As told by Paul Rickert
When you’ve found an ancestor in a cemetery, have you ever given much thought about the other people buried in that lot or in surrounding lots with different surnames?
It was probably in early 1980, Dad turned over to me 15 1-inch ring notebooks loaded with family genealogy, diaries, and photographs. Over the years, he had done a lot of research on the 9 RICKERT cousins and their families who had migrated to Naperville around 1844. Dad, C. Hobart Rickert, was born in 1896 on a farm north in Naperville near the intersection of Bauer and North Washington Streets. After graduating from North Central, he had taught in a high school in Plainfield, MN for a few years then returned to teach in the Naperville high school from 1926 to
1946. Being from an old Naperville family and having taught school, he knew about everyone in town. As I result, I knew the surnames of many families.
When he passed on, computers and the Internet were just coming on the scene. So with Family Tree Maker, it took quite a bit of time entering his family research. A major research boost came as more and more Internet sources became available.
Recently, I used the Internet to explore one of the early settlers of Naperville, Willard and Carolyn (HAWLEY) SCOTT. They had a son Willard who married Etta COOPER. Willard Jr and Etta were buried in Truman I MYERS lots in the Naperville Cemetery. Since I knew of Truman, I wondered how the others in his plot were related to him.
Other questions came up about that lot and the other people buried in the cemetery: how many of them were related to the early pioneers of Naperville; which ones played a significant role in Naperville history; are there any leads on the vagrants or on the Civil War Confederate veteran buried in the cemetery; the list goes on.
A huge turning point in the research came when Fox Valley Genealogical Society read the Naperville Cemetery and then published NAPERVILLE CEMETERY: A HISTORY OF A CITY IN STONE. Don’t forget to check of Pioneers of Naperville, A Memorial Volume which might clear up some questions. The Pioneers book is a reading of the Naperville Cemetery done by the DAR,c1952. Since 1952, the ravages of time have damage the faces of some of the headstones so they can’t be read now.