Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

November 12, 2012

Reflections on ancestral cemeteries

Mineral Wells Index

— By Sue Seibert

I know I have spoken to you about cousins. There are first cousins, many of whom I am quite fond, and there are second and third cousins, sometimes removed, whom I have never met.

I have a group of cousins on my Routh side, and I have only met one of them, but we stay in fairly close contact via email and, in some cases, Facebook. I have found, over the years, that the Routh family is, next to my Ficke family, the most interesting of all my many ancestors.

I did discover, somewhat to my horror recently, that my Rouths were loyalists during the American Revolution, so I won’t be adding them to the roll of American patriotic ancestors in the DAR!

Because they are such an interesting bunch I have tried to study them closely, and it is through them that I found my Indian link, for my great-grandmother’s grandmother was Nakey Sarah Canoe, a Cherokee Indian. As most of us in the West claim Indian ancestry, it was fun to prove I had some!

But getting back to the real story, my Routh cousins, mostly second cousins once removed, contacted me regarding the possibility of placing a historical marker on the family cemetery outside of Blanket, Texas. The cemetery land had been owned by my great-grandfather and later sold to one of this daughters’ husbands. They, in turn, donated the land to Brown County, and today there are some 65 or so bodies buried there.

I have been traveling to this cemetery ever since I was a child. We would often go there when my great-uncle was plowing his field across the road, for when he did this we were always able to find Comanche arrowheads. The cemetery is so far out in the sticks on back roads that it almost takes an Indian guide to find it each time we go.

And go we did last Monday. As we are the family who lives closest to the cemetery I told the others I would make the trip. I needed to ask the county two questions, and as Brown County is not really online, so to speak, it was much easier to talk to the county clerk in person.

First we drove by the cemetery, and we discovered there had been a burial there since the last time we had visited. And the last names on both of the last two interments were not familiar to me, but, fortunately, the clerk was able to tell me who one was, or at least from which funeral home he was buried.

She also, sort of, answered my two main questions. First I wanted to know what my family and I would have to do for the county in order to form a cemetery association, since the county owns the land. The clerk suggested we form the association and present it to the commissioners’ court, and she did not foresee a problem.

Second, I asked how we could get permission for a burial, and she said permission can’t be granted until we form the association.

I am informing my cousins of my discoveries in hopes of forming an association. If interested in this for your family, go to www.thc.state.tx.us/cemeteries/cemassoc.shtml.

Sue Seibert is an author, columnist, genealogist and frequent contributor to the Mineral Wells Index and its publications.