Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Written in Stone

I hate that phrase. It's written in stone. So what. Doesn't mean it's right.

Case in point. This past week I spent some time at the Lexington, Kentucky Public Library, ensconced in the Kentucky Room at a film reader printer, searching for the last three pages of obituaries, marriage and birth announcements. The list ebbs and flows, but it is always there. It is based on abstractions from the Lexington Public Library Local History Index. I have used this index for many years. Indeed, I've been actively searching that index for more than 10 years. And, the oldest items on this list date back more than 12 years. For death notices and obits, I have also cross referenced with the Lexington Cemetery interment index. Imagine my confusion when I found this one:

Name: Amelia Stanhope
Death of Death: 8/12/1849
Date of Burial: 8/30/1867
Section: B
Lot: 3

Three items are correct: her name, the section and lot. If she died August 12, 1849, why was her obit indexed as June 21, 1849? And the burial date? After a lot of research, I discovered that a lot of burials were relocated from family cemeteries into "legal" cemeteries all the way into the 20th century and a lot of my family members were among these reburials.
 Here is the headstone. Clearly says Amelia died Aug 12.

Below is the obituary. It was in the July 21, 1849 issue of the Lexington (KY) Observer & Reporter. It also says that she died of the prevailing epidemic. I presume it means the cholera epidemic of 1849, since every issue I viewed listed the number of dead from Cholera throughout the country. Presumably, the stone carvers were busy, and the death date is just an error.

So when someone tells you something is carved in stone, take it with a grain of salt.

Copyright 2010-2016, ACK for Gene Notes

No comments:

Post a Comment