18 September 2010

FamilySearch Indexing Find for Saturday Soldier: Charles Stevenson

On Sunday, 12 September 2010, more than one million records were indexed by over fourteen thousand volunteers for FamilySearch. That's pretty amazing. While I was indexing this morning, I came across a sad story. It was the about the death of Charles E. Stevenson.

Charles Stevenson was born 14 February 1900 in Washington, DC to William and Emily Stevenson. At some point in young adulthood he joined the United States military. By the time of his death on 22 June 1930 in Los Angeles, California, Charles was occupied as a musician.

On his death certificate, Charles's death was described as Carbon Monoxide Poison, Suicide. More details were found on his body removal and burial permit. His death there was described as violent... "Carbon monoxide poisoning - Suicidal - Automobile motor operating with tube connected to muffler and placed into car." I wonder if his parents were alive at the time of his death, as the informant for his biographical information was the Welfare American Legion.

Charles was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. He is located in Section W ENL, Site 21680. His military service is given as "HQ 3rd DC INF." I hope he is at peace.

Nurses Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery about 1995.
© S. Lincecum

09 September 2010

William Weekley Drowned in the San Diego Bay (& My 1st Experience as a FamilySearch Indexer)

Becoming a FamilySearch Indexer has been on my "to do" list for quite some time. In the past, there never seemed to be a large enough block of time in one sitting (that I wanted to set aside) to get started. Even though I knew that train of thought was a little selfish, it didn't spur me into action. Then I read Amy Coffin's FamilySearch, Football and Milestones post.

Her talk of football (I watch it all weekend, too) and indexing her 11,000th name made me wonder how many names I could have indexed by now if I had started back when the thought first entered my brain. Add that to the scenario of me being off from my real job and having a block of time to work with, and you got a new indexer!

Another thing Amy mentioned in her post was, as a genealogist, being attached to records. Wondering what the stories were behind those names. I chuckled when I read that because I know exactly what she means. Even though I am not related to 99.9% of the stories I bring you on this Southern Graves blog, I am still protective of and moved by them. I guess that would make me attached to each and every tombstone I come across, visit, and record. Yes, I think that is a fair characterization.

For my first official batch of records to index (after the initial one for beginners), I chose to work on death certificates from Washington, DC. This group also includes burial permits of individuals laid to rest in DC, though they died elsewhere. Can you guess what happened when I was working on those documents? One came across my screen that made me pause and want to know more.

His name was William Herbert Weekley. He was 24 years of age and single. His cause of death was drowning. What happened to him, you ask? Well, he was affiliated with the United States Navy and was attempting a parachute jump. Something must have went wrong, because he drowned in the San Diego Bay in March 1928.

I enjoy providing information about William Herbert Weekley and individuals like him. He was not married and did not likely have any children. You see, I am just like him in that regard. I am not married, and I have no children. Will there ever be anyone interested in learning more about their great great great grand aunt Stephanie? I hope so! And likewise, I hope someone will come along one day and want to know more about Mr. Weekley. In that vain, I helped put the information out there, free for the masses.

Yes, I think I will continue with this indexing thing. I don't know if I'll ever reach 11,000 names like Amy and other wonderful volunteers like her, but I'm going to give it a shot.

08 September 2010

MUS = Musician

I was caught off guard when I first saw William Beall's Confederate States Army tombstone at Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia. I do believe that is the first MUS I have ever seen. It took me far longer than it should have to realize that MUS stood for Musician. Another stone for Mr. Beall states he was born 25 December 1849. He must have enlisted in the CSA about the age of 12-15 years. Those boys that were "too young to fight" were often given the rank and position of Musician. That would mean Mr. Beall was likely a fifer, drummer, or bugler.

Based on what I've read, we can possibly narrow the role of Mr. Beall to a fifer or drummer. Supposedly the bugle is more associated with cavalry or artillery, while the fife and drum connect more with infantry. Furthermore, the drum was much more common than the fife.

A bugler could be found attached to a commander in battle, giving orders to the soldiers since his instrument could be heard above the musket fire and noise of war. The fife and drum were difficult to hear in battle however, and since many of these musicians were under age, they were often sent to the rear for ambulance duty during the times of direct fighting.

The young musicians also provided communication for regulating camp life. A quote attributed to historian Bruce Catton: "Even the drummer boys were practicing, working at mysteries known as the double and single drag, learning all of the irregular and syncopated beats that carried orders to marching men; a crack regiment, it seemed, was one that could maneuver all over a parade ground without spoken orders, the commands being transmitted entirely by the drums."

