Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cemetery Surprises

When I started doing research I had some underlying assumptions. For instance, if a grave marker said someone was buried there, I assumed that meant they were buried there. How naive! As stated earlier, Rachel Wainright Jones (Pop's Mom) is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate, Kentucky. Interestingly there are grave markers on the plot for her father Britton, mother Mary Elizabeth, her brother Thomas, and her grandparents, Ruth and William Wainright. The people that run the cemetery office tried to help me out. They keep pretty good records. They told me that they had no record for the burial of William. They even had a sketch of the plot showing who was buried where -- still no record of William.

By the time I found Rachel, I had substantial information about her father, Britton. He had an interesting history I'll discuss in another posting. I knew he died "in defense of his country against the rebel John Morgan" of Morgan's Raiders fame. I knew he died of heatstroke near New Albany, Indiana in 1863. I had a copy of his Civil War Pension Index. I knew his widow, Mary Elizabeth, brought the family back to Cincinnati. I wondered how someone's body from the Civil War who died in Indiana made its way back to Cincinnati. The plot sketch says that Britton was buried in Evergreen in April, 1864 (a year after his death). I've read of families spending quite a bit of money to recover the bodies of their Civil War dead, but I wondered if Mary Elizabeth actually brought his body to Cincinnati when the family returned. The Cemetery Office could not locate a card for Britton in their file. But there was the grave marker -- spelling out all of the details about Britton's life.

Then there was William -- Rachel's grandfather. They had a record for the burial of Ruth, but not William. Again, William had a grave marker. Ruth was living with her daughter, Rachel Lusk, in Newport at the time of her death. Apparently, William and possibly Ruth had been living with another daughter in Athens, OH when William died. It wasn't until October 2008 that I was able to find William buried in the South Canaan Cemetery outside of Athens on the family plot owned by his daughter, Ann Eliza Broadwell. There was a wonderful verse engraved on his marker, yet his wife was not buried next to him when she died a few years later. Lesson number one: Sometimes it's not a grave marker, it's a memorial to a loved one they would have liked to be buried near.

Then there is the mystery of Charles Jones monument in the Walnut Hills Cemetery. I was fascinated from the first time I saw it. There was a symbol on the monument that referred to the "Golden Lodge" and "70". I've scanned in a copy so you can see the crossed swords, ivy, etc. I could not seem to identify a Golden Lodge.

A couple of years ago I found the Death Notice for Charles Henry. There was my answer! Again I found it interesting that the notice would acknowledge that he was a "Member of Golden Lodge, K. of P." but not mention that he was the father of Fred, Leo, and Edith. I guess Alwilda placed the Death Notice.

Further research allowed me to find out what the "K of P" was. It stands for the Knights of Phythias, a fraternal organization established by an Act of Congress in 1864. You can read more about the organization by following this link The organization was devoted to international peace. If only their goals had been achieved. It gives me one more clue as to who Charles Henry was. He obviously valued friendship and service. Wish I could learn more.

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