Venetia Rogers

Her name caught my eye in the Laurel Hill Cemetery in Weston, MO —

Rogers-Venetia-Laurel Hill Cem-MO

I found her in some records, like the 1850 census, where she shows as Venetia Dose, the daughter of Walker and Susan Dose (one of 7 children).  However, this is apparently not the correct spelling of their last name, which was Doores.   I found on Find a Grave that she was married twice, the second time to T.B. Rogers, who is listed on this stone.  T.B. and Venetia (spelled Venesia this time) show on the 1880 census, where there are several children of theirs listed.   Thomas shows as being born in Ireland, and is a farmer.   Farming was definitely part of Venetia’s life — the 1850 census shows her father was a farmer, and I’m thinking that perhaps Thomas was part of the farming community in this area of Missouri, as well.


Oliver B Shepard, Assassinated

I had an opportunity to visit the historic cemetery in Lee’s Summit, Missouri recently, and found that there were a lot of interesting things to photograph.   This is just one of the stones that caught my eye:

According to the information I found from the City of Lee’s Summit about the cemetery, Oliver B. Shepard robbed a bank and was shot by a vigilante posse.   This grave is reputed to be the oldest burial in this cemetery.   I found more information about this man here, which is really about the James Younger gang, but which mentions Mr. Shepard.  Apparently, he was a member of a gang which included Frank James (yes, the infamous Frank James, brother of Jesse James).

What I find interesting is that the stone here says “assassinated,” which makes me think that perhaps it was erected at the request of a family member.   The fact that he was killed after robbing a bank (which was apparently just one crime that he was involved in) would make me think it would read “killed” on the stone.   “Assassinated” gives a more sympathetic tone (at least, to me).   Either way, the stone led me to learn more about not only this man, but of some of the history surrounding him.

Update re: Taphophile Tragics —

After many weeks of not blogging, I have decided to try to begin again …. with some changes here.   One of the decisions I made was that I will no longer host Taphophile Tragics.   I am more than happy to pass the mantle to someone else, so if you are interested, please let me know.   Hosting used to be fun, and then started feeling like work, especially because I could never get a link list to work the way I wanted to via this WordPress blog.  And, I just started feeling like it wasn’t worth the stress.

So, I’m going to try a bit of a restart here, to see if I can get back to what I enjoyed most, which was posting about what I was finding, and putting that information out there for anyone else who might be interested.


Oak Ridge Cem-reclining headless figure-Ephram.JPG

Anna and Peter Jonesku

These two photos are of the marker for Anna and Peter Jonesku, who are buried in St. Joseph Cemetery in River Grove, Illinois.   My eye was caught by the two pictures, which are still in nice condition.

Jonesku-Anna and Peter

Jonesku-Anna and Peter-photos

I found a bit of information about Peter (via — according to the U.S. Naturalization records, he was born in Austria and arrived in the U.S. in 1905. However, the 1920 U.S. Census states he was born in Romania.  There are also some scratched out/modified notations on the record for his household.  I always appreciate how difficult it could be for census-takers to get down all of the information that they did.   Looking for Anna, I found her death record which showed she was born in Austria, as well.  The 1920 census shows they had 2 children (at least, at that time, living with Peter), George and Helen.


Taphophile Tragics — Feedback needed, please

SM cemetery angel 6.jpg   As readers of this blog know, I took up the hosting of a weekly meme called Taphophile Tragics a long time ago.   On a weekly basis, I have put up a post with a linky and invited anyone who would like to share their own links and photos.  However, my weekly hosting has faltered over the past months.

So, I am looking for a little feedback.   I am still more than happy to host Taphophile Tragics, although if I could scale it back to bi-monthly, that would be helpful.  If anyone else would like to co-host, I would welcome that.   I think having a meme is not only fun, but it allows all of us cemetery enthusiasts to connect with each other, and promote what we’re all doing.   Admittedly, the link list on this WordPress blog is never going to look as nice as it would if I had my own hosted domain (not through WordPress) or used Blogger.   But if people can get past the somewhat clunky link list, I’m happy to continue hosting.

So, please feel free to leave me a comment or some feedback about where you might like to see this meme go, or how it should continue.   I’m determined to get back into blogging (instead of letting my work overwhelm me to the degree that it has in recent months), and having this meme keep going would be great.  But, feedback would be appreciated.


No sledding in the cemetery!

After an absence, I am back to blogging.   So, today’s post is of something that made me a smile a bit when I was visiting Elmwood Cemetery last year:

No sledding sign

This is on the small hill that is around the receiving vault in the cemetery.

Receiving vault 2


Admittedly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “no sledding” sign in a cemetery before.  However, most cemeteries are either pretty flat, or pretty full of stones/markers.   Apparently, this cemetery had enough sledding happening that they felt it necessary to add a sign.


Regular posts shall resume soon …

I apologize for being absent for several weeks, and for not posting any Taphophile Tragics.  However, I will resume posting in the next week or so, and will be back on schedule.   Somehow, the entire month of March disappeared and my time got swallowed up (between me getting sick, one of our bunnies having a medical issue, and me taking a lot of work home many nights).   However, I think I am close to the end of the tunnel on all of that, so I’ll be back on track soon.  Thanks for your patience!

St Louis World War memorial

St Louis World War memorial


Taphophile Tragics — George William Breck & a bit of a mystery

Welcome to this week’s Taphophile Tragics!  Thank you for visiting, and for adding your links. My list of links is Powered by Linky Tools. Please Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

This week, my photo comes from the Green Ridge Cemetery in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I took this photo before I got more serious about my photography, (and this was a quick stop in the cemetery) so unfortunately, I did not take a photo of the date marker. But, I plan on going back, hopefully in 2014.
Breck-George Wm-Hooded figure-Green Ridge Cem 1

George William Breck, according to the information on Find-a-Grave, was born in 1863 and died in 1903.

I found his death notice, which shows he died in New York:Capture-Breck obit

From what I found via Ancestry, he married Katherine Putnam Head in 1903.  The 1920 census shows them living in Queens, New York.  The record shows they have two children, Katherine, aged 14, and John, aged 12.  It also shows they share their house with two servants, Fosea Pilastre and Nancy Hobbs.   Interestingly, the record shows their two children were born in Italy — so it makes me wonder what made them travel there, and how they wound up in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  However, George’s occupation is shown as “Artist,” and his own family origins as France — so perhaps that’s an explanation.

If I go back a bit further to the 1915 census, they are living in Queens, with Katherine and John, but also another daughter, Elizabeth H, aged 5 in 1915.  The fact that she doesn’t show on the 1920 census makes me think that she passed away.  The two servants are shown as “Fosca” Pilastri and Anna Glover.

Going further backwards, the 1910 census shows the couple living in Manhattan, New York, with youngest daughter Elizabeth a newborn.  They have 3 servants listed: “Fosca Pikester”, Angeline Bowne and Angela Ginder.   So, apparently, Fosca was with the family for quite some time.

— But I’m still wondering why this memorial is in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Perhaps it was erected by his wife or daughter?  And also interesting, Fosca is listed on the plaque on the other side of this memorial (photo courtesy of Find-a-Grave):

Sorry for being a bit absent ….

I just wanted to thank everyone who has continued to put their links in with Taphophile Tragics this month, despite my not following up with comments and all.  I’ve seen my work schedule increase, and I took on a class this month, as well…. and then I got sick last week with an awful sinus cold …..

At any rate, once I get through February, I think things will settle down.  I’ve got the last Taphophile Tragics post ready to go, and will look forward to seeing what everyone has to share (and will come around and leave comments!!)
Headless child -Frank Debow 2.jpg


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