Saturday, October 25, 2008

This Week with The Graveyard Rabbits: 66 Articles --- A Summary

The week of October 18 - October 24, 2008, was the organizational week for The Association of Graveyard Rabbits --- a week of applying for membership, setting up a membership blog, cutting and pasting logos, and deciding which articles to write first! And the Rabbits did write! Below is a listing and a link and a brief summary of the sixty-six articles published at twenty-eight active membership blogs by individual members of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits.

The range of articles assures there is something here for every reader --- the somber, the funny, the inspirational, the practical, the family history carved on stone --- there are suggestions for "how to do" certain aspects of cemetery research and links to loads of materials to help us all. And the photographs --- lets not forget to call attention to the marvelous photographs of cemeteries (and some of the banner photographs have wonderful illustrations of both urban and rural cemeteries) --- give a beautiful sampling of grave markers and cemeteries from around the world. Together these sixty-six introductory articles present a rich tapestry upon which the foundation of this association is being built, one article at a time.

Thank you for reading. Your support of cemeteries is most appreciated.

If you are an Association Member, thanks. If I've missed one of your articles, please contact me immediately. If you would like to become a member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits, an invitation and information for membership are printed at this site --- feel free to contact me at

Terry Thornton

Saturday the 18th:

footnoteMaven: Grab a Badge! FootnoteMaven put on her graphic design artist's hat and came up with a delightful logo/badge for The Association of Graveyard Rabbits and graciously donated it to the group. At Grab a Badge, members of the Graveyard Rabbits can select from two sizes of badges, cut and paste the code into a gadget box on their layout page, and have the official group logo on their membership blog (a requirement for membership). Thanks, Maven, for donating your work to the Association.

Terry: About the Name THE GRAVEYARD RABBIT is Terry's attempt to explain why he used graveyard rabbit for the title of an association, his membership blog, and for a monthly column he is writing. Read his explanation of "why" --- read the poem which inspired it all --- and answer, "Did you, too, once carry a rabbit's foot for luck?" Terry did.

Sunday the 19th:

Amy: Welcome! is Amy's first post at the Graveyard Rabbit of Central Ohio. Check out Amy's wonderful use of a cemetery photograph in her banner.

Denise: Welcome! is Denise's first post at the Graveyard Rabbit of Moultrie Creek. She has made excellent use of the association's badge in her good-looking banner design. Denise gives a brief account of her area's claim to be the oldest European settlement in the United States --- almost 450 years of history to explore and to consider.

Janice: Welcome! to Janice's first post at the Graveyard Rabbit of Attala County. She explains why she will be blogging about the cemeteries of Attala County, Mississippi.

Jessica: My Goals For This Blog is Jessica's first post as a rabbit --- and she outlines an important goal for writing about rural cemeteries in Michigan --- to help "educate others to prevent people from vandalizing cemeteries." Certainly one of the major goals of the association should be to help preserve and protect rural cemeteries; far too many of them have been the targets of vandals and many historic records destroyed by the wanton acts of a few. Perhaps all Graveyard Rabbits will join Jessica in her efforts.

Julie: Welcome! is Julie's first post welcoming readers to her Chicagoland Graveyard Rabbit blog.

Julie: Welcome! is Julie's first post welcoming readers to Graveyard Rabbit of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.

Midge: Nehemiah WILLIAMS is a photo-post --- primarily a photograph of a grave marker with a short transcription by Midge. But, oh!, what a grave marker. Click on Midge's photograph and you will be transported to a site with a much larger version of the picture --- then and only then can you begin to appreciate this marvelous old grave marker for Nehemiah Williams.

looking4ancestors: The Cemeteries of Essex County, Ontario. A statement of purpose for a rabbit blog --- and a promise to share what is learned about the cemeteries in Essex County.

Wendy: Welcome to the Blog for Graveyard Rabbit of South Denton County is Wendy's first post as a Graveyard Rabbit. She explains why and where in Denton County, Texas, she will be working.

Monday the 20th:

Amy: Camp Chase Cemetery is Amy's second post at her new blog. She explains the photograph used in her banner ---- Camp Chase was a USA training camp during the Civil War and also the site of a prison camp containing more than 8,000 CSA soldiers. The cemetery contains 2,260 burials. Amy provides a link to photographs of the grave markers at Camp Chase.

AmyRebba: John Edward Davis, Buried at Paupers Cemetery in Kootenai County, Idaho, is an interesting read about a grave, a grave marker, and the life of an individual. Relatives are still asking "why?" and AmyRebba is still writing Mr. Davis' story.

