Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mystery Monday: Would you want to know why these three people are buried together?

George H. Waltonbaugh and Bessie Harvey Waltonbough were my maternal great-grandparents.  They had three children in 1913 and Bessie was pregnant with the forth when George suddenly died. The two oldest were twin  boys at nine years of age. George Richards married widow Bessie in 1916. They had two children:  George Boyd Richards, Jr. (1917- 12-6-1957) buried in Arlington Cemetery; and Ruth Richards (1923-1951). Ruth died in a fire in Washington, DC at 28 years old. This Ruth White is most likely Ruth Richards. None of the family records I have acquired show Ruth married.
Family records have George Boyd Richards Sr.  "killed by a truck when his children were very small".
In 1929 Bessie married John C. (Jack) Reed. George Richards Jr. was 12 and Ruth would have been 6 years old.
So George Waltonbaugh was Bessie's first husband with whom she is buried here. Ruth was her daughter by Bessie's second marriage to Mr. Richards. Bessie's last husband was 'Jack' Reed, thus her last name at the time of her death.
If I had stumbled upon this gravestone without knowing my family history I'd be intrigued..... Even so there are still unanswered questions. Where is Mr. Richards buried? Where is Mr. Reed buried? And did Ruth marry a Mr. White before being killed in the fire? Another question is why is the WWII flag holder placed here? Was Ruth working for one of the branches of  the service in DC and thus a veteran? George Boyd Richards Jr. is buried in Arlington so is it here for Bessie's son's service to his country? He served in many places during his service career and died on tour in France. What qualified him for an Arlington burial? Or was it  just placed here by mistake? (All the questions) .Don't you love cemetery mysteries? More to come....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Rufus Davidson

Buried in Union Cemetery, Greensburg, Pa.
A Confederate Soldier

PVT Rufus C. Davidson served in the 2nd Maryland Cavalry
a group of partisan rangers
The 2nd Maryland Cavalry was under the command of Harry Gilmore and was affectionately known among the men as 'the band".  
More can be read about the 2nd Maryland cavalry at

   Wonder if he was killed during a 'raid'; here, and they gave him a 'proper burial' even though he was a rebel. What was he doing here in Greensburg, did he die at a skirmish or in a field hospital? Who was nice enough to give him a cemetery plot and arrange for/get a headstone. Or was he related to some one in the area? Brothers fought brothers in our civil war...Or did he live here after the war? This calvary regiment kept very few muster rolls and records...after they were rangers!

It will be interesting to find out more about this man. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Robert Niccolls

I guess in 1834 " Do Overs" would not be practicable. I wonder if the stone carver was told that senior is not abbreviated (Sen) and then squeezed in the little r or did he realize he didn't have room?

This stone of Roberts wife, has the Sr. carved correct. where the stones carved at the same time by the same carver and realizing that the word senior did not fit, corrected it on Marys stone? I believe this to be the case.

I love the mystery found in cemeteries, not only with the deceased but with the stones.
Carving these stones in the 1830's would have taken a lot of skill, muscle and time.