Cemeteries of Whatcom County, Washington

After moving to Bellingham almost a 10-years ago, this little slice of the Pacific Northwest has become my home away from home. I now consider it my hometown, even though I was born in Utah. It has become my part of paradise and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. As a genealogist, one of the first places I went to when I arrived was the local cemetery closest to me. In fact, it was my first picture taken here.

Oct. 28, 2008 - Bayview Cemetery
Oct. 28, 2008 – Bayview Cemetery

Cemeteries are important to me. They provide information for my research and profession and are my ‘happy place’. What genealogist wouldn’t want to spend all day in a cemetery?

Bayview Cemetery

In Whatcom County, there are over 45 known (or former) cemeteries. I’ve been to several of them, but not nearly all. There are many that are now on privately owned land that I may never see, but below are all the cemeteries that have ever been on Whatcom County land.

  • Bayview Cemetery
  • Bethany Lutheran Cemetery
  • Beth Israel Cemetery
  • Blaine Cemetery
  • Blaine Masonic
  • Buchanan Cemetery (a.k.a. Woodlawn Cemetery)
  • Case Cemetery
  • Central Cemetery
  • Enterprise Cemetery
  • Glacier Cemetery
  • Goshen Cemetery (a.k.a. Sulkanon Cemetery)
  • Greenacres Memorial Park
  • Greenwood Cemetery
  • Haynie Cemetery
  • Hillsdale Cemetery
  • Hopewell Cemetery (a.k.a. Licking Cemetery)
  • Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery
  • Jobe Cemetery
  • Kendall Cemetery
  • King Mountain Cemetery
  • Lakeside Cemetery (a.k.a Clearbrook Cemetery, Pangborn Lake Cemetery, and Van Buren Cemetery)
  • Lummi Island Cemetery
  • Lummi Tribal Cemetery
  • Lynden Cemetery
  • Lynden Jim Cemetery
  • Maple Falls Cemetery
  • Mt. Calvary Cemetery
  • Mt. Hope Cemetery (a.k.a Deming Cemetery)
  • Monumenta Cemetery
  • Mountain View Cemetery
  • Nooksack Cemetery
  • Nooksack Indian Cemetery
  • Nooksack Tribal Cemeteries
  • Old Maple Falls Cemetery (a.k.a. Cannon Cemetery)
  • Perry Cemetery
  • Point Roberts Cemetery
  • Saxon Cemetery
  • Semiahmoo Indian Cemetery
  • ST. Anne’s Cemetery
  • St. Joseph’s Catholic (a.k.a Clipper Cemetery)
  • St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery (a.k.a. Columbia Valley or Deming Catholic)
  • Sumas Cemetery
  • Ten Mile Cemetery
  • Van Zandt Cemetery (a.ka. Grange Cemetery)
  • Welcome Cemetery (a.k.a Kulshan Cemetery)
  • Wickersham Cemetery
  • Woodlawn Cemetery (a.k.a. Paradise Cemetery)
  • Zion Lutheran

In future posts, I will be going more into more detail about the history of these cemeteries and information about them. Which ones would you like to see featured first?


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How City Names Change: From Salem, Utah to Bellingham, Washington

Cities have longed dotted the landscape of this planet and ever since Argos, Greece over five millennia ago we have congregated in them. As we search through the records of our ancestors, thousands of cities in dozens of languages stand out to us as genealogists. For many of us, New York City and Ellis Island are particular names of places that our ancestors first stepped on the shore of.

Ellis Island, 1905
Ellis Island, 1905

Why do cities or locations mean so much to us? It gives a grounding of who we are where we come from. It gives a place to come back to and as short story author Simon Van Booy said:

for-those-who-are-lost

Sometimes we are puzzled and hit a brick wall when the city we see on the record doesn’t match any city on earth. This could be for a number of reasons but it is always difficult when we come across this. In fact, a few months ago this happened to me and I was stumped about where to find the following city:

Badzas Vylak

Turns out, the place still exists, but because of wars and border changes, it is now in a completely different country.  According to this WWII Draft Card, the name of the city the individual was born in was Badzas Vylak, Czechoslovakia. I scoured the internet for the tiny town or village but to no avail, so I turned to Reddit. It just so happens to be the R/Slovakia subreddit that was able to answer my question. Turns out that it was a horrible translation of Bodzásújlak, which is now located in modern-day Slovakia.

