Notes from the past…


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I learned something today

In reading Ken’s post about a couple of ancestors that he found in the Texas Deaths, 1890-1976 database at FamilySearch Record Search, I learned that requests for grave and headstone photographs can be made at Find A Grave. I have been to this site a few times, and have found a few folks that I was researching as a RAOGK volunteer, but I have not found any of my own ancestors at Find A Grave. But Ken has inspired me to join Find A Grave and contribute some of my cemetery photos to their database. Another way to volunteer! I have also agreed to take tombstone photos in my area. What fun, as I just relish exploring old (and new!) cemeteries!

In fact, Chatt-Jessie Cemetery in Hill County, Texas, the location of several of my Turner family’s graves, was not even in Find A Grave’s database…until now!


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So sad

I was reading a post at Beyond Fiction, in which Ken discussed finding the death records at FamilySearch Labs’ Texas Deaths, 1890-1976 database of a set of twins born to his paternal grandmother in 1927. This inspired me to go back to the database to look for 2 infants that I knew to be buried in my great-grandparents’ plot in Oakwood Cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas.

A little background: when I found out that my paternal great-grandparents were buried at Oakwood, I went to the cemetery one day to photograph their headstones. I had previously called the cemetery to find out where the graves were, but when I actually arrived at the cemetery, I could not find the locations. So I called the cemetery office again, and the lady I talked to apologized for the confusion, saying that the person who had given me the locations was a new employee and had given me the wrong information. No problem! Oakwood Cemetery was created in 1879 and as such is one of the oldest in the city. Many of Fort Worth’s “founding fathers” are buried there, so the search was certainly interesting even if I didn’t find my great-grandparents’ graves!

The lady looked up the information for me, and low and behold, the reason that I couldn’t find the graves is because they are unmarked. No headstones! That in itself is unsettling. There is just something fundamentally wrong with a grave that is not marked in some form or fashion. It’s like those people are now just gone forever and never even existed to begin with! Now I realize sometimes money is tight or there is some other valid reason, but everyone deserves a headstone!

The lady also told me something else about the graves that I didn’t know: there are also 2 infants buried there! I immediately called my dad and my cousin, and neither knew anything about the babies. Wow, a true mystery! I was eventually able to find out the name of 1 child, as she appeared in the 1920 census enumeration with the family, but was never seen again.

My cousin recently expressed an interest in getting a headstone, so I took him copies of all of my information, but we still needed names and dates for the infants.

So this evening I went to the FamilySearch Labs database and hunted around a bit, and there they were. The two infants of James Dixon Carr and Ruth Carroll:

Lella L Carr

This is the child I found in the 1920 census eneumeration. Her name was Lella L Carr, probably Lella Lorene, named after her paternal grandmother, Lella Lorene Dixon.

D Carr

D Carr. Hummm…. If the child was male, I would think the name was Dixon Carr, named after his father James Dixon Carr and the family of his grandmother, the Dixons of Marengo County, Alabama.

When I found these 2 records, tears quickly came to my eyes. How horrible to loose a child! And then to record the death with nothing but a surname. Infant Carr. It just seems so cold…

While this is an important breakthrough, it somehow doesn’t call for a Happy Dance.