The Link With Our Past
My maternal ancestors migrated from England. Caleb Stevens, my great-great-great grandfather, was born June 13, 1819. A potter by trade, he lived in Staffordshire. For reasons unknown, family tales say their choice was debtors prison or go to the New World, he and two brothers migrated to New Orleans in 1846. They eventually settled in rural Schuyler County, Illinois. Caleb became a simple farmer and died January 11, 1900.
The exact location of the old family cemetery was a mystery. My research of county and village records proved to be futile. Conversations with my mother, several of her cousins, and numerous door-to-door inquiries with local farmers finally led us to the site in August 1995. The cemetery is located on top of a steep hill in the forests of rural western Illinois.
The photographs are of Caleb and his wife Sara and the cemetery that is protected by a massive oak tree. Our two year “quest” was over and we now know the locations of both the Stevens and Burnett family cemeteries.
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