Saturday, November 29, 2008


by Terry Thornton

Members of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits published 80 articles during the week of November 12 - 28. The titles of those articles are listed below in alphabetical order; click the title to read the article.

A Love Family
A Mason In Our Midst? [Note: Article from last week missed and added this week]
Doing Some Volunteer Work During The Holidays [Editor's Note: If I had to select but one GYRabbit article from this week to suggest as "required reading" it would be Elyse's "Doing Some Volunteer Work During The Holidays." Read and be inspired.]

Welcome! First post at a new blog by GYRabbit Charter Member, Janice Tracy. The blog is The Graveyard Rabbit of Holmes County (Mississippi).
Welcome! First post at a new blog by GYRabbit Charter Member, Janice Tracy. The blog is The Graveyard Rabbit of Madison County (Mississippi).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


the Graveyard Rabbit of South Denton County

The fourth in a series featuring the members of

The Graveyard Rabbit Association

presented in order of their membership.

From the time I was young I learned to feel at ease walking through cemeteries. Each time my parents and I went to a family reunion, we would stop at the local graveyards where grandparents, great-grandparents or other relatives were buried to take pictures of the head stones.

Consequently, my family will tell you that I have a “weird” fascination with cemeteries. I’ve also been known to say, “I know people buried there.” (To which my husband has replied, “And do you speak to them often?”) When I was nominated for the Cemetery Board of my church, my husband told everyone that they picked the right person because I am “all things” cemetery or “dead people”.

When my brother passed away a couple of weeks before 9/11, those of us at the grave after the service took pictures of it with all the flowers on top and several of the group that gathered there. The following year - a couple of years after I became an amateur genealogist - I was in Ohio for our first “Cousins” reunion. We all decided that to start the day off, we would caravan to the cemetery where our grandparents and aunt were buried. There we all told a few stories about our beloved “Nana” and “Granddad” and took many pictures of the stones. Then we went to the Catholic Cemetery in Dayton (Calvary) to visit the graves of my aunt and uncle (mother and father of three of my cousins) and reminisce. More pictures were taken before we left to begin the festivities.

After I began corresponding once again with aunts, cousins and other relatives whom I hadn’t seen since I was a child, they would all send me pictures of other family members’ graves. Then not too long ago I discovered and have come across many other head stone photos to add to my “collection”.

When The Association of Graveyard Rabbits was formed recently and I received an invitation to join, I knew that being a part of it was a perfect fit for me. Not only does this medium allow me to indulge my passion for cemeteries and head stones, but it is an opportunity for me to learn more about the cemeteries in my community and perhaps bring information to people who wouldn’t be able to obtain it any other way.

Not only do I publish on The Graveyard Rabbit of South Denton County (Texas), but I write the All My Branches Genealogy blog, my genealogy website – All My Branches and my personal website – Wendy’s Wonders. I’m also webmaster for my church’s website and my high school class website. I’m a “closet” author and have been actively working on genealogy since 1999. Personally, I am the part time administrative assistant for my church, have raised (or currently raising) four adult children and one grandson, enjoy my other two grandsons, and have a Custom Designed Scrapbook company – Nana’s Novelties.

Since joining the genea-blogging world early in the spring of this year, I’ve enjoyed reading other genealogy and history blogs and getting to know other genea-bloggers – two of whom I’ve discovered are my distant cousins (Julie Cahill Tarr and Becky Wiseman). Writing my blogs helps me keep some of my sanity and offers me a place to write about my genealogy passion.

So come visit me at The Graveyard Rabbit of South Denton County and All My Branches Genealogy. Stop by, grab a cup of coffee or tea or whatever your preference and leave me a note before you leave. And I hope every once in awhile I write something that touches you in some way or enables you to learn something new! Thanks for taking the time to get to know me!

GYR of South Denton County:

All My Branches Genealogy Blog:

All My Branches Genealogy Website:

Wendy's Wonders (Personal Website)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Links to Articles by The Graveyard Rabbits: November 15 - November 21

by Terry Thornton


Members of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits published 84 articles during the week of November 15 - 21. The titles of those articles are listed below in alphabetical order; click the title to read the article.

Hog to Heaven (take a look at this contemporary grave marker)
Linda's Headstone of the Week, Week # 5 (A look at a most unusual stone and a most interesting story to go with the stone.)
Must Go Back! What to do when you get home and can't read the digital image of a grave marker. Midge calls this a "must go back" job --- I call them "Re-dos." Anyone have suggestions for reading markers such as the one Midge shows?

One little girl's grave marker (missed last week and included here)

Welcome to the Eastern Washington Graveyard Rabbit! First post by Miriam Robbins Midkiff, GYRabbit of Eastern Washington. WELCOME Miriam!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Meet "The South San Diego County GYRabbit"

The third in a series featuring the members of The Graveyard Rabbit
Association presented in order of their membership.

