After negotiating our way down a busy 7th Avenue from Times Square we found 261 West 20th Street, the home of Mr Geniaus' 2xGreat-Uncle, John Gowans between about 1872 and 1882. John's wife and daughter lived at this address up until 1902.
|Gowans home - 261 West 20th Street, New York|
|First try at accessing Green-Wood Cemetery|
|Inside the impressive main entrance of Green-Wood|
A drive around the perimeter of this beautifully maintained cemetery brought us near the location of the Gowans grave. With our map in hand we located the Gowans grave within a few minutes. Of course we got a surprise. The monument was rather grand (although much smaller than some of the others at Green-Wood); as expected we found that John, his wife Anna Regina Bouton and their son James Gowans were interred in the plot. We discovered that Anna's parents were also interred n the grave but that Ida Rust (Anna's sister) who was also buried there was not mentioned on the monument.
|Mr Geniaus at the Gowans grave|
My next stop was to find the grave of a Gowans niece, Agnes Korwan, who was mentioned in Anna Bouton's probate record that I had found earlier in the week at the New York Surrogate's Court. This grave was more modest than the Gowans one but it gave me approximate dates of birth and death to follow up.
At our next stop we were looking for the grave of a Gowans Great-niece, Edna Germer, who was also mentioned in the probate document. Unfortunately we could not locate this grave as I imagine there was no headstone. We then went back to the cemetery office to seek more information about the graves, their inhabitants and to see if we could find any clues to assist us. We did find another Germer grave near the site of Edna's resting spot; I need to find out if these people are relations.
|Not the Germer grave I was seeking|
The woman who dealt with us in the cemetery office was the complete opposite of the man in the gatehouse. She was as cold, uninterested and unhelpful. After our interaction with this woman we left the cemetery office feeling rather flat. We had travelled half way around the world to seek information and all she would give us was the email address of a researcher which was not what we needed; we needed advice on how to access the information in the cemetery records and were quite prepared to pay for this help and information. This woman who did not listen to us and did not try to ascertain what we wanted also gave us the 'phone number of the Municipal Archives that we had already visited; I doubt that these archives would give us answers to the questions we had. This woman was an exceptionally poor representative of a most impressive site.
We were most impressed by the standard of maintenance that was evident throughout Green-Wood Cemetery, the gardens and monuments were in good order. The management are to be congratulated on their attention to this historic site.
|One of the lakes at Green-Wood|
|View of Lady Liberty from Green-Wood|