Records from cemeteries are one of many sources we all use in tracing our ancestry. This past Saturday (October 13, 2012), Genea-Musings posted one of his SNGF (Saturday Night Genealogy Fun) challenges entitled “Your Longest Gravestone Line.” The rules for the challenge are: (1) Determine what is your longest unbroken line of ancestral gravestones – how many generations can you go back in time? Do you have photographs of them? (2) Tell us and/or show us in a blog post of your own, or in a comment to this blog, or in a Facebook status or a Google+ stream post.
I found this challenge to be somewhat difficult, as my four “cardinal branches” have gaps in each gravestone line. For my Kernan branch, my 2nd great grandfather, George Edward Kernan (1884-1960), doesn’t have a headstone, unlike his son and his father. For my Lapham branch, my 2nd great grandfather, Horace Iriving Lapham (1869-1927), doesn’t have a headstone, unlike his father, son, and granddaughter. For my Hamilton branch, my 2nd great grandfather, Rufus Bert Heldman (1870-1944), doesn’t have a headstone, unlike his father and son. For my Sebok branch, I can only trace back to my 2nd great grandfather, Frank Sebok (1875-1951), who has a headstone, as does his son.
Exploring my Find-A-Grave collection, however, has revealed that my longest gravestone line among all my branches is from my Beeney branch, the biological family of my paternal great grandmother, Maxine Elizabeth Davis (1912-1992). Maxine was born in 1912 the only child of George Benton Beeney (1890-1970) and Gladys M. Cook (1894-1957). When Maxine was a month old, she was adopted by William Phylitis Davis (1876-1960) and Mary Magdelene Williams (1883-1968), who knew George Beeney.
For my Beeney branch, my gravestone line consists of the following:
1. My paternal great grandmother, Maxine Elizabeth Davis (1912-1992), born Maxine Beeney, buried in Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon.
2. My 2nd great grandfather, George Benton Beeney (1890-1970), buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark, Licking Co., Ohio.
3. My 3rd great grandfather, Samuel L. Beeney (1857-1929), buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark, Licking Co., Ohio.
4. My 4th great grandfather, Charles Beeney (1815-1903), buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark, Licking Co., Ohio.
5. My 5th great grandfather, Jesse Beeney (1785-1870), buried in Bell Church Cemetery in Knox Co., Ohio.
Jesse Beeney immigrated with his wife and children in 1821 from Sussex, England. Research has shown that he is the son of William Beeney (ca1752-?) and Elizabeth Gallop (ca1741-?). Where William is buried is not presently known.
A gravestone line for Maxine’s adopted family, my Davis branch, has a break in it. Presently, the burial location for the father of Maxine’s adoptive father is unknown, unlike that of Maxine’s adoptive father, his grandfather, and his great grandfather.