Wednesday, February 24, 2016

INTERMENT RIGHTS for Ancestor’s burial plots ~ How to gain ownership

Aid Cemetery sign_Aid Lawrence OH
Aid Cemetery sign, Lawrence Co., Ohio (photo taken by me)
Washington Cemetery_Est 1795_Keene NH_sign
Me at Washington Cemetery in Keene, New Hampshire (photo taken by my husband)
Mt Olivet Cemetery_rock sign
Mt. Olivet Cemetery sign, Detroit, Michigan (photo taken by me)

The subject of interment rights came to me quite by accident.  One of my paternal cousins wanted to place a headstone on her grandmother’s burial site.  Her grandmother is buried with my paternal grandparents and other family members.
 
However, she was told by cemetery staff that she had to get permission from the owner of the plot.  Trouble was, the owners were all deceased.  The staff member told her that if there was a living heir/descendant to the owner, then a notarized affidavit could be filled out and ownership then transfers to the descendant.

Guess who that descendant was?  Yup, me.
 
My cousin obtained the paperwork. I completed it, had it notarized and then returned it to cemetery staff.  Once this was done I, of course, gave my cousin permission to place the headstone for her grandmother.

Prior to this, I had never thought of doing anything like this.   
Have you heard of this procedure or done it yourself?

Here is the form I filled out (with names changed to protect living descenants).

GOULD_Affidavit of Heirs_GrandLawn Cem_Detroit Michigan_Section 5_Page_1

I paid $10 to have the form notarized.  I am now the documented owner of this plot in Grand Lawn Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan.

WHY WOULD THIS BE IMPORTANT?
  • Should anyone want to make changes to any of the gravesites, they would have to get my permission.
  • If the cemetery or the City of Detroit or anyone else should decide to use this land for something else, they would, hopefully, notify the owner of record.
  • When I make requests to have headstones raised (as I often do), they may be more likely to pay attention to me if I own the plot.
  • And the last reason….because it makes me feel good to know that my grandparents and other ancestors are in my care.
I am currently in the process of completing another Affidavit of Heirs for my maternal grandparents burial location at another cemetery in Detroit.  Last time I visited their gravesites, their headstones had sunk so far I could barely see them.  I asked that they be raised and a year later, they had not been. Maybe as the owner they will process my request in a more timely manner.

I called the specific cemetery and they emailed the form to me right away.  Last time I did not keep a blank copy of the form.  This time I have scanned and saved it, as I see that it’s the same form I filled out before.

I’m not sure if all states have the same form, but I’m sure with a phone call to whatever cemetery you have in mind, you can find out.   I did look online and found that using various search criteria brought up mostly information about heirship for estates.

I would love to hear from others who have gone through this process. 
  • Did you have any problems?
Do you think this is something you might do in the future?

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan

Woodlawn Cemetery Entrance sign
Woodlawn Cemetery, 19975 Woodward Ave.
Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan is just one of many cemeteries in Detroit, that are final resting places for my family.
 
I’ve been to the cemetery several times in recent years.  Using the “search” function in Legacy 8, I determined which of my ancestors are buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.  Please click here to see instructions on how to use the Legacy 8 search function.

This is the list created by Legacy 8.  There are 9 names on the list.

Woodlawn burials

Here are the headstone pictures I have for this group.  Fortunately, I have pictures for all but two.  I have recently, via FindAGrave.com, requested headstone photos for Ralph Gillespie Forsythe and his wife, Katherine Martz.

All photos shown here were taken by me.

(CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT)
Copy of MILNE_Robert Andrew 1909-1969_headstone_WoodlawnCem_DetroitMich
Robert A. Milne 1909-1969
Copy of Milne_Dorothy-Bobs wife-1965 headstone
Dorothy T. Milne nee Delahoyde 1913-1965
Copy of MILNE_Joseph_headstone_WoodlawnCem_DetroitMich
Joseph A. Milne 1883-1957
Copy of QUACKENBUSH_Merritt_headstone_WoodlawnCemDetroit
Merritt J. Quackenbush 1885-1955
Copy of QUACKENBUSH_Sarah C_WoodlawnCemDetroit
Sarah C. Quackenbush nee Roe 1884-1952
IMG_2081
Everett P. Roe 1893-1958 and Irene M. Roe nee Milne 1893-1989
How I am related to the ancestors buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.

DELAHOYDE, Dorothy – my Aunt (she married Robert Andrew Milne)
FORSYTH, Ralph G. – my 1st cousin twice removed
MARTZ, Katherine – the wife of Ralph G. Forsyth
MILNE, Irene “Peggy” – my maternal grand aunt
MILNE, Joseph Albert – my maternal grandfather
MILNE, Robert Andrew – my maternal uncle
QUACKENBUSH, James M. – my grandaunt’s husband’s sister’s husband
ROE, Everett P. – the husband of my grandaunt, Irene Milne
ROE, Sarah “Sally” – wife of the above James Quackenbush.

