Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Shrock Cemetery

SHROCK cemetery is the very first cemetery I ever took pictures in. 
Way before Billion Graves.

At the time (2005) Carolyn Coffman, her husband Richard and daughter Connie had just finished encoding DeReese Clark I's cards from his 1955 reading of Mount Hope cemetery and they were bored.

They had always worked as a pair extracting records from microfilms onto the computer: one reading the record, the other one encoding. Unfortunately as our Stake had opted out of the extraction program we were no longer receiving materials to work on.  We had called Salt Lake City and they had said we could start an individual program but it was quickly clear the true purpose had escaped the people we needed to clear this through here.

The question was "How are we going to keep Carolyn and Richard busy?"  It was more about helping them feel productive as their age and physical health were beginning to limit their movement.

There was and still is an abundance of good projects to get involved in.  We had started the Mount Hope cemetery cards encoding to help out with the Genweb project for Miami County Indiana.  It seemed logical to continue.

They could not go themselves walking through the cemeteries but what if we brought the cemetery to them?!

I had purchased a nice little digital camera back in 2002 and decided it was time to put it to work.
It was obvious Mount Hope would need updating but I wasn't ready to tackle such a big place just yet.
It was also obvious that we would have to come up with a basic set of instructions so first I needed to figure out the steps.

I remembered that my mother-in-law had told me we had family buried at SHROCK cemetery,  a small place up the hill by Indian Oaks Golf Course, and so the project begun.
It was almost 7 years ago to the day as the first picture I took is dated November 11, 2005.
Muriel always put flowers on Bruce's great-grandparents Edwin and Olive (Schroll) Cattin's grave but I don't think she realized how many other family members were there as well.
In part because of my research on the CATTIN family in Erie Township and in Switzerland, I recognized many names: HOSTETLER, WAYMIRE, CHAMBERS, EILER, CLAUVE...
The place was so peaceful and quiet.  Birds were whistling all around. A soft breeze was gently brushing the tree branches.  Call me silly, but that is when I decided Shrock cemetery would be my resting place after I die.  NO, not tomorrow and to be honest with you, I'm not even sure there are still plots available but the view, overlooking the far end of the cemetery was not what i would expect from a cemetery. It's also not that the stones fare better there than in other places.  I just felt 'at home' with so many people I knew already there...  There were also old friends like Sadie HILEMAN and Geneva VANAMAN,  two sweet sisters (HENRY) I knew from church. You may say: "How morbid!"
I have never been one to 'haunt' cemeteries, in fact quite the opposite and I had until then not even given a thought to the business of death.
Anyway, it took two days to photograph the cemetery in 2005 and I sent the index and the pictures to Deb Beheler so she could make them available on her Genweb page for Miami County IN in the cemeteries section.
And I moved on to Mount Hope since I now had a plan.
I often thought of updating Shrock but never got around to it until earlier this year.
The gentleman with whom I combined forces to get Mount Hope completed had asked permission to upload the pictures on Find-A-Grave and I saw no problem with it.  Until this Spring that is.
A quick search for Sadie HILEMAN on Ancestry.com pointed to an error that they still have not fixed in spite of my contacting them.
It seems Ancestry.com placed Shrock Cemetery in Converse, IN!
Mind you, the link on their site redirects you to the right place since it is the Find-A-Grave site
Still, it is sad that they have not fixed this error yet.

In any case, this was another trigger for me to update the cemetery listing and once again, it is where I began my adventures with Billion Graves. 
I must tell you, the GPS signal sometimes isn't good enough for the phone camera to take a picture and I noticed right away that even though the camera eventually took the picture the location tag isn't always correct.

I was able to take pictures this time around that showed the engravings better than the first time around but there are stones that were really eroded in 7 years and I am glad for the earlier versions Deb still has uploaded on the Genweb page.

The back of Shrock cemetery is a sad sight... 

That's where Bruce's great-great-grandfather is buried, Ulysses CATTIN with his wife Mary (SPERIZEN).  Their daughter Suzanna KITZMILLER's stone is adjacent to theirs

As you can see the one in the back is sinking in.  To prevent the engraved stone to topple down, somebody propped it up with a rock.  In some cases, the stones are propped with crunched soda cans... 

This is Suzanna's in 2005 on the left and the other two were taken in May 2012.

This one is Suzanna's parents, Ulysses and Mary Cattin.  The engraving is so faded it is very hard to decipher as you can see.

There is much worse further back.
It also depends on how the sun light hits the stone.  This last time I was able to capture engravings i was not able to 7 years ago.

Some may think it is a waste of time to duplicate the work but in this case I have found that we are lucky to find more than one photo of some stones because without the extra ones they would not yield their information.  And a funny thing is, oftentimes you will see something better through the camera lens than through our eyes.

One stone intrigued me in there.  That of a young boy: Eli Marion MARKEN.  It is not a very common name in Miami County, Indiana.  My curiosity took me to Ancestry.com where I was able to find his family.
Some information was available in the family trees.  Two researchers, one of whom is Henk Wolka, give further information which may explain the rarity of the MARKEN name around here.

"When Gideon was about two years old, his family moved to Montgomery County, Ohio, near Dayton (along with their friends, the Myers and Shively families) where the family resided until Gideon was about 16. In the spring of 1850, the Jacob Marken family moved west to Indiana with neighbor families (Shively, Maugans, Myers, & Erbaugh). They established a farm in Pipe Creek Twsp, Miami County near the Cass and Miami county line. This homestead farm was located on the Onward Road west of US Highway 31, west of the current Grissom Air Force Base.  After his marriage to Sarah Silvius, the couple lived on another farm in Pipe Creek Twp., where three of their children were born (John, Jacob, and Josiah). About 1862 Gideon purchased a farm in Erie Twp., Miami County. There the remaining eleven of their children were born.  Initially, they lived in a loghouse on the property. In 1868 they built a large frame house and in 1875 added a large bank-barn. These two buildings were still being used at last notice. This farm has remained in the hands of Marken descendants for about 125 years.  Sarah died on her 48th birthday from a stroke of apoplexy. Gideon remarried Amanda Brown Daniels, a widow, in 1888. They bore three children. Amanda died in 1911 of heart disease.  Gideon had purchased another farm on the Erie Road, north of the Marken homestead. After Amanda's death, he lived with his daughter Pearl Faust, on this farm.  Six of Gideon's sons caught the "western fever."  In the early 1800's(typo?) Josiah, John, and Jacob moved west to Franklin Co., Iowa. Several years later, Daniel F. and Gideon A. Marken also went to Iowa to live. After 1900 Edward Marken left for Iowa also.  The Marken families were active members of the Erie United Bretheren Church--Gideon served as a founder and church trustee. The church, built in 1900 is still active today, located on the Paw Paw Pike.  Gideon died at age 83. He, his two wives and five of his children are buried in the Shrock Cemetery, Peru Township, Miami County, Indiana."

Shrock cemetery is a peaceful place to spend time. If you have family buried there, Check on Billion Graves to see if you can find them!

Till next time...


  1. My Beck line is buried at Shrock Cemetery. I can remember being very excited to find them. Peter Beck was 100 when he died. I have never been able to find an obit for him although you would think someone that old passing away would have been news.

  2. Ulysses Cattin is my 3rd great grandfather.

  3. My Barnett and Zimmerman family
    Are buried here. I enjoy visiting the cemetery. Hopefully one day I can run into family I don’t know here.