Centuries-old cemetery defaults to Michigan township after owner cannot be found

ATLAS TOWNSHIP, MICHIGAN — Tucked behind a row of residential properties and Atlas Township’s only historical church is a small, family cemetery that houses the remains of Sally Hebbard, a direct descendant of a military leader on the Mayflower, and Norman Davison, a War of 1812 veteran who served as a part of Michigan’s earliest government.

Formerly known as Atlas Cemetery, Davison originally intended the land to be used as “common grounds,” or public parks and spaces, according to local historian Dawn Bastian.

After his daughter died, he split the property up to make a private cemetery for family and friends.

The property is now the location of some of Michigan’s last standing oak slab headstones, which have been reset multiple times due to wear and tear.

Davison eventually gave the property to his son, Paul Davison, who is recorded as the last known owner of the cemetery.

Paul Davison later moved south and likely never passed on the deed to the property, leaving it unkept and isolated for nearly a century.

Many locals and Atlas Township government officials assumed the private cemetery was kept and cared for by the church that sits in front of it.

When the church changed hands over the years, some would prioritize taking care of the property and others would let it sit.

“I think it is important to respect the people that came before us. They made us who we are today.”

ajh

Man, what a cool dude

OUR ROCKSTAR PRESIDENT

I wish he’d grope me. And then we can plunge the world into a new Cold War. What glorious fun!

ajh

Fairy godmother?

Poster by Luke Dacey for the movie The Usual Suspects

I am watching The Usual Suspects on YouTube. This silly TV version has dubbed out the swearing.

One of the classic, idiotic dubs is “fairy godmother.” Fairy godmother? Fairy godmother?! I am pretty sure the fairy replaces the F word. I am not sure about the godmother part. I do not know the movie that well, line-for-line. Co—ucker?

This reminds me of the edits in Die Hard. One is “Mr. Falcon,” which came up on a Conan episode, part of quite a funny segment.

By the way, I was recently banned from Twitter for describing someone, a politician, with the word whore. One of the hall monitors at Twitter HQ did not like that and promptly banished me from the kingdom.

ajh

Expanding the family tree

DISCOVERING DISTANT COUSINS
SOME ALIVE, OTHERS LONG DEAD

It is always fun and exciting expanding the family tree. I have talked with cousins from around the world, from Australia to Germany. That is often thanks to this very blog. People find my notes on so-and-so, and then write to me.

Recently I learned about a man named Milczewski — Zygmunt Milczewski. It is such a rare surname that I am sure he is a distant cousin, so I am working on learning more about him and his work.

I have a Google Alert set up for that name. Every time the Google bots find something with that name included, I am alerted via email. I highly recommend using Google Alerts.

I am particularly interested in the ethnic diversity of where my ancestors lived in Germany, near the Polish border. There were many Jews, Poles, and Kashubians living among the Germans, or Germanized people, in the Bütow area, where my great-grandparents lived before emigrating to America.

One of the questions I want to answer: Is the Milczewski name German or Polish? I am guessing that it is Slavic and that through the years some with the name became more and more Germanized, including a few of my ancestors.

ajh