15 September 2011

Headstones: John D. & Isabella Richardson

One of the very special treats during my trip to Missouri last June was Cousin Donald taking us to see the headstones of John D. Richardson and Isabella Shaw, our great-great-grandparents.  This photo shows the whole plot with a glimpse of the intersection where the stones are located.  The map excerpt is a portion of Morgan County. Cousin Donald made the red annotations and gave me this copy.  (The red rectangle gives the general location of the land where I took the 2 photos of John Richardson's land and shared in an earlier post.)  The red circle shows the location of the plot where these headstones are.  Comparing the map to the photo, you can actually pinpoint the location given the roads!  That's handy because there are no signs.

As I remember Cousin Donald  telling me....  Many years ago, after he had found these stones and was photographing them, an "oldtimer" stopped to see who Donald was and what he was doing there.  Donald told of his family relationship and that Donald had even grown-up nearby.  The oldtimer hesitated for a few moments and then proceeded to tell Donald that the graves were not actually here: the gravesites had been "down by the creek!" The oldtimer and another neighbor had moved the headstones because pigs were constantly wallowing in the mud along the creek and repeatedly knocking over the stones.  Tired of uprighting them and fearing the stones would eventually break, the men had moved the headstones up to this location many years earlier.

Even with two men helping me, it was still hard to get good photos with all the vegetation around the stones.  The stone of the left commemorates both John and Isabella.


The center stone commemorates only Isabella.  We suspect that it was the stone made at her death.  The deterioration is evident; parts of the stone are very hard to read.  But is possible to see that it does name her as Isabella Shaw, wife of John D. Richardson.

The third stone in the grouping commemorates John's second wife, Nancy Jane Krues.  She is something of a mystery to me. Some people, including Donald, even have her name as Nancy Jane Bowles.  Clearly, I need to do more research!  Overall, I haven't done much research on other spouses of people from whom I descend.  But recently it has occurred to me that I cherish all my great-greats and I should also cherish those whom they married, whether I descend from them or not.

Sadly, there is a small, hidden stone between the two women's stones for 'Infant Richardson.'  We cannot make out the second line at all and have no idea who it represents.  And, knowing that the stones have been moved, the placement is not even a guarantee that the infant belonged to any of these Richardson's.  It bothers me a great deal to have unidentified children.

Going back to the first photo of the whole plot, the closest marker is for Margaret Beaman, wife of N. Beaman.  I don't know how she fits with the Richardson's. Given that the marker is apparently from about the same time as that of John's and Nancy's, and that it ended up here, I'm assuming there is some connection.  I guess that's more research to do!

Isn't that what always happens?  I find something wonderful, but now I have more questions and more to research...!

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