David's Reformed Church Congregation

David's Reformed Church Congregation
Congregation of David's Reformed Church, Montgomery Co, Ohio, Circa, 1900

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Vincent and Maud Bridgman Norris

For today's Tombstone Tuesday post, I have chosen the gravesite of my great aunt and uncle, Vincent and Maud Bridgman Norris. This is a perfect example of why "playing hunches" while researching family history can be very successful. Growing up, I had never heard anyone discuss that I had an "Uncle Vincent". The first time I ever knew he existed was when I found him on the 1880 census, living with my great grandfather, Harry, and their family in Frederick County, MD. I searched on his name and the birth year that appeared in that census, and discovered that he too had come to Ohio to live. According to the 1920 census, he was living with his wife, Maud, along with her mother, Hannah Bridgman, on a farm in Montgomery County. Now, I knew Maud's maiden name was Bridgman. I asked my mother about her Great Uncle Vincent and she didn't really have a memory of him, but she did remember visiting her "Aunt Maud". She knew that she had lived at the Otterbein Home for awhile, but nothing else. When I visited David's Cemetery where most of my maternal ancestors are buried, I could find nothing about Vincent or Maud. I decided to do some research about Maud's family and I found quite a lot of information about Maud's father and grandfather in Dayton history books. After taking a look at the Dayton-Montgomery County Public Library website's obituary search, I discovered her father's obituary which stated that he was being laid to rest at the Beavertown Cemetery. Eureka! Beavertown Cemetery is literally 5 minutes from my home. Could it really be that easy? It made perfect sense to me that Maud would want to be buried with her own family and not that of her husband. So, I dragged my husband and my sons off to the cemetery to do a good old fashioned "tombstone search". Luckily for us, Beavertown is not a very large cemetery. We found the gravesites of Maud's family pretty quickly, but, alas, Maud and Vincent were not near them. We spent some time walking up and down the rows of gravesites and we were very close to giving up and going home. Right before we headed for the car, I looked down and there they were. Maud and Vincent. Now, I knew the correct years of their births and deaths. This led me to Vincent's death certificate. I still don't know his middle name and I would dearly love to have a photograph of them, but I'm pretty pleased with what I do know. All because I followed a hunch!

3 comments:

  1. It is always pretty cool when a hunch pans out!

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  2. I love it that you look and lok then just as you are leaving there is your find. Your very fortunate to live close to family cemeteries.

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  3. That was a good hunch. Also Lori, don't forget checking Find-A-Grave to see if anybody posted this photo. I always leave a note, when I put pictures on FAG, and give my relationship to that person's cemetery stone. It is my hope somebody will contact me. Very good article.

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