Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Coffin Plate of Joanna C Locke 1844 ~ 1907

I have added the coffin plate of Coffin Plate of Joanna C Locke 1844 ~ 1907. Had a quick look in the 1900 United States Federal Census on Ancestry and it looks like she was born in Massachusetts. If you want to take a look at the coffin plate go to Joanna C Locke 1844 ~ 1907

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back to work

Well as many of you will have noticed I have not been Bloging much for the last little while. I have had to give my time to a few other projects but they are winding down now so I will be able to spend a little more time on the Bloging and on So with that in mind I am going to spend the rest of the day adding a few coffin plates to the database.

Coffin Plate Database

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

1749 Widow's Rights in Massachusetts

An interesting notice about social customs in Massachusetts in 1749. Apparently if a man married a widow, he was excempt from her previous debts if she married him while barefoot and wearing only her nightgown.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

1857 Ad for Coffins & Coffin Plates

An interesting 1857 ad for coffins and coffin plates. offin plates are decorative adornments attached to the coffin that contain free genealogical information like the name and death date of the deceased.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Cemetery Restoration Project

The restoration project of the Old General Cemetery at Williamsburg by the Covington County Genealogical & Historical Society is nearing completion.

The membership of the society is soliciting the aid of the descendants of families buried in this cemetery during the 1800s. Many of the earliest graves, dating prior to the Civil War, have missing markers.

30 burials have been identified so far and will be recorded on a monument. Anyone knowing additional names of those buried there will be able to have those names engraved on the monument.

Email for more information or to provide a name

Monday, December 07, 2009

Wreaths Across America

In national cemeteries across America the graves of hundreds of thousands of veterans will be adorned with Christmas wreaths during ceremonies set to take place simultaneously Saturday, Dec. 12.

Wreaths Across America is a tradition that began 18 years ago in Maine to recognize the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families. It has since spread across the country to include more than 400 national cemeteries, as well as 24 national cemeteries on foreign soil and several locations in Iraq.

Continue reading about Wreaths Across America

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Uncovered Bodies From 170-Year-Old Tennessee Cemetery To Be Re-Buried

A developer has been given permission to go ahead and re-bury bodies from a 170year old cemetery that developers had planned to relocate into a 50-foot buffer zone mandated by a 2002 rezoning. The property is located in Ooltewah, Tennessee

View names of those buried in the Ooltewah Cemetery

A to K and L to Z

Friday, October 30, 2009

210-year-old Irish immigrant's grave uncovered in New York park

For 210 years the body of 28-year-old County Kildare native James Jackson, a young Irish immigrant, has lain undisturbed in the center of Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.
But this week, as park workers dug below Washington Square they revealed his gravestone, a three foot sandstone tablet buried so long ago that it’s a wonder the writing on his headstone is still so clear.

Read More About James Jackson

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ask Olive Tree Blog, A Fantastic Blog

If you are looking for answers to your genealogical questions try the Ask Olive Tree Blog. Queries, challenging genealogy puzzles, brick wall ancestors -- ask Olive Tree, get answers.

Ask Olive Tree Blog

Monday, October 12, 2009

Death Reports of American Citizens

Death Reports of American Citizens Abroad,1910-1974 has just been put online on

Death Reports of American Citizens Abroad includes records of the U.S.
consular officers that reported to the Department of State the names
of U.S. citizens who died within their consular districts. These death
reports commonly provide acceptable documentation in the English
language for cases in which satisfactory proof of an American death
might be very difficult to obtain in any other form.

You might also want to consult the
Ancestor Death Record Finder to help you in your
search for an ancestor's death.

The free death records on include Coffin Plates, Funeral
Cards, Obituaries, Cemetery records and more.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Coffin Plate of Hermine Stephan

The Coffin Plate of Hermine Stephan is now online. From the photo I would say Hermine died in the 1900 to 1915 time period.

Hermine Stephan

If you want to take a look at all the coffin plates on Ancestors At Rest try the Coffin Plate Index

Friday, September 18, 2009

Man crushed to death by 200-kilo gravestone

Police in Vienna are investigating after a 40-year-old man was killed when a 200-kilo gravestone fell on top of him. Police said foul play had been ruled out and fingerprints on the stone had revealed the man had touched it before it fell.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Historical group protecting plots

There’s a plot of land off South Dixie Road that seems empty — but it’s not.

There are no markers, no fences, nothing to indicate it’s a cemetery except a few places where the ground has sunken in a little.

“I wouldn’t have known it was a cemetery,” said Mitch Adams, a senior GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technician for Whitfield County. “I only know it’s one because Marvin (Sowder) told me it was and because there are indentations in the ground.” Sowder is a local history enthusiast.

Read More

Monday, September 07, 2009

Tying The Knot In A Cemetery

Becka Sampaio and her fiance Kevin Bossons are planning a Halloween wedding and are dead set on tying the knot in a cemetery.
Read More

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Berger Family Memorial Cards

This is an interesting group of memorial cards for the Berger family. I had a look around to see if I could locate this family but was unable to pin them down. I did find a Joseph Berger living in Miamisburg, Montgomery, Ohio in 1900. It would take a little more work to see if this is the family we are looking for.

1900 United States Federal Census
Joseph Berger
Age: 62
Birth Date: Jan 1838
Birthplace: Germany
Race: White
Ethnicity: American
Gender: Male
Immigration Year: 1848
Relationship to Head of House: Head
Father's Birthplace: Germany
Mother's Birthplace: Germany
Marital Status: Widowed
Residence : Miamisburg City, Montgomery, Ohio

Household Members: Name Age
Joseph Berger 62
Ernest Berger 16

Sometimes people refer to this type of memorial card as a funeral card. This is not strictly correct as a funeral card was generally a small card that contained information on the funeral of an individual. I have lots more funeral and memorial cards on Ancestors At

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Abraham Manning Coffin Plate

I have added the coffin plate of Abraham Manning to my coffin plate section on

Old Abraham was aged 81 years 8 mos 26 dys when he passed on. No date on this coffin plate but I would say it is from about 1870 to about 1890.

If you want to see all the coffin plates in the index go to the Coffin Plates Page

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Orange Beach Community Cemetery Many Unmarked Graves

Locals have long known there are bodies in the Orange Beach Community Cemetery unaccounted for by above-ground markers. But the extent was not known until 2000 when Tony Kennon, who is now the city's mayor, sought to have his late father, Robert Kennon, buried in Orange Beach's only graveyard. When a body turned up in what was thought to be an empty plot, firefighters scanned the ground to look for an unoccupied spot.
Read More

Monday, August 31, 2009

Historic Miami Florida cemetery confirmed as burial place for Miami black pioneers

As researchers confirm that a Miami cemetery unearthed by construction crews was the final resting place of pioneering black residents, developers erecting a residential complex on the site move to keep what remains of the burial ground.

The mysterious, long-forgotten Lemon City cemetery unearthed by construction crews earlier this year will likely be preserved as a historical monument to the pioneering black Miamians who were buried there in the early 20th century.

The developers' decision to preserve the burial ground came after researchers found historical confirmation of the previously unknown cemetery's existence in a 1941 book published by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a government agency set up as part of President Franklin Roosevelt's response to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Continue reading the full story

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Emmett Till's Casket Donated to the Smithsonian

The National Museum of African American History and Culture has acquired the original casket of Emmett Till, whose brutal murder in 1955 energized the modern civil rights movement. Read More

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis Tennessee

Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis's oldest graveyard opened in 1852 and houses the remains of many prominent, and notorious, citizens. It's a microcosm of Memphis history—Civil War, Masons, yellow fever, immigration, crime: it's all represented.

Of particular note is the number of victims of yellow fever, which struck the city most severely in 1878. Half the populace fled Memphis and at the height of the disease that summer, 200 people died per day.

Over 1,000 Civil War soldiers are buried in the cemetery, as are former politicians, blues singers and criminals.

Read more about Elmwood Cemetery

Friday, August 14, 2009

FREE World Vital Records until AUGUST 18th!

WorldVitalRecords Free Site Access Today! World Vital Records announced today that it is extending its FREE ACCESS to the site until August 18th.

Genealogists have 4 more days to explore World Vital Records and find ancestors for FREE.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Death of Doris Hardisty, Guelph Wellington Co. Ontario

A Yearbook I bought on yielded this Death Notice:


The late Doris Hardisty who passed away early on Saturday morning November 1st was a student in Form IV A and her death cast a mantle of gloom over the studen body of the Collegiate. When we remember her attractive personality and the great promise of her life, her death is particularly sad. in school and school activities, in Church, in Young Peoples' organizations, she is greatly missed.

A search of the Death Records on revealed that Doris died of acute peritonitis after an operation in Guelph General Hospital (Ontario Canada). Gangrene set in and Doris died at the age of 16 years and 10 months. She was the daughter of Ernest Edward Hardisty and Lily Burton, both born England.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Coffin Plate of Ruth Stone 1782~1863

I have added the Coffin Plate of Ruth Stone 1782~1863 to my coffin plate database. I did a little digging and it looks like Ruth Stone may have lived in Jaffrey, Cheshire, New Hampshire.

Ruth Stone 1782~1863

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Footnote 1930 Census Is FREE

Footnote has opened up the 1930 census for all to view FREE during the month of August. This is a great opportunity to have a look for your ancestors.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

51 Headless Vikings Found in English Execution Pit

I found this story interesting and was thinking I would pass it on. I would love to see if they could get any DNA from the bodies.

Naked, beheaded, and tangled, the bodies of 51 young men—their heads stacked neatly to the side—have been found in a thousand-year-old pit in southern England. Read More

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Obituary Of Harry Patch Last British Survivor Of WW1

He was a plumber from Somerset, in many ways an unremarkable man, but Harry Patch became the last British survivor of the carnage of the Western Front.
Read More

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Townland of Minmore, County Wicklow Ireland. 1839

I have added a list of tenants renting land from Earl Fitzwilliam in the townland of Minmore, County Wicklow Ireland in 1839. Anne Burgess has been transcribing the 1839 Fitzwilliam rentals records, and putting them into a spreadsheet for each townland, hoping in that way to construct a sort of census substitute for 1839 in southwest Wicklow.

Townland of Minmore

I also have the following Townlands done.

People from the Fitzwilliam Estate in Wicklow that went to Ontario Canada.
Aghold Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Ardoyne Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Ballykelly Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Boley Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Coolattin Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Coolboy Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Coolboy Lower Townland, County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Coolkenna Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Coolroe Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Cronelea Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Cronyhorn Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Kilcavan Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Kilquiggin and Quigginroe Townlands County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Knockatomcoyle Townland, County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Larragh Townland, County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Minmore Townland, County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Monaghullen Townland, County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Park, Coolruss and Drummin Townlands County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Raheengraney Townland, County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.

You can see them at Ireland Genealogy

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Remains from Fort Craig cemetery reburied

The remains of more than 60 Civil War era men, women and children, who were initially buried near Fort Craig in southern Socorro County, will be laid to rest for a final time at the Santa Fe National Cemetery on Tuesday, July 28. Among them were three Buffalo Soldiers, who were reburied with full military honors after their original graves had been desecrated by trophy hunters.

Read More

Friday, July 17, 2009

Coffin Plate of Henry Richmond 1813~1885

I now have the coffin plate of Henry Richmond online.

