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Warren Union Cemetery Index Warren Michigan Macomb County

Warren Union Cemetery Index Warren Michigan Macomb County

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Published by Wesley E Arnold
Warren Union Cemetery Warren Township, Macomb County Michigan A-Z Index by Wesley E Arnold humble historian including research by himself and others. More information is located at macombhistory.us.

Warren Union Cemetery Warren Township, Macomb County Michigan A-Z Index by Wesley E Arnold humble historian including research by himself and others. More information is located at macombhistory.us.

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Categories:Types, Research, Genealogy
Published by: Wesley E Arnold on May 01, 2012
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The Warren Union Cemetery Warren Township,Macomb County MichiganA-Z Index
 
by Wesley E Arnold humble historian including research by himself andothers.
The Warren Union Cemetery
is located between the Red Run River and Chicago Road East of Ryan Road in the NW corner of Warren Township, Macomb County Michigan. Pioneer farmer Peter Gillette sold a parcel of land in 1845 to eighteen families for a burial ground. The Warren Union CemeteryAssociation was organized in 1852 to maintain the 2 1/4 acres. It is the second oldest cemetery in the city of Warren. The plaque which was based on absolutely nothing but someone counting existing grave stonesstates that Warren Union Cemetery has 325 graves that date from the 19th Century. This statement is sounresearched and misleading that it is an insult to those buried there. Note more recent studies by differentresearchers indicate perhaps nearly 500 graves date from 19 Century plus nearly 500 buried or sprinkledafter 1900 based on just existing stones plus an additional 500-1,200 unmarked graves just within the nowfenced in area.There are unmarked burials in this cemetery there is no doubt. There are township records, church records,newspaper obits and articles and family records indicating or implying that multiple persons were buriedthere yet there is now no stone now marking that grave.Researchers who have studied this cemetery and others older Michigan cemeteries have found that thereare often many more persons buried than there are stones.Warren Union Cemetery may have hundreds of more burials than stones now show. Consider that theoriginal 18 families who had lots 10 feet by 30
did not place stones. That is around 180 burials of which just a few now have stones.
This was not considered at all when the uninformed social club that iscalled the Warren Historical Society chose words for the plaque.Also consider that in the early days this cemetery was expanded many times as lots were sold andwere used. Consider again that many additional families bought lots but did not place stones whensomeone died. And consider that many babies died at birth or shortly thereafter and were buried in the back or on top of other burials.
And in those days most had
 
big
 
families and they
usually filled up their lots
 
and had to buy additionallots here and elsewhere (We have proof of that from several sources. See what Dorothy Cummings saysabout her family and records of other cemeteries verify this.There were many deaths from many diseases we now have cures for which affected many babiesand children and adults. Sometimes there were multiple deaths of children in the same family and somedied within days of each other and were placed in the same grave.Remember that there were no funeral homes and that the corpse remained in the family home until burial.Often burial was carried out quickly.Sometimes in the family members and diggers were weak or due to rain, snow, frost, cold or other  problems the grave was not dug deeply in the old days before undertakers. In the old days in ruralAmerica families buried their own with just a shovel and blanket. And those who think that every burialwas in a six foot deep 3 foot by 6 foot hole should try digging one to understand the magnitude of the work involved in doing that by hand with only a shovel. Those who buried a family dog in the back yard can
 
attest to some of that. It is many hours of very hard work. Now days grave heaters thaw the ground in thewinter and mechanical diggers do the work in a short time regardless of the weather. Pumps can even pump out the water in the hole. When I placed a stone in a family plot on another cemetery the sextonwarned me to be careful digging even for a foundation for the stone as he stated he discovered thatsometimes old graves were not dug very deep. With the wooden casket rotted away human bones were allthat is left and as a hand shovel planted them there a hand shovel sometimes unintentionally disturbs themmany years later.Stillborn burials were sometimes placed on top of a prior burial or in a shallower grave. The villageundertaker came much later in time and was mainly a business to transport the body. Ormal Stevens andCharles Beebe may have been the first. Beebe had purchased a horse drawn hearse. They did not have or offer embalming, reconstruction and other funeral services we have today. Remember this was a very ruralarea and was mostly farmland. The village itself just had a few little shops.Also consider that many stillborns and newborns were
were rarely marked
. Many were
buried ontop of regular already used lots.
Very few of these were noted on any existing grave stone. Even nowmany families have baby graves without markers. Consider that
the older graves were most often notmarked by stones at all
and that
the older part of the cemetery was considered full by 1945
 
and manyfamilies had to buy lots elsewhere. Consider that
there are 2600 grave spaces
 
inside the currently fencedarea even after subtracting aisles and drives and that there is considerable more cemetery property outsideof the current fence at the back. Consider that the “back” of the cemetery where many babies & pauperswere buried extended much further than the now fenced in area and was destroyed by the 1950s Red Run project and by erosion since. The fence was erected in 1986. Families who suffered stillborn or baby deathsdid not usually want a big funeral or a stone as there was a stigma about this. The family home served asthe funeral home and most families just buried the remains in the cemetery quickly and privately and didnot want a marker 
 
to remind them of a stillborn or sickly often unnamed baby which would prolong thesorrow of the guilt ridden grief stricken mother.
County Death records for Warren indicate 50% of the recorded deaths were children prior toWWI. The sister cemetery St Clement with good records shows 1.5 children buried for each adultwith only about 6% of child deaths registered at the county.
Using that rate suggests the
possibilitythat there could be as many as 1500 babies and children buried there.
Add another possibly fewhundred or so adults without markers and you have the cemetery up to capacity. As we have been told bythe oldsters many times that the cemetery is full. The above makes mathematical since. But no one alivenow knows for sure. Additional collection of family records will give us just a few.Also the infant mortality rate back then was very high approximately 200 per 1000 per annum.Many other old cemeteries have hundreds of now unmarked graves many of which are children. Figure of the 1000 burials in Warren Union Cemetery only 150 show children when county death records of Warrenshow there are 500 child deaths per 1000 registered deaths average. That shows many unmarked plus whenone considers that
less than 6% were even registered
and considering the actual rate per the sister cemetery which is much higher, and also considering the mortality rate there are hundreds of additionalunmarked burials.
Researchers have done the math of all of the above and say that there is high probability thathundreds of children and many adults are buried in Warren Union Cemetery without markers
. Weshould at least recognize the possibility of this. In fact it is much more likely that there are many unmarkedgraves than now marked. This is true of many older cemeteries. Remember this is not a commercialcemetery like Forest lawn or Detroit Memorial where records have been maintained and burial practicesstandardized.A beautiful memorial was donated in memory of the children and pioneers now without markers.

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