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, May 27, 2019

Happy Memorial Day 2019 - Remembering America's Fallen Heros and their sarifices -- We owe them so much.

Today is one of remembering, reflecting, and offering our deepest respect and gratitude to all those who so selflessly sacrificed their lives so that all of us can enjoy the freedoms we have as Americans.  One way we often choose to honor our veterans is to visit a cemetery; perhaps more than one on this day -- a day that is for them. 
Cemeteries are the final resting places for countless special heroes who devoted a portion of their lives, for however long, in service to us in ways that go beyond measure; that have kept us free and safe.  
So it is that our welled-up tears fall quickly, even before our softly whispered thank-yous, as we kneel down and touch their gravestones praying they hear us.  Some may have been members of our own families, cherished friends, our kindly neighbors, or school chums who were taken from us too young.  We express our appreciation to them; understanding it could never be enough.  
May they all rest in eternal peace with the blessed assurance that we have not forgotten them; not now, not ever.     
Below are views from
And the Memorial Day

Monday, May 20, 2019

House Bill 155 - Ohio Veterans Heritage Protection Act

You can view several proponent testimonies for the passage of this act.  

Todd Kleismit
The Ohio History Connection
Linda Jean Limes Ellis
Robert E. Grim
Sons of Veterans Reserve
James Houston
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Dr. R.A. Davis
Society of the War of 1812
Peter J. Hritsko
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
Kerry L. Langdon
Fredric C. Lynch

"Prohibits a war relic that is located on public property or on the property of a cemetery association from being sold or otherwise disposed of by any person, but allows it to be returned to the federal government.Summary

Prohibits a war relic that is located on public property or on the property of a cemetery association from being destroyed, relocated, removed, altered, or otherwise disturbed by any person, except under certain circumstances, or if returned to the federal government.

Exempts the state and a political subdivision from the bill’s prohibitions if it can clearly prove ownership of a war relic by written documentation.

Fines purchasers and sellers of war relics and requires that the fines be paid to the county veterans service commission to be used for specific purposes, with half of the fines to be disbursed to veterans' services organizations in the county.

Authorizes the Ohio History Connection, with the help of local historical societies, to compile and maintain a registry of war relics."

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Jonathan Appell Hands-On Cemetery Preservation Workshop - 9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. - Saturday, June 22nd and Sunday, June 23, 2019 - North Fork Cemetery, Morrow County, Ohio

Announcing a free event upcoming hands-on cemetery preservation workshop for Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23, 2019 - each day 9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. conducted by nationally known professional gravestone conservator and preservation expert, Mr. Jonathan Appell
Location:  North Fork Cemetery (Also known as Blair CemeteryNorthfork CemeteryOwl Creek CemeteryOwl Creek Harmony Baptist Cemetery)

**Please see announcement below for further details**
Ohio Contact for sign up information and questions:  

Phone # 419-210-4866 
Email:  tfoor28@yahoo.com
Facebook and website links for further information:
Jonathan Appell:

Jonathan Appell
Atlas Preservation
Gravestone Conservation
Gravestone Preservation

Atlas Preservation - Gravestone Conservation/Preservation Supplies
Tim Foor:

Facebook - Tim Foor

Hallowed Ground Cemetery Preservation, LLC
Morrow County Preservation Society

Monday, May 13, 2019

Good news and bad news continue at some Ohio cemeteries

As some say, sometimes its best to get the bad news over with first, so we'll do that here.  
As we start off this new week in May, we learn sad news about increasingly deteriorating conditions causing serious problems at Columbiana Memorial Park located in East Liverpool, Ohio.
Excerpt from story.:

"Residents say things have changed. 
Since about a year ago the grounds at Columbiana County Memorial Park have not been maintained. 
The grass is growing high, weeds are covering plots, dirt is piling up, grounds are settling in and some people have even lost their loved ones headstones. 
So, many have started cleaning their own loved ones grave sites."
Now on to the positive news!
Sharing from Stark County, Ohio. 
Plain Township Cemetery, also known by alternate names.

This story illustrates how a single person's passion for proper preservation with an eye toward saving a cemetery's history, and preparing it for the future at the same time, can make a huge difference!
Good references in this article about townships taking over cemeteries when a cemetery lacks an owner. It is important to see that in print so readers know how the system is supposed to work.

Sadly, with newer association owned private cemeteries, we have learned about how some were left in the dust by the previous owner and townships were reluctant to step up immediately and start assuming full responsibility for the "orphaned" cemetery. 
Some of the reasoning for this is legitimate because townships know they do not have the resources nor manpower to properly handle them. These situations can lead to adopting receivership arrangements to fill the void as stopgap measures --measures which sound good and can help until it goes on too long and new problems surface that need to be resolved.  That is how 'the system' is set up, however. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers and Remembering Mothers no longer with us

Happy Mother's Day!   


