Mailing Lists
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    3. Dear Listers: Some of you may receive this letter more than once if you are on more than one county List in Michigan. I apologize for any inconvience this may cause you. I believe we all should be made aware of what is beginning to become a problem with our cemeteries through out Michigan. Yesterday, Detroit News Metro/State Section carried a news article about the City of Lansing wanting to reclaim thousand of unused gravesites so that they may resell them to bring money into their government. As the City of Jackson, Michigan has already done this and has netted them three hundred thousand dollars, we as descendants of the families who are buried in Michigan Cemeteries need to stand up as one to put a stop to this unlawful event. Yes, we have many old and historical cemeteries through out Michigan and its many counties, cities, towns, villages but I do not believe that any of these governments have the right to take back what your ancestors paid for with their blood, sweat, and tears. Our ancestors paid for these graves to be used by our families, not to be taken back from the descendants of these people who paid for these graves. Yes, families move and shift around the country and thus we leave unused grave sites but I believe that these unused sites should remain in the families of the people who are buried in these plots that have unused sites. I own plots in three different cemeteries in the State of Michigan and since I hold title to them that has been passed down from my great grandparents, grandparents, and parents does not give the city, town, county, or state the right to confiscate them to resell them at their gain. There is no way that my husband and I will utilize all of these gravesites but since I have the titles to theses plots I intend handing them down to my children to be used after our deaths and burial. In order to keep from having this event occur anywhere in our State, we as the family historians and genealogists need to stand up and voice our opinions and let these governments know that we won't stand for this thievery. We need to contact the Michigan Governor and the Senators and the House Representatives, the county executives, city mayors to let them know that we are going to protect our ancestoral burial sites from them. So what I am asking is for help here. With each one of us contacting the cemeteries in which your loved ones were laid to rest find out if there are unused spaces and find out how to go about getting the titles to these plots so that the government cannot take them and then resell them at inflated prices back to the public. Yes, the City of Lansing states they they are going to search for descendants but they already are in financial trouble and therefore could not afford to research and search out the owners or descendants of these family plots as it would cost a small fortune. As we all know the government states they will do one thing and they do entirely a different thing. Your ancestors that date back to the beginning of the State of Michigan only paid a few dollars for these plots which many hold 8, 10, 12 sites in each plot but it was their hard earned money not the governments money taht paid for these plots. Cemeteries are sacred ground and should not be desecrated by anyone including the governments of these cities, towns, villages, counties, and or State. Yes, our ancestors may have only paid 30.00-50.00 per plot but the going prices for these same lots today can bring in as much as four thousand dollars or more depending on where they are at. Checking the Want Ads this a.m. where I live the cheapest lots were going for $2,345.00 each. So you see the government will really be making a killing on these unused plots that our ancestors paid for and they want to take them away from the family descendants. What will happen if you live out of state and have not been contacted and a family member dies and you are going to bury them in the family plot only to find out that it has been sold out from under you without your permission to do this? So please list members write letters, email them, write to the newspapers to the governor and the senators, and representatives, county executives, mayors and let them know we are not going to allow this to go any further and also make the City of Jackson return the monies they made off of the resale of these private plots. I am including email addresses in which you can write to the two major newspapers in Michigan and I am also giving you email addresses for other government officials. To write to the newspapers: [email protected] [email protected] click on the website and then click on the "contact us" and write your letters. Lansing State Journal Write to your local and county newspapers, let them know how you feel about what these governments are trying to do. Protect your cemeteries and your ancestral burial sites from these thieves before it is too late and they destroy them all because of their greediness. Write to the Governor of Michigan Janet Granholm by going to then register your email address and then click on Online Forms and Feedback and then write your letter. To address your letters to the Senators and House members address it like this [email protected] putting the name of your house representative in place of John Doe. For the Senate you address is as [email protected] putting your state senators name in place of John Doe. write to your county executive, mayors in the same way. If you want to fax a letter to the Governor of Michigan here is the number 1-517-373-3400 Lets get this out in the open so that everyone knows what is going on. We need to defend our ancestors final resting places and to retain them as they are now and not allow the government to sell them off. If we let them get away with this this time what will they do next? Dig up the bones and dump them in a garbage dump because they will stand to get more moeny from reselling these plots. I say NO! Dont' let them do this. Jean Payton

    07/10/2003 06:22:45