Friday, November 28, 2008

a visit

Last Sunday I had the chance to go to a little 'known of' cemetery in my area. It's name is 'Stokes' cemetery located in a farmer's field. You can find the location at: and 'click on map'.

I met Joan Blood, the 'official' Christian County cemetery photographer and her husband there, cutting the brush that almost covered the stones.

At one time there had been a woven wire fence around the cemetery, part of which was still there, and you had to be careful not to get tangled in it. Most of the stones we saw, and Joan photographed were leaning over / very hard to read, the typical un-kept cemetery.

Nelvin and Chuck (the other Chuck) uncovered a stone, lying down on it's back covered with about 3 inches of dirt/grass. It was in wonderful condition and the name was 'David Stokes'.

A very great find for their was a relative that came from close to a hundred miles away to see if he could find that particular relative.

Needless to say he was elated!

As we walked around we noticed the soil from the surronding area looked as if it had vanished about two to four feet, due to the farming of the area around. I wondered, as we all did where the house was, if there was any. The nearest road was approximately a quarter mile away. There were trees growing in the cemetery, but none looked large enough to have been there when the cemetery was active. Possibly there were trees nearby and taken out as farming land was made. Some log cabins perhaps, we do not know and no maps were recorded in the early 18oo's. These people that are resting there are some of the earliest settlers of Christian County, and at the time of them being here the area was Sangamon County.

All of us that were there are members of the Chrsitian County Genealogical Society and decided that come spring we will ask the owner of the land if we can go back in and clean the cemetery up. (right now is hunting season and with woods nearby is not a good time to be in the area.)

I'm looking forward to going in and doing my part in cleaning this cemetery. Hopefully to preserve it for a few more years and pay respect to those brave men and women who came before.

We'll post some photo's of the gravestones soon for others to see, probably on the above mentioned website.

Until next time - I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! - c

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Intro to Christian County, IL cemeteries

Welcome to my 'Graveyard Rabbit' blog of Christian County, Illinois. I'm proud to be associated with the other Graveyard Rabbit's which is the creation of Terry Thornton and footnoteMaven.

Some of you may not know that I site on the Board of the original Christian County Genealogical Society, (CCGS). The website can be found at in which the cemeteries of the county are linked to a google map for easy location. We have 31-active; 33-inactive/destroyed; and 16 unknown cemeteries in the county. (I'm pretty sure we do not have as many unknown cemeteries as is shown.) It's just that the CCGS webmaster wasn't sure of the location, so just listed as unknown until she can meet with one of the 'original' Board members and get the proper location.

Today, I would like to write about Joan (Pearson) Blood - She is a CCGS Board member / webmaster of the CCGS site / and cemetery photographer. It is Joan's dream to photograph every gravestone in every cemetery in Christian County. To date she has 14 completed and sending the photo's to the United States Cemetery Project,, which is also linked from the CCGS website.

Joan gives me a copy of each cemetery along with a spreadsheet listing names / filenames / etc. as she completes them. I am going to consolidate each cemetery alphabetically and post the names on our website for those who would like a color photo of their ancestor's gravestone. They could either e-mail / or snail-mail with their request.

A lot of work, and we love doing it to preserve our, and other's, heritage.

Until next time - Chuck