Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Bittersweet

Bittersweet in Budde Cemetery

Bittersweet in Budde Cemetery

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Deep In The Heart of Texas

The design below is of a unique tombstone that I ran across while photographing some "Famous Texas Heroes" in Morton Cemetery in Richmond, Texas.  As my Texas heart filled with pride, I just knew I had to have a picture of it.  What a wonderful depiction of the Texas spirit as well as the well-known song, "Deep in the Heart of Texas."  [lyrics by June Hershey & music by Don Swander].  While many Texan elementary children are taught these lyrics every year, many Texans who attend the Astros and Rangers baseball games sing it after singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch.  It's what we proudly call, "a Texas thang."

Deep In The Heart of Texas

This tombstone belongs to Russell Gardner Sharp, a long-time citizen of Sugar Land, Texas in Fort Bend County.  While Mr. Sharp cannot be found in any Texas history textbook, he is a wonderful representation of a Texan.  He was a pillar of his community, a graduate of the University of Texas [Sigh. The rival to the university that I graduated from...] and served as a First Lieutenant in the Air Force.  According to his online obituary, among the many things that Mr. Sharp is known for is being "a co-founder of Texas Medical Products in 1973, specializing in Open Heart Surgery Equipment."  [Ah.]  Indeed, this tombstone is quite befitting of this Texan.  May he rest in peace ~ deep in the heart of Texas.  [Russell Gardner Sharp's tombstone has also been posted to the findagrave.com website.]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

So, How Do You Pronounce...

Budde Cemetery
Last week I featured a tombstone that was for a beloved family pet named Kitty Budde, which can be found in Budde Cemetery in Spring, Texas.  I'm not related to Kitty nor the Budde family, but I do have a small connection to them...

So, How Do You Pronounce...
When we moved back to Houston, Texas and the surrounding area [which is what we, around here, simply call Houston], we lived in an apartment for a while.  We found this really nice apartment complex located on Budde Rd.  I asked my husband how to pronounce it.  I mean, was it "Budde" as in "buddy", "Budde" as in "booty"?  I was thinking at the time that I'd hate to get that one wrong.  We soon found out from the apartment complex that it was pronounced "Budde" as in "booty." [Sigh.]  Oh, well.  How many times was I really going to have repeat it, and if I was talking to a local, it shouldn't be a big deal.  Right?

Pause, Snort, and Sigh
Wrong.  When I called to set-up the utilties, the response was always the same.  I'd say we need to setup service on Budde Rd., and the customer service representative would pause, snort [yes, actually snort], and reply, "Budde Rd.?"  After I would confirm it, they'd pull it up on their computer and ask, "Are you sure that it's not pronounced "buddy"?  I would reply [with great dignity, of course], "No,  it's Budde." Even the bank's customer service representative was stunned.  Everyone gave the exact same response.  Then when we finally moved, I got the same response when I was transferring the service.  [Sigh.]

 An Old "Friend" Revisited
Several months back, when researching Old Town Spring, Texas and the Wunsche family.  My old friend, Budde, popped up again.  Online I stumbled across and  found 4 self-driving tours of Spring, Texas and the surrounding areas that included all the old German settlements in the area.  When I say "stumbled upon it," I really do mean stumble because it was written by the Klein Historical Society, but it is accessible only through Klein Independent School District's website under their "History of the Klein Area."  [You really have to be looking for it.]  There are 4 tours that include historical homes, cemeteries [including family cemeteries], and property once owned by prominent [mostly] German settlers.  There is no date of when they were written, but it seems they were written about 20 years ago.  Tour Four is entitled, "Wandering in Spring" and it includes Budde Cemetery.  I really wanted to find this cemetery because I wanted to meet the family that had caused so much grief with my address.

