My maternal grandfather Cornelius K. Siemens had two wives, Katharina J. K. Plett #49147 (1889-1920) and Margaretha H. Reimer #321744 (1895-1993). Not at the same time, of course - his first wife died of breast cancer in 1920. When he remarried in 1930, he and his four children moved from Manitoba to Kansas. At family reunions in Manitoba, we have gone to Katharina's grave at Riverside (formerly Rosenhoff) a couple times, and it was poorly marked.
|Mrs. C. K. Siemens tombstone, Rosenhoff Cemetery, Riverside, Manitoba, 27086 Road 2E, on west side of road, 3rd row from west, 3rd grave from south, photograph by Steve Fast, 28 July 2014.|
You can't read it in the picture, but if you looked at the right angle, you could see that it said, "Mrs. C. K. Siemens" in faint yellow paint. This marker was obviously not going to last much longer. Even though she wasn't technically my grandmother (my grandmother was Margaret, his second wife), she was the grandmother of my older cousins, to whom I am very close. And she played a large role in my grandfather's life and that of my older uncles and aunts. So I didn't want her grave to be lost.
I organized a family project to raise money for a tombstone, and we collected enough and placed a tombstone at her grave. As a genealogist, I insisted that we put her first and maiden names on the tombstone, even though the original marker followed the tradition at the time she died and just called her "Mrs. C. K. Siemens." We kept the spirit of the original marker by prefacing her name with "Mrs. C. K." because that is how she would have been called back then. Even though she died almost a century ago, Grandmother Katie's memory will not be lost.
|Katherina (Plett) Siemens tombstone, Rosenhoff Cemetery, Riverside, Manitoba, 27086 Road 2E, on west side of road, 3rd row from west, 3rd grave from south, photograph by Betty (Kornelsen) Siemens Martens, 13 April 2015.|