Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Anonymous No More - Michael Pereksta - Tombstone Tuesday

Cast iron cross marking grave of Michael Pereksta

Last month I wrote about all the newspaper reports of unnamed "Hungarians" killed in slate mining accidents in the late 19th and early 20th century. I came across the articles while looking for information on Michael Pereksta, who was reported to be my grandmother's cousin.

Today I am, thanks to the kind assistance of the Slate Valley Museum and their volunteer extraordinaire John Jones, able to pinpoint the date and cause of his death, and to share photographs of his grave marker.

He did die in a mining accident as we'd been told. John found two small news articles in local papers reporting the accident, though again omitting his name.

I shall write more about his life, death and the help I received from John and the Slate Valley Museum, but today I focus on his burial at the Saint Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Granville, NY. 

Plaque attached to cross.

Michael Pereksta
Died 12 June 1905,
Age 30 Years

John sent pictures illustrating the placement of the marker, its condition, as well as the above translation. He pointed out that it was near several other iron crosses, all sharing the same laurel wreath emblem near the base and speculated they had been provided by a burial society. I suspect he is correct. 

St. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, Granville, NY

Michael's cross is in the back, tilting strongly to the right, in the above picture.  If you look carefully you can see other crosses nearby.

Image Credits

The photographs were taken by John A. Jones and are published here with his permission. 


  1. Another great example of how "blogging works" in finding information you need. It's wonderful that John sent pictures to you and provided "proof" of the family story! Love it!

  2. This is such a wonderful find!

  3. I knew this post was coming -- and it was worth the wait. I'm so glad to see it. Also,I love the collage you did for Father's Day in the previous post.

  4. Volunteer help has always played such a big part in personal genealogy research. It's so wonderful that you had someone find this piece of the puzzle for you! Looking forward to reading more about what you are finding about Michael's story.

  5. I'm so glad you were able to locate the grave, and blessings to John A Jones for giving you photos.

    Looking forward to the follow-up post.

    Dee at Shakin' the Family Tree


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