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Obituaries Documenting Fairview Cemetery Burials

Newspapers.com. Screenshot by Jan Edwards. July 6, 2014.

Jan Edwards of Genealogy! Just ask! has made a significant contribution to the Fairview Cemetery Project. A genealogy guru, Jan is also an expert at researching newspapers. After locating the collection for the Greenwood newspaper, the Index-Journal, she searched Newspapers.com for Greenwood Cemetery at first. She realized right away it was the wrong cemetery when burials for 1897 were in the results.

Jan searched next by the cemetery name to see how many results she could get. She used two different name variations: Fairview Cemetery and Fair View Cemetery. After searching using these terms, she discovered 348 references to Fairview Cemetery and Fair View Cemetery. She caught my attention on Facebook, and by 3pm EST I began receiving scores of results. I am so overwhelmed by the wealth of information contained in these obituaries. I feel as though I have learned so much more about the character and lives of the people interred at Fairview.

John Griffin.jpg

Taken by Robin Foster, July 4, 2014

After seeing the photo of the World War I US Military Veteran headstone for John Griffin that I posted on Facebook on July 4th, Jan was prompted to search for his obituary. We are deeply appreciative for Jan's contribution. After about 4am EST, I had read through hundreds of obituaries and announcements about Fairview Cemetery. I have learned so much and look forward to extracting more to identify living descendants.

While we do have access to the Index-Journal on microfilm at the library, it is only on microfilm, and the quality of the digital images is sometimes poor to read. The Newspapers.com images are very clear and easy to read. Manually searching each issue would have taken months.

With this large find, there will be a lot to glean about people buried in Fairview and the history of the community. Over the course of the next few posts we will delve much deeper and share how having these resources benefits this project. We will work to make sure the names of new interrments are added to Find A Grave with current memorials at 530. Stay tuned!

For now, I will share the following highlights:

1. We found an obit for Jayne Mansfield the actress which stated that she was buried in Fairview Cemetery, but that was a cemetery in Pennsylvania. Check obituaries to make sure that the geographical area matches, and confirm the names of funeral homes, clergy members, and churches mentioned to make sure you have the right cemetery.

2. Search different name variations for the cemetery.

3. Several of the obituaries Jan found document my own family, and I had never seen them before. They provide names of extended family and places family members migrated to.

Thomas Gilbert is the father of SC Senator Frank Gilbert Jr.

Thomas Gilbert 1955.jpg

Newspapers.com Screenshot by Jan Edwards. July 6, 2014.

4. In the 1990's, the Fairview Cemetery Association flourished. Local churches like Weston Chapel AME hosted their meetings.

5. We discovered the names of more military veterans who have no headstone or death certificate that we have found so far.

Thank you again, Jan! Please feel free share your feelings or anything I may have left out in this post. Looking forward to our next midnight search!

Jan.jpg

Jan Edwards

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