This has been so much easier with the traveling, but DGovs (Dead Governors)
are harder to find. First of all, you have to find where they are buried.
Most were easy, using the computer, but sometimes it involved looking at old
microfilm of newspapers in the library to find obits. As I looked, I found
out that TWO of them were in the same cemetery in Jersey City, how
convenient you might think. Except that one of them doesn't even have his
name on the headstone. I had to get the women in the main office to confirm
that he's really down there.
Then there is
the problem of who officially counts as a Governor. This wasn't easy either,
not like presidents. I came across numerous lists, all of them being different.
I finally got an official source and discovered that there are only 50
Governors - unofficial lists having the number at near 70. We have had a lot
of interim acting governors since 1776 and the official count doesn't count
non-consecutive terms as separate, like Grover Cleveland is counted as our
22nd and 24th President (I bet you all were really wondering about this.)
was governor number 51. Richard J. Codey is only acting governor, so he is
not official and doesn't have a number because he was not elected. In
November of 2005, Jon Corzine was elected governor number 52.
So to be official, you
had to be elected and sworn in. One person was elected, but chose not to be
governor (for who knows what reason) so he doesn't count. Of the 51 ex-govs,
five are still going strong; Byrne, Kean, Florio, Whitman and McGreevey
(DiFrancesco doesn't count either) - so I got to work on finding the other 46
- how many do I have? At the moment I have 31, about two-thirds there.
of January 9, 2006, New Jersey law states that an Acting Governor serving for
180 or more days is officially considered a Governor. This applies to both
Donald DiFrancesco (51) and Richard Codey (53). This also makes Governor
Corzine number 54 instead of 52.
With this new law, there are NOW seven
ex-govs still going strong; Byrne, Kean, Florio, Whitman, DiFrancesco,
McGreevey and Codey along with Governor Corzine.
Even with the ease of traveling,
would you believe that 7 of the 46 are NOT buried in New Jersey? One
is in Albany (and I happen to have him already by chance - he was in the same
cemetery as president Chester Arthur), one is in Pennsylvania, three are in
Brooklyn (God knows why?) and two are in Washington D.C. (one of these is
President Woodrow Wilson).
Another problem is that two of our
governors are buried in unknown locations. William S. Pennington, the 6th
Governor, most likely was buried in one of the old cemeteries in downtown
Newark. However, they have all been moved. I can't find any mention of where
he was moved to. His son, the 12th Governor, was buried in Mt. Pleasant
Cemetery in Newark. Did they move dad here? There is no mention on the stone,
but maybe they did anyway. I can't find anything on what happened to him.
Another one, Isaac H. Williamson, the 8th
Governor, most likely was buried in the St. John's Episcopal Church Burying
Grounds, however, where are they? Debbie and I looked through the churchyard
next to the church, but he may have been in a separate place. Does it exist
anymore? If not, where was he moved to?
If I lived
in Alaska, this would be so much quicker - they have only ONE DGov,
but then where would all the fun be.
imitation is the finest form of flattery and I am flattered. A fellow dead
president searcher, Patrick Weissend of Batavia, New York, has created a dead
of New York site. His site is well made and is definitely worth