January 5, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Odille Doiron

What is wrong with this picture?  After extensive research, I found that my grandmother Odille Doiron LeBlanc who died in 1909 at the age of 42 is buried in the above grave at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Andover, Massachusetts.  When she died, in addition to my grandfather was then sixty-three years old, she left children who ranged in age from twenty-one to thirteen (my father George).

When searching for where she might have been buried, I contacted a friend and distant cousin who at the time was secretary of Sacred Heart Parish.  She searched the burial records and found that my grandmother was buried in the above grave.  A few years later while chatting with some of my mother's first cousins, they told me that the Demers couple buried in that grave lived in their parent's triple decker tenement in South Lawrence and that when Odille died the family was too poor to purchase a plot so this couple generously offered that she be buried in their plot.  Unfortunately her name was never engraved on the headstone but thanks to my good friend, at least I know where she is buried. This is another reason  you should never give up searching.  We just never know the what and wherefore of the past.

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Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino


Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to do research around these tombstones and other things we find.
The sleuthing never ends, does it?
Evelyn in Montreal

Anonymous said...

I have a similar problem with one of the cemeteries in Brockton, MA. The headstone is just one large one that has the family surname, but no other names.

And when I called the church, they said their records had been destroyed in a fire. :(

I'm so glad you were able to pinpoint Odille's place of burial! Sometimes it is more difficult than people realize to find graves.

Lucie LeBlanc Consentino said...

Hi Evelyn,

It is very important. When I was told my grandmother was buried in that cemetery and I could not find her name on a tombstone, I contacted the parish secretary a second time - she went back into the records and that is when she told me "ah... she is in a grave that belongs to someone else". So we just never know what will turn up (no pun intended).

Lucie LeBlanc Consentino said...

HI Wendy - well that is too bad if the records were lost to a fire *but* if you know what cemetery they were buried in, the office that is responsible for that cemetery might help you.

I contacted one for Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Lawrence because Sacred Heart Cemetery did not exist when some of my relatives died. Well that office was most helpful to me. My maternal great grandfather was poor and could not afford a grave so the undertaker put him in a common grave however the cemetery office had the names of everyone in that grave. Mostly babies. There is no stone on that grave either but at lest I know where he too is buried.

FranE said...

Wonderful that you kept on searching. How fascinating to find the grave with someone else's name on it. Great Tombstone post.