#38 – Tombstones

(52 Ancestors #38 – Unusual Source)

Tombstones aren’t too unusual as a source, but sometimes they aren’t highly accurate. And often they only give names and birth and death years. But sometimes they have additional information that can be useful and point your research in the right direction. I’ll post some examples from my own family below.

francis_belknap
Sometimes stones list military service, branches, and/or units.
robert_wilson
Sometimes, stones will list the parents of the deceased. This is especially helpful if you have a lot of people in your tree with the same name.
jones
This is my aunt and her husband. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, stones will have full dates and even marriage dates (kind of tiny above their last name it says “Together Forever. Married 7-4-1960).
sweden_tombstone
This is my great-great grandfather. His stone tells the city and country of his birth. And it’s actually correct, although his birth name was Johan Axel Rustad.

#26 Mary Elizabeth McCracken

(52 Ancestors #26 – Halfway)

An ancestor I feel like I’ve only been able to halfway research is my great-great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth McCracken. I just can’t figure out who her parents are. I’ve started trying to delve into my father’s AncestryDNA matches to see if I can find some clues.

According to her death certificate, Mary was born on August 23, 1862 in Ohio and her father’s last name was “McRacken.” On March 7, 1880, she and William Bost were married in Henry County, Ohio. On June 5, 1880, they were enumerated in the census living in Marion Township, Henry County, Ohio. A half-page away on the census is a man named E. McCracken who was born in 1835. This might be a lead.

Between 1882 and 1905, the William and Mary had 7 children: Mary Ellen, Francis, Marion Sylvester, Adam, Florence Elizabeth, Emma Jane, and Clara Arnetta. Mary died March 8, 1911 in Marion of pneumonia. Her youngest daughter was only 5 years old.

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My great-grandmother Florence at her mother’s grave in 1911.

Ironwood Genealogy Trip – Eklund Family

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This summer my husband and I traveled to Ironwood and the Keweenaw Peninsula for our vacation. His Eklund and Kivi ancestors settled there after arriving from Finland, most of the men working in the iron ore mines.

Last time, I discussed the Kivi family, related to my husband’s great-grandmother Mayme. This time, I’d like to talk a little about the Eklund family, relatives of my husband’s great-grandfather Leonard. The Ironwood Daily Globe is fully searchable at Ancestry.com for the years 1919-1977 and has been an invaluable resource. Ancestry also has a U.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012 collection, which includes Ironwood’s Luther L. Wright High School, where Leonard attended.

Leonard Eklund's senior picture from the 1927 Hematite
Leonard Eklund’s senior picture from the 1927 yearbook, the Hematite

Leonard’s parents and sister are buried in Riverside Cemetery in Ironwood. His father Erick Eliasson Eklund came to the U.S. in 1896 and, in the 1900 census, worked as a mine laborer in Ironwood living with his brother Emil, sister Sofia and her husband Andrew Mattson. On November 23, 1901, Erick and Johanna Sofia Nelson (maiden name also possibly Stenbacka) were married in Ironwood.

Erick and Johanna Eklund, 1901
Erick and Johanna Eklund, 1901

They had a daughter, Helmi, in 1906 and a son, Leonard in 1910. In 1918, Erick worked as a surface laborer for the Oliver Iron Mining Company. The family lived at 228 E. Ash Street in Ironwood. According to his death certificate, Erick died on January 4, 1929 of pulmonary tuberculosis, which he had been suffering from for three years.

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Erick Eklund’s Obituary from the Ironwood Daily Globe, Jan. 5, 1929

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Here is a recent photo of the house on E. Ash St. where the Eklund family lived since at least 1918. In 1910, they were living on E. Oak St. Notice the garage, which Johanna received a permit to build in 1941.

228 East Ash Street
228 East Ash Street

 

Article from the Daily Globe on Oct. 25, 1941
Article from the Daily Globe on Oct. 25, 1941

Johanna Eklund died December 29, 1955 at 228 E. Ash, where her daughter Helmi and her husband Warren Ekman were living. The funeral was held Tuesday, January 3, 1956.

