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There's A Wealth of Information in Cemeteries - Part 3
Column published: 23 November 2007
By: Shirley Gage Hodges   Biography & Archived Articles

I always find the fall of the year a beautiful time to wander through the cemeteries looking for the tombstones of my loved ones. The fall foliage and cooler air have two wonderful benefits as far as I am concerned. I love the colors and I don't have to worry about snakes.

As we wander through the cemeteries we can find the full range of tombstones from the very humble to the very grand. Sometimes the contrast between different areas of the cemetery are quite striking. One side will have grand, massive monuments and the other side will contain graves marked with more humble tombstones. Both types of tombstones carry the same type of information and they were erected with the same amount of love and respect for the one who has passed away

In our travels we have found many tombstones that were not professionally made. Many of them are made from semi-permanent materials such as untreated wood or unpainted metal. They are sometimes very simple but can be more elaborate. They should never be viewed as an inexpensive substitute for a more elaborate tombstone. In many cases they offer a more personal tribute and give us more understanding about the deceased.

I would like to share some wonderful examples that we have had our hearts touched by over the years. These were both found in Arizona.

We found the following markers in Ohio. It would be interesting to know the story behind some of these markers. We can learn a lot about people when we can find the reasons for their selections.

Take advantage of beautiful fall days and wander through some of your local cemeteries. Even if you don't have ancestors there it may give you some ideas and things to think about as you are looking for your relatives.

This is Part 3 of a multi- part series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Until next time :)

Shirley Hodges, biography & genealogy lectures; email:

Editor's Note: Shirley Hodges is the author of the popular Guide to United States Census, 1790-1930

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