Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Mary Smith (1805-1865) in Burnett WI

I finally have some gravestone pictures of my own to share again on Tombstone Tuesday!

On our Midwest Family History Mystery Tour, we stopped by the Burnett Corners Cemetery in Burnett, Dodge County, Wisconsin.  The Find-a-Grave site for this cemetery says that it is 1.7 miles west of County Road I.   It isn't - it's about 0.3 miles west of County Road I, right when County Road B turns to the left toward Beaver Dam.

I took some pictures at the entrance to the cemetery - this one looking to the northeast:

And this one looking to the northwest:

You can see the tire track trail leading into the cemetery in the picture above (on the right).

I did not know where Mary Smith's stone was located, but I knew it was there because I'd seen it on Find-a-Grave.  So, it was a matter of walking around.  I knew from the Find-a-Grave picture that the stone was not standing upright - so I went looking for a stone in the ground.  I decided to walk down the tire tracks first, and walked right to Mary's stone.  It was half covered with grass, and I didn't bring any tools to deal with that.  so I got down on my knees and used my hands to strip away the grass and dirt that covered the stone.  After my rough handiwork, the stone looked like this:

The stone seems to say:

May 12, 1865
AE 60 y 19d

I took a picture of the gravesite looking back toward the south (down the tire tracks):

You can see the car on the road in the picture above.  You can also see the grass debris that I cleared away from the stone.  Some of the small remnants of the rest of the stone on the ground can be seen near the readable portion of the gravestone (you can see more on the Find-a-Grave picture taken in 2008). 

Before I left, I put the grass debris back around the stone as best I could, and said a little prayer thanking Mary for raising my second great-grandfather, Devier J. Smith to be such an enterprising, interesting and mysterious man.  I also asked for her help in finding Devier's birth parents - she may have been the only one who knew!

How do I know that this is Mary (Bell) Smith, wife of Ranslow Smith?  Frankly, it's from the death date and age at death.  The papers I have written by Devier's wife, Abbey (Vaux) Smith, lists Devier's  mother's birth date as April 23, 1805 and her death date as May 12, 1865.  This was written some time between 1890 and 1900.  That matches the information on the gravestone exactly.

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