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Exploring almost forgotten gravesties in Ohio

By Linda Jean Limes Ellis

Come visti my blog at dedicated to exploring Ohio’s almost forgotten gravesites Northeastern Ohio is my home and thankfully for me, many of my ancestors were buried in the buckeye state. Because of my desire to locate their gravesites, I have become an explorer into the now near forgotten places where they were laid to rest.

So, we begin as visitors as we explore the burying grounds where our ancestors were buried.

What naturally comes next is we walk away knowing that improvements are needed with the stone markers and/or cemetery grounds; a greater possibility especially if the burial was in an inactive/abandoned graveyard.

Where do we begin? What can we do? Who can we turn to for advice and help?

Thirteen years ago, I was faced with these questions during my quest to: a) visit the burial site of my great-great-great grandfather, Harmon Limes, b) locate his buried tombstone, and c) learn how could I make a difference that transpires into a brighter future and improved condition for the cemetery where he rests in eternal peace.

Thankfully, I had an interest in working on my family history, i.e. genealogy. Some people considered it a “fun hobby” where you fill out charts and write queries, but I took my “hobby” a step further.

In 1995, I join the Ohio Genealogical Society. Through my membership in O.G.S., I learned about Lolita Thayer Guthrie, the O.G.S. cemetery chairperson. One day after reading one of her long running “Cemetery Chronicles” column in the O.G.S. newsletter, I gathered my courage to write and submit my questions and concerns to her. Ever since, she has become my steady inspiration in more ways than I can count. Lolita has pointed me in the right directions, and has always kept me on a positive path that ultimately led to amazing results. After all, it is easy to get discouraged! In 2010, Lolita retired as the Cemetery Chairperson for the Ohio Genealogical Society and her work is carried on now by others who have formed a Cemetery Committee at O.G.S.

Then on July 29, 2006, an Ohio Historical Marker was placed on the site of the Friends (Quaker) Church and cemetery in North Lewisburg, Champaign County, Ohio where my great-great-great grandfather was buried . His name was among those inscribed on side “b”, the cemetery side, of that plaque. I would have never dreamt something as meaningful as that beautiful marker would happen to a cemetery that was almost lost and forgotten not that many years before. Many North Lewisburg and Champaign County residents worked tirelessly to make the plaque become a reality. I can never thank them enough; not only on my own behalf, but on the behalf of all those interred at the Friends (Quaker) cemetery who can no longer speak for themselves. I can only hope that some small contributions from my husband and myself aided them in their larger efforts.

If you have news of an Ohio cemetery preservation project in the works or in the planning stages, please feel free to share your good news with me so it can get posted up on this blog. The more people who know about it, the more possibilities you have someone will donate their resources in some way to help.

Please visit my blog often for further updates on not only cemetery preservation issues in the great state of Ohio, but also other cemetery related issues such as cemetery and tombstone restoration seminars, workshops, ghost walks, that promote cemeteries in an interesting, informative and positive light!

Posts also include ‘spotlight’ blogs featuring early settlers who made a difference during their lives in their communities and beyond. After all, remember and honoring those who have gone before us is what is most important, even before the first tombstone is cleaned or the first weed is pulled where they now rest in peace.

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