The grave for Margaret E. Romrell lists her birth date as April 16, 1885, but there is no death date. "She died in 1959, but they had no children, and I guess no one bothered to put the death date on the gravestone."
In the Ogden cemetery, there are stones for a Baby Romrell and for a Mary Ann. These would have been the children of Francis and Mary, but they died in the Isle of Jersey. "So I think these are just for remembrance," says Romrell. There was a baby who died before the family emigrated, and "Mary Ann would have been over 21 when Francis and his family left for America. She was not on the ship, so she must have stayed in Jersey. We have no other information about her."
Ida Williamene Ducloux married at age 17 and moved to Idaho to settle a new town called Taylor, just east of Shelley. A year later, she died of complications from childbirth. Hers was the second grave in the new cemetery. Her mother came from Ogden to take the baby, Charles Eric, back home to raise him. Charles Eric grew up, married, had two children and then died at age 25, just before his third child was born.
Another thing Romrell gets a kick out of is the fact that there is a headstone in the Bountiful Cemetery with his name on it. His first wife died of cancer at age 47. "Notice that my death date is blank," he jokes, "and I hope it remains that way for a long time."
You quickly realize, says Romrell, that the gravestones represent so much more than names and dates.
"Even though I've never met some of these noble souls, I feel much closer to them when I actually see their graves."
Romrell has always been interested in history. He grew up in the mining community of Garfield and has spent a number of years compiling stories from that town-which-is-no-more.
"Then I decided I should work on my own family history and hit on this idea," he says. This book traces all the ancestors on his father's side. "Now, I guess I'll have to do my mother's family."
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