One of the biggest mysteries in the search for my family’s history was that of my great-grandmother, Josephine Burton Ford for whom this blog is named. Born and raised in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, she was married there, raised a family there, but disappeared after the 1920 census, the last record I had of her existence. Since I’ve been searching for her, my thoughts about what may have become of her have run the gamut from her being the victim of a brutal murder to her running off to start over somewhere she wouldn’t be found.
Thanks to findagrave.com volunteer, Ann Nash, art historian, Joel Brink, and Ocean Springs historian, Ray Bellande, the mystery has been solved.
According to the funeral record that my genealogy buddies forwarded to me, Josephine died on May 15, 1922. The cause of death was tuberculosis. She was 46. Her funeral was handled by Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Home in Ocean Springs and she was interred at Evergreen Cemetery. That’s the same place where her brother, Alfred Burton Stuart and her mother, Temple Burton were laid to rest. Josephine’s father, Col. W. R. Stuart is in a different part of the cemetery in a family plot with his wife, Elizabeth McCauley Stuart. My great-grandmother is at peace with her family.
I’m still in a euphoric shock to finally have this big piece of my missing history illuminated. Perhaps this post would have been better left to Wordless Wednesday since I don’t quite have the words to express how grateful I am to know what happened to Josephine. Thanks again to Ann, Joel and Ray for getting this vital document to me and to the wider genealogy blogging community for sharing in this journey. You all are the best bunch of friends I’ve never met.
Now, I’m going to go look for Josephine’s burial spot at Evergreen. It appears there are a lot of unknowns in unmarked graves around the area where Josephine’s mother and brother were buried, the first place I’ll look.
What ancestry mystery are you trying to solve?