Henry ? Richmond
Died March 30th 1885
Aged 72 yrs 7 mos 6 days

Henry Richmond Coffin Plate

Monday, July 13, 2009

Crazy Coffins

Vic Fearn and Company is a 160-year-old company in England that makes coffins. That doesn't sound terribly exciting, but recent customers may make you think twice about that impression. Crazy Coffins

Friday, July 10, 2009

Maxwell Factory In St.Marys Ontario

This is a photo of my Great Grandfather John Massey at work in the Maxwell Factory in St.Marys Ont. John is the guy in the middle with the funny look on his face. I am told he was a bit of a clown at times so the photo would seem to back that up. I think the photo was taken around 1920.

The Coffin Plate of Alexander Cameron 1806 ~ 1889

I have added the Coffin Plate of Alexander Cameron 1806 ~ 1889 to the database on I did a little research on old Alexander and it looks like he may have come from Scotland and lived in New York City. It would take a little more work to confirm this.

You can have a look at the coffin plate of Alexander Cameron 1806 ~ 1889 at Alexander Cameron

If you are interested in looking at the index to all the coffin plates on just go to the Coffin Plate Index

Thursday, July 09, 2009

St.Johns Anglican Cemetery, Waverley, Simcoe County, Ontario

I have added a index to the photos of St.Johns Anglican Cemetery, Waverley, Simcoe County, Ontario. It makes browsing the photos much easier.
St.Johns Anglican Cemetery

If you are interested in other Simcoe County Ontario Cemetery records try Simcoe County Ontario

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Archeologists to recover bodies from downtown Montreal grave yard

Archeologists will spend the next several months removing the remains of dozens of people buried under Dorchester Square and Place du Canada in Montreal.

The area was once the site of a Roman Catholic cemetery where between 40,000 and 50,000 people were buried.

A number of bodies were moved to Notre-dame-des neiges cemetery when the downtown burial site closed in mid 1850s, but some of the bodies are still there.

Read More

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Coffin Plate Of Samuel Lorenzo Love

The coffin plate of Samuel Lorenzo Love is now online. Samuel Lorenzo Love, Died Nov 4th 1879, Aged 23 years 2 months 12 days. Samuel Lorenzo Love

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cemetery Discovered at Florida Building Site

Historians and archaeologists want to know who was buried in an apparently forgotten cemetery uncovered in a Miami construction site.
Read More

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Government to locate kin of Civil War veteran killed with ax in 1877

As U.S. Army Pvt. Levi Morris died a slow, painful death from an ax wound, he told the medical workers tending to him that his only relative lived in Akron.Henry Pickett. For the past few weeks, the U.S. government has been trying to track down the Pickett family, but there was a big problem. Morris died in June 1877.In New Mexico. And Pickett, obviously, died long, long ago.

Read More

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Southampton headstone found north of Barrie

John McDonald, whose headstone was found last month in a ditch north of Barrie, was a Prince Edward Island native and fisherman whose resting place is a Southampton pioneer cemetery.

Ann-Marie Collins, archivist at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, confirmed that McDonald's grave marker had been missing from the old cemetery along the banks of the Saugeen River.

"It's just amazing that this stone has been found," she said. "There has been one other stone turn up in my time at the Bruce County museum, that's eight years now, and we're still trying to place it."

No one has been buried in the old Southampton graveyard for more than a century, and McDonald would have been interred there in its last 10 years of operation, Collins said.

He was only 46 years old when he died of "brain fever" on April 6, 1890. Collins first caught wind of a possible Bruce County link yesterday morning from a Simcoe County museum staffer. Further investigation verified it. Collins obtained a copy of the cemetery interment records and McDonald's date of death matched.

Several phone calls were received from people who subscribe to saying that McDonald was from Southampton along the shores of Lake Huron.

... Continue reading

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Unique Graves, Headstones & Tombstones

Unique Graves, Headstones & Tombstones. From the unusual to the amusing, you don't want to miss seeing these Cemetery Monuments!

Mel Blank, a Scrabble Headstone, Hippies, Computer Geeks and more....

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Coffin Plate of Lucy Andrews 1790 ~ 1869

The Coffin Plate of Lucy Andrews 1790 ~ 1869 is now online. It looks like Lucy may have lived in Brimfield, Hampden, Massachusetts.

If you want to see the coffin plate of Lucy Andrews or take a look at the index of over 500 coffin plates go to Coffin Plates

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Forgotten Coffin Of Gladys Winifred Fowler

An amateur sleuth has solved the mystery surrounding the tragic death of a young New Brunswick woman whose coffin has been lying in a dusty, unclaimed crate at a London cemetery for more than 90 years.

But one nagging question remains for Barry Smith: Will anyone from Canada come forward to bring her home?

Read more about Gladys Winifred Fowler who was only 18 when she died in 1917.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Missouri Archives Online Vital Records

I just found this online and I thought I would pass it on. The Missouri Death Certificate Database, containing death records created after 1910 and over 50 years old, makes that information available online through a searchable index that links to a digitized image of the original death certificate. The index can be searched by first name and last name, county, and by year and month. Once a name is selected, a digitized image of the original certificate can be retrieved. This is an ongoing project and additional records will be added as they are transcribed and imaged.

I have added a link to this valuable Missouri resource on my Death Records page on Ancestors At Rest.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Parish Of St. John, Pequea And Christ Church, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

I have added some records for Parish Of St.John, Pequea And Christ Church, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

St.John Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Canadian National Registration File of 1940

If you are researching family in Canada in 1940 then you may be interested in The National Registration File of 1940. The National Registration was a compulsory registration of all persons, 16 years of age or older, in the period from 1940 to 1946. It makes a great census substitute and has a lot of great info. If you would like to read more about how to access this fantastic resource go to The Olive Tree

Saturday, May 23, 2009

500 More Names Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery, El Paso Texas

I have added 500 more names to my Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery, El Paso Texas database. I now have A-B-C-E names online. Sorry D is not done yet.

Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Want to Buy a Cemetery?

For sale: 13 acres, 4.5 of them undeveloped. Easy access to public transportation. Walking distance to the waterfront. Historical details. Lush landscaping. Well maintained by its landlord of more than a century.

One last thing: It’s a cemetery, one that comes with 6,500 filled graves.

Read More

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery, El Paso Texas 3000 Names

I have just added 3000 names of people in the Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery, El Paso Texas. This is just the letters A and B for today. I will add more in the next few days.

Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cool Site For Ontario Photos

Hi All

I just found a cool site for photographs. It is called Images Ontario and it is just great. I have all ready found some of my ancestors and am just getting started. I don't know how long the site has been online but I think its great.

Images Ontario

Thursday, May 14, 2009

World's top 10 cemeteries

Lonely Planet's "Best in Travel 2009" lists the world's top 10 cemeteries. At number 10 is the City of the Dead in Cairo, Egypt.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Havana's famed Colón Cemetery suffers ravages of time

All but uncared for four decades since Fidel Castro came to power, the 137-year-old Cristóbal Colón Cemetery of Havana is facing one of the most difficult challenges in its history: the indignity of old age.

Read More

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Pioneers Of St. Marys, Perth County Ontario 1840~1860

I have created a new group on Facebook called Pioneers Of St. Marys, Perth County Ontario 1840~1860. And I would like to invite anyone with an interest in St. Marys to join me. This group is for anyone who can trace their lines back to early St. Marys. Or for anyone who has an interest in the history of this historic little town. I have used the years 1840 to 1860 as a guideline but feel free to post about any 19th Century St.Marys subject.

I have many early St. Marys lines and thought it would be fun to have a place to talk to others with ancestors in St.Marys.

Pioneers Of St. Marys, Perth County Ontario 1840~1860.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Making a Genealogy Time Capsule

My post about the Roman grave goods found in London started me thinking about how great it is to find a physical connection to our ancestors. It is so fantastic to be able to touch something that belonged to one of our ancestors. I am fortunate to be in possession of many items that belonged to my ancestors. But what will future generations have that belonged to me? Only time will tell.

If you are interested in sending a little bit of yourself into the future you may be interested in a series of articles on the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog called Making a Genealogy Time Capsule.

Just think how fantastic it would be if a hundred or perhaps a thousand years from now archaeologists were to find a time capsule full of information about you and your family.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Friday, May 01, 2009

Unique Roman glass dish found at London grave site

LONDON, Apr. 29, 2009 (Reuters) — Archaeologists have unearthed a Roman glass bowl, thought to be a unique find in the Western Roman Empire, at an ancient cemetery beyond the walls of the old city of London.

The "millefiori" dish (a thousand flowers), believed to date from around the 2nd to 3rd century A.D., is a mosaic of hundreds of indented blue petals with white bordering.

"For it to have survived intact is amazing. In fact, it is unprecedented in the western Roman world," said Jenny Hall, curator of the Roman collection at the Museum of London.


The artifact was found 2.5 to 3 meters (yards) down at a sprawling ancient cemetery in Aldgate, east London, just beyond the old city walls. Romans were required by law to bury their dead outside the city gates.

It formed part of a cache of grave goods found close to a wooden container holding the ashes of a probably wealthy Roman citizen from the ancient imperial outpost of Londinium, now mostly hidden beneath modern-day London.

Continue reading Unique Roman glass dish found at London grave site

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Roman York Skeleton Could Be Early TB Victim

ScienceDaily (Sep. 17, 2008) — The skeleton of a man discovered by archaeologists in a shallow grave on the site of the University of York’s campus expansion could be that of one of Britain’s earliest victims of tuberculosis.

Radiocarbon dating suggests that the man died in the fourth century. He was interred in a shallow scoop in a flexed position, on his left side.

The man, aged 26–35 years, suffered from iron deficiency anaemia during childhood and at 162 centimetres (5ft 4in), was a shorter height than average for Roman males.

The first known case of TB in Britain is from the Iron Age (300 BC) but cases in the Roman period are fairly rare, and largely confined to the southern half of England. TB is most frequent from the 12th century AD in England when people were living in urban environments. So the skeleton may provide crucial evidence for the origin and development of the disease in this country.

Continue Reading Roman York Skeleton Could Be Early TB Victim

ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 30, 2009, from­ /releases/2008/09/080916101038.htm

Monday, April 27, 2009

Coffin Plate of Millicent McLean 1888~1905

The Coffin Plate of Millicent McLean 1888~1905 is now online. It looks like Millicent was from Cicero in Cook County, Illinois. Her parents may have been John and Martha. If you want to have a look at the Coffin Plate of Millicent McLean 1888~1905 or have a look at the index to coffin plates go to the Coffin Plate Index

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Egyptians hope to find Cleopatra's tomb

Cleopatra and Mark Antony were immortalised as two of history’s greatest lovers, but their final resting place has always been a mystery. Now archaeologists in Egypt are about to start excavating a site that they believe could conceal their tombs.

Read More

Thursday, April 16, 2009

CanadaGenWeb's Cemetery Project Updates

CanadaGenWeb's Cemetery Project Update

Photos are now online for:

- Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cemetery, Ethelbert

- Riverview Cemetery, Kamsack

Elgin County:
- Light Cemetery
- Old Richmond Cemetery

Essex County:
- Fairview Cemetery

Kent County:
- Sherman Cemetery
- Wallace Cemetery

Lambton County:
- Delmage / Little Methodist Cemetery

Leeds County:
- Herald Angel Anglican Church Cemetery

Lincoln County:
- Lakeshore Cemetery

Middlesex County:
- Littlewood Cemetery
- Melrose United Cemetery
- Mount Pleasant Cemetery Sections D & S
- St Peter's Cemetery

Norfolk County:
- Johnson Cemetery
- Port Dover
- St John's Anglican Church Cemetery
- Windham Centre Cemetery
- Woodhouse United / Old Methodist Cemetery

Wentworth County:
- Free Methodist Church Cemetery
- Hamilton Cemetery Section T
- St George's Anglican Cemetery

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Saving Shanghai’s Jewish past, headstone by headstone

In Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Western philanthropists
and volunteers are restoring dozens of historic Jewish cemeteries.

