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."

Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Grave Adventures Spring Tour" - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 11:45a.m. to 4:30p.m.


Announcing 2012 "Grave Adventures Spring Tour" - Holmes County, Ohio

Abstracted from the website:

"Grave Adventures Spring Cemetery Tour

Saturday, May 12th beginning at 11:45 am

Join the Holmes County Library Ladies on their second tour of some of Holmes County’s most interesting cemeteries. The Spring Tour will include lunch at Deer Run Park and a visit to Oak Hill Cemetery where participants will attend the historic dedication of the Adena Burial Mound. After the ceremony, it’s off to explore cemeteries in Glenmont, Nashville and Saltillo where we will learn the art of gravestone rubbing, tombstone symbolism and the legend of the Death Angel.

Cost is $25 per person which includes lunch and the tour

Deadline for registration is Saturday, May 5th

For more information or to obtain a brochure and registration form stop by the Central Library or visit www.holmeslibrary.org/cemeteries."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 29 2012 Update - Help for Hungarian Inscription on a Gravestone at St. Vincent Cemetery in Sheffield Township, Lorain County, Ohio

Above is another photograph version of this gravestone.
Thanks again to Judith Wilson for sending over this new version.
See below for Greta Koehl's partial translation provided thus far for this stone.
Thank you Judith and Greta. Teamwork!!

From Judith Wilson, who submitted this photograph taken of a gravestone at St. Vincent Cemetery in Sheffield Township, Lorain County, Ohio. It's inscription needs translation. The writing appears to be Hungarian. Below is further information about it from Judith:


"I have spent a considerable amount of time on trying to decipher that stone! It is quite worn so the best photo I could get was while it was wet with a little sun.

Translating in Hungarian: The first word in the third line down is Meghalt - which means "He died". There may be a "4" after that.
The first word in the fourth line down may be Aprilis - which is "April" (thus probably April 20 1902). I can't seem to get beyond that. You would think the word Nyugalina could be deciphered but I've had no luck."

March 28, 2012:

Thanks to Greta Koehl, we have some further translation information to share:

"I know some Hungarian but I can't read all of the letters.

There is the name Eszter third line from the bottom, and in the line above that edes Anya - mother.
Then the last two lines are something like Orol emleke is Aldat a nyugalma - blessed memory [of her] in peace."

Sharing Judith Wilson's Mother's Story about Her Memories of What Happened at the St. Vincent Cemetery - Sheffield Township, Lorain County, Ohio

Sheffield Township, Lorain County, Ohio
South side of Rte 254 (North Ridge Rd E), ¼ Mile East of Rte 57
Owned by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland
Maintained by Calvary Cemetery

"St. Vincent Cemetery"

Short story told by Bridget Shindler and related by her daughter Judith Wilson

"Mr. and Mrs. Shindler purchased the property on the west side of St. Vincent Cemetery in 1945.

In 1945 St Vincent Cemetery was so overgrown, my parents, Bud and Bridget Shindler did not realize they had just purchased property next to a cemetery.

Finding the paths that wound their way through the cemetery was the key to seeing the graves. It was overgrown with trees and thick with briars. Daffodils and lilacs still bloomed there and there and myrtle was thick.

The entrance to the cemetery was not easily seen so our driveway welcomed many visitors both local and from afar. My mother, Bridget Shindler, greeted them all and helped them find their way in.

At one time Fr. O’Dea of St Peters on 17th Street in Lorain came out to see the cemetery and talked to my mother and wanted to know what she knew about it. Another time, Father Duffy (not Ahearn my mother stated) of St Mary’s in Lorain stopped out to see the cemetery, talked to my mother and asked more questions. Each time she showed them some of the sunken graves and the stones that you could get to as it was very overgrown. She showed him the area that was surrounded by an old iron fence, partially still standing and inside were all the graves (little stones and lambs) where the babies were buried. She said there were about 30 or so of these little stones.

In approximately 1954 or 1955 a bulldozer and some trucks and other equipment drove into the cemetery entrance (way half way down between the property lines facing North Ridge Rd). They told us the Diocese of Cleveland had given Calvary Cemetery orders to clear the cemetery out. They started bulldozing trees and pushing them to the back southeast corner of the cemetery where we didn’t think any graves were at. The stones were moved around as they cleared it out and eventually all the stones were lined up along our driveway (on the west side of the cemetery property line) in a long line, some piled on top of one another - all laying flat. They told my mother they were going to clear it all out and make it really nice and plant grass and put all the stones back flat. My mother said to them “how are you going to replace these stones since you’ve removed them and put them back where they belong?” They said not to worry, they’ll put them back according to the map. She said she understood that the cemetery map was lost? The said “oh they didn’t think so” and said “they’ll do it”.

