Jul 31, 2011

Spooky Genealogy: A Cemetery Find

 With Halloween approaching (I know it is still July but I LOVE Halloween!) I thought I would share some of my spooky genealogy stories.  Many family historians have these experiences, there is a message board on Ancestry.com devoted to this subject.  The kind of things that seem more than coincidence, that make you wonder if your ancestors are helping you with your research.  I joke with my husband that my dead ancestors speak to me sometimes (I wish they would - what a savings in time and money LOL).  He rolls his eyes, tells me I am crazy and says maybe you are just good at genealogy research.  Maybe it is a little of both.

This occurrence however kind of rattled him.  It happened a year ago on Father's Day.  Myself, hubby, and daughter went to Jefferson Memorial Cemetery to visit my father-in-law's grave.  It was not a genealogy trip, just a cemetery trip to visit passed loved ones.  We go to this cemetery quite often to visit my husband's father, grandparents and great grandparents.  We knew of no other family buried there.

We sat down by my father-in-law's grave as we always do on a nice day.  I commented on a few graves that were about 75 feet from us because they had balloons attached to the markers.  I said we should bring balloons for our family next time we come.  All of sudden my husband noticed that the balloons from one of the distant graves had blown off the marker.  He yelled for us to run after them so we could put them back.  My daughter took off running down the hill and I really didn't think she would be able to catch them when all of a sudden the wind just stopped along with the balloons. 

My husband stayed at his father's grave while I went with my daughter to re-attach the balloons.  He pointed to the correct marker, saying he was certain they came from that specific one (I didn't want to put them on the wrong grave).  I bent over trying to attach them to the vase when I glanced down at the name on the marker.  I literally froze!  It was my husband's last name!  I read the whole marker and was dumbfounded.  It was his great Uncle Bill and Aunt Ada!  We had no idea they were in this cemetery.  I called for him to come over and he went pale.  He has very fond memories of his Uncle Bill and speaks of him often, but had no idea where he was buried.  He called his sister and mother, neither knew they were buried here, let alone so close to his father.

Coincidence?  Possibly, or maybe Uncle Bill and Aunt Ada were tired of us always coming but never walking the short distance to their graves.  We now visit them every time we go to Jefferson Cemetery.  Who put the balloons on his grave?  Well one said "Dad" and when hubby talked to his mother she said that Uncle Bill's daughter was still alive (close to age 90), so we assume it was her.

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