30 July 2012

Journey to the Past: St. Joseph's Cemetery


Photo by Brent Nimmo, posted at FindAGrave.com
As I headed to St.Joseph's Cemetery, I was confident that I could find those I sought quickly. I had previously contacted St. Joseph's regarding only family names that I sought. The office worker was so friendly and helpful. She sent me everything I needed to have success in this cemetery. When I opened my mail from St. Joseph's, I had a clearly legible section map. There were reference stones and an arrow pointing to the plots I was seeking. Additionally, I received copies of the burial records. To say they were what I wish all cemeteries would be more like, is an under statement. 

St. Joseph's is a Catholic cemetery and I've never seen or been in one of these dedicated spaces. It literally took my breath away. It was a peaceful and BEAUTIFUL cemetery. Despite the heavy traffic and construction on High Street on its border, the sound in the cemetery was like being in a paradise.

The landscaping, section markers, statues, alcove in a hill, and more were so picturesque, I would have loved to spent the entire day photographing the details in the cemetery along with the persons I sought after. However, I decided I should focus on the names (but I regret not photographing my favorite parts of this beautiful cemetery). 

John and Mary Mack
St. Joseph's Cemetery
Photo by Devon Lee

I found the names I sought in less minutes per section than any other cemetery trip. I can't say enough how important section maps and reference markers are for locating stones. It helps TREMENDOUSLY. That only made me appreciative of St. Joseph's Cemetery. I couldn't understand why Green Lawn Cemetery, which has over 160,000 burials doesn't have this computer system. I didn't even have to bother the office while I was there. I know a database such as this comes at a cost. However, St. Joseph must realize this is money well spent for a cemetery. I can understand that Oak Grove, East Lawn, and Obetz probably don't have enough money for something as fancy. However, computerize records would be a great help. Though, I still give Oak Grove credit for being helpful and willing.

Which names were I seeking? Primarily Louis Mack and his wife Catherine. Louis is a nephew to my 3rd great grandmother Caroline Mack Billman Geiszler. I was also looking for Aleta Geiszler, wife of William Joseph who was buried in East Lawn Cemetery with no stone. Additionally, I was looking for the parents of Aleta's daughter-in-law, Rose May Schoppelrei,

Aleta Bower Geiszler

I had so much fun in St. Joseph's Cemetery that I took 125 photos. (Compare this to the 45 I'd taken for the two previous cemeteries!). I would have liked to take 500 photos in this cemetery (including non-markers), but I still had more cemeteries to visit. So, I left.

One of many beautiful family markers at St. Joseph's Cemetery.

You can call me morbidly weird if you want. St. Joseph is BEAUTIFUL. It's worth a visit, even if you don't have persons buried there. But I can't thank the staff enough for helping me find my relatives in no time flat.



This is another installment in a lengthy multi-series post about the fantastic research trip I took to Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. If you're just joining the this series, you'll be able to see every post under the label Research Trip.

2 comments:

  1. I've been photographing on and off for Find A Grave for almost a year. I have visited a few different cemeteries in my area just west of Boston, Mass. I must agree with you when you find a truly beautiful cemetery, it's special. Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain is one I've been to a couple of times, and we just visited another, Mount Auburn Cemetery in Watertown/Cambridge, which is beautiful and even has a fabulous website to help people find burial locations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elizabeth,

      Wow. Glad to know that others find some cemeteries beautiful. Makes me feel less weird!

      - Devon

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