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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The family gardens of stone

Old Union Cemetery Alfordsville, Daviess County, Indiana
Cemeteries are great places and I have thought so since childhood. In past blogs have told you how my grandmothers took me to lay flowers on many of the family graves and how I used to play around the headstones waiting for them.  To me they are my link to the past in a real and tangible way.  I can touch the stone, feel the letters, see the images, remember stories, and know that I am here because of the link I share with them.

Before FGS my family and I made a side trip home for a few days. It was a planned excursion, what was not planned was the death of my dad’s sister-in-law.  I did not want to add a sad entry to my family tree on that trip but I was prepared for it due to her illness. It is not an understatement to say I am thankful that she is now at peace and no longer in pain.

While I would have loved to see my cousins, aunt, and uncle under better circumstances it was still wonderful to visit with everyone.  My family is not one to sit around and stew or fret over things that are out of our control.  I was told not to sit around but that I should continue on to do my research like I had planned.

Part of my visit was dedicated to visiting family burial grounds over 2 counties. There were 4 more counties I skipped on this trip. This errand took on new meaning to me and my parents with the death of my aunt. Walking among the garden of stones and wondering about those who came before us.  Wondering about what is next for us too.

On the other hand it was a great scavenger hunt for my boys.  They love hearing about our military ancestors and when I informed them who we were searching for they were all in.  It quickly became a game to see who could find a family surname first and a fist pumping find when they located the magical ancestor first. My parents and husband were than a little amused.  Of course it leads to a lot of discussions even leading us to read the memorials for people who were not our relatives but had interesting information on their headstones.

I took images of many, many family members on those two days. Nine Cemeteries made for long, hot, sticky days but it was worth it. Below are a few that I wanted to share with you; the memorials for men and women that I have talked about here on the blog and who I have spent a lot of time researching and writing about.

Brothers Henry and Elias Arvin
Henry and Elias were born in Charles County, Maryland and eventually landed in Daviess and Martin Counties, Indiana via Washington County, Kentucky.  Both fought in the War of 1812 and lead what appeared to be full and active lives.  Henry and his wife Theresa Montgomery are buried at St. Rose Cemetery, Martin County while Elias and his wife Catherine Tinsh are buried at Old Union Cemetery, Daviess County. 

The two places cannot be any more different. Old Union is a beautifully up kept area with a white church and scenic farmland as the backdrop.  On the other hand St. Rose is on an off road wide spot off the side of a person driveway which unless you specifically went looking for it you would never know it was there. No church and no burials for almost 100 years.  Both, however, are still amazing places that are still being looked after. There were signs of restoration to the old stones that I was very happy to see.

Read more about them here and here 
Henry Arvin

Theresa (Montgomery) Arvin

In Memory of
Elias Arvin
Mar 25, 1790
Died Apr 23, 1875

In Memory of
Cath Arvin
Wife of Elias Arvin
Apr, 23, 1877
80 years

Father and Son James and William Cannon
James Cannon is one of my Revolutionary War soldiers. I have written about him and his service in South Carolina in the past. His son William is my direct line ancestor and I am lucky enough that they and William’s wife Mary Margret Smith were in the same row.  Even better, they were only a few plots down from Elias and his wife Catherine in Old Union Cemetery.
James Cannon
South Carolina
Rev. War

Gone Home
In Memory of
Born Oct. 15, 1797
Died Aug. 15, 1875
77 Yeart, 10 Mos

Mary Cannon
Wife of
Wm Cannon

Berthena Cannon Morris
Berthena was William Cannon’s daughter and the wife of Robert Morris and is interred at Truelove Cemetery, Martin County.  Many of you may remember that she is the “HauntedTombstone” story.  It took me a while to find her monument.  Longer than I anticipated actually for the pure simple reason that I was looking for a monument taller than me.  Well, it seems that nearly 30 years later I am taller than it now! Who would have guessed?

Daughter of
Wm. & Mary
Wife of
Born June 4, 1838
Died Mar. 22, 1909

Everett and Sylvia (Freeman) Combs
These are my great grandparents who are interred at Oak Grove Cemetery, Daviess County.  I wanted to post this picture since she was the subject my post about infant mortality.  The 6 tiny stones behind the main marker were very moving for my father and me.  These were siblings that according to my father, his father didn’t know about or remember. 

Dad told me about his father discovering them for the first time.  Can you imagine coming to visit your parent’s grave and discovering that you had brothers and sisters?  My grandfather was 5 when the first baby died.  He was 18 when the last one died, I just can’t imagine how he didn’t know.  Part of me wonders if they just didn’t tell people they were expecting after the first loss.

The dates are what I have uncovered in my research from death certificates, cemetery books, and family information.

Everett and Sylvia (Freeman) Combs with 6 children

Everett F.
Mar. 29, 1886
Nov. 7, 1970

Sylvia A. 
Oct. 5, 1891
Nov. 15, 1964

Back Row, left to right:
Kenneth 1928-1928
Gladys 11 April 1921 – 5 May 1921
Ruth 1920-1920

Front Row, left to right:
Robert 30 Sept 1933 – 16 October 1933
Infant 1927-1927
Pauline 12 June 1929 – 12 June 1929


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I have more here for nearly 5 generations of my family. Did you notice the repairs? I was so happy to see that someone is looking after many of the stones and trying to keep them intact and up.

      There may be a post (when I can find the time) about the repairs I found.

    2. The repairs were done in the mid nineties by a daughter Zelma M.(Combs) Horton.