Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Marteeny Graves

I did have some great success at the Williamson County Historical Society in Marion, Illinois, last week. I last posted that I was going there to see what I could find out about the siblings of my 2x-great-grandfather, John Henry Marteeny (1884-1956). I had found photos of their graves online at Find A Grave, which stated they were buried at the Masonic-Lithuanian Cemetery in Shakerag, Williamson, Illinois. My goal was to see if I could find any more info on their deaths and to fulfill a long-time family wish to visit their graves.

I was greeted by very friendly people at the Williamson County Historical Society Museum in Marion. They immediately led me to their research library and to a copy of the book Masonic and Lithuanian Cemeteries, Shakerag, IL by Helen Sutt Lind. I browsed through the book and found out that my 4x step-great-grandfather, John Brown, owned the last-standing grocery store in Shakerag before all the settlers moved one mile away to Lake Creek in the mid-1890s. The best little nugget of info in Helen's book was that the three Marteeny siblings died of diptheria and croup. It even said that the oldest son, Nesbeth Marteeny, had been very close with his father and the father had been terribly heartbroken when he died. The family story was that they died from an epidemic, but no one knew the exact cause. The source is cited as Obits and Tidbits, 1850-1884, Franklin County, Illinois by Carla Pulliam. Guess that is another book I will have to go after.

They were even able to call Helen and she was kind enough to bring me a copy of the book to purchase. She drew me a map to the cemetery, which is at the end of 9th St. in Johnston City.  I am glad that the inscriptions were placed on Find A Grave because the stones were not in that great of a condition. Below are some pics I took while there. I also placed flowers on some of the graves.

Nesbeth F.
Son of J.H. and C.C. Merteney
Born Aug. 8, 1877
Died Jan. 4, 1883

Daisy C.
Dau. of J.H. and C.C. Merteney
Born Oct. 2, 1879
Died Feb. 17, 1882

Marvie J.
Son of J.H. and C.C. Merteney
Born Feb. 6, 1882
Died Dec. 31, 1882

I still have a lot of research to do on my Marteeny ancestors, including finding the grave of my 3x-great-grandfather, John Henry Marteeny (c. 1854-1884). But I am very happy knowing that we have laid to rest a long-time family wish to visit the graves of the three siblings who left this earth too soon.

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