Family Circle 14

A family history site: Chasing My Own Tale

Trove Tuesday: A Happy Discovery

Editor’s Note: I was wrong about Warren Loucks. See my post dated April 15, 2014.

Today was a great genealogy day. I found my husband’s great-grandfather’s burial location! We knew that he had died in the city of San Diego, California but had simply never made much effort at locating his grave.

Mathias Leonard Loucks‘  Burial Permit Record – see below – states that he is to be buried in the Masonic cemetery in San Diego. So I did a little bit of research and found that there is a Masonic cemetery in Fallbrook, San Diego County. Without researching it further, I submitted a request for a photo from the Find A Grave website.

I confess I’m a newbie on that site. I have only gone out once which was last Saturday. See my discussion here. The experience had mixed results: found only 1 of 2 graves, but was able to share some great pics of the grounds  and more.

I’ve since learned its best to call ahead to inquire about the location of the grave, whether the name is listed in the files, and maybe do a bit of research on the internet before going out. I also learned that each searcher must bring along a soft bristle whisk broom to gently clean debris from the headstones or markers. We only had one and it remained with hubby the entire time; it would have been too difficult to retrieve it each time it was needed.

I should have actually known that last point. We’ve been visiting cemeteries for years and almost always cleaned what we could. I love going into the very old cemeteries and simply walk around and read the epitaphs. Many of these old headstones are very ornate.

There’s a cemetery not far from us that no longer accepts anyone since it’s been full for many years. It’s very small. There’s a lovely babbling brook marking the edge of the property. This cemetery seems to always be cool, even on those blistering Sacramento days. We have never had a bad experience there; it’s so peaceful to walk the grounds.

Getting back to my trove, the Contributor who volunteered to photograph Mathias’ grave contacted me  saying there was no grave there for him. I feel so bad, that he too precious time to do my research, all for naught! I should have done my own research rather than make assumptions. Another lesson learned!

So, I went back to the drawing board. I reviewed the document for more details. Then it dawned on me. Fallbrook is not in the city limits. Duh! I’m looking for a cemetery that was in use in 1918 within the city proper. At least I should start there!

Google is a great tool for research. I simply typed in my request for all cemeteries in 1918 in San Diego  and several came up. Some of the pages were historical descriptions of the city’s cemetery. I was fascinated by the stories of how each cemetery served and was utilized.

As I scrolled down, the word “Masonic” leapt out at me. Eureka! Could that be it? Fast forward: after calling the second cemetery marked “Masonic” and getting a “no” I began to get worried that I was missing something. Just before hanging up I asked the clerk to check “just one more time”. Lo and behold, he was there after all! She had misread his spelling.

The clerk happily gave me the plot number and location and promised that she would forward a map. Only 30 minutes later, I received two documents, both maps. She had starred Mathias’ grave. She even enclosed a short list of his neighbor-occupants.

And here’s yet another trove! The word trove is short for treasure trove; it means treasure, discovery, find, valuable collection. Well, I hit a Mother Lode! Two of the twelve people listed on the document were Mathias’ wife, Harriet Sophia Vaux and their son, Warren Tice Loucks, who is the brother of my husband’s grandfather, Wano Glenn Loucks.

I can’t wait to find out if these graves have markers. I’m anxious to see what the volunteer Contributor will find. And yes, the grave perimeters were submitted when I made a new request.

By the way, that sweet clerk was disappointed when she learned that I would not drive out to visit San Diego. She wanted to personally show me around! No doubt that would’ve been a real treat.

Hum, maybe we should…

Mathias Loucks Burial Permit

Mathias Loucks Burial Permit


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