Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in the Great State of Ohio

Dedicated to cemetery preservation in the great state of Ohio

"A cemetery may be considered as abandoned when all or practically all of the bodies have been Removed therefrom and no bodies have been buried therein for a great many years, and the cemetery has been so long neglected as entirely to lose its identity as such, and is no longer known, recognized and respected by the public as a cemetery. 1953 OAG 2978."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nancy Spain information from Ralph Lowell Coleman, Jr.

There are four Nancy Spains buried in Maple Grove Cemetery. Three are buried in the oldest portion of the cemetery, the part which was originally (and still remains referred to as Spain Cemetery). Burials started here in 1837, and continued until the 1960s with burials on very old family plots. Burial records only exist for the newer part of the cemetery area, referred to as "old" Maple Grove Cemetery and "the Gilbert Addition." Maple Grove Cemetery dates from 1890; the Gilbert Addition was added in the 1950s with the first burial there in the 1960s. There are about 4150 burials in the cemetery, not counting the burials in the Spain Cemetery portion.

Spain Cemetery was established shortly after the earliest pioneers arrived from Virginia, most of whom originated in Dinwiddie County. Many of these early settlers were Quakers, members of the Society of Friends. There are more than 211 Spains buried in the cemetery complex.

Unfortunately, Census records across the US did not record the names of females until the 1850 Census. You might want to try to find her listed in the census for Champaign County in 1850, and 1860. You might also attempt to find a marriage record for her and Audas in Champaign County during the appropriate time period. Some times these early marriages were recorded in county records; sometimes they were not. Death records were not required to be maintained until much later in the County's history. The clerk of the Probate Court at Champaign County Courthouse, 200 North Main Street, Urbana, Ohio 43078 (phone 937-484-1028 might be able to assist you in a search. There is a charge for copies of documents found.

All of the official burial records for Spain Cemetery have been lost for years. Information on burials there has been gleaned from existing, readable memorial stones by volunteer readers. I have the most up to date information from this source. Burial records via the local funeral home, dating back to 1892, are in my possession, but nothing from farther back in history.

The records for Maple Grove Cemetery, as contained in the original record books from 1890 - present day, are incomplete. I transcribed the original records in the summer of 2009, creating a digital database which is stored on my computer, and on the computer which I donated to the Rush Township trustees (in North Lewisburg). During the history of the cemetery, there were at least three sextons/caretakers who could neither read nor write. As a result, some individual burial records are incomplete with missing Christian names, dates of burial, mispellings of last names, etc. I also took over 7000 photographs of memorial stones. For the past year, I have been linking photos with the transcribed data, and supplementing this with additional information from funeral home records, obituary records, and news articles in area newspapers during the period. I probably have the most complete record of burials at Maple Grove Cemetery to be found anywhere.

There are the three Nancy Spain listings:

Nancy Spain, born 9 May 1775 - died 9 Oct 1841: no other information is available. - gleaned from an old transcript

Nancy A. Spain, born 1780 - died 23 Oct 1867: no other information is available. - gleaned from an old transcript

Nancy M. Spain, born 14 Jun 1787 - died 23 Feb 1848: no other information is available. - gleaned from an old transcript

It is a possibility that your Nancy Audas is the second name listed here. The Audas family was prominent in the area through the 1870s. A current street in North Lewisburg is Audas Street, which connects with East Street at the location of the now non-existant railroad crossing, and extends to the north.

There are no Audas burials in Maple Grove Cemetery. There are two known Audas burials in Butcher Cemetery, which is located on the west side of North Lewisburg, within the corporation limits, near Spain Creek. These are:

AUDAS, Martha

Wife of William

• June 9, 1809

September 8, 1846
(earliest known burial)

37 yrs. 3 mos. 2 days

AUDAS, William
December 5, 1800

March 31, 1867

67 years
(Nixon & Bolton page 99)

The Champaign County Genealogical Library, 1060 Scioto Street, Urbana, Ohio 43078, phone 937-653-3811, is a repository for microfilms of newspapers from the 1830s to the present day. You might attempt to locate an obituary for Nancy A. Spain by reviewing the newspaper which were in circulation at the approximate time of her death. The volunteers at the genealogical library have created an extensive obituary card file which also might be a source for information in attempting to ascertain if her maiden name was Audas.

I hope this information helps you in your search for Nancy Audas.

Ralph Coleman
1536 Robins Circle
Ogden, Utah 84404

Ohio Cemetery Complaint Form

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ohio Chapter AGS - November 2010 meeting

Click on title to access information about the Ohio Chapter of the Association for Gravestone Studies next meeting which is scheduled to be held on Saturday, November 6, 2010 - from 10:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. at the Hancock Historical Museum at 422 West Sandusky Street, Findlay, Ohio.  

From the Chapter's Facebook page:
10:00am - Chapter Members (business meeting)
10:30am - Guest Speaker for Graham Cemetery - Kate Hayfield
Noon - Lunch (bring your own) Beverages provided
1:00pm - Graham Cemetery Tour followed by stops at Kampf/Ewing, Union, Biglick Cemeteries for those interested 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Spotlighting - "Along Spain Creek" Blog - Ralph Lowell Coleman, Jr.

Click on title to access Ralph Lowell Coleman, Jr.'s blog, "Along Spain Creek" - specifically the section which offers links to both Maple Grove and Woodstock Cemeteries in Champaign County, Ohio. 

The burials for both are linked to the website of "Find A Grave" and Ralph has that link posted for the researcher's convenience in searching for burials at these two cemeteries offered on the site.

Ralph has done extensive work researching burials, both marked and unmarked, at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Rush Township, just outside the city limits of the Village of North Lewisburg in Champaign County. 

From Ralph:
"There are approximately 20 LOTS of the nearly 968 LOTS in Maple Grove Cemetery (appoximately 2%) which have more than four burials recorded in the original record book.

However, these lots generally contain the remains of a baby, (or babies), an infant, or the buried cremains of someone who was cremated. In some cases, the walkway areas adjacent to the lots were purchased and used as burial plots. It would have been very difficult to "squeeze" in five adults, complete with burial vaults, into the space allotted to individual lots within the squares. The lots were measured by length and width when the cemetery was laid out. Adjustments have also been made over the years for the placement of the roadways, and trees which have grown up in some of the lots, making some of the lots within individual squares unsuitable for burials.
One extreme exception to the "four graves per lot" rule of thumb, (and one of the lots referred to in my paragraph 1 above),
Square 83, Lot 1 contains SEVEN burials: George Holycross (baby), Annabelle Holycross, Thomas E. Holycross, Bertha Holycross, Alonzo Holycross, Annis Holycross, and Fred Holycross."