rivers is a city, but I decided to post this picture because Three Rivers is a small city and is located in a county that is primarily rural. (I will try to not post photographs of tombstones from urban areas, but every so often, I'll post a photograph from this cemetery when I won't have photographs from other cemeteries available for posting.) Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Another source one could use to locate the county of a cemetery is the Library of Michigan Michigan Cemetery Sources database on its website. Again, this is a website that will give a list of names of cemeteries in a particular location. It does not contain a map of where the cemeteries are located, and the burial records for the cemeteries are not online. This site, though, is a place to start, if you are looking for the names of cemeteries in a particular area.
Of course, if you are going to go visit one of the cemeteries in Michigan, I would obtain a map of the local county that you plan to visit, so that you are able to find the cemetery. In addition, paying a visit to the local library near the cemetery would be a good idea, especially if you are looking for a specific person buried in that cemetery. The local library might have a transcription of the tombstones in the cemetery, and finding out where a grave is located will save time when you visit the cemetery.