28 November 2008

Graves of Civil War Veterans in San Diego County

One of the absolute "best" genealogy books about San Diego area people is the book The Civil War Veterans of San Diego, CA by Barbara Palmer, Ph.D., published by the author, 1999 (on the Genealogy Reference shelf at the Chula Vista, Civic Center Branch, Public Library - Dewey 973.749 PALMER).

This book describes:

* California and San Diego in the Civil War
* Cemeteries Studied for the survey
* Other Cemeteries in San Diego
* Additional Research Sources - includes libraries, historical and genealogical societies, etc.
* Specific Genealogical Records Available in San Diego - by subject (e.g. military, death, probate, etc.)
* General Findings concerning Civil War Veterans
* Civil War Veterans buried in San Diego (in studied cemeteries)
* Civil War Veterans with Burial Locations unknown (but who died in San Diego)
* State of First Enlistment of Civil War Veterans

This is an excellent reference work - not just for Civil War veterans but for all local genealogy researchers - the research sources and specific records available in San Diego are very useful in describing holdings.

Of course, the Civil War veterans, and their burial locations, are the focus of this book. The author used records from two Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) posts in the San Diego area to identify the Civil War soldiers. The information available for each veteran found in a San Diego cemetery, using codes, includes:

A. Veteran's Official Tombstone (info. from the official government tombstone)
B. Veteran's Unofficial Tombstone (info. from unofficial or family tombstone)
C. Cemetery information (cemetery name, grave location, date of death/burial, age at death, nativity, marital status, etc.)
D. Heintzelman Post #33 G.A.R. (code for info. for this specific post)
E. Datus E. Coon Post #172 G.A.R. (code for info. for this specific post)
F. Information on Veteran's Wife (if located, including birth/death info, age, nativity, marital status, info in quotes are in cemetery records).

For example, here is one entry:

"Adams, Frederick F.B. F.F. Adams, Co
B 43rd Ohio Vol Inf 1861-1864
B. F.F. Adams, October 5, 1842 - October 28, 1928
C. MH/Div. 4 DOD/B 10/28/1929-2/23/1930 A. 86/__/23 O. died Seattle WA (grave stone says date of death is 1928)
D. Frederick F. Adams N: Ohio A:39 O: Merchant CW: Co B 43 Ohio Inf (Sgt) E/D: 10/61 - 9/64 LOS: 34 mos GAR: 3/31/81 SP: 4/30/1890 RE: 12/10/1890 TR: 12/13/1910 S: H
F. Mary Virginia, his wife March 2, 1854 - October 30, 1887 "He giveth His beloved sleep" DOD/B 10/30-11/1/1887 A: 34 N: California M: Married J/S: "Adams, Mary d. 30 Oct (1887), 35 yrs, bur. Mt Hope Cem" "

The cemetery abbreviations are:

* CAL = Calvary Cemetery (also known as Mission Hills Cemetery and Pioneer Cemetery)
* CV = Cypress View Mausoleum (opened in 1927)
* FR = Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery (opened after 1883)
* GW = Greenwood Cemetery (opened in 1907)
* HC = Holy Cross Cemetery (opened in 1919)
* MH = Mount Hope Cemetery.

For the Civil War veterans whose burial place is unknown or is outside the city of San Diego, the information offered was gleaned from GAR records of the two San Diego posts.

A typical entry is:

"Abrahams, W.F., N. Steubenville, Ohio CW: Co F 84 Ohio Vol Inf (Pvt) Term: 90 days E/D 5/62-9/62 Camp Delaware, Ohio GAR: 5/28/1904 Died 3/31/1915 age 63. Buried: Los Angeles S: DC."

There are 182 pages of veteran listings in this book. The book has source notes and photo credits, and an index of the Civil War Veterans and their wives.

I found this book on the library shelf several years ago and have used it often. About a year ago, I had to answer a query received from a correspondent about a Civil War veteran ancestor and I wanted to find out if he was in the book and if so to gather his information from the book. Unfortunately, he was not in the book even though I found that he is buried in Glen Abbey Memorial Park in Bonita, but without a Civil War designation. This probably means that he was not a GAR Post member and therefore was not a "target" of Barbara Palmer's study.

