A couple months ago, I found Maria in the 1900 Census. Remember that her daughter Lena married Phillip Eberhardt who was brother to Adam Jr.'s wife. Well, I found Maria living with her daughter Lena and her other daughter Maria Berle. Both Lena and Maria Koerner are listed as widows living with Louis and Maria Berle and their children: Adam, Lena, Louis, Emily and Maria. They were still living in New York City on First Avenue near 24th Street.
A couple weeks later I found information on a Maria Koerner who died in 1907 at the age of 95. A person online had seen the Death Certificate and knew she was buried in the Lutheran Cemetery. I wasn't sure this would be the right Maria Koerner, but since the cemetery is only a couple miles from my house, I decided to ride my bike over there and check it out.
Sure enough, I stopped by the office, and they confirmed that Maria Koerner was buried in the cemetery along with Adam and Philip. A very helpful woman in the office gave me the location but didn't know whether there would be a stone or not. I was doubtful since many immigrants would not be able to afford the expense of a stone back at the turn of the century.
I rode my bike to the section of the cemetery where the woman had indicated the Koerners were located. It was far to the back in what was obviously an older part of the cemetery which received few visitors. The grass had not been mowed in a couple of weeks and was several inches high. It really had the feeling of being out in a field in the country only with scattered gravestones sticking up above the top of the blades of grass. There was no sence that the largest city in the United States was only a few miles away.
As I approached the area where the stone would be, I became very skeptical that I would find anything. The stones were spread out with lots of space between them - space where people were buried but no markers had been laid.
I read each stone, looking for the name and the location marking to help guide my way. Then I saw it, in the back, at the end of the row. A short, fat stone which read "In Memory of Adam Koerner." I had fulfilled my quest.
You'll notice that Maria's name name does not appear on the stone. It is probable that she died after Philip and the family either did not have money for a stone, or did not have room to add her name on the stone that was already there. Either way, she died in 1907 at the ripe old age of 95 and is buried here with her husband and second oldest son.
As a side note, I returned this morning to take some more pictures and was surprised at the state of the cemetery. You may remember hearing on the news several weeks ago that a tornado touched down in New York City, specifically in Queens and Brooklyn. Apparently the tornado went right through the middled of the cemetery, because there were trees down all over the place. The path of the storm must have been toward the front of the cemetery, because in the back, where Adam and Maria are buried, the damage was minimal. These were some pictures I took of trees still not cleaned up three weeks after the tornado hit:
|The top of this huge tree was just twisted off the trunk|
and thrown on ground under it!