More Fernwood Cemetery

The blog on my cemetery visit sparked some interest, so I’ll elaborate with a little more detail that illustrates the unexpected things you can learn at a cemetery.

But, first, thanks to Fred Weinstein for pointing out that Long Lane merges with, and becomes, Church Lane before it intersects with Baltimore Pike.  I’ve had the wrong idea for sixty years.

When the woman at the cemetery found the plot of my great-grandfather, she said, “Oh, did you know the grave was moved?”

“What! When?” I replied. I was thinking she meant in the last year or two.

“In 1903. He was originally buried in the Bewley plot,” she answered.  “There’s a note about it right here.”  Ding, ding.  (The sound of bells going off in my brain.)

Growing up, I was aware of infrequent visits of Aunt Emma, actually my great-aunt. She was single with no children, the oldest of her parent’s large family, and, as typical of older sisters, overbearing and bossy.  Her visits caused a lot of nervous activity and eye-rolling, although she seemed fine to me, no more overbearing and bossy than my own older sister, whom I was accustomed to.

When I looked into my genealogy about 10 years ago, I learned her last name was Bewley, a name I had never heard before. A lot more was now explained at the cemetery.  Her husband was two years younger then her, and he died in 1899 when Aunt Emma was only in her twenties.  Three years later, her father (my great-grandfather) died, apparently without a plot.

Where to bury him? No problem, there was room beside Emma’s husband, and there Daddy went (probably at her insistence).  By the next year, the family had second thoughts, bought their own family plot nearby and moved Daddy there.

Aunt Emma lived for forty more years, and now rests beside her husband, whom, I was told, she never liked much anyway.

Her gravestone gives her birth date as 1871, yet in the 1900 census, she gave her birth date as 1873, matching that of her recently deceased husband. I believe dates on tombstones.  There’s truth in the old phrase, “Written in stone.”   Aunt Emma, were you fibbing,  just a little, to the census taker?

About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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