Other times, the city still stands and is running, but is known by a completely different name. For instance,  Salem, Utah located in the middle of the state of Utah and named in honor of an early pioneer to the area,  Lyman Curtis’ birthplace in New Salem, Massachusetts.

Lyman Curtis
Lyman Curtis

I was going through some census records 1870 to find more information about a family living in the area and I kept seeing references to Pondtown, Utah. This puzzled me as I had never heard of the place before. Again, I started down the rabbit hole that is known as Google to find some more information.

It turns out that Salem, Utah was known as Pondtown for a great number of years and is still used colloquially around the area in such things as the Pondtown Christmas Festival. Knowing this can help me better map individuals in a tree, even if the original name of the town has been changed, forgotten or merged.

 

Pondtown Utah
Salem (formerly Pondtown) Utah

One of my favorite stories of a town name change is about the city I currently reside in –Bellingham, Washington. The change happened when four distinct villages: Sehome, Fairhaven, Whatcom and Bellingham all merged into one on November 3, 1903. Even though it is all one city, legally, we still recognize each one of those neighborhoods (plus dozens of more) as residents.

Bellingham, Washington - Abt. 1909
Bellingham, Washington – Abt. 1909

What other towns or place names have you found that have disappeared? Share them in the comments below!


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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem,_Utah#cite_note-5

 

http://person.ancestry.com/tree/103951046/person/340035904984/facts

Tombstone Tuesday: Valentine’s Edition

Note: Instead of posting this yesterday on actual Valentine’s Day I forgot and spent it with my husband. So, here is Tombstone Tuesday…ehh…I’ll have to call it 
Waiting to Find the Dead Wednesday.

It’s not every year that Tombstone Tuesday falls on a holiday and even rarer that it falls on a holiday that is all about love. Genealogy and family history in many senses is all about love. We meet, we fall in love, we have children. Time after time and again and again.

This week, I’ve decided to focus this edition of Tombstone Tuesday on gravestones that I’ve encountered that have a couple buried together or side-by-side.  All of these gravestones were taken from Bayview Cemetery in Bellingham, Washington. You can see more of my cemetery photography work at my Find a Grave profile located here. If you ever need a photo of an ancestors tombstone, be sure to message me!

Margaret and George Herley
Margaret and George Herley
Hanna and Ivar Amble
Hanna and Ivar Amble
John and Elizabeth Benthien
John and Elizabeth Benthien
Arnold and Bernice Loober
Arnold and Bernice Loober
Samuel and Natalie Franzke
Samuel and Natalie Franzke

What are your favorite “couples” gravestones or tombstones? Share in the comments below!

 


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Cemetery Walks

Earlier this week I was invited to be part of a walking tour through one of the oldest cemeteries in Whatcom County, Bayview. It was founded in 1887 in the town of Whatcom and the first burials took place in 1888. During this tour, we were treated to the history of the monuments of the founding families of our area, like the Eldridges, Roeders and Bloedels.
Cemeteries have always been a super peaceful place for me to take a walk, not something scary or spooky like lives in legends or an episode of Buffy. My mother is a professional genealogist (who you can find here) and taught me and my siblings a great respect for cemeteries and the dead from a  young age.
John Raynolds 1866-1897, Congregation Beth Israel
Henry Roeder, 1824-1902
Henry Roeder, 1824-1902
The tombstones speak to some people and tell stories of others. There are hundreds of people buried in this particular cemetery and thousands more buried around the county. I wonder what their stories are telling us.