Tombstone Tuesday

001 Fannie and Gard tomb

Meet my 2nd great grandparents! Fannie, as you can see, died very young. At that time there was a flu epidemic around and I believe her death (official cause of death was pneumonia) was part of that. Gard is her husband there and I don’t know too much about him to be honest. My great-grandfather (who I knew pretty well) didn’t discuss his father. My grandpa said that he wasn’t aware he had a grandfather but there was a man who they visited that lived by the river. He later found out that was his grandfather, Gard. His death is a bit of a mystery too. The family rumor is that it was murder due to gambling debts but according to his death certificate, it was drowning.

Jack is Gard and Fannie’s son. He also died very early of a car accident. It was actually a Bay City official who hit him but according to the newspaper, the man was exonerated of blame. I don’t know too much about Jack, my great-grandfather’s brother, except rumors. Our family rumor is that he tried out for a Tarzan movie (the silent film ones) but I don’t know how to verify that fact but it’s a fun rumor nonetheless.

The baby boy is one of the miscarriages from my grandmother (who is on the other side of this tombstone). My grandmother suffered from a few miscarriages and only two children survived. It was always a heartbreaking thing for my grandmother to talk about.

002 Bobbie and Mary tomb

This is the other side of the tombstone. My great-grandparents are buried elsewhere but Bobbie (my grandfather) is then buried with his paternal grandparents. So, meet my beloved grandparents! Mary died young (to me) from cancer. I was close to her and I miss her still to this day. It’s hard for me to even talk about her without getting teary. Bobbie was one of the best grandpa’s you can imagine! There were sweets, being allowed to do things we probably shouldn’t, and stories we probably shouldn’t have heard. I loved him dearly and remember him as the laughing, joking man that he was in life.

Thomas is the other son of Fannie and Gard (there were three boys). I do not know much about him but my parents do remember him. My mother described him as a bit gruff, or well, old school compared to my great-grandfather (who was like my grandpa). But she admits she did not know him well as he lived out of state. My great-grandparents didn’t talk much about him either but I do know that they kept in contact with Thomas throughout their lives even though he lived far away.

There is a feeling of some bad blood between the brothers and their dad (Gard) but I never got a very clear answer on why that happened. I’m hoping more digging and letters to out-of-state relatives may be able to clear that up one day.

Categories: HUMMEL, WITHERELL+ | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Tombstone Tuesday

  1. We had a hotel in my home town named the Witherell Hotel. I went to a junior prom there, very elegant. I know it’s off subject but brought back some nice memories.

    • NikiMarie

      I did not know there was a place! Where was the hotel? I doubt I’d be related (Witherell isn’t an uncommon name) but it could be fun to see.

      • The hotel was located in Plattsburgh N.Y. You can find post cards of this hotel on sale in E-bay. Hope this helps a little. Also Witherell is a lot less common than my last name of Moore. Best of luck in all your family research.

  2. Would Adelade Witherell be in your line somewhere? She was born in Connecticut in 1832, married William Gates (not THE Bill Gates!!) and died in Ohio in 1890. Her husband is a 5th cousin, 4 times removed….not too close, but close enough!!! Or perhaps a Simeon Witherell of 17-18th century Norton, Massachusetts?

    • NikiMarie

      The Witherell line has been a bit more of a challenge for me than I expected. The last person I can confirm is David Witherell who was born in 1813 in New York so I don’t think Adelade is there unless she is from a brother of David’s or even from another line which I haven’t discovered yet. And maybe Simeon but I don’t know yet. That is much further than I’ve been able to go so far!

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