Wednesday, August 13, 2014

journey to Aurora, Illinois

Hey Friends!

Took a ride out to Aurora, Illinois today to photograph some headstones of relatives I've just recently discovered had lived out that direction.  I've been working a little bit more on the mystery that is the family tree of my 3x great-grandmother Ruth Hodgetts.  Mostly I've been working on trying to expand on her brother Samuel's side of the tree which lead me to his daughter Annie, her husband William Rollins, and their whole clan.  Turns out the whole family lived in Aurora, where my great-grandmother grew up.  Still working out some kinks there because the family is a bit confusing but Annie & William, as well as their daughter Edna, son Ernest & his wife Julia are all buried at Spring Lake Cemetery so I decided to pay a visit.  I'd been to the cemetery once before because my grandmother's namesake is buried there; so I'm mildly familiar with the place.  I went into the office and the same women I talked to last time was there as well as a gentleman, maybe her husband, who also works at the cemetery.  When I asked if they could assist me in finding some headstones, they said sure & asked for the name.  The man, who's name I never caught, wasn't paying much attention until I said Rollins.  He looked up at me and said "which ones?", I replied with "all of them?" and laughed a little.  He asked for first names so I rattled them all off "Annie, Ernest, Julie & William"; he looked me dead in the face & goes "I know the Rollins family". So that launched into a 15 minute long conversation.  Ernest had once been his boss and this very cemetery, he knew the family well.  He informed me that Julie & Ernest couldn't have kids so their eldest child (after the still-born baby) was actually adopted, and once they had adopted him they conceived a boy.  He also let me know that Edna was also buried next to her parents so I'd be able to locate them all.  I was a little leery to ask him any personal details about the family he didn't seem like he wanted to give too much away.  He pulled out a map and showed me the 2 locations for the family members and away I went.

After the cemetery I drove around Aurora a bit and took some photos of the houses my family members had lived in, the church my great-grandparents got married in, & Edna M Rollins school.

1st home of Beatrice & John Moseley
(grandma panfil's parents)

Herbert & Hannah Smith's house
(grandma panfil's grandparents)

former home of William & Annie Rollins

Trinity Episcopal Church