The Visitor

blog CARR Lysander and Julia GRAVESITE

I have a fondness for photographs of graveside visitors.  Why?  My mother died in an auto accident when I was seven months old and I was raised by my maternal grandmother.  Cemetery visits were a regular event during my childhood, and I sat for many graveside photographs, such as this one.

blog Sherri_graveside


This particular photograph, of a young woman sitting at the foot of her loved one’s headstone, is identified on the back as “May 30 1922 Melrose cemetary [sic]”.  Look at her hat!  It’s amazing!  Using a magnifying glass, I was able to make out the name Lysander Carr.  I could also see another Carr listed below Lysander, with the death year of 1904.  I searched the Find A Grave website and found the memorials for Lysander and Julia Carr in Melrose Cemetery, Brockton, Massachusetts.  Find A Grave is a wonderful, free resource for anyone working on their family genealogy.  It has been an invaluable tool in many of my searches, providing a death record for family members who otherwise would have none.  I highly recommend checking it out.

Lysander Carr was the son of William and Anna (nee Bryant) Carr and was born on July 10, 1836, in Stoughton, Massachusetts.  He married Julia Manley (nee Packard), daughter of Ransom and Hulda (nee Willis) Packard, on June 13, 1858 and the couple had three children:  Charles Hayward Carr, who died at the age of 16 years; Albert Lincoln Carr, who died in infancy; and William Manley Carr, who never married.  Lysander supported the family, working as a boot and shoemaker.  Julia died April 21, 1904, and Lysander died October 25, 1913.

I attempted to discover some possibilities for the identity of the woman visiting Lysander and Julia’s grave.  I was able to rule out the sitter being one of the couple ’s children.  According to census records, William was living with Fred Packard’s family (his maternal Uncle) in Brockton, Massachusetts in 1920 and 1930.  Fred’s wife, Helen, was the informant on the death certificate when Lysander died in 1913.  It is possible the woman was someone in Fred’s family, but I wasn’t able to narrow this possibility down to any specific names. The sitter could not have been Helen, as she was 59 years old in 1922.  If you are a family member and recognize the sitter or know someone who may be able to identify her, please contact me! I would love to solve the mystery.

blog CARR Lysander and Julia GRAVESITE Back

Census records
Find A Grave
The Carr Family Records, by Edison Irving Carr, published 1894
Family Search, Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915
Family Search, Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915
Family Search, Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915
Albert Carr’s Death – Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915



2 thoughts on “The Visitor

  1. So interesting that this photo came all the way from Massachusetts.. Wonder what the Indiana connection is, if any. Thanks again for your amazing work!


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