Of all the resting places of all my known family, this one of my great-great grandfather, Josiah Herrick Carroll, is among the most significant for my family. Note the fresh dirt at the base from this picture taken in May, 1986.
Josiah Herrick Carroll was the youngest son of Raford and Sarah (Jernigan) Carroll of Fayette County, Illinois. He married Sarah Clementine Reeves and had a daughter named Mary Viola Carroll. When his daughter Mary was 1 1/2 years old, Josiah died. His daughter Mary was left by her mother to be raised by her Carroll relatives as the orphan cousin.
About one hundred and fifteen years later, in the fall of 1985, I went with my grandmother to try to find her grandfather Josiah’s grave, which she had no knowledge of. We went to Evans Cemetery, the location of so many of the Carrolls, and under a bush of peonies, we found his broken off slab gravestone near his parents. It’s a miracle we even found it, as there was no sign of a grave.
In the Spring, Grandma and Grandpa loaded up my brother and me into the car, along with some cement mix and a jug of water. After over 100 years, we restored our forgotten ancestor Josiah’s grave.
In 1979, my grandfather died, beginning my interest in genealogy. In 1982, I was introduced to family histories of the Carroll and Andrews families of my grandmother. In 1986, we restored the unknown grave of our forgotten ancestor. By this time, I was really hooked. The rest, as they say, is history.