Mother's Day 2019, many of us can scarcely believe it is here because the Twenty-First Century is moving along more quickly than what many of us would wish it to be doing.  I suppose that is because time goes faster the older we get.  Hey that's proven...but I can't remember by whom at the moment...so I'll just stay with just wishing all of the Mothers a special and Happy Mother's Day today!


Sharing my most definitive story I've written about my mother based on my research on trying to learn the truth about her real given name.

"In Memory of My Mother’s Many Names"
January 25, 2006
by Linda Jean Limes Ellis

"Researching the facts and foibles of my great-great grandfather or great-grandmother had never been a problem for me regardless of the secrets I uncovered about them.  However, delving into the life of my dear departed mother proved personally frustrating because she was my closest friend and sweet mother for 47 years of my life.  So it was she must have had her reasons why she chose not to share with me the hidden story behind her real birth name.

I had seen my mother’s name printed on my parents’ marriage certificate and her own signature affixed to her original Social Security card.  She was Virginia, Virginia H. or Virginia Harriet – and I never had a reason to think otherwise.  This was until after my mother died on February 3, 1995 and I learned there was more to my mother and her identity than I could have ever imagined. 

My first revelation came from her sister, my Aunt Irene, who came with me one Sunday afternoon to visit my parents’ gravesite at Elmwood Cemetery in Lorain, Ohio.  As we approached their tombstone, she announced, “You have the wrong name for your mother on the tombstone.”  I thought, what could she possibly mean by that statement?  Surely, that could not be true. 

However, my aunt told me that my mother was named Regina at birth, but she never liked it.  I had not heard of this before from my mother or anyone!  What I did recall though was hearing my cousin, Lenny, calling my mother “Auntie Ray” (later my Aunt Irene wrote a letter to me with the spelling of “R-a-e”; short for Regina?)  Still I remained unconvinced.

Soon afterward, I requested a copy of my mother’s Baptismal and Confirmation records from St. Stanislaus Church in Lorain, Ohio.  My mother’s family had lived on Apple Avenue, near the church, for years and I knew she attended “St. Stans.”

My mother was baptized on October 4, 1914.   Her baptismal record shows Regina Harriet Zagorski as her name.  I knew from her father’s naturalization records that Zagorski and Zagorsky were interchangeable.  I could live with the surname discrepancy without any question.  But, “Regina” boldly appeared on this official document, and it was the first time I saw it in print as my mother’s given name.

My mother’s Confirmation was on December 17, 1926 and the typed record shows her confirmation name was Rita.  The name on her Confirmation was “Regina Hedwig Zagorski”.  I thought, well, Hedwig may be Harriet in Polish?  But, no an accompanying letter from the church secretary stated otherwise: “Hedwig does not translate to Harriet.”  Yet another unfamiliar name I would now have to associate with my mother and who she was.  And, again “Regina.”  It is widely known that “Regina” means “Queen.”

Next, I tackled obtaining the public birth record for my mother.  The registration number was 665 in Registration District 753 in Lorain, Ohio. 

But there were two differently created forms with the “Registered No.665”, AND later, on June 29, 1942, an Ohio Department of Health Affidavit was filed for a correction to No. 665.

Interestingly, her mother, Josephine Zagorsky, signed the 1942 corrected Affidavit, which stated: 

“I, Josephine Zagorsky, being first duly sworn, say that I am the mother of Virginia Zagorsky, File No. 665.  Date of Birth:  September 13, 1914, Place of Birth:  Lorain, Ohio;  Name of Father:  Andy Zagorsky; Maiden name of mother:  Josephine Szczepankiewicz;
Remarks:  “First name of child was misspelled and last name was misspelled.”
Now, one File No. 665 Certificate of Birth shows my mother’s name as “Regina Sagarski” and the other “Virginia Sagarsky”.  The former name’s Certificate had an addition the later name’s form did not:  “Given name added from a supplemental report dated October 6, 1914. 

The “Virginia Sagarsky” was written on a Certificate of Birth dated and filed September 15, 1915 and her mother’s name was shown as “Josephine Grogan.”

Her mother’s name before marriage was Josephine Szczepankiewicz.  Why “Grogan” was not later corrected to Szczepankiewicz I do not know.  

Thus I had in my possession what essentially amounted to three birth certificates, a Baptismal record (both original and typed) and a Confirmation for my mother; all with disagreeing information for her birth name.

But it was what I saw on page 78 of the 1931 Lorain High School yearbook, “The Scimitar”, that conclusively convinced me Regina was my mother’s name given at birth. 

Under the heading of “The Sophomore A Girls” - in the fifth column, the fifth name from the bottom appears the name: “Regina Zagorski.”   Who would have thought how important a high school year book could be in a situation like this?  

I’ve reconciled myself to respect my mother’s desire to have remained silent during her lifetime about her birth name.  I feel comfortable knowing that the name on her tombstone, “Virginia H. Limes”, is the name she had truly desired for herself.  I know I did right by her.  Ultimately, that is all that really matters for both of us."