On a crisp sunny October morning, Hubby and I took a cemetery tour of Cycadia Cemetery in Tarpon Springs, Florida. As one of the oldest cemeteries in the county, many figures of historical prominence in the area are buried there. Eight historical re-enactors portrayed former residence who were important to the town’s development.
The first tour stop was for John C. “Greek” Maillis who had been born in Gary, Indiana in 1918. Hubby and I were, too and our grandparents lived there at the time. I plan on researching Greek’s father as I’m guessing he worked for U.S. Steel as that was the big industry in town. My grandfather, great grandfather and hubby’s grandfather were all employed there in 1918. What a small world!
Although that was an interesting connection it was T the tour’s end that had the biggest chance encounter happened.
Our last stop was to learn about Irish born Captain Thomas Carey who came to Tarpon Springs with his family in the 1870’s and worked in the sponge industry. His reenactor became misty eyed, lost character and said he had to step out of being Capt Carey for a moment to tell us what had happened in the previous tour group. As the program entry by the Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society stated, Capt. Carey “…left a legacy of exceptional off-spring.” Not only exceptional, they were numerous. A woman in the group stated she was a descendant. Then another group member stated she, too, was a descendant. A few generations removed from Capt. Carey they shared which of his children they had descended from. Most remarkable was that these cousins had never met before. Nearly 75 years after the Captain’s death his descendants are reunited at his grave site. There was a large turnout for the program and groups were formed by your arrival time. What a coincidence that these individuals just happened to be placed in the same group. Serendipity at its finest!
Photo courtesy of thefifthofnov on Find-a-Grave