The Inevitable: Cemetery Hunting

Now, I am at a standstill in my research. Next year will mark the centennial of Rachel Flowers’ enrollment at Messiah Missionary School and Training Home, known today as Messiah College, my alma mater. If you are new to my blog, welcome! To give you a brief background about Rachel, please read the bio marquee created below:)


Hopefully, the 2016 homecoming will have a special celebration for Rachel *crosses fingers*, if so special guests are needed and by special guests I mean her living descendants. This is where my research gets tricky. I have not yet found a living descendant. Her brother passed away in 2001, only fourteen years ago and for the majority of her siblings I have already found their Social Security Death Indexes. I do not have much to work with and Ancestry only helps with so much.

Family Tree (Non-traditional format)

Grandparents (Maternal)

JJ Sawyer  1837-1919
Susan Sawyer   1850-1903


Harry Flowers 1946-1928
Nancy Sawyer *maiden name* 1873-1963
Henry Sams (stepfather) 1888-1949

    Uncles/Aunts (maternal)

David Sawyer (1859-?)
Carrie Sawyer (1875-?)
Joseph Sawyer (1879-?)

      Half-Siblings (Father’s first marriage to Lydia Bradley 1860-?)

Samuel Flowers (1875-?)
Mary Adell Flowers (1878-1943)
Josie Flowers (1880-?)

        Half-Brother (Mother’s second marriage to Henry Sams 1888-1949)

Henry Sams Jr (1914-1975)
His second wife: Edna Sams (1926-2004)
His first wife: Eleanor Johnson (?)
                         Their daughter: Cathy Sams (?)  ************LEAD******************


Chauncey S. Flowers (1895-1936)
His Wife: Earnestine (Ernestine) Hagins (1899-?)
Their children: Chauncey Flowers Jr. (1920-1966)
His wife: Gladys Flowers (?)
                        Margaret Flowers (1922-?)  ********************LEAD****************

John Carrolis Flowers (1898-?)

Fred Flowers (1899-1982)

Theodore Flowers (1903-1933)
His wife: Irma (?)

Vincent Allen Flowers (1906-2002)

Gladyce Flowers (1908-1988)
Her Husband: Paul R. Stevenson (1900-1960)
Their children: Arnita Stevenson (1932-?)****************LEAD*****************
Paul Stevenson (1936-2011)

Hilda Wilson (1910-1975)
Her Husband: Herbert Wilson (1907-1962)
Their children: Geraldine Wilson (1931-1986)
Herbert Wilson Jr. (1936-?)
His wife: Sandi (?)
Their daughter: Nandi Wilson (?)

Harry Wilson (?)
His first wife:  Sonja Wilson (?)
His second wife: Corona (?)

This leaves to the inevitable portion of my research–cemetery hunting. Harry Flowers and his son, Chauncey, are buried at Lincoln Cemetery. For the other members of the Flowers family, it was difficult in securing where they were buried. particularly the person who is at the focus of my research-Rachel. With neither a death certificate nor obituary, I was a bit stuck until yesterday. I was staring at her mother’s death certificate when it hit me, burial locations are listed at the bottom. I completely blanked out when I first saw her mother’s death certificate. Rachel and her mother are more than likely to be buried at the same cemetery. This cemetery is Laurel Hill located in Philadelphia and I will have to contact them sometime this week to receive information on Nancy Sams and Rachel Ellerbee, hopefully they will have an obituary.


When I return to Pennsylvania for homecoming, I hope to drag one of my friends along because I have a lead and we are going cemetery hunting!

Until the next post,


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