have you found all those cemeteries?
june 1, 2014
Your ancestors are resting in many cemeteries, and most are not nearby. Have you found where they are buried? If you answered “no” then you have more research that could be the solution to your missing puzzle pieces.
In early times, the bodies were dressed, ready for burial at home, and buried usually the next day in a nearby church cemetery. Wagons were used to transport the body for burial over dirt and white rock roads. Sometimes the home place was used as the burial grounds. These were called family burial grounds.
After the automobile became common in the county, and certainly after commercial cemeteries began in the early 1900s, it was possible to be buried further from home.
The automobile made it possible to attend the church of choice rather than the closest one which may have been another religion than preferred. They would most likely be buried in the closer cemetery, too.
It is important to find where all your people are buried if possible. Be aware of the period of the death. Were they buried nearby or in a distant location? If it was a church cemetery, then determine the denomination. Are there extant church records? Could the family be included in that denomination’s records in a different location?
Have you checked to see who are buried nearby? It is likely there are other family or in-laws. On the other hand, it is possibly to find friends or neighbors with whom they migrated.
The W. O. Daniel family were settlers of Murphy and attended the First Baptist Church of Murphy. There is a bronze bell at the entrance to the church in memory of W. O. Daniel. He and his family are not buried in the Murphy Cemetery or McMillen Cemetery near the church. Instead, W. O., his wife, and many of his descendants, are buried in Dallas County in the Big Springs Cemetery in Garland at the Jupiter and Campbell Road intersection.
Likewise is the situation of G. W. Drain family. G. W. is buried in the Big Springs Cemetery along with his descendants; however, he was from the Clear Lake area of Collin County, and later of McKinney.
Finding cemeteries is becoming easier with modern technology. On maps, cemeteries or defined by a rectangular shape. Churches are identified with a cross. Those with attached cemeteries show a rectangular box with a cross on the top. Many genealogy groups and historical societies are publishing the names of cemeteries in their county. Collin County is currently developing an interactive map where just a click on an area brings up the history of people, towns, cemeteries, churches and historical businesses. They are the first county to have an interactive map in the state. These maps do exist for other states as well. Collin County’s Interactive Map is at http://gismaps.collincountytx.gov/historical.html. If you have not used the Interactive Map, please give it a try.
It is imperative you learn where your family is buried and who is buried nearby. Determine when cemeteries began burials. Use the date of death as a clue as to how far away from the home place the people might have been buried. Determine bloodline family as well as in-laws, friends or migration neighbors. Clarification of these things not only helps to find your families, but also helps you shape your family tree past and present.
BETHANY CEMETERY RENOVATION: The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Plano Garden Club and Collin County Master Gardeners plan on renovating Bethany Cemetery on Custer between Legacy and Hedgcoxe Road and 13 other Plano Cemeteries following a $40,000 grant from Plano Heritage Commission. They just discovered a 1930s map of the cemetery showing the owners of the various plots and a school/college/church on the south end of the property. They will be putting up signage about that. For more details on this project, go to http://tinyurl.com/ohhynpn. Thanks to Don Hinson and Joy Gough for this historical information on the renovation project.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunion announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: TracingOurRoots@gmail.com.