Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Surprise Grandfather - Gilbert Hayse

Ancestors can just pop up where you least expect them.   While on my annual visit to see my parents this summer, I asked my father to take me to the usual family cemeteries to take pictures of the ancestor stones I may have missed in the past.  Dad is pretty good about visiting these cemeteries to make sure that our family member headstones are kept up and he was in a talkative mood and told me some stories I had never heard as we drove around.  I also pointed out to him in one cemetery his great-great grandparents' stones and he was not even aware that they were his great-great-grandparents!

Family Farm in Bonnie, IL
As we left that cemetery he continued talking as we drove along the back country roads and showed me the sights including his old home site in Bonnie, Illinois which I was very familiar with - it was built by my great-grandfather Otis Green Wilson.   He then pulled into a small cemetery I had never seen before called Cubb Prairie Cemetery.   I thought I had heard of all the cemeteries in Jefferson County so I was pretty surprised.  We got out and walked around and I noticed a few stones with some familiar names, but they didn't really ring too many bells so I took a few pictures and we left.  When I got home to Florida I uploaded all the pictures I had taken and have gradually over the past few months been sorting and processing what I had taken last summer.

Just a few weeks ago, for some reason I was looking at my father's ancestry, in particular his 3x great-grandfather Gilbert Hayes (Hayse) and bells started going off in my head!!!  I opened up my photo program and sure enough, there was a picture of his headstone in Cubb Prairie Cemetery.  My mouth just fell open in shock that I had been standing there in front of that grave and didn't even realize who that was!  I have researched every cemetery in Jefferson County using the local genealogical society website and somehow have missed that.  It just goes to show that you  never know what you will find!

Now for a little background history - Gilbert Hayes born about 1783 North Carolina, married to Frances A. (unknown), came to Jefferson County, Ill from Rutherford County, TN with his wife and family sometime between 1840 and 1850.  His son John, was the father of my civil war great-great-grandfather George Washington Hayes who I discussed in a previous post.  Gilbert Hayse died 15 May 1854.  I can't wait to go back to Illinois next summer and take another look at that cemetery!


  1. Catching up on my back reading after Thanksgiving. This is great! I love these moments. Kudos on shooting the photos.

  2. Thanks, I'm dying to go back to that cemetery, I think I have discovered a few more of my people there!


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