Tombstone Tuesday: Corley

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!

For those who followed my series on Arlington Abbey Mausoleum (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3), you may remember that when I read up on the mausoleum and its unfortunate history of vandalism and looting, I learned that the remains of several of my ancestors were missing. Shortly thereafter, my half-brother remembered an old copy of our father’s will in which he stated that he’d bought a a burial spot for relatives bearing his last name at another cemetery.

A phone call to Parklawn Memorial Park in Rockville, Md., confirmed that my paternal grandfather and his parents are indeed buried there, and I found out the exact location of where their remains can be found today. Saturday, I was in the area and paid a visit to the cemetery. When I arrived at the building described to me by the cemetery staff, my eyes lit upon my surname almost immediately.

Bingo. But, I must say, the genealogist in me was a bit disappointed. The name “Corley” is all that’s engraved into the marble face of their vault. I had hoped to see all three of their names listed. I harbored a twinge of jealousy after seeing the other vaults with more detailed information listed.

Because this genealogist is a bit unsatisfied, I do plan to call back the staff at the cemetery and see if I can get a copy of the burial record. After all this searching, I want more tangible proof that all of them really are in there.

Still, I was glad to get the chance to visit the cemetery and I’m also so thankful that this mystery is solved. Others whose ancestors were buried at Arlington Abbey are not so lucky. The remains found scattered there (or that are missing altogether) may never be sorted out.


9 thoughts on “Tombstone Tuesday: Corley

  1. Lori says:

    So glad you made this discovery. Hopefully, you will receive the answers you are looking for when you have those burial records in your hand. Good luck!

  2. Kerry says:

    It’s good that they’re not in that other cemetery…but yeah, that’s not the most genealogy-friendly marker ever.

    My husband has strict instructions to put all sorts of details on my headstone. Full dates! Full Name! Place of Birth! Wedding Date! He knows if he doesn’t get it all, I might just haunt him.

  3. Interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Bill 😉
    Author of “Back to the Homeplace”
    and “13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories”

  4. Shannon Green says:

    Good for you — I also discovered that my great-great grandfather was buried there in 1941. Could you provide me with a phone number of the contact you have (Scott Watson I guess) so I can try to tracked down my ancestor?

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  6. Jim Craig says:

    Loved reading about your treasure hunt – glad it had a happy ending. If you really are interested, you can have the other names, dates, etc. carved into the marble front of the crypt. It’s all done by machine now, so it shouldn’t be too terribly expensive. The cemetery should be able to recommend a good monument company. I did that several years ago with a family tombstone – the back side was blank so I had it carved to match the front. They did such a good job you can’t tell which side is the original.

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