Diane: Wordless Monday -- Lillie Hornkoist 1910 --Merritt, British Columbia --- a look at an almost 100 year-old marker.

Janice: Attala County Cemeteries is a list of the cemeteries in Attala County, Mississippi. Janice says, "As a charter member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits, I feel it is my obligation to post for my readers the names of cemeteries located in Attala County, Mississippi." And she them lists more than 130 cemeteries. [Perhaps other Rabbits will take up the challenge and provide a list of some of the cemeteries for their region --- or provide a link to such a list.]

Midge: Coming Back explains why Midge's Granite in My Blood site will be as quiet as a cemetery for the next several days.

Terry: Tombstone genealogy . . . Getting to the back of things. A gentle reminder that often grave markers contain much more information that just what is written on the face of the stone. This article takes a look at an old burial with a new stone --- and the amazing amount of information to be read from it.

Randy: Welcome to the South San Diego County Graveyard Rabbit blog is "Mr. Genea-Man" -- Randy Seaver's -- introduction and welcome to his Rabbit blog.

Sue: The Graveyard Rabbit Blog is a "Hello and Welcome" from the Graveyard Rabbit of North Snohomish County, Washington.

Wendy: Round Grove Cemetery -- Part One is Wendy's look at a 107+ year-old cemetery. Read about the formation of the cemetery and church and the German immigrant connection. Also learn about Wendy's personal history with this historic cemetery.

William: Plan now to join moonlight history stroll is an announcement for a planned evening activity in Orlando's downtown historic Greenwood Cemetery for mid-November. The guided stroll is free (but to a limited number of participants because of the nature of the activity); donations will be accepted to help restore the trees lost at Greenwood Cemetery during recent hurricanes.

Tuesday the 21st:

Amy: Capt. Daniel S. Lewis, Green Lawn Cemetery -- take a look at a most unique 1903 grave marker. If you have as much respect for fire-fighters as I do, you'll enjoy looking at this beautiful memorial stone to one who gave his life in the service of his community.

Denise: Cemeteries, Superstitions and Hoodoo is a delightful look at rabbit foot good-luck charms, superstition, and folk beliefs. She offers an interesting account of a famous person who carried a rabbits' foot, Booker T. Washington.

Diane: A Night for All Souls -- October 25, 2008 -- Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, BC, Canada describes an on-going event in Vancouver. Urban cemeteries could all perhaps learn something from this event --- a combination of memorials to the dead, art, music. The event is described as: "It will be a family friendly sanctuary of beauty for tender feelings, with fires to warm us, music to uplift us, tea to refresh us and materials to create personal memorials for our dead."

Elyse: My Introduction is Elyse's first post as a Graveyard Rabbit. She gives a good account of herself (also check out her "About Me" Section) and explains why, although she lives hundreds of miles away from the mountains of eastern Tennessee, she is devoting her membership blog to that area.

Janice: Gravestones, Tombstones, and Their Symbols is a list of definitions with some major surprises. Read why Janice's doesn't wish to have a "frog" on her personal grave marker!

John: Arnevet Beth Olam -- St. Louis. John didn't post an article on the 21st but his blog banner is a lesson we all need to learn. Take a look at the meaning of the phrases "Arnevet" and "Beth Olam." Thanks, John for adding to my vocabulary!

Julie: Cemetery Listing of burying grounds in the Bloomington-Normal area of Illinois is a major asset to researchers of that area. Julie has not only listed the cemeteries and given a general location, she has made an interactive map which would be an absolute have-to-have if researching the area! And Julie even gives us a link to a tutorial on how to make your own interactive map. WOW! What an idea. Thanks Julie.

Linda: Newport Cemetery, Perry County, Pennsylvania Although Linda's blog is focused on Lancaster County, she starts her Graveyard Rabbit blog with a brief discussion of a cemetery in Perry County --- and in doing so gives up a delightful account of how and why she is such a devoted cemetery "rabbit" and provides an excellent glimpse into her family in the hills of Pennsylvania's Perry County.

Sheri: What is a Graveyard Rabbit? is Sheri's question and answer --- read about being a "rabbit" and about Sheri's intent to examine graveyards of her ancestors scattered across The United States.

Sheri: John Tetter Beam -- Cleveland County, North Carolina. Sheri takes a look at a marvelous family memorial stone in North Carolina --- a stone to the memory of the remarkable life of Sheri's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, John Beam.

