Sunday, September 15, 2019

Roscoe Graves in Clatonia

   Father                Mother
 William H             Lena M
1859-1947          1858-1949

Straight in from the entrance to the east side of the Clatonia Cemetery is the Roscoe family plot. William and Lena Roscoe are my Second Great Grandparents, their daughter Lottie Menke my Great Grandma. Their graves are not far from each other in the Clatonia Cemetery, Lottie's is with her husband's family.

Three sons are also buried in the Roscoe plot. Frank has a military marker for his service in the Navy during WWI. Oliver served in WWI and died of the flu just a day after coming home from the army. He has two markers, one is the military stone. David Harlow Roscoe is buried there, but he has no marker. David was mentally challenged.

In the Oak Grove Cemetery in DeWitt, Nebraska about 10 miles away lie two more sons of William and Lena. Cecil Marvin Roscoe at age 5-1/2 died of pneumonia. Charles E Roscoe died in 1913 and has no marker. Charles committed suicide in the same month as his 22nd birthday. It makes me wonder if the reason David and Charles don't have grave markers has anything to do with their mental health issues.

The oldest child of William and Lena, Laura Kyle, lived most of her married life in Carman, Manitoba, Canada and is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery. Another son, Cleve, is laid to rest in Lincoln Memorial Park, in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was married, but had no children. All of William & Lena's 21 grandchildren were born to their daughters except one - a daughter was born to Frank Roscoe just a few months after his death.

The grave of William's parents is in Oak Grove Cemetery in DeWitt. Lena's father is buried in Peotone, Illinois. Her mother would be buried somewhere in Copenhagen, Denmark. If I knew her name and could find her grave, it would be great to be able to visit it someday. 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Henry & Eliza's Grave

The first loss in the Henry Menke family since moving to Nebraska was their son Lewis, at only a few days old in 1885. He was the first family member laid to rest in the Clatonia Cemetery. The tall monument tombstone they purchased is inscribed on the east side of the stone: "Lewis son of J H & Elisa Menke, Died Feb. 5, 1885 Aged 8 days". 

On the south side of that same stone is inscribed: "Mary A, daughter of J H & Elisa Menke, Died Sep 19, 1889, Aged 19 Yrs, 11 Ms & 3 Ds". These inscriptions are the only place I've ever seen Henry Menke's name with that initial J. 

Next to the tall stone are the flat markers simply inscribed with the names and dates of my Second Great Grandparents, Henry Menke and Eliza Menke. 

Another infant son, John, died in Ohio in 1869. His grave if it had been marked has probably long been lost to the elements. Along with Mary and Lewis, five other children are also buried in Clatonia - C Albert, Rosa Wayman, Carrie Kloepper, Katie Wayman, and Nettie Steinmeyer. George Edward Menke moved to Missouri and is laid to rest in an unmarked grave in Franklin County, Missouri. Matilda Daubendiek is buried in West Bend, Iowa. Eliza Keine died in Palm Springs, California and was cremated, her ashes scattered "at sea". 

Henry had four children from his first marriage to Mary Neuhaus (or Niemeyer?). The oldest daughter, Emma Warner, stayed in Ohio when the rest of the family moved west. She is buried in Long Run Cemetery, Rubyville, Ohio. John Frederick came to Nebraska for a few years, but then went back to Portsmouth where he ran a grocery business for many years. He is buried in the Greenlawn Cemetery in Portsmouth, Ohio. I know from a small paragraph in the Portsmouth Daily Times that he made the trip to Nebraska to attend his father's funeral.

Henry Menke Jr preceded his father in death. He had spent several years preaching in Missouri, Iowa and finally Michigan where he died and was brought home to be buried. Henry Sr's youngest daughter, Lizzie Scheidt, is buried in Friend, Nebraska about 30 miles from Clatonia. 

Henry Menke died in 1915, his wife Eliza died at age 102 in 1944. They were married for 48 years, she was widowed for 29.  Eliza's parents are resting in the St John Lutheran Church Cemetery in Scioto County, Ohio. Henry's parents are likely buried somewhere in that vicinity, but I don't know the location. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

The One and Only Clatonia Cemetery

Clatonia Cemetery about 100 miles away from me, is located just outside the village of Clatonia, Nebraska. To my knowledge, there is no other town in the country, nor any other cemetery in the country with that name. It's not a very large cemetery and is still currently being used. I think I was first there in the 90's, some photos I have were from my old 35mm Canon. I've been back a few times.

