Tombstone readings, some burial records, also information from earlier readings. Includes maps and photographs.

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This list was developed to help genealogists in their quest for information about ancestors buried in Forestville Pioneer Cemetery .When we started our own pursuit of family history in the 1970\’s, the wonderful tombstone of Warren Griswold and his wife, Loana Cutler helped us on our way. We would probably never have discerned Loana\’s maiden name or the birthplace of either of these great-grandparents without the help of the one who ordered this stone carved by S Ard of Smith Mills (photo opposite). We must credit the recent visit of John and Martha Mulkin of Carterville IL for the gentle push that inspired us to undertake this project…….

This past year, our interest in the Noah Jones story (see page 63) renewed our acquaintance with this hallowed ground. The search for the truth about Noah Jones also led us to revisit Joe Bolivard whom we knew from our childhood in Forestville. Mr Bolivard shared the paperwork he had on Pioneer and helped and encouraged us in every way to bring about the completion this work. We commend him for his volunteer placement of special plaques on the gravesites of veterans in this and other Town of Hanover cemeteries. He has also rescued from oblivion pieces of discarded stones, has carefully repaired these, has searched for original location of these stones and reset them. Mr Bolivard makes himself available to researchers looking for burial places of ancestors and searches out information on those who otherwise cannot be found…….

George Knapp has had charge of Pioneer Cemetery and its records since 1969. We thank him for allowing us access to maps and records in his possession. If records from the beginning had been kept as carefully as those since Mr Knapp took over, this work would not have been necessary………..

The List………

We divided the cemetery into seven sections and gave these sections letter designations A through G (see map opposite page 1). Within each section we read the gravestones in rows starting with row 1 on the east (front) and read each row south to north (left to right). Each stone has its number starting with A.0l.0l which indicates this stone is in section A, first row, first stone…..
We have printed two lists, the first arranged alphabetically. When a name is located on the alphabetic list, one can check its stone number in the second list to locate it on the map and walk right up to it in the cemetery. By checking the list arranged by location (stone number) the researcher can check those individuals buried on the same lot or in the same area to determine relationships………


In the information/comment column a few abbreviations were used; w/o, d/o, s/o indicate wife of, daughter of, son of. Ages were often stated as #y#m#d indicating the age in number of years, months, and days, with ae meaning age. When we used the term, \”surname assumed,\” only a given name had been carved on the stone but that stone was on a lot with others of that assumed surname……..

Early Settler\’s List………

For many years we have used an unsigned and undated list of burials in this cemetery that appeared in installments in four issues of Early Settler\’s magazine in the 1930\’s. We do not know why this list was selective-some stones appeared on this list and others in the same area did not. After we had done our reading of the stones, we checked with the earlier list. We were pleasantly surprised that very few stones have disappeared since the earlier reading. Where we did not find a stone, we used the information from Early Settler\’s in our alphabetical list using italics to distinguish those from the ones that still exist. In a few cases, stones still exist but dates and other information is missing or illegible. The missing information was added in italics. In some cases our reading differed from the earlier reading. We re- checked carefully and if there was a difference in the two lists, ours is correct……

Some Favorites…..

Forestville Pioneer Cemetery was a wonderful playground in our childhood and now is the resting place of many relatives and life-long friends. We enjoyed the beautiful autumn days recently spent in their company. Pioneer is well cared for and the old stones are in excellent condition. Our favorite stone is the one that marks the grave of Samuel Morrison who died in 1827. This example of skilled stonecutter\’s art, was intricately carved and signed by J B Stutson. The stone next is also interesting in its text, \”Lurena Denison, 3rd wf of Asa Denison, former wife of Samuel Morrison.\” And a favorite spot, the grave of cousin Floyd Barris who in life was famous for his garden crops. At this site was a sprawling pumpkin vine, complete with fruit! Is Floyd is still maintaining his garden?…….

If it is true that one is not truly dead until the last time his name is spoken, we have kept alive for a while longer the 1900 or so souls interred in Forestville Pioneer Cemetery …….

Lois & Norwood Barris –1998