Imagine with me...you've moved to a new state, city, home....starting a new life. Exciting, right?
Now imagine with me that upon moving into your new home, you come across a little..."surprise" in your new living space.
Okay...so it's not exactly the typical house-warming gift that one might expect. And yet, it's exactly what was found when my brother moved into his home near Waco, Texas.
Knowing that his sister spends an excessive amount of time wandering around cemeteries looking for ancestors never personally known, as well as others who have passed who aren't even related....well, of course I got the call alerting me to their home discovery...which led me to the challenge of trying to discover who Alex Perry was and why in the world was his headstone sitting at my brother's home?
I have located a death certificate, I have located census records for Alex and his family from 1920 and 1910, as well as 1930 and 1940 for his wife after his death. I have also located his wife's death certificate and found them listed in the some of the Waco city directories. However, I have lost him in 1900. His place of birth has been listed as Kentucky and Louisiana, at one point I got lucky and located he and his mother living with a white man and I seem to recall she had reported herself as a widow. But I didn't save that record. Why didn't I save that record? I'm kicking myself now for not saving that record. Because, of course, now I can't locate the record no matter how or where I search. (I know, there's a genealogy lesson to be learned there. Trust me. I've learned it.)
So to all random genealogy friends who are reading this - Alex Perry, born May 10, 1862, died September 1923. He was married to Mary, and was the son of Alex and Bettie Perry. He was buried at Liberty Hill Cemetery in McLennan County, Texas - a quick glimpse at a map showed me that this is in close proximity to my brother's home. It still doesn't explain how the stone ended up where it did, but at least it seems rational.
I would like to find more of his "story" and when I am able to travel to the Lone Star state next summer, I'd like to see his stone placed back where it belongs with a little bit of knowledge about his life.
Feel free to do some searching on your own and leave your findings here as a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org