Ireland Trip – Templerobin Cemetery, Cobh

In February we visited Ireland for the second time. In 2002 we went with the kids, this time it was just Sue and I. In the 13 years between trips, I’ve learned a lot about who my Irish ancestors were and where they were from, but there are always more mysteries. James Lucey and Mary Walsh were married in Cobh in 1841 and they had five children there, including my 2nd great-grandfather James, before leaving for America in 1853.

I have a million things to write about the family in Cobh. I learned so much over the past six months about them thanks to Margaret Jordan, a Cork-based genealogist that Sue hired for me as a Christmas present (Best. Present. Ever!) as well as visiting and walking the graveyards there.

More to come on what I found out, but I wanted to share some photos of the Templerobin Cemetery in the Ballymore section of Cobh. This cemetery is where my Walsh ancestors are interred, possibly some Lucey’s as well. We met with local David Verling who showed us around the cemetery. David is part of a community group that took ownership/responsibility for the cemetery after it had been left derelict for many years. His group has done an amazing job cleaning up the overgrowth and documenting any readable headstones. Not much is left in the way of records, so the efforts of preservation here were needed badly. I do have a copy of the transcriptions and I’m happy to do lookups, just email me (contact info on the About page). I eventually hope to digitize the data and make it public, with the permission of those that created it of course.

So, here are some of the photos, all photos copyright me, if you want to use one just ask.

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Me and David Verling at the  Cobh Heritage Center

Me and David Verling at the Cobh Heritage Center

 

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A headstone for William Bowen 52 Ancestors #40

The Bowen family of Washington County Maine made the ultimate sacrifice in the Civil War. Father William and three of his sons signed up to fight for the Union and none returned home [more here]. Back in 2001 or so, cousin Jeanne O’Shea had given me loads of information about William and family and because I lived near where William died, she had hoped I could find his headstone.

I visited the Edson Cemetery in Lowell, Massachusetts and found that the book for 1862 had gone missing so the staff could not pinpoint his burial place. They suggested that perhaps he’d been buried in a small section of the cemetery that was fenced off from the main part as a number of Civil War-era graves were there. I walked that section and checked every headstone, no luck. We had resigned ourselves to the fact that perhaps we’d never find a headstone and there might not even be one to find in the first place.

Fast forward to two weeks ago…

An Ancestry.com user, Jane Mangum, put a comment on William on my tree with a Find-a-Grave ID number and sure enough, it’s the right William! Find-a-Grave user Rick Weaver had taken a picture of the headstone and created the memorial page for William back in 2011.

Photo courtesy of Rick Weaver, used with permission.

Photo courtesy of Rick Weaver, used with permission.

The headstone reads:

Wm. BOWEN 1 Batty 1 Battn. ME L.A.

Translated: William Bowen, 1st Battery, 1st Battalion, Maine Light Artillery.

It’s a good reminder to check those research dead-ends every once in a while, wonderful things are happening in the genealogical world, it’s amazing what’s being made available every day. Volunteers do a lot of the heavy lifting, Rick and Jane are perfect examples, look at their profiles on Find-a-Grave, how many thousands of pages they’ve created, it’s inspiring. Thank you very much to Rick and Jane for walking cemeteries and posting the pictures, it’s a lot of work and it is much appreciated. Also thank you to Jane for bringing the page to my attention!

This post is 40th in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge series.

52 Ancestors #38: Frederic Lowell Bowen

158 years ago today [28 Oct 1856], my 2nd great-grandfather Frederic Lowell Bowen was born in Perry, Maine, the eighth and last son born to William and Mary (Boynton/Boyington) Bowen.

I imagine Fred had a pretty rough childhood. By the time he was 8, four of his older brothers and his father were dead. Leaving his mother with six children under 14 years old and the family farm.

Fred ended up keeping the farm and in 1880 married Adelaide Robinson, the 20-year-old daughter of James and Sarah (Stanhope) Robinson. Over the next 25 years, they had 12 children: William, Sadie, Robert, Justin, Walter, Mattie, George [my great-grandfather], Dora, Amy, Myron, Edna and Augusta. Unfortunately, both Addy and Augusta died in childbirth on 4 Feb 1905. They are both buried in the Ross family cemetery on the farm (see the map for the approximate location). The Ross family lived on the farm after the Bowen family and a number of both families buried there. See “At Rest in Perry, Maine” compiled by cousins Jeanne O’Shea Wagner and Colon Morrison for more information about rural cemeteries in Washington county Maine.

Bowen Headstone

While I have heard some stories of Fred’s cruelty to his children, my grandmother remembered him as a kind man who took her into town (probably Calais or Eastport) on his horse and wagon and bought her a dress.

Fred died in Perry on 19 August, 1922 of angina and is buried with his wife in the Ross Cemetery.

This post is 38th in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge series.

Wake Forest Cemetery Walking and Virtual Tours

I have this addiction to cemeteries. I’m sure I’m not alone, I’ve seen you all out there with me. Is vacation not complete if it doesn’t include a trip to a burial ground? Like two years ago, when we stopped at the Bentonville Battlefield (NC) and Confederate graveyard on our way home from the beach And a few years before that spent our anniversary walking through St. Mary’s Cemetery in Rochester, NH looking for the headstones of my great-great grandparents (we found them!).

One of the things I miss about not living in New England is not being able to search the cemeteries where my family members are personally. I’m sure many relocated family historians feel the same way.

Well, if your people are from Wake Forest, NC, I have great news. The town, in cooperation with the Cemetery Advisory Board [full disclosure, I’m a member] has added a Virtual element to their annual Cemetery Walking Tour.

The Walking Tour takes place the second Saturday in May annually, this year that’s next week: May 10th from 9:30am-12:30pm. There are docents representing various families, sharing their stories, photos and artifacts. The Sons of Confederate Veterans speak about some of the soldiers buried there. It is a fitting tribute and remembrance to those that have come before. More information on the tour is on the Town of Wake Forest website.

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The virtual tour is a wonderful addition, available on the web or via the Town of Wake Forest app (available on iOS and Android). You can use it for your own personal tour any time on your phone while walking around the cemetery. But perhaps more importantly for some, you never have to leave your chair, you can access it from anywhere!

WF Cemetery Tour Screenshot

WF Cemetery Tour Screenshot

There are currently 8 person-profiles, including the earliest known grave, several of the WF College presidents and other prominent citizens. The plan is to continually add new profiles and photos, not just of the headstones, but of the person along with a brief bio.

iOS Screenshot

iOS Screenshot

I applaud the town for its forward-thinking embrace of technology [did you hear we are getting a gigabit fiber network?] and hope that other towns and cemeteries do the same. While it will never replace actually being there, having this type of information online available means that someone who cannot travel can see the final resting place of a loved one. I hope more and more cemeteries can add this, especially the ones in Rochester, NH where my family is buried, my wife wants to go somewhere else for our anniversary.