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Modesto Guys

March 16, 2011
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I’ve been researching our family tree on and off for a few months. It’s been an interesting experience! A year ago, I’d have told you that most of my relatives either came from Texas, or they got off a boat from Ireland in San Francisco. Imagine my surprise to discover that I have ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary & Civil Wars!! They were in Ohio, Illinois & I’m currently trying to dig up some info on a branch in South Carolina.  But that’s getting ahead of myself.

I started on Ancestry.com and put in what I know.  My great-grandmother, Lucille, was born in 1909 and died in 2007. She grew up near Modesto, CA in the small community of Empire. Her family had ties to San Francisco and she spent most of her life living in the city.  One day, while I was coming up dry on things on Ancestry, I discovered that other websites have cemetery records online. Lo and behold, the Modesto Citizens Cemetery was one of them and found that quite a few relatives have been buried there. I also had plot numbers, and being that it’s only 1.5 hrs from my house, I had to find them!

Attempt #1 was a complete failure. The cemetery is actually 5 different cemeteries in the same location all mashed together. There’s no way of telling where one begins and the other ends, and absolutely no way to tell what the plot numbers are. So Chris & I just wandered around. I knew I was looking for a group of people with the last name Guy all buried in the same area. How hard could that be?  Pretty difficult, actually. The graves go every which direction, what obviously used to be roads (for horse & buggies, maybe?) are now grassed over and people are buried there too!

Attempt #2 was a solo attempt by Chris. He was passing through Modesto on a weekday during business hours and stopped by. His first stop was the cemetery office where they provided him with a map and a general area to look for those graves. SUCCESS!! He located Lucille’s father, Laurence Valley Guy, and her grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Guy, plus a couple more of Thomas’ sons.  Chris didn’t have time to look around much that day but we plan to go back and try to locate some more Guys in the near future.

Thomas Jefferson Guy was the youngest of 11 children. ELEVEN. He was born in Illinois & died in Modesto, CA. He had 5 kids of his own, 4 boys and 1 girl. Laurence Valley was the oldest and went on to have 3 children. Three is a much more reasonable number. His eldest was Lucille, my great-grandmother.
TJ Guy —> L.V. Guy—>Lucille Guy—>Jeanne A.—>Cynthia P.—>ME!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 16, 2011 11:19 pm

    LOL! It sounds like you’re hooked on genealogy now !

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