30 August 2010

I'm Confused! Where Exactly is Percy Buried? (Madness Monday)

I discovered something pretty interesting when doing a little digging about a tombstone I photographed. Take a look at this:

From Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, GA.

That photo was taken by me at Evergreen Cemetery in Ben Hill County, Georgia. It is located next to an identical looking marble stone with an inscription for Percy's wife Sula. Again, I took the photo.

So imagine my surprise when I cam across this at FindAGrave:

From Franklin Cemetery in Doulgas, Coffee County,
Georgia

That is from a photo (used with permission) taken by FindAGrave contributor Barbara Kirkland at Franklin Cemetery in Douglas, Coffee County, Georgia. Do you see the dilemma? How can Percy N. Ashurst be buried in two different cemeteries? When I asked if I could use her photo, Mrs. Kirkland was just as perplexed as I. Especially since I very recently posted a memorial for Percy in Evergreen Cemetery.

Since I don't live close to Fitzgerald and Evergreen Cemetery, I replayed over and over in my mind the visit to Percy's gravesite (?) there. I cannot recall seeing anything that indicated that marble tombstone was indeed a cenotaph. And there is nothing in Barbara's photo to indicate she photographed a cenotaph for Percy. Hmmm...

A little bit of research conducted for Percy N. Ashurst suggests he was born in Georgia to Lewis and Laura Ashurst. Georgia Deaths, 1919-98 at Ancestry states he died 2 January 1990 in Coffee County, Georgia, where he was also listed as a resident. The Social Security Death Index also lists his last residence as Doulgas in Coffee County. While the SSDI is often not accurate when it comes to last residences, this does bolster the death index finding.

The marriage date found on his upright granite tombstone (?) at Franklin Cemetery states Percy married Jewell Lee 3 March 1943, approximately ten months after the death of his first (I presume) wife Sula Phillips. This brings us to another interesting tidbit. According to the same Georgia death index, Sula P. Ashurst died 7 June 1942 in Coffee County, Georgia. I sure wish I could go back to Evergreen Cemetery and study that plot some more! Why was she buried there?

I'm leaning toward the side of Percy being buried with his second wife in Franklin Cemetery. But I certainly do not know that for sure.

None of these individuals are related to me, but thinking in terms of genealogy -- what's a family historian to do? I sure hope an obituary or death certificate with burial information can be found for Mr. Percy Ashurst. His passing was "only" about twenty years ago, surely the answer cannot be too hard to find...

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