 How Hard Could It Be?
Of course, this adventure was "tacked on" to the end of another cemetery visit, and I hadn't mapped it yet, but I figured, "How hard could it be?"  [famous last words]  I thought it would be really easy to find it because Budde Rd. is not a long road and has definite "ends."  What I mean is that it doesn't end, then pick up somewhere else.  It just ends.  I had lived on it, and had driven from end to end. So, easy, right? [The map below is of Budde Rd., Spring, Texas]

View Larger Map

Why I Need/Want an iPhone, or, at the very least, GPS
Wrong.  I combed Budde Rd.  over and over and over again.  I could not find Budde Cemetery on Budde Rd.   I decided then to take a look at the driving tour directions, which I had been using earlier that day to try to find another cemetery.  This other cemetery adventure was unsuccessful, but I was not going home empty-handed.  I didn't consult this at first because the Budde Cemetery was in the middle, and I didn't feel I needed to read the directions stop-by-stop to find it.  [I mean, I had lived on the street.]  After consulting the driving tour directions numerous times, I find out that there is a Budde Cemetery Road [but it's only called Budde Rd. in the tour guide].  So if you're only looking for Budde Rd, you won't find the cemetery.  Budde Cemetery Rd. does pick up where Budde Rd would be if it continued south along Interstate-45.  The street sign is not easily seen from the cross street, Louetta Rd.  Louetta Rd. is a very busy road used by commuters to get to Interstate 45 on their way to the city for work, and Budde Cemetery Rd is very close to Interstate 45. Therefore, it is easily missed.   [But, hey, I was on a mission.]  When I turned down Budde Cemetery Rd., I felt like I was no where near a major freeway.  There were tons and tons of pine and oak trees that silence the "busy-ness" of the world outside.  There were small homes that looked to be a hundred years old or more, and then there were new homes that were huge.  I did recognize some of the surnames on the mailboxes as being the same as some of the ones from the driving tours.  [The first map shows Budde Cemetery ("B" on the map) in relationship to the actual Budde Rd. ("A" on the map).  The second map is a close-up of Budde Cemetery.]

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

Spring's Settlers
Budde Cemetery is located at the very end of Budde Cemetery Rd., and what a very lovely "end" it is.  It's definitely quiet.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is so well taken care of, and walking through it [even in 100 degree Texas heat] was even more pleasant.  In fact, it was calming for though I was truly alone, I was amongst those who had first settled the Spring area.  Not only is the Budde family buried there [and Kitty], but many of the first [mostly] German settlers are buried there as well.  I felt like I already knew them, and not just because a lot of  major streets in Spring are named after them, but because I had read quite a bit of the Spring area's history while studying the Wunsche family.

Budde,cemetery,cemeteries,Spring,Budde Cemetery

Wanting To Keep It "Mine"
Now, locating the Budde family was not easy.  In fact, I found Kitty Budde before I found any others.  Then, finally I found a Gottlibe (Gottlieb) Budde.  Her full name was Gottliebe Christiana (Wunsche) Budde and she was the wife of Herman Heinrich Budde, the man with the name that has given me so much grief.  One whose name gets repeated often because, as mentioned before. Budde Rd. is located off a busy cross street and runs parallel to Interstate 45, which is just a block away.]  As  I photographed his wife's tombstone, I wondered if Herman ever thought in a million years that his name would be so well-known in the year 2009 in the area that he helped to settle.  Probably not.  As I got back into my car and turned on the air conditioning, I had this feeling of not wanting to share this cemetery.  It's so well-hidden, and it seems to be a private retreat from all the "busy-ness" of modern life, but here it is.  If you are ever in the neighborhood, I definitely recommend stopping by and visiting the settlers of Spring, Texas.


Finding "Budde's Way"
As a side note, I did look up the origin of the name Budde.  I usually use "Behind the Name" [both for given names and surnames], but it didn't have Budde.  So, I googled the name and only the "Coat of Arms" site seemed to have an explanation of the name:
Biedenweg , an unusual German place name, means "by the way" as a location of where someone lived -- 'way' meaning course or path. An Old Middle German given name was Budde , which evolved into several surnames. Budde's Way, or the path to Budde's settlement or enclosure, might have been taken as a surname for someone who lived along that trail -- as Buddeweg or Budweg .

Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?  They just forgot to mention that "Budde's way" was hard to find [not to mention "fun" to pronounce].

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Morton Cemetery: Jane Long

Jane Long, "The Mother of Texas", Morton Cemetery, Richmond, Texas

For information on Jane Long, visit my companion blog Texas Family Stories.