I was fascinated by cemeteries when I was a child. They seemed so quiet and peaceful – a green space in the middle of the city surrounding them. I was intrigued by the “why” of burying or cremating dead bodies, and I admit that it hasn’t ever seemed very logical to me – frankly, it seemed very cold and final.

My grandparents told me that it was so that the living could honor their dead loved ones by visiting their burial locations and placing flowers on important days of their lives – birthdays, deathdays, Christmas, etc. That seemed to be the most logical reason of all to me – the survivors longed to be near their loved ones and remember them. That is, of course, the reason many of us pursue our elusive ancestors – to remember, appreciate and honor them and to bring their life stories to the attention of other family members as good examples (or perhaps bad examples) of lives lived well.

My great-grandparents, Austin and Della (Smith) Carringer, Della’s mother, Abigail (Vaux) Smith, and another great-grandmother, Georgianna (Kemp) Auble, were all cremated and are inurned at the Cypress View Mausoleum in San Diego. When I was a child, I occasionally went with my grandparents to put flowers on the niches of their parents. It was only when I started doing family history research that I found the graves of my other great-grandfather, Charles Auble, and Austin Carringer’s parents, David J. and Rebecca (Spangler) Carringer.

The goal for the South San Diego County Graveyard Rabbit web site is to provide useful information concerning each cemetery, memorial park and mausoleum in San Diego County south of Interstate 8. There are a number of very large cemeteries in this area and I plan to visit each one, take some pictures, and then write a blog post about each one. I plan to provide links to the cemetery web site, and note the location of published or online cemetery listings. In general, I won’t post many photographs of graves in each cemetery, or lists of persons in the cemeteries – I’ll leave that to the web sites dedicated to those purposes. However, I do hope to note special areas – like Civil War veterans – in each cemetery.

I am a 5th generation native of San Diego. That doesn’t sound too impressive to some people, but San Diego was discovered by European explorers in 1769, became a town in 1850, and really didn’t start growing until the 1880’s, which is when my great-grandparents Austin and Della (Smith) Carringer came to town on their honeymoon – and they never left.

Family history and genealogy has always intrigued me – I love mysteries and detective stories. I began pursuing my elusive ancestors in earnest in 1988 – after my grandparents and my father had died. Fortunately, my mother had boxes of family papers, photographs and books, so I have been able to find quite a bit of family history through them. Tracing earlier generations has led me to studying and searching the northeastern USA, Ontario in Canada, England, Holland, Germany, France and Norway.

In addition to serving in my local genealogy societies, presenting genealogy programs to societies and conferences, and writing books about my ancestry, I write several genealogy blogs, including GeneaMusings, The Geneaholic and the Chula Vista Genealogy Café.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Links to 108 Articles by the Graveyard Rabbits: November 8 - 14

Listed below in alphabetical order are the articles published by members of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits during the week of November 8 - 14, 2008. Click on the title to read the article.

Closest to Home (First post by new member, Richard O. Cheek at I'd Sooner Be a Graveyard Rabbit) Welcome Richard to the GYRabbits!
Graveyard Rabbit (check out this photograph!)
I'm a Graveyard Rabbit! (First post by Geder, Santa Fe's African American Graveyard Rabbit) Welcome George to the GYRabbits!
My First Post (by new Association member, The Graveyard Rabbit Travels Wright) Welcome Travels Wright to the GYRabbits!
Welcome! (First article by new member Sarah of The Graveyard Rabbit of Central PA) Welcome Sarah to the GYRabbits!
WHY GRAVEYARD RABBITS, YOU ASK? (Answered beautifully by Judy at The Graveyard Rabbit of the Covered Bridges)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Meet Graveyard Rabbit BOB FRANKS of Graveyard Adventures in Itawamba County, Mississippi

Each Wednesday, a different member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits is invited to write an introductory article about themselves, their blog, and their work. Today we are honored to have Bob Franks, historian, researcher, photographer, and "Rabbit" of Itawamba County, Mississippi, in the spotlight. Bob has recently started a Membership Directory for The Association of Graveyard Rabbits which is very helpful and well used. His contribution to the formation and implementation of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits is most appreciated

by Bob Franks
With my Association of Graveyard Rabbits blog, Graveyard Adventures in Itawamba County, Mississippi, I plan to document many of the historical cemeteries of my county. In this documentation I plan to highlight many of the unusual monuments found in these cemeteries, as well as provide background information about many of those remote rural cemeteries hidden by years of neglect as well as provide biographical information relating to those memorialized by many of those gravestones. I will also tell tales associated with these cemeteries and try to provide cemetery research techniques as well as publish photography of gravestones from an artistic point of view.

