Where is Enoch Benedict Buried?
March 23, 2010 3:38 PM   Subscribe

Genealogy - I would like to find out where an ancestor was buried.

However, this is proving more difficult than I'd like. Any tips on finding out where someone is buried?
posted by Sassyfras to Grab Bag (17 answers total)
You might have some luck here. They have enthusiastic people who go out and hunt for graves for people looking for them.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:40 PM on March 23, 2010

How far back did this ancestor live? If they died more or less recently—that is, in the last century or two—you might try this form at Findagrave.com.
posted by cirripede at 3:40 PM on March 23, 2010

have you tried asking the mormons?
posted by nadawi at 3:45 PM on March 23, 2010

have you tried asking the mormons?

HA HA HA HA! I am one.
posted by Sassyfras at 3:49 PM on March 23, 2010

Sassyfras - then i assume you've gone to a family history center? and i assume you've asked whoever in your family keeps the genealogical records? for instance, in my family, were this question to come up, i'd go straight to aunt laura. she's the keeper of the gravestone rubbings, photo albums, and general knowledge of family history.
posted by nadawi at 3:55 PM on March 23, 2010

nadawi - yes, all of that. My mother is the genealogy guru in our family and worked in the family history center for 20 years and she still can't find where he (Enoch Benedict) or his wife were buried. It's a difficult line. I'm hoping there's some resource out there that we mormons don't even know about or some little magical tidbit of information that will finally lead us to his resting place.
posted by Sassyfras at 4:00 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you can get a death certificate, it will frequently list the cemetery and/or the funeral home. That's assuming it was within the past hundred years. cirripede's suggestion of findagrave.com is good; in a similar vein is interment.net. If you know where the person died, you can check the local genweb or historical society to see what cemeteries are there; some of them have cemetery transcriptions, while others will have descriptions that will help you narrow down which cemetery would have been used (e.g., race, religion, or time the cemetery was in use).
If you tell us when and where you're looking, you might get more specific advice.
posted by katemonster at 4:05 PM on March 23, 2010

Specifically I'm looking for Enoch Benedict who we think was born about 1774 and died September 1827. He was married to Mary Veeder in June 1801.

Supposedly he died in Groton, Tompkins County, New York. That's where he disappears.

His wife died Jan 1837.
posted by Sassyfras at 4:14 PM on March 23, 2010

If your mom worked in the FHC for 20 years and she can't find the guy? Apart from going to Groton yourself and having a wander through the cemeteries, I think you've done what you can. I seriously doubt there's any resource out there that the Saints haven't heard of.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:50 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

What you should do is see if there's a genealogy or historical society for Tompkins County or Groton. Then, ask if anyone has ever indexed the cemeteries, or done any research on the Benedict Family (or family that Enoch might be associated with like his mother's family). Next, if you find an incredibly kind librarian or researcher, ask them to check the indexes for your ancestor's name.

I found this site which has an index of some cemeteries for Tompkins County. I checked the Groton cemeteries, found some Benedicts, but not your Benedict. You can try searching the cemeteries in the other part of the county.
posted by Atreides at 4:56 PM on March 23, 2010

As a note, you may have to also resign yourself to the fact that you may never find out where your ancestor is buried. My g-g-g-grandparents are completely off the map, despite having died in the 1890's and 1900's. The best guess I have is that they were buried with a wooden headboard at best which rotted away, or nothing at the least. I know for a fact that my g-g-grandmother is buried in a specific cemetery, but I don't know where because she was not given a tombstone to mark her place. Her location died with her son, who knew the precise spot his mother was buried, but didn't pass it on.

Unfortunately, the farther back you go, and especially the more rural you go, the far more likely not to find a burial spot.
posted by Atreides at 5:00 PM on March 23, 2010

Bah, I should have included this in the first reply. Here is the general genealogy page for Tompkins County.
posted by Atreides at 5:09 PM on March 23, 2010

Tompkins County does have a historical society, based in downtown Ithaca.
posted by madcaptenor at 5:58 PM on March 23, 2010

Six months ago I could have told you a whole story of how my great grandfather Thomas' just appeared in the middle of no place and left no trace at all. Then I tracked down some cousins from a great uncle and found out the guy was born Thomas Arrington and abandoned his surname for his mom's after his dad forbid him to marry a Native American woman. I spent *decades* trying to find the guy as Thomas Wells. Our side didn't have the story because my grandfather never passed it on and died when everyone was young.

