Rosa, Levi, Fire and a Parking Lot

I could never find evidence of Rosa and Levi’s marriage. I haven’t been able to find grave sites or death certificate records for either person. To me they appear to be people that grow out of the ground in 1860 with children in tow, living with another family that I cannot tie them to through any other records (the Broderick/Davis household). Then Levi disappears, now after 1890 and Rosa is gone by 1910.

So I decided that the search function at Ancestry was not going to be of much use to me. All I can find are records of John L Thompson and Rosanna Steele and I’ve been able to prove that Levi and Rosanna/Rosa Thompson are not those people. So I began in 1850 just going page by page through the census in VanBuren, Madison, Indiana (where Levi and Rosanna live in 1860) to see what is there. That’s when I found Rose A. Blades born in 1837 in Indiana, just like Rosa and her father is from Maryland just like Rosa says in 1880.

Then days later, I got a package from the Madison County Historical Society with several records from the county health department and news papers for Albert Thompson and there on the death record are the names of Albert’s parents. Levi Thompson born in Indiana and Rosa Blode also born in Indiana. Blode is close enough to Blades to me to be a misspelling or misread of handwriting from the original certificate. The Blades family is a founding family in Van Buren and Rosa’s father James Blades is one of the first men in the area.

Why then can’t I find marriage records for Levi and Rosa if she is from a core family? The package states that many records were lost to fire in the courthouse around 1880. I imagine that is why so much is lost to me.

Madison county has a very nice cemetery web site with gravesite listings. I began to hunt through those for Levi and Rosa Thompson, but I couldn’t find them. I did find a listing and a picture for James Blades headstone, but nothing for Levi and Rosa.

My search was not totally without merit though because I discovered that there was an Alexandria Cemetery which I’d never heard about before. My heart sank though when I pulled up the page for the cemetery as it is a paved parking lot with a single marker for unknown souls.

Since I have no idea when it was paved and destroyed, I still have some hope that Levi and Rosa are buried elsewhere. That brings me back to a cemetery I can find no records for.

In my last post, I have Levi living in Tamah, Mercer, Ohio. There is a union cemetery there with only one record online but multiple headstones in a picture. This may be a reason to make a trip to Indiana and Ohio. Perhaps I will find them there.

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