Tombstone Tuesday: Ernst, Beach, Ranger

by Laurel | February 28th, 2012

Charles Ernst, 1871-1947, Elmwood Cemetery

Charles Ernst, 1871-1947, Elmwood Cemetery

On 20 Feb 2012, in a public comment on Facebook, someone asked about the tombstone of a great aunt, who had the m.s. of Beach and the married name of Ernst and was purported to be buried in Elmwood Cemetery. While I did find three images in my collection of Elmwood tombstone photos with the surname Ernst, two are not connected to this line (at least no immediate discernible connection). The third stone, that of a Charles Ernst, had the correct time range in his life span 1871 – 1947, but I was unable to find an obituary for him to learn more. The tombstone, pictured above, appears to be what one would expect in a marker for a single grave. I did not find a companion stone for Mary Beach Ernst in my images. There is always a chance I missed taking a photo, but I doubt it — I have photographed this cemetery at least twice.

Turning to my Ancestry account, a quick search I did find one public family tree online, confirming that Charles Ernst is, indeed, the husband of Mary Beach, who born 1870 in Granby, sourced from the U.S. Federal Census of 1900.

Looking a bit further into other resources I discovered the following obituary from The Springfield Republican dated 31 January 1904:

“Mrs. Elizabeth Beach, 56, died last evening at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary E. Ernst, 13 Vernon Street, Holyoke. She suffered a shock Friday and did not rally. She leaves one brother Caspar [sic] Ranger of Holyoke, a son, Joseph, and four daughters, Mrs. Mary Ernst, Mrs. Isabel Dougherty, Mrs. Annie Ernst and Miss Elizabeth Beach all of Holyoke.”

This little obituary is very interesting, because it confirms family knowledge that Casper Ranger or Caspar as it is so often spelled, is indeed the brother of Mrs. Beach. This could hold some serious interest to the many Ranger genealogy researchers (Casper Ranger had more than a dozen children). The parents of Casper Ranger are unknown in all of the many online trees I saw, and there is a potential — albeit a slim one — for these names to appear on the death record of Mrs. Beach. Also, I did not see any relationship defined for the Beach – Ranger connection obvious anywhere and if I was researching this line it would be VERY interesting to me.

I hope this helps your research in some way — what I have here is really just a perfunctory search. As a next step in confirming this, I’d suggest getting a copy of Elizabeth Beach’s death record. If you look at Mary Beach Ernst’s death record — the City Clerk’s office does have indexes if you are unsure of a death date — it should have information on burial location. Mary may well be buried in Elmwood but without a marker — this happens often. I have one more obit you might find helpful, let me know if you do not have it and want it: Elizabeth Beach’s husband, Urban Beach.

One Response to “Tombstone Tuesday: Ernst, Beach, Ranger”

  1. Karen Ranger Mitman says:

    Thank you for this interesting information. I did find, in the 1880 census, for Holyoke that Urben “Bedsth” and wife Elizabeth also housed Magdeline and Fanny Ranger.

    However, I cannot find more information about Magdeline Ranger on-line and I also have not been able to find a more detailed obituary for Elizabeth Ranger Beach (Bedsth/Bietsch/Betsch).

    Any thoughts?
    Thank you,

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