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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wednesday Child: Finding the Family in a Child's Death

Uncovering new leads as one searches for the family tree can lead to times of high excitement as well as to times of sadness.  Take, for instance, the death of Helen S SIMMONS in 1904, in Washington, DC.

Who is she?  I am not quite sure.....yet.
Burial Card of Helen S Simmons, Glenwood Cemetery, Washington. DC

But I do know her family, because they are my blood as well.

I found little Helen resting at Glenwood Cemetery in Washington, DC, as I was browsing the online images of the burials at FamilySearch.

The dates are a little misleading at FamilySearch. The lists of the dearly departed start in 1878.  So for those of us who have so many deaths between the 1854-1877 time frame, it is much harder to dig for the information.  I am still digging in the Plat Books, although I suspect it will be over many cups of coffee!

What did surface just last Wednesday was the Burial Card of Helen S SIMMONS.  Little Helen died on July 23, 1904, at only 14 months old due to bronchial pneumonia.  She was interred in Section Q, Lot 116, Site 1.  There are two other tidbits on the card.  Her residence, which I haven't tried to follow yet, and wait for it--  The big tidbit is she in buried in the lot of William R SIMMONS.

Now, I do know him!  William R SIMMONS is the grandson of David SIMMONS of Philadelphia.  This may sound familiar as I have been looking at David, David's final resting spot in Hood Cemetery in Germantown, David's will, and David's descendants over the last two weeks or so.

I know William R SIMMONS had three living siblings in 1853 at the time of his grandfather's will.  I know that some of them are buried at Glenwood Cemetery.  I know his mother, Elizabeth FENWICK SIMMONS is also buried in the family plot at Glenwood Cemetery.

So far, I have identified the following SIMMONS blood buried in Section Q, Lot 116.

Site 1:  Helen S SIMMONS
            James SIMMONS
Site 2:  John B SIMMONS
Site 3:  Elizabeth FENWICK SIMMONS
            George Robert SIMMONS

How many sites were in Section Q, Lot 116?  Still researching that! It appears to be six burial spots.  I suspect William R SIMMONS rests there as well, although I have discovered no proof.

Plat Book C, Glenwood Cemetery, Washington, DC

Looking through the Plat Books and using yet another clue on little Helen's burial card, I bring to light the following:

William R SIMMONS purchased the the lots July 10, 1858.
Date of Interment:      Person:                      Age:           Site No.
June 9, 1861             James SIMMONS                               1
July 26, 1904           Helen S SIMMONS       14mo             1
April 8, 1858            Richard SHAW                                    2
Dec. 20, 1897           John B SIMMONS        73                  2
May 25, 1863           Elizabeth SIMMONS    75                  3
Sept. 23, 1920          George R SIMMONS    59                  3

Ahh genealogy.  Little Helen.  Rest sweetly little one.  You are not forgotten.

©2017  AS Eldredge

"District of Columbia, Glenwood Cemetery Records, 1854-2013." FamilySearch. 14 June 2016. The Glenwood Cemetery, Washington, DC.

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