Shedding Light on the Family Tree: Gone Home

The 46th in a series on my family tree

Prompt: Tombstone

Tombstone for John Wesley Sparling, Tyre Cemetery, Huron Co. Michigan … Source:

It’s been a long time since I was able to do any graveyard exploration, so for this challenge I leaned on FamilySearch to help me identify ancestors whose tombstones are readily accessed, and for extra help or information, as available.

The tombstone that captured my imagination most for the purpose of this post is that of my first cousin four times removed, John Wesley Sparling (1856-1908), who is laid to rest in Tyre, Huron Co., Michigan. Though a handsome piece of masonry indeed, it’s the story behind this marker that’s most fascinating. It involves murder, intrigue, and a sensational trial that captured the national imagination. This will be the subject of my next post.

This grave stone marks the Sparling family plot where John and four of his sons ~ Peter (1885-1910), Albert (1887-1911), Scyrel (1891-1911), and Edward (1893-1894) are buried. John’s wife, Carrie (Boddy) Sparling (1864-1933) does not lie here (for reasons we’ll attempt to shed some light on next post), but is supposedly somewhere in the Tyre Cemetery though there is no record of her burial. John’s daughter, Mary Anna Stasia “May” (Sparling) Hurford (1883-1974), and a fifth son, Raymond (1890-1971) are interred elsewhere in Michigan.

So, stay tuned. If you’re unfamiliar with the notorious Sparling “murders” the background to be shared next week will set you a’wondering.

Tombstone for Peter Sparling, Eden Cemetery, Peel Co., Ontario

The Final Word

Yes, this piece is short. It’s been that kind of week. Still, I wanted to end with another Sparling memorial which to me demonstrates the gentle sense of humour of my Palatine Irish ancestor, 4th great grandfather Peter Sparling, and his wife (who arranged for the tombstone) Elizabeth (Barry) Sparling. He is buried in the Eden Cemetery, Peel Co., near Streetsville in Ontario. John Wesley Sparling was his grandson.

Would that we could all be so sure about where we’re going to end up. ❦

©Dorothy E. Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2022 … Aimwell CreativeWorks

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