The Washerwoman’s Genes

March 10, 2006

Corn’s Bones

Filed under: Story — by WWG @ 10:24 am

Why is a grave such a powerful thing? More than any other fact, a grave transcription places your ancestor on the planet, in a specific place and time. The paper records can be more informative, but for the sheer kick, a grave is about as good as it gets.

And of course, a grave can be a family affair: connections and relationships are etched in stone.

I was surprised to find Burgers (well, Bergers, Burgars, and Burgers) buried in New Paltz.* It’s a bit off the Burger hub in Esopus. The index at the end of the record showed several graves of interest, however. One plot, in section A, presumably the oldest part, gave me that genealogist’s knock upside the head.

Each plot listing is headed by the name of the last interred:

Burgar, Hannah J. [d.] 2-2-1910

Then the names of those in the plot:

Cornelius Burgar, b. 1812, d. 1899
H.W. Hannah Jane Benjamin, b. 1840, d. Walden, bur. 9-7-1910

“H.W.” means His Wife. Cornelius married again—a much younger woman. Jannette was 19 when he married her, and Hannah must have been about the same.

It is him. The birth date is a match. Oh, I’ll do more searching, verify, triangulate the data, but I pretty much know, it’s him.

*“New Paltz Rural Cemetery Records 1860-1962,” indexed by Ruth P. Heidgerd, New Paltz, NY 1962. Item 8 on Family Resarch Center Film roll 0930133.

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