Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Laurel Hill Cemetery

My wife and I visited Laurel Hill Cemetery in Omaha, Nebraska last weekend, hoping to find the graves of some of her ancestors. It was a spur of the moment stop. I didn't have any of my research of her family with me. I had to rely on my memory of names of her family to figure out who might be there. I could access the tree on RootsWeb but I didn't have much of her tree uploaded prior to RootsWeb going offline over a year ago. No uploads have been allowed since then.

So we wondered the cemetery, looking for familiar names. We found only one surname from her tree and it wasn't clear who was buried there.

Glup (pronounced Gloop) is the maiden name of my wife's paternal grandmother. Once we got home, I looked on Find-A-Grave and it says the baby's name was Edward. I do not have an Edward Glup documented in her tree yet but, based on the families that lived in the area, I tend to believe Edward was my wife's grandmother's nephew. Her parents would have been Carl Glup (1856-1939) and Augusta Zych/Zeeck Glup (1857/60-1933). This couple is buried in Laurel Hill but we could not find them.

It was obvious when we first arrived and became more apparent the more we looked around, the cemetery and the headstones have been neglected for some time. While some graves were clean and had artificial flowers placed on them relatively recently and we saw graves as recent as 2012 for certain, many of the headstones are sinking, broken and/or toppled. Some of the graves themselves have collapsed. The ground under which you know the body is buried, is caved in in the case of several graves. Trees have grown and "uprooted" several stones. Trees have fallen and apparently knocked over and/or broke several more. Here are some photos of some of the more interesting headstones and of the sad condition of many of the graves.

My heart and the genealogist in me wants to do everything I can to restore this cemetery and every headstone in it. My mind, my calendar and my wallet says that's impossible. Doing a simple cleaning and resetting of my uncle's headstone cost what I considered a bargain price of $50. Doing what would be necessary here would be sure to cost in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.


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