Tombstone Tuesday – William Henry Lawbaugh

Last week my family took a second trip to Southern California this summer.  Since we had visited my paternal grandfather’s grave on the last trip, I made a point to stop at my maternal grandfather’s grave this time around.  Even though I have driven past the area many times, I had never been to the cemetery before.

I am so happy we took the time to stop and pay our respects.  Not only did I get the chance to tell my children stories about their great-grandfather, I also took a picture to post to

Lawbaugh william gravestone


When we arrived at my grandmother’s house and I told her we had visited Bill’s grave, the stories started.  I learned my grandparents met when my grandpa was at X-Ray Technician school in Wichita, Kansas.  One of her friends in the dorm, Dee Dee, was dating a man who worked for my grandfather.  Dee Dee set them up.

The night of their first date my grandmother was very sick but decided to go out anyways.  She walked to the lobby of the dorm to meet my grandfather for the very first time.  When she saw him, her heart jumped into her throat.  The next morning the school called my great-grandmother to the school because my grandmother was so sick.  When my grandma woke up and saw her mother she said, “I met the man I am going to marry!” My great-grandmother thought it was just the illness talking but sure enough a year later my grandparents married.  The rest is history!

Tombstone Tuesday – Adela and Risveglio Capelli

Last week I wrote a post about finding the death certificates for my Grandfather’s cousins.  You can read their stories here and here.

This weekend I followed up and looked for the gravestones of the children on  Using the cemetery information from the death certificates, I quickly located both children and a photo of their shared grave.

Digital Camera, digital images (, accessed 14 July 2014, photograph by Randy Knight, gravestone for Adela Capelli (8 Set 1913 – 23 Nov 1916) and Risveglio Capelli (19 Agos 1911- 23 Nov 1916), Find A Grave memorial #66220248, Redstone Cemetery, Brownsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania. Used with permission from Randy Knight.


This photo helps to explain the conflict of first names I have found for the children. To recap, the newspaper article about their death the children are named Elma and Slavelli Cappelli.  The death certificates list the children as Adela Cofelli and Resveglio Copelli.  This tombstone names the children as Adela Capelli and Risveglio Capelli.

I have to believe that the names provided in the newspaper account were incorrect.  The journalist who wrote the story was on site at an active fire and surrounded by chaos.  It is easy to see that the names he acquired were close but incorrect.  I also think that language may have been a barrier.  I am not sure how much english my family spoke in 1916.  Even if they did, I am fairly confident that they spoke with a heavy accent.  My grandfather told me how his cousin, Mabel, would repeatedly tell her mother she needed to speak english as they were growing up.

The names provided to the Pennsylvania authorities and the gravestone are almost exactly the same.  I will be using the spelling used on the gravestones as the names listed in my genealogy software.  I will be sure to add a note for the other spellings.

The last time I was visiting my parents in Virginia, we spoke about visiting the Pittsburgh area for genealogy research the next time I visit.  Now we will be able to stop at the Redstone Cemetery to pay our respects to Adela and Risveglio.

Tombstone Tuesday – Visiting Grandpa

Our family recently took a trip to Southern California.  It was a mix of work and pleasure.  The first day, my husband had a business meeting in Corona, California.  While my husband was busy, I took the kids to the next town over to visit my Grandpa.  My paternal grandfather, Jay Capelli, was buried at the Riverside National Cemetery when he passed away in 2009.

The last time I was at the cemetery was the day my grandpa was buried.  When I arrived at the administration building, I was pleasantly surprised to find a computer kiosk outside.  I was able to quickly look up my grandfather’s information.  The computer printed a map of the cemetery with the location information on it.  Finding the headstone was very easy.

Celio "Jay" Capelli, Riverside National Cemetery, Section 58A, Site 2692
Celio “Jay” Capelli, Riverside National Cemetery, Section 58A, Site 2692

I had a lot of fun telling my girls stories about my grandfather.  My older daughter was especially interested in the story of Grandpa coming to the United States on a ship when he was 5.  My daughter is 5 and had so many questions.  The girls were very excited to find out that my grandpa enjoyed camping just like they do.  My younger daughter brought her prized Mickey Mouse doll with her.  She was mostly concerned that my grandpa knew who Mickey Mouse was.  She was thrilled that not only did my grandpa know who Mickey was, he had been to Disneyland (aka Mickey’s house).  We ended out time with the girls doing a crayon rubbing of the headstone.


