Friday, April 20, 2012

Start with What you Know

Grandparents - Stephen Flynn Jr and Ellen Mary Tobin Flynn
 When trying to solve any mystery, I have found it is best, to start with what you know. In regards to the mystery of where my 2nd Great Grandfather Michael Flynn is buried, what I know for sure, is that my Grandparents, Great Grandparents and 2nd Great Grandmother are buried in the St. Peter and Paul Cemetery in Harbour Main, Newfoundland.  But where is my 2nd Great Grandfather Michael Flynn buried?        
Great Grandparents - Stephen Flynn Sr and Mary Ann Tubrett
Aunt Rose and Aunt Agnes

The St Peter and Paul Cemetery was established in 1857.  I believe Michael died before 1884, the answer to this mystery could be simple, possible he is right there in an unmarked grave. Years ago, when a family did not have the means to erect a gravestone with the deceased person's information, a wooden cross was placed on their grave site. As time goes by, environmental elements take it's toll on these humble loving memorials.  Aunt Agnes shared with me, that they would assist their father when he was making the wooden crosses, holding the wood in place as he attached them together.  My mother often spoke of how her father tended to these grave sites.

Above, is a cross my grandfather made to mark the grave of his 1st born son Michael, who died at 7 months old.   When Uncle George erected a headstone to represent  his brother Micheal, his great grandmother Elizabeth and his Uncle Thomas,  the three grave sites were now represented by one headstone.  Aunt Agnes sent a photo to my mother of Micheal's grave in which she planted some flowers where his cross had been. ( Upper mid-right )    As I look around the graveyard, I see many of the grave sites have husband and wife buried in the same plot, it is possible that Michael is right there with Elizabeth. I wonder if the Church has records of when the plots were purchused, that may provide more information.  My mother had sent a request to the church back in 1994, they had checked with a second cousin of hers Gloria Flynn Brazil, who inturn asked her father William Flynn if he knew where Michael Flynn was buried and he thought that it was in the St Peter and Paul Graveyard, although there's no marker there for him. In the reply letter, the Parish Secretary stated, if  my mother were ever in the area, she would  certainly be welcome to come and look through their registers. When I go to Newfoundland, I will certainly take her up on her offer. Although I know, some mysteries may never be solved.

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