JACQUI and I were back in St Barnabas churchyard in Waunarlwydd yesterday. We had arranged to meet a tree surgeon and talk about starting work on restoring the Feeney family grave we discovered the previous week (see “Where is Edward?” below).
We agreed a fee to cut down and remove all of the bushes that have totally obscured the grave. They include hawthorn, holly and rhododendron, and must have been growing for decades.
We were joined at the grave by the St Barnabas churchwarden – who turns out to be a cousin of mine through my paternal grandmother’s family line. He came with the church’s complete baptism and burial records.
These confirmed that the grave contains my great-grandparents, William Henry and Elizabeth Feeney, and their children Thomas Henry, Mary Jane and Margaret Ann. But he brought with him another intriguing clue in the search for my grandfather’s resting place.
The church has a burial date for my father’s father, Edward Feeney, but no record of a plot number. This indicates that he was not buried with his parents and siblings in the family grave, or with his wife, Beatrice Ellen, in her grave elsewhere in the churchyard.
But while I was pulling aside branches to show my cousin the ornately decorated front of the Celtic cross on the Feeney grave, Jacqui spotted something. On top of the middle of the grave, right at the heart of the tangled knots of branch and foliage, there was a ceramic urn.
Could this contain Edward’s ashes? We shall, hopefully, be able to answer that question when the tree surgeon has opened up the graveside for closer inspection next week.