I wrote last week about my favorite cemetery and invited you to respond. Thanks to all readers who wrote me with their comments and thoughts about favorite cemeteries.
Conni Mitchell Braun of Ohio wrote, “My family cemetery story is very sad. Two years ago, I started researching my Mitchell family history. With much luck, I was able to trace the family from Kansas back to Grainger County, Tenn. There I was put in contact with a woman who did a considerable amount of research into our family. She told me about our family cemetery just outside Blaine in Grainger County. Last fall my husband and I drove through Grainger County on our vacation. After 3 1/2 hours of driving around, we finally located the cemetery (after passing it twice before!) To my dismay, it was overgrown with weeds —including poison ivy. But I was determined to see the final resting places of my third- and fourth-great-grandparents. So I rolled down my sleeves and traipsed into the weeds. I was able to locate the graves but the stones are in terrible shape. It is a shame that this little cemetery is not taken care of by the county or state of Tennessee. Unfortunately, due to distance and resources, I cannot make the trip each year to clean up the cemetery. It breaks my heart though to see my family history deteriorating.”
Thanks too, to Suzi Plooster of Boulder, Colo. She wrote, “My favorite cemetery is located in Franklin Township, Middlesex County, NJ: the Ten Mile Run Cemetery. It’s named for the small brook of Ten Mile Run located a short distance away. This small cemetery was carved from the property that my grandparents Anna and Martin Peacos bought in 1932. The cemetery originally was given to the neighbors and friends who lived in the area as a gift from Jacob Cortelyou who owned the property back in 1700s . The cemetery is filled with wonderful old markers of people who were early Dutch settlers in the 1700s, laborers who died digging the Delaware Raritan Canal and people who died in the Revolutionary War. All of my family are also buried there in that small lovely, resting place, making it an even more special place for me.”
Reader Cay Merryman says her favorite cemetery “is a small one in Dallas County, Iowa, near the town of Booneville. My husband has 16 direct ancestors in this cemetery, so years ago we bought a lot there and put up our headstone. It is not only filled with family and history but has a beautiful view on a green hill among many trees.”
Debbie Harris of Topeka, Kan., told me that her cemetery is in LaClede, Kan. “The town has long been gone that there’s no trace of it except the cemetery. What I like about it is that all the stones are in a circle! Some haphazardly, like it was an afterthought. Its not a cold cemetery. There is a small shed in the middle. It’s empty now. Stones have names and dates on both sides. It’s not very big, but interesting. My ancestor from England is buried there but her husband is buried in Michigan. It’s just an odd cemetery!” Faith Peel says, “My favorite cemetery is of course the one where a large number of my family is buried. It is Cedar Grove Cemetery in Dorchester, Mass. It is one of two cemeteries in the world that has a streetcar line running through it, according to what my mother told me. In fact, when we were having her graveside ceremony, one went by. My sister and I were fortunate to be able to take a trip to Nova Scotia where my father’s family is from. We found his grandmother’s grave in a cemetery on Cape Sable Island. We made a rubbing of her tombstone and her parents. The interesting thing about this cemetery is that it is maintained by a ‘cemetery club.’ People who are interested in keeping it up join together and maintain it.”
Nancy Hendrickson is a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine. She also is a family historian, freelance writer and the author of two astronomy books. Her Web site is at www.ancestornews.com. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org