It may seem strange to think of gravestones as something of interest. In the world of genealogy, sometimes all that is “left” of a person may be a birth or death record, or a gravestone.

I struggled for many years with the question of “Who was Elenora Davis Beggs?” I knew she was the wife of one of my paternal ancestors, but I could only “find” her in an occasional census, in a one sentence reference in a book, and on a marriage certificate in her husband’s military records…. Elenora’s husband James fought in the Civil War. He was badly injured a freak accident when a horse fell on him. James’ pension requests make it painfully clear how much he physically and emotionally suffered the remainder of his life. I can’t prove it, but I think it was too much for Elenora and she left him to live the remainder of her life with their daughter. I became a little obsessed with this woman….I could not imagine living when she did and having her life turned upside down because of a horse.

One day I had an idea….if I could find her daughter, maybe I could find her. Five minutes later I was looking at the grave stone of Elenora Beggs. It was one of the moments I can’t really explain to anyone else…..

I have this collection of photographs of gravestones. At first I didn’t think I would include it on the blog, and then I changed my mind. I think they are important. And they have made me miss the fact that my own parents do not have them.

So, here they are…..simple stones that mark the life and end of life of individuals who came before us.

Thank you to Leona Gustafson for the Beggs and Vance photographs.

More will be added later.  (I have some for the Howlett-Talmadge side too…)


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