A book of this type, whose records are not online in any form, but may be available in a cemetery list published by a society, is priceless for a local historian. A bonus for San Diego area researchers is the survey of local repositories and available source records.

27 November 2008

Albert F. Dill stone in Mount Hope

I described the Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego last week. While I was there, I photographed a number of interesting stones in the Grand Army of the Republic area of the cemetery.

Here is the stone for Albert F. Dill (1840-1905) and his wife Isabelle Gay Dill (1848-1924).

The information on the stone about Albert's service reads:

"Co. E, 43rd Mass. Inf. 1862-1863
Acting Ensign U.S. Navy, 1863-1865"

I wonder how many other Civil War veterans served in more than one military service organization?

Albert Freeman Dill was born 27 September 1840 in Eastham, Massachusetts to Freeman and Elizabeth (Collins) Dill. He married (1) Susan Horton on 6 April 1862 in Eastham, Massachusetts, and they had at least two children - Nellie F. Dill (born 1862, died ????) and Albert F. Dill (born 20 April 1864, died 7 September 1864). In the 1880 US Census, Albert (age 40, born MA, a sea captain) and Isabella Dill (age 32, born MA) are residing in Oakland CA with a Michael Collins family. In the 1900 US census, A. F. Dill (born Aug 1840, married 30 years, born MA, parents born MA, a pilot) and wife Isabel G. Dill (born June 1847, married 30 years, 3 children, born MA, parents born RI) reside at 239 Boston Avenue in San Diego, San Diego County, CA. They have three children, Alice L. Dill (born Dec 1882 in CA), Burt S. Dill (born Nov 1889 in CA), and Harold W. Dill (born Jan 1895 in CA).

I took this picture because I wondered if Albert F. Dill, and his children, were distant cousins of mine. Since he is from Cape Cod, I am quite sure that they are, since my Elizabeth Dill was born in Eastham in about 1794. I can trace Albert's line back to Peter Dill, the immigrant in about 1660. Perhaps some of Albert's descendants will see this post and contact me at rjseaver@cox.net. He, and they, has a wonderful New England ancestry - especially on Cape Cod and in early Plymouth!

21 November 2008

Sign of the Cross at Mount Hope

Perhaps the largest monument for a single person or family at Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego is the one shown below:

The eastern side of the base of this monument says:
"Graham E. Babcock
April 6, 1908"
Another photograph from another angle is here.
Graham E. Babcock was the son of Elisha H. and Isabel (Graham) Babcock. Elisha was one of the leading businessmen in South San Diego County in the 1880 to 1920 time period. A biography of Elisha S. Babcock is printed on pages 105 to 107 in:
City of San Diego and San Diego County: The Birthplace of California, Volume 2. By Clarence Alan McGrew, American Historical Society, American Historical Society, incorporated, New York. Published by American Historical Society, 1922. Available on Google Books.
The monument for Elisha and Isabel Babcock are much smaller than the one for their son , who died before they did. You can see their monument here.

20 November 2008

Mount Hope Cemetery - San Diego CA

Mount Hope Cemetery is located at 3751 Market Street in San Diego, California (92102). The Business Office phone number is (619) 527-3400. The cemetery is managed by the City of San Diego. The Grounds are open 365 days a year from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The Business Office is open Monday though Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. The City of San Diego web site for the cemetery is here.

The original Mount Hope Cemetery was opened in 1869 east of the "New Town" of San Diego. It was combined with other burial areas originally designated for the International Order of Foresters, Masonic Lodge, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the County of San Diego Indigent Burial Program. In February 1973 a Veteran’s Section in the newer area of the cemetery was dedicated in honor of all San Diego Veterans.

The cemetery has 110 acres (with 80 acres in use at present) with over 76,000 persons at rest there.

