I received an email today that actually disturbed me. I'm not sure why I found it so disturbing, but here goes. There is a website I just LOVE called http://www.findagrave.com/. In my search for my family history, it has played a huge part in finding vital information of people on my family tree. I became a member last year and began to post my own memorials of my family and photos of graves I've taken. There is also a nice feature called "request a photo" which allows members to request photos of headstones of their family that are buried in far away places.
My paternal great-grandmother, Effie Furst Beck Cloos Roby, was on findgrave. Someone added her and someone else added her obituary. I added the photo request probably almost a year ago. Today I received the following email from findagrave:
Greetings from Find A Grave,
We are writing to let you know that a Find A Grave volunteer has reported a problem with your photo request for Effie Roby.
The general problem they reported is:
Cemetery office confirmed that this burial is unmarked
They also reported, specifically:
Walked the whole section they said she was buried in and found nothing. Went into the office and they confirmed there is no marker.
Due to this problem, we believe that this photo request can not be fulfilled. As a result, we are removing it. If you can fix the problems that were reported and believe a photo can be acquired, please feel free to make a new request.
I sent the email to my sister and she brought up a good point, why would someone go to the trouble and expense of writing an obituary, but not pay for a headstone? Well, maybe that was the financial circumstances of the family at the time.
At the time of her death, five of Effie's six children were still living (although Zetta was not mentioned in the obituary), and an unknown daughter was mentioned, one Georgia Roby of Chicago, a woman I still haven't been able to find.
So, my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my dad, and my dad's brother Raymond (who died at at the young age of 4) have no grave markers. In the case of my dad, that was his wish. I'm not so sure that was my grandmother's wish under the circumstances of her life and death, and feel that my grandparents probably couldn't afford a headstone for their young son Raymond in 1920. When I mentioned all these people without headstones to my sister, she said that it must be a family thing. I guess so.
Transcription of Effie Beck Cloos Roby's obituary:
Mrs. Effie Roby
Mrs. Effie Furst Roby, wife of Ellsworth E. Roby, died at 7:35 o'clock Monday morning at the family residence, 522 North Witt street. She would have been sixty years old in August. She had been in failing health for the last two years, but her condition did not become critical until five days ago, when pneumonia developed.
Mrs. Roby was born near Prairie Home, in Shelby county, Aug. 9, 1871, and was a daughter of Wells M. and Emma Beck. She is survived by her husband and the following children--Mrs. Ben Trump of Greenville, Mrs. Earl Robinson and Mrs. Wells Cloose of Los Angeles, Cal. and Mrs. Georgia Roby of Chicago. She also leaves a brother, Edgar Beck, Decatur, and the following sisters--Mrs. Zadie Loser, Los Angeles, Cal., Mrs. Hattie Wempen, Ontario, Cal., Mrs Edna Coffman, Laramie, Wyo. and Mrs. Grace Thompson, Decatur. The body was taken to the Moran & Sons funeral home where friends may call.
The funeral will be held at 3:30 o'clock Wednesday afternoon at the Moran & Sons chapel. The burial will be in Fairlawn Cemetery.
Decatur Daily Review, The (Decatur, IL) 13 Apr 1931
I do have Effie's death certificate and can say that pneumonia was not the cause of death listed. What baffles me is that she lived 59 years, had six children, two marriages and one divorce, a hard life, and appeared numerous times in newspaper articles, yet I cannot find a picture of her. I know someone has pictures and maybe it's the decendants of the mysterious Georgia Roby.