Cemetery mysteries

Working through data about cemeteries there are almost always holes, things you wish you knew but there are no sources.

I was contacted by a descendant of some of the earlier european settlers in Marshall county with information about their ancestors buried in Comstock cemetery, near Radium[R en.WP]. Of course the reason they had contacted me was our survey of the cemetery had been done by ShaneO[O], the most valuable photo-surveyor of cemeteries in Marshall County who, prolific and valuable as a photographer, is sometimes less-diligent in documenting every memorial marker found.

Headstone for Ulysis Grant Morris
Photo by ShaneO

So, in addition to correcting/adding the data provided by the correspondent, I started working through all the images and data I could locate, updating our list as I went. Sometimes I am referencing the Minnesota Historical Society’s[R] birth and death certificates, sometimes local newspapers and funeral homes, but mostly I am downloading and deciphering photos of headstones.

And one of these is particularly curious – I will call it the Ulysis Grant Morris memorial. The stone includes two sets of dates, one clearly added after the other, yet the stone also appears quite new. In examining the stone, and the dates, my conjecture is the stone covers two separate people, one named Ulysis and the other named Grant.

It is also curious because the death dates are clearly after the state of Minnesota began making official records for births, deaths, and marriages. Quite a few searches through MNHS’s indexes discovered a Grant Morrison who died 3 Sept. 1938 in Marshall county, which very strongly suggests he is one of the individuals marked here. But there is no evidence for a Ulysis. A Thomas Morris, no middle name listed, passed away 12 Apr 1933 in Polk county, but that is as close as we get to a match – a name, a year of death, and somewhere somewhat close geographically.

For now I put the date for Grant Morris as the date found for Grant Morrison, with the birth year as per the date on the stone. Ulysis gets the other dates on the stone. Until someone finds further evidence, that is as good as we can do. A guess.

A dissatisfying mystery result.

Author: W Saewyc

An amateur genealogist and internet hobbyist.

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