I decided to take advantage of a daily blogging prompt and write about the Anderson family. I found this line interesting as I was researching my Great Uncle Tom’s side of the family. Though only related by marriage, there were some interesting stories, pictures, and information.
I found out that my Great Uncle’s father, Thomas Anderson, was an only child, born to Katherine Cullom and John Anderson. John and Kate were married in 1868 and she was a minor. Unfortunately, the State of Illinois was unsuccessful at finding the permission document that her parents would have had to sign. Oh well…but I digress, this is about Tombstone Tuesday.
I found that My Great Uncle’s father was married to Margaret Bowers. I started to look for burial information on her. A cousin mentioned that she thought that she was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery, in Chicago, Illinois.
I must say that if anyone has ancestors buried in this cemetery, you are in luck. This cemetery was extremely helpful and accommodating. I learned something during my visit as well – which I will share with you.
Assume nothing. I know that you know that, but really – assume nothing.
After I printed out the high level map at the kiosk (Catholic Cemeteries) of Margaret’s grave, I stopped by the front desk. I asked the woman if she had a section map that I could use that had more detail. She said that unfortunately, they didn’t really have section maps that could be copied, but would I want a copy of everyone in the plot?
WHAT? OF COURSE, I WANT THAT! Well, I didn’t burst out like that, I swear.
She prints this and hands it to me:
Conlin? Who the heck are the Conlins? 10 people? She states the stone also says Conlin. What? Really?
I’m thoroughly confused.
The mystery began. As far as I can tell, the Conlins were neighbors to the Andersons and they just decided to remain neighbors in the afterlife. I have found no family tree connection to date, but you never know. Without this information, I would have been roaming the cemetery, looking for an Anderson grave. Even with the location, I would have walked right by it…and that’s a lot of real estate for 10 people!
Ever since that day, if I am visiting a cemetery, I do ask if they have plot records. I have not been as successful as at Mount Olivet, but I have been able to sometimes obtain additional information that I might not have gotten had I not thought, known, or were too afraid to ask.
To my dismay, John Anderson does not seem to be buried in this plot. That remains a mystery. I know he died between the 1900 and 1910 census. That case will need to be solved at a later date!
I found 5 Andersons that day, one of which (Loretta) I had not known much about.
It just goes to prove, it never hurts to ask for what information may be available!
Good fortune! Wish we had a law that every cemetery should make plot records available. I guess the Conlins were really close neighbors. Maybe it was a financial decision. Happy for your find, and hope you can locate your John Anderson.
Thanks, Mariann! Yes, it is odd to me, but I do think it was financial. Between 1914 and 1922 there were 5 people buried there. Definitely needs more investigation!
Thanks so much for stopping by. I really appreciate it.
Great story. I love the idea of neighbours sharing “the afterlife” as well.
Thanks. Yes, I guess they went in on the entire plot and split the bill so to speak. I think that is kind of nice as well. They lived a few houses down from one another.
It is nice! I’ve often thought that within neighbourhoods we should share stuff more, but I guess I was thinking more of lawnmowers, garden tools and cool kitchen gadgets.
This is the first I’ve seen about sharing plots. They must have also shared all those household things as well…
I LOVE it when tings like that happen! Congratulations! (and keep looking…)
Thanks! They were so nice as well – made my whole day!