Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Article about Graveyard Rabbits in MONROE JOURNAL

by Terry Thornton
email: hillcountrymonroecounty@gmail.com


The Association of Graveyard Rabbits was featured in an article in the Monroe Journal, Amory, Mississippi, December 24, 2008, page 8A. Here are some images of the article, Graveyard Rabbits blog organization established to study cemeteries.






Thanks, Monroe Journal, for printing an article about the Graveyard Rabbits.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

LINKS TO ARTICLES BY THE GRAVEYARD RABBITS: DECEMBER 20 - DECEMBER 26


by Terry Thornton
email: hillcountrymonroecounty@gmail.com


During one of the busiest family and religious holiday weeks of the year, members of the Graveyard Rabbits found time to publish seventy articles this week. Below are links to each of the articles. Click and read --- and remember, GYRabbits enjoy receiving comments!

A brief look at Agua Mansa Cemetery [Another historic cemetery under "lock and key" and open only at certain times.]

NEW MEMBER: Cemeteries and Cemetery Symbols [Joe Beine is a new member of the Graveyard Rabbits. WELCOME, Joe, to the Association of Graveyard Rabbits!]

Cemetery Superhero [All communities need such a "superhero!"]
Christmas Comes to Parkway Memorial Gardens [Thanks, Stephanie Lincecum, for these photographs of grave markers with Christmas decorations.]

NEW MEMBER and NEW BLOG: Christmas Day 2008 welcomes readers to Mona Robinson Mills' Graveyard Rabbit of Yoknapatawpha County (Lafayette County, Mississippi). WELCOME, Mona, to the Graveyard Rabbits!

Christmas in the Cemetery I [Thanks, Midge Frazel, for these two special Christmas posts.]
Christmas Rabbit [Thanks, Henk van Kampen, for this very special photograph of a rabbit and Christmas decorations on a grave in the Netherlands.]
Christmas Ramblings [Thanks, Travels Wright, for this thoughtful Christmas post.]

Happy Holidays [Thanks, Julie Tarr, for this delightful holiday greetings. But is that a grave-digger Snowman with his shovel?!!]
Happy Holidays [from Julie Tarr]
Happy Holidays [from George Geder]
Holidays Are A Time To Spend With Family [Greetings form Elyse, the Graveyard Rabbit of Eastern Tennessee]

Merry Christmas! [from the Graveyard Rabbit of South Denton County]

New blog: My Hoover Clan [first post at a new blog, The Graveyard Rabbit of the Hoover Clan, by member Cheryle Hoover Davis. WELCOME, Cheryle, and your Hoover clan.]

Mourning Card [FootnoteMaven traces a family and a name from a mourning card and, in doing so, also provides the history of "mourning cards."]

No title but article about students cleaning a cemetery
New blog: Pearce Chapel Church Cemetery, a new blog started by Terry Thornton, this week had the following articles posted to it:
Rest Baby Rest [Randy C. of Graveyard Rabbit of the Old West presents a Christmas post whose title is the epitaph carved on a stone.]

Schade Mylander Mausoleum in December [Dorene presents photographs showing a mausoleum decorated for December and family information.]
Sleep in heavenly peace [Thanks, Janet Iles, for this beautiful Christmas post and photographs of a snow-covered cemetery.]
The West Family at Mount Pleasant Cemetery [Judy Shubert presents an interesting set of photographs and information of a most unique type of grave marker from Texas --- coffin shaped crypts. A research report on this type of grave marker is most needed. Other Graveyard Rabbits are encouraged to report about the use of this marker type in other locations.]
"The Zoo Lady" at Greenwood Memorial Park [Take a look at the grave marker Randy Seaver featured. Unique!]
Wild Turkeys at Beech Springs Cemetery [Stephanie Lincecum found a flock of "critters" in a cemetery and has photographs to prove it!]
Wordless Wednesday: Christmas [Henk van Kampen provides photographs of graves in the Netherlands decorated for the season.]