The entrance is on the south side of Market Street, about midway between Interstate 15 and Interstate 805 (both have offramps for Market Street). The entrance looks like this (looking south)

The Business Office is about 1/10 mile inside the gate on the left, and has parking for about 8 cars. The view from the road is (looking east):

The cemetery grounds are rolling low hills, with roads defining the different cemetery sections. The San Diego Trolley tracks run through the cemetery, separating the Masonic Section, the G.A.R. Section and the I.O.O.F. Section south of the tracks from the larger Evergreen Cemetery section north of the tracks. The grounds have, in general, a mix of above-ground and in-ground markers, with a few larger monuments.

There is a dedicated area for the Grand Army of the Republic that contains many graves of Civil War veterans. There is a GAR memorial with an American flag pole, as shown below:

On the west side of the memorial is a plaque, as shown below:

There are a number of web sites that have lists with persons interred at Mount Hope Cemetery (and its' predecessors), including:

* http://www.findagrave.com/ has over 3,100 listings here. There are also short biographies of 13 famous people here.

* http://www.interment.net/ has over 500 listings here.

* The California GenWeb Cemetery Archives has an index with over 14,000 listings here.

* The USGenWeb Archives for San Diego cemeteries has listings in alphabetical order here. I think these are the same listings as the California GenWeb archives.

The San Diego Genealogical Society offers a book of Mount Hope Cemetery, Burial Records, Book 1, 1868 - 1909, 319 pages, comb binding on their web site for $30. This was compiled from the listings in their original records publication, San Diego Leaves and Saplings, from member transcriptions many years ago.

If you go to the Business Office to search for a person buried there, the helpful staff finds the listing on their computer, and then prints a map of the cemetery showing the approximate location of the grave, and then provides a map of the immediate area with the selected person and 15 of the closest neighbors. It's a wonderful system once you figure it out!

19 November 2008

Thoughts on Graveyards and the SSDCGYR blog

The Graveyard Rabbit blog has a post today titled Meet the "South San Diego County GYRabbit" written by me for a "meet the GYR bloggers" post.

Check out The Graveyard Rabbit blog for posts like this each Wednesday.

14 November 2008

Resting comfortably?

I ran across some really interesting shrines for deceased persons while I was at La Vista Memorial Park in National City on Wednesday.

Here is a photograph of one of the more elaborate shrines in the "unmaintained" section of the cemetery:

I saw no name of the deceased person on the monument - perhaps it is hidden by the flowers and other adornments.
Obviously, two or more people come to share some time with their loved one - note the comfortable office chair and the low table. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that they bring a portable television, play cards or even nap to spend their time with their loved one in the sun on a hillside overlooking the beautiful Sweetwater River valley.

13 November 2008

La Vista Memorial Park

La Vista Memorial Park is located at 3191 Orange Street in National City, California, 91950 (the city immediately south of San Diego on the bayfront) and has been serving San Diego area families since 1868. La Vista Memorial Park of San Diego. They are the only family owned and operated memorial park in San Diego County. The park is located just east of Interstate 805 and north of State Route 54 (coming north or south, take the Sweetwater Road exit, and go east. The second street to the left is Orange, and La vista is up a winding road.

The La Vista Memorial Park web site is at http://www.lavistamemorialpark.com/. There are location maps and photographs of the park and the setting on the site. The phone number is 619-475-7770. I visited the park yesterday, and took some photographs. Here is the entry gate at Orange Street and 32nd Street:

The cemetery office is located in a relatively small building. At the front desk, you can ask for the location of a grave, and the attendant will look in a card file, find the record, make a copy of it, and then look in a map book to determine where the grave is located. If the attendant is not busy, s/he will take you out to the grave site. Here is the cemetery office building.

The cemetery has a "maintained" section (where the grave sites are in a mowed grassy area and an "unmaintained" section where the graves are not maintained by the cemetery staff, but family members often create shrines for their loved ones. Many of the early graves (before 1920) are in the unmaintained section. This is a view looking to the west from near the cemetery office of the unmaintained section.