They told my mother they put a notice in the paper saying people should come and claim the stones but my mother said she read the paper everyday and did not see it.

One man happened to drive by as they were bulldozing and stopped, as his grandfather was buried there. (Burgett). He told them that was his grandfather and if they moved the stone he would sue them – so they left it alone and it stayed standing.

The cemetery was then planted with grass and a few trees were left standing including a maple tree (northwest front area of cemetery) where all the babies were buried around. The stones stayed piled along our driveway for several weeks. The cemetery was now green with grass and done. My mother and dad left for vacation for 2 weeks. When they got back the stones that were piled up all along the driveway, maybe 40 to 60 stones she thought (not including the 30 or so baby stones which she was not sure where they were) were all gone except for about 13 or 15 that were now laid flat in a line parallel to our property line and of course Burgett’s stone was left standing. There was a dumpsite on Ford Road on the south side of the road– closer to where it came out on West River and we wondered if that’s where they dumped the stones.

When they were bulldozing the cemetery an old neighbor, Mr. Jens, who lived two houses to the west of us, (his son and daughter in law lived in Smith’s house) told us that only one grave was moved from the cemetery (this was long before the cemetery was cleared out and even before my parents had brought their house in 1945) and he lived here for years too. My mother’s father, who lived with us at the same time, said he saw one coffin get pulled up by bulldozer but they put it back.

St. Vincent Cemetery is in Sheffield Township but in those days was referred to as Stop 7. A lot of Hungarians lived in this area and many of the gravestones may have been written in Hungarian. As a child I remembered seeing 1910 on one of the stones. We were never sure if others went beyond that or not. Even after the cemetery was leveled and grassed over, mounds appeared in the ground and I remember another spot sinking and we assumed that was a sunken grave.

Over the years several from a group from the Historical Society from Sheffield Village (?) use to come out and look at the stones – write down dates and my brother would go out and pull the grass around them so they could read them.

Mavis Darcy, retired teacher from Clearview High School, once gave her students a project at the cemetery. They cleared the grass from the graves that remained flat in the ground and did rubbings to try and decipher the names. We do not believe the project included any research."


Judith Wilson is a member of the Lorain County Genealogical Society, a Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society. She is also a member of O.G.S.

Her well-written account of the St. Vincent Cemetery was published in the Winter 2012 issue of the "Lorain County Researcher" published by LCGS. Judith's story, complete with 17 gravestone photographs, some which need translation, appears on pages 7 through 9.

At the end of the story, Judith has listed the surnames she has found engraved on gravestones at St. Vincent Cemetery:


UNKNOWN (needs translation), SOLOMON, PREMUS and LACZA


Thank you Judith for sharing your knowledge of the history of the St. Vincent Cemetery.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Featuring the Ohio Cemetery Foundation

Permanent links have been added below to both the Ohio Cemetery Association and the Ohio Cemetery Foundation.

The Ohio Cemetery Foundation, "A Partner in the Preservation of Ohio Cemeteries," offers help to cemetery operators. It is a wonderful website to read and learn about the purpose and goals of this organization.

"Ohio Cemetery Foundation, 10209 Plainfield Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45241 • Phone 888-591-9002 • Fax 888-591-9003 •


Unfortunately, "Blogger" issues still persist, and I am still unable to re-arrange the 'gadgets' on the blog. That means newer links cannot be to be properly alphabetized. I have contacted the "Blogger" Help Forums several times, but haven't received any replies. I see others with "Blogger" blogs are experiencing issues with their blogs as well. So, my apologies to you that the arrangement of some of the links is not in the proper order at least at this time.

Thank you for your patience!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Announcing the new Ohio Cemetery Association

I had a great conversation this morning with Mr. Jack Lee-Harris, President of the newly formed Ohio Cemetery Association.

From what I have learned, the Ohio Cemetery Association will be involved with meetings with Ohio township officials regarding cemeteries they maintain.

Please click on the title to learn more about the Ohio Cemetery Association and their focus.

Abstracted from the website of the Ohio Cemetery Association:

"The Ohio Cemetery Association is dedicated to promote and maintain the highest ethical standards in all of our relations with the public; and to foster a spirit of camaraderie among the providers in the death care industry.

Beginning in 2011 the OCA will begin combining the educational and promotional activities to present a consolidated presence of the Cemetery and combination funeral care providers to the interested government agencies and Ohio Consumers."


