Saturday, October 31, 2009

Searching For My Ancestor's Grave: A Wild Goose Chase, Part 5

(October 31st, Note: It has been awhile since I have written anything on the search for my ancestor's grave, and since I've been busy with school, I haven't been able to post any further updates to this story since my last post. I will try my best to finish this story as soon as I can, but I cannot set a timetable due to being busy with schoolwork.)

In my previous post, my grandfather and I had just left the Three Rivers Library after our unsuccessful searching of the funeral records, and we had decided to visit the second funeral home on the list the county clerk had given me. We drove around the residential streets in the northern part of the city until we saw the funeral home on a corner. Of course, we parked the car and went inside.

Sitting at the desk inside the home was a woman, and we explained that we trying to uncover the burial place of our ancestor. We mentioned that our ancestor had died in either 1940 or 1942, but weren't certain of the date because we did not have the death certificate. (To obtain a death certificate from the city of Detroit, where our ancestor had died, you had to have the exact date of death, and at the time we did have his exact date of death. I would eventually obtain his death certificate, but that would not be until some months later.) We also mentioned that his body was transported from Detroit to the Three Rivers area, but we did not know which cemetery he was buried in. It was possible that he was buried south of Three Rivers, but that was only speculation. We gave the woman the name of our ancestor, and she looked to see if the funeral had any records of him. She did not find any records, but she explained what records a funeral home might have of a burial. She also called the sexton of Riverside Cemetery in Three Rivers to find out whether or not our ancestor was buried there, but the sexton mentioned the farthest any Oswalt had been transported to the cemetery was from Grand Rapids. (That man happened to be the father of our ancestor.) In addition, the cemetery did not have any record of our ancestor being buried there.

After hanging up with the sexton of Riverside Cemetery, the woman asked if there were any other possible places he could have been buried. We mentioned that Centreville was also a location suggested, and I think I mentioned that one of our ancestor's wives was buried in the main cemetery. The lady suggested that we check with the sexton of that cemetery to see if he was buried there. (I forget if she offered to call him for us. Either way, she had helped us out immensely, and I am grateful for the assistance she gave us. I do remember that the county clerk had given me the phone numbers of the sextons in the county, and I think I mentioned that we had the number to the cemetery.)

After thanking the woman, we went back to the car, and my grandmother called the sexton of the Prairie River Cemetery. He wasn't at the cemetery, but he did agree to meet us at the cemetery. After the call, we head to the cemetery.

In the next post, I will write the story about our meeting with the sexton of Prairie River Cemetery in Centreville. Until then, enjoy, and stay tuned ...

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