Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Locating an endangered grave

While doing preservation work in the endangered "Marshburn" family cemetery (Caucasian), ca.1870, I made an interesting find.

I was clearing out the decades of brush, compost and mulch from around a very large tree. What was thought to be simply a fallen headstone being placed next to the tree, done many decades ago, turned out to be a much more meaningful purpose.

Pictures were taken as I processed the area around the base of the tree. Images confirm the work that is being done and can be used later for many reason. Conducting a lecture, for example, is a great way of presenting proof of the work done.

I placed a series of images on "Twitpix" which show stages of preserving one grave within the Marshburn family cemetery. Take a few minutes to visit the site and look over the images.

Please leave a comment here on my blog or, at my Twitpix site.

Let us not forget our Veterans, no matter when they served so bravely.

GySgt., U.S. Marine Corps, Retired

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Edgy Inspirational Author blog: Now I'm giving away The Lost Mission by Athol Dickson

Taking a moment out of my normal posting of my endangered cemetery work, to tell people about a good site to visit if, you have the time:

Edgy Inspirational Author blog: Now I'm giving away The Lost Mission by Athol Dickson


To join with "Twitter's" Wordless Wednesdays, here is an image of my newest research intern:

P.s. He likes to sit ON my lap top along with attacking my "mouse."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Grave discovery in endangered cemetery

Recently, I played a small role in protecting an endangered early African American cemetery in Sumpter County, Florida. I commend each individual, local and non-local, who joined together and successfully saved this Hallowed Ground.

Sadly, however, there are many more that also need to be protected from "urban sprawl" and natural encrouchment. As proved during the Sumpter County cemetery project, graves are often unmarked or headstones have been misplaced.

I recently located an unmarked grave within in one of the many cemeteries that I am currently preserving. During one visit I located a fallen headstone (A), Winnie Ellen Marshburn, leaning against the base of a large tree.

At first, a person would believe that someone had placed the grave marker (B&C) along side the large tree after finding it somewhere within the cemetery.

I made an interesting discovery (D), however, when I started to clean the excess mulch, weeds and compost from the base of the tree.

Encased within the thick tree bark (E), along the lower backside of the tree was a grave foot marker. I then calculated an estimated distance between the newly located footstone and the previous mentioned headstone. To my surprise, the distance between the two was consistant to that of a grave.

Winnie Ellen Marshburn, age: eleven months, is buried next to her Mother, Annie, whose grave I also rediscovered under brush and debris.

Extra precautions must be taken when dealing with endangered cemeteries, especially one that has excess foilage, damaged headstones or shows evidence of unmarked graves. Counting visible headstones has proven not to be the most practical method of determining the correct size of a cemetery.

I have provided one sample, unique as it is, of how easy it is to overlook a grave that have been unmarked for decades. When attempting to validate unmarked graves, a detailed survey must be done. Look around bases of trees and shrubs must be done, systematically. You may find a headstone or foot marker that will lead to an unmarked grave.

Along with an expanded search an unmarked grave may be rediscovered. Possibly a Former Slave, forgotten veteran or a local dignitary that your community should pay respect can then be recognized and honored. You will also be helping family members in finding missing pieces of the puzzle to their family genealogy and ancestors.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Descendent of Former Slaves has passed

A direct descendent of Former Slaves, George Washington & Cecilia Ann White Petteway has passed.

"Margie L. Koonce, 41, of Jacksonville died Oct. 16, 2009, at
Onslow Memorial Hospital. Arrangements will be announce by
Saunders Funeral Home in Jacksonville."
{Jacksonville, NC-Daily Newspaper}

She was raised in Onslow County, North Carolina and was loved by all. She will be missed.

Aaron Neville - Amazing Grace

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