But in Shanghai, there are none to restore.

The four cemeteries that once served this city's small but prosperous
Jewish community disappeared in the late 1960s during China's Cultural
Revolution. The sites were paved over to build a factory, park, hotel
and Muslim cemetery, their history forgotten.

Israeli photojournalist Dvir Bar-Gal is trying to change that.

While the cemeteries may be gone, since 2001 Bar-Gal has made it his
mission to track down as many of the original headstones as possible.
He has located 85 and hopes to use them in a memorial to Shanghai's
Jewish past.

Continue reading at

Sunday, April 05, 2009

More Sedgwick County Kansas Obits Online

I have added 100 more Sedgwick County Kansas obits on
The latest batch of 100 obits can be found at Sedgwick County Kansas obits

To see all my obits try the Obit Records Page

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Coffin Plate of Mary Taylor Brigham 1828 ~ 1912

The Coffin Plate of Mary Taylor Brigham 1828 ~ 1912 is now online. This coffin plate is interesting as I also have the receipt for the funeral. Mary Taylor Brigham 1828 ~ 1912

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A new King Family Genealogy Book

Lorine from the Olive Tree Genealogy has a new book out. From England to Arkell. It is the story of two pioneer settlers, Lewis & Thomas King who left Suffolk England for the Wilds of Upper Canada in 1831.

Lewis and Thomas King were brothers born in Wenhaston Suffolk England to parents James King and Hannah Blanden aka Blanding. In October 1830 when Lewis was 37 and Thomas was 34, the brothers joined a group of men and sailed from England to New York. According to written histories, the men arrived in November 1830.

Read More About From England to Arkell

Saturday, March 28, 2009

More Kansas Death Records

I have updated my Kansas page on I have added 100 more obits and updated some links. A lot of the new obits are from the Wichita area.

Kansas Death Records

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mass Grave For 19th-century Irish Immigrants

Researchers may have discovered a mass grave for nearly five dozen 19th-century Irish immigrants who died of cholera weeks after traveling to Pennsylvania to build a railroad. Historians at Immaculata University have known for years about the 57 immigrants who died in August 1832 but could not find the grave.
Read More

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Coffin Plate of Adam Wilkin Now Online

The Coffin Plate of Adam Wilkin is online. Adam died in 1869 and with a little hunting I found him living in Wallkill, Orange County, New York in 1860.

See the coffin plate of Adam Wilkin

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Reburied After 700 Years

More than 200 people have attended the funeral and burial in north Kent of an unknown teenage girl who was decapitated about 700 years ago. Read More

Monday, March 16, 2009

No Photos Of Tombstones Allowed

The church board of Old Union Christian Church Cemetery in Lexington Kentucky is up in arms about a man taking photos of graves and posting them on a web site.

Read More

Coffin Plate of Pamelia A Grovesteen

The Coffin Plate of Pamelia or Permelia A Grovesteen is now online on Permelia may have lived in Union Vale, Dutchess County, New York.

Permelia A Grovesteen Coffin Plate

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Vampire Unearthed In Venice

I thought this was an interesting story as it tells us a little about the burial customs and beliefs of our ancestors back in the 1500s. Who knows some one reading this story may be descended from the woman in the grave.

An archaeological dig near Venice has unearthed the 16th-century remains of a woman with a brick stuck between her jaws - evidence, experts say, that she was believed to be a vampire.

Read More About The Vampire Of Venice

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Coffin Plate of Samuel Allen 1799 ~ 1874

The Coffin Plate of Samuel Allen 1799 ~ 1874 is now online at Samuel Allen 1799

Or take a look at the coffin plate index atCoffin Plate Index

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Friday, March 06, 2009

St Ann's Cemetery in Penetanguishene Simcoe County Ontario

I was in Penetanguishene the other day and had some time on my hands so I took some photos of graves in St Ann's Cemetery. I already had a handful of graves from St Ann's online but this new batch gives me about 150. I now have about 75% of the old pre 1900 graves. St Ann's cemetery is still in use but I do not have many photos of the more recent burials.

I am still geting the new grave photos on line and it will most likely take me the rest of the day to finish.

You can see what I have online so far at St Ann's cemetery

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Paddington Cemetery Sinking

Mourners at a section of graves in Paddington Cemetery in Willesden Lane, Kilburn, have to negotiate filthy marshland in section 3B of the graveyard after unseasonal weather turned the site into a quagmire. Graves are sinking and becoming a boggy mess after foul weather played havoc with the ground.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Coffin Plate of Hannah Herbert 1850 ~ 1861

The Coffin Plate of Hannah Herbert 1850 ~ 1861 is now online. I had a look for Hannah in the 1860 United States Federal Census. I found a Hanna Herbert living in Georgetown Ward 1, Washington, DC, She was born about 1850 in the District of Columbia. I also found a Hannah Herbert living in New York, Ward 17 District 4, New York. She was born about about 1848 in France.