To me, the graveyard is not only a simple record of birth and death, but so much more. It is an outdoor museum documenting the lives and times of the generations who came before us. The American clergyman Joseph Anderson (1836-1916) once wrote:
"It is not a mere field in which the dead are stowed away unknown; it is a touching and beautiful history, written in family burial plots, in mounded graves, in sculptured and inscribed monuments. It tells the story of the past, not of its institutions, or its wars, or its ideas, but of its individuals lives, ---of its men and women and children, and of its household. It is silent, but eloquent; it is common, but it is unique. We find no such history elsewhere; there are no records in all the wide world in which we can discover so much that is suggestive, so much that is pathetic and impressive."
I tend to agree with Rev. Anderson.

For the past thirty-five years with my personal research and work with the local historical society, I have probably visited most every cemetery in my county at one time or the other. And each time I visit many of these old burial grounds, I usually discover fresh information and notice things I've never seen before. These old graveyards simply document the lives of those who came before us.

An old burial ground is located near my home, back in the dense woods. In this little graveyard dating back to 1842, there is an inscribed monument and adjacent to this old monument are five graves marked only with field stone. It was later I learned from an elderly descendent of the family the graves marked only with the field stones were the graves of five children in this one family who all died during a yellow fever epidemic after the Civil War.

In the old Salem graveyard in the northeastern section of my county are two adjacent graves displaying the same surname for two young men. From researching local newspapers I learned it was during 1908 these young men died of gunshot wounds during a gunfight with the Federal marshal on the same day in a field west of the cemetery.

There's an old grave in a field east of the Tombigbee River on the old Warren farm. The old grave marked with brick curbing is in the shape of a well. It has been said that during the Civil War, a man was buried here, placed in a sitting position in his favorite rocking chair. And an old local diary supports this story. On September 19, 1863, Henry Jackson Lentz wrote in his personal diary: "Old John Warren died. Aged 89 years --- he was buried a-seten up."

Researching hallowed ground is an exciting exercise. From those old gravestones stories like the ones above are told. These stories are as diverse as America itself.

Graveyards not only document those who came before us, but serve as an excellent museum. It is interesting to note the decorative and religious motifs on gravestones from different periods in history. From the hand of God pointing upward (the reward of the righteous confirmation of life after death) to the weeping willow (the symbolic tree of human sadness), the ancient inscribed stones are simply works of art.

To me, researching an old graveyard is an exercise in adventure and a welcome relief from studying old documents, census records, and books. Getting out in the field, exploring old hallowed ground brings history to life. In these old burial grounds I simply feel as if I am around those who came before me --- those hardy pioneers and settlers who forged a great nation from the wilderness. Living through hard times and good times, war and peace, and poverty and prosperity, their lives are memorialized in those old silent and eloquent burials grounds of our nation.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Graveyard Rabbits Group at Facebook

by Terry Thornton

At the urging of fellow Rabbits and with the assistance of Graveyard Rabbit member Bob Franks, The Association of Graveyard Rabbits now has a presence at FaceBook.

Graveyard Rabbit members are invited to join the group; it is an "open" group meaning anyone can view it or join it at FaceBook. Membership in The Association of Graveyard Rabbits, however, is still by invitation only. To be a member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits Group on FaceBook, all that is required is a profile at FaceBook.

Please note that these are two separate entities:
1. The Association of Graveyard Rabbits is an association of bloggers, membership by invitation.
2. Assocation of Graveyard Rabbits Group on FaceBook is a networking group through which the work of the membership and the reach of the membership of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits can be enhanced. Anyone with a FaceBook profile can join or view our group there.

Graveyard Rabbit members are not required to join FaceBook --- but the FaceBook site will enable us to have discussions, post information, and to interact in a variety of means not available elsewhere. The Graveyard Rabbit e-Letter will continue to keep the membership informed; posts at The Graveyard Rabbit (home blog of the Association) will continue to inform members of activities --- but for those of you who wish to have the option of using the services of FaceBook for interaction, that option and opportunity is now available.

If you are not a member already of FaceBook and wish to join, go to and complete the profile information.

Again, let me repeat. You do not have to join FaceBook to be a member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits. But to be a member of Association of Graveyard Rabbits Group on FaceBook, you must have a profile at FaceBook.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Graveyard Rabbits: Links to 99 articles published November 1 - November 7

Indexed by Terry Thornton

Here are links to 99 articles posted by members of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits for the week, November 1 - November 7. Please report any missing articles or broken links.

Citation (see also Update: Citation)

New Blog and Member: Geder: Santa Fe's African American Graveyard Rabbit (New Mexico USA)
This Week At All The Graveyard Rabbits (Links to articles from October 25 - 31)
To Move or Not to Move [Editor's Note: Ok, I said I wasn't going to comment but this post is so near and dear that I recommend it to all before you head to the cemetery with your camera and/or your note pad!]
Update: Citation (see also Citation)