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29 July 2012

Journey to the Past: Oak Grove / Georgesville Cemetery

Entrance to Oak Grave Cemetery
Photo by Dave at FindAGrave
It was 10 am and I felt very discouraged by my venture to Obetz. I had hoped to do so much more work. I had called ahead to Oak Grove and learned there were no cemetery maps but that the cemetery was considered very small. The city of Georgesville cares for this cemetery and if I had a cell phone then someone would meet me there and personally take me to the stone. I don't have a cell phone and didn't know when to make an appointment. So the office had someone go to the cemetery find the stones I was looking for and gave me a rough description of how to find the stones. So with “go to the cemetery care building, travel down the hill and it's a few rows in”, I headed to Oak Grove. 

I didn't NEED to go to Oak Grove but I wanted to see if I could get a better picture than what was placed on Find-A-Grave for Michael and Caroline Billman. Caroline is my 3rd great-grandmother on the Geiszler line (Caroline Mack Geiszler Billma). Michael Billman is her second husband. Her son by her first marriage, my 2nd great-grandfather Henry Joseph GEISZLER, is also supposed to be buried on their plot. The grounds keeper said I would find Michael and Caroline but there was no stone for Henry.

Caroline Mack Geiszler Billman
Oak Grove Cemetery
Find A Grave Memorial #25435992

Apparently, Oak Grove's cemetery records were destroyed by fired at some point. The city has done all that it could to recreate the records but admits a sadness of not having complete records, especially for the older sections of the cemetery.

Oak Grove is a small cemetery. I soon found the building and wasn't exactly sure which way 'down hill' was. However, it's a small cemetery and I figured that I could find it. I thankfully chose the right 'down hill' as I came to an older section of the cemetery with stones that were greatly faded, broken, etc. Just before I had finished walking the entire section, I found the Billmann obelisk. I found the newer stone of Neal Billman their grand son. Try as I might, I couldn't get a better photograph of these older stones as they were inside a heavily shaded area. Water and reflectors just didn't help. (Admittedly I'm not a great photographer). 

Then I noticed two small markers near the obelisk. The stones were weather worn but no carvings could be distinguished. Standing in this section, I'm lead to believe that these stones are for family members of the Billmans. Know that Henry was interred on their section, I believe that one of these stones belongs to my 2nd great-grandfather Henry but I don't know which (and I can't prove my theory). 

Small marker near Billman Obelisk in Oak Grove Cemetery

I was getting hungry and had so many more cemeteries to visit, I didn't take any additional photos and I moved on. So, I only took a total of 5 photographs in this cemetery.

This is another installment in a lengthy multi-series post about the fantastic research trip I took to Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. If you're just joining the this series, you'll be able to see every post under the label Research Trip.

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