You can see the Coffin Plate of
Hannah Herbert on Ancestors At

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Coffin Plate of Mary L Durfee 1856 ~ 1864

The Coffin Plate of Mary L Durfee 1856 ~ 1864 is online on Ancestors At Mary L Durfee

I dont know who this Mary was but she may have been from North Providence, Providence, Rhode Island.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Graveyard Rabbits Carnival, Manly Family Coffin Plates

The topic for the premier edition of the Graveyard Rabbits carnival is "exceptional finds. So I thought I would share my 3 favorite coffin plates from my collection. I started my collection of coffin plates after my mother gave me one that had been handed down in our family for over 100 years.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the subject. Coffin plates are decorative adornments attached to the coffin that contain genealogical information like the name and death date of the deceased. Generally made of a soft metal like lead, pewter, silver, brass, copper, zinc or tin. The different metals reflect the different functions of the plates, or the status and wealth of the deceased.

In North America in the 1840s the practice of removing the plates from the coffin before burial as mementos started to become common. This practice was particularly popular in the North Eastern United States, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The farther you get from the Northeastern U.S. the less common the practice becomes. This practice peaked in the late 19th century (1880~1899) and by the 1920s it had all but stopped.

I have many coffin plates in my collection, several hundred in fact, but my 3 favorite plates are rare as the come from England. The English never went in for the North American practice of removing the plates before burial. They preferred to leave the plates attached to the coffin when it was buried so as you can imagine the English coffin plates are a little hard to get.

English coffin plates were also different from North American plates in that the English plates were often much larger. In north America most coffin plates are only about 4 to 6in wide. However in England they often used much larger plates called breast plates. Breast plates can be as much as 12in wide and 18in tall and are often shaped like a shield.

This set of three brass coffin depositum plates are all from the Manly family. These items were removed with the family's permission upon the deconsecration of the church and clearing of crypts etc. The two from 1875 are in classic Gothic shield style are professionally manufactured by Ingali Parson whilst the 1893 piece is heavily influenced by Arts & Crafts movement but has no makers mark. All three plates are brass with hand engraved lettering.

The plates read
William Manly Died Oct 25 1893 Aged 84 years.
Martha Manly Wife of William Manly Died April 26th 1875 Aged 62 years.
George Frederick Manly Died April 8th 1875 Aged 28 years.

Many people are a little surprised when they first see my collection of coffin plates. A lot of them ask me why I collect something that to them is kind of creepy or morbid. To me they are works of art. The beautiful engraving was all done by hand in the days before machines took over that job. The designs of the plates themselves reflect the styles of the period in which they were made. They also represent the growing industrial skill of the metalworking industry. And of course as a genealogist I love the way they connect me to the past. When I read the names on the plates I think about who the person was, what their life was like. I often try to do a little research on the family to see if I can learn any thing about them. I feel in some small way like I am keeping the memory of that person alive. I may not be related to that person but in many cases I am probably the only person who ever thinks about them, or in some cases is even aware they ever existed. And I think everyone deserves to be remembered.

Monday, February 16, 2009

William Massey Paid A Heavy Price

When I found out that the next topic for the Canadian Genealogy Carnival is Black Sheep Canadian Ancestors I thought to myself, "This is a Genealogy Carnival that I can take part in" For if there is one thing that I seem to have an abundance of it's Black Sheep Ancestors. The only hard part about participating in this Blog Carnival is deciding what ancestor to talk about. There is my great grandfather the hard drinking Sunday school teacher who wrote racist poetry as a hobby. Also my ancestor the railway worker who was arrested for stealing Winchester rifles from a boxcar. My bigamist ancestor. The Gambler. The rum runner and his wife who ended up in a penetentiary. And of course we can't forget my ancestors who were mixed up in the massacre of the Donnelly family. Canada's notorious family, the Black Donnellys, were massacred February 4th, 1880 by a vigilante committee.

However my favourite Black Sheep Ancestor is William Massey. William was my 4th Great Grandfather and he lived in the small town of St.Marys Ontario. The details are sketchy but it seams William worked for the Wells Fargo company in the early 1860s as a stage coach driver. One of the things that Wells Fargo did was transport money from place to place. One day for reasons we will never know William decided to help himself to over $888 dollars. This may not seem like much money to us today but back in 1863 it was a lot of cash.

Well I guess William was not the smartest criminal who ever lived as he soon found himself in front of the local magistrate on an indictment of larceny. I do not know much about the workings of the Canadian Justice system in the 1860s but it seems that this Court appearance was some kind of preliminary hearing to see if charges were warranted. Sort of like a Grand Jury in the United States. One interesting little side note is that one of the jurors was Timothy Eaton. Mr Eaton went on to found the Eaton department store chain. For you Americans out there, Eatons was Canada's equivalent of Sears.

Anyhow it would seem that the jury thought there was enough evidence to warrant charges so William was sent home to await his trial. However old William did not want to take his chances in court. He decided to get the heck out of Dodge and head south for the border, and a few weeks later he was in Massachusetts where he enlisted in the U.S. Army to fight in the Civil War.

Now it appears William being the crafty criminal mastermind that he was may have enlisted under the alias of John Smith. However William, or John Smith, did not much care for Army life for he soon deserted and made his way back to St.Marys just before his death in November 1865. It is hard to say what William's reasons for going back to St.Marys might have been. One can only speculate. His daughter claimed that he was so broken in body and spirt after the war that he died soon after returning. Whatever the reason it would seem he paid a heavy price for that $888.00 in stolen Wells Fargo money.

Hopewell Township, York County Pennsylvania, 1890 Tax Records

Hopewell Township, York County Pennsylvania, 1890 Tax Book. I have started to add scans of each page of the Hopewell Township, York County Pennsylvania, 1890 Tax Book. This book is a fantastic one-of-a-kind genealogy resource for Hopewell Township, York County Pennsylvania as it helps to replace the missing 1890 census. The book contains a complete list of every person in Hopewell Township that paid land tax in 1890. The book contains 4 columns that the tax collector could fill in, Name, County Tax, State Tax, and Remarks. I have transcribed only the names of the individuals found in the book and they are online. Now I have started to add a scan of each page so you can see the records for your self. I am only up to the letter C at this time but I will keep scanning.

Hopewell Township, York County Pennsylvania, 1890 Tax Book

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Coffin Plates

John Becker died 1898, John Becker died 1902, John Williams Lee died 1883, James Nolan died 1862, Josiah Rockwood died 1853, Mary Tobin died 1886, Walter Shillabe died 1803, I have added a few more coffin plates in the last week or two.

Coffin Plates

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Edward Haskell and Judith Haskell Coffin Plates

Edward Haskell and Judith Haskell coffin plates are now online on Ancestors At Rest. Edward H Haskell Died Sept 6 1880 Aged 62 years 5 ms and Judith Haskell Died June 6 1854 age 13 years.

Coffin Plates

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hats Off To You Girls

The 10th Edition of Smile For The Camera is Costume so with that in mind I thought this photo might be appropriate. The photo is of the sisters of my Great Great Grandmother, Harriet Purdue. The girls were all milliners, that is to say they made hats for a living. They also were accomplished seamstresses and made their own clothing. The photo was taken in St.Marys Ontario around 1895~1900.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Denver County Inheritance Tax Records 1909 -1912 Colorado Archives

The Denver County Inheritance Tax Records 1909 -1912 at the Colorado Archives are online. I did not know about this neet little database until today so I have added a link to it on my Colorado death records page. Colorado Death Records It is not a large database but if you have Denver County ancestors you might want to take a quick peek.

1911: Workmen Dig Up Coffin with Coffin Plate in Philadelphia

July 1911 Philadelphia

Workmen digging foundations for 11th Street Opera House unearthed a small coffin with a brass plate. The inscription on the coffin plate read

Samuel Ford
died February 8 1826
age 6 years 5 months 6 days

The Opera House site was formerly a church and cemetery. In 1850 the bodies were moved but sadly it seems little Samuel was left behind.

See for more coffin plates, funeral cards and death records

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Man pawns wife's coffin plate in 1882

Dec 23, 1882 Altoona Pennsylvania

Philip Gabriel tries to pawn the coffin plate from his wife's coffin.

Her coffin plate inscription:

Mrs. Philip Gabriel
died Nov. 29, 1882
Age 50 years 9 months 3 days

Mr. Gabriel was said to ask 25 cents for the silver coffin plate so that he could purchase whiskey.

To see if your ancestor's coffin plate is online visit the largest collection of coffin plates online (over 500!) at

A Hairy Situation

This rather strange photo came to me in a box of family photos. I unfortunately don't know the name of this person but the other photos in the box are all my Elgie and Facey relatives so this person probably is as well. The Elgie and Facey families lived in Ontario, just south of a place called St.Marys. I would think it has to be some kind of gag photo as no one in my family has had hair like that (not even in the 70s). I think the photo was taken about 1900.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

'Walking In A Winter Wonderland" A Cold Day For A Wedding

This is the only photo taken of my Massey Grandparents on their wedding day, Dec 31st 1939. The wedding was a small affair as it was the depression and they did not have a lot of money. My Grandfather was employed a delivery man for a bake shop at the time and my Grandmother was a bar maid in a local hotel. I don't know how much money they were making but I am sure it was not much.
They had only been married a few minutes when my Grandmothers father suggested that they should get a picture. And as cameras did not have a built in flash back in the days of yore, you had no choice but to go out side no mater how cold it was. And as it happened it was a typical freezing cold Canadian Winter day. My grandmother not having a coat on hand grabbed a old ratty sweater off the back of the door and out they went. I think the sweater actually belonged to my Great Grandfather.

So that is the story of my Grandparents only wedding photo. They may not have had a lot of money but the marriage lasted 50 years so I guess they had what matters.

Friday, January 09, 2009

John Becker 1871 ~ 1898 and John Becker 1827 ~ 1902

The coffin plates of John Becker 1871 ~ 1898 and John Becker 1827 ~ 1902 are now on my coffin plate index on I cant say for sure but I think they may be a father and son or perhaps a Grandfather and Grandson.

Coffin plates are an overlooked free genealogical resource. They often contain the Birth Record and Death Record and can be used as a substitute for vital records.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Now You Can Ask Olive Tree Genealogy a Question

Do you need help finding an ancestor? Now you can ask Lorine of the Olive Tree Genealogy web site. Lorine has started a new Blog, Ask Olive Tree. Send your query about your ancestors to Lorine. Every day she will choose one question to answer.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Search For My Irish Roots, Part 5

The kindness of strangers.

The quest to find my Masseys would not have been possible without the kindness of strangers. Jenny had done all the work of getting me the records from Delgany and it should be remembered that this info was of no value to her, she is not a Massey, she did it for no return. And now Annie would do something equally nice. She got her fathers D.N.A. tested for me. I say she got it tested for me because there was little she could learn from the test. You have to rember that Annie already new her lines were from Delgany. If her father and I were a match it would only tell her she had a few more distant cousins out there, that’s it. But for me it had the potential to finally prove once and for all the question that I had been working on for so many years.

I am a Delgany Massey

So as you may have guessed Annie and I are a D.N.A. match. Not a perfect match as I had hoped but close enough to prove what I had suspected all these years - that Annie and I are related and that my William Massey was almost certainly born in the Parish of Delgany. As you can imagine I was ecstatic. To finally have the answer to a question that had plagued me for so long was a great feeling. I was so happy. For about 10 minutes. Then like a true genealogist I started to think about what I still did not know, and I realized my search will never be over. Because for me it is not just about the answer, it’s about the search itself.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Search For My Irish Roots, Part 4

Sometimes you don’t find the next clue, it finds you.

