Visiting a cemetery may sound like an odd thing to do, especially if you don’t personally know anyone buried there.
To be honest, while I DID know a few of them, many we visited were gone long before I was on this earth…
But, it can be quite interesting when you’re with your 80+ year old parents who knew and remembered some of these people.
In the year 2020, during the pandemic, it has been suggested that gathering in large groups, being together indoors, and spending a lot of time up close and personal is NOT a good idea.
So, in order to continue visits with family, we decided to take an outdoor trip on a beautiful fall day and visit some local cemeteries where some of our ancestors are laid to rest.
Our Cemetery Trip
On September 9, 2020, we made a visit to several cemeteries in Missouri looking for names & stones of our relatives.
Visiting a cemetery with older relatives is a great way to gather family history and learn family stories.
We made some discoveries, had a nice visit and learned a little about our ancestors.
Dad, (John) always has some great stories to share. Mom (Marilyn) actually shared some about her family, too. Things we didn’t already know!
First Stop: Mill Creek Cemetery
First, we went to Mill Creek Cemetery and Mill Creek Baptist Church in Silex, Lincoln County, Missouri.
There we were able to locate members of our family on the John Wheeler side.
Here are some photos from there.
Charles H. and Mary E. (Miles) Lewis
This is Charles H. and Mary E. (Miles) Lewis, parents of Grace Lewis Wheeler, and grandparents of John H. Wheeler.
Charles H. and Mary E. (Miles) Lewis —-> Grace Lewis Wheeler (James) —–> John H. Wheeler (Marilyn) —-> Kimberly, Susan, Janet
Charles Lewis was married twice, first to Dean (stone below), then to Mary E. who was my Grandma Grace’s mother.
Dean’s stone was hard to read and crumbly. We were able to make out some of the words, though. “Born 11 July 1877 – Died 7 Feb 1901. She was 23 years old. Wife of Charles H. Lewis.”
Dean died young and had no children with Charles. Charles later married Grandma Grace’s mother, Mary Miles in 1904.
Mill Creek Baptist Church
There is a church associated with this cemetery.
This is the sign in front and a photo of the church.
As we walked through this cemetery, there were quite a few stones with the name “Miles”. I took some photos, but have not identified how we might be related to these people.
Here is one such stone. We don’t know Maggie Lee Miles but assume she was probably a relative of Mary Miles Lewis since her stone is next to Cleveland Miles, who was Mary’s brother.
Clement V. Lewis and Mary Ruth
This is the stone of Clement V. Lewis and his daughter, Mary Ruth.
Clement was Grandma Grace’s (Grace Lewis Wheeler) brother.
Clement married Bessie LaRue and their daughter Mary Ruth is buried with him. She is the oldest child.
Charles M. Lewis
Clement and Bessie also had Charles Marion and Mike Lewis. Charles Marion died as an infant. (His stone is below.) Mike is thought to be still living and resides in Kahoka, MO.
James & Lucinda Miles
Next, we have James and Lucinda Miles. James and Lucinda were Mary E. Miles Lewis’ Grandparents.
It goes like this:
Kimberly, Susan, Janet —> John H. Wheeler (Marilyn)—> Grace Lewis Wheeler (James)—> Mary E. Miles Lewis (Charles) —> Benjamin Taylor Miles (Eliza Ellis) —> James M. & Lucinda C. Weeks Miles
They were born in the 1820s!
James and Lucinda Miles were married in January 1843 and had children: Mary Martha, Benjamin Taylor (father to Mary E.), Clarissa Martha, James S., Thomas, George Anders, Jefferson Grant.
George A. and Katy M. Miles.
George Anders Miles was a brother to Benjamin T. Miles and an uncle to Mary E. Miles. James and Lucinda Miles were his parents, too.
#2: St. John’s Episcopal Church & Cemetery, Prairieville/Eolia, Missouri
We also visited St. John’s Episcopal Church Cemetery in Eolia, MO. This is a beautiful cemetery and wonderful historic church.
I don’t think we found anyone closely related to us, though there were quite a few names – friends and more distant relatives – that John & Marilyn recognized and remember from their past in this cemetery. (If we did, Dad, please let me know who I missed…)
We enjoyed taking photos here and will share a few of them with you.
Here is the church itself.
Looking in the keyhole in the front door.
The sign out front.
Some of the interesting, aged stones.
We had a fun day together!
Look at all those white heads…
From the left: Kimberly, John, (Janet on John’s pin and with us in spirit) Marilyn, Susan – The Wheeler Family
In order to identify people who are buried in these cemeteries, we visited a website called FindAGrave.com, a resource of cemeteries and more. There are listings of who is buried in each cemetery and sometimes a photo of the stones. We found this site very helpful.
We also used FamilySearch.org to identify some relationships and dates. This is a great place to search your family history.
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon.
I’m working on photos for Eolia Cemetery in Eolia, MO, and Greenwood Cemetery in Clarksville.
We visited both of those this day, too!
There are a lot of photos and more information in the works!