Thursday, October 04, 2012

Elgin Cemetery Walk - Francis Joseph Pask

This information relates to Chart 51, the descendants of John & Mary Pask née Hammond who lived in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire in the 1840-1860s.

Just recently through Google Alerts, we were notified of the 25th Elgin Cemetery Walk by Dave Gathman from the Elgin Courier News in Illinois, USA. Dave reported:

"The cemetery walk is put on each year in Bluff City Cemetery as a fundraiser for the Elgin Area Historical Society. Actors who volunteer to re-create each person and have researched that person’s life dress up as the person would have looked, stand at the real person’s grave and speak for five to seven minutes about the life of the person whose remains lie below. Tour groups move from one such gravesite to the next...
...One couple being portrayed, Francis “Shanty” Pask and his mother, Maryann Pask, had a life story so odd that it once was featured in the nationally syndicated comic strip “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” in 1941. "

Having read the detailed account I decided to identify where his mother Mary Ann originated from.

Mary Ann Pask née Lamming, immigrated together with her husband William Pask, departing from Liverpool on the "Constellation" arriving in New York on 13 April 1854. They settled in Elgin, Kane County, Illinois, USA. I found the family listed in the 1860 through to the 1940 censuses. William was listed initially as a Farmer, and then a Gardener. They had six children:

William was born in 1828 in Moulton, Lincolnshire. He was the son of Joseph & Mary Pask née Hammond.

William married Mary Ann Lamming in 1850 in the Glanford Brigg registration district. In the census of 30 March 1851 in Howsham, Lincolnshire, he was listed as a Rail Labourer, aged 23 born in Moulton Egate [Moulton Eaugate], the son-in-law of George Lambing. 

William died in Elgin, between 1880 and 1900. Mary Ann died on 18 October 1919, and is buried in Bluff City Cemetery. Her son Francis after being paralyzed by spinal damage in 1913, died on 6 June 1940, having spent 27 years in hospital.

The Elgin Cemetery Walk was well attended, as reported by Tara García Mathewson from the Daily Herald.

Up-to-date information on this family will be available in the next website update.