10 August 2017

Does Mamie Abel McKay Really Rest at Rose Hill?

(Descendants of Henry Abel series.)

To my knowledge, there is no listing of individuals buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia that is complete.  James Allen's more than 10,000 tombstone photos is not a complete listing.  FindAGrave's almost 13,000 entries is not.  And even Rose Hill's own online database containing more than 17,000 records is not a complete listing of burials.

So we sometimes have to look elsewhere for confirmation if there's a possibility a person might be buried at Rose Hill (newspapers and later death certificates are a couple of obvious go-to places).  Here is what I know about Mamie L. Abel McKay.

Mamie, who I've also seen noted as Minnie and Mary, was born about 1873 in Georgia to Fred T. and Camilla S. Brooks Abel.  She was a granddaughter of Henry Abel.

jdmckay-mlabelMamie married Jefferson Davis McKay, son of George F. and Susan A. Finney McKay, on 25 October 1893 in Macon.  The couple had at least one child, Susan, who was born 14 August 1894.  Mamie died twenty years later, on 2 July 1914, at the age of 41.  Her death and funeral were remarked upon in the 5 July 1914 edition of the Macon Telegraph -

The funeral of Mrs. J. D. McKay, whose death occurred Thursday night was held Friday afternoon at 4 o'clock from her late residence, 595 Carling avenue, Rev. Loy Warwick, pastor of the Centenary Methodist church, officiating. Interment followed at Rose Hill cemetery.

Members of the family served as active pall-bearers, and were the following: F. T., W. W., L. R., Sidney and Theodore Abel and W. McKay.

Even though that was pretty clear – Interment followed at Rose Hill cemetery – my skepticism meter became slightly elevated when I found out her husband and daughter were later buried at Riverside cemetery.  Though I cannot call it an occurrence that happened often, I have seen the two cemeteries confused in obituaries before.  Not surprising, since less than a mile separates the two.  Hopefully, you can see that in the map below.

jdmckaydcI should mention how Jefferson died.

According to a news article published in the Macon Telegraph on 5 April 1932, a couple of days after his death,

Jefferson D. McKay, 65-year-old traveling salesman who was killed Sunday afternoon when his car plunged off Houston road into a creek at Seven bridges, met death as a result of an unavoidable accident…

Evidence introduced at the inquest showed that Mr. McKay's small coupe was in a line of cars when it plunged into the southernmost of the Seven Bridges creek…

My view of an "85-years-later" map of the area indicates Mr. McKay possibly drowned in Tobesofkee Creek.  The article partially quoted above mimics, in part, what is found on Jefferson's death certificate:

He came to his death in automobile accident.  His car driven by himself went over an embankment which is known as the 7 Bridges Road.  His car turning over as it went down the embankment in water 10 or 12 ft deep and in our opinion it was an unavoidable accident.

Susan, daughter of Jefferson and Mamie, married Walter R. Rogers (whose 1928 murder will require a whole other post) about 1914.  The couple had at least three children, one of them being Mary Lucy, who died June 1922 at the age of just two months.  Susan died 23 June 1963.

Based on the information I have at this time, it's likely Mamie is buried at Rose Hill.  Her father purchased a lot there a day before the death of an infant of his and Camilla's in 1873 – Eglantine Square block 4, lot 21.  Thinking Jefferson decided to place Mamie there is not a stretch, though I have no evidence to suggest where within Rose Hill she was actually laid.

And it's quite possible Walter and Susan McKay Rogers purchased a lot in Riverside to hold the remains of their infant daughter.  Maybe, upon the death of her father, Susan decided she wanted him there.

But, healthy skepticism is a good thing.  Right?

Some Additional Sources:

  1. 1880 census of United States, population schedule, Fourth Fire Ward, Macon, Bibb, Georgia, E. D. No. 16, Page No. 58, dwelling 427, family 573, Frederick T. Abel household, accessed May 2017. Includes wife Bessie; daughters Carrie and Mamie; and son Frederick; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com).
  2. "Georgia County Marriages, 1785 - 1950", database, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, FamilySearch, (http://www.familysearch.org), image, Jefferson McKay m. Minnie L. Abel 25 October 1893 at Bibb County.
  3. 1900 census of United States, population schedule, 716 District, Macon City, Bibb, Georgia, E. D. No. 31, sheet no. 8A, dwelling 152, family 196, Jefferson D. McKay household, accessed 2 June 2017. Includes wife Mary L.; and daughter Susie L.; digital image, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org).
  4. "Georgia Deaths, 1928-1940", database, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, FamilySearch, (http://www.familysearch.org), Image of death certificate for Jefferson D. McKay, d. 3 April 1932.
  5. Riverside Cemetery & Conservancy, Genealogy Data; Riverside Cemetery, Inc., Macon, Georgia, USA, 2017. http://www.riversidecemetery.com/.
  6. 1930 census of United States, population schedule, City of Macon, Bibb, Georgia, E. D. No. 11-39, sheet no. 16A, family 369, Susan Rogers household, accessed 9 June 2017. Includes sons Roy and Henry; and father Jefferson McKay; digital image, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org).
  7. "Walter R. Rogers Found Murdered / Walter Rogers is Found Dead," issued 15 September 1928, accessed 9 June 2017, name of interest: Walter R. Rogers, Macon Telegraph, Macon, Georgia, online image (http://www.genealogybank.com).

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