On my cross country trip, I stopped in a number of locations to do some research that can’t be done via the internet (yet). One of those places was the Iowa Historical Society in Des Moines, which has microfilmed official county records and newspapers. I also stopped at a number of cemeteries.
One of my goals was to establish for certain whether or not the Stephen Parker buried in Saint John’s Cemetery in Clarion, Iowa is my third great uncle. I wrote about Stephen Parker last year. The census records show him as insane. I can now definitely conclude that Stephen Parker related to me is the same one buried near Clarion.
First, a visit to the cemetery shows his headstone includes the notation Company C, 12th U.S. Infantry. I know the Stephen Parker that lived in Grant County Wisconsin served in Companies C and F of the 12th U.S. infantry. So that’s him. Unfortunately, the grave doesn’t have any dates on it, as is common on many Civil War veteran headstones.
I knew he died before Jun 1897 due to news reports on his autopsy that appeared in that month. The Iowa Historical Society library had on microfilm the Wright County Monitor, the local Clarion newspaper. I started in June and worked backwards looking for a report on his death. I almost missed it, since it doesn’t include any headline at all. Just a long paragraph on his death. It appeared on the 2nd of June, and reports his date of death as being on the 29th of May.
I still have some details to figure out on this collateral branch. I don’t know exactly when or where Stephen Parker was born. It was between 1935 and 1937 in Ontario. And I don’t know anything about his wife’s parents other than their names on Margaret Parker’s death certificate. She emigrated from Ireland, but I don’t know where in Ireland. I don’t know if she immigrated with her family or on her own. The first mention I’ve found of her is when Stephen and she married in 1873.