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Documenting deaths without a headstone

Wade Abrams in 1908 City Directory for Greenwood, SC; GCPL
Wade Abrams in 1908 City Directory for Greenwood, SC; GCPL
Screenshot by Robin Foster

Not everyone who was buried in the cemetery has a headstone. Have you ever searched a cemetery and not found the person that you thought should be there? Follow along below to learn the process for determining where Wade Abrams was buried.

City Directory

Wade and Cecelia were listed in the 1908 Greenwood, SC City Directory. Eliza Abrams was also listed living in the same household. It was not apparent at first, but because they all lived in the same house it was assumed that they were all related.

1900 Census

Next, the 1900 Census revealed the Abrams family group:

Wade Abrams (b. Feb 1845), Head

Cecelia Abrams, Wife

Mamie Abrams, Daughter

Wilson Abrams, Son

Mariah Abrams, Daughter

John Abrams, Son

Lucinda Abrams, Daughter

Eliza Abrams, Daughter

Seymour Abrams, Son

Cora Abrams, Daughter

Wesley Abrams, Son

Wade and Cecelia were husband and wife, and it was possible that the Eliza Abrams listed on the city directory was their daughter who was eight years old in 1900.

1920 Census

The next record found that listed Wade was the 1920 Census. Cecelia and their son, Wesley were the only people listed with him in the household.

Death certificate

The next record accessed happened to be the death certificate for Wade Abrams. He died on November 28, 1920, a few months after he was enumerated on the 1920 Census.

Although the place of burial was misspelled on the death index, it was clear from the digital image of the original copy of the death certificate that he was buried in Save All Cemetery.

A few more details were gleaned from Wade’s death certificate: His father’s name (Lab Abrams) and the maiden name of his daughter, Cora (Hicks).

A search for the death certificate of Wade’s wife, Cecelia, proved fruitful, and it revealed the names of her parents, Bullie Butler and Mariah Williams, along with the married name of her daughter, Eliza (Watson). Cecelia was also buried in Save All Cemetery. If it were not for the death certificates in each case, the final resting spot of this couple might still be a mystery.

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