Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Visiting the Local Cemetary - Iron Mountain, Michigan

Today's research involved a field trip - time to visit the cemetary and add to my collection of pictures of ancestors' grave stones. I suppose it could be said I'm fascinated by the macbre, or maybe I'm just practicing for that last trip. Whatever the motivation, I do find it very interesting to do this phase of the research. People who help me have very different attitudes towards this aspect as well. Some are cheerful and chatty, others act very serious and quiet. Everyone is very respectul, and most are forthcoming with information that may be helpful to me. I appreciate their help, whatever their attitude!

Today, I was referred directly to the cemetary to find the graves of my great grandparents. Cemetary records are not always so easy to come by. In some counties, they are kept at the funeral home, others have them in the county records office, still others are in the city hall. It all depends! That's one of the reasons I'm trying to get to the physical locations when I can. I started today at the county courthouse, and they only confirmed the dates of death. They gave me the phone number for the cemetary. When I called, a gentleman told me yes, come on out, he could help me locate the graves.

When I arrived, he was in the little office (not a computer in sight!) with another man, whom I presume was the grave digger from the way he was dressed. The manager of the cemetary pulled out his books and looked up my great grandmother, who died in 1932. He found her and then looked up her card in another file drawer. There was her card, with all the other family members, including great grandfather, buried in the same family plot. He gave me a map and showed me exactly where to find the graves. He also said if I had any trouble finding them to come on back and he would take me. We chatted for awhile and he said he often has people come around doing this type of research, and they're always glad to help out.

I drove right to the family's plot and saw the large stone with the name Bordeau on it. That would be my grandfather's sister's married name. I got out and looked around, but didn't have my camera with me, so we would have to come back later for pictures. The cemetary is very nicely maintained, although the cross at the top of my ancestor's marker has broken off and is laying in front of the stone.

We did go back later this afternoon, and took a few pictures. The big stone in the middle of the picture is the Bordeau stone. The small one to the left is my great grandparents'.

The engraving on the stone is very hard to read, here I am with a stick, trying to etch out some of the crud from my great grandfather's name. Great grandmother's name is on the side facing the camera.

Tomorrow is the last day here, and I'm not sure how much research I'll do. I think I've found most of what's here, and can fill in a few more blanks in my records.

Thursday we'll move on to Mackinaw City. I expect we'll get back to hunting lighthouses! We've enjoyed our time here, and we're looking forward to moving on.


Sandra said...

Great work, Ellie! I'm glad you're making progress on your family tree.

Joe and Sherri said...

How cool is that finding the graves after all the years. What kind of history do you have of them? It must be exciting to locate all these folks. I must try and do that sometime. I know my grandmother and grandfater are buried in Childress...I would have to find out where my greatgrandmother and father are. Well I'll have something to do when I retire.

Thanks for having us along

Joe and Sherri