Saturday, November 17, 2012

Elmlawn Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas: May 2010

I visited Little Rock in May 2010 with one day to do research at the Arkansas History Commission and find the grave sites of several relatives at two cemeteries.  I’d never been to Little Rock, and I realized that this was a tall order for a single day in town.  This first post is about Elmlawn Cemetery

Elmlawn Cemetery, also known as St. Paul's Cemetery, is in the middle of Little Rock.  It was established by St. Paul's German Evangelical Church (now Faith United Church of Christ) on March 22, 1897.  You can read about the history of the cemetery here.  My great-grandfather’s older brother Louis Luhrsen, Louis' wife Martha Jaronitzky, their daughter, son, daughter-in-law, and Martha’s parents are buried at Elmlawn.  A list of burials is available at the Arkansas Ties website.

The cemetery was well-kept when I visited.  In fact, as I began to look around for their headstones, an employee was mowing the lawn.  He stopped working to ask me who I was looking for and then took me right to the Luhrsens and Jaronitzkys.

The Jaronitzky plot is under a tree at Elmlawn Cemetery. May 2010.
Louis F. Luhrsen (1880-1925), born in Buckley, Illinois, and his wife Martha Jaronitzky Luhrsen (1878-1968). May 2010.

Louis G. Luhrsen, son of Louis and Martha Luhrsen, and his wife Helen Martin Luhrsen. May 2010.

Baby Martha Luhrsen, daughter of Louis and Martha Luhrsen (1904). May 2010.
Then the employee took me into the cemetery office and looked up the family's burial records. 
Elmlawn Cemetery office. May 2010.

I photographed the page on the Luhrsens and Jaronitzkys, which lists names and burial numbers and also includes a plot diagram.  There were more people in the family plot than I had expected to see, and I have not researched the relationships of some individuals to the Luhrsen and Jaronitzky families.  The plot diagram shows that Baby Luhrsen's first name was Martha, which was new information to me.

Summing up:  Even if you already have photos of headstones, you may want to visit the office at Elmlawn Cemetery to do additional research on your family.

Elmlawn Cemetery
5810 W 12th
Little Rock, AR 72204
(501) 952-3154

Thursday, November 15, 2012

First Post

I love genealogy.  Every family has its characters, triumphs, and tragedies, and learning about some of the most important people in history—the people who made it possible for me to be born—is one of my favorite things to do.

Though I frequent,, and, researching in libraries and the strolling through cemeteries is just as good for research and maybe better.  Getting out and talking to other researchers and experienced librarians has provided historical context that I could not get elsewhere.  Not everything is available online, and I doubt that it ever will be.

I’m blogging about the libraries and cemeteries I visit because I’ve noticed that there is a lack of information about some places in St. Louis and in other areas around Missouri.  Occasionally I may write posts about out-of-state research trips (to Arkansas and Illinois, and I hope to Pennsylvania in the next couple of years). 

My great-grandmother Minnie Bruegger Luhrsen (1898-1986).

The blog is called Travels with My Foremothers because the search for my female ancestors’ roots is a difficult and rewarding challenge that I find representative of genealogy.