Nine-year-old Marion Barnhill never forgot the experience as he grew up. He also watered the cedar tree as requested. Today, 93-year-old Marion Barnhill still wonders about the little girl buried there and her family. He said that before he dies, he wishes someone somewhere will recognize the following story from their relatively recent family history. He hopes they'll come forth with the identity of the unidentified girl, who may have siblings still alive today. The cedar tree survives and now towers over the grave site. Local residents have since donated a tombstone; but, sadly, they do not know what name to place on it.
Local residents in North Carolina as well as genealogists at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and the staff at the Deseret News in Salt Lake City are now looking for clues. Perhaps you can help too, especially if you are familiar with Hampstead, North Carolina area records or if you know of a Utah family that has a family story of a little girl who died while the family was traveling in North Carolina.
What you can do:
- Do you remember this story, or a close version of it, in your recent family history?
- Use these clues to search:
A white girl
Likely born in Utah, or at least in the West
Age 3, but possibly 2 or 4
Probably died sometime in the spring but possibly in the summer
Probably died in 1925 but possibly in 1924 or 1926
Died in a county at least somewhat near Wilmington, N.C., where the parents purchased her casket
If you can help, please contact Laura McLeod at 910-620-1399.
You can read more in the Deseret News at http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700036441/ID-sought-of-little-girl-left-in-North-Carolina-grave-85-years-ago.html
My thanks to Laura Moore for telling me about this sad story.
The following is from KSL News: