Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 138

Today was a day of cemeteries and travel. It has also become quite cold. I spent most of the day bundled in layers including gloves and ear muffs. The wind was bitter.

I left my motel in Henderson headed for the countryside. I easily found (amazing) the Holloway cemetery and the old homestead. I knocked on the door of the house but no one was home. I took pictures anyway. I then went back down the road and drove into a residential home's driveway closest to the cemetery. Mr. Bill Forrester came out and graciously gave me all the access I wanted. The cemetery is on a slight rise with long range views over the tilled corn fields. About 20 graves for the Smith and Holloway families are enclosed in a deteriorating wrought iron fence. (Otherwise, the cemetery is in lovely condition.) Various children and grandchildren of Ann Starling Holloway (1777-1840) and John Holloway (1762-1825) were buried at the site along with Ann and John.

When I was finished photographing, Donna Forrester came out of the house and invited me in. She and Bill care for the cemetery since it is on their property. They are under no obligation to do so but have a deep sense of responsibility. They weed, water, rake and mow plus paint the fence. They are concerned about the fence as it approaches its 200th birthday - it will soon fall over just due to long exposure. They contacted the last direct Holloway descendant but she is not interested in paying for replacing the fence. After the last few days, I am getting obsessed with taking care of our family's resting places. I don't know if we can get local groups to adopt them or whether each part of our families should adopt a cemetery getting the kids and grandkids involved or just not fuss about them. Thoughts from others are welcome.

I then headed east to Springfield, KY. This was supposedly the resting place of William Starling, Ann Starling Holloway's father. His home, I think, was closer to Harrodsburg. I don't know why he was buried in Springfield. The genealogy section of the Washington County Public Library offered no clues. He is not mentioned in any local history nor is there a probate listing for him. The library did confirm that he was buried in the city cemetery which was just down the street. Hoping for the best (there is no master layout for the cemetery, associating names with plots - you just have to walk the graves), I bundled up and started looking at older stones. Wonderfully, within 20 minutes, I found William under a juniper tree. His grave is a large horizontal tomb with only his name and dates on it. The stone is broken but the grave seems to be intact. Many of the older stones are in much worse condition. However the cemetery is obviously maintained and stones are cared for as best as possible.

Finally, I drove to Frankfort, KY. I am here for a week. Tomorrow I will go into the KY Historical Society. Sunday, I will do chores and probably go to Harrodsburg to look for more information on Starlings. This search may spill over to Monday. Tuesday I will spend at the state archives and then Wed and Thurs, back to the Historical Society to fill in any Kentucky and Virginia gaps.

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