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Thursday, February 19, 2009

An Unexpected Find

Sometimes you find things when you're not looking for them.  I haven't had that experience in a while, so it was a huge and welcomed surprise when it happened.

About a month ago, I added a photo request on Find A Grave for Calvin Price WEBSTER and Betsy PARKS Webster, my fourth great-grandparents.  According to Find A Grave, they were buried in Beach Cemetery in Troy, Oakland, Michigan.  I had no supporting evidence in my own research, so I was going out on a limb by requesting photos.  I knew they likely died in Troy, so being buried in this cemetery wasn't far-fetched.

I didn't expect anyone to claim the requests anytime soon given that we are still in the winter months.  But lo and behold, a nice gentleman claimed them and said he'd go check it out within the next day or so as the snow was clearing and there were some nice days ahead.

Turns out the gentleman who claimed the request was also a newfound genealogy friend on Facebook.  David Weller, who recently started a Graveyard Rabbit blog, Standing Stones, sent me some photos and information just a day or so after his initial email for claiming the requests.

One of the links he sent me was to the City of Troy Parks & Recreation website's cemetery page.  Here's what it said about Beach Cemetery:

Beach Road Cemetery, 5360 Beach Road - Reuben and Marietta Ann Beach settled in northwestern Troy Township in the early 1820s. Their family cemetery was established in 1854 on one acre in section 7 along Beach Road between Long Lake and Square Lake roads. It was deeded to the township prior to 1875 and is no longer active. In 2001 the City of Troy placed a boulder style marker near the entrance inscribed with the names of those buried there. Many of the original grave markers were missing or had completely deteriorated. This cemetery has a pedestrian entrance but does not have parking spaces or a road.

The marker referred to, was one of the pictures that David sent.  There was still quite a bit of snow on the ground, so he was not able to see if Calvin or Betsy's stones were still in the cemetery (he plans to go back once the snow clears).

Beach Cemetery Burials
       Photo taken by David Weller, used here with permission.

Fortunately, Calvin and Betsy are listed on the stone.  My guess is the names were taken from cemetery records since the burial dates are indicated next to the person's name.

webster

So what's the unexpected find, you ask?

I recognized other names on the stone, specifically other Parks.  Unfortunately, a few may be hidden by the snow (second picture), but when David goes back, he'll get another photo for me.

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parks2

What's even more interesting is that this particular line leads to my American Revolutionary War soldier Joseph PARKS.  The information I have on a few, such as Robert PARKS is simply a year of death.  But this stone indicates a burial date, giving me more information than I had, plus a better idea of when he died.

I'm curios to know why this family was buried in the Beach Cemetery, since it seems to be a family cemetery for the Beach family.  None of the other surnames ring any bells in my family tree, but you never know.  As I continue to research this line, I may find some of the people listed on this stone.  The nice thing is, I basically have the cemetery records right here in this photograph...what a wonderful find.

Thanks again to David for taking the time to go out there and photograph this stone!  It is certainly an invaluable resource for me!

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6 comments:

Amy Coffin said...

Great find. Thanks for introducing me to a new blog as well.

GrannyPam said...

How nice of David, I also have his name on my Facebook friends, although we've never met.

I live just north of Square Lake, about 1.5 miles east of Beach Road, so it can't be more than a quick walk or bike ride from here. Not that I'd bike in this weather, but some people are. I'm hoping for weather in the mid 40's before I get the bike out again. Since it's so close to home, if he isn't able to go back, I'll get another photo for you.

Brenda said...

Hi,
I have the Troy Twp Cemeteries, Oakland book they published in 1988 by Oakland County Gen Society.
--
transcription code: Parentheses 1961 readings from Detroit Gen Research Society Magazine; Brackets denote 1927 DAR readings.
On page 3
--
(Calvin P.) Webster [d. 11 May 1856 - 54y 3m]

(Betsey Webster wife of Calvin P. d. 20 Aug 1856) [54y 8m 13d]

Congrats on a 'find'!
Brenda

lindalee said...

Isn't Findagrave a great resource!!! What a wonderful breakthrough for you. Congratulations

Brenda said...

Hi,
I have the Troy Twp Cemeteries, Oakland book they published in 1988 by Oakland County Gen Society.
--
transcription code: Parentheses 1961 readings from Detroit Gen Research Society Magazine; Brackets denote 1927 DAR readings.
On page 3
--
(Calvin P.) Webster [d. 11 May 1856 - 54y 3m]

(Betsey Webster wife of Calvin P. d. 20 Aug 1856) [54y 8m 13d]

Congrats on a 'find'!
Brenda

Julie Cahill Tarr said...

Thanks, Brenda!

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