Tombstone discovered at Tyler construction site given to descend - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Tombstone discovered at Tyler construction site given to descendants

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Ron and Nelda Swinney receive a tombstone from Tyler City Engineer Carter Delleney. The stone was found at a Tyler, Tex. construction site. (Source: KLTV Staff) Ron and Nelda Swinney receive a tombstone from Tyler City Engineer Carter Delleney. The stone was found at a Tyler, Tex. construction site. (Source: KLTV Staff)
A tombstone that was discovered beneath an East Texas construction site has been given to a relative.

Ron and Nelda Swinney claimed the stone Monday from the City of Tyler's Engineering Department.

The stone was found in January by crews working on the site of the Fair Plaza Parking Garage. City officials believe the site used to belong to a marble yard and that's why the stone was found along Elm and Broadway.

The Swinneys live in an area of Smith County along Highway 64, once known as Swinneytown. The Swinneys said they saw the stone on the news and researched to find that the baby's father was Ron Swinney's great-great-uncle.

"I had some paperwork that had been given to me," Nelda Swinney said. "I went through what I had and it was pretty clear that it was in the family."

"We just started having conversations how does this tombstone tie in to your family and they provided a family tree," said Tyler City Engineer Carter Delleney.

The Swinneys said once they saw the stone on the news, they knew it had to belong to them.

"I think it is great to get it back in the family," Nelda Swinney said. "It was a surprise whenever we saw the marker was a Swinney and we knew it had to be family."

City employees said they had never had something like this happen. 

"It's been interesting, as it first came out, we were shocked to find something like this. I mean this is a piece of history." Delleney said.

The Swinney stone is now back in the family's hands and will eventually find its way to the Bascom Cemetery to be placed next to the baby's grandfather.

There have been no new discoveries at the garage site since most work is being done above ground. The garage is slated to open in June 2014.

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