Working on a crayon rubbing.
Working on a crayon rubbing.


A wonderful visit to my Grandpa's grave.
A wonderful visit to my Grandpa’s grave.

Something You Do Not See Every Day

At the end of March, I packed up the husband and kids for a trip back East to Virginia.  One of the many fun things we did was the walking portion of the Historic Loudon County Scavenger Hunt.  The Mosby Heritage Area Association (MPAA) is a group whose mission is “Preservation through Education.”  The scavenger hunts they have available on their website are a great way to educate while having fun!

The Loudon County Scavenger Hunt is split into three portions.  With small kids in tow, we tackled the walking portion of the hunt in Leesburg, Virginia.  One of the very first stops is the Old Leesburg Presbyterian Church.  It is the oldest standing church in town.

Leesburg Presbyterian Church from Google Maps
Leesburg Presbyterian Church from Google Maps

Just to the right of the church is an old cemetery.  My older daughter asked me to read her some of the names.  As I was looking a the headstones, I found one you don’t see everyday.  Not only does this man have an interesting name, he had an incredible job history engraved on his stone.

Col. charles M. Fauntleroy
Col. charles M. Fauntleroy


In Memory of

Col. Charles M. Fauntleroy, son of Gent. T.T. & Anne Magill Fauntleroy.

Born Aug. 21, 1822

Died July 28, 1889

He served with distinction both in the United States Navy and in the Confederate States Army and Navy and was above all a valiant solider of Jesus Christ.

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.


A quick google search of Charles Fauntleroy found that he descends from a man named Moore Fauntleroy who arrived in the American Colonies in 1642 and served in the Virginia House of Burgesses. There is a great blogpost about the family at Captain James Davis/Davies Genealogy.  There is also information about the families in “Some Prominent Virginia Families, Volume 4” available on Google Books starting at page 294.

I wonder what I will want written on my gravestone?


Throw Back Thursday – Mary Bradley and Frank Switzer

Mary Eugenia Bradley is my great great grandmother.  She was born 18 December 1867 in LaSalle County, Illinois.

me to mary bradley

Frank Switzer was Mary’s second husband.  They married in 1906, four years after Mary was widowed with four surviving children (two children from her first marriage died young).  Mary and Frank would have a son, Milford, in 1909.  Mary would be widowed again in 1934.  Frank passed away in Halstead, Kansas.  Mary would live another sixteen years before passing away at her daughter’s house in Wellington, Kansas.  Frank and Mary are buried together in the Halstead Cemetery, Halstead, Kansas.

Switzer, Mary and Frank


Switzer, Mary and Frank gravestone

A Beautiful Cemetery

I had an amazing summer vacation this year.  My husband and I took the kids to visit Europe.  The second week was spent in Hungary, Austria, and Germany.  As many of my readers know, I was on a time crunch to find where my mother-in-law’s ancestors came from in Hungary with the hopes of visiting.  I was successful but unfortunately we were unable to reach Jablonca, Slovakia on this trip.  Darn!  It just means we will have to go back again!

Although I did not do any research on this trip, it still did not stop the genealogist in me from enjoying the vacation.  I learned so much about the history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which my husband’s ancestors lived under.  We visited many sights and churches.  Of course, I also managed to visit some cemeteries.

St. Gilgen is a small town that sits at one end of Wolfgangsee Lake in the Alps outside of Salzburg.

St Gilgen, Austria from Wolfgangsee Tourismus Gesellschaft, Büro St. Gilgen
St Gilgen, Austria from Wolfgangsee Tourismus Gesellschaft, Büro St. Gilgen


I found the most beautiful cemetery at the local church in St. Gilgen. St. Aegidius was built new again in 1767.  From what I learned, the cemetery that lies next to it dates back to the 1500’s and includes the grave of Mozart’s grandfather.

I am in awe at the amount of work that is put into this cemetery.  There were several people at the cemetery watering the different family graves while I was there.  It is just beautiful!  Here are some photos:


St Gilgen Cemetery 1St Gilgen Cemetery 2

The covered graves also had lots of flowers.
The covered graves also had lots of flowers.


Many of the graves had wonderful old photos like these.
Many of the graves had wonderful old photos like these.


Sunday’s Obituary – Dollie Mitchell 1876-1896

Dollie Mitchell is my maternal great-grandfather’s twin sister.  Last year I found her gravestone on which gave me a date of death.  My mother’s cousin who lives in Topeka is wonderful.  She visited the Kansas State Historical Society Library and pulled Dollie’s obituary for me.

The most interesting part of this obituary for me is the cause of death.  My grandmother has always told me that Dollie died by drowning in a river.  The cause of death listed in the obituary is consumption.  This generally refers to death after suffering from tuberculosis.  It is crazy in how just one generation stories can change!   As the youngest in her family, my grandma was born almost thirty-five years after her Aunt Dollie died.  That is a large enough time for the story to be retold incorrectly.

Dollie Mitchell Obit


Arkansas City Traveler, Arkansas City, Kansas

January 10, 1896, page 5


Dollie Mitchel, daughter of Mr and Mrs Moses Mitchel was born Oct 20, 1876 in Jackson county, Kans, and died in this city January 6th, 1896 at 10am of consumption.  She was an ambitious child and when at school excelled in her studies.  She was of a sunny, hopeful disposition, making frends [sic] wherever she lived.  This was fully shown by the large number that attended her funeral.  It is natural for one of this disposition to desire to live.  Hence when it was manifest to her that disease was making rapid inroads upon her health, she sought relief by a visit to relatives in the health resorts of Colorado.  But it was too late and it soon became manifest to all that the end was near.

She succeeded in reaching her home and here, surrounded by those that loved her, all that skill and love could do was employed to make her last days of suffering endurable.  To her mother she expressed herself as ready and willing to die.  We all hope to meet her again in the land where there is no suffering.  Her pastor, J. W. Faubion.

Treasure Chest Thursday – Jane (Berry) Ramsey

I am back again for another set of documents from my shoebox.  This week I will be focusing on Jane Ramsey.  She is one of the few 4th great grandmothers I have identified on my family tree.

Ramsey line


I had two documents that had been saved to my shoebox.  This was a first round of searches after identifying Jane Berry as the mother of Amner Caroline Ramsey.  I made the connection from A. Caroline’s death certificate.  The first saved item was the Ramsey family in the Iowa State Census in 1856.  They were enumerated in Washington Township, Appanoose County, Iowa with the last name Ramsay.  (A common name variation)  Jane is listed second on the list just under her husband Joseph.  She is 52 at the time.  Also listed are most of her children: Robert, Sarah, Caroline, Joseph, and William.

The 1856 Iowa State census is fascinating because it has many questions about the land the families were working.  The Ramsey family was living on 140 acres.  Sixty of these acres were improved land for farming.  They harvested 100 bushels of spring wheat, 300 bushels of oats, and 1000 bushels of corn the prior year.  They also sold 24 hogs for $75 and 7 cattle for $45.

Ramsey Family 1856


The second item in my Ancestry shoebox was the 1870 US Federal Census Mortality Schedule.  Jane died the same year as the census so she was listed in the mortality schedule with more information.

Ramsey Jane Mortality schedule


Jane Ramsey passed away 18 march 1870 in Washington Township, Appanoose County, Iowa.  Her husband is found in the 1870 census living with his son Robert a few short months after Jane’s death.

A bonus of saving these records to my computer is that I noticed in the right hand column of the image reader a list of suggested records on  One of the suggestions was an entry at  I checked it out and it seems to be my Jane.  I have saved the information to my computer.  I have also contacted the person who maintains the memorial because I think we may be distantly related.

I checked my digital files and found that I already had the 1850 and 1860 federal census enumerations for the Ramsey family.  I need to make a research plan for this family.  There is a lot of information that I do not know about them.

Tombstone Tuesday – Pope Family Grave

Last month I took the kids on an adventure to Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Colma, California.  This is the cemetery where many of my husband’s Pope ancestors are buried.  There are many people buried in the family grave so I will present a couple of them to you at a time.  This week is the head of the family, John and Catherine Pope.


John Pope is the family patriarch.  He immigrated to the United States from Germany in the late 1800’s.  He married Catherine Offerman after arriving in San Francisco.  They had 4 children together.  John was the president of Northstar Brewing Company in San Francisco.  He is my husband’s great-great-grandfather.

 Catherine Offerman was also born in Germany.  She is listed as the beloved wife of John Pope in her obituary. Catherine died a horrible death after the house caught on fire while cleaning the floor with gasoline.  Her obituary lists many women and german groups that she belonged to.  Catherine is my husband’s great-great-grandmother.