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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Persistance Pays

My day got off to a great start when I picked up my email and found the answer to a question I have been chasing for years. William & Lavina (Powell) Griffith are buried in the Edgar Cemetery at Paris, Illinois. Lavina was a sister to my gr-gr-grandfather, Josiah Powl. (He changed the spelling of his name.) I had traced all six of his siblings to their burial places--except Lavina--in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois.
William and Lavina moved to Ohio, then to Edgar County, Illinois, and finally to Terre Haute, Indiana. I had found information saying William died in Terre Haute in February 1874. The last trace I could find of Lavina was in the 1880 Terre Haute census where she is shown as widowed and living with her daughter, Sarah.
I searched every online Indiana source I could find for Lavina's death date for years without success. Last week I got a tip that made me suspicious they may have been taken back to Paris, Illinois for burial. Terre Haute and Paris are only twenty miles apart, but I have been searching for them in the wrong state.
I had located an old Griffith family history which said William and Lavina "were pillars in the First Baptist Church in Paris, Illinois." I found an email address for the church on Sunday and sent a message asking if their church has a cemetery. This morning I received the answer I have searched for so long. The Baptist church does not have a cemetery but the record for the Edgar Cemetery on the edge of town lists a Willim B. Griffith, buried February 8, 1874 and Lavina Griffith buried June 2, 1884. Bingo!
We're going out there the end of May. I was prepared to spend several days rooting through the courthouse and library in Terre Haute to find this information. Thanks to the dear lady who answered my question, I have been saved several days work. At last, I can complete the family record for Josiah Powl's family. Persistence pays!

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