Friday, August 25, 2017

Is the Gravestone Wrong?

When the Vital Record Does not Match the Gravestone,
What Do You do?

Maria, wife of John Tourgee/Taugee is my problem "Brick Wall". She was only 35 when she died. There two small children buried behind her. 

My second great grandmother, Hannah Josephine Tourgee was her only living descendant. She doesn't have a gravestone. She is buried with her parents, not with her husband.

A kind relative, emailed me the scan of the marriage record. The mother's name is listed as Marion. 

John Tourgee married a second time when his wife died. Her name was Henrietta MARIE Thompson. She is buried a short distance away with her first husband, Dudley Wilcox.

You can see that this is a messy genealogy problem. I was glad the gravestone was readable and that Rev. Frederick Denison listed a transcription of the stone with his cemetery records in his book, Westerly & Its Witnesses, with her name as Maria.

Here's the record from 1977:
Marriage Record Book 2 Page 33, Westerly, RI
 Here's the Gravestone:
Photo by Midge Frazel
This week, my friend and cousin, Barbara Fallon went to the Westerly Town Hall and looked at the actual book and reported that the handwriting was "very spidery and flowery" and she could see why the town clerk couldn't read it clearly. 

But, with some effort, she could read the name Maria. 

I may never know Maria's maiden name but at least the actual handwritten record is correct.

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