Monday, August 20, 2012

Where Was She Buried?

My latest post on the data I have collected for my 2x-great grandmother Ida had me re-examining some data (which was the point of the posts) I had collected about her .  Particularly, I was focusing on her death certificate in an attempt to determine where she is buried.

The death certificate only states the place of burial as “M.E. Cemetery” and the funeral director was “C.H. McNeely”.    The question in my mind is whether Ida was buried in Owen County or Monroe County.

Ida’s mother, Mary (Swafford) Gilliland is buried in Elletsville, Monroe County in the Methodist cemetery, and I believe that Ida may be buried there as well, but in an unmarked grave.  Photographs of Mary's tombstone are found at FindAGrave.  Also in the same cemetery is a Columbus Hale McNeely, whom I believe to be the C.H. McNeely listed on Ida's death certificate.

I reached out to the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington and spoke to Christine at their Indiana Room (812-349-3080).  She was very helpful and told me she would check into the records they might have.  I was hoping that they  might have records on McNeely and the funeral home.

I also placed a call to the Monroe County History Center (812-337-2517) and spoke to their genealogy library.  They also told me they would do some research, and that the McNeely family was well known in the Elletsville area.

Doing some online checking, I also discovered that there is a Methodist Cemetery Association of Elletsville, located at 708 W. Vine Street.  No contact phone or email was listed, so I will have to write them to see if they have any information on who is buried in the plot.

I spoke to Christine later in the day and she was able to tell me about several McNeely's, but didn't have anything definite on C.H. McNeely as a funeral director.  She also did some checking on Ida, but had the same negative results that I did (ie. not found in 1900 census in Owen County).

I later received an email from the library manager at the Monroe County History Center who found an obituary for C.H. McNeely, which referenced him as an undertaker in Elletsville.  They were going to check with a local expert on Elletsville and get back with me regarding the existence of any funeral home records.

Hopefully these records are out there, I just haven't turned over all the leads. The letter to the cemetery association might turn up plot information about who is buried where, etc. and solve this mystery.

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