My oldest daughter, Emily, is one of those persons who live for family and friends. She is brilliant and accomplished in so many ways it is hard for her to settle on any one thing. For example she spent a long time working with the Habitat For Humanity before the genealogy bug bit her.
She very quickly mastered the intricacies of locating and recording information about her ancestors. My progenitors are from England and Switzerland, while Elliott’s are from England, Wales, and Ireland, with a little German thrown in.
Emily is determined to solve the mystery of Elliott’s grandfather who came to this country and married his grandmother while using a false name. His family was quite wealthy and he was not running from the law, so why the name change?
In her quest, Emily and been in touch with all sorts of cousins and relatives including one who is the archivist for the Queen of England’s art collection at Windsor Castle.
Yesterday morning, she called us from the City of Stockport, England, a present day suburb of Manchester. It was 4:00 pm (9:00 am our time) when she called. She was sitting on the unearthed gravestone of her great, great, great, grandfather.
She had arrived in Stockport, and was waiting for public transportation to take her to the cemetery where she knew this person was buried. She had a sudden feeling that she should not wait for the bus, so she walked the mile and a half to the cemetery. A sign indicated that the workers there were off at 3:00 pm. Terribly disappointed that she had missed someone who might help her, she tried looking around, but had no idea where to look.
Just then the groundskeeper, named Gary, appeared, and explained that he and his supervisor, Patrick, had been delayed in getting away at the usual time. When she told him who she was looking for, Gary knew exactly where the grave was. He and Patrick had to dig down four inches around the headstone, then lift the whole thing over, exposing the stone.
She could see the imprint of the carved letters in reverse on the underside of the mat of earth. The stone was unusually large and deeply carved, and carried the names of Richard Roberts, who died in l852 at age 53, and his wife Elizabeth Edwards Roberts who died at age 76.
She was so excited and emotional that she gave both Patrick and Gary a big hug. They returned the hug and expressed their happiness for her.
Was it just coincidence that these two men were still there?
More in a future blog.