Friday, July 1, 2011

New on the Shelf : New Book Completed for Keeler Cemetery

Where most rural townships have more than one cemetery to their credit, Keeler Township in Van Buren County has only Keeler Cemetery, located on the southern outskirts of the community of Keeler.  Hot off the press is a new book featuring the burials in Keeler Cemetery, compiled by Robert "Bob" Cooley of Lincoln Township, and published by the Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society (VBRGS).

This book is more than your run of the mill batch of cemetery records.  Bob has incorporated not only tombstone readings, but when possible has supplemented & verified that with data from death certificates, the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), and obituaries.  He also referenced prior readings done in the late 1970's, and early burial records on microfilm [Burial records, 1842-1940].  Many times, Bob spent entire days in the Local History Collection, seeking out these additional records to make the information for Keeler Cemetery as complete as possible. 

Bob Cooley has long been fondly known as the "cemetery man."  He has spearheaded the publication of countless Berrien County cemetery books, and took on the monumental task of walking every Van Buren County cemetery in search of WWII veterans in support of the upcoming VBRGS publication, "Van Buren County in WWII."

Once completed, Bob made donation of the Keeler Cemetery publication to VBRGS for their use as a fundraiser. The book will be available shortly for purchase through the VBRGS online Book Store or may be picked up in person at the library.  Contact VBRGS for more information about how to order.  A copy is also available to view in the Local History Collection.