According to William's death certificate, he was a son of Elias H. Beall.

07 September 2010

Cheryl's Grave Radiates Love (Tombstone Tuesday)

Is that possible? Yep, I felt it.

Cheryl Marie Coffey
Apr 30, 1979
May 23, 1997

Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald, Georgia

I'm thinking that is an image of her signature.  Very cool.

06 September 2010

Fruits of My Labor (In Case You Missed It -- August 2010)

Happy Labor Day! I had to work this three day weekend, but I hope the ones who have it off are enjoying the summer fling finale.

I am including a few more links than usual in this "In Case You Missed It" post. I'm now using the three most convenient (to me) stats and analytics programs to get the most popular posts over a specific period of time. They are all essentially Google entities -- Feedburner, Google Analytics, and Blogger Stats. I found several "ties" in trying to gather the top ten list, so I just decided to include them all. Also, as a content note / reminder, the most popular posts over the life of this blog (according to Blogger Stats) can be found on the right sidebar.

Here are the most popular posts from the last thirty days.

- Southern Cross of Honor

- Minnie Lou (Tombstone Tuesday)

- Marion's Lyre (Tombstone Tuesday)

- Colorful (Wordless Wednesday)

- In Hoc Signo Vinces: the Knights Templar

- Life is a Span (Today's Epitaph)

- Warm Southern Wind, Blow Softly Here

- In Case You Missed It -- July 2010

- Walnut Cemetery Photos Now Online

- W. E. Wheeler Stone & Epitaph (Tombstone Tuesday)

- Connecting the Stones

- Undertakers, Coffins, & Furniture

- Man Cannot Aspire to More than Handy Warren

- White Oak Flats Cemetery; Gatlinburg, Tennessee

- Parrott Family Vault

- W. R. Bowen, Son of Confederate Veteran R. V. Bowen

The Last Confederate of Georgia: General William Joshua Bush

Gen. William Joshua Bush
Private with the 14th Georgia Infantry unit from Wilkinson County, the Ramah Guards; he enlisted July 9, 1861 and discharged October 22, 1861. Men often enlisted for 90 days. Enlisted in the Georgia Militia October 1864, surrendered at Stephen's Station, Georgia in 1865. Participated in battles of Cross Keys, Milledgeville, Atlanta and Duncan's Old Field. Last of the 368,000 Georgia Confederate veterans to die -- November 11, 1952 at age 107. Achieved his rank of general after the war in veteran's groups. [Evergreen Cemetery Tour Map and Guide, Fitzgerald (GA) Convention and Visitors Bureau]

05 September 2010

Faithful Engineer T. T. Buckalew Killed (Sentimental Sunday)

T. T. Buckalew
b. June 1, 1847
d. Apr 21, 1912

Some day we'll
Thomas T. Buckalew was laid to rest at Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia. At one end of his ledger marker is a tall draped obelisk. At the other end is a government issued military tombstone. This is the story of his death, as told in the 22 April 1912 edition of the Macon Telegraph:


Pinned Between Engine and Tender, Body Still Hangs.


Track Washed by Rains -- No Passengers Injured.


Train Only Going Four Miles and Hour on Six-Mile Schedule When Trestle Gives Way -- Engineer T. T. Buckalew, Whose Home Was in Fitzgerald, Had Reputation for Caution.

FITZGERALD, April 21 -- Engineer T. T. Buckalew was killed and his fireman, Henry Hardy, seriously injured this morning at 11:15 o'clock when the Atlanta, Birmingham and Atlantic passenger train, due here from Thomasville at 11:35 a.m., was wrecked on a narrow trestle eighteen miles from Fitzgerald. The wreck occurred near the Hanson station. The foundation of the trestle had been washed away by continuous rains. All the track collapsed as the engine rolled upon it.

The faithful engineer's first thought was of his passengers, and the next instant after applying the emergency brake the engine went down, pinning the engineer's body between the tender and the engine. The baggage coach was also pulled into the washout, but the passenger cars remained undisturbed, none of the passengers being injured.

News of the wreck was phoned here from Mystic, eight miles from the scene of the disaster, and a relief train was immediately sent out. The passengers were transferred to the relief train and brought to Fitzgerald, but it was impossible to extricate the body of the engineer from the debris. Only the lower limbs could be seen suspended between the engine and the tender and the supposition is that the upper part of the body is burned and scalded beyond recognition.