S.Lincecum: Bonaire Cemetery; Houston County, Georgia. S. Lincecum is using an existing blog, Southern Graves, as her membership blog. Click on her photographs and be transported to a wonderful multi-media presentation of Bonaire Cemetery. We could all learn some techniques of presentation here. [And on a local note for my Monroe County, MS, readers --- yes, Miss Lincecum is a relative of Dr. Gideon Lincecum who figures so largely in early Monroe County history.]

Sue: What is it With Graveyards Anyway? asks and answers an important question. Read what Sue has to say. Yes. I'd agree. Vacations just aren't the same if you don't visit some of the local cemeteries.

Terry: Looking beyond photographs taken in a cemetery . . . Historic family photographs taken in cemeteries often can be used to make inferences about things other than just who died when. A 1919 photograph taken in Lann Cemetery, Splunge, Monroe County, Mississippi, is the focus of this article.

Wendy: Tombstone Tuesday --- Round Grove Cemetery takes a look at Grandma Uecher and Grandpa Uecher's grave marker --- it is inscribed in both English and German.

William: Memorial vs tombstone is a well illustrated with photographs of both a memorial stone and a grave marker for the same member of William's family --- same cemetery, different locations. The memorial stone and the grave marker is for Aaron Jernigan, first American settler in Orlando, Florida.

Wednesday the 22nd:

AmyRebba: A Little Bit More continues the story of John Edward Davis, buried in a pauper's cemetery.

footnoteMaven: Sermons in Stone announces "An Epitaph a Day, Keeps Death's Spectre Away." Maybe I can find a suitable epitaph to have chiseled on my grave marker.

footnoteMaven: A Watch-Makers's Epitaph at Dead Man's Corner --- read about the "main-spring" being unsprung!

Henk: Introduction to Utrecht and Het Gooi, The Netherlands. Henk offers up a map and an interesting geography lesson as he explains what and where his cemetery work will be conducted --- in the heart of The Netherlands provinces.

Janice: Family Cemeteries offers up some good advice by Janice for locating burials in the rural south --- and explains why so many cemeteries are named after a family rather than a region.

Jessica: Looking for a Cemetery in Michigan? Here's a Place to Look. Actually, Jessica offers up two --- a book and an-online data base as well as some practical advice for cemetery looking in Michigan.

John: Introduction is John's first post at Arnevet Beth Olam - St. Louis. Starting with a most interesting explanation and definitions of the words used in the title of his blog, John also gives some biographical information. He links to a list of Jewish cemeteries in the St. Louis area and to indexes of burials for some of those cemeteries.

Sheri: Peter Hoyle -- Cleveland County, North Carolina is a most interesting look at the grave marker of Sheri's eight-great-grandparents, Peter Hoyle and Catherine Dales. Click the photograph of the grave marker to learn of the connection between Peter Hoyle and George II, King of England.

Sheri: Peter Bess -- Lincoln County, North Carolina. Sheri provides a photographic look and a brief discussion of her great-great-great-great-grandparents grave marker. On a single stone are information for Peter Bess and Sarah Beam Bess --- and on one side of the large stone is this lovely verse: "How lonely we sleep in the clay, since death has called us away."

Terry: Until death do us part . . . is a look at the unique problem of indexing a name from a grave stone. Terry solved the problem by listing the burial twice under different names.

William: Written in stone? is a presentation of a family grave marker in Florida with an incorrect surname chiseled in stone --- the marker says JONES but the name was JOHNS. An interesting dilemma for a family historian. Wonder how William will solve this one in his records?

Thursday the 23rd:

Cheryl: Welcome from a Graveyard Rabbit is Cheryl's first post at the Graveyard Rabbit of South Alameda County, California.

Chuck C.: Why this blog is Chuck's entry into the world of Graveyard Rabbits.

Elyse: Rural Cemeteries is about Carter and Johnson Counties in Tennessee --- a rural mountainous region that borders North Carolina. Elyse describes the problem of locating cemeteries there --- and has recommendations for securing information about those small, isolated rural cemeteries.

footnoteMaven: An Epitaph a Day . . . Caroline Islands is more about the whale than the men (in my opinion) What a story in stone.

footnoteMaven: The Graveyard Shift announces a new series by footnoteMaven as well as explains the origins of the phrase, "the graveyard shift." Do you believe the story Maven cited is true? One in twenty-five buried alive? Could it be?