So that's tip #1, find an older sibling of his and track down their descendants. They may have a more complete story preserved. Tip #2: the cemetery staff at several cemeteries have amazingly complete records, but you have to call and ask nicely. They aren't online. Tip #3 (where I was headed to break the mystery): establish a file on his life. Where he lived, went to church, worked, everything. Something in there is bound to tell you the little bit you need to know to break the mystery.

In my case the cousins had the legend but no confirmation. I had a dossier of everything about them in the 1880s that included him being a steamboat pilot and who witnessed the wedding. As it turns out his brother-in-law to be took him under his wing and taught him before he married his wife but his older half-brother was in the same town just down the street. The legend said it was the two older brothers who left the family, and here they were, 260 miles away from home. I'd love to know the sequence of events but that might be a bit much.
posted by jwells at 6:00 PM on March 23, 2010

I did a quick search for him on Ancestry.com, where I have a membership. I found a census entry for him in Groton in the 1820 census, but that's about it for what's verifiably about him and not some other Enoch Benedict.
posted by cerebus19 at 7:22 PM on March 23, 2010

Thank you so much cerebus19!!
posted by Sassyfras at 9:14 PM on March 23, 2010

I use GenSmarts to decide where to look. Here is a summary of the suggestions it throws out based on your data:

1. Check Tompkins New York Newspaper Obituaries. Check alternate spellings BENIDICT, BEANEDICT. Consider using GenealogyBank.com; possibly volume Title:Ithaca Journal (1823-1831). (Available online for fee).

2. Check New York Cemetery/Burial Records. Try consulting New England Historic Gen. Society. (Available online for fee).

3. Check New York Will Records. Try consulting Ancestry.com website. (Available online for fee).

4. Check Tompkins New York County Probate Records:

Salt Lake City UT
This information might be found on 7 Microfilm/Books at the Family History Library. The volumes for these are:

MF Roll: 845023 #2 Title:Abstracts of wills of Tompkins County, N.Y., from 1817-1833
MF Roll: 853070 Title:Wills, v. A-C 1817-1839
MF Roll: 853083 Title:Letters of admin., testamentary, v. 35-38 1823-1846
MF Roll: 853115 Title:Dower book 1817-1882
MF Roll: 856509 #2 Title:Miscellaneous records v. 1, 1A 1817-1839
MF Roll: 869196 Title:No. 2 1818-1845
Call No: 974.771 P28m Title:Records of Tompkins County, New York : wills, intestates, bible, church and family records; wills 1817-mid 1839, liber A thru C; with added wills and notes concerning
Tompkins County, New York, early families as taken from LDS roll 0853070

5. Check Tompkins New York County Land Transactions

Salt Lake City UT
This information might be found on 3 Microfilm at the Family History Library. The volumes for these are:

MF Roll: 834847 Title:Deed index v. 1A-1C 1798-1876
MF Roll: 836050 Title:Deeds, Chemung Co. v. 1-2 1799-1834
MF Roll: 836054 Title:Deeds, Steuben Co. v. 1-2 1798-1827

6. Check Tompkins New York County Will Records

This record can be researched at the following 4 locations:

1) Houston TX
This information might be found on 1 Book at the Clayton Library Center For Gen. Res.. The volumes for these are:

Call No: M379 TOMPK NY Title:Recs Tompkins CO, New York : wills

2) Chicago IL
This information might be found on 1 Book at the Newberry Library. The volumes for these are:

Call No: folio F127.T7 M377 1995 Title:Recs Tompkins CO, New York : wills

3) Madison WI
This information might be found on 1 Book at the Wisconsin Historical Society Lib.. The volumes for these are:

Call No: F127 T7 M377 1995 Title:Recs Tompkins CO, New York : wills

4) Independence MO
This information might be found on 2 Books/Microfiche at the Mid-Continent Library (moving May, 2008). The volumes for these are:

Call No: 974.771 M363 Title:Recs Tompkins CO, New York : wills
UMI LH15280 Title:Abstracts of wills of Tompkins County

I do not specifically endorse any of these sources, and YMMV, but GenSmarts itself is a wonderful tool.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 2:09 PM on March 24, 2010

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