Relatives on Display
by Jennifer Godwin
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
live in Los Angeles, California.
In July, my family and I
took a vacation to visit some cousins
in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and then Chicago, where we made a
trip Oak Woods Cemetery on the south side to see if we could
find some family burials.
I brought along the location number
of the family plot we had gotten over the phone and the names
of my ancestors. We waited at the office desk for quite a
while as all of the employees avoided eye contact with us and
tried to pretend we weren't there.
As we were waiting to be
helped my mother and cousins starting looking around the
office, bored. Finally, some one asked what they could do.
I showed them the information I had -- a typed plat card --
and said that I was looking for the original, handwritten
records for these folks.
She looked at me like was I was
crazy and grumblingly took the information. She brought back
a copy of the plat card, which I told her I already had and
I explained that I was looking for the original handwritten
records which had to be around somewhere.
These folks were
buried in the 1850s and a letter I had gotten previously from
the cemetery had information no where to be found on the plat
card -- I knew there had to be original records somewhere,
created before the advent of the typewriter. She continued to
act like I was nut and shuffled off again.
While I was
waiting I glanced over at the historical display cabinet
my mother and cousins were looking at and spotted what was
clearly a record book, opened to the first page. I knelt down,
and lo and behold, on the very first page of the book in the
display case was the name of my great-great-great-grandfather!
He was the 39th burial at Oak Woods. According to the staff,
as of 1998, there were about 188,000 persons buried at
Oak Woods Cemetery!
Submitted: Tue Nov 24 00:20:29 1998
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