Sunday, January 27, 2019

Grace Cemetery Near Cozad

MAR. 1845  -  JUNE 1896
JUNE 1821  -  APR. 1912
JULY 29, 1909

This stone definitely appears to have been placed much later than their deaths. My guess would be some time in the 1950's.  This is the only time I've seen Rachel's name spelled with the "ae". 

Linden Shroy is their Great Grandson, his mother was Rebecca Patterson, daughter of Arminda McGrath, who was John and Rachel's second child. Rachel's obituary says she lost two children who never appear in any census records and would be buried somewhere in Illinois. I have not been able to find any record of them. The other three children of John & Rachel are buried in three different cemeteries, Rebecca Smith in the Stockham Cemetery, Arminda Patterson in the Cozad Cemetery and Art McGrath in the Aurora Cemetery.  

Grace Cemetery is about 100 miles west of me. I learned that they were buried there from notes my Grand Uncle Virg McGrath had written. My first trip there was several years ago and I've been back a couple of times. It's a small, peaceful old country cemetery 8 miles east of Cozad. The church associated with it burned down years ago if I remember correctly, and the records cannot be found. Few burials take place there now. The natural grass is not mowed often and there aren't many trees. Their grave is to the west side of the cemetery just north of center. As far as I know, there are no section or lot numbers.

The cemetery is in Coyote precinct where according to tax assessment records John & Rachel were living when Rachel died. They had a Homestead several miles north in Custer County at that same time, but may not have been living on it. 

John McGrath came from Dublin, Ireland, but I believe the date of 1821 is about 10 years too early for his birth. He died April 14, 1912. His parents were Arthur and "R.", which I would bet stands for Rebecca - the same as their oldest daughter.  I've never been able to find an obituary for John. To my knowledge his parents never came to the US and would be buried somewhere in Ireland.

Rachel Jane was 8 years old in 1850, and her obituary states her birthday was November 24, 1841, not March of 1845. I've been looking for a marriage record for her and John for over 25 years and if I ever find one, I wonder if it will show that they were married in March. Maybe someone who ordered this stone couldn't clearly remember and had the two events confused. 

Rachel's father, Lebius Simmons, died when she was about 12 years old. I've never been able to find exactly when or how he died or where he is buried. Her mother Ruth died in 1863 in Fulton County, Illinois. She had remarried and her name was Ruth Webb, but I haven't been able to find where she is buried either. I do know, however, where Ruth's parents are buried and I've been to their grave.  

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