Robert Gavin

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11 years · 6 months · 26 days
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I'm researching my family's roots. Upon arrival in the USA, my Irish ancestors settled in the Philadelphia, PA area. (One known exception: My great-grandfather Simon Gavin lived in Naugatuck, CT in 1864. He enlisted in the 15th CVI Regiment at New Haven, CT and fought in the Civil War. He was wounded and captured in North Carolina, then released in a POW exchange in 1865 when the war ended. After that, He lived in Philadelphia until his death in 1884.)

My German, French, and English ancestors also settled for the most part in the Philadelphia, PA area, and a few in New Jersey. During the 1940's and 1950's, many of my family migrated from Philadelphia to southern New Jersey.

Surnames of interest to me on my father's side are: Gavin, Fitzgerald, Donalan, and Delancy. On my mother's side are: Chandler, Dreyer, Ege, and Shaffer.

Many of my ancestors are buried in Old Cathedral, New Cathedral,Holy Cross,and Fernwood Cemeteries. These are all located in the Philadelphia area.

At least three of my ancestors on my mother's side were buried in Lafayette Cemetery. Their remains were lost forever, along with about 47,000 others as a result of a 1946 city contract involving Evergreen Memorial Park in Bensalem Township, PA. The city of Philadelphia contracted with Thomas A. Morris, president of Evergreen Memorial Park in Bensalem Township, to dig up 47,000 sets of remains from the run-down Lafayette
Cemetery in South Philadelphia. The bodies were to be buried again on 40 of the 156 acres owned by Evergreen, complete with caskets, drainage, new bronze markers, roadways and perpetual maintenance of the grounds. The 40 acres were renamed Lafayette Cemetery. The reburial, in accordance with the terms of this contract, did not happen.

For source and details of the Lafayette Cemetery scandal, see the following news article:

"Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) October 9, 1988 A TALE OF 47,000 BODIES, FINAL RESTING PLACE UNKNOWN Author: Donna Shaw, Inquirer Staff Writer.")

If anyone comes across any of my family names listed above, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

Thank you.

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