BETA

Graves draw far-flung kin

SPRINGFIELD, Ky. — Location 31 years ago of an ancestral burial ground here by Latter-day Saints from Utah led to the recent gathering of descendants from Utah and Kentucky sides of the family, including Church members and their relatives of other faiths.

In May 1971 Kenneth and Jessie Brady from Sandy, Utah, drove to Washington County, Ky., to find their Kentucky "cousins" and locate an old family cemetery rumored to be in the area. At the county courthouse in Springfield, they found a deed transferring title of a parcel of land and incorporating the statement "except one-half an acre reserved as a graveyard." The couple traveled to the property and located the owner, Alvin Black, who directed them to the cemetery, which had been neglected for many years. They cleaned the grave markers they could find, recorded the information, and returned home.

In 1998, several descendants of Lindsay Anderson Brady, ninth child of Thomas and Elizabeth Brady, who were part of the Mormon migration to Utah in 1850, organized a family project to restore the graveyard. K.M. Brady, Draper, Utah, and Kenneth Nix, Orem, Utah, spearheaded the effort to raise funds, soliciting the assistance of area residents in Washington County, Ky. Mr. Black and his wife, Lizzie Mae, donated the cemetery property to the family association, and members of the Lebanon (Ky.) Branch of the Church organized several service projects to remove dead trees, brush and undergrowth and generally to clean up the area, Brother Brady said.

Grave markers were restored to their original beauty, and reset on permanent foundations, he said. A steel pipe was erected and a family monument was put in place to mark the cemetery.

The effort culminated June 14-15 with a family reunion and dedication service involving about 100 descendants of Thomas and Elizabeth, including many area residents who took advantage of the occasion to get better acquainted with their Latter-day Saint relatives, Brother Brady noted. He credited one of them, Gilbert Milburn, whose wife, Nancy, is a descendant of Thomas and Elizabeth, with being the Kentucky family representative giving direction to the restoration effort.