I’ve been looking for the date of death of my grandmother’s cousin, Mary Ann Penrod Hall. Mary Ann was the sister of my great-grandmother, Sarah Penrod Oglesby. Sarah was my grandmother’s mother. The Penrods are tricky and have been hard to trace. These are my mother’s people, the ones that have frustrated me to the point that I once yelled out loud, “If you want me to find you, you’ve got to HELP me!” I did that and then moved on to my father’s family, who have always been much easier to trace.
I knew these things about Mary Ann:
- She married John Morgan Hall and had at least 8 children with them, many of whose descendants had their DNA tested, and whom I matched over and over.
- John Morgan Hall was probably Mary Ann’s cousin. Mary Ann’s father’s mother was Sarah Hall. John Morgan’s father was James Henry Hall. They lived in close approximation to each other. I have not had as much luck tracking down the Hall family as I have with the Penrods, which is to say, not a lot of luck at all.
- John Morgan Hall died in Illinois in 1946 at the age of 72. He and Mary Ann were in the 1940 census, and then Mary Ann simply disappeared from records afterwards.
- John was buried in the Herrin City Cemetery in Herrin, Williamson, Illinois. He had a Find A Grave memorial created for him, but Mary Ann didn’t.
It actually looks like I knew more about John Morgan Hall than I did about Mary Ann. I’ve spent the last couple of years lazily tracking down their children, hoping to find some clue as to when Mary Ann died. I didn’t find any clues. Then a couple of days ago it struck me that I could call the cemetery and see if she’s buried beside John. I tried that. The number I was given by the city clerk of Herrin County just kept going to an answering machine. Then today I got the bright idea to request a photo of his grave. I did that and within a couple of hours I received notification that the request had been fulfilled. I went to John’s FAG memorial and found this:
And there she is, right beside him. That photo is the only evidence I have that Mary Ann Penrod Hall died on that date. It’s enough for me for now.