Week #4: Take a genealogy day trip and blog about it. Discover the local history and genealogy in your area. Take a trip to a cemetery or other historic location. Describe the day, what you learned, where you went, how it looked, how it sounded. Armchair genealogists will love the mini travelogue.
Thanks to We Tree (http://wetree.blogspot.com/2009/01/jump-start-your-genealogy-blog-52-ideas.html) for the inspiration!
Although I chose a rainy day to do this, I enjoyed my excursion today. I chose to visit a cemetery that is close to my home. I had been at this cemetery once before, but it was only to speak to someone regarding information needed for an associate business in another town. Today I visited as a stranger, because inquiring minds wanted to know!
I walked the whole cemetery, after I had completed a two mile walk earlier this morning. This particular cemetery is on a main street in my town. I pass it quite often, and always thought it was rather eerie, but then I think most cemeteries can strike me that way, at least originally.
You can hear the traffic from the street and the close by highway inside the cemetery. I tried to "tune out" the noise, and focus just on the cemetery. I thought this cemetery was a very old cemetery and that it wasn't used any longer for burials. I couldn't have been more wrong. There was a set up for a funeral, apparently today. I tried to view that area early, so I wouldn't be around for the service. I accomplished this, and was happy I didn't actually see the procession come in.
I was surprised to see many local "famous" names on different plots. Names of business families, coaches, teachers, and the like. There are other cemeteries locally where I felt these families would have buried. I was almost afraid I would find a grave of someone I was aware of or knew, and it would shock me. Thankfully, that didn't happen.
Groundskeepers were working, even in the rain. One walked fairly close by me, and I wondered if he would talk to me, but he didn't. I continued on, examining the grounds in the mud and rain.
I found it sad that some of the headstones can't be read any longer. I found it sad to see the babies that are buried there. I saw flowers thrown off the main roads in piles. Where these to be dumped? Why were they left there? Maybe the groundskeepers were cleaning up? I certainly hoped so, because it also made me sad to see these flowers tossed and not on grave sites.
Viewing the difference in tombstones over the years is quite interesting. To see the tall, monuments of yesteryear compared to the mostly flat headstones of modern day, certainly shows a difference in times. The largest of plots used for all family members, isn't as common now a days. Plots like this are primarily those of wealthy families. Then, there are the plots with no headstone, probably because of lack of money, or possibly because there wasn't a surviving family member.
It was different for me to explore a cemetery that was new to me, and one where I wasn't actually looking for a family member's grave site. It was unfortunate that it was raining, as it made it feel more dreary in the cemetery and difficult to take pictures without ruining a camera.
I left with mud on my shoes and pants. I left with questions in my mind regarding names I saw. I left with questions about my own headstone. What would I want on my headstone? What would I want it to say? The variety of stones and inscriptions were so varied. Have you ever thought of what you would want your headstone to be like? Have you ever wandered a cemetery for non genealogical reasons? Give it a try!
Thanks for stopping by!
Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!