The graves of several family members are there including my Grandpa's parents, Albert and Lottie Menke. Her birth year is inscribed as 1888, but I believe it should be 1887. I didn't attend the funeral for either of them. In fact I don't ever remember seeing them. My Grandpa's family didn't get together much.

Charlotte I                   C Albert
1888-1975               1886-1965
On the ring in the center is inscribed: Married Oct. 18, 1906

Of their thirteen children, four are also buried here, two more are in Prairie Home near Diller, one in the Oak Ridge Cemetery in DeWitt, one is in Bellevue, Nebraska, one in California, one in Florida, one in Iowa and one in Kansas. The youngest child is still living. With a family spread all across the country like this, it's no wonder they didn't get together much.

Both of their parents are also buried in this cemetery. Lottie's parents are William and Lena Roscoe. Albert's parents are Henry and Eliza Menke.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Bonaparte Cemetery, A Nice Retreat

Born Mary Jane Hull, my Third Great Grandmother's first married name was Climie, and she died with her second married name of Mary Jane Jones. Her life ended in 1854 in a little town in the southeast corner of Iowa called Bonaparte. 

In 2014 as we traveled across Iowa on Highway 2 while on vacation, I was able to visit her grave in Bonaparte Cemetery. This is the second oldest grave (with an original stone) of my direct ancestors that I've been able to visit in person. It's a big cemetery right next to the Honey Creek coming off the Des Moines River on the west side of Bonaparte. It's natural grass had been mowed recently when I was there. Everything was green and with the trees lining the creek it was a pretty place. There was no on-site directory, but after some walking around I was able to find the stone based on the photo posted on Find A Grave.

Mary Jane and her first husband Thomas may have divorced, but I haven't found a record to confirm that. Some people claim his grave is in the Wyoming Cemetery in Ontario, Canada.

Mary Jane had a total of eight children with her two husbands. With Thomas, who is my Third Great Grandfather, she had Andrew, Robert and my Second Great Grandmother, Nancy JaneWith Edward Jones, Mary Jane had five children, Mary, Jane, Margaret, Jeanette and George. She died shortly after George's birth. George lived to be about 80 years old. The remains of her children are resting in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. 

Still legible in person, her tombstone is inscribed: 
"Erected by Edward Jones in memory of his wife Jane Jones who departed this life May 29, 1854 Aged 37 yrs 10 Mos".

Her parents are unknown to me. Mary Jane was born in Ireland, I believe, and moved first to Canada, but I am not sure if her parents ever came to this continent.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Mann Family Tombstones Set Upright

When I first found William and Nancy Mann's grave, it was disappointing to find their tombstones lying on the ground. But it was fortunate that they were lying with the inscriptions facing up. This was in 2003, and word spread through the family and a couple of years ago the stones were set back upright. Even their son Lafayette's stone on the left was reset. 

Kilpatrick Cemetery is just a small country cemetery, pretty much abandonded. There is a pile of broken tombstones in one corner. After my family reset the Mann stones, I've heard it has been taken care of a little better. It's on the corner of 722 and 581 roads in rural Jefferson county. I've been back a few times and always forget exactly where it is. It's about 20 miles north of the Prairie Home cemetery where their son and my Great Grandpa Clarence Mann lies.

Picture I took in 2003

Picture I took in 2018
Nancy's inscription:  
Wife of
Wm. Mann
Feb. 19, 1894
11 Ms & 1 DAY

We cannot tell who next may fall
Beneath thy christning rod
One must be first but let us all
Prepare to meet our God

William's inscription:



Feb. 12, 1830


Aug. 29, 1905


75 Yrs 6 Mos

17 Days

Christ is my hope

Four young children of William and Nancy died in Illinois before they moved away, then Lafayette died at age 17 not long after moving to Nebraska. There were 12 children in all. The other seven children's final resting places are in Iowa, California, Kansas and Nebraska.

As far as I know, William's parents remained in England and would be buried there. I have no idea yet who they are, but someone has named them on the Family Search tree. They have not responded to my request for more information about that.

