Archive for March, 2011

Grave Mystery in South Carolina

Friday, March 25th, 2011

This is a really interesting story on an unknown grave in Aiken Co. SC, You can see a picture of the grave on our Dicsussion Forum

According to Boyd and Diane Gunter, president of the Horse Creek Historical Society, a train came through Aiken Station - then located in Warrenville - carrying, among others, a little boy. The boy, who was approximately 12 years old, was traveling alone and was too sick to speak. He didn’t have any form of identification with him so he was taken in by Henry Senn, an area wagoner whose wife operated the Graniteville Hotel, to be nursed back to health when he’d be able to tell his story.

The little boy’s fever never broke, and he died a few days later. He took his identity and the purpose for his trip with him to his grave, which was provided by the people of Graniteville.

“The village folk ‘nickeled’ up and had Mr. Lawrence Quimby, the coffin maker, build a coffin,” Boyd said. In addition, William Gregg, the founder of Graniteville, donated a burial plot in the cemetery. As was the case with other families that couldn’t provide a gravestone, Gregg provided a cedar marker until the people of Graniteville saved enough money to purchase a permanent stone for the Little Boy.
This is another element that has added a sense of intrigue to his story. “Time had passed, and no one could remember the day he died, so his stone reads, ‘The Little Boy, October 1855,’” Boyd said.
The generosity of Graniteville didn’t stop with the interment of the Little Boy. Over the years, the grave has been visited by many adults who leave flowers and children who leave coins, toys and other small gifts.

“This is probably the most visited grave in the cemetery,” Gunter said of the final resting place of many, which also includes 83 Confederate soldiers. As part of preserving the history of Graniteville and Aiken County, the historical society has maintained its monuments. The grave and tombstone of the Little Boy are no exception.

Enduring vagrants and vandalism are factors in the deterioration of the Graniteville Cemetery, which is only open to visitors during the day. Time and natural erosion ultimately have been the biggest culprits in the diminishing aesthetic beauty. The Little Boy’s tombstone, the one which replaced the original cedar marker, broke over the years and is currently propped on the grave.

The historical society and the Graniteville Cemetery Association are in the process of buying a new tombstone. In addition, the historical society will beautify the grave by covering it with gravel, planting three crape myrtle trees and installing a bench for visitors.

Dedicated to the preservation and upkeep of the Little Boy’s grave, not to mention his story, Boyd and Gunter are quick to point out there are so many more stories to tell. Many can be found in Graniteville Cemetery.

“Tombstones do talk,” Boyd said of the symbolism and literal information they possess.
“There is so much here, a lot of history,” Gunter said. “But this is what everybody knows - the Little Boy.”

New Genealogy Search Engine for Free Genealogy Content

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Mocavo.com will let users search more the 50 billion words, including names, dates and places, within seconds. The service searches thousands of genealogic sites including national and state archives, Ellis Island, message boards used by genealogists and family trees posted online, according to a press release from the company.
“Mocavo.com has the capacity to index every single piece of free genealogy content found anywhere on the Web, and will be growing by leaps and bounds in the coming months,” Shaw said.

I have tested out the claim of indexing free genealogy content, and as of right now I can report that it’s definitely missing some stuff. I run 3 genealogy sites with free content and when searching for something I knew for a fact was on there, it didn’t bring up any of them. I got results from the ancestry message boards, genforum, and findagrave

I will reserve judgment until I see what results come up when they have been around a little longer, but it cannot hurt to check it out.

Georgia Archives In Danger of Closing to the Public

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

On March 11, 2011 the Georgia legislature approved a bill that COULD result in the Ga Archives closing to the public. Below is a letter from FOGAH Chair, Virginia Shadron that was posted on FOGAH:

The Fiscal Year 2012 budget that passed the Georgia House of Representatives on March 11 as HB 78 includes budget reductions that could result in the State Archives closing its doors to the public.

The budget contains two items that together would reduce the Archives’ budget by at least $300,000.

The Archives’ base budget, after preceding budget cuts, is $4,643,588. Over 65% of that goes to pay fixed costs (such as rent) that cannot be reduced. The current bill proposes an additional cut in “personal services and … savings from reduced hours …” in the amount of $260,458. The second way in which the Archives’ budget is eroded is that the House budget does not fund the annual increase in the Archives’ rent, an amount of more than $40,000 for FY12.

Altogether, the additional cuts to personal services and the failure to fund the rent increase means that the Archives’ sustains a critical $300,000 in cuts. You might wonder, “What is the fuss about?” That shortfall can come from one place only—and that is staff.

Without intervention the Archives will almost certainly be forced to close its doors to the public, reduce scanning operations and preservation activities, and eliminate most transfers of records from state agencies—the records that protect Georgia financially and legally.

The House version of the budget now goes to the Senate for adjustment and passage. Call and write your state senator immediately and ask that a minimum of $300,000 be restored to the Archives budget! Go to http://www.legis.ga.gov and click on “Find Your Legislator” to find your senator.

- Virginia Shadron


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