Friday, June 19, 2009

For Mom: The Headstone of your Great Grandmother

Catheryne Faulkner Mill, whose first name I have always thought was spelled with a "K", came over to Salt Lake City in approximately 1879, as a widow with her two youngest daughters, leaving her newly married oldest daughter behind in Germany.
Later she sent for her young son, who was brought to Salt Lake by one of her brothers.

(The small square in the fore ground is Catheryne's grave)
About ten years later the oldest married daughter Elizabeth came to Salt Lake City with her husband and first three daughters.

A few years later my grandfather was born, my mom's dad.

My grandfather and his mom and dad and brothers and sisters traveled back to Germany a few times...some of the children were born American, others were born German.

The Salt Lake City Cemetery is about a mile from where I work. I was able to look up death and burial records on a Utah government website, and discovered Catheryne was buried in the old city cemetery. By taking a long break at work and and asking a few questions of the knowledgeable cemetery staff, I was soon looking in the right area of the grounds, expecting to see the older style upright headstone.

At first I was disappointed because I didn't see her name. Then I went up another row and saw a marker half buried in the lawn. An indentation in the lawn caught my eye; I swiped at it and there was the name I was looking for.

I wonder when her marker had been crafted, and by what family member. It is clearly a newer marker, as the letters are clearly cut.

Next time you visit Mom, we'll go by and maybe your cousin who lives here will come too. Perhaps she will have some answers for us about that.
And perhaps one of you might remember a story or two that you might have heard about the Great Grandmother from Germany that you never had a chance to meet, as she had been gone eleven years or so by the time you were born.

Maybe we can even do some research and find someone who is a great grandchild of hers by her youngest daughter...and maybe she or he will have a photograph of her to add to our family pictures. Seems likely, doesn't it?


running wildly said...

I loved this post. A little history. I find this stuff fascinating. Thanks for sharing a bit of your family tree.

Vicki said...

Don't you just love family histories and mysteries?

At my mother's request, I took up compiling our family genealogy and it sort of continued to grow to nearly unmanageable lists and papers...and for the past year or more, it has sat in my computer's storage waiting for me to return to it. Guess I really should...I've got oodles of spare time on my hands, right? ;)