Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday ~ and a Story

APR. 29, 1864
SEPT. 27, 1940
MAR. 24, 1863
DEC. 11, 1934

Along with this TT, comes a story.

Nellie & William are my great-great grandparents. Thanks to my Grandpa Quick I know quite a bit about his grandparents. I know that they met in Ohio and married January 1, 1884. I know that they went out west to Colorado sometime after that - certainly by 1887 when their son William was born. I know that not only Nellie and her husband went west, but also Nellie's sister Sophie and brother John - her only living siblings - ended up in Colorado. I know that Nellie's parents both came to Colorado as well and that they are buried in Lafayette, Colorado. I know that Nellie is buried in Fairmont Cemetery in Denver, Colorado because I took this picture and have visited there more than once.

What I didn't know until yesterday was why, this summer when I decided to request her death certificate along with a few others, the nice people at the Colorado Vital Records Department were unable to find it. Oh they looked - they looked under her maiden name as well as her married name and they looked through all of 1940 but to no avail. The funny thing is, I almost didn't request her death cert, because I didn't expect it to tell me anything anyway. I knew her parents names, I even knew her mother's maiden name as well as where Nellie herself was born. Also, Colorado birth and death certificates are not cheap. But for some reason I filled out a form for her and included it...and came up blank.

Well, that made no sense. I knew when she died, so obviously this was just a record that somehow was misfiled or not recorded ~ right?? The only thing I hadn't check was how it was that I KNEW she died in Colorado. Because when it came right down to it, I didn't really have any source for that conclusion other than the fact that her whole family lived in Colorado including her children and grandchildren - so where else would she have been? Well, not surprisingly, when a person leaves the place they had grown up, and doesn't leave until they are an adult and married they just might still have ties back there even if not family ties! (Why is it still so hard to think of some of my ancestors as three-dimensional PEOPLE?!)

I found through the Denver Library's Western History and Genealogy website that there was an obituary published for Nellie. I ask a volunteer at RAOGK if they would be able to obtain a copy for me. Well, yesterday in the mail I got a copy of a standard obituary as well as a brief article. The article is titled, "Nellie Eickelberg, Denver Mining Man's Widow, Dies in Ohio.

Wow - I'm so glad this is my year to clean up my database and put my facts in order. It will force me to find all the things that I've just always "thought" were true because someone told me or just assumptions that I made back when I was starting out.

Anyway - I NOW have a death certificate for Nellie because the Ohio death certs for that time are online at the FamilySearch and this time, I not only know where she died, I also know how I know!


  1. Great find and a great reminder to us all! This post jumped out at me as I was sure that I had a very distant set of cousins named Eichelberg in Colorado too, but it turns out they were Eichelberger.

  2. Hi Apple ~ I've seen the name spelled countless ways! I couldn't initially find the Ohio death cert because it is indexed as "Eckelberg"...but that's closer than some I've seen.

  3. This is a great lesson and a hard one (at least for me) to learn. I have a bunch of South Carolina ancestors who were born in SC, moved late in life to NC and died there, then were buried back in their hometown in SC.


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