Jane Long Tombstone 2

Jane Long Tombstone 1

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Hanging Out

Hanging Out

While I mulled over my genealogy "to-do" list in my head as the kids and I drove to Galveston Island, Texas last Friday, I had to mentally "stop" and be realistic about what we'd actually get accomplished.  After all, we were going to be on a beach for goodness sakes.  Also, the best way that I've found to get my kids to behave is to promise to do something "fun", but hold-off on the "fun" until I'm done with everything else.  Apparently, hanging out in a cemetery does not compare to frolicking in the surf.  [Duh.]  As soon as we drove up to Lakeview Cemetery, my kids were already asking, "So, when are we going to the beach?"  Although, who could blame them?  The beach is about a block from the cemetery, and you can hear the waves breaking from there.  I knew I wasn't going to get much done.

The first time that we ever went to Lakeview Cemetery was March 2008, about 6 months before hurricane Ike hit Galveston Island.  I was extremely confident that day about finding my Marschall family's tombstones.  After all, I had the section and lot numbers, and Lakeview Cemetery is not that big of a cemetery.  However, my hopes were soon dashed when I realized how much Lakeview was neglected.  Additionally, the older tombstones [like the ones I was looking for], were either broken, unreadable, and/or just plain missing.  To add to my difficulties, some well-meaning person(s) had planted groundcover, I guess, to help beautify the cemetery.  Unfortunately, I suspected that possibly underneath the now dense groundcover were probably my [and other's] family members' tombstones.  I went away that day more than a little disappointed.

Due to all the flooding that occured from Hurricane Ike, most, if not all, cemeteries are in horrid condition.  Just after the storm, there were many coffins that had been unearthed.  The photos here [click link and scroll down to photo #23 and photo #24] depict the conditions at the time.  After seeing the photos, I thought what a shame, and what a big and tedious chore it was going to be to fix all the cemeteries.  While that's true, I also thought that possibly in the long run, this might help some of the cemeteries, which there are so many of in Galveston.  Galveston Island is known as the "cemetery with a beach" because there are so many of them.  Unfortunately, though, the older ones are extremely neglected.  My thought was that possibly the flooding would have unearthed and/or loosened the groundcover, revealing old tombstones.  [Hey, a girl can dream...]

The one aspect of the landscape on Galveston Island that I was not expecting was the effects of all the salt water on the grass and trees.  The prolonged exposure to the salt water flooding killed most of the live oak trees on Galveston Island, leaving mostly just the palm trees.  This, too, affected the look of Lakeview Cemetery as well as all the cemeteries leaving them all to look completely barren [if not ugly].  However, the clearing of the trees and bushes in Lakeview Cemetery did reveal some old tombstones.  In looking at the back of the cemetery in the section that my family should be in and where most of the older tombstones are, I did find more tombstones located there, that I don't remember seeing before.  Also, along the back wall [that is about 1 foot high]  are older tombstones [some of which are broken] leaning up against the wall that were not there before.  Likewise, the groundcover is loosened, if not gone, in some places.  A cursory look in the section did not reveal where my grandparents, John and Emma (Schleicher) Marschall, their toddler son Robert, their son Rolland, their daughter Mary, and Mary's husband Harry Esperson rest, but according to all records that I have found, they are there.

Just as the sirens' song was powerful for Odysseus and his men, so were the melodic sounds of the waves hitting the beach for me and my children.  However we did not have the same protective benefits as Odysseus and his men.  Our ears were not plugged with beeswax nor were we bound by ropes to the mast of our "ship," and we gladly followed the sounds of the nearby beach.  The same beach where our ancestors once walked, and now near where they rest.  My search for their exact resting place is not done, but I'll be back.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: One of the "Old Three Hundred"

 Morton Cemetery, Richmond, Ft. Bend Co., Texas

William Morton was one of Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three Hundred," [which you can find more about in my companion blog, "Texas Family Stories" here].  The Morton Cemetery is located in Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas., on part of the land grant that William first received when he and his family came from Alabama.  He drowned in 1833 in the Brazos River Flood.  However, before that in 1825, a fellow Masonic brother by the name of Robert Gillespie [from Scotland] died suddenly at William's home, and William, being a skilled brick and stone mason, built this monument for him.  When Santa Ana's army stopped off here right before the Battle of San Jacinto [where Sam Houston defeated Santa Ana, leading to Texas' independence from Mexico], they began to destroy the memorial until they were stopped by a Masonic officer.  The Morton Lodge No. 72 A.F. & A.M. restored the monument in 1936, and in 2001 a marker was dedicated on the 150th  anniversary of the Morton Lodge in memory of William Morton.  There are inscriptions on each side of the monument.