Mr. Buckalew was 67 years of age and had been with the Atlanta, Birmingham and Atlantic for ten years. He was one of the most valued engineers in the employ of the road. He was very cautious, and at the time of the wreck that cost him his life was making only four miles and hour on a six-mile schedule. He was a highly esteemed resident of Fitzgerald and is survived by a widow and seven children. The debris will be cleared away and the engineer's body removed as soon as the wrecking crew arrives from Vienna."

I indeed hope Some day we'll understand.

04 September 2010

He Visited at the Home of Jefferson Davis, and was a Friend of Abraham Lincoln: Obituary for Martin Simeon Davis

I usually reserve the posting of random obituaries I find for another space, but this one I felt compelled to share here. It's a fascinating read, but the skeptic in me wonders how much of it is really true.

Inter Ocean, Illinois
28 October 1896
(Viewed online at GenealogyBank.)


Martin Simeon Davis

J. Davis
Martin Simeon Davis, well known in the hat and fur trade of Chicago, died at 2 o'clock yesterday at his residence, No. 2803 Michigan avenue, in his fifty-eighth year, after an illness of nearly three years. He had been a man of unusual size and noted for his great physical strength, but gradually wasted away until his death. Mr. Davis was the son of Moses Davis of Niles, Mich., and with his father built all the water work on the Michigan Central Railroad through the swamps between Niles and Chicago when that road was first laid into this city. Moses Davis, his father, was a first cousin of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, and the deceased visited at the home of Jefferson Davis in the South just before the death of the latter.

A. Lincoln
Martin Simeon Davis was a pioneer in the early days of Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois, living frequently among the Indian tribes then abounding in these states, and although of Southern extraction, his father having moved to Niles from Virginia, was a strong Union man. He was a friend of Abraham Lincoln, having lived for some time at Salem and other towns in Sangamon county, Lincoln's old home, and he had many reminiscences of Lincoln.

He leaves a wife and two daughters, Miss Winnie Davis and Mrs. John Irving Pearce, Jr., of the Sherman House. His wife is a daughter of old Dr. Coover, now deceased, of Goshen, Ind., who was known for fifty years all over Northern Indiana. Mr. Davis spent many years in Niles, Mich., and in Goshen, Ind., and was for a long time the leading manufacturer of furs and hats in Toledo, Ohio, moving thence to Chicago ten years ago. He was the originator of the so-called "Mackinaw" straw hat, which was made from the grasses in the Northern Michigan lakes and braided by the Indians. His death was not unexpected. Arrangements for the funeral are deferred until word can be had from his brother and other relatives.

[A subsequent article states the remains were taken to Goshen, Indiana for interment.]

03 September 2010

Beth M. Davis (1909-2002), Historian for the City of Fitzgerald, GA

Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia

Beth M. Davis was the historian for the city of Fitzgerald, GA. She was the driving force behind the Blue and Gray Museum. According to her obituary ran in the Macon Telegraph and Atlanta Constitution, Beth was born in Statham, GA to Thomas Jefferson Malcolm and Sally Victoria Robertson Malcolm. For more information about her contributions in preserving the history of the "Union Colony in a Confederate hotbed," visit the city of Fitzgerald, Georgia website.

02 September 2010

Camilla's Treestone & the Supreme Forest of the Woodmen Circle

The treestone in place for Camilla Nunnery (1875-1926) at Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald, Georgia shows she was a member of the Supreme Forest of the Woodmen Circle. This was a women's auxiliary to the Woodmen of the World fraternal organization and insurance benefit society. The emblem for the SFWC is a shield with stars and stripes and crossed axes. According to a 1913 publication of The Fraternal Monitor (Volume 23, Issue 8) -
"...The emblem used is the Shield. The colors adopted are lavender and green, instead of the National colors in the Shield. The emblem signifies that which protects or defends, and, therefore, symbolizes the grand and noble principles embodied in fraternalism -- Love and Protection."

From Woodmen.org: "The Supreme Forest Woodmen Circle occupied an important place in Woodmen of the World history from the time of its incorporation in 1895 until it merged with the organization on January 1, 1965.

For 70 years, the Circle and Woodmen of the World worked closely together. Woodmen of the World founder Joseph Cullen Root, who was also instrumental in founding the Circle, had envisioned it as a women's auxiliary to Woodmen of the World and made provisions for its existence when he created Woodmen of the World.

The Circle was created in 1891. May Falkenburg, wife of Woodmen of the World co-founder F. A. Falkenburg, served as president of the women's auxiliary from 1891 to 1895. But, it was not until Root and Secretary John T. Yates took personal control of the organization's planning that the Woodmen Circle was born on September 5, 1895, and incorporated as a separate fraternal benefit society."

01 September 2010

Black Granite Art (Wordless Wednesday)

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