Monday, December 22, 2008

Graveyard Rabbits: Article in EPITAPHS MAGAZINE

by Terry Thornton
Epitaphs Magazine Fall/Winter 2008 was issued December 22 --- and the Graveyard Rabbits are discussed in the article Taphophiles are Multiplying Like Rabbits: The Story Behind the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.

Editor Minda Powers-Douglas is a GYRabbit (of the Quad Cities). Epitaphs Magazine is available by single issues. A digital download of Fall/Winter 2008 can be bought at The Cemetery Club. Back issues are also available.

My digital copy arrived this afternoon and I've had a wonderful time reading and looking --- the cover story article about storm damage in a cemetery is most interesting and gives me even more inspiration to begin a volunteer program of assisting local cemeteries with unexpected damage.

The many photographs throughout Epitaphs Magazine makes it a pleasure for anyone interested in graveyards. Looking for a camera to photograph grave markers? Read about some of the
features you don't need in a graveyard camera!

Here is a photo of the cover and a list of the articles in Epitaphs Magazine Fall/Winter 2008. The story behind the Association of Graveyard Rabbits is on page 17.


Thanks Minda for this explanation of why taphophiles are multiplying like rabbits!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

LINKS TO ARTICLES BY THE GRAVEYARD RABBITS: DECEBER 13 - DECEMBER 19, 2008


by Terry Thornton
email: hillcountrymonroecounty@gmail.com


Below are links to seventy-two articles published by members of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits during the week December 13 - December 19. Click the links to be carried to the article; when you finish reading it, hit your return button to come back to this list. I encourage you to leave comments at those posts you visit --- Graveyard Rabbits, like all bloggers, thrive on reader comments!

Note: The following list was meant to be alphabetized but glitches happen --- and you will have to do with a garbled one.

7th Meet a Rabbit Column Posted! is a reminder by Jessica Oswalt of Rural Michigan Cemeteries Graveyard Rabbit that the bio about fellow Rabbit Kathryn Lake Hogan is available at www.thegraveyardrabbit.com

A Country Convict Cemetery: Sing Sing Cemetery 1891 by Terry Thornton, Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill Country, presents a newspaper description of the cemetery at Sing Sing in 1891.

NEW MEMBER: A Few Headstone From Citizen's Cemetery in Flagstaff, Arizona, is the first post by new Graveyard Rabbit Cheryle Hoover Davis of the Graveyard Rabbit of Northern Arizona. WELCOME, CHERYLE, to the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.

Acid Rain and Cemeteries by Travels Wright of the Graveyard Rabbit Travels Wright takes a look at the materials grave markers are composed of and of the effect which acid rain has upon them.

Alabama Health Statisticians Hit Century Mark, Still Counting by Stephanie Lincecum of Southern Graves links to an article by Dave Sparks about the work of the office of vital records in Alabama.

Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine by Stephanic Lincecum of Southern Graves presents a photograph of a symbol carved on a grave marker --- and explains its meaning.

An Epitaph a Day: Unknown Epitaph by FootnoteMaven of Western Washington Graveyard Rabbit. Short --- and what a lesson!

Backyard burials is another one of those little jewels of an article which makes William Morgan of Central Florida Graveyard Rabbit one of my favorite stops each day. Take a look at this description of a backyard burial from 1884.

Before and After (the cleaning of algae from a grave marker) by new member Linda Jean Limes Ellis, Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in Ohio. Take a look at the difference! The Duvall grave marker shown in the photographs is for Linda Jean's great-great grandparents buried at Forest Cemetery, Circleville, Ohio.

Cleaning Stone Grave Markers by Elyse of Graveyard Rabbit of Eastern Tennessee offers good advice. Says Elyse to those of us who don't know how to clean a marker, "Never, ever, under any circumstances, spray, pour, scratch, or rub anything onto the stone." Folks, Elyse is telling it like it is --- if you don't know how to properly clean a marker, DON'T! [On a personal note, I don't clean markers unless they belong to immediate family members or unless the cleanup is a join activity of a local cemetery group under the guidance and direction of a person with experience and knowledge of stone cleaning.] Thanks Elyse for the link and for bringing up this important topic.

Crompton Christmas Adveture Post 1 and Crompton Christmas Adventure Post 2 by Midge Frazel of Granite in My Blood ends and begins with these words, "Remember, it all started with a gravestone. . ." Midge explains her card file system --- and some current research she is doing. [It would be interesting to hear how others keep track of "who is who" among all the hundreds of folks with whom we correspond. Anyone care to volunteer their "how to?"]

Dangerous trees? by William Morgan of Central Florida Graveyard Rabbit looks at the problem of utilities destroying trees which give a cemetery/locale its charm and name --- and of the utility justifying the action as being in the public good.

Getting To Know The Essex County Graveyard Rabbit by LOOKING4ANCESTORS (Kathryn Lake Hogan) is a link to Kathryn's "Meet a Rabbit" article at The Graveyard Rabbit this week.

Grace Hill Cemetery, Longview, Texas, by Craig Manson of The Peripatetic Graveyard Rabbit is one of the articles not to miss this week. Craig explains how his visit to Grace Hill may have been his inspiration to blog --- read his account of his visit to Longview in 2004. But for that visit we might not know Craig in the world of genealogy of blogging.

Grave Marker Symbols: Hand Holding Broken Chain with Finger Pointing Down by Terry Thornton, Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill Country, provides a photograph and a brief explanation of this set of grave marker symbols.

Grave Marker Symbols: Hand with finger pointing up by Terry Thornton, Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill County, looks at a popular image often carved on grave markers.

Grave Marker Symbols: Hand with finger pointing up; holding a rose by Terry Thornton, Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill County, shows photographs of this grave marker symbol.

Grave Marker Symbols: Roses --- Buds and Mature Blossoms by Terry Thornton, Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill Country, looks at roses on stones.


Grave Marker Symbols: Weeping Willow and Urn by Terry Thornton, Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill Country, presents an 1842 burial marker with these two symbols combined.

Graveyard wildlife by William Morgan of Central Florida Graveyard Rabbit takes a look at a bald eagle nest at a cemetery in downtown Orlanda. Yes, according to Billy the nest is an "active" one.

Here Lies Leslie C. Bingel presents the grave stone and information about Mr. Bingel --- from New Jersey to Texas. Posted by Graveyard Rabbit of Denton County.

Hood County Texas: C.S.A. Veterans & Southern Cross of Honor Symbol by Judith Richards Schubert of Graveyard Rabbit of the Covered Bridges. Judy takes a look at some of the Confederate Veterans buried in Hood County Texas. She finds that the majority of those burial stones make no mention of C.S.A. military service and only a few show the Southern Cross of Honor symbol.

Ice and Death is a look at the problems recent ice storms have created in some local graveyards of New England. Posted by Naufragio Bella of In the Dark of the Moon Graveyard Rabbit, we are all reminded of the devastation that storms can create on cemeteries. [Maybe these would be a good project for all GYRabbits --- assisting with cemetery cleanup following winter storms or wind storms which fell trees and bring down limbs into a cemetery.]

In Memorial To My Mother by Cheryle Hoover Davis of Graveyard Rabbit of the Runnels Iowa Area --- a tribute to Patsy L. Halterman West buried at Warren-Powers Cemetery, Polk County, Iowa.

Joseph and Zemuly McClesky Guyton by Janice Tracy, Graveyard Rabbit of Attala County, presents the Guyton family late of Mississippi. Janice traces a very typical migration of this family from Maryland to South Carolina to Georgia and finally to Mississippi.

Josiah Broadfoot's Memorial by Midge Frizel of Granite in My Blood shows the Rhode Island World War One memorial stone for a family member who is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, France. Earlier Midge had posted about the service available for family members to receive photographs of soldiers graves overseas. Thanks, Midge.

Kirkwood Cemetery