Johanna Eklund's Obituary from the Ironwood Daily Globe
Johanna Eklund’s Obituary from the Ironwood Daily Globe (Click to enlarge)
Article about Johanna's funeral from the Jan. 4, 1956 Daily Globe
Article about Johanna’s funeral from the Jan. 4, 1956 Daily Globe
Johanna's gravestone in Riverside Cemetery
Johanna’s gravestone in Riverside Cemetery

helmi

Ironwood Genealogy Trip – Kivi Family

postcard

This summer my husband and I traveled to Ironwood and the Keweenaw Peninsula for our vacation. His Eklund and Kivi ancestors settled there after arriving from Finland, most of the men working in the iron ore mines.

The Ironwood Daily Globe is fully searchable at Ancestry.com for the years 1919-1977. This has been an invaluable resource. Every little activity in the surrounding area (Gogebic County, MI and Iron County, WI) was recorded, including church socials, hospital stays, and visiting relatives. Below is an example of a treasure I found in the Thurs., Feb. 7, 1946 issue. Matt/Matti Kivi is my husband’s great-great grandfather.

Matt Kivi, his son William, his grandson Carl, and his great-grandson Jack
Matt Kivi (seated), his son William (left), his grandson Carl (right), and his great-grandson Jack

Our first stop (after the hotel) was Riverside Cemetery, which is right on the border with Wisconsin, across the Montreal River. A kind person posted a very useful map at Find-A-Grave, which helped immensely in this surprisingly large cemetery, as did the clerk’s office of the city of Ironwood (call them if you want to know where a relative is buried in the cemetery). The first gravestone we located was for Matti Kivi (1873-1950) and his wife Wilhelmina (1874-1943) – maiden name Halvas or possibly Parkari (I haven’t quite grasped Swedish/Finnish surnames). Their son Arvid M. (1901-1995) is also buried there and has a military gravestone as well. Matt and Wilhelmina are the parents of Mayme Kivi, wife of Leonard Eklund (my husband’s great-grandparents).

Matt and Wilhelmina Kivi tombstone in Riverside Cemetery
Matt and Wilhelmina Kivi tombstone in Riverside Cemetery

Below are articles about the Kivi’s in the Daily Globe, including their obituaries which were on the front page of that day’s edition. Click to enlarge the images.

50th Anniversary, Dec. 24, 1942
50th Anniversary, Dec. 24, 1942

 

Mrs. Kivi's Obituary
Mrs. Kivi’s Obituary, Wed. Dec. 22, 1943

 

Matt Kivi's Obituary, Tues. Dec. 12, 1950
Matt Kivi’s Obituary, Tues. Dec. 12, 1950

Below is a photograph I found at this helpful genealogy site, Skinnar(i) > Kivi Family.

Some of Matt Kivi's family, about 1899 in Ironwood, MI
Some of Matt Kivi’s family, about 1899 in Ironwood, MI

Next time, I’ll discuss the Eklund family we found in Ironwood.

Wednesday’s Child: Francis L. Bost

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Photo by StarTiger at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=87075905

 

Francis L. Bost was the son of William S. Bost and Mary McCracken.  His stone is to the left of his mother’s stone (she died in 1911).  Francis was born September 27, 1886 in Hamler, Henry County, Ohio.  He died in 1893.  He is buried in Marion Township Cemetery in Henry County.

A visit to Briggs Cemetery

This cemetery is so strange to visit.  It is behind a building that used to be a church (?) and is now a theatre.  It has no fences and is located on a very busy road with lots of traffic noise.


Here’s a link to the complete cemetery transcriptions and pictures!  Very handy!  http://www.usgwarchives.org/mi/tsphoto/wayne/briggs.htm

Ancestors in this cemetery are all Everitts, uncles, aunts and cousins of my 4X Great-Grandfather George Baxter Everitt.

Above: Marshall Everitt, uncle of George B. Everitt

Above: Catherine VanGorden Everitt, wife of Marshall

Above: The backs of Marshall and Catherine’s tombstones.  His says “Our Father” and her’s says “Our Mother.”