Adair County, IA
Guest Submitter: Genetripqueen
On this trip, our first stop was the Orient Cemetery in Adair County.
As expected, Jesse and Catherine Doan were buried in this beautiful, well kept, hilltop cemetery. It was easy to find with our directions, and small enough that it didn’t take us long to find their headstones. We wrote out transcriptions and drew the placement of stones in our notebooks in case nearby stones were for colateral relatives. We also cleaned up around the stones, took many pictures and just enjoyed the feeling of knowing their remains were below us and their children had walked this same ground as they mourned. We had brought some supplies, but found that we need many more. It was after this visit that I researched and developed my "cemetery bucket", which has accompanied me on all driving genealogy trips since.
For cleaning up around stones
- Hand spade
- Stiff brush
- Kneeling pad
- Gardening gloves
- Plastic scraper
For doing rubbings (not allowed in many cemeteries)
- Large pieces of paper
- Preschool crayons (take paper off and turn lengthwise)
- Masking tape
To ensure readable photographs before you leave the cemetery
- Digital camera, extra batteries
- Aluminum foil or a mirror (to shine light or direct sunlight across a stone from the side)
- Chalk (to rub across lettering to make it readable. This is controversial; wash off if used)
- Water (in a spray bottle if possible) This is good for adding contrast to stones
To record inscriptions and placement of stones in the cemetery
- Pen &/or pencil with sharpener
- Magnifying glass
For comfort and safety
- Insect repellent
- Nail polish (to take the itch out of chigger bites)
- Snacks and water
- Moist towelettes
- Long stick for snake avoidance
- Umbrella and extra shoes in the car in case if rain
Also carry, on your person, in a safe place
- Cell phone
- Car keys
The Greenfield, Adair County, Cemetery that we visited the same day turned out to be a treasure trove of information. It holds many of my Quinn and our Doane ancestors as well as collateral families. One visit to this cemetery was not enough. I have been back many times.
Clyde C. Doane 1879 - 1928
M. Estella Doane 1892 - 1935
308 NE Elm St
Greenfield, IA 50849-1111
Libraries Can Be Exceptional Resources
This trip was the first time since college that I went to a library to do research. The Greenfield, Adair County; Leon, Decatur County; and Mt Ayr, Ringgold County libraries held much more relevant information than we had time to explore on this trip.
Greenfield Library, 202 South 1st Street, Greenfield, IA 50849-1470, (641) 743-6120
Leon Public Library, 200 West 1st Street, Leon, IA 50144-1355, (641) 466-3746
Mt. Ayr Public Library, 121 West Monroe Street, Mount Ayr, IA 50854-2159, (641) 464-2159
Libraries and the librarians to be found in them are high on my list of research tools. A small town library can have donated books from across the country and sometimes a surprisingly large local history and genealogy section. The librarian can be counted on to be helpful. Sometimes, though, they will bend over backwards, call locals who might help, steer you toward unbound volumes of local history, sexton’s records, manuscripts, pictures, obituaries, etc. The list is endless. I’ve always found that being friendly, telling them how far I’ve come and what I’m looking for brings a great response.
We stopped at several courthouses, in Adair, Ringgold and Decatur counties.
All allowed us access to the books though we had not called ahead. We wrote out information from the huge, heavily bound registers and indexes and got the copies we needed. This was my very first experience with courthouses, so I was rather intimidated. I didn’t log the details for this trip, but courthouse copies are usually expensive and often have to be made by a staff member. If it’s a courthouse you may never visit again, it’s safest to get all the copies you might need. If it’s one you can frequent, write out some information from the indexes with a plan to return.
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