Thursday, March 1, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday: Cedar Hill Cemetery

I had a lovely adventure with my father today.  I met him at his favorite (breakfast) restaurant, M & M Restaurant at Emery Street and Allegheny Avenue in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia.  I had a fantastic Kielbasa and Cheese omelet with a side of potatoes.  It was fantastic and I won't need to eat until dinner time!   After we finished up, we pulled out the maps and other info that the lovely people from Cedar Hill Cemeteries sent me and headed on over the Frankford and Cheltenham Avenues.  This is an interesting spot in Philly where there's a cemetery on each corner.  3 of which are part of Cedar Hill.  There's North Cedar Hill, The Cedar Hill and East Cedar Hill (which was unmarked) and the 4th is Mount Carmel.  We have family buried in North and East Cedar Hills (that I know of).  So, first stop was North Cedar Hill.  My Dad's Uncle Elmer and Aunt Bert (whom I wrote about before: Wedding Wednesday: Elmer J Black and Alberta M Franks).  We easily located this grave in the back of the cemetery.  The maps provided were great.

John H Dingler was the first to be buried here.  He died in 1914, and while there are no dates on the stone for him or Matilda, the cemetery provided a copy of all the records that they had.  John was a police officer and committed suicide at the age of 57.  I wonder if I'd be able to find more details about that!?  Next, is Alberta M Black, she was the child of Uncle Elmer and Aunt Bert and was 6 months old when she passed and was buried in 1934.  Next up is William "Billy" Murphy, he was Matilda's (John's Wife) second husband.  He passed in 1938 at the age of 67.  Note that his name was not added to the headstone.  Tillie was next, she was 94 when she passed away in 1954.  My Dad knew Tillie.  He's told me several times that she was very old and if he remembers correctly she was blind.  He said to me, "I thought you said Tillie was here!"  He didn't know that Tillie is short for Matilda and he knew her as Tillie Murphy, so he didn't realize right away that it was her in there when he saw the names!  Then I have, in 1982, "Infant Girt Lyons SB", "2ft Casket".  Another baby, how sad!  I spoke with my Aunt Joan and we think this would have been Aunt Bert and Uncle Elmer's grandchild by their daughter, Joan.  Her name is not on the headstone, either.  Uncle Elmer passed away in 1989.  And last one in was Aunt Bert, 1999!

We paid our respects and moved the wrong cemetery (woops, I should have printed the big map with the full intersection), we ended up in The Cedar Hill cemetery.  But Pop straightened me out and over to East Cedar Hills we went!

Again, very nicely detailed maps were provided and we located the target grave quickly. I was surprised to find somewhat of a monument. When we spotted it, my Dad said "Wow, they must have had money!"  This is Pop Black's family. He's my Dad's maternal grandfather.  This grave also holds 7 people, however, only 2 are listed on the monument.  This is the first family grave that I've seen with a limestone monument.  This is why the letters are corroding off.  Limestone just doesn't last like marble. 

I was able to transcribe what it says: 

In Memory Of
Isabella wife of
Augustus Black
Born Sep 22 1852
Died Nov 8 1894
Augustus Black
Died Feb 1 1928
Aged 76 years

So, Isabella was buried first.  And the headstone lists her birthdate, which I didn't have before, just the year!  Jackpot!  Then Robert Black and Anna Black both buried on the same day in 1900, he was only 15 months and she was just 13 months.  I did some digging and these are 2 children of Isabella and Augustus.  He actually died in 1875 and she died in 1886.  Their death certificates say they were buried in North Cedar Hill, but they must have been moved to be with their mother.  William Black was then buried here in 1907 at age 28.  He died of pneumonia.  This was another child of Isabella and Augustus.    Pop's father, Augustus Black was buried here in 1928, No birthday for him, though!  The records indicate that he died of Nephritis, which is a disease of the kidneys.  And while the record indicates that he was 75, the tombstone says 76.  Pop Black, Mervyn Black Sr., was buried here in 1958 at age 82.  The record says that he died of senility.  The last person listed in the record is no longer a mystery.  Her name is "Sallie (aka Sarah) Price".  She died in 1969 and was 87 years old.  I just figured out who she is.  She is the last child of Augustus and Isabella, born Sarah M Black.

I took a few pictures of the rest of the monument, since it's fairly ornate, compared to what I'm used to finding.

This is a close-up of the lower front part of the monument.  You can see that the different parts are twisted a bit.  Of course, my Dad tried to twist them back, but couldn't budge em!  I wonder if there was more decoration on the part just above the "BLACK" name?

In this picture, I tried to capture the design that I saw in the upper part of the monument.  It looks like it was a line of daisy-like flowers all the way around the monument.

This is another stone at the foot of the grave.  The material matches the monument and I suspect that it's partially buried and may have something written on it, like the family name again.  My Dad says he will bring a shovel next time!
So, while the weather was not great, me and my Dad had a nice morning.  The best part is, he tells stories about the people that he remembers.  He is hoping I can locate his cousin, Jimmy Black, Uncle Elmer's son.  He thinks he lives down the shore somewhere.  Plus, now, we have a few more people to take flowers to at Easter!

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