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Steps Involved in Finding the lost Taff Cemetery

The Only Surviving Taff Monument.
Note Text Below
Photo by Skakel

Caution - This Cemetery and Monument are on Private Property.

It has come to our attention that some people might like to know how we go about finding a long lost cemetery. How do we know where it was. How reliable is this information, That sort of thing.

In the fall of 2013 we decided to find the location/history of the lost Taff Burial spot as part of our mission to locate the exact location of as many of these old locations as possible. The following is how we went about doing that.

1. On May 3 of 1981, Lloyd and Eileen Richards went to document the old Taff monument (burial plot) as part of a project by Kent OGS to document all monuments existing at that time in Kent County. The monument was standing and thus the location was then known. However, it was not mapped.

2. The monument was at one point moved to the bank of the ditch. We have heard that the monument was hit by a farm implement and then moved to safety and also have heard it simply fell and was moved there. At about that time it's location was "Plowed over" and the actual location was lost.

3. If the movement was in one piece when moved, then it was destroyed at it's new location "Under a tree" along the ditch bank. Of course very heavy construction equipment is used along these ditch banks for cleaning them so destruction is very easily done. A couple of years back the Verbeek family found the monument on the very edge of the creek bank under threat of being washed into the ditch or broken. They then moved it further up onto the bank to safety.

4. With about 4 phone calls and emails we were able to locate the approximate position of the monument on a creek bank. With more calls and visits we were able to get clearance to go onto the property and to find the monument and photograph it and it's location.

5. Les Mancell and John Skakel went to the site in mid October, and were unable to find the monument even with walking the bank twice. However, Mr Verbeek a previous owner of the farm was gracious enough to go to find the monument for us and to show us the location.

6. We were able to find the approximate location of the original burials by dowsing. The surprising part is that we found three different burial spots in that immediate area. Thorough searching might in fact locate even more. One had two burials. One four. And one had eight. We highly caution that this information was found by dowsing so must be taken with caution. However, finding 4 or 8 possibly sites side by side like that makes the location quite likely. But we of course cannot tell which if any are the original location of the monument itself. For those who have not seen dowsing done, it simply involves using a piece of metal wire or bar to sense where soil might have been once disturbed very deeply. I in fact showed Mr Verbeek the areas by using his long wooden handled shovel to dowse for them.

7. It was decided with further consultation with Mr Verbeek that the monument would be much safer if moved up nearer to the house. If it was in it's original location we virtually NEVER move them. But since this one was no longer in it's original location, then we deemed a relocation as feasible.

9. After bringing the monument to safety it was cleaned with a soft brush and photographed. It will be photographed once more when it has dried. (Monument photographed next day in dry contition.)

10. The likely location of the burials was photographed and documented so families int he future might know where their ancestors were interred.

11. Now we will try to find further information on the monument. It has been suggested that John and Eleanor might in fact have been involved with a tavern in the area. Might this be true? Where might this have been? What further information can we find on the two people mentioned on this monument. Might there have been two, four, or 8 family members buried on the farm. If that became evident then we would know which area was originally their burial location The stone is very old so further information will be difficult at best to obtain but we will try to do what we can. Mr Verbeek is very interested in the history of the monument and the people involved as well.

See The Little History known of the Lost Taff Burial Site(s).