Michelle Ann Kratts

Archive for the ‘Cemetery Plots’ Category

Holy Ghost Cemetery

In Bergholz, Cemetery Plots, Niagara County, Niagara Deaths, Town of Niagara historian on June 26, 2014 at 4:58 pm
Photo Courtesy Findagrave

Photo Courtesy Findagrave


Holy Ghost Cemetery

The following includes burials at Holy Ghost Cemetery, Bergholz, Niagara County.

Courtesy Town of Niagara historian, Dorothy Rolling.


Tuscarora Cemetery, Lewiston

In Cemetery Plots, Deaths, Dorothy Rolling, Lewiston, Lewiston Public Library, Niagara Deaths, Town of Niagara historian, Tuscarora History on March 17, 2014 at 11:41 pm
Stereoview by George Barker, Tuscarora woman at Niagara Falls

Stereo view by George Barker, Tuscarora woman at Niagara Falls

Courtesy Town of Niagara historian, Dorothy Rolling.

The following includes burials at the Tuscarora Cemetery, Lewiston:

Tuscarora Cemetery

The Beautiful Lewiston Village Cemetery

In Cemetery Plots, Lewiston, Lewiston Public Library, Library Programs, Niagara Deaths, Old Lewiston on June 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm

We did something unprecedented on Saturday, October 31, 2009. About a dozen people surveyed the lovely Lewiston Village Cemetery for 24 hours.
As the sun came up, as the day wore on, as the moon and stars filled up the night sky…we we there with cameras.
We captured one day in a cemetery and here it is for you to enjoy!

Is she, or isn’t she…a relative of Mary Todd Lincoln? It’s your turn to find out.

In Cemetery Plots, Gone But Not Forgotten on May 21, 2013 at 5:22 pm


There is a grave at Oakwood Cemetery in Niagara Falls and a spectacular rumor has made it one of the most interesting stops on the grounds. For almost one hundred and sixty years a woman has kept a secret buried with her in Lot #231. The secret involves our First Lady, Mary Todd Lincoln. Is it true that Mrs. Lolly/Lowly Todd Childs, resident of Oakwood Cemetery, is a relation of Mrs. Abraham Lincoln? Various family members, throughout the years, have claimed that their ancestor was directly related by blood to President Lincoln’s wife. If that is true, then there is definitely cause for great celebration in the city of Niagara Falls. However, there are parts of the story that just do not add up. The time has come to put these ghosts to rest. Researchers and family members have been searching for the proof that would corroborate this story but have not been able to do so. So now it is up to you!

Check out the following link to learn more…


Digitizing St. Joseph’s Cemetery Records

In Cemetery Plots, Niagara Deaths, St. Joseph's Cemetery Records, St. Joseph's Church, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on February 22, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Today we began the sacred task of finishing the digitization of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic cemetery records. A few years ago, our dear friend Connie Rodhy scanned the burial cards and those records may be viewed on the Monroe Fordham Regional History Center website at:

The Cemetery books that we will be working on include the following:

Single Graves, May 1922-March 1931

Lots A,B,C

May 1922-March 1942, Sec A, B, C, D, Six and Twelve Grave Lots

Death Register, May 1922-March 1942, Single Graves, including children

Single Graves, March 1931-March 1942

Death Register, 1942-1963, Single Graves

Cemetery Register, September 20, 1957-January 23, 1969

Cemetery Register, January 26, 1969-May 22, 1978

St. Mary’s Section (babies)

St. Joseph’s Cemetery Candle and Stands Register

Some of the earlier records are fading

Some of the earlier records are fading

Beverly, Marcia and I met with Mr. Pastwick in the archives and began the process this morning. We came armed with cameras and ipads–for these records were too fragile for the scanner bed.  We are hoping to have them uploaded and transcribed for you soon!

Most of these records contain the babies and stillborns of our early Italian community.  Many of these children had no gravestones, or perhaps their names have long faded from their markers.  It’s quite touching to see the little babies’ names.

