It was a lonely little tombstone, and with the last name Dunbar, in our rural area, I knew it had to tie in somewhere in the genealogy I was working on for my dear BIL. But where?
I wasn't finding this name on Census records, or vital records.
And then I noticed this...
Checking my family's files we had an orphan Dunbar [not attached to any family files, except to a marriage. But we hadn't placed him in the Dunbar family yet. But wait?
W.H. Dunbar in my files was married to Arminta V.E. STEELE. She was the daughter of my gr-gr-gr-aunt, Martha Caroline BEAN and her first husband, Thomas B. STEELE. Could the "V" stand for this rather odd, Virlilia?
Suddenly, after 13 years of searching, the pieces finally came together.
In the West Virginia Archives, I found William Harvey DUNBAR, the son of Robert Sylvester DUNBAR and Nancy HUFFMAN married to Virlilia Ann STEELE.
While I still don't know exactly when Virlilia died [I've not located her death record yet], I do know that she was born 24 Sep 1856 on Potts Creek, the childhood area of Martha Caroline BEAN, and the BEAN family. We know that she must have died sometime between 1910 and 1926 [the last Census we can find her on is the 1910] and her husband, William Harvey DUNBAR remarried in 1926 to Mary HOKE HAMILTON, a widower.
Virlilia and William lived in an area known as Irish Corner, near the present day community of Organ Cave [which is still nicknamed Irish Corner].
The couple are buried here...
...at Elizabeth Chapel Cemetery...
...along with several of their children.
And to think... it all started with a simple walk through a cemetery, and no real research in mind!
Remember... always carry your camera with you, as well as a notebook and pen when in the field! You never know what you'll find!!!