9.  Burials in the Un-Cemeteries -- Most of you are familiar with stories of burials in pioneer and frontier days. You probably will not be surprised to hear of graves, marked and unmarked, located next to a farmstead, on the knoll of a hill in a pasture, next to a stream, or in some other remote location.

I was contacted by a local man who wanted to locate the grave of his uncle who died of a disease in his young life and was buried in the pasture not far from his farm home.  With some concern about my ability to locate such a remote burial site, I accompanied this man to an isolated rural area to search for this 100-year-old grave.

He had indicated to me earlier that the pasture burial site could be seen from the steps of the nearby farm house.  When we arrived at the site of the farm, no house was visible.  The man indicated that it had been torn down, but the front steps were still there and could serve as a landmark to view the pasture burial site.

We stood on the old farm steps and spotted a possible area in the adjacent pasture where the burial might be located. I went to that area and set up 4 flags marking a square area of about 50 feet on each side.  I starting a dowsing search path at one side of the square, following a north-south orientation, and moving laterally 3 feet after each sweep. 

On about the 14th sweep I came across an indication that there was something under the pasture sod.  I checked the burial orientation (east-west--fortunately a Christian burial), the body length (about 6 paces), the gender (male), and the burial depth (about 4-5 feet).  I was certain that I had located the remains of the deceased uncle.

Another man, who was with us on that dowsing expedition, had successfully dowsed for buried pipes while employed with a petroleum refining company.  He was surprised that he could dowse for bodies and was able to confirm my findings.  The man who requested my services later had a flat headstone placed on his uncle's burial site in the pasture.

Other burial locations not associated with a cemetery included my dowsing experience along a river bank near an adjacent bridge.  By chance (and using the sweep pattern mentioned above) I came across a burial site next to a fence line.  The grave was oriented east and west, the body size and gender was adult and female and the burial depth was about 4-5 feet.  This was probably a homesteader's wife or adult daughter who died of disease in the later 1800s.

A friend and I were dowsing along the edge of a farm field primarily looking for an Indian trail reported to have been in that area, when he ran across a buried body.  We were surprised to find that an adult male had been buried in a Christian burial manner on this farm land.

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FileFive (page 4 of 7)

- Experiences in Dowsing for History (cont.)