Lee-Harris, President

(740) 548-5509 (Phone)
(740) 548-0425 (Fax)

Jan Burrowes, Secretary-Treasurer
(937) 885-0283 (Phone)
(937) 885-4512 (Fax)
(937) 604-0709 (Cell)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spotlighting St. Vincent Cemetery, Lorain County, Ohio & Seeking help with a Tombstone Transcription

Align Center
Partial translation (Slovenian) for the above grave marker from Judith Wilson:

Here Rests
Marija Udovic
20 June 1903
S.T.R. 37. L. 1865

(the last line needs translation)

Anna Ada Luella Bringman

Daughter of

W. & G. Bringman

June 11, 1898

May 1, 1900

If anyone is able to translate the last line on the stone for Marija Udovic, please comment.

Thank you!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spotlighting Cemeteries in Union Township, Fayette County, Ohio

Click title to view the Main Cemeteries Page of the Union Township, Fayette County, Ohio website.

The pages include location details of each cemetery, a short historical sketch about each cemetery, and several close-up photographs of

The cemeteries are:




If your research focus is for one or more of these cemeteries in Union Township, Fayette County, Ohio, please take a moment to view the photographs of tombstones as they are "more or less" shown in an alphabetized order after clicking on the (click for additional pictures) link shown for each cemetery.

This is a nicely maintained website offering a lot of Union Township, Fayette County, Ohio information!

Announcing a "Cemetery Invasion"coming May 19, 2012 to Summit County, Ohio!!!

Click on title to link to the "OGS Events Calendar by Date" on the "Ohio Genealogical Society" website where the information below is posted.
"19 May 2012 - Summit County Chapter, OGS - "Cemetery Invasion." Location to be determined."

"Kelly Holderbaum, Cemetery Chair, will lead us to one of the local cemeteries where we will read the stones in the cemetery or a portion of the cemetery. Instructions and materials will be provided. Our work will provide the information for new publications by our Chapter.

Bring your lunch, lawn chair, wear comfortable shoes and come enjoy the day!! Check website for time and location.. Akron-Summit County Public Library, 60 South High Street, Akron, Ohio."
Most of us know that The Ohio Genealogical Society is a premier resource for researching your ancestry in Ohio.

It also offers much for researching the cemeteries where your ancestors rest (hopefully in peace!).

OGS offers extensive cemetery preservation resources for your review online. Please check the links out: Cemetery Preservation at OGS.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sharing a "YouTube" Video - "Columbiana County Ohio Cemeteries Part 1

Click on title to view the "YouTube" video showing random slideshow photographs from several Columbia County cemeteries of gravestones, many in need of repair or restoration, unfortunately. Most views are longer shot ones, but there are some close-ups as well.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spotlighting The Champaign County Preservation Alliance

From the "Urbana Daily Citizen" newspaper, Urbana, Ohio:

"County Preservation Alliance seeks members and support"
Special to the Citizen
Friday, March 09, 2012

"The Champaign County Preservation Alliance annual membership drive is under way. Mailings have been sent to the membership for renewal. Those interested in preservation and the restoration of buildings, homes, monuments or markers may wish to consider joining. Projects include two facade matching grants awarded annually to area residents. The applications are available at the Chamber of Commerce on Miami Street and by contacting the CCPA, P.O.Box 748, Urbana, Ohio 43078. Deadline for submission is July 31, and the grants will be awarded Aug. 31.

Renovation continues on the ground floor of the Second Baptist Church in Mechanicsburg with new wiring, repositioning heating and air duct work, and replacing flooring for a concrete pad. The next phase will include kitchen renovation.

The group is working on the 3rd annual Classy Trash and Treasures Auction to be held March 31 at the Mabry Auction Gallery on North Main Street, Urbana. Donations for the auction are being accepted until March 28. For details, contact Barb at 653-4776.

"We are in need of donations and we encourage everyone to attend the auction for a day filled with food, fun, laughter and great bargains." said Barb Perry, event chair.

New projects include The Tombstone Trail, a tour of county cemeteries, and the Sowles Hotel restoration. For more information or to work on the Tombstone Trail project, contact Brad Bodenmiller, 652-4322. To be involved in the community committee to restore the Sowles, contact Sandy Gonzalez, 653-4023.

The group promotes rail history with the restoration of a rail car at the Depot on Miami Street. It will be used as an educational center.

The August 2011 train trip was a sell-out and the CCPA is awaiting a contract with the rail company to prepare for the train trip in August.

The annual Historic Home and Garden Tour is in its 20th year and draws 1,000-plus guests. The tour is the major fund-raising event for the group. The goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of restoring and renovating older homes to fit the needs of today's families without destroying the integrity of the structure.

