Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Find A Grave Said There Was No Gravestone for Nathan Gates (1767-1830)

Several months ago, I posted a photograph request on Find A Grave for Nathan Gates (1767-1830), who is supposedly buried in the Old Burying Ground in Gardner, Massachusetts.

Here is the memorial for Nathan Gates on Find A Grave:

I received this in my email the other day:
"Greetings from Find A Grave,
"We are writing to let you know that a Find A Grave volunteer has reported a problem with your photo request for Nathan Gates.
"The general problem they reported is:Other problem
"They also reported, specifically:All stones for this graveyard have been photographed.  Plus, the Gardner Vital Records do not state that he was buried here or that there is a stone here.
"Your photo request is still active and has not been removed. Hopefully, another contributor can fulfill your request. If you can fix the problems that were reported or have additional information that might help a volunteer photographer, please delete this request and create a new one, adding the additional information you have.
"Link to your photo requests: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=rapList&rapMode=contributor&rapContributorId=48050764
"Link to memorial page for Nathan Gates: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=32398028
"Link to contributor reporting error: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=mr&MRid=47263733
"-Find A Gravehttp://www.findagrave.com"

So they didn't find a gravestone for my 4th great-grandfather.  It is true that the Gardner Vital Records book does not state that there is a gravestone, only that a funeral was held in April 1830 according to church records.  So this is a case where someone has created a Find A Grave memorial based on an assumption that "he died in 1830, so he must be in the Old Burying Ground."   Oh well!  

I checked on Find A Grave to see if there was another memorial for Nathan Gates (1767-1830), but there was not.  I also checked Find A Grave for a memorial for his wife, Abigail (Knowlton) Gates (1774-1855), but there is not one.  Even in New England, with the excellent set of records and preserved cemeteries, there are graves that are no longer marked, or never were.  Perhaps he was buried on his family farm in eastern Gardner.

I really appreciate the volunteer who tried to find the gravestone in Gardner.  I clicked the link to his volunteer page and saw:

Ed's biography indicates that he:

"I finished my Gardner and surrounding towns database. It centers on Gardner but I included information on the early residents of Templeton, Winchendon, Westminster, and Ashburnham, Massachusetts garnered from the town histories, censuses, and vital records. It is uploaded to Ancestry.com and has over 101,000 individuals. 
"Thus ends about a 5 year project which had its roots in my initial foray into photographing the stones of Greenbower Cemetery in Gardner."

That is a tremendous endeavor - and I know that many researchers will benefit from Ed's work.  Thank you, Ed, for your contribution to Massachusetts genealogy and family history.  I left a thank you note on his Find A Grave page.

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

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