Part of the maintained section is shown below looking north from near the cemetery office:

The persons in this cemetery are either buried or cremated and in the ground, in a number of mausoleums or in a niche wall for cremated remains. Grave markers include ground-level markers, small or large monuments, or shrines. Many recent graves are interspersed in the older sections, often with a modern stone right next to an older granite stone. There is a lot of "empty" space in the older sections - I think that there are probably many unmarked graves, which may or may not be noted in the cemetery records.

Just east of the office, there is a Grand Army of the Republic memorial and there are gravestones of probable Civil War veterans nearby. There are also gravestones for more recent military veterans nearby. The GAR memorial is shown below:

The San Diego Genealogical Society published a series of articles providing names and gravestone data for persons buried in La Vista cemetery in their Leaves and Saplings periodical (Volume 5, number 3 and Volume 15, number 2). These volumes are available at many San Diego area public libraries and at the San Diego Family History Center in Mission Valley.

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society is in the process of putting all cemetery records, obtained from the La Vista cemetery records provided by the staff, into a spreadsheet and will eventually publish a CD-ROM of these records, and will place a printed copy of the records in several local libraries.

The http://www.findagrave.com/ web site has listings for 555 persons in La Vista Memorial Park here. There are also photographs of the cemetery and of some of the gravestones at the park.

The http://www.interment.net/ web site has listings for 208 persons buried in La Vista Memorial Park here, but has no photographs or memorials.

There are listings from La Vista Memorial Park gravestones in the US GenWeb Archives at http://files.usgwarchives.net/ca/sandiego/cemeteries/lavista.txt.

I have several ancestors and relatives buried in this cemetery, and I will post pictures of their gravestones on http://www.geneamusings.com/ in the near future.

07 November 2008

Glen Abbey Memorial Park and Mortuary

Glen Abbey Memorial Park and Mortuary is one of the largest cemeteries in South San Diego County. It is located at 3838 Bonita Road in Bonita, CA 91902 (phone (619) 498-4600 and (877) 442-2551) an unincorporated area just east of downtown Chula Vista. The Glen Abbey Memorial Park and Mortuary web site is http://www.glenabbeysandiego.net/index.html.

The entrance to the cemetery appears like this from Bonita Road (looking south):

The beautiful Little Chapel of the Roses, a non-sectarian chapel and an exact replica of the Lord Tennyson Chapel in Somersby, England, which is a true landmark, often hosts memorial services, funerals, weddings and quinceaneros.

The map below shows the physical location of the Memorial Park. It is about one mile east of Interstate 805 on the south side of Bonita Road.

The section map of the memorial park is shown below (Bonita Road is at the left of the map - the numbers are Block numbers):

Glen Abbey Mortuary and Memorial Park is a quiet, lovely and spacious site of about 120 acres. Because Glen Abbey is a memorial park, all markers are flush to the ground, and there are no tombstones or elaborate memorials. There are several columbariums, a veterans’ section, a babies section, and a nature garden where there are some inurnments and many scatterings.

Glen Abbey first opened in 1924 to accept remains of persons buried in a certain area of Evergreen Cemetery in La Mesa, east of San Diego, which was being sold for real estate development. Later, more were brought in to be re-interred from a cemetery in the Otay area of South San Diego, where a street was being widened. There are now over 35,000 persons buried or inurned there.

A comprehensive survey of the "guests" buried or inurned at Glen Abbey was made by the Chula Vista Genealogical Society was published on CD-ROM in 2006. For availability of this CD-ROM, please see here. The survey list includes last name, first name, plot location (lot-section-block), date of birth, date of death, remarks, and veteran status. CVGS will do limited lookups in the cemetery list, and take photographs of cemetery plots - see here. The Chula Vista Public Library has a two-volume paper copy of the cemetery listings on the Family Research shelves in the Civic Center Branch Library.

The Find a Grave web site has links to listings of 553 "guests" at Glen Abbey Memorial Park.

The USGenWeb Archives Cemetery Project has lists of transcribed cemetery gravestones here and here.