Out on the Prairie

P1050146Today we went out to visit various cemeteries in the vicinity of 15 miles from where we live. I don’t know if you are familiar with family history or not.

But in case you aren’t, don’t wait to start interviewing or asking questions. Don’t’ tell yourself you’ll do it sometime, because pretty soon things get in your way and time will pass faster than you think. Boom, grandpa gone and those stories go with him.

Not sure what to ask? Check out a book at your local library on how to interview someone. Or ask if anything unusual happened in your family. Do they have stories to tell? How many generations can they go back?  did anyone serve in the civil war? revolutionary war? What nationality is your namesake? When did they come to America and circumstances surrounding this? What ship did they come on? What port did they arrive and date? What was it like when they were growing up?

Thank goodness some families have kept records in their family bibles.  Ask your family members if they have any journals or newspaper articles that someone may have clipped or scrapbooks, pictures etc.  Pictures tell a story. Help a love one mark the back of them before the names slip away.

However, today we were amongst the dead searching for photo requests from http://www.findagrave.com you’d would be amazed at the people that volunteer their time to take photos of tombstones so family members can identify their ancestors across the world.

When we were out walking the cemeteries today, I noticed that many cemeteries seem to be near corn fields but may have been out on the prairie when they were first established.  We picked a great day to do this. The temperatures were around 75 degrees and there was a gentle breeze. The clouds were hanging low in the sky, you felt you could just reach out and bring them down. They seem so close to the earth. They were absolutely beautiful. The birds were making a lot of noise and I thought they were seagulls.

This brought back a memory of the days I use to go swimming at the jersey shores. Then I started thinking about the ocean, the sea salt and walking in the sand. Just a memory that had faded away. It had just seemed like yesterday.

Here I was walking up and down cemetery rows looking for other people’s ancestors. We found most of the request today after visiting four cemeteries. We even picked up a couple of names and photos that were not requested. Often times they can be related to the ones that were requested.

I enjoy doing this plus you get some walking in and you’re helping someone at the same time. Cemeteries are nice place to look at the neat names people have had over time, I saw one guy right before I got in the car again, his name was Enos Blish. I thought that was cool name. When you look at all the names,  I am surprised to see how early people were named and think about the names we have today they all are not relatively new names at all.

till later, Mary


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