The picture is of Woodcock Cemetery, and shows how our volunteers aren't just photographing, but are actually finding the tombstones sometimes. In the picture you can see three stones which have been literally dug up, and some of the holes they came from, plus the shovel. I would like to show people how dedicated our volunteers are, and how much exciting information is going to be available as a result. Woodcock was an uncatalogued cemetery, and we have found 23 legible stones, representing over 25 people. ~ Monica, in the early days of the project.
For over thirty years, I have been collecting information on Andrew County, Missouri, though I do not live in the state. While some transcriptions of the cemeteries had been published in the 1970s, I had the idea that seeing the actual tombstones would be even more helpful for researchers. But the thought of trying to gather pictures for over fifty cemeteries was nothing more than an impossible dream.
However, in mid-2004, I mentioned my dream to several people. John Bennett responded that he thought the impossible was actually possible, using the new technology of digital photography, CDs and web sites. We began to recruit volunteers, at the same time learning that there were actually over seventy cemeteries in the county, some never catalogued. By the end of 2004, a few hardy volunteers were already in the cemeteries. Gary Weekly took the first actual photograph in the project. Without John and Gary, the project would never have been more than something in my imagination.
By 2005, we had learned a lot about getting volunteers, giving driving directions, mapping cemeteries, taking good (and bad) pictures, and the huge scope of the project. At this stage, volunteers were taking pictures, giving advice, sending unsolicited funds, and giving moral support. Joe and Keith Stanton stepped up as hard-working photographers. They took thousands of photographs in dozens of cemeteries, keeping track of rows and directions. Other hard-working photographers came and went from 2005 to 2007. Betty Halvorsen came into the project in 2005, and she also has taken thousands of pictures, as well as cleaning old stones, digging them out of the ground, and instructing others in the wonderful methods which she has developed. In 2006, Nadine Taylor joined Betty, adding her expertise in local research. Without Joe, Keith, Betty and Nadine, the project might have died after a few photos. Nadine has also done a lot of proof-reading, so that I can correct my transcription and typing errors. Betty and Nadine have never quit working; they are the backbone of the project.
We had angels. Several wonderful people sent us money, which was used for postage and other operating expenses. We would have had to quit several times if not for Darrell and Lorine. Others took pictures, including families and young men involved in their Eagle Scout projects. The entire list of volunteers can be found elsewhere at this site, and nothing would have happened without them. Each one is vital and special, they have worked hard, and we are grateful to each for their selfless work. There is no glory in this project, only mud, snakes, poison ivy, wind, dogs, cattle, electric fences, bad directions and long hours. Not one volunteer made any profit, nor will we. These pictures and transcriptions cannot and will not be sold.
The transcriptions have been a collaboration between some of the photographers, Betty Halvorsen, Nadine Taylor and me, (known as "THE Transcriptions"). But the buck stops with me, so if you have corrections, please contact me (below). We'd like to continue to correct and update. I have labeled and organized pictures and typed transcriptions eight to ten hours a day, seven days a week, most days since late 2004.
The project is, in one way, finished. All cemeteries have been visited (some many times) and photographed. We still have some missing stones, and we still want to get better pictures of some of the markers, but all of our photographs are currently linked. (Please report broken links.) You can help by sharing historic photos of these cemeteries and tombstones. Who knows what we may add in the future? Keep checking back.
Monica Schirmer Eshelman
The mission of the PACT Project (Photograph Andrew County Tombstones) is to provide pictures of every known tombstone in Andrew County, Missouri. Much research and field work has gone into finding the known cemeteries and then locating and photographing the stones, but we are always eager to make updates or corrections. Please contact us if you know of other cemeteries or tombstones, or of corrections to the information provided.
We stopped regularly photographing tombstones around 2006. A few volunteers have gone back since then and taken some newer pictures, but for the most part, there aren't pictures of markers placed after our original surveys. We try to add to the "Also reportedly buried here" lists from obituaries and other sources, but this is by no means complete information.
In the first stage of this site, we provided a list of each and every existing tombstone in each and every cemetery in Andrew County, Missouri. For ease of research, the lists are alphabetical. We realize that this doesn't give a full true transcription of the cemetery, because most people would like to know which other markers are beside and around any given stone. We later provided information, through row tables, on the location of each stone, and its relationship to other markers.
The photograph number will usually give you some idea of proximity to other stones. For instance, a picture numbered 114 shows a marker that probably is between the markers in picture number 113 and picture number 115. (There are some numbering exceptions.)
We would like to post historic photographs (before 1950) of Andrew County churches and cemeteries. If you have pictures which you would share, please contact us. See the Bethel Baptist Cemetery for a wonderful example.
We purposely have not posted transcriptions of anyone living, or of any tombstone with a death date uncarved, which could belong to someone one hundred years old or less. The information after a living person is marked [private]. However, the links still work to the photograph of the tombstone. If any individual or family member wishes to have the working link removed, it will be done immediately.
To have a link removed, please contact Kris.
This project could not have happened without its volunteers. Some inspired us. Some shared information and expertise. Some donated funds for postage and supplies. Some pointed. Some braved poison ivy, over-friendly dogs, unfriendly cattle, snakes, electric fences, heat, cold, traffic, bad directions and buried stones. They have done all of this without financial compensation, in order to preserve this part of the history of Andrew County, Missouri. A heartfelt "Thank you!" to these volunteers.
| Kelly Alvarado
John & Helen Bennett
Amy Bryson & friends
Gregg, Suzanne & Herb Clizer
Marlyn & Monica Eshelman
Carol & Robert Ferguson
Rodney K. Field
Gary Hurst (deceased)
Mr. & Mrs. Bill Jordan
Mike & Trudi Kepner
Lorine Lea (deceased)
Dr. Stefan Leiner
Rev. John Middleton
Donna Holmes Palkowsky
Cleo W. Parker
Ben & Carol Pierce
Mischa Pascal Reichhardt
Jim & Randy Riley
Dakota Roach Eagle Scout Project*
Sandy Skillman Sealey
Andrew Sinclair Eagle Scout Project*
Jacob Sinclair Eagle Scout Project*
Joe & Keith (deceased) Stanton
Nathan Stone Eagle Scout Project*
Eldon Swensson & Dee Swensson, deceased
Donna J. Taylor
Cecile Coats Talley
Gary & Bonnie Weekly
* Linked articles © The Savannah Reporter and used with permission.
The transcriptions of the tombstones are ultimately mine. Whenever possible, I have checked the information against obituaries, census records, death records, Bible records or any other information available.
Often, someone in the cemetery itself can read a stone that just isn't legible in even the best photograph. Betty Halvorsen and Nadine Taylor were invaluable with this difficult work, and Nadine also did independent research from other sources. So I could not have done most of these transcriptions without them. Hence, "THE Transcriptions," for Taylor, Halvorsen and Eshelman.
There are misspellings and other errors on stones. I have left these as they appear.
If you find any discrepancies or errors in a transcription, please let me know. I will do my best to make corrections as quickly as possible so that bad information is not spread.
You are free to use these transcriptions in your personal or historical research. It is against the principles of this project, however, for anyone to sell the transcriptions.
Monica Schirmer Eshelman
The volunteers who photographed these cemeteries have agreed that their work can be used by you for your personal research. This means that you can save them, add them to your family tree, and you can also upload them to Find A Grave memorials, with proper credit and attribution to The Photograph Andrew County Tombstones (PACT) Project, and the original photographer, if known.
What you can't do is copy the transcriptions for your own website or publication. You also do not have permission to reproduce, duplicate or compile the photos for sale or profit.