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.


Terry Thornton said...


Thanks for such a lovely introduction. I am always amazed at how truly busy people always find time for yet another article, another project, another blog, and membership in another association.

Your discussion of "why have cemeteries" is most important and I look forward to reading more of your articles as you write about the burying places of South San Diego County.

I am so happy that you are a member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits --- your presence here enriches us all.

Terry Thornton

Randy Seaver said...


Thanks for the comment. Heck, I got nothing else to do but work on genealogy...all day, every day it seems, unless I'm on vacation.

One error - mine i'm sure - Austin and Della Carringer were my great-grandparents, not my grandparents. It's near the bottom of the piece. Can you correct it?

Thanks -- Randy

Terry Thornton said...

RANDY, Added "great" as per your request.

We are all fortunate to have you blogging --- thanks Mr. Genea-Man!


Judith Richards Shubert said...

Yes, Randy, we are fortunate to have you as a fellow blogger! I really reading your introduction. You write very interesting articles and I try to read something from your blog at least once a week. Need to strive for daily!

Untangled Family Roots said...

Nice introduction Randy. I always enjoy your blog when I have time to read it and I look forward to more.

I too was bitten by the grave yard bug as a child. I"m on the hunt right now for the headstone in Columbia, CA that sealed the deal for me. But I can't seem to find it online. I guess I'll have to send out the troops to find it as I now live hundreds of miles away.

I wished I were had the time you do to devote to this. It's hard working full time and with three children to devoted much time to this.

I'm glad you are a part of the group. Amy