Some pages from an early register of deaths

Some pages from an early register of deaths

I was also very moved to find my own great great grandfather’s death record.  He was my first ancestor to arrive in Niagara Falls.  His name was Angelo Ventresca and it was said he had been here (on and off) since 1895.

Angelo Ventresca death

You can see for yourself the fragile condition of these records.  We are hopeful that our digitization and transcriptions will save these people from obscurity.  Every single name in these books is sacred and should not be forgotten.  Especially the babies.

Check back often.  Hopefully we can get our first book (images) up this week with transcriptions to follow.  If you are interested in helping out with the transcriptions, send me an email at mkratts@nioga.org.

It’s Been a Long, Long Time…

In Cemetery Plots, Off to War, St. Joseph's Cemetery Records, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on November 30, 2012 at 9:16 pm

We stumbled over his grave one day in St. Joseph’s Cemetery–quite by accident.  Winter white and washed away from many years of sun and snow and ice,  Anthony W. Salamone stands strong and bright.  He is certainly hard to miss.

But I’m sure he was missed.  First reported “Missing in Action” on March 4, 1944, the fateful letter from the War Department came to 457 12th Street a few weeks later.

“Killed in Action”

Someone’s heart was broken when that letter was opened.  He had only recently written to his mother that he had only “a few” more missions to complete before he would be granted a furlough.  He said he would be back home in Niagara Falls soon.

Technical Sergeant Anthony W. Salamone was a gunner in the Army Air Corps.  He graduated from Niagara Falls High School and had attended Niagara University.  He was an employee of the Electro Metalurgical Company at the time of his induction into the Army.

Anthony was killed in action over Frankfurt, Germany, on January 30, 1944.  He had been serving with the 526th squadron, 379th group, U.S. Air Force, in England.

Anthony Salamone finally returned home to Niagara Falls at 8:00 am on June 15, 1949.

salamone pic


Riposa in pace

In Cemetery Plots, Niagara Deaths, St. Joseph's Cemetery Records, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on November 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm

St.  Joseph’s Cemetery….

I was struck by her beauty as I passed the little ceramic photograph that adorned her headstone.  Classic, tragic, undying beauty. Born in the picturesque comune, San Pier Niceto, in the province of Messina, Rosa Certo was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Guiseppe Certo.  She was only twenty four at the time of her death and so she will always be twenty four.

Beside her was another perfectly matching headstone belonging to a handsome young man.  Tommaso was Rosa’s nephew.  He suffered from a fractured skull.  He was smiling at us as we walked by and he will always be smiling.

Then I noticed how their death dates matched and I knew at once there was a story linking these two together for eternity.

It was February in 1932.   They had only meant to visit a sick relative and return to Niagara Falls.  Instead they took a fatal turn in Miles Heights, near Cleveland, Ohio, where their automobile was struck by a train.

Tu Scende Dalle Stelle (You Come Down from the Heavens)

In Cemetery Plots, St. Joseph's Cemetery Records, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on November 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Tu Scende Dalle Stelle (You Come Down from the Heavens)

This is the strange story of the founding of St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Niagara Falls.


St. Joseph’s Cemetery on Findagrave

In Cemetery Plots, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on November 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Findagrave is an excellent place to begin searching for your ancestors.  Volunteers from around the world add photographs, obituaries, and other information to this giant database.  You might be surprised at what you find!

Click on the following link to access St. Joseph’s Cemetery:



St. Joseph’s Cemetery

In Cemetery Plots, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on November 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm

If you are interested in records from St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Niagara Falls, click on the following link:

St. Joseph’s Cemetery

A portion of the records from St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Niagara Falls, have been digitized and are part of The Buffalo State College Regional History Collection.  Copies are housed at the Buffalo State College Archives and The Monroe Fordham Regional History Center. 

The collection was digitally scanned by volunteers at St. Joseph’s parish. The material was then later assembled and formatted by Chris Root; Special Projects Assistant at the Monroe Fordham Regional History Center. This project was arranged by Pete Ames and the Friends of Local History Department at the Niagara Falls Public Library.