Ernest V Martinez
Address : 49992 Darlington Ct
Shelby Twp, Michigan 48315
Hello Milam County Historical Commission
I was lead to this website while I was researching my Great Grandfather Pilar Diaz's Death Certificate. It
states on the certificate that he was buried at the Yager Farm Cemetery. I am inquiring how I can gain more
information regarding his life, as well as his death and locating his grave for genealogical purposes.
I do understand that some of the cemeteries are located on private property and I will probably not be able
to see the grave, but any information that the Historical Commission can provide will be greatly appreciated.
Ernest V Martinez
Email forwarded to MCHC and MCGS members.
Martinez, Ernest V SSgt USAF 127 MSG (US)
Mon, 2 Nov 2015
Good Afternoon Mr. Caywood,
I had sent an email back on September 2 regarding the location of my great grandfathers resting place.
Unfortunately I have not received an email from any MCHC members or members of the Milam County Genealogical
Society regarding the question that I had sent. I do understand researching genealogy is a long process, and
some of the members might be busy at this time, but I would like to at least know a status of my inquiry. I
have copied an attached the email from the Milam County Historical Commission sent to me on September 2,2015.
Ernest V Martinez
NOTE FROM WEBMASTER: all research is done by volunteers - if you must have immediate responses
there are researchers who can be hired. We cannot guarantee answers nor a time frame)
Not knowing how deeply you have delved into Pilar's genealogical research, I will relay what I have
discovered during a very cursory search.
Attachment #1: Ms. Norinne Holman's 170 Years of Cemetery Records in Milam County, Texas. Vol. #2 page 1274.
Ms. Holman has kindly allowed the MCHC and the MCGS to share her books reference material on our inquiries.
As noted, no headstone was found for Mr. Pilar Diaz during field inspection of the cemetery in 1999. I find
the headstone of Pilar Dias, 61 y. o., that was in the cemetery, interesting.
interestingly enough, no photo's of any headstones are posted.
Due to the difficult access to cemeteries surrounded by private property, should access be gained, every
headstone should be photo-documented and posted to the Find-A-Grave website.
Attachment #2: photo of Papa Pilar Diaz which was shared by the kindness of Jortega7 on the Ancestry web
site. I have queried the two individuals listed on the bottom of this attachment regarding their relationship
to Pilar. I did take note of the second family surname.
Birth: 1878 - Guerrero, Mexico
Death: 14 Jul 1933 - Milam, Texas, USA
Spouse: Isabel Flores Diaz
Attachment #3: Milam County Death Record Book, Vol. II, 1921-1935. Page 19. Courtesy of the Milam County
Genealogical Society and especially members Charles and Marie Hubert. This same information should also be
gleaned from Pilar's death cert. Possible interest Lerice Diaz also?.
Attachment #4: Yager Farm Cemetery general geography. See circled cemetery location. I was unable to locate
the cemetery under a separately deeded property in the Milam County Appraisal District records.. That is not
that unusual with separately earlier excluded property. A thorough title search might likely locate said
The surrounding property is suspected to be I.D. 27987 (611 ac) and owned by Kenneth G. Willy. Listed in
local Red Telephone Book 1602 N. Cleveland Ave., Cameron, TX. Tel. (two54)6nine7-86one6
I attempted to view the Yager Farm Cemetery via Google Earth but was unable to discern any headstones.
Additional Diaz's shown in 170 Years Of Cemetery Records in Milam County, Texas as follows:
Lerice Diaz - b/d 1926
Lopes Diaz - Thorndale - 102 y. o.- Died 1920
F. A. Hernandez Cemetery:
Guadalupe M Diaz - w/o Sotero - 1900-1983
Sotero Diaz - h/o Guadalupe M - 1900-1958
Liberty Community Cemetery:
J. W. Diaz - Death Records, 66 y. O - died 1919
I had a very pleasant conversation with Mr. Willy, the owner of the property surrounding the Yager Farm
Cemetery. He stated that his father purchased the 611 ac. property in 1960 from the Yager Estate. He very
graciously made special arrangements for me to visit the cemetery tomorrow (11/09/15) and also described the
driving directions to teh cemetery.
He stated that it was an unexcavated area of the sand pit. When I Google Earthed it, attachment #1 shows the
suspect location, although no headstones appear visible. I plan to photo document all headstones and post to
FAG as mentioned earlier.
Since Ms. Norrine Holman was unable to locate Pilar Diaz's headstone when she visited, I'm going to take my
probe and Gausing rods to see if I'm able to find a possible buried tablet headstone for him. There is also
the possibility that one was never placed, especially since Pilar died during the depression when the luxuries
of life were often scarce.
I did visit the Yager Farm Cemetery yesterday(11/09/2015). You'll easily note by the attached photo's that it
was a challenging and interesting day. I'll also cut to the chase and advise you that I was unsuccessful in
locating Mr. Diaz's headstone. I must admit that it wasn't because of a lack of trying. The grounds are just
There was some reward in this venture, since I was able to locate three additional interred headstones in
which we had no record of their burial in this cemetery. I actually had to re-find some of the headstones that
Ms. Holman inventoried in 1999 because they had since fallen and/ or been re-covered over by fallen trees,
vines, underbrush and large cactus.
I still missed two that had been previously inventoried. I suspect that they're under some of the many large
fallen trees due to past droughts and the very sandy soil.
To emphasize that point, the cemetery is located on the perimeter of a large sand and gravel open mining pit.
The cemetery stands like an island about 20 feet above the bottom of the pit. It is about 7/8 surrounded by
the bank with 1/8 being a peninsula to the surrounding adjoining grade by which one enters.
I spent over four hours searching/probing in the rows that I was able to discern. The heavy cactus areas had
headstones in their vicinity. In quite a bit of that area, one was no longer able to approach due to their
denseness after all these years.
I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Willy for his kindness and assistance in allowing myself, as a
representative of the Milam County Historical Commission, the opportunity to visit, search and photo-document
I believe that I'm able to confidently say that Pilar Diaz will anonymously rest in eternal peace in this
rural, forgotten and forlorn cemetery.
If you should care to visit the Yager Farms Cemetery, I believe that it would only take a telephone call to
Mr. Willy. I had emailed Ms. Holman a few days ago regarding her visit to the cemetery in 1999 and my recent
one. She spoke quite highly of Mr. Willy also. He personally escorted her for her visit. I would be happy to
do the same for you with Mr. Willy's permission.
When we talked, he stated that he doesn't get out much anymore. Since his father purchased the Yager Estate, I
would think that he would have knowledge of some of the history of the Yager Farm and would enjoy sharing the
same. His public records contact information was posted earlier.
I'm leaning the same way that you are, regarding the make-up and occupation of the interred. I researched
another Milam County cemetery a few years back, the Tracy Cemetery, and received first hand information that
most of the interred were ranch hands and farm hands from the Simms Ranch. (A side note, a Ms. Lohma Davis,
102 years young, is the only person in the community who remembers where it was. No trace remains today.)
Herald newspapers. If you don't hold a copy of Pilar's obituary, I'd be happy to check the archives to see if
there is one. The caveat there is that if there is one, sometimes their legibility, due to fading, leaves a
lot to be desired.