Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Rabbit Travels

Yesterday I was able to share stories from my blog with the Pomona Valley Genealogy Society. Here I am as the Graveyard Rabbit, walking stick and all. I love to talk about these stories and you know that there is a small group that really likes graveyards...and it is any group of genealogists. They know history is worth repeating. As I do this I hope I am raising awarness that there are many cemeteries that need our help to keep all those ancestors that have passed before us alive in our hearts.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Abel White, Found!

I found Abel White about 20 years ago. He is my husband's 3rd great grandfather.
The search continues. Last time I was in SLC I decided to start from scratch and look for him as though I didn’t have a thing on him. The first place I looked was deeds, at the insistence of the friend I was with. I couldn’t believe what I found. I found a document that deeded land from his property for a family cemetery.

On the first part of the document he asked to have a “suitable tombstone to mark my grave after my demise” Then this description of the property is given.
"The following describes parcel of land situated in said County of Franklin and state of Indiana designated by a line drawn from the north west corner of section twenty four of town nine of range two west as established by James N. Clements. Commencing at said corner aforesaid and running east on the north line of said quarter twenty five five rods thence south twenty eight rods to a stone thence west four rods to a stone, and thence north four rods to the first stone (can’t read) corner stone: said above described parcel of land to be held in trust by said Board of Commissioners of Franklin County as a Private Cemetery for the use and interment of the family of the said Abel White"
Signed October 10, 1855

I continued to look but in my heart I knew I needed to make some phone calls. As soon as I got home I did call a few places in Indiana but to no avail. I put the project on the top shelf then continued to other research projects.

A week ago I suddenly had the thought that I had to work on g-g-g-grandpa White. I called the deed office in Franklin Co., Indiana. The lady couldn’t help but offered to give me the name and number of the Historic Society. I called and spoke to this wonderful man that was happy I called. He is also on the Cemetery Commission and one of their projects was to restore the White Cemetery! Talk about being excited. I wanted to act professional and proper but it was hard to resist jumping up and down and calling out many loud cheers.

During the exchange of several emails I learned that the land is currently owned by a man that had bought the land just to use for deer hunting. He had given permission to the Commission to restore the cemetery. I have thought about this so much. Abel White owned many, many acres in his time and that land was used as a family farm and as commodity. To him this was his land and his children’s future. He probably couldn’t imagine a future time that it wasn’t important to someone’s very existence. Can you imagine the difference between what the land means to us in 2010 and what they thought about it in 1855? I always thought that he worked hard to make all the land a prosperous farm. It never occurred to me that he might have used a portion of it to hunt deer too.

Of course he must have thought that the land would always be in his family since he wanted the family cemetery to be there. Forever.

When I got the picture of Abel’s grave from my new friend in Indiana I was beyond thrilled!! I am sure I research family history just as an excuse to find cemeteries.

I still have not been able to find his parents, but I found his grave.
A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits