Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oller Cemetery

Yesterday I grabbed a notebook, my cell phone, two bottles of water and set out for Oller Cemetery in Delaware County, Ohio. It was my first attempt to fulfill a grave marker photo request posted on, and I was determined to find Archibald Butt (b. 1827, d. 1888).

Although Oller Cemetery is not large, I was surprised to find myself the only visitor on the Saturday before Memorial Day. Filled with the confidence of a first-time cemetery detective, I started methodically at the front of the cemetery, where the markers were oldest, and walked slowly along the first row. Many were barely legible; none appeared to bear the name Butt.

Next row. No Butts.
Next row. No Butts.
Next row. No Butts.

Next row. I started to doubt I had the stamina to search this cemetery on the side of a hill that was getting steeper and steeper as the temperature was getting higher and higher. Why did I wear shoes with no ankle support to this hilly cemetery? Surely I was one misstep away from an ankle sprain.

Slowly (and carefully) I walked several more rows of markers, then noticed a tall marker standing at the shady edge of the cemetery—Isaac Butt (d. 1876)! Maybe a relative to Archibald? Maybe Archibald would be found nearby.

AUG. 19, 1876
79 YS. 2MS.
& 17DS.

But there was no stone for Archibald nearby. There was a stone for Martha Butt (d. Jan. 2, 187?), and another, mostly illegible stone next to Martha that was laid (had fallen?) on the ground. What did it say? EFFE? EFFA?

No Archibald.

It was only ten minutes later, again at the edge of the cemetery, that I found the marker for Archibald Butt and Nancy, his wife. Success!


I took several photos of the marker for the Find A Grave requestor and wrote a short description on finding the grave again—just in case. Then I walked back to my car at the foot of the cemetery hill, sat for a few moments enjoying the warm, sunny afternoon in quiet Oller Cemetery.

My first blog, my first blog post, my first Find A Grave adventure.

Nice links for Oller Cemetery:


  1. Congratulations on both of your "firsts"!

  2. A very nice act of Genealogical Kindness!

  3. Thank you, thank you, everyone!

  4. LOL! I recently did my first F.A.G. photo request...hubby went along and we both split up to search. Ended up with nothing. The stone obviously gone or never placed. But what you said about stamina! I resolved to NEVER go hunting for gravestones unless it was very early in the morning here in Florida! Whew! Now I have two more requests for the same cemetery and I'm thinking early is not good enough. These people may have to wait until late Fall!

  5. Early morning, Lisa--that's a good plan!


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