Formerly published by GlobalGazette.ca
There's A Wealth of Information in Cemeteries - Part 2
Column published: 11 October 2007
By: Shirley Gage Hodges Biography & Archived Articles
Because of some of the comments that I have received in response to the last cemetery article I decided that I would do a continuation of that theme.
It is sometimes difficult to explain to the novice genealogist how interesting and rewarding cemetery research can be. I will have to admit that my children are still rather amazed when they see all my albums of tombstone pictures proudly displayed right on the shelves with all the other albums.
It always fills me with a sense of wonder to stand next to the burial site of some great great great ancestor, knowing that the marker you are seeing was put there over a hundred years ago, and that you are standing where living relatives of your ancestor also stood and mourned the passing.
Sometimes when I'm standing in a family plot where all the children have died within a few days you cannot help feeling some of their sense of loss a hundred years later. You marvel at their strength in being able to go on.
I always think it is amazing to see how much you can learn about an individual from their tombstone. I would like to share some of my favorites that I have found over the years. If you ever find a picture of someone that you know please understand that it is used with a great deal of respect.
I have always found this very simple stone to be very touching. It simply states, "Gone pickin"
The tombstone for Madalynn Rogers gives us a lot of information about her and we good some good insight into her personality. The inscription reads "Our Deposit in Heaven". We have a picture of her and information about her family on the front of the stone. On the back of the stone we learn how she impacted those around her during her lifetime.
I would also like to share the following with you. The tombstone for Audrey Gunther of Calgary, Alberta has the following inscription
"If music be the food of love, play on"
Audrey was a dear friend of Global's Sandra and Rick Roberts, and they said that the engraving was very fitting.
Audrey was an upbeat, positive music teacher who inspired many of her students to go on and make careers from the pursuit. She played many of the instruments in the orchestra and had an exceptional singing voice. Her choir was invited to and performed at Carnegie Hall about 6 years ago.
The stone captures the essence of this individual.... something that is not captured in the raw vital records of a person's life.
We would hope that each individual would have a tombstone that would tell us about the type of individual they were.
In some future articles we will learn how people show tribute to their occupations, hobbies, homes, pets, military experience and yes, even their favorite universities.
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This is Part 2 of a multi- part series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Until next time :)
Shirley Hodges, biography & genealogy lectures; email: email@example.com
Editor's Note: Shirley Hodges is the author of the popular Guide to United States Census, 1790-1930
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