Monday, November 15, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Surname Markers

The tombstone for Martin and Anna Blanchfield nee Boyle and 2 of their children.
For a few years I had been trying to locate the graves of several Blanchfield ancestors.  They had lived in Hazleton, Pennsylvania for a good portion of their lives before moving to and passing on in, Phillipsburg, New Jersey.  I had copies of their death records, but wanted to find the graves.  To be able to place flowers.  To just be where they were resting.  For those that aren't genealogists (professional or amateur) this may seem a bit odd, but it's not to us.  It's a connection.  A connection to people we love even though we never got to meet them.  When we find that grave, it makes a difference emotionally as well as in our research.

I had traipsed through Ss. Philip and James Roman Catholic Cemetery each time I traveled home, hoping that this time would be the time that I would find them.  I had found another "Blanchfield" marker, and it was a relative as well, but not my 2nd great grandparents.  I still felt empty and incredibly frustrated.  This past summer I found a kneeler.  A surname marker with nothing more than "Blanchfield" written on it.  I had to have walked past it for years without seeing it.  It's incredibly easy to miss (especially with little kids nagging you to get them out of a cemetery!).  The marker didn't make me feel much better at first though, because I still had no idea which Blanchfield it belonged to.

I took the surname marker and decided to post it on  I don't know why.  I didn't really have any information to go with it.  I just posted a close-up and a picture that had details illustrating how to find it in the cemetery.  I didn't expect to get closer to solving the mystery of which Blanchfield lay buried beneath, but I did!

I received an email from a cousin I had never met and she saw the post on FindAGrave.  She told me that it was my 2nd great grandfather AND grandmother buried there (Martin and Anna Blanchfield nee Boyle) well as two of their children.  How did she know for sure without a name on the marker?  Her grandmother, a Blanchfield, is in her 90s and still going strong!  Just when things get frustrating there are angels that fly in and fill in the blanks!  Thanks, Becky!