Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cemeteries... Some of my Favorite Places...

From the time I was a young child, I had a fascination with cemeteries. I would ride my bike just outside of town to a nearby cemetery, just to wander about the headstones… reading names and dates…. and pondering what their lives were like. I never found them scary or my interest peculiar in any way.

It was on one of my little cemetery jaunts that I stumbled across a small headstone for a baby girl with my Mother’s maiden name. At this point I was 12 years old… and intrigued as to who this baby was… I didn’t recognize her parents as any relatives I’d ever heard of…. Later I would visit the local museum, which I knew had newspaper archives, and asked a volunteer to help me find out who this baby was!

A quick search of an old newspaper located a small burial announcement for this stillborn baby… who ended up being the daughter of my Grandfather’s cousin…. That was
my first taste of genealogy! And I’ve been hooked on it ever since!

Even today, I have a love of cemeteries… and frequently visit them. As a huge supporter of the wonderful site findagrave.com, I ‘ve entered in 1,000’s of burials and taken just as many photographs. I’ve photographed five entire cemeteries and large portions of three others.

It is a wonderful way for burial records and headstone photographs to be forever maintained! Unfortunately, we have all seen the news stories about vandals destroying old grave markers and other tragic events that threaten our old burial grounds.

If you are not a person who utilizes Findagrave, you must visit the site! You may find long lost ancestors (I’ve found countless there!) or living breathing cousins (I’ve found those too!)… And when you come to appreciate this great site, you might even become a member…. And enter in your own family and volunteer to photograph graves in your local area.

It is important that we protect and honor the final resting places of our fore bearers! I encourage everyone to get involved and protect these pieces of history! Besides continuing my work with Findagrave, I hope to find a local organization that is involved with cemetery preservation or restoration!  Do any of you know of any such organization?

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