In the wake of Halloween and All Saints Day, I want to begin a tour of cemeteries and family gravesites. Cemeteries are places for respect and reflection. Gravestones and memorial markers are the only public symbols of the lives and passing of most of our ancestors.
I will start this series of articles with visits to family graves for my Grandpa Sovereign and Grandpa Olsen, the grandfathers I knew.
Sheridan Cemetery, Sovereign Family
After Mom’s father Coyne Monroe Kidder died at the age of 32, her mother, born Marie Idell Fisher, married Harold John Sovereign. Harold had lost his first wife Bessie Holmden to death in 1934. Harold’s son with Bessie was raised by Harold’s brother Bill and sister-in-law Grace. Harold and Marie were married on 24 February 1936 in St. Joseph County, Indiana. They raised Mom and two more children of their own marriage.
Harold died on 14 September 1983 in Hillsborough County, Florida. Marie died on 6 November 1989 in Hillsborough County. Grandma and Grandpa Sovereign’s cremains are in the Sheridan Cemetery in Bushnell Township, Montcalm County, Michigan.
Horton Cemetery, Sovereign Family
Grandpa Sovereign and his siblings lived on a farm near Harvard, Kent County, Michigan with their parents James and Alvena Sovereign. James Albert Sovereign was born in Halton County, Canada West (now Ontario) on 13 April 1858. Alvena Sophia Krüger was born on 17 September 1869 in Mecklenburg-Schwerin in northern Germany. James and Alvena were married on 16 March 1889 in Pine Township, Montcalm County, Michigan.
James and Alvena’s children:
- Dora A Sovereign (1890-1986), married Andrew A Woolever (1886-1928) and Charles A Chester (1873-1962)
- William Albert Sovereign (1892-1971), married Grace E Skinner (1896-1973)
- Edwin Philip Sovereign (1893-1984), married Dora Fern DeGraw (1898-1972)
- Claud Ernest Sovereign (1896-1954), married Alice M Morgan (1901-?)
- Ethel M Sovereign (1899-1981), married Roy L Frank (1892-1978)
- Harold John Sovereign (1901-1983), married Bessie E Holmden (1905-1934) and Marie Idell Fisher (1908-1989)
- Herbert C Sovereign (1903-1977), married Eunice Helen Streeter (1908-2006)
- Albert James Sovereign (1905-1983), married Dorothy Marie Graves (1911-1995)
- Leroy “Roy” Sovereign (1908-1995), married Frieda Hagborn (1908-2002)
James Albert Sovereign died on 3 July 1926 in Spencer Township, Kent County, Michigan. Alvena Sophia Sovereign died on 4 December 1937 in Grand Rapids, Kent County. James and Alvena were buried in the Horton Cemetery at the corner of 14-Mile Road (state highway M-57) and Lappley Avenue in Oakfield Township, Kent County, Michigan.