Janice: Are Burials Becoming Extinct? poses a most interesting question. See what Janice says of this timely and important topic --- and then ponder her final question --- if burials become obsolete, then how will we "trace our roots?"

Julie: Cemetery Trip This Weekend! is a discussion of the plans Julie has for her and her husband for the weekend in Chicagoland --- twelve cemeteries in two days. I'm anxious to hear how that works out.

Minda: I'm A Rabbit! is a delightful introduction to The Graveyard Rabbit of the Quad Cities. I, too, am glad Minda is not a squirrel!

Ruth: Welcome to The Graveyard Rabbit of Cowtown, Ruth's first post at GYRC. Take a look at Ruth's absolutely stunning look at a graveyard and Cowtown with the photo she is using in her banner.

Ruth: The Oakwood Saints and Sinners Tour is this weekend! Ruth explains that the popular Fort Worth cemetery tour is touted as an opportunity to "Meet some Super Saints & Sassy Sinners. Learn some little- known Fort Worth History."

Schelly: A Graveyard Rabbit? is the first post at Jewish Graveyard Rabbit and explains the team approach which Schelly is using in her international look at being a graveyard rabbit --- she lists a wonderful set of objectives for her group. I'm particularly interested in what she and her rabbits write about Jewish burial customs and mourning customs.

Sheri: Boston Bess -- Lincoln County, North Carolina is a look at Sheri's great-great-great-great-great-grandparents, Boston Bess and Polly Carpenter Bess and their grave markers. I have to admit that "Boston Bess" is one of the best names I've encountered in some time --- and in Sheri's line at that! Some of you more experienced cemeteries sleuths may be able to give Sheri some pointers for reading the badly weathered stone for Polly Carpenter Bess.

Daniel Horowitz of Israel, team member, Jewish Graveyard Rabbit: Cemeteries: Stones Also Speak. Daniel explains the importance of grave markers, what can be learned from the documents written, not on paper, but on stone, and offers suggestions for visiting Jewish cemeteries. His advice is sound --- and universal.

Thomas: The Rural Cemetery Act passed into law 1847 in New York State is the focus of Thomas' discussion --- a most interesting account of some of the reasons why New York has some of the most beautiful cemeteries in the nation.

Friday the 24th:

Amy: Granny Chick is the name from a grave marker illustrated in a photograph --- interesting! Granny Chick is a wonderful name --- and I hope Amy learns more about who this person was. Granny Chick has another name --- click and go read.

footnoteMaven: An Epitaph a Day -- October 24: On a horse thief: A jolly good rhyme --- and a jolly bad time for the one at the end of the rope.

Janice: The Old Salem Church Cemetery is an endangered cemetery in Attala County, Mississippi. Janice presents a link to a list of cemeteries throughout the United States on an endangered list. Are any from your region on that list? If so, is there anything you can do as a Graveyard Rabbit to help protect or save that cemetery?

Linda: Linda's Headstone of the Week, Week # 1 is a mystery --- although I think I know why there is duct-tape on that grave marker! Take a look and see if you can figure out why. [And I agree, Linda, I've never seen duct-tape used in that manner either!]

William: Who survived who?! is an examination of William's great-great-great-grandparents markers in an Orlando Florida cemetery --- he compares the record in stone with one printed obit and finds a conflict. Indeed, who survived who???? An interesting presentation of fam
ily history and a mystery that I'm sure William will eventually solve.


Elyse said...

Wow Terry!! I am amazed at how well this association is doing - and so fast! I knew it would take off in the genealogy world, because as genealogists we have a need/want to protect cemeteries.
I am so proud at how much work everyone is putting up. It is amazing!

wsmv said...

Thanks for this digest version of the weekly activity! I hope it becomes a regular feature!!

Tipper said...

WOW-a true success! Congrats to you Terry on a terrific new venture.

Terry Thornton said...


I am amazed, honored, and flattered at the numbers and the speed of all these RABBITS! It is such an enjoyable education to read the range of articles from so many talented writers. And I'm awed by the response -- thank you for being a Rabbit too!


Terry Thornton said...

Thanks ORANGE and BLUE. I'm not sure each week will have a summary of all the articles --- but, yes, I'm trying to do an index weekly. I'm calling in some big guns (some volunteers) after this week to assist.

Thanks TIPPER --- and remember you still have an open invitation to membership!


Judith Richards Shubert said...

I'm really excited about the Graveyard Rabbits! I can't read fast enough.