Archive for the ‘Tombstone Tuesday’ Category

Tombstone Tuesday: Jennie Salisbury

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

jennieesalisburyLooking back through our cemetery photos, this one from a trip to the Woodlawn Cemetery in McHenry County, Illinois caught my eye.

Jennie E. Salisbury. Her name barely fits the width of the stone and the dates, just years, seem to tell her story in the barest sort of way. We took this photo in the fall, but even in the summer it seems as though the concrete base would keep the grass from softening the marker’s edges. And yet, there’s something strong, solid, and appealing about this marker.

Jennie was the daughter of Julius Munson and his wife, Antoinette Maria Smith, a sister of Dean’s ancestor, James Ayer Smith. My notes suggest that she was married to an Edward P. Salisbury and that he died about 8 Feb 1868. Jennie Salisbury was enumerated with her parents in 1870 and with her sister in 1880 but in 1900, she was a patient at the state hospital in Elgin Kane, Illinois.

As I worked on this post, I found myself wanting to know more about Jennie. I logged into my Genlighten account (of course!) and requested her death certificate from Molly Kennedy, a friend and fellow lookup provider  from Springfield, Illinois. It turns out that Jennie died from lobar pneumonia and pyelonephritis at the state hospital. The death certificate doesn’t say much of anything else about her except that her occupation at one time might have been “canvasser.”

The curious thing is that Jennie, who would have been about 12 or 13 at the time,  doesn’t seem to have been enumerated with her family in the 1850 census unless . . .. Is it possible that the Jane E. Munson I see in both the 1850 and the 1860 census records is actually Jennie? I love a good mystery!

If you’re connected to the Munson family from Oneida County, New York, I’d love to exchange notes.

Tombstone Tuesday: William Bielby

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

lyonsville-0021My Bielby ancestor, Thomas A. Bielby, is buried in the Oriskany Cemetery in Oriskany, Oneida County, New York, but his brother, Robert P. Bielby, moved to the Chicago area about 1850 and is buried in the Lyonsville Cemetery, Lyons, Cook, Illinois. (We made the same upstate New York to Illinois move about ten years ago.)

I thought it would be enjoyable to focus on the Bielby line today and so I looked back through the photos we had taken on a Sunday afternoon cemetery trip to Lyons some years ago and chose one to post—Wm Bielby, died Feb. 28, 1869. Then I went searching to find out how he fits into the family.

Checking for “william bielby” with a death date of “1869″ and a death place of “cook, illinois, usa” I found nothing. Too specific. But searching without a place of death gave me a number of family tree results.

From a OneWorldTree entry at Ancestry, I learned that he was probably William Reilly Bielby, born 15 January 1807 in New Malton, Yorkshire England, died 28 February 1869 in Downers Grove, DuPage, Illinois. From the birthplaces of the children listed on that tree, it appeared that he, too, had lived in Oriskany, arriving between 1830 and 1832 and remaining in New York until at least 1850. Likely a relative of some sort. Then I located an Ancestry public member tree by GaPeachFlaGator that suggests he was a brother to my ancestor, born between Thomas and Robert.

So two of my ancestor’s brothers came to Illinois. How had I missed that before? It’s a find of sorts and a delightful reminder of how many discoveries there are waiting to be found among our notes and photocopies and photos if we take the time to go back and look.

Tombstone Tuesday: Polly GREEN

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010


My wife and I have a tradition of visiting nearby cemeteries on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Several years back, our Christmas adventure took us due west of Chicago to the Shabbona Grove Cemetery in Shabbona, DeKalb County, Illinois.

We were looking for my wife’s fifth-great-grandmother, Polly Green GREENFIELD.

This was before we had a GPS system in our car, so we were relying on paper maps and the address my wife had dug up from somewhere. As dusk approached, we were going in circles and not finding any hint of the cemetery itself.

Our kids, who were fairly used to their wacky parents dragging them on these sorts of outings, were beginning to get restless.

We stopped at a farmhouse to ask directions. The family who answered the door was willing to help, but could only give hints on roads to try and potential landmarks to look for. About half an hour later, with a light snow swirling in the air, we finally stumbled on the cemetery.

shabbona031Our kids scrambled out to search for headstones with the appropriate surnames. It was a tiny cemetery, so we quickly found the right one. It was badly worn, and the picture we hurriedly took in the fading light doesn’t show the inscription (or much of anything) clearly.

Here’s what we think we know about Polly (courtesy of a Greenfield cousin):

Polly GREEN was born about 1791 in Rensselaer County, New York. She married Joseph Rogers GREENFIELD. She died on 9 October 1875.

If you know anything more about Polly, we’d love to hear from you.

Tombstone Tuesday: Benjamin L. TRAFFORD and Cecelia Merritt INGERSOLL

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

trafford21Benjamin L. TRAFFORD was born on 05 August 1835 in New York City, NY. He was the son of Abraham Trafford and Basilea Harmer.

On 15 April 1857 he married Cecelia Merritt INGERSOLL in New York City, New York.

Cecelia was born 05 August 1837 in New York City, New York to Roswell R. Ingersoll and Caroline Merritt.

Benjamin died on 23 December 1883 and Cecelia died on 12 February 1915. They are both buried in the First Presbyterian Churchyard in Shrewsbury, Monmouth County New Jersey.