"Hundreds of volunteers make this tour possible. It would be wonderful to have each one of them as a member of the CCPA," said Sandy Gonzalez, tour chair and board member. "Our dues allow us to continue our current projects and pursue new projects and activities."

There are "'active" members participating in the Home and Garden Tour, working the Oktoberfest, participating in the Art Affair, the train trips, the Tombstone Trail or volunteering for other activities. "Inactive" members support the organization through membership dues."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How Springfield Boy Scout Earned His Eagle Scout Status from His Efforts at St. Raphaels Cemetery

Click on title to link to a story that ran March 29, 2011 in the "Springfield News-Sun" newspaper and online that spotlights how local Boy Scout, Christopher Vandiford, was awarded the distinction of becoming an Eagle Scout following his extensive work to document and clean up the St. Rapahels Cemetery in Springfield, (Clark County) Ohio. The feature article is very well written by staff writer, Tom Stafford.

"Find A Grave" has the cemetery listed as "Saint Raphaels" Cemetery. Currently, 338 interments are listed for it on the site.

Also, I discovered another site with some great close up pictures of some of the gravestones at the St. Raphaels Cemetery.

It is: a "webshots.com" site and the pictures were posted by "georgeannmalowney" as:
OHIO - Springfield - St. Raphael's Cemetery, Lagonda Ave

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spotlighting the Orr Family of Perry Township, Fayette County, Ohio

Elizabeth Hesser Snider Doster, widow of Henry Snider and John Doster, Sr.
She had lived with her daughter, Eliza Snider Orr, and the Orr family, and was buried with them at Sugar Grove Cemetery, Perry Township, Fayette County, Ohio

Longer show view of the large Orr monument for the John Orr family buried at Sugar Grove Cemetery, Perry Township, Fayette County, Ohio

Eliza (Snider) Orr, wife of John Orr, buried at Sugar Grove Cemetery, Perry Township, Fayette County, Ohio

Samuel C. Orr, son of John & Eliza (Snider) Orr buried at Sugar Grove Cemetery, Perry Township, Fayette County, Ohio. Note, Civil War veteran who died at Bowling Green, Kentucky on March 8, 1864.

With thanks to Mr. Sam Bowers, Perry Township Trustee Chairman, for taking these photographs of the large white marble Orr monument at the Sugar Grove Cemetery in Perry Township, Fayette County, Ohio.

Per Mr. Bowers:

"Perry township is about to take the Sugar Grove Cemetery back over.

The church has had the cemetery surveyed and is doing away with the potters field to make room for the driveway and new parking lot.

They are also moving the grave in potters field and paying the township $6,000.00 for the graves they are taking for the parking lot. Or I should say they are paying for the lots that the parking lot and new section of the church are already over."

Story from the "Lima News" about Deb Garver and her cemetery work in Allen, Hancock, Hardin, and Putnam Counties Ohio

Thanking "Save A Grave" for bringing my attention to this story written by ROSANNE BOWMAN - 
419-993-2084 that was published yesterday online by the "Lima News." Click on title to access it.

Quoting a point from this story:

"2. What do you do to research them? What is the process?"

"The order of events, I guess you'd say, is I go to the cemetery, and I take pictures of all the stones. If I can't read them, then I use shaving cream, which I wipe on the stone and it goes into the crevices and makes the stones easier to read. It doesn't hurt the stones at all; I teach chemistry by the way. I come home, and put it all on the computer. I look them up on ancestor.com to see if I can find any other information about them. Then I include that information along with the picture I took as a memorial on an online cemetery. This way, someone in California can see great-grandpa's actual gravestone."
The only issue that most of us would have with this approach is the use of the shaving cream. It has been stated many times, including by "The Association for Gravestone Studies", that it is NOT good to use shaving cream on gravestones.

So, please click on "The Association for Gravestone Studies" link above in this paragraph to learn the reasons and recommendations for best practices and proper methods of cleaning gravestones.

Overall, this is a wonderful story to read and is worth sharing. Deb is to be congratulated for her work in documentating gravesites in her area on "Find A Grave".

Friday, March 2, 2012

Spotlighting the Licking County Genealogical Society - Chapter of O.G.S.

Click on title to link to the fantastic website of the Licking County Genealogical Society, a Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society.

This website is chock full of links!!!

Be sure to check out the "Main Menu" and "What's New" information.
There is also a "Beginner's Corner" and an extensive listing of resources for researching in Licking County, Ohio.
If Licking County, Ohio is one of your focuses for Ohio research, including cemeteries, this is a "must see" website to visit now and in the future.
The last update to their website was made on February 23, 2012.