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#2638002 - 03/22/14 02:51 PM Philadelphia National Cemetery
RestoreByTim Offline

Registered: 03/22/14
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia National Cemetery is one of my favorite locations to photograph. It is one of the most photogenic places in the city. Family historians and military historians alike appreciate the work that Find-A-Grave photographers have done to make Philadelphia's military history more accessible. As nothing is perfect, Find-A-Grave's database for Philadelphia National Cemetery contains many errors. As a result, the photo request page for Philadelphia National Cemetery tends to accumulate unfulfillable requests. There are 28 such requests as of this writing.

All Philadelphia National Cemetery burials sites should begin with either a single letter or one of these designations: MECHS, NEW, OFF, Mm. Memorial sites that do not begin in one of these ways are erroneous. A common error among Find-A-Grave memorials are the "leading comma" memorials, which begin with a comma and are usually followed by a number. Several years ago, Jim Tipton e-mailed me a list of links to all such erroneous memorials. I have put these into a Google Doc so that we might collaborate on verifying them:

These memorials were likely imported from the VA in an unverified state. I know that many of these veterans are buried in other cemeteries, such as Mt. Moriah in West Philadelphia. Other Find-A-Grave memorials have caused problems for photo volunteers for other reasons, such as that the soldier in question died well before Philadelphia National Cemetery was established in 1862. I have created a second document that we might use to investigate these memorials that have caused problems for other reasons:

I am starting this thread mainly to offer a place to give these orphaned requests the extra attention that they deserve, to figure out where the database has gone wrong, and to do whatever we can to set it right. If anyone wants to take on the challenge of researching any problematic Philadelphia National photo requests, please post your ideas here regarding what you found, what corrections should be made, or how otherwise to go about improving the Find-A-Grave user experience for Philadelphia National Cemetery.

Thank you for your efforts!

Edited by RestoreByTim (03/22/14 02:53 PM)
Memories are Precious.

#2638061 - 03/22/14 04:33 PM Re: Philadelphia National Cemetery [Re: RestoreByTim]
RestoreByTim Offline

Registered: 03/22/14
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Here is some very helpful information from Find-A-Grave contributor Linda Monticelli regarding some of the Stackhouse and Longshore memorials recorded at Philadelphia National:

Grace Heaton Stackhouse and her husband Thomas Stackhouse (my 7th great-grandparents), Robert Heaton and his wife Alice (maiden name unknown) Heaton (my 8th great-grandparents), and Euclydus Longshore and his wife Alice Stackhouse (my 6th great-grandparents) were all buried at the Middletown MM (Friends) Cemetery in Middletown (now Langhorne), Bucks County, Pennsylvania. They were all members of the Middletown Monthly Meeting and they are listed in the Quaker records as being buried in the Middletown Friends Cemetery. I have made memorial pages at Findagrave for each of them at the correct cemetery.

This was posted as a public message to Jacques, who created the memorials at Philadelphia National cemetery. Thank you, Linda, for this additional information! The referenced memorial pages are here:

Grace Heaton Stackhouse (1667-1708)
Thomas Stackhouse, Jr. (1661-1744)
Robert Heaton (1642-1717)
Alice Heaton (1645-1727)
Euclydus Longshore (1690-1764)
Alice Stackhouse Longshore (1699-1763)
Memories are Precious.

#2638395 - 03/23/14 10:40 AM This explains a lot. [Re: RestoreByTim]
RestoreByTim Offline

Registered: 03/22/14
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
This explains a lot. From American Military Cemeteries, 2nd Ed., by Dean W. Holt:

The national cemetery was one of the original 14 established in 1862. It was also one of seven established near large troop recruitment and training areas. Actually, in 1862 the "cemetery" consisted of burial lots in seven different cemeteries Lafayette, Lebanon, United American Mechanics Association, Odd Fellows, Woodland, Glenwood, and Mt. Moriah, together with those at Bristol, Chester, and Whitehall, made up the Philadelphia Group in the reports of the inspector of national cemeteries in 1871 and 1874.

