I don’t actually have a tombstone for this Tombstone Tuesday. It’s the lack of tombstone that I’m writing about.
On my recent cross-continent trip, I managed to stop in Bedford, Virginia.
Did you know that they are home to the National D-Day Memorial? Their town lost more men per capita than any other on D-day.
I didn’t get a chance to actually go and see the memorial, because I had one precious day to hit 3 neighboring Virginia counties.
I would have had an extra day, but we happened to arrive in the area on a Thursday night and we weren’t able to stay through Monday. That gave me one day to hit the courthouses and the genealogy library before they were closed for the weekend. I had to work fast.
My poor husband was in the van with my 5 not-so-happy kids. We were nearing the end of our journey and they weren’t very excited about being strapped in anymore. They were especially not excited about sitting outside of the Bedford County Courthouse for 2 1/2 hours.
I managed to slip across the street to the genealogy library for a few minutes after having made a stack of copies from the will books at the courthouse. I did a quick search through the tombstone census for the county and I was able to find the gravestones of my 6th great grandparents – or rather their lack of gravestones.
The tombstone census stated the following about the cemetery that they were buried in (which is near Moneta,VA in Bedford county):
“This cemetery has been bulldozed over but Mr. Nance gave us the following names of people who are buried there: Somon Hancock, Jane Flournoy Hancock, Edward Hancock, Jane Nichols Hancock, Christopher Hancock, Simon Hancock, and others (slaves).
Evidence of a cemetery having been present just SE of a tree and a large flint rock and W of the barn and E of the old home site. An old iron post has worked its way to the surface of the pasture in this area. There are several sunken areas.”
The informant was a Mr. Ray Nance on Jan. 30, 1992.
I am elated to have found where their last resting place is.
It saddens me though to know that they no longer have visible markers of their burial sites.
It makes me wonder if there is something I can do about it.
Maybe I could find other descendants and see about getting permission from whoever currently owns the land to put up a single gravestone in the vicinity of where they were buried? I have no idea what the cost would be for a stone, but since Simon died in 1791, my guess is that he has a large number of descendants.
Any ideas? Have any of you done this before?