Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Not Everyone Has A Gravestone

Note: This post contains information about my maternal grandmother, Margaret Janice Doerflinger (Her maiden name was Harney).  It also contains information about my uncle, Eugene "Gene" Doerflinger, who died in 1961.

While at lunch today, I began talking to my parents about what I wanted for my birthday.  Since I know money is tight in my household, I only had one small request of my parents for my birthday: Take me to the cemetery that my Uncle Gene and Grandma Doerflinger are buried.

The moment the words left my mouth, my mom's eyes got big and she bit her lip.  "Well...why would you want to go there?", she asked.

"I don't have pictures of their gravestone and that just seems wrong since we live so close to the cemetery," I replied.

"Oh," my mom said before looking down at the table.  "...About that..."

"What?" I asked desperately.

"Well, when Grandma died we cremated her.  "Then we put her in Gene's casket, but we never bought a new gravestone.  So it doesn't say Grandma's name on it,".

I know that not every person who has died has a gravestone - some people are unknown, some didn't have the money for a gravestone, and some had their ashes spread.  Apparently though, some people don't have a gravestone because the person who buries them doesn't feel like getting a new gravestone.

So when I go to my Grandma's Grave, I am going to have to take a picture of the gravestone that is there, and then leave a lengthy note in my genealogy database that describes the situation.

Note: If you contacted the cemetery in which my grandmother is buried, they will tell you that my grandmother is buried there.


Anonymous said...

Elyse, this same type of thing happened to my husband and I a couple of weeks ago! We had visited the office of the Chicago cemetery where his family is buried and we found 1 fewer stones than were listed for us. I realized that this great aunt was the last in her family to pass away and she had no children of her own. So she is buried with the family, but no one would know it. How sad. We wish we had the finances to buy a stone, but at this time, we don't.

kinfolknews said...


I've come across this exact same problem for more of my relatives then I care to think about. (Really wish I was rich so I could have them ALL marked!) Great blog post!

Brian said...

I've had that response from a few Find-a-Grave requests. They tell me that even though the records say that they are buried there, they could not find a stone.

I'm having the same issue with my ggg-grandmother around here. I can't find the stone for the life of me.

marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

Dissertation Literature Review