Tuesday, April 19, 2016

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ How many great grandparents headstones do I have photos for?

We all have eight biological great grandparents.  I was wondering today, do I have headstone photos for all of them?  Do I even know where all of them are buried?

I went to my Legacy program and got an answer to my question pretty quickly.
Here are my results:
Gould, William Val – Yes
Gould, Mary “Mae” Eve nee Thorp – Yes
Lindsay, William Wallace – No-see my explanation below
Lindsay, Elizabeth “Bessie” nee Fitzcharles – Yes

Here are the pictures of the headstones of three of my four paternal great grandparents. 
Gould_William V_headstone_1859-1924_MtOlivetCem_DetroitWayenMichigan GOULD_May E_headstone_1862-1946_MtOlivetCem_DetroitWayneMichigan_enh

LINDSAY_Elizabeth nee FITZCHARLES_headstone_1866-1914_GrandLawnCem_DetroitWayneMichigan
Milne, Andrew Charles – No
Milne Smith, Susan Anne nee Gillespie – No
Bowden, Robert Lee – No
Bowden Bell, Florence nee Hunter – No

It sure doesn’t look good on that maternal side, does it?  What are the reasons for not having headstone pictures for those ancestors?  I already know the answers to that question.

Milne, Andrew Charles – buried at Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan – no headstone.

Milne Smith, Susan nee Gillespie, wife of Andrew Charles – buried at Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan – no headstone.

Bowden, Robert Lee – buried at Highwood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania – According to a findagrave volunteer there is no marker in the area where he is supposed to be buried.  I need to follow up with the cemetery office and find out for sure.

Bowden Bell, Florence nee Hunter – ex-wife of Robert Lee Bowden (they divorced in 1899).  She is buried at Mt. Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri.  There is no headstone for her.  She is buried next to her daughter Edna.  A findagrave volunteer sent me the following photograph of her burial place.

BOWDEN_Edna Wood_Mt. Moriah_Missouri

Regarding William Wallace Lindsay’s headstone

I had originally put “yes” next to his name in the the list above, for my paternal line.  Imagine my surprise when I started to post the pictures and found I didn’t have one for him.  I’ve been to Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit, twice in the past 6 years.  I’ve seen all the Lindsay headstones.  Surely I had a picture of my great grandfather’s marker.

Guess what?  I don’t have a picture.  I looked in my cemetery notes in Legacy and found out why.  Apparently his stone was buried 12” down and located by a cemetery staff member, after my cousin inquired about it.
I’ve submitted a photo request on FindAGrave, since I can’t be sure I’ll get back to Detroit this year.  Although I certainly hope I do.

One more item to add to my long list of reasons that I think blogging helps with our research.  Seems like every time I write, I discover something new or something I’ve missed.

How many of your great grandparents headstone photos do you have?
CEMETERY RECORDS - What can they tell you?  How do you use them?

CIVIL WAR DEAD and our National cemeteries

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall


  1. It's surprising how many of our ancestors were buried without headstones.

    1. I agree with you John. Wish I had the money to get headstones for all of them.

  2. This is a painful subject for me. While I have pictures of my maternal side, not my paternal side. My paternal great grandfather is buried in a small private cemetery out in the middle of a farmer's field and my cousins have attempted to get permission to visit it. (This is in a state some distance from where I currently live.) The owner of the field has signs such as stay out, no trespassing, etc etc. on the fence to the field and all over the front of his HOME across the street. They haven't been able to find a number to call and given the signs he has all over, it doesn't appear it would be a very good experience. It's so frustrating. Then my paternal great grandmother died a few years after great grandfather, leaving her kids as orphans. I found her entry in a mortuary book, but no indication of where she is buried. Her siblings and father were living in another state. Anyway, it really bothers me because really great grandparents are not that far back.

    1. That must be very difficult Michelle. Yes, our great grandparents are close relations. I haven't found any that are in a private cemetery yet. But, I certainly have lots of brick walls within a couple of generations, so I don't know what I may eventually find or not find. I hope one day you can get close to those gravesites

  3. This is a great exercise. I have visited all of my great grandparents' resting places but don't have photos of all of the headstones. I haven't been to one of the cemeteries since before my interest in genealogy. Or should I say, before my active interest in genealogy, because I did take photos that day but the lighting was less than ideal and I was using a disposable camera - it was some time ago and just before digital photography. This cemetery is in Canada where they got six inches of snow on bare ground the day before we arrived for our last visit. I hope to get there again soon.

    1. Anna. Thanks. I never ceased to be surprised by the discoveries I make when I do a little thing like this. The question popped into my head and I was certainly surprised to find out I was missing one photo on my paternal side. I would have bet that I had that one. Hope you get back to get all of yours.
      Thanks for stopping by.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.