Nancy's mother's grave is in Bonaparte, Iowa. I was able to visit that a few years ago. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Gaisford Ancestors in Minonk Township Cemetery

It was in 2006 when I visited the grave of my Third Great Grandparents, James & Anna Gaisford in Minonk, Illinois. Please don't yell at me for the use of chalk, I washed it off and I don't do it anymore. At the time, I had learned this technique from a cemetery historian and didn't know it could damage the stone. Even with the chalk, these stones were very difficult to read then, and that was 13 years ago.  I'd love to see what they look like now, but I'm over 500 miles away. 

Minonk Township Cemetery is a large one. Before our trip, I found someone through the El Paso, Illinois website who had details for the locations of these graves. Through emails they gave me very helpful directions and it saved us a lot of time searching for them on a hot July day. It's not easy to get my family to allow me a little time in a cemetery while on vacation. My daughter transcribed the graves for me to help us get out of there faster.

                                  Wife of                        In Loving
                                J Gaisford                  Remembrance       
                               Died ?  1882                       of
                                  Aged                           James
                                                                  87 Years

In the 1850's, James and Anna left their home and the families they grew up with in England. Six of their eight children were born there, their two youngest boys, Samuel and John "Gehu", were born in Rhode Island. About 1868, the family moved to Minonk where James and Anna lived the rest of their lives. At the time of Anna's death, two of their children had moved to Nebraska, Emma and my Second Great Grandfather Charles. When James died, daughter Hannah Pickard was also living in Nebraska and sons Sam and John were possibly living in Arkansas and Iowa. 

James Jr passed away only four years after his father. He along with siblings William and Anna Pickard and their families are also resting in the Minonk Township Cemetery. Charles, Samuel, Hannah Pickard and Emma Bailey are buried in Gage County, Nebraska, and Gehu, who lived to be 92, lies in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The father James remarried after Anna's death to Fannie Brooks, who is also buried in the Minonk Township Cemetery.

I may never pass that way again, and I certainly hope that I didn't cause any damage to their monument. But I'm glad that I was able to visit the grave of James and Anna Gaisford.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

My Family in Prairie Home Cemetery, Part III

Three generations of my Grandma's maternal line rest in the Prairie Home Cemetery north of Diller, Nebraska including her parents, Clarence and Cora Mannand her Grandparents Charles and Henrietta Gaisford. Eight of the 11 children born to Charles and Henrietta are also buried there - Mary Ann Gaisford, Anna Fielder, Emma Carpenter, Carrie Gaisford, Cora Mann, Nellie Gaisford, William Gaisford and Gladys Amos. Son Charles is buried in Oklahoma, and daughter Gertrude Weaver lies in the Evergreen Home Cemetery in Beatrice 20 miles away. An infant daughter Ella was buried in the Old Beatrice Cemetery, the first death in the family after moving to Nebraska. Carrie and Nellie also passed on before the parents. The remains of over 30 direct descendants of Charles and Henrietta are interred in the Prairie Home Cemetery.

There is one large family stone with GAISFORD engraved on it, and then there are small stones to the side of that for each of them simply inscribed "FATHER, Charles, 1842-1920" AND "MOTHER, Henrietta, 1848-1932". 

Henrietta moved away from "home" in Worcester, Massachusetts about 1869 and likely never went back. She outlived her three sisters and one brother, the brother dying just months after his birth which took the life of their mother when Henrietta was 18. Her lineage can be traced back to early colonial days in America, even doubly related to Henry Burt who was here by 1667. Hope Cemetery in Worcester, Massachusetts is the place of burial for Henrietta's parents, but the graves are not marked. 

Charles came from England about 1856 at about 14 years of age. He died January 20, 1920. The census taker came around on February 5th and as per the instructions, Charles was listed as living there on January 1, 1920. Nine of their children were living at his death, all but one in the vicinity. Three of his brothers survived him: William of Minonk, Illinois, Gehu of Council Bluffs, Iowa and Samuel, also of Diller. Sam, and one sister Hannah Pickard, are also buried in the Prairie Home Cemetery along with other members of their families. Charles' parents rest in the Minonk Township Cemetery, Minonk, Illinois. 

At the time of Charles' death, his daughter Cora Mann was pregnant with twins, though she didn't know that at the time. My Grandma was one of those twins.