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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Who are you and what are you doing here?

Charles Van Pelt has a great deal to answer for namely, who is he and what is he doing in my Sharp family plot?  There's no Lucy nor Linus but there is Charles, having tragically died of meningitis at the tender age of 20 and he's right between my English-born great grands, Wm and Sarah Sharp.  And so I'm off on another dogleg trying to piece the past together.

Syracuse Herald Journal, January 2, 1929

Obviously, this clipping helps and Mrs. Harry Sharp screams "Hey, over here!" to me but while I know Harry--my grandma's uncle, I don't have a name for his wife.  And the fertile Mrs. Cora Van Pelt was Mrs. George Padbury many moons before- having 4 Padbury babies before she had 5 Van Pelt babies-- so who is who?  Also, I know Charles died from meningitis because years ago some lovely woman who worked at Oakwood cemetery sent me a list of the 8 people buried in lot 132 and how they died.  Only now do I have the wherewithal to follow some of it up, including Charles.

Okay, Mrs. Harry Sharp, why would Harry bury his brother-in-law next to his parents?  Was there no Van Pelt family plot?  Look, I'm not trying to sound hard here.  I think it is lovely the Sharps said "We've got room,"  because they were all still mourning the death of their patriarch Wm six months earlier.  It is just that, on paper, it looks like Charles is right in between Sarah and William.  That may not be how it is in reality but it has been nearly 20 years since I was at this gravesite so I'd be assessing it differently now.

....Much, much later that night and the the knot is out.  Harry was married twice--first to Mary who died I know not when but before 1925 and second to Edna May Van Pelt who was only 5 years (if that) older than Harry's eldest child.  Charles Van Pelt was Edna's brother and he is not in between Wm and Sarah after all though on paper he is B to their A and C.  The kind keeper of info sent a little sketch of the plot layout and it doesn't read left to right as one would think.  If only I had actually looked at the whole page before I got my dander up.  It's funny how you stop seeing things after 20 years of pushing it around.

I'm still cleaning and sorting and tossing and documenting so that the next generation won't have so many layers to sift through.  I did find this awesome photo of Harry from the days of his first marriage when he went off to France in WWI.

Kind of funny how I cut it so that it looks like Harry found the Anthrax Germ.

Harry and Edna were married until Harry's death in 1971.  Edna died in 1993.  They are buried in Oakwood Morningside as well but I have not located their graves yet.  It's on my list.