The National Roads Authority is seeking approval from the Department of Environmental Health to move three graves in a private cemetery to facilitate the widening of Shamrock Road.

The cemetery is located opposite Grand Harbour, near the junction with Shamrock Road and South Sound Road. The widening of Shamrock Road is under way to address traffic congestion in the area.

The NRA issued a public notice advising of the intended re-interment within the cemetery.
In a response to queries from the Cayman Compass, the NRA said as traffic volume builds up in the eastern districts, widening the road to three lanes will reduce travel time and increase capacity and efficiency in the area.

The public notice said “all exhumed remains and funerary objects will be respectfully reburied” in consultation with known relatives at a new spot within the cemetery. The NRA said moving the graves is necessary because they fall within the proposed corridor and other alternatives were less favourable.

The people in the graves were buried in the 1980s. Helena Chojnacka was born in 1897 and died in 1982; Myrtle V. Eden was born in 1901 and died in 1980; and Dollie Farrell McCoy was born in 1900 and died in 1989.

Dr. Rupert Bodden, who compiled the Grand Cayman Cemeteries Index kept at the Cayman Islands National Archive, told the Compass that the three graves are included in that list.

Bodden, a Caymanian who lives in Alabama, said Farrell McCoy was born a Jackson, the daughter of William Henry Jackson II, born in 1868, and Lily May Wood of Red Bay, born in 1871. Her given name was Eleanor, according to Bodden’s findings.

He said the authorities may have difficulty finding her family members. She was married twice, first to Harvey Guissard Farrell, also known as James Harvey Farrell, and then to Jarrett Culmore McCoy, also known as George Colmore McCoy.

Farrell McCoy’s niece, Janilee Jackson Clifford, said her aunt had no children of her own, “but all of her nieces and nephews were like her kids. My father was her brother.”

She said the NRA should put more effort into finding relatives of the deceased people. “No one has said anything to me,” Clifford said, adding that a friend informed her of the public notice that was published in the Compass.

Bodden said Myrtle V. Eden is likely Myrtle Victoria Eden, who died in Cadillac, Michigan. She was the daughter of James Laycraft Eden and Catherine Allett Farrell of Prospect.

The NRA said the relevant agencies had met to discuss the matter with the cemetery owner and will be consulting the relatives.

Comments or objections relating to the relocation of the graves should be submitted to [email protected] by 31 Jan.

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