1. The William Morton Marker located i
n Morton Cemetery in Richmond, Texas.
The Handbook of Texas Online
3. All pictures in the designs are of the private collection of Caroline Pointer.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: A Beautiful Gravesite

A Fun and Educational Day Trip
Last week on Twitter, I mentioned that my neighbor invited my kids and I to go to the Fort Bend County Museum and the Morton Cemetery.  What a gem of a find!  The museum was chock full of the historical account of the beginnings of Fort Bend County, Texas.  I'll introduce you to this history through the pictures that I took of the tour [that include some beautiful antiques, too] on my Texas Family Stories blog. So, keep an eye out because you do not want to miss those photos and stories.

Morton Cemetery
As we were leaving the museum, I mentioned that we were headed out to Morton Cemetery to take some pictures, and our tour guide graciously told us that all the "important & old" graves were on the left side of the cemetery.  Thank goodness she mentioned this tidbit of information, not because it's a real big cemetery, but because it was so hot outside!  All the "important and old" graves were under big shade trees, but it was still hot in the shade.  However, I was not thinking about that because I was entranced and humbled to be at the sites of so many graves of people who played such an important part in Texas history.  There were so many to take pictures of, but, of course, I had done my homework, and I had a "list" of "must have's."  They weren't too hard to find, and I have plenty of pictures and stories to share with you in the coming weeks.  Along with some historical one's, I took pictures of some that had unique and elaborate tombstones.

He Had Me At "Maroon"
As I was finishing up taking pictures of two very important Texas history celebs' tombstones, I turned around and saw this...




"Wow, or rather, Whoop!" was all I could think.  You see, I am a "Class of '94" Former Student of Texas A&M University [an "Aggie"] along with my Dad and my brother.  [I have a nephew graduating shortly, too.]  It's a family "thang," and we're proud of it.  Apparently, so was John Walter Gupton, DVM!  This certainly qualifies as an Aggie heaven on earth, and it was absolutely breath-taking!  Even if you're not from Texas or not an "Aggie," you can still appreciate the beauty of the gravesite [unless, of course, you're from that "other" school in Texas...*shudder*].

Who was John Walter Gupton, DVM?
Along with being a fellow Aggie [Class of '49] and according to an online obituary of his that I found on the AVMA site, he was a resident of Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas, where he practiced as a veterinarian for 32 years [owned Richmond Veterinarian Hospital].  According to his gravesite, he was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy.  There hasn't been much work done on his family lines that I could find online, but I did find his family in the census. His grandfather, Samuel D. Gupton came from Mississippi to Texas sometime before 1884, which was when he married Dora Christine Jansen [of Denmark and French ancestry]. They had nine children in West Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas [an adjoining county and a parent county to Fort Bend County] with John Walter's father, Phillip,  being number seven.  Phillip was a dairy man in 1930 in West Columbia, while his brother Sam was a grocery merchant, his brother Henry a salesman in a grocery store [small town, so probably his brother's store], and his other brother a machinist in a machine shop.  According to Findagrave.com and Interment.net John Walter's father, Phillip, as well as a lot of other "Gupton's," are buried in Columbia Cemetery.  I tried to go a little further back, but it looks like it's going to take a little digging [a.k.a. a trip to the library] to discern the correct Gupton family in Mississippi that this John Walter descends from.  The good news is that, Samuel D.'s [his grandfather's] father was born in North Carolina.  The bad news is that as you go back in time, the Gupton population exponentially increases in North Carolina in relation to Mississippi's population of Gupton's.  Oh well, I hope you enjoyed the pictures of John Walter's gravesite, and certainly his family can be counted as a typical Texas family that came here looking to start a new life, and they did.

Gig'em Aggies!

[Census was accessed through Heritage Quest Online and Ancestry.com.]

