Monday, 6 August 2012

Finding Great-Grandma

Michla Ilyutovich (née Levin, known in the UK as Millie Gitovitch)
d 23 March 1916

We found my Great-grandmother's grave in Edmonton Federation Cemetery today.  Michael, the guy in the office, traced it in the register of burials from the death certificate details I gave him. He gave us the section, row, and grave number, but we worked our way up and down row J19, and couldn't find it. Unfortunately the individual plots are not labelled, but Michael kindly located it for us by counting along the graves from the end of the row.

It turned out that her grave was totally unmarked, and could easily be mistaken for a passageway between the closely-packed rows.

The only people who would have known where she was buried would be her three children living in London at the time - my grandmother Sarah, and her brothers Myer and Harry. I presume they could not afford a headstone at the time. The grave has probably been unmarked and unvisited since she died, nearly a hundred years ago.

Michael made out a little grave marker for her, so at least her space is indicated, and hopefully that will discourage people from stepping on it.

We are looking at marking out the grave with a small memorial stone, placed on a couple of stone slabs. Michla Levin had an extraordinary life, which I will try to recount - at least the little we know - on the Belaroots Stories website. She had 16 grandchildren, but only ever saw four of them.

We - four of her great-grandsons - visited her birthplace in Belarus last year, and now we've located her final resting place, and feel we know her a little better. She needs a memorial, and we need to remember her.

1 comment:

  1. Michael, Thanks to you and Brian for taking the time to visit Edmonton and posting. I rather suspect the lack of a memorial was the obvious lack of money when there was so little it had to be spent on the living. This may also help explain why my father, Maurice, had no information from his father, Myer, that his grandmother had been in England and was buried nearby.
    I think marking her burial site now well worthwhile and we must talk about arrangements.

    All best wishes