Seeking Descendants of Clark Smith

Below is a message I received below from a reader regarding the remains of Clark Smith. I’m hoping there’s someone out there who can help solve this mystery!

A small cemetery was recently discovered in an area of North Aurora, Illinois that was scheduled to be turned into a subdivision in the future.  Long time residents had remembered seeing three tombstones in there in the mid-1900’s, so the State Historical Society enlisted archaeologists at the University of Illinois to excavate the area, and so far they have found 12 coffins!  One resident remembers a tombstone saying “Clark Smith, Co. H. Illinois Infantry, 1831-1867.”  Local researchers have identified a Clark Smith, who died in 1867 and did indeed serve in the Civil War.  His probate records show his widow paid for a metal coffin from the estate.  Sure enough, the first coffin excavated was metal!  So we feel confident we have found Clark—but have no idea who the other 11 were.  The archaeologists said they are probably all pre-1870 because they are “made to fit” coffins.  The majority are believed to be children due to the size of the coffins.

I have occasionally seen a column in your newsletters about trying to return family Bibles or photos to the proper descendants.  I wonder if you or your staff could help locate a descendant of Clark Smith and/or help identify the others who were buried there.  A local researcher was able to track down two descendants, but lost the trail in around 1999.  We are so close!  Please let me know if this is something you may be able to help with and I can provide additional information.  We are hoping to contact descendants before a decision is made where to relocate the bodies.

Debbie Buchanan
Montgomery, Illinois

One thought on “Seeking Descendants of Clark Smith

  1. Hi there!
    i’m desperate seeking any decendants of joesph G.Schultz and Florence Enda Dilyerd, mainly from the dilyerd side of the family, my great grandpa joe was born in sept 15,1887 in Hamilton,ohio died june 19 ,1968 in hamilton as well
    his parents was Joesph and veronica her maiden name is unknown at this time both of them were from Germany,
    my greatgrandma Forence sometimes liked to be called Edna was either born in 1883 or 1884 in ohio she died in feb of 1960 her parents were William E.Dilyerd and Mary F. her maiden name is unkown as well i do not know anything about the dilyerds except my great great grandpa william was from Ireland. So if there’s any surviving family from the William E.Dilyerd and Mary F. from my notes they used to lived on vine st in hamilton along side of the Schultz’s and they used to go up to Sidney,ohio for family reunions i think my great grandparents joesph g and florence did that as well,
    sandy lovejoy

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