Monday, October 22, 2007

Fulfilling A Grandmother's Wish

I spent a pleasant Sunday afternoon with two charming cousins and their husbands wandering through some of Seneca County's cemeteries. Lois and Dawn, like me, descend from Joseph and Magdalena Good (the couple I talked about in my Ague Fever post). Their grandmother had always wanted to find and visit the grave of her great-grandmother Rosetta Good.

Rosetta, the daughter of Joseph's son John Good and his wife Sarah Baker Good, died of typhoid fever in 1869, along with a younger brother Joseph and a sister Sarah Florence. Their common gravestone sits in Liberty Center's Cemetery that is located on State Route 635 just south of Bettsville.

Rosetta left behind a 9-month-old son, John Heckman Jr. Apparently, the grandmothers of little John both wanted to raise him. A story handed down in the family of Lois and Dawn told of John's paternal grandmother sending a wagon down from Michigan, plucking him right off the school grounds and spiriting him back to Branch County, Michigan, where he would grow up.

I'm not sure of the accuracy of the story because John is clearly listed in the 1870 census in Michigan living with his grandmother. However, a court case involving the settlement of his great-grandfather's estate in 1874 does open the door for the possibility that John was living in Ohio at the beginning of the case, but was in Michigan by its resolution. (John has a 1/49 claim to the estate.) It may well be that young John had been passed back in forth between Ohio and Michigan more than once before he ended up in Branch County permanently.

John's descendants knew that he had been born in Seneca County near Tiffin, but they had no idea where his mother, Julia Rosetta Good Heckman, had been buried. To complicate matters further, she is listed in the cemetery as Julia R. Good. This is how she is also listed in the 1870 mortality records, but in the Seneca County Probate Record, she is Rosetta Heckman, which makes the mind dance with all kinds of speculation.

In any case, though their grandmother was never able to make the trip, her granddaughters fulfilled her wish, paying a visit to Rosetta's grave. It was nice to play a small part in helping them complete their grandmother's wish.

Until Next Time — Happy Ancestral Digging!

Note this post first published online, October 22, 2007, at Desktop Genealogist Blog at The News-Messenger Online

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