Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Union Cemetery

Here is a short history of the Union Cemetery where Ole Sr, wife Mari, daughter Sarah and granddaughter Dina Josephine are buried at 19 Perry Road, Lee County, Illinois.

Oddly, Union Cemetery is only 7 miles from where I grew up at University & Keslinger Roads in DeKalb County, yet no one in my lifetime knew of this history regarding my great-great-great grandfather and grandmother.

Ole Sr & Mari, Josephine & Sarah Finnestad burial

The above plot map is a close-up of Ole Sr Finnestad's plot and indicates he is sharing space 71 with Bernie Knutson, on the lower right hand corner. It is my guess that the plot was shared with Bernie Knutson as he may have been related to Ole & Mari's eldest daughter, Elizabeth's husband, Ole Andreas Knutson.

Above is an overall map of the plots located at Union Cemetery in Lee County, Illinois.

Above is an index card for the individual plots located at Union cemetery, 19 Perry Road, Lee County, Illinois.

I received these documents from the previous sexton, Mr. Jordal, who had been retired when I stopped by the cemetery in August 2008. Even though he is no longer the cemetery sexton, he had the documents at his house, which is just beyond the cornfield to the west of the cemetery.

Since the only other proof that I had of the Finnestads being buried at Union cemetery was the CD I had obtained through Calvary Lutheran church, I decided to scan a copy of these cemetery records onto my computer while I was at Mr. Jordal's house. I figured it would probably be the last opportunity I would have to get a copy.

And oddly, Mr. Jordal is a descendant of my grandmother Lillian Finnestad's (nee Jordal) great-grandfather. Though as he is distant cousin to Lillian, there would have been no way for him to have known that there was any connection to a Finnestad buried at Union cemetery.
(Did you follow that?)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ole Sr death certificate

Amazing what you can find on the internet. Were it not for the Illinois archives, I would probably have never been able to find this document, the death certificate of my great great great grandfather, Ole Finnestad.

Again, documents have errors and the place of burial, Lawnridge was incorrect. The date of death also is one day different from the funeral records, but one day probably doesn't make too much difference with an uncommon name such as Finnestad.

I guess when you want something done right, you need to do it yourself. Who knows where the person who wrote the certificate got the information, but if it weren't for the records that Unger Horner funeral home had, I would probably never have been able to track down Ole Sr's final resting place.

Mari and Ole Sr Finnestad funeral documentation

The first document above contains the log entry from the Unger Horner funeral home in Rochelle, Illinois, listing my great great great grandfather, Ole Finnestad Sr. Ole is listed by counting to the 17th position.

The second document contains the log entry from the Unger Horner funeral home which helped me to track down the gravesite for Mari Finnestad. Mari is listed by counting to the 11th position. Spelling errors didn't help my search.

Without Unger Horner's records, and their willingness to put up with my incessant calls over a 9 month period attempting to track down Ole Sr, I would never have been able to locate Mari and Ole Sr Finnestad.

I guess having been an investigator for over 20 years was a big help in tracking down this information. Plus a keen interest in history and genealogy.

Update: 9/26/2009

The "ordered by" indicates a "Mrs. Vallem". It wasn't until several months later I discovered that "Mrs. Vallem" was Ole and Mari's daughter, Rachel.

The "Vallem" name, shows up on a grave site next to Ole and Mari and also on the 1900 plat map for the Alta township. Who knew?

The interesting thing with tracing one's genealogy, is that things do not happen sequentially. Names that appear next to your ancestors on plat maps, census records, and cemetery plots/records are often somehow related.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mari and Ole Sr Finnestad death

Here is the log entry for the death of Mari and Ole Sr from Lutheran Calvary Church located in Lee County, 19 Perry Road.

Mari (which I have also seen as Marie, Maren and Mary) died on November 1, 1905 in Rochelle, Illinois. She was 81 years, 3 months and 20 days at the time of her death, which would place her birth as July 12, 1824. Her maiden name was Iversdath Skaar, and I believe Skaar was the name of the farm from which her parents lived at the time of her birth.

Ole Sr died on November 22, 1906, also in Rochelle, Illinois. He was 92 years, 9 months and 8 days at the time of his death, which would place his birth as February 14, 1814. Ole was born to an Olson. Unfortunately I have not been able to track down his father and mother.

Both Ole Sr and Mari were buried at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Lee County, Illinois.