Tips from the Pros: Remarried and Buried in a Different Location, from George G. Morgan

I located the gravestone of one of my great-uncles once, directly beside that of his wife in her family’s plot. Both stones were inscribed with a year of birth and her stone was inscribed with the year of death; his death year was blank. It was not until I visited the municipal cemetery department that I found he was buried in another cemetery altogether–with another woman with the same surname as his.

Always be sure to do thorough research and follow up on anomalies. This revelation led me to records of his second marriage and a whole collection of additional records for his ‘second’ married life.

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9 thoughts on “Tips from the Pros: Remarried and Buried in a Different Location, from George G. Morgan

  1. This relates to something I did not realize was so common until I started working on compiling county death records. Many, many women are buried under the name of the husband of their youth, the father of most or all of her children, even when the woman was married for many years to a later husband. I knew it happened sometimes. Not until I tried matching obituaries, death certificates and mortuary records to tombstones did I realize checking under earlier married names is essential to verify that a lady appears not to be buried in the area where she died or her family is buried.

  2. My paternal grandfather is buried with his wife, and his sister in a cemetery in Keene, NH. Their names are on a family monument in Roxbury, NH., with the names of a brother and their parents. Both were born in Roxbury.

  3. My gg grandfather, Rev. James B. Sheldon died in Troy, Kansas in 1872 and is buried in the cemetery there near his daughter, Sarah Louvina aka Satie Lou. His name with year of birth is also found on the tombstone of his first wife, Elzabeth Sheldon, in the cemetery in Chatham Centre Ohio. He remarried after her death and moved on to towns in Illinois and Kansas with his second wife, Sarah Allen Sheldon. She moved to Michigan after his death to be near her brothers, and is buried in the Three Oaks Township Cemetery, not far from the graves of one son and one daughter. It took some digging to find the Ohio and Kansas graves but I think this is typical of families who kept moving. I am still looking for the grave of James and Sarah’s other daughter, Leila Mae (known as Mae or May) who was born and died sometime between 1860 and 1870. I do have photos of her with her sister, Sarah Louvina

    The wife of Sarah’s and Jame’s son, James B. Sheldon was Leno Chatterson. After James died very young, Leno remarried a John Root who was much older. When he died she reverted to being Leno Sheldon once again and is buried in the Three Oaks Twp. cemetery as Leno Sheldon, next to her first husband, James Sheldon. I still haven’t found out where John Root died or was buried – but perhaps somewhere with a first wife?

  4. This is very true, my wife knew where her father & step mother were buried, we had visited the cemetery where they are buried. She knew the cemetery her mother was buried in but had never found where. We found the plot by going to the city for it’s location and lo & behold found a stone for her as well as an empty plot that was owned by her father. My wife never knew her mother as she died of cancer about 6 months after my wife’s birth. The story is her father,s new wife did NOT want him buried in the same cemetery as his deceased wife was buried.

  5. This happened to my grandmother. Helen Boone was married to Sam Keys in the 1860s. They had two children. He was struck by lightning in 1868. Two years later she married Philo Potter Steele. They are both buried in the Steele family plot in the Corinth Cemetery in Johnson Co., KS. However, Sam Keys is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in K.C., MO, about five miles away. On the his gravestone is also Helen’s name, birth AND death date. I think her grandson (Keys) must have had the date inscribed after her death in 1929, altho she is not buried there. This will be very confusing to historians in the future….my mother told me about this situation before she died or I would be wondering “just where is grandma?”

  6. My mother, Mabel (Adingotn) Montgomery who died last May, had requested that she be buried beside her parents in Kentucky.
    Her name and date of birth had been inscribed on the stone where her second husband was buried in Indiana. I had a second inscription put on that marker stating that ‘at her request she was resting by her parents in KY’ and the death date. I bought a stone for her with full information at her real burial place. In addition I had the back of the stone inscribed that she was the daughter of Will & Minerva Adington so that those who had not known her married name would be able to identify why she was in the Adington plot.

  7. I have searched high and low for the tombstone of my 2nd great grandmother, Anna Easterling, who ‘disappeared’ soon after her divorce in 1867. Have not been able to find death records or a tombstone (if it exists) anywhere around she had lived. One of my two ‘brick walls’

  8. I agree totally on the importance of this. My one ancestor was married twice. Unknown to anyone living today. I found it in the census. And his first wife was the mother to all his children, my great great grand mother. I knew something was not right following his records, and then I found it. Now I know who the other child was with the different last name. It was her child to her first husband who passed. So really be aware of thigs that can happen when you see an odd name of a young child. It was that, that brought my attention to the whole thing.

  9. This article is so true! In my ggrandfather’s papers we found burial plot papers. He died in Simcoe, Ontario, Canada and is buried there. The burial plots were for London, Ontario. When it was checked out we found a first wife buried there I didn’t know about. Important find!! Many times there were more than one marriage due to early deaths due to many infectious diseases, deaths while giving birth and no antibiotics.

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