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Old Cemeteries - Questions!


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#1 Stella

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 04:45 AM

Hi all!  I've been quiet for awhile, but now that i've got my FIRST set of pics being developed, i'll be posting quite a bit (I hope!)

Here's the situation, and i'm not sure if it's paranormal yet (i'll know when i get the pics back), but... you guys seem to know a lot about cemeteries.  About 20 minutes south of where I grew up, there is a VERY old family cemetery.  My mom and I are always keeping up to date on our history and geneology, so we're constantly  looking up old books, photos, etc.  Once, about 2 or 3 years ago in my gramma's attic we found a book that held lots of info about a certain "branch" in th family tree that gave really vauge directions to this cemetery.  It read something like, "Down an old gravel road that used to be Strasburg 121 up on a hill behind some trees" was this old cemetery.  We took a weekend, combed the town and LO AND BEHOLD we found it!  It was indeed very old.  Some of the tombstones date back to the mid-to-late 1700's.  Most of them are worn away or falling apart, but some were readable and actually gave us some info that we weren't aware of.

Over the years, we went back to "look something up" or to get current pics or clean up the place. (kids used to party there all the time, apparantly) On a visit about a year and a half ago, we noticed that there were several new houses being constructed around it and I began to worry that they would try to use the land or just demolish it, but we found out that the township owns it, so we let it go.  On my most recent visit to take photos, I was appalled at what was happening there.  Trees had been cut down, allowed to fall and break stones and never cleaned up... all very upsetting.

My question is:  Is there anything we can do about this?  I'm not even sure what I want to do if I can, but it was saddenning to see my ancestors' graves being disrespected in that way.

Also:  On the right side of the cemetary, we have found what appears to be the remains of an old church (VERY small) that was mentioned in the book as well.  This part, however remains a mystery to us: In front of the remains, a large cement slab (very definetly NOT a tombstone) was placed there that seems to be inlaid with older slabs of stone that are etched in german writing.  The dates on the end of the stone say 1822 - 1972.  The time is WAAAAAY off!  Any ideas what it could be?  (i'll post pics when I get them)

Anyone speak German???????

Whew!  lots of info....i'd love some outside opinions! :)
Stella

#2 ohhorror

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 05:21 AM

Stella,

You can try first at your local historical society, most towns have one, and the usually actually have quite a bit of power when it comes to preservation and stopping towns from wrecking something. If they can't help I bet they know who can there are a lot of cemetery preservation societies around.
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#3 whispers_of_fire

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 06:01 AM

Hi, Stella and welcome back to the boards ;D Sounds like you found a proverbial goldmine

Ohhorror :o WOW, thanks! I don't know where I heard this but thought that if a lot had't been developed or occupied within-think it was 30 years-it could be developed, leveled or bought :-/
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#4 ohhorror

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 06:39 AM

Maybe, but this is an old graveyard I am sure that they historical society have have something to say about them developing the graveyard.
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#5 mastermind73

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 09:27 AM

I totally agree with ohhorror.  You should contact your historical society immediately.  If they won't help you another thing you might try if you live near a major metropolitan area is call the news-stations nearby.  They love to do exposes on this kink of thing. (The big developers beating down on the little family graveyard)  They may not help you either, but it's really worth a shot to save your family history.
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#6 Stella

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 10:05 AM

Wow!  Thanks for all the suggestions guys!  My first stop will definetly be the Historical Society in nearby Zoar.  Zoar itself is a historical town and a major tourist attraction, so they will probably be ALL over it.  Also, my ancestors who are buried there were involved in the settling of Zoar.

I'll let you guys know how it turns out and i'll post the pics when I get them!

Any German translators out there? :D
Stella

#7 ohhorror

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 10:17 AM

Stella:

Is this the Zoar out in Ohio if so here is some info:

Founded in 1967, the Zoar Community Association strives to ensure the preservation of the historical characteristics and heritage of the Village of Zoar, Ohio and the surrounding area, including northern Tuscarawas County.

Zoar Village was founded in 1817 by a group of about  
200 German Separatists seeking escape from religious  
persecution in their homeland. Today, Zoar is a  
community of approximately 75 families living in  
homes built from 1817 to the present.  Many  
of the original homes have been preserved  
or restored, as have the many buildings  
and museums maintained by the Ohio  
Historical Society.

Zoar architecture features beautiful  
cupolas atop key Society buildings, such  
as The Assembly House, The School House,  
Town Hall, The Meeting House and The  
Number One House. The bells in the cupolas  
would ring to call workers to assembly, or  
to call members together for an event. Therefore
we have selected the cupola to serve as our
theme throughout this site. The cupola will
always bring you home if you
lose your way.
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#8 flyingorb

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Posted 27 November 2003 - 06:47 PM

Hi Stella,

If you do find someone who speaks German, please ask them if the word "bootsman" means anything.  We obtained an evp saying this and are stymied as to what it refers.  :-/
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#9 reeman

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 12:47 AM

Hi Stella,

If you do find someone who speaks German, please ask them if the word "bootsman" means anything.  We obtained an evp saying this and are stymied as to what it refers.  :-/


flyingorb

Bootsman in German translates to boatswain in English

1 : a petty officer on a merchant ship having charge of hull maintenance and related work
2 : a naval warrant officer in charge of the hull and all related equipment

http://www.m-w.com/c...onary?Boatswain

Hoping this helps with your EVP.

reeman

#10 MoonChild

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 01:24 AM

hi reeman and welcome to GV
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#11 flyingorb

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 07:04 AM

Hi Reeman,  Welcome to the village!

Thank you for the info on our "bootsman" evp.  It makes more sense to me now.  I am in Michigan, perhaps this spirit was involved in  the great lakes shipping industry.  :D
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#12 KarenSue1973

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 08:31 AM

Stella, good luck with your journey.  I have family that was raised in Germany, but I don't speak very much of it.  I will check with some of my family and see if they can help you.
Peace, love and happiness always!

#13 reeman

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 04:32 PM

Thanking you for your kind comments and welcoming me to the village.

From this little red creature aka reeman   ;D




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