Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Tombstone Papers

In an interesting coincidence, just a day or two after I posted the Kerr tombstones at Forest Lawn last week, I found the paperwork associated with the purchase of the plot and two of the stones. They were in a metal box of papers kept by my grandma Evelyn, from whom I inherited the keep-everything gene.

When Rosmer Kerr's mother died in 1937, he purchased four burial lots together: one for his mother, one for himself, one for his wife, and one for . . . whom? It seems an odd thing to have bought an extra one of, just in case. It appears the total cost was $72.75.

The deed was dated 14 July 1937, a full month after Kate Pettis Kerr was buried there.

Kate's grave marker was ordered June 22nd. It was to be made of Wisconsin Ruby Red Granite.

The manufacturer guaranteed "unconditionally, forever and for all time, that this granite will not fade, check, crack or disintegrate from exposure to the elements in any season or in any climate." That's quite a promise . . .

. . . especially considering the price!

When Karl Parker died at the end of January 1969, that extra fourth lot was put to use. Although Karl and the Kerrs' daughter Bonnie had been divorced a few years earlier, Karl was still considered a beloved son-in-law and was buried there.

Rosmer joined him ten days later.

I'm scratchin' my head a little in regard to the plot map below. With Evelyn being the last man standing, so to speak, I'm surprised she would have had Rosmer buried next to Karl, rather than next to his mother. I tend to think she would have preferred to save Lot 8 for herself since she felt her relationship with her mother-in-law wasn't the warmest, whereas she would have been quite happy to think of herself resting for eternity between two of her three most beloved men (the third being my dad).


Joan said...

TK, I read this post with great interest. I am currently chasing a "non-existing/should have been" tombstone. No magical box from a "keeper" for me. I will keep in mind the cost --%59.74 --- especially when I finally run down the will or the deed exchanges. Thanks for a great insight.

kinfolknews said...

Lovely post! Those documents are very interesting.

Heather Rojo said...

This is fascinating, especially the plot map. It's great that your grandmother saved all these papers!

T.K. said...

Thanks, ladies, I thought these papers were pretty interesting too.

It didn't immediately occur to me, but they could certainly be considered genealogically significant also. Because there was no official record of Rosmer's birth, nor any christening record that I know of (although it's entirely possible there could be one that I don't know of!), I think these documents could be used to help support his claim to Pettis ancestry if any of his descendants wished to join a lineage society such as Mayflower or DAR.

Barbara Poole said...

Boy, T.K. are you ever lucky to have those old documents. If I had lots of space, I would save everything. Glad you just discovered them.

Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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