Posted by: downtothesea | February 25, 2009

Missing person!

It just occurred to me that on the McCabes’ headstone I found recently, my great-great grandmother is missing.

There are epitaphs on the stone for my ggg-grandparents, Thomas (d. 1880) and Helen McCabe (d. 1884) of Co. Sligo, Ireland.

There is also an epitaph for my gg-grandfather, Owen McCabe, their son, also from Sligo (d. 1886).

But Owen’s wife Helen (Kelly) McCabe, who outlived him by as much as 20 years, is absent from the stone.

Owen and Helen’s children are also absent.  Because they were all girls, this leads me to believe that they all married and were buried with their husbands.

Did my missing gg-grandmother remarry as well?  The last I hear of her is in the 1900 census, where she is living alone, still as Helen McCabe, and she is about 73 years of age.  How realistic was it for a woman in her 70s to remarry at this time?

I guess I’ve got to go digging for a death certificate…

Poor Helen.  Where are you?



  1. Is it possible that she is buried there but just not on the stone? I have at least one relative that I know – and the cemetery confirms – is buried in a certain place but the stone only has information for his wife and a young son. Possible as the last to die no one saw to putting the information on the stone.

    • Hi Diana,

      That’s a very good point! I hadn’t thought of that! I’ll keep you posted….

  2. I have awarded you the Kreativ Blog award!

  3. At that time there were no social programs for retirement. I think that the children would have taken care of the parents. A lot of times woman would get married again because they had no means of support and the men would get married because they needed someone to take care of the children. But at 73 it is still possible.

    • Okay, so a remarriage is not entirely off the map as a possibility. Good to know! Thanks for your input!

  4. Or maybe she was the last one to die and no one got around to putting her name on the stone. Check with the cemetery office.

    • Unfortunately, all the cemetery records were destroyed in a fire! A genealogist’s nightmare!

      I’m hoping that if I can find her death cert. or an obit. they might mention where she was buried. Fingers crossed!

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