Saturday, September 17, 2011

Surname Saturday: Finding Frews

As I have gotten older I tend to procrastinate but when I get started I can go 'full tilt boogie'.
We have only been able to look for family grave monuments on weekends. I took the phone number of a much visited cemetery with me one day this week and made a personal call on the road. We have been unable to find one of my direct ancestors graves. I was somewhat certain she was in  this cemetery but after finding so many of my family here but not her or her married name we began to question if my memory of my trips here with my grandmother as a child had been correct.
In speaking with a lovely lady at the office I was verified that she was in the cemetery and given her exact lot number. Luckily  we were able to visit within a day or two. I went to the office, spoke to the same lovey lady and obtained a map with a star at her general spot and the names on the stones surrounding her. We drove to the section as I eagerly anticipated this discovery. When we arrived there wasn't a second row of stones immediately behind the first but a long row of beautiful rhododendrons in all their adult and healthy splendor. We pulled the car over to an appropriate spot and started to walk to the first row.
Yes, we found the name of the stone directly in front of my Eliza. But no second row! We walked over toward the beautiful bushes. Gently pulling apart the branches we saw several stones inside the surrounding bushes and surrounded by several branches were large jewel weeds one could not see from the road, they blended in so well.  I had to walk around to the less dense side of the bush to sneak into the group of bushes. It felt like being a kid again playing making a cabin under a bush just under a group of trees. My husband being much taller was able to bend around some branches and see into the greenery. He hollered, " it's Eliza."
We gently removed all the dead branches and moved the branches we were able to without any kind of tools or hurting the plants. We, also, removed the 'passed their prime' and dying jewel weeds so you could see the one facet of the monolith without trimming the rhododendrons.

Her stone was larger than I thought it would be. A nice monolith. She had died before her husband and this was a lovely choice. He was a tailor and must have done well to purchase such a lovely stone.

Her inscription was not on the face or the back of the stone but on the side  facet. It indicated she was the wife of J.G. (I have his info as James G.) but his inscription is missing. The office had his name as being in this lot grave # 2.

No wonder we hadn't found her after so many attempts to find her! 

She was near the original entrance in one of the first areas of the cemetery. When I began to plot all my many relatives on the map I found Eliza was in the section next to her daughter and son-in-law who are with his parents. More relatives. As I continued I found for over 120 years my family has been burying members here  all in sections in a line from front to back of the cemetery. You could walk a straight line through these sections of this huge cemetery without getting worn out.

First of all it's so lovely to be able to get info from the office.
Second I told the lovely lady in the office this is a lovely very well taken care of cemetery. A very pleasant one to visit.
And last but not least I want to mention how great this staff member was at helping me.
This wonderful, beautifully maintained for over 160 years, cemetery is the West Newton cemetery and my experiences here have made me want to sale my plots and stones and buy ones in this one.

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