SNGF: Longest Gravestone Line

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

Tonight’s mission from Randy Seaver is perfect for October:

Determine what is your longest unbroken line of ancestral gravestones – how many generations can you go back in time? ┬áDo you have photographs of them?

Unfortunately, I can’t go back too terribly far in terms of my own family’s gravestones. I do have a photo of my dad’s gravestone (though I won’t post it for privacy reasons) and I’ve posted about my search for his parents’ and grandparents’ stone.

The photo trail goes cold in terms of the next generation of Corleys — Benjamin William Franklin Corley and his wife Lois (Wakefield) Corley (though I know them to be buried in Tower Hill Cemetery in Shelby County, Illinois; I’ve requested photos of their graves). On my dad’s maternal side, I did have the luck of finding his grandparents at Laurel Hill in Philadelphia. The cemetery sent me a photo of a headstone listing my great-grandparents William B. Hill and his wife Martha (Simpson), but it is copyrighted.

HAYES Headstone

When my mom died, she wished for her ashes to be scattered in the garden of her church. There is no marker. If I were to skip to the next generation, I do have a photo of my maternal grandparents grave (again, not posting for privacy reasons). Just a couple of years ago, I finally got to visit the grave of my great-grandparents, Della Crow and William Hayes.

I haven’t found a photo of the grave of William’s father, Joseph (but this post spurred me to request one via FindaGrave). I haven’t found death information for his mother yet. Likewise, I haven’t had much luck finding stones for Della’s parents.

Tombstone Tuesday: Laurel Hill Cemetery

Recently, I discovered that I had many relatives buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. I contacted the cemetery after I learned that, for a fee, they will send you a packet about the gravesite of your ancestors, including a photo of the grave, related paperwork, a map of its location, and more. It was well worth the cost! The photo very clearly shows all the names on the gravestone and the burial certificates that I received contain a wealth of information.

Equally as impressive are Laurel Hill’s marketing efforts. Now that I’m on their contact list, I get invitations to their events, and they are numerous. This past Saturday, they held an event about “The Victorian Celebration of Death.” A variety of tours centering around different themes are offered throughout the year. Example: “From Able-Bodied to Disembodied: The Athletes at Rest in Laurel Hill (Tour & Watch Phillies Game).” They even have their own Boneyard Bookclub. Philadelphia’s not too far from me and I hope to make it to the cemetery to see my ancestors’ gravesite and to attend one of the events someday.

By the way, 2011 marks the 175th anniversary of the cemetery and they’ll be holding a birthday gala later this month.