Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: What do you do when the tombstone is wrong?

 photo SidneyThompsonMtZionNCOct2006.jpg  photo FoundersPlaqueMtZionNCOct2006.jpg  photo SidneyThompsonFounderMtZionNCOct2006.jpg
My great-great grandfather’s name was Sidney E. Thompson and he grew up in Persimmon Valley, Rabun County, Georgia. He moved his family to Marble, Cherokee County, North Carolina. His son, Luther Thompson, plus Luther’s wife, Sellie and their family joined Sidney around 1931. Sidney is listed as a founder of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church near Marble.

Sidney’s daughter in law (my great-grandmother) Sellie Clark Thompson died during childbirth in 1936 and Luther moved his children back to Rabun County that fall. Sidney didn’t have any horses and didn’t want to overwork his mules so he would walk from Marble, NC to Tiger in Rabun County, GA to spend time with Luther and his children.

The Thompson family realized Sidney was getting older and arranged the first annual Thompson Family Reunion on 7 August 1838 in Rabun County. Sidney happily attended as it was held in his honor. Many in the community attended to see Sidney although they were not Thompsons. (I have a list of those in attendance published earlier in this blog.) Sidney died in the months following that first reunion. The reunion is still being held each August and I just attended the 71st annual Thompson reunion in Persimmon. Sidney Thompson is buried with his wife, Adeline York Thompson at Mt. Zion Baptist Church Cemetery.

My problem is: What do you do when the tombstone is wrong?

I was surprised to visit Mt. Zion Cemetery to find the tombstone death date states he died in August 1963. I have yet to find proof of an exact death date but know from my grandmother and other Thompson relatives that he died around 1938 and definitely before August of 1939 when they held the second reunion.

Any suggestions as to how I should handle this situation?

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