In 1885, the United States purchased 13.32 acres at the present site from Henry J. and Susan B. Freeman, to concentrate these scattered remains. Remains from the first five of the above cemeteries were disinterred and removed to Philadelphia in 1885. The remains from Glenwood were reinterred in 1891, and remains from Bristol, Chester, and Whitehall in 1892. Only a few remains were disinterred from Mt. Moriah, and it is still maintained as a soldier's lot. Other reinterments were from Potter's Field, Philadelphia (1890), Machpelah Cemetery (1895), and Fort Mifflin Post Cemetery (1897). The cemetery has a Confederate section in which 416 interments were made.

There are four special monuments in the cemetery: The Mexican War Monument, marking the graves of 65 Mexican War soldiers; the Confederate Marker, erected by the General Dabney H. Maury Chapter, U.D.C.; the Confederate Monument, erected in 1911 by the United States; and the Revolutionary War Memorial Marker, erected in 1928 by the residents of Germantown and vicinity.

The Find-A-Grave cemetery pages for the above listed cemeteries are as follows:

Philadelphia National Cemetery

Lafayette Cemetery (Defunct)
Lebanon Cemetery (Defunct)
United American Mechanics Association Cemetery (Defunct)
Odd Fellows Cemetery (Defunct)
Woodlands Cemetery
Glenwood Cemetery (Defunct)
Mt. Moriah Cemetery

Bristol, aka Saint James Episcopal Churchyard (See Inquirer, 1/1/1892, p. 2)
Chester, aka Chester Rural Cemetery (See Inquirer, 12/15/1891, p. 4)
Whitehall Cemetery (Defunct)

Potter's Field (Removal of seven indigent veterans. See Inquirer, 5/21/1890, p. 5)
Machpelah Cemetery (Defunct)
Fort Mifflin Post Cemetery

I believe there is currently no Find-A-Grave cemetery page for Fort Mifflin. This cemetery was abandoned as of 1897, when some 20 to 30 casualties of the War of 1812 were removed from there to Philadelphia National Cemetery (See Inquirer, 1/23/1897, p. 2). Whatever remains of the records of the above cemeteries may prove useful in locating problematic burials for Philadelphia National Cemetery.
Memories are Precious.

#2655184 - 04/25/14 11:12 AM The Condemned Lafayette Cemetery [Re: RestoreByTim]
RestoreByTim Offline

Registered: 03/22/14
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Here is a fascinating blog post on the fate of the Lafayette Cemetery. Many of the remains were removed to a mass grave outside of Neshaminy Mall, of all places:

Turns out that the site across from the Macy’s side of the mall is where many of the bodies from Lafayette were buried. Happens all the time (or at least it used to); a cemetery gets relocated, unidentified or unclaimed remains get reburied in a mass grave. ...

Unscrupulous financial wheeling and dealing aside, the travesty here is that most of the 47,000 graves were not reburied as they were supposed to be. No tombstones were erected with the graves. ...

The only reason the public is aware of any of this is because of an accidental unearthing of some wooden coffins on the old Evergreen [Cemetery] site in 1988. A strip mall was being built, and the graves were discovered during its construction. ...

The Condemned Lafayette Cemetery, by Ed Snyder

Two Civil War Medal of Honor recipients received markers at the site, despite their exact locations being unknown: Matthew McClelland (1833-1883), and Edward B. Young (1835-1867). The cemetery identified on their Find-A-Grave memorials is Rosedale Memorial Park. They do not have Find-A-Grave memorials at Philadelphia National Cemetery, so I suspect these two soldiers were not removed to there at the consolidation of the Philadelphia National Cemetery system in 1885.

The VA's Nationwide Gravesite Locator has entries for both of these veterans. It presently identifies McClelland's cemetery as "Lafayette Cemetery, Bensalem PA", and Young's cemetery as "Rosedale Memorial Park" with full Bensalem address.

Edited by RestoreByTim (04/25/14 11:15 AM)
Memories are Precious.


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