Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tombstone(less) Tuesday

I don't know why, but I'm always surprised when I find an ancestor buried in an unmarked grave. It seems that everyone should be remembered by some sort of marker, something that descendants can visit and touch, something that documents the beginning and end of a life.
While researching my husband's family, I was excited to uncover the cemetery where his third great grandparents, Michael Charles and Ellen Allard Bellmer, are buried. Sadly, we learned Michael and Ellen are buried in an unmarked grave, along with their three year old son Arthur. Ellen died of opium poisoning around the same time Arthur died, with Michael dead several years later from typhoid fever. I assume that they died destitute in the years following the Civil War, leaving no one behind to mourn their passing but several small children. According to probate records, there were no funds left to purchase a headstone, and the three were left to rest in obscurity.
I would love to purchase a small, simple headstone for Michael and Ellen and Arthur, so their final resting place can be honored by future generations, and to let them know that they are not forgotten.

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