the Central Florida Graveyard Rabbit
The sixth in a series featuring the members of
The Graveyard Rabbit Association
presented in order of their membership.
I have been interested in genealogy and graveyards from a very early age, and I suppose the reason is that I was born into a military family. We were only able to come "home" to Central Florida about twice a year, at Christmas and during the summer. So, when we were here, my parents tried to immerse both me and my younger sister in our family lore. We visited not only graveyards, but also old neighborhoods and homes, musty courthouses, and big outdoor reunions.
Our family has lived in the Orlando area since 1842. That's the year Congress passed the Armed Occupation Act. Basically, if you were crazy enough to live in the "no man's land" abutting the Seminole reservation, the government would give you 160 acres. 10 generations later, and we're still down here!
My dad was the first to leave this neck of the woods for any length of time. He joined the Air Force right out of college. They told him he would "see the world," but he really just saw a lot of Texas. I was basically raised in the The Lone Star State, and it will always occupy a very special place in my heart.
After earning an AA from Texas Tech University, I took a job in Washington, DC, for a short time. But, as anyone who knows me well will tell you, I do not like to wear a coat and tie. And, that's what the job required. So, when my uncle in Orlando offered me a job managing the family construction company, I jumped at the chance to throw out the uncomfortable clothes and move back to my ancestral stomping grounds.
In 1992, I enrolled in some accounting courses at the University of Central Florida, and later completed my studies in Growth Management Studies at nearby Rollins College. All of this really proved valuable as the family business expanded during the housing boom down here.
Of course, I have also found time to pursue my genealogical passions over the years. I have participated in several projects that indexed and/or abstracted local vital records, and have had articles published in our local society journal and The Orlando Sentinel. I am a proud member of the National Genealogical Society, the Florida State Genealogical Society, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and various lineage societies. One of my proudest achievements has been compiling the records that earned my family a Florida Pioneer Descendant Certificate.
In 2006, I compiled all the information my dad and I had collected on our family's involvement in the Civil War and got it published shortly before he passed away. The title is LIKE THE CATS OF KILKENNY and--like our association's name--is derived from an old poem. (Actually, a limerick.)
This year has been a busy one for me. In addition to becoming a GYR, I also purchased an old family home in the College Park section of Orlando that has required a lot of renovations. At this point, it looks like it will be blessing me with a weekend project for the rest of my life!
I am very excited about our new association, and salute Terry for putting it together! I look forward to getting to know all you other rabbits and learning things thru the posts on your blogs. Please feel hop over to mine when you get a chance: http://cflagraveyardrabbit.