Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Who is Country Music Historian Robert Ray Gardiner Junior?

Canada Gen Web has a Cemetery Project in which volunteers take photographs of gravestones at cemeteries throughout the provinces and territories. Luke Stoutenburg and his wife, Elizabeth Case, settled in Upper Canada in the early 1800s. Upper Canada, also later called Canada West, is today's Province of Ontario. Their son and my ancestor settled in Grey County, Ontario.

I had some idea that many of my family members were buried in the Thornbury-Clarksburg Union Cemetery. My assumption was clearly true because as I viewed the gravestone images at this website, I found photos of the gravestones of many members of the Peter Stoutenburg and Caroline Ashton family and their descendants.

One photo intrigued me. It is the photo of the gravestone of Robert Ray Gardiner, Jr. His father is Robert Ray Gardiner who was born in 1913. His mother is Wilda Olive Simmons who was born in 1914. The only date on the Robert Junior's gravestone is June 24, 1935. This could be construed as the date on which Robert Junior died.

Based on the dates when each of his parents were born, it would seem that Robert Junior died as an infant. However, the other text on the gravestone implies that date on the gravestone is not the date of his death. It appears to be the date of his birth.

The text on the gravestone reads:

Robert Ray
June 24, 1935
County Music Historian
Keep it country
Loving son of Ray & Wilda
Praise the Lord
I saw the light

It's unlikely that a son who died in infancy was a country music historian. I tried to find out more about this person on Google but did find any additional information.

Maybe I'll find something later.

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