#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.

Tombstone Tuesday – Martha Gisel Belknap, 1869-1925

arthuratgrave

This is a photo of a photo of Arthur Belknap (1869-1955) at the grave of his wife Martha Gisel Belknap (1869-1925) in Wauseon Union Cemetery in Wauseon, Ohio.  She died in a car accident that was mentioned in this previous post: A Tragedy and a Mystery.

Martha Gisel was born 21 June 1869 in Ohio.  In the 1880 Federal Census, she was living with her family in Franklin, Fulton County, Ohio.  Her parents were John Gisel (1843-1923) and Margaret Rhost (1848-1939), both were born in Switzerland.  Martha had a daughter Minnie on 31 Mar 1887 and married Arthur Belknap in Fulton County, Ohio on 5 March 1890.  They had four sons and a daughter (Floyd, Earl, Belva, Orville, and Kennard).  As mentioned in a previous post, Martha died in a car accident in Michigan on 15 September 1925.

arthur_martha_minnie_floyd
Martha and Arthur Belknap with Minnie and Floyd, abt. 1893