I was contacted by a man who was researching the family of William Massey’s wife Ellen. I had never been able to find anything on Ellen, I did not even know her last name. As it turns out I probably would never have found her as I was looking in the wrong country. Anyway he had found a letter that Ellen’s father William had written to his brother Thomas in Etobicoke about 1860. The letter is now in a museum. The letter states among other things that William Massey was from a place just a few miles south of Dublin Ireland. And what is just a few miles south of Dublin. You guessed it, Delgany.

So I was now convinced that my Masseys were from Delgany but I of course had no real proof of this and I had run out of places that I could think of to look. Then again out of the blue another piece of the very circumstantial puzzle fell from the sky and landed in my lap. I made contact with a man by the name of Ron Mahone who was researching a Massey family that lived just a few miles from my Massey family in St. Marys Ontario back in the 1860s. The story handed down in Ron's family was that they were from a place called Redford or Redfoord. So I did a little diging and was able to confirm that they were indeed from Redfoord. And where is Redfoord? You guessed right again, Delgany. Now I had no proof that this new Massey family was connected in any way to mine but there were not a lot of Irish Massey’s in Ontario in the 1860s and knowing that the Irish would often settle in family groups I felt this was yet another small arrow pointing me to Delgany.

Then last year Jenny Selfe came to my aid again, albeit in a round about kind of way. She had received a letter from an Annie Massey about the Massey family. Jenny had put all the Delgany Massey data that she had on her website. Not having any more info than what was on her website she put Annie in touch with me. Now for Annie their was no question that she was a Delgany Massey. She had her lines well documented, for her there was no doubt about it. And with a little digging she was able to prove that she was related to the Massey family that had lived just a few miles from my Massey family in St. Marys Ontario. So everything kept pointing me to Delgany, it was like the place was calling me but I could not get that last little piece of the puzzle. The proof was always just out of reach. What to do?

The kindness of strangers.

To be continued.......

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Search For My Irish Roots, Part 3

Then I got lucky

Meanwhile back in Canada I had searched for many years with out finding that magic little record that would tell me what Irish County my William Massey was from. Then one day in a most unexpected place, I found it. In a Cemetery record of all places. I had seen my William's tombstone many times and had searched for an obit to no avail, but then at the Archives of Ontario I found the interment records of the cemetery on microfilm and there it was. Wicklow Ireland. The strangest part was that my William was not even originally buried in that cemetery. His body had been moved after the original cemetery he was buried in was closed. So it was just blind luck that someone had recorded his place of birth.

Now you would think I would be happy with this new found info, lots of people never find this much, and I was happy, for about 10 minutes. Then like most genealogists I started thinking about what I still did not know. Where in County Wicklow was he from? Did they mean the town of Wicklow? How will I know where to start looking? So it was at this point that my one name study of Irish Masseys started to pay off. For one of those little pockets of Masseys was located in County Wicklow. In a little place called Delgany Parish.

Now I know what you are thinking, that it is hardly proof that my William Massey was from Delgany. And you are right, it was totally circumstantial. But I just had a feeling that I was on the right track. So I made a big leap of faith and started to concentrate my efforts on Delgany.
So I started to learn everything I could on Delgany. What records were available, the history of the parish, the geography. I read everything. I even spent hours looking at the place on Google Earth. It was during this search to learn everything I could about Delgany that I came across a lady by the name of Jenny Self. Jenny was an Australian living in England, who had done some research on her own lines in Delgany. Now Jenny and I are not related so she had no Massey info, but I found her work so interesting that I dropped her a quick email just to thank her for taking the time to put all her hard work online. Well to make a long story short this led to a correspondence and Jenny offered to do some looking in the Delgany Parish records on her next trip to Ireland.

I was very excited at the prospect of Jenny taking a look in the Parish Records as these records are only available in Ireland. But you can imagine how happy I was when a few months later Jenny sent me all the Massey Births, Marriages, Deaths and Burials for over 200 years. It was a fantastic windfall and I am still grateful for the hours of work that she put in to help someone who was basically a stranger. But to my disappointment William was not there. Of course at this point some people would have moved on but I still felt that Delgany was the place. And I would soon find more evidence to keep me looking in Delgany.

Sometimes you don’t find the next clue, it finds you.

To be continued.......

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Search For My Irish Roots, Part 2

We're Irish???

Now don't get me wrong, there is no anti-Irish sentiment in my family that I am aware of but some how this little tidbit of information had gotten lost or perhaps hidden somewhere along the way. My grandfather had told me we were English. There was no talk of Ireland in the family stories, no Irish names, no tombstones in the local cemetery with the words, Native Of County Blah Blah Ireland, Nothing. Thus began my quest for my new found Irish roots.

Now what???

I quickly learned that to do any meaningful genealogy in Ireland you need to have some idea of what County your Irish ancestors came from. Without this you are just flailing around in the dark.

The 1861 census had told me my GGG Grandfather William Massey was a native of Ireland. Where in Ireland I had no idea. So I did what any new genealogist would do, I started flailing around. However in my case my flailing around would one day pay off. It would just take about 30 years.

Fortunately for me Massey is not a common name in Ireland (this makes hunting a little easer) so I began to collect even the smallest mention of the Massey name anywhere in Ireland. Sort of like a one name study of Irish Masseys. At the same time I continued to research my Masseys in North America in the more conventional organized way, working on my direct lines. It was these 2 styles of research that would one day give me some of the answers I was looking for.
My somewhat haphazard one name study of Irish Massey’s soon began to paint an interesting picture. It told me that almost all the Masseys in Ireland are descended from a few men, most likely just 3 of 4 who came to Ireland in the 1600s. It also told me that the descendants of these men tended to stay in the same locations as their original immigrant ancestor. This has the effect of producing little pockets of Masseys located at a few different places in Ireland. This info was interesting but of course it did not tell me what little pocket of Masseys I belonged to.

Then I got lucky......