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Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society

Pleasanton Memorial Gardens Cemetery

Introduction


The Pleasanton Memorial Gardens Cemetery was formerly called the "Odd Fellows Cemetery". The address listed below may be used for inquiries. The location is adjacent to St. Augustine's Catholic Cemetery.

5780 Sunol Blvd.
Pleasanton, California 94566

This cemetery is owned and operated by the International Order of Odd Fellows Lodge No. 255, Pleasanton, California. "The Lodge #255 of the Odd-Fellows was organized on January 17, 1877 with six members." (Historical Atlas of Alameda County - 1878)

The Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society (ALVHS) has in its archives a ledger (1886 May 3) recording 23 very early burials in the Odd Fellows cemetery, starting in 1886. (ALVHS Carton 2). The entries in this ledger are surprisingly rich in data, giving name of decedent, date and place of birth and death, parents' names, and cause of death. We found still-existing stones for only 6 of the 23 burials. The entire contents of the old burials ledger are reproduced at the end of this chapter.

The first recorded burial is of a Sunol Glen resident named Peek, first name not given. The burial was in Lot #91 on May 2, 1886. The following day, J. M. Peek, Esq. bought that lot for $6.00. In the notation system used in this book, Lot #91 is in Section B, Row 20. There is no surviving grave marker for Mr. or Ms. Peek.

The DAR recorded the inscriptions in this cemetery in 1935. (6 pages, preserved by ALVHS, Box 13). It is somewhat surprising, in view of the vandalism so common in cemeteries, that only one stone has disappeared since 1935. In four other cases, new stones with less detailed inscriptions have been erected since 1935. The DAR information has been integrated into our listing, with an annotation in the comments column. We found many errors in the DAR booklet and have reconfirmed that our readings are correct.

The present managers of Pleasanton Memorial Gardens, Robert Barnes Sr. and Robert Barnes Jr., have kindly furnished us with their record of burials in the cemetery. One of the documents is the original deed book for lots sold between 1886 and 1966. In a table at the end of this chapter we present the data that we extracted from the Pleasanton Gardens deed book. Although it may seem at first that this information needlessly duplicates that from the gravestones, we chose to present it for two reasons.

First, the deed book contains the name of the purchaser of the lot. He may or may not be buried on the lot, but he is probably related to those who are, and this is genealogical information. The kinship groupings shown on the deeds are sometimes clearer than those inferred from the gravestones.

Second, information in the deed record is sometimes more detailed than that on the tombstone. Cause of death is sometimes given. For example, we read in deed #82, "Wm. H. Winslow aged 48 yrs. killed by being beaten on head with an axe 7 or 8th of May 1909...". A genealogist studying the Winslow family will immediately be led to a search of inquest records, criminal court records, and newspaper accounts with a good chance of finding family information.

Other information from the cemetery managers is also included in the deed book table; it is marked with asterisks to denote its origin. Because our system of coordinates for locating gravesites in the cemetery is different from the lot number system used in the deeds, we have included a gravesite-deed cross-reference table.


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17 Apr 2009, 15:51:06

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