Thursday, September 20, 2012


This week we have a guest contributor to the blog.  In my post about the tree tombstone of Frank Fremont Campbell I suggested that we all take a closer look at any tree tombstones we encounter to see if we can find symbols of the person's life or work carved into the monument.

A few days ago I received an email from the nice folks at True News (  Here's what they said:  "I saw your posting about the the "tree grave marker" and I thought you would enjoy these photos.  This is the grave of a Chicago cop. If you look at the tree marker you can see his uniform cap hanging off one branch stub and his nightstick hanging off a branch stub on the opposite side.

He is buried at Chicago's Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery on the city's far south side (Mt. Greenwood area)."

Here are the photos of the tree tombstone of Officer Patrick J. Gaffney who died on November 23, 1902:

You will notice his last name "Gaffney" spelled out in small tree branches, his policeman's star #1277, his cap, and his nightstick.  And luckily his tombstone also contains a photo of Officer Gaffney:

I could not uncover too much information about Officer Gaffney except that he and his family lived on South Ashland Avenue in Chicago and that he does not seem to have died in the line of duty.  Again - thank you to the folks at True News for letting us know about another fantastic tree tombstone.

AN ANNIVERSARY AND A MILESTONE:  I started this blog one year ago today.  When I started the blog I wondered just how many people would be interested in these stories of departed souls.  Like the blogger in "Julie and Julia" I sometimes wondered "Is there anybody out there?" Then, slowly but surely I started seeing more and more hits.  It took until May 10 of this year to reach 1,000 views but just this week we reached the 10,000 view mark!

We have had visitors from all over the world:  the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, France, Ukraine, India, Australia and the Philippines.  I have "met" many wonderful people - even the relatives of some of the departed whose stories I told.  The response has been overwhelmingly positive with only one negative comment to date.

I have had a lot of fun researching and telling these stories over the past year.  The object of this blog is to tell these stories so that the people featured will not be forgotten.  Some of the stories have been happy, most have been sad, some tragic - just like life itself.

So as we reach the one year mark and the 10,000 view milestone THANK YOU to all who have emailed, commented or contributed and most of all thank you to my loyal readers, some of whom have been with me from the start. Thank you also to those wonderful people at The Association of Graveyard Rabbits and GeneaBloggers.  Much of my success has come through those sites.  I have many more interesting stories in the queue and I am "digging up" new ones all the time so I hope you'll Stay Tuned! 


  1. Happy First Blogiversary and keep up the good work with these wonderful stories!

  2. THANKS FOR POSTING IT. I linked it to a posting on my blog.

  3. Congrats on your first year! And thank you for this post --- it's really fascinating to see all the details in this marker -- and very cool!!