Tombstone Tuesdays – My Great-Great Grandmother

Cousin, Barbara, Great-Great Grandmother's Tombstone & Me

Cousin, Barbara, Great-Great Grandmother's Tombstone & Me

In May 2008 my daughter and I drove to Illinois on a genealogical research trip. My cousin, Barbara, and her daughter, Kim, drove from Naperville to Peoria to join us for a day of research.

One of our research goals was to visit cemeteries. In the Oak Hill Cemetery in Lewistown, Illinois, we found the tombstone of my grandmother’s paternal grandmother – Amy Turner Keithley. In the photo above, I not only caught Barbara in this picture, but I caught myself as well. The photo below shows the reverse side of the tombstone with the life details on it as well as the tombstone of her daughter, Edith.

Amy Keithley - May 15, 1835 - May 16, 1912 & her daughter, Edith Davidson, 1864-1926

Amy Keithley - May 15, 1835 - May 16, 1912 & her daughter, Edith Davidson, 1864-1926

Amy’s headstone is of the upright block style and Kay observed it to be somewhat similar in style to that of her son, Joseph Henry Keithley, in Sarcoxie, Missouri; he had just died the previous year in 1911. It could have been that the people selecting for it were the same or perhaps just the same time period. Her daughter’s headstone was much smaller and of the flat style. We later learned from her son Arthur’s will that he requested his executors to pay his “sister forty dollars a day so long as she may live; and upon her death to supply from my estate sufficient means to provide her body with a respectable but inexpensive burial, they to be the sole judges of the character and expense of such burial.”

Edith’s husband’s burial site was not in the same vicinity; Kay found Mr. Davidson’s site across the road and a short walk away, situated with his family (parents and siblings). We surmise that because the Davidson family, at least a moderately well-known family in the area, already had a number of plots set aside for family members; when Amy died (or during their planning for that event) they bought two plots together for Edith and her mother. All the plots were located in the same section just not beside one another.

Many cemeteries are lovely, peaceful places with trees and flowers; the Oak Hill Cemetery is quite pleasant, so Kay and I stopped there the next day to eat our lunch across from the tombstone of my great-great grandmother.


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