If you think you might be related to anyone mentioned in this blog post, please contact me.
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Monday, February 15, 2016

HAVE LIMITED TIME FOR RESEARCH? Here's What I Did Today in Just 60 minutes

ticking clock free image
As genealogists we all want more time.  Whether we work full time, part time or are retired.  There never seems to be enough time to work on our research or our files.  And, if you have a family with children there are even more distractions.

WHAT CAN WE DO IN A LIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME?

HERE ARE SOME THINGS I DID TODAY IN 60 MINUTES
  • I went to findagrave.com and searched for memorials for one branch of the family.  I located 3, entered the memorial numbers in the User ID in Legacy.  I downloaded and saved the headstone photos to the digital folder and attached it to the burial photos in my database, for that person. 
  • I entered a To-Do task to source the photo.
  • From those finds I found out that these family members had died in Cabell County, West Virginia.  I know that the wvculture.org site has loads of vital records. 
  • I located all three death certificates and death registers on the wvculture website.  I downloaded and saved them to my computer.
  • I entered the information from the death records into my Legacy database for that person and created a To-Do item to source the death certificate.
AND THE LAST THING I DID DURING MY 60 MINUTES
  • I went into the digital folder where I had just saved the death records for this family.  This is my Frampton family.
  • I noticed that some of the death records (including the three I added today) had not been cropped and straightened, so I took care of that today.
Here’s how they looked prior to being edited.
 
Frampton death records

I personally, don’t enter any images into my database without first editing them.  I use the Microsoft Office Picture Manager program to perform these tasks.  It’s easy and quick.

Here’s how they look now.  I began this process at 11:29 and finished at 11:34.  
So it took me only 5 minutes and look at the difference!

Frampton death records fixed

Here is a post I wrote about using the Microsoft Office Picture Manager program to edit images. The methods here can be used with most photo editing software.

Easy Document Editing

I hope this post has given you a couple of ideas for making use of those small windows of time we may find for our research.

OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST

Family History Library - After you return home...then what?

Tuesday's Tip - Photo Repair and Restoration

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Friday, February 5, 2016

MICHIGAN DEATH RECORD IMAGES FOR 1940 NOW ONLINE! Here’s how I found my family’s certificates


The website seekingmichigan.org has many wonderful records & historical information for Michigan researchers. 
Certainly the one I’ve used the most is their death index and images. The images for records from 1897-1920 have been online for a while now.

The images for 1921-1952 are being released as the 75 year restriction rolls around.  As of today, they have uploaded the images up to and including 1940.

So, today, I’m going to use my Legacy search function and see how many, if any, of my ancestors have deaths in Michigan in 1940.

To accomplish this I will go to the “Search” tab and then “Find.”
I want two criteria in my search:
  • Place of death = Michigan
  • Date of death = 1940
(CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT)
 1940 yr of death search

And, here is my list

1940 yr of death search list

Let’s go over to seekingmichigan.org and see how many of those four certificates I can locate.

NOTE:  As you know, uploading and indexing are not perfect sciences.  So, just because we hear that records are available, doesn’t mean they ALL will be.

How many of these death certificate images did I find?

FOUR OUT OF FOUR!!!

BUSH_William W_death cert_5 Mar 1940_DetroitWayneMichigan
DEATH CERT FOR WILLIAM W. BUSH
GOULD_Willard B_death cert-2_6 Jun 1940_Saginaw_SaginawCo_Michigan
DEATH CERT FOR WILLARD B. GOULD
ERB_Minnie nee Hartwey_death cert_15 Jan 1940_DetroitWayneMichigan
DEATH CERT FOR MINNIE ERB
FORSYTH_Katherine_death cert_24 Sep 1940_DetroitWayneMichigan
DEATH CERT FOR KATHERINE MARTZ FORSYTH

Wonderful!  I’ve downloaded each of them, cropped and corrected them and now I can add them to Legacy and source them.  That’s what I call 15 minutes well spent online.

TIP:  I do not like the look of images as they appear in our downloads.  I don’t like the black surrounding them and I don’t like them to be crooked or too grey.  I fix all of this before I ever save the digital image to my computer.  I takes about one minute to perform the task and makes your images look so much better in any report or if you upload them online.  See my “Other Posts” below for a post I wrote about this process.

Time to go work on those records.  Please let me know how many new records you find in this collection.

OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST

MICHIGAN DEATH RECORDS ONLINE - Where can you find them?

Legacy 8 - THE SEARCH FUNCTION - What Can You Find?

EASY DOCUMENT EDITING - How to Straighten & Correct Images

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION