Category Archives: Tombstone Tuesday

Tombstone Tuesday – John O’Connell

John O’Connell is my great-great-grandfather, finding his place happened to be a lucky find for me when I was at Newberry Library about 1 year ago. I was searching through a folio of cemetery transcriptions for Washington County, NY, I was looking for my great-grandfather Dennis O’Connell, because I knew from his obituary in the St. Catherine’s Standard that he had been sent home to Hudson Falls for burial. When I found Dennis in the book, he was listed with 5 other O’Connell’s buried in St. Paul’s Cemetery in Hudson Falls, NY. I called the church the next day and confirmed that Dennis and John were both related to me (I did this through the wives they both had listed in their cemetery books). It took me about a year, but I finally made it to the cemetery and the surrounding area.

John O’Connell 1858 – 1931

John O’Connell b.1858 m.(date unknown) Bridget Curran b. 1862 d. 1895

they had 7 children:

Harriet (Hattie) O’Connell b.1880 m. Fred Langdon/Langevin

Elizabeth O’Connell b. 1881 m. Frederick Daha

Dennis O’Connell b. 1883 m. Rose Springer

John O’Connell b. 1885 m. Beatrice (unknown last name)

Daniel O’Connell b. 1886 (not 100% on his line yet)

Catherine O’Connell b. 12 Dec 1887 m. William Pratt

Mary O’Connell b. 1893 m. WC Herring


Tombstone Tuesday – Sophia Utton

Sophia Utton was born Sophia Springer in March of 1883 to Alexander Springer  (known as Hilaire Fontaine, before 1880) and Mary Cote (known as Marie Cote prior to 1880). Sophia was one of seven children.

Sophia married Leroy Utton of Vermont around 1901 according to the 1910 census, at this point they had already moved to Chicago, Cook Co., IL. Where they remained. Sophia and Leroy owned and ran a small grocery store in the city of Chicago.

According to the stories I have recently heard, Sophia was a kind woman with a heart of gold. She gave jobs to family members who needed them, a place to sleep to those who did not have one and money to family members who really needed it.  Sophia died in 1955, I am still searching for an obituary or anything in SSDI. 

Sophia Utton gravesite, Acacia Park Cemetery, Chicago, Cook, IL © 2010

This is the earliest of my family, on this side, to be in Chicago. I wonder if they were the driving force for the family to move this way, little by little. 

Last Wednesday, I went to the cemetery to photograph the headstone of Sophia and Leroy at Acacia Park Cemetery. I went into the office to find out exactly where they are located. All I knew was in the mausoleum. They ladies informed that they are located in the “old” section (I did not really think of the 1950’s as old) and it was not accessible to the general public, only immediate family members are allowed in this section. They wanted to know how I was related, so I advised them she was my second great-aunt. They were not to impressed by this and said that was not immediate family. But, they would allow me to go up there. It seems that the steps to the third floor of the mausoleum collapsed years before and they have not been fixed, the only way up is by elevator. They asked an employee, Angel to take me up there. Angel met me at the mausoleum and we walked through the first floor, which was the most beautiful mausoleum I have ever seen. In the “old” section on the first floor, it was all marble with many roman columns and stained glass windows. It was absolutely gorgeous. If I was alone, I probably would have taken many pictures there. Once Angel and I made it to the third floor of the old section, I was glad to have someone with me. We exited the elevator and stood in a room about 10′ long and 5′ wide. Could be spooky if I was alone. 

Thanks to Angel and the staff at Acacia Park, for permitting me into the “old” section of the mausoleum.

Tombstone Tuesday – Edith and William Richmond

Photo: Headstone of Edith Richmond (1902-2004) and William H Richmond (1899-1986),  Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. Digital image. Privately held by Terri O’Connell, Illinois. ©2010.


William Hunter Richmond was the first child of John E Richmond and Nettie A Warden, he was born 14 Aug 1899 in Stanford, Raleigh, WV. He was 1 of 9 children. 

Edith Richmond was born Edith Merrill Walker was the child of James E Walker and Melvina Rollins. At this point I have no further information on the Walker family. 

William and Edith married 30 Mar 1922 in Raleigh County, WV. They had 5 children together. William H Jr, Reba, Maxine, Jean and James. In the 1950’s William and Edith relocated from WV to IL and stayed there until the death of William Sr in 1986. Edith moved to VA with her daughter in the 1990’s and returned to Chicago upon her death. Both rest peacefully at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago, IL.

Tombstone Tuesday – Gary Collins

© Copyright 2009 Terri O’Connell

Gary J Collins

December 1, 1970 – December 27, 2003

(buried at Rosehill Cemetery – Chicago, IL)


Gary is my brother in law. He is one of 11 children, with 2 younger brothers, 2 older sisters and 7 older brothers. The Collins family is large and loving. They accept everyone into their hearts and family, I am truly grateful for this! 

Gary died in 2003, in a terrible car accident. He was on his way home for a family celebration, a nephew had been married out of state and the family was coming together to celebrate his union. Gary was less than a mile from his apartment when his car was struck by a drunk driver. The drunk driver had minimal injuries and was taken to the local hospital. Gary was not that lucky, he died at the scene.

Since this tragic accident our family has become supporters of MADD and I ask all those reading that through the holidays (and any day) please have a designated driver. Keep your friends and family safe. Life is short, make the most of it now!


Happy Birthday Gary, we love and miss you!

Tombstone Tuesday – John and Nettie Richmond


© Copyright 2009 Terri O’Connell

My son and I recently took a trip East to look at colleges. On our way home we stopped in Beckley, WV to visit a few cemeteries and to show him where his Grandma was born. We only had a short period of time to visit, but we made the most of it. I believe we saw about 4 cemeteries that day. My son got to stand at the grave of his 6th, 4th and 3rd Great Grandparents. It is all in a days work. I am grateful to Bob, who is  a distant relative on my Warden side, for taking the time to show us  the many different cemeteries. 

John and Nettie Warden are my Great Great Grandparents. They are one of the main reasons I made sure we stopped in Beckley on our way home from this road trip. I have recently found out that John Richmond was a 3rd degree Mason and Nettie was in the Order of the Eastern Star. I wanted to see of their tombstone had any symbols on it. Unfortunately, there were none. 

Though there were no symbols on the stone, the trip was well worth while. I met a few relatives and enjoyed my breif stay. I have learned that the Warden side of the family has a yearly family reunion, down the road from John and Nettie’s house. I hope to be able to attend one soon.


Tombstone Tuesday – S Martha Warden

100_3995©2009 Terri O’Connell

S. Martha Warden is the wife of Thomas. Thomas Warden’s headstone was featured in my last Tombstone Tuesday post. Both are buried at the Warden Family Cemetery in Raleigh County, WV.

Many of their descendants still live in Raleigh County today. 

Tombstone Tuesday – Thomas Warden


Copyright © 2009 Terri O’Connell


Thomas Warden is the earliest ancestor on my Warden line. The Warden family ties into my Richmond line. Nettie Ann Warden married John Eldridge Richmond. Thomas is Nettie’s great, great, great grandfather. Which makes Thomas my GGGGG Grandfather.

I was lucky enough to get to visit the gravesite of many of my ancestors this past week and share this with my 17 year old son. Once I am done going through all the information on this line. I will post more on the Warden family!

Tombstone Tuesday – Fred and Ella Jaeger





1893 – 1961


1898 – 1956


Fred was born 27 Dec 1893, Zwittan, Czechoslovakia. He immigrated to the United States through Canada. He entered in the US in Port Huron, MI on 20 Sep 1913. Five years later he married  Ella Martha Marie Jonas from Morton Grove, IL on 26 Nov 1918, in Chicago, IL. Ella was the first generation to be born in America, (she was 1 of 12 children). Both of her parents immigrated to the States from Germany. 

Fred and Ella raised their family in Chicago, IL. They had four girls together: Ruth (23 Feb 1916), Ida (1 Jan 1919), Dorothy (24 Feb 1920)  and Irene (31 Oct 1923). 

Fred and Ella are my paternal Great Grandparents. There is still more research that needs to be completed on this line. 

Tombstone Tuesday


William 1920 – 2001

Together forever

Dorothy 1920 – 2002


Tombstone Tuesday – O’Connell Grandparents



Lawrence A.


Ida M



Ida and Larry are buried at Memory Gardens and Monuments in Arlington Heights, IL. Learn more about Ida and Larry from previous posts.


Unfortunately, while I was in the cemetery to take these photographs, the weather was changing quickly. I was limited with what I can do while I was there. I will need to go back to the cemetery to clean up the family plots and take some more pictures of the older part of the cemetery. 

%d bloggers like this: