Manila cemetery book in the making
The love of genealogy was one of the first steps leading to a cemetery book project underway by sisters Barbara Lasater of Manila and Shirley Peyton of Leachville. Working with the women is Shirley's husband, Clifford Peyton, who is retired from the U.S. Army.
Residents may have been wondering who the people were in the cemetery taking pictures and writing on clipboards. They have been working on the project several months. They decided they wanted to make a cemetery book which will show (as close as possible with information available) who is buried, where they are buried, the date of birth and death.
"While we have been out in the cemetery we have had several people stop and ask us for information on where someone is buried," Mrs. Peyton said. "We took their telephone numbers and when we find the information, we will call. This is something we want to do for the community. We have a lot of relatives buried here."
Chalk is being used on the headstones they cannot read. The chalk will wash off when it rains but it helps to read some of the older stones.
A few headstones have been found that were completely buried.
They are also working closely with Leroy Douglas, cemetery board member. Ray Misner, caretaker, has also been a big help.
"We want to make the findings as accurate as possible," Peyton said.
They are not trying to make a profit from the book they just want to cover the expenses of having it printed. It is hoped to complete the book by mid-June 2012.
They all agree it has turned into quite a job. Each headstone's information is recorded picture taken.
They would also like to have copies of obituaries for the book. If anyone would like to submit an obituary of a loved one buried at the Manila Cemetery they can e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
"We have found some really old stones," Lasater said. "Some of the oldest records are gone, but hopefully this is a way to preserve as far back as we can go."