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: All People Great and Small

All People Great and Small
My family and I took a day trip to escape the rain in Houston, Texas a little over a week ago.  We ended up in Nacogdoches, Texas [a.k.a. the Piney Woods].  While we did not go far away enough to escape the precipitation, we did have some time there to explore between "rains".  One of the places we visited was Oak Grove Cemetery which happens to also be a Texas Landmark.  Though I took many pictures, I thought I'd share with you 2 of them that I think accurately represent the cemetery.  I'll be sharing the rest of my pictures of this cemetery and of other Nacogdoches landmarks on my Texas Family Stories blog tomorrow.
Jessie N. Ingraham
Jessie N. Ingraham
This first collage that I made was of a child's tombstone that my own children pointed out to me.  I took several pictures in hopes of identifying Jesie N. Ingraham.  It wasn't hard to find her story.  She was the daughter of George F. and Martha Ingraham of Nacogdoches, Texas.  Her father George was born in New York and served in the Civil War on the Confederate side for the state of Texas.  He was a lawyer as well as both a county and district judge in Nacogdoches.  He also served on the first Board of Directors for the  Nacogdoches and Southeastern Railroad Company.  Jessie was born 26 Jul 1883 and died on 6 Oct 1884 and was one of nine children belonging to George and Martha.
John S. Roberts
John S. Roberts
Much has been written about John Roberts.  As the pictures indicate in this collage, he was one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and one of the four signers who is buried in this cemetery.  He was born in Virginia 13 Jul 1796, and his path of migration to Texas included the states of Tennessee and Louisiana via the miltitary.  He was also a part of the Fredonian Rebellion in Nacogdoches, Texas.  He married a recent widow, Harriet Fenley Collier, and they eventually settled down in Nacogdoches, Texas where he was a merchant beginning in 1827.  He also led the Nacogdoches company into the siege of Bexar in 1835, on the eve of Texas' Independence.

For More of the Story...
For more of Oak Grove Cemetery's story and other landmarks found on this excursion, please read my Texas Family Stories blog tomorrow.



1. Jessie N. Ingraham:

Stephen F. Austin State University, Ralph W. Steen Library, s.v. "," http://libweb.sfasu.edu/proser/etrc/collections/manuscript/personal/ingraham/index.html (accessed 2 Jun 2009).

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/NN/eqn1.html (accessed 2 Jun 2009).

2. John S. Roberts:

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v."," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/articles/RR/fro14.html (accessed 2 Jun 2009).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Debut of Family Stories in Stone

This is the debut post of "Family Stories in Stone." I'll be highlighting family stories that I've discovered in cemeteries. Have you ever wandered around a cemetery looking at the tombstones? The ones that always capture my attention are the older ones that maybe are crumbling or hard to read. Does anyone know their family story? Is there anyone left to tell it? Does anyone care?
Well, I do. It's fascinating to think that each tombstone represents not just one person's story, but a whole family's story. Here is a picture of the Wunsche/Wuensche Family Cemetery located in Spring, Texas in Harris County. It collectively represents not just one family, but is a representation of the German immigration to Texas, which started in the 1840's. It's also a symbol of all settlers of this area, which is north of Houston, Texas. A majority of the graves are of the Wunsche/Wuensche family and some belong to the Kuehlne family. This family cemetery is "sandwiched" between Spring High School and Interstate 45. [Yes, you read correctly.] In fact it's adjacent to Interstate 45, and it's a wonderful visual of juxtaposition...the new with the old. Most pass by this cemetery not ever knowing that it's here. Never knowing that they are passing history. While the cemetery is in need of some clean-up, for the most part, it is navigable and readable. There is only one marker that didn't have any inscriptions. However, the above ground crypts are in very bad condition. It seems a little lonely even though there is "busy-ness" surrounding it.
As the cars passed by at high speeds, and as the high school students went to and fro, I stood there taking pictures of the cemetery trying not to disturb the Texas wildflowers growing throughout the cemetery. Other than knowing that this family was a founding family of the area, I really didn't know what their family story was. Like everyone else, I just passed it by...until now.

To find out the Wunsche/Wuensche family story [and for one of the best places to get a burger], please read my new blog, "Texas Family Stories." It's a tour of Texas, one landmark at a time...Though the 2 blogs are independent of each other, they will sometimes intersect. Here's a riddle: what do you get when you add East Texas cemeteries to Texas landmarks?...Family Stories!