The first Google Earth Adventure was so much fun, I’m back to do it again! This time it will be taking you on one of my first Genealogy trips. It took place around 2003 or 2004? I’m not exactly sure. It was this trip when I got the majority of my Tombstone pictures. We were in Ohio for a reunion and I convinced Grandma to take us to Kentucky to visit the cemetery. Actually, it might have been her idea. Like I said, who can remember. This was when I was just getting into putting all my gathered information together. It was right before Grandma insisted on putting herself in the nursing home and the dementia set in. I even recorded her telling me a story from her childhood. I might have to attach that to the end of this post!
So here’s where we began our adventure. Let me be up front with you. This was our first time visiting Kentucky. Grandma grew up in this area, but it had been awhile since she last visited. This was before GPS navigators also. So we were taking all our directions from Grandma…. That was foreshadowing if you didn’t recognize it. So to the left is where Grandma said her old “homestead” was located, and to the right was the cemetery we were planning to visit. So we headed left first.
This is what we saw for the majority of the trip to left. It was a long windy road that eventually lead back to the river, and when I say river I mean the Ohio River. The big one.
To once again practice full disclosure, I can’t quite remember where the old homestead was located. It’s possible it’s no longer there. The Google Earth photos aren’t really great. Then again, it’s a very tree lined road, so I doubt that better pictures would help anyway.
As you can see the road goes through that heavily forested area. So somewhere in those trees is where my Grandma lived as a girl.
So now we backtrack and cross the road. This side had many more houses and not as many trees. It’s known as Johnsville, KY.
Just under a mile down the road we ran across this small cemetery. This is where Grandma told us “the babies are buried.” Her Grandmother, Mollie Jane Webb-Taylor had three sets of twins, many of which never made it past infancy. This little cemetery is where they were buried, most likely in unmarked graves.
Here is the family listing in my family file. The “babies” aren’t the only ones buried in this cemetery. One of my ancestors buried his first wife here, and I even feel a little guilty that the first wife is resting here, while he rests over in the big cemetery with his second wife. It doesn’t seem fair to the wife who died so young. If I had a time machine, I’d really love to look back at some of the hidden stories in my family’s history.
Here is the two cemeteries in relation to each other on the map. Unfortunately the big cemetery doesn’t have street view. So I can’t show you how big that cemetery really is. Trust me it’s bigger than it looks.
I have many relatives in this cemetery. Many of those relatives I’ve yet to identify. Sometimes I wonder if bigger cemeteries can actually be “family” cemeteries. I mean if you think about it in these rural areas, most everyone ended up related anyway right? So it almost gives it a family feel.
It is after we left Johnsville Cemetery that day that things got… dicey. There was a cousin of my Mom’s that lives right past the cemetery, so we tried to stop by and see him. He’s got a bunch of Webb family photos that I’m dying to see! Unfortunately, he wasn’t at home that day. He got called into work. After we left the cemetery, I imagine we spent the next hour or so driving around aimlessly. Somehow we got turned around. Or maybe we went right instead of going left, the way we’d come. We’ll never know now. Needless to say, we were lost. Lost in Kentucky without a GPS unit to tell us it was “recalculating” to get us the heck home!
We were all getting quite cranky. We were tired, hungry, and just plain ready to be done. We’d been gone most of the day and it was still a long drive back to Dillsboro, IN where Grandma lived. Just when I was about to throw myself on the ground and start kicking my feet around, we drove up to this.
In the interest of once again practicing full disclosure; When we pulled up to this cemetery, we pulled up from the road on the right you see now. I couldn’t show you that though, because it doesn’t have street view. We were really excited to see the yellow lines on the road when we pulled up too. Nothing like good old yellow lines to show that you’re actually on a road that goes somewhere!
This cemetery took us by complete surprise. We weren’t looking for it, we just found it. In fact it would be many years until I could find it again on a map. There were two sections. The one by the church, and then this older section across the street. This section is my “family cemetery.” I can’t even list the amount of Taylors and Webbs I found in this cemetery. I was completely taken by surprise.
Once I found a certain Webb family, I knew where I was. I had no idea how to get back to Indiana, but I knew where we were. We had somehow found Lenoxburg Cemetery. The cemetery I most wanted to visit. In fact, it’s still on the top of my list. Now that I’m more aware of how many relatives are buried there, I’ve got to go back and document a lot more tombstones. Next time I’m taking my GPS with me though.
Download Google Earth
Credit: All credit for these images goes to Google Earth. I did not take any of these pictures. I only visited Kentucky from the comfort of my home, in my fluffy pajamas. Please do not sue me, I have nothing except for my fluffy pajamas and a GPS unit.