Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Graveyard Rabbits Carnival, 12th Edition: Forgotten Cemeteries

As I'm still participating in the Geneabloggers Winter Games, one of the categories suggests joining in on one of the genealogy carnivals offered now. The one that appealed to me most is hosted by the Graveyard Rabbits and this month's topic is Forgotten Cemeteries. I've only had one in-person experience with an inactive cemetery that is small and generally falls off the radar, Hillgrove Cemetery in Darke Co., OH. It actually falls right near the border of Eastern IN and Western OH and lies outside two cities, one in each state. I posted about it right after returning from my research trip last fall and managed to get some pretty decent photos of the rather small (thankfully) cemetery. Here's the link to the post with a google earth photo and a photo of the entire cemetery http://genealogist-in-training.blogspot.com/2009/10/part-2-hillgrove-cemetery-darke-co-oh.html

I was really in awe of this cemetery. I've walked cemeteries before, but most were more recent and/or still active. This was the first one I've been to that was older and abandoned. At one point however, it looked like someone had cared for it because there were many, many broken stones that had been stacked up. I couldn't tell whether the person had systematically gone through and tried to match up the broken pieces and then place them where they'd presumably fallen or if it was just a haphazard straightening up. I will pay more attention on my next visit. Fortunately, my ancestors stone was still in tact though it did lean back a bit. I'm hoping to be able to figure out a way to help preserve it as much as I can, though at this point I'm not even sure if there's anything that can be done. I'd hate to think of his stone becoming one of those unknown broken pieces stacked up somewhere. In any case, I am planning another trip to the cemetery, as often as I can actually since it's not very far from from some relatives so that should give me several opportunities to survey the broken pieces and even get a plat done to record who is there and where they are. I didn't have that benefit the first trip and I was extremely worried about whether or not I'd find my ancestor's stone.

There's also another cemetery just down the street from Hillgrove, called Snell Cemetery. I've heard this one is bigger but dates from about the same time. I don't know what kind of condition that site is in but know that there are other relatives buried there, so it's another place on my to-visit list. Hopefully I can stop by and take a look on my next trip out there. This cemetery is a little different than Hillgrove in that the local genealogy and history society has examined this one a bit more closely. They even have a book about Snell, and another Darke County cemetery called Hiller. So it's not quite what I would call a forgotten cemetery. Hillgrove wins the prize for that I guess. Perhaps because of its size...who knows. Whatever the reason, I found it to be a charming little cemetery complete with a huge, ancient tree at the corner spreading it's branches out over the site and shading the resting place. I can't wait to be able to see it in the Spring or Summer when the trees are full.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to seeing some pictures from these they sound interesting!Thanks for sharing!