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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Searching for American Legion Inventory of Military Graves

Larry's Question:
Im researching Bartholomew Ozbun b.1844 TN, m. Hellen Wentworth. I located Bartholomew and Hellens headstones at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Haxton, Kansas. On the left is a grave marker for Confederate Service and on the right is a American Legion marker.

I thought I had read somewheres that in the 1930s the American Legion undertook to survey cemeteries and mark the graves of veterans of all wars. Would you know of a publishcation of this inventory. As hard as Ive looked I have not come across the Confederate Unit Bartholomew may have served.

Olive Tree Answer: Hello Larry. It is important to include County names when asking for assistance. Not everyone you write to will be as familiar with your ancestors' geographic locations as you are. I was unable to quick;y find the county for Haxton, Kansas.

I had not heard of the American Legion supplying Confederate grave markers, but of course anything is possible. You should write to the local American Legion and ask them about the grave markers (and about Bartholomew as the Legion marker would indicate that he was a member): American Legion, 6521 Nieman Rd, Shawnee Mission, KS 66203

The Kansas Sons of the Confederacy might be able to assist you. The Pleasant Valley Cemetery may be able to provide some clues, as I am sure that whoever did place those markers had to have the cooperation of the Cemetery.

But do be aware that whatever qualifications were required to earn a marker, that documentation, if it ever existed, is probably long gone. And the documentation may have been more anecdotal than official: in the not too distant past, if a lady or a gentleman declared that they were born in Atlanta or that Dad served in the Confederate Army, it would have been impolite to demand proof.

Bartholomew's obituary may contain his service information. You can find obituaries in many online newspaper sites such as Ancestry.com, GenealogyBank.com or NewspaperArchive.com

1890 veterans schedule may exist for where he was in 1890; you might get a starting point for where to look for muster rolls if you trace his whereabouts in 1860 and 1870 and those of his male siblings. I use Ancestry.com for census research but you can also use onther online resources.

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