Friday, October 12, 2012

Genealogy Road Trip | Oxford Cemetery

My sister Courtney joined me for a three-day genealogy road trip in June 2012. I am writing a series of posts that shared the stories and sights of our adventure. This is Part 11.
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Day 2 of the genealogy road trip started at shortly after dawn as we drove the final hour to find the graves of our 5th great grandparents, Isaac and Abigail (Day) Lindley in Oxford, Ohio. The previous day we had paid our respects to Isaac's parents in Pennsylvania and it seemed a bit surreal that we would have the honor to do the same for Isaac and his wife the very next day.

We arrived at the Oxford Cemetery in the twilight hours. We pulled in through the main gate and drifted towards the right, making our way up small hill. The cemetery was much larger and more full than I had expected based on what I had viewed in online photographs and maps. The area had a large selection of older stones and we thought they looked close to the age of those stones our 5th great grandparents would have, so we parked the car, grabbed the camera, and started searching. Until this point we were able to easily find the headstones of our ancestors and didn't quite expect this search to take the turn that it did.

Click on photo above to view larger image size.
We searched and searched and searched. After walking two of the larger sections of the cemetery, we took a break in the car to hydrate and regroup. It was then that we decided that it would be easier to slowly drive through the remainder of the cemetery and see if we could locate any more older stones that might help us narrow our search.

Unfortunately, there wasn't a dedicated "older stone" section as we had wished. Instead, it seemed like every 50 feet there was a new grouping of older stones. We weren't expecting a giant blinking sign, but a little thoughtful planning back in the day would have been appreciated as we continued our exhaustive search. As you can see from the sections highlighted in yellow, we had nearly searched the entire cemetery and were quickly approaching the very new section of the cemetery, which would have meant that we had missed them in our early searching.

Finally, when I was nearly ready to give up hope, we stumbled upon Isaac and Abigail... right next to the roadway! One section I was wondering how we had missed them, and then next, I couldn't believe that we stumbled upon them while walking on the road. Upon closer inspection, I was once again shocked at how well preserved the headstones were. What a blessing.

Click on photo above to view larger image size.
The carving on their stones wasn't as unique or elaborate as that of Isaac's parents, but it was legible and the great condition provided easy access to dates. It's as if the simplicity of the stones mimicked the change in lifestyle that Isaac and Abigail faced after leaving their well established families in Pennsylvania for a life in the new west. I hope they found what they were looking for...

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