Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is going on over at www.geneamusings.com !!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

Think about the question: “Why do I pursue genealogy and family history research?”

Here’s why I pursue genealogy and family history research:

1. I love history and even more than that, I love to see where my ancestors fit into history.  It makes it come alive.

2. It love solving the mysteries and having those Eureka! moments.  The researching gives me something to do with my mind.  Sometimes watching 5 kids all day can be mind-numbing.  It’s nice to have an outlet where I can be “intellectual”.

3. I get a sick sense of filling in blanks.  Weird, I know.  I’m a blank-filler and I can’t help it.

4. I have always loved looking at old photos – and I’d love to be able to put a name to all of the ones I have.

5. I want to be able to share the information that I’ve found with my children and other family members.

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These are my great-grandparents, Alfred LeRoy Edwards and Viva Lena Agee.  I never met Alfred, but I remember visiting Viva in a nursing home when I was a child.  I wish that I had more memories of her than that.:(

  • Cheryl Palmer - June 23, 2010 - 4:45 pm

    Love those Marcel waves!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - July 5, 2010 - 9:45 am

    I see Nick and Lexie in your great grandfather and Ellie in your great grandmother. Nice to see the resemblence.

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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?

  • Elizabeth Woods - June 24, 2010 - 2:50 pm

    Would anyone have moved the graves to another cemetery in the vicinity before the area was bulldozed? I’m shocked no one bothered to respect those who were dead & buried. Hope by posting maybe you’ll raise other relatives to help get a permanent site as you’ve mentioned. Good Luck! Just me…Mom WReplyCancel

  • Janet - March 28, 2012 - 5:03 am

    It is possible to get a free tombstone for men who were members of the military. The hitch is: you have to arrange for someone to accept the delivery. I will get you the address to write for more information.ReplyCancel

  • Karen Garrison - June 6, 2013 - 9:52 am

    Just found this page and wondered if you were able to get a monument or gravestone. I am a Hancock descendent also.ReplyCancel

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This Madness Monday, I am going to share a newspaper article I found while on my recent trip to Niagara county, New York.

This article is about my husband’s great uncle, Henry Woods.  It is very sad.:(


The Union-Sun, Lockport, NY.  Thursday Evening, August 26, 1915.


Henry Wood Sufferer From Epilepsy, Victim of Flames at Clinton Street Residence.

In a fire that consumed the greater portion of the home of Thomas Woods, an employee of the Thompson Milling Company, at 440 Clinton St. shortly after 6 o’clock last night his son Henry, aged 23 years, was burned to death in a front room on the second floor.

Members of the family were at the supper table and Henry who had gone upstairs an hour before was assumed to be taking a nap.  The smell of smoke became noticeable to those at the table.  One of the sons ran upstairs and found the rear in flames.  He returned to warn the family.  Thoughts quickly turned to the son Henry who was a life long sufferer from epilepsy which trouble had also affected his mind.

But when effort was made to go back upstairs the flames had reached the stairway in a great mass.  One of the brothers ran outside but could not locate a ladder in the neighborhood.  Frantic effort was made to climb to the second story window to save the unfortunate boy but they failed and the fire soon turned the room in which he was known to be into a seething furnace.  The outside blinds of the window had been kept locked to prevent the young man from jumping out in a spell of epilepsy.

The department was called from Box 24 and several streams were played on the fire.  It was quickly gotten under control. Chief Coyle and firemen got inside and located the charred remains of the dead boy, under a bed.  He had evidently tried to crawl under.  Coroner Kittinger was called and took charge.

The members of the family were prostrated by the death of a son and brother and were taken in charge by neighbors.  Part of the household effects were saved but the house was practically destroyed. The loss is about $1500, covered by insurance.  The origin is not known but is believed to have been with a chimney.”

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We are still sleeping on air mattresses and sitting on folding chairs. I feel like we’re on a big camping trip, indoors.

Our stuff should be here any day now and we can’t wait!!

I am keeping my fingers crossed that my genealogy paperwork and my photo albums make it in tact and undamaged.

I could care less about my other “replaceable” items.  It’s always the priceless ones that worry me.

I can’t wait to have a nice big desk and a comfortable chair with my filing cabinet next to it so that I can get back to “normal” life again. (As  I write this, I’m sitting on the floor!)

Who feels like typing and researching when they are uncomfortable anyway?

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