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Cris West (#47489260)
 member for 3 years, 4 months, 14 days
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Bio and Links
I am THE Cemetery Historian of Bartholomew County (self-declared, of course). I have been working on tracing not just the folks buried in them, but the reason why they were buried there. I chase down the early churches and meeting houses, look through old deed records and DAR cemetery readings to try to get a more complete understanding of who might be buried in those unmarked graves of today.
I have worked closely with Cemetery Researcher Donna Kuhlman and I try to utilize every resource I can to document the history of these sites. I happen to work in the Bartholomew County Surveyor's Office and I have established a database of 175 sites within the county and have enough evidence for each one to declare them burial sites. I have a map of them available to anyone who comes in the office and asks.
I have been fortunate enough in the last 5 or 6 years to meet and become friends with the professional cemetery restorers who have worked on such cemeteries as Carter's Chapel, Flatrock Baptist and Lambert's Station. I would stop there at different times of the day during their restoration work and take photos of every stone they were working on. I found that doing this has given me the opportunity to photograph the stones just after they were cleaned, which hopefully was as close to what they looked like when they were each dedicated as we will ever get. Different types of stones and different types of sunlight furnished at least one good, legible picture of most of the stones.
I hope no one gets upset if I post or have already posted some of these restoration photos on memorials that may already contain a photo of the tombstone. As someone who has been able to find the tombstones of my own ancestors in other states while sitting at my computer, I very much appreciate EVERY photo submitted by dedicated volunteers. I think multiple shots of the stones only add to the site and its cause.
I am also signed up here as the County Surveyor's Office and I have tried to set up the cemeteries that weren't already on here. My ULTIMATE goal is to re-write our Indiana Codes to close up all the loopholes that allow burials in old cemeteries without a plat (just probe and dig) or utility easements through borderless graveyards.
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Contributions to
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 • 1,012 Memorials Added
 • 1,012 Memorials Managed
 • 6 Memorials/week
 • 1,461 Photos
 • 1 Photo Request
 • 16 Volunteer Photos Taken
 • 2 Virtual Flowers
 • 7 Virtual Cemeteries
 • 9 Friends
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County Surveyor, Donna Kuhlman, Linda Coen Pas..., Paula S. Winkle..., Ralph Harris, RoxAnne Sweany, TexasMom, Toria , Traci
Messages left for Cris West (50)[Leave Message]
Jerry Morris Mounts
Maria Elizabeth Mounts
Chris, thanks for the work that you do, very interesting bio, great project. Glad to see another dedicated worker out there. thanks for the transfer of Maria Elizabeth Mounts, she is my kin and I will take care of her.

Jerry Morris Mounts
Added by Jerry Morris Mounts on Aug 27, 2014 11:31 AM
Sandi Rohde
Perkins problem
I could not get a message to you on the Columbus proboard so will you please email me so I can get some corrections to you. Sandi Perkins Rohde
Added by Sandi Rohde on Jun 21, 2014 6:36 PM
PFC Charles Chomel
Thank you for the added information... I think I am Ok... with his site for now...

Added by Eddieb on Jan 01, 2014 2:07 PM
Wilda Dillion
RE: Nancy Collier
Cris - I used to correspond with Martha Davis. She told me when I first wrote to her that she hadn't worked on the Colliers in a long time and they were under the bed. She never did get them out. I knew she belonged to the DAR and wanted to know what line she used to get there but never found out.

Years ago I wrote to the Indiana Highway Dept. and they sent me a lot of info on movng the graves. This included pictures reproduced on a copying machine of the original tombstones. Be nice to find the originals and add a picture of them to the memorial.

Why do we need two Nancy Colliers? She was moved, so maybe you should delete the one at the orginal burial site. Thank you for giving Nancy to me. Wilda
Added by Wilda Dillion on Aug 20, 2013 12:50 PM
Angie M. York/McCallister/Lewis
Memorial# 69536251
Mary Elizabeth Lawrence
Added by Angie M. York/McCallister... on Jul 19, 2013 4:09 PM
My email sent
Hello Cris:
I sent you an email about the Spaugh Cemetery/Nick Powell and am wondering if it maybe went into your spam mail. I will resend it now and hope it gets through. Please check your spam....Thanks! Dianne
Added by Dianne on Jul 12, 2013 8:51 AM
Jeff Goodwin
Laura Andrews
Thank you Chris for the transfer and more especially for all of your time, effort and hard work. From one who has found my "family tree" to be a lifelong passion, your time and energy spent here is greatly appreciated more than words can express.
Added by Jeff Goodwin on May 28, 2013 5:20 AM
C. Smith
Orville Plummer

Dear Mr. West,
Orville Plummer is the brother of my Grandfather Ford Plummer would love to have his memorial transfered to me if possible.

Memorial Number of Orville Plummer (#72508069)
Cemetery: Garland Brook.

My Memorial Numer: (#47569665)

Thank you so much,
C. Smith
Added by C. Smith on Feb 23, 2013 11:22 AM
Gail Schinnerer Jorgensen
RE: Garland Brook Cemetery
Chris - I have a second photo request at Garland Brooks & I wasn't sure if you wanted to get that one also?
I am putting her info here just in case tomorrow is the day you are going and your answer is yes, BUT it is OK to say no!! I mean that!

Her name here on Find a Grave is Anna Katharina "Kate" Schinnerer Benefiel. According to her Lot internment order & probably her stone, her name is A Catherine Benefiel. The lot order lists her plot as Lot 131, Addition 2, Section 11.

I will also call Garland brooks again tomorrow to try to get a lot & addition # for my original request, Louisa Schinnerer Sackman, since I now know that this cemetery has them. Initially I was only given a section number!

Added by Gail Schinnerer Jorgense... on Feb 01, 2013 12:13 AM
Gail Schinnerer Jorgensen
RE: Garland Brook Cemetery
Fantastic! The person I am seeking a plot &/or headstone photo of is Louisa (or Louise) Sackman.

Birth - Apr. 20, 1859
Death - Sep. 26, 1902

I had called the cemetery & they assured me that she is in section 17. The only thing I did not think to ask is how to find it if her name is not on the stone. Shall I call & try to get that info?

Please do not feel that I am rushing you or anything like that. I have had my request for a photo on & off the request list several times in the last 4-5 months or so. I decided to be proactive and will be happy to receive the photo whenever it comes my way. Even if there is no grave marker, a plot photo is welcome.

Just let me know if you want me to call the office to get any further info to help in locating the plot.

Added by Gail Schinnerer Jorgense... on Jan 26, 2013 7:40 AM
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