Monday, January 18, 2010

Madness Monday: Cemetery Records of James W. BARBER

I have two types of cemetery records for James W. BARBER. One is his tombstone photo, taken by another descendant of his and posted on Find A Grave, and the other are sketchy burial records from Mount Morris Cemetery in Genesee County, Michigan.

Source: Tombstone of James W. BARBER (1841 - 1912), Mount Morris Cemetery, Genesee County, Michigan. Digital Image photographed by Anonymous (by request). : 2010.

The year of birth on James's tombstone is 1841, contradicting his age on his death certificate, which calculated to 1839. The 1841 birth year is consistent with most of the records of James's life, however. The memorial page for James (as well as the memorial pages for many other Barber graves in Mount Morris Cemetery listed on FindAGrave) states that the plot is "sec 3 lot 38."

The second type of cemetery record is the transcription of burial records sent to me 4 January of this year via e-mail by Mr. Jake LaFurgey, City Manager of Mount Morris, which maintains all burial records and records of ownership of lots for Mount Morris Cemetery:

The records we have are very sketchy to say the least, I will list what we have on our burial cards:

 Name                            Section             Lot

Alex Barber                   3                      W-1/2 -38          2nd from the north

Elizabeth Barber            3                      E-1/2 -38           2nd from the north

James A. Barber            3                      E-1/3-38            1st from the north

James W. Barber           3                      E-1/2-39            4th from the north

John Barber                   3                      E-a1/2-38          6th from the north

Mary Barber                  3                      E-1/2-38            5th from the north

Clara Barber                  3                      E-1/2-38            3rd from the north

Our records further indicate that Elizabeth Barber is the owner of record of Lot #38...

The James W. and Elizabeth listed here are the parents of this family. Alex, James A. and John are sons; Clara (Clarissa) is a daughter (her last surname at the time of her death was SINES), and Mary is probably James A.'s wife, Mary HEDGLEN and is likely the "May A. Barber" found at FindAGrave in this cemetery. There actually are more Barber family members buried at this location, according to the author of their memorial pages at FindAGrave. Daughter Lavina (married surname: STREETER) and Nellie ANGUS (wife of Alexander) are also buried in this lot.

The same author also created memorial pages at FindAGrave for all BARBER individuals found at Mount Morris. I looked into their death records at SeekingMichigan and FamilySearch Record Search, but after checking birthplaces and birth dates, could not determine--in fact eliminated the possibility--that any of these individuals were likely candidates to be related to James W. BARBER. James and his family moved to Lapeer County, Michigan first from Ontario; later they settled in neighboring Genesee County. I did more searches at SeekingMichigan and FamilySearch Record Search on all individuals with the surname Barber or whose father's surname was Barber who died in either Lapeer County or Genesee County, and again could not find any likely candidates. I know that Elizabeth's parents and several siblings immigrated to Lapeer County from Ontario, so it's likely that the reason James and Elizabeth and their family immigrated was to move with her family members (the COLEs) and not with any of James's family members.

So far, I've not come up with any possible siblings of James that might lead me further to the discovery of his parents.  Next week, we'll look at James's 1910 U.S. Federal Census record.

This Madness Monday series featuring my brickwall ancestor, James W. BARBER (1841 - 1912) has been written to highlight and analyze all records of this individual with the hope that I can eventually uncover information that will lead to his specific birthplace and the names of his parents and any siblings he may have had. Other posts on this topic include:


Ancestors said...

This is wonderful that cemetery records were there to know the actual dates. I don't know why such kind of mistakes occurs in our records.

Miriam Robbins said...

Hi, Ancestors,

Death certificates can contain wonderful information, but we must remember that the informant was usually under a lot of stress and grief, coloring their memory and causing inaccurate information.

Thanks for dropping by!