As the holiday fast approaches many people are planning cookouts, family gatherings and enjoying time off. For a lot of people part of the holiday tradition includes visiting cemeteries and placing flowers on the grave stones of loved ones.
This is one of my families traditions. Since, I was a child, I’ve visited the cemetery with my Mom, Aunts and Grandmother to honor our loved ones. As we walked among the graves my relatives would describe ancestors who passed away many years before I was born. This helped me to get to know my ancestors beyond names and dates and black & white photographs.
Now that I am older, I realize how precious that tradition was and is. My beloved Granny (Anna Mae) used to walk the graves with us. She is no longer with us and I visit her grave now which is beside my Grandpa. My Daughter and Son walk with me and pay honor to our ancestors. I hope this is a tradition that they will maintain and pass on to their children.
This is a great time to document the location of headstones, grave and row and what cemetery they are located in. It also helps to take pictures of the headstones in relation to landmarks (fences, trees).
My biggest current brick wall is my paternal grandmother (my Dad’s mother). She died when my father was a child. My Dad didn’t talk much about either of his parent’s or his childhood. I didn’t think to ask questions about his childhood until after his passing. That is one of my biggest regrets.
I know her name Mary Elizabeth Connel Rhodes, she was the youngest of 8 children. Her parents were Hade & Mattie. She was born in Barren County, Ky, on October 26, 1918 @ 5 AM. Delivered by Midwife Nancy Richardson, address Glasgow RR #1.
For many years I searched for my Grandma Sissy (her brother Alonzo called her Sissy) birth certificate. I was looking at the KY Vital Records database thru Ancestry.com on September 19, 2006. I did a search for her name. Nothing popped up. I then zeroed in on the her mothers’ name. Mattie Emmerson. I saw a listing for a Garnel Rhood w/ Mattie Emmerson. I knew it had to be her. Her name is Connel Rhodes. It was obviously (I thought) a typo. I sent off the request to the Kentucky Registrar and waited impatiently for the record. I checked the mailbox everyday. Sometimes even twice a day. :0) Finally I did get her birth certificate.
I’ve found her in several census records. However, I can’t find her in anything other than my Dad’s birth certificate. I believe she died around the time my Dad was 12 years old. I believe she died of Consumption (TB). I’ve looked in Kentucky and Indiana. No luck in either state.
I have no pictures of Sissy. The picture I have of her in my mind looks a lot like her Dad and Aunt Orzie (her sister).
Ultimately, I’d like to learn the location of her final resting place and also a picture of her.
I think of Sissy often and I pray that her soul does rest in peace.
Louisa Brown was born circa 1869 in Louisiana. Her parents were Henry and Ester. She married James Curtis in 1884. The two had 13 children together. They also helped to raise a few of their grandchildren. The two lived in St. Marys Parish (southern LA). They now have thousands of descendants all over the United States.