Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday - Mount Saint Mary Cemetery

This Sunday morning Donald and I were up early to visit his grandmother's grave at Mount Saint Mary Cemetery in Queens, NY.  He has several family members buried there; his paternal grandparents, his grandmother's parents, three of her sisters, two with their husbands, a brother's wife and a grand-niece.

Headstone of Donald's paternal grandparents,
Charles Calma and Marie Theresa Scalise Calma
at Mount Saint Mary Cemetery in Queens, NY.

Since Tessie's passing and burial in 2008, the first time I went to Mount Saint Mary, my obsession with love and knowledge of genealogy has grown and I have become more aware of the state of headstones in any cemetery I visit. The lost history represented by illegible and near-illegible headstones really bothers me and makes me want to drop everything and document this cemetery now. Not realistic, obviously, but Tessie's headstone could use a cleaning as soon as the weather warms up a bit (the photo above was taken in 2013, it's worse now) and my plan is to fulfill some Find-A-Grave requests and roam around the area where Donald's relatives are buried and take photos of headstones most in need of documentation.

I did a little bit of looking around on Sunday and found some pretty unusual headstones along the way, with little in the way of clues as to who may be buried there.

Although beautiful, this stone offers no other clues as to who might be buried here. There is no additional engraving and no other stones on this plot except for section markers.

I've never seen anything like this one, just four last names. There were no other visible stones and no other engraving on this headstone.

I imagine that this family must have been very poor if this was the only marker they could put up for their love one(s). It will take some work and perhaps another visit in different light to decipher the writing.

Of course, the cemetery office may be able to help shed some light on these burials if interested family members go looking for futher information. Their website didn't offer much hope for help for a volunteer, however. They want requests for genealogical information submitted in writing and a payment of $80 for information on six burials!!! I will have to share the stones with the little information that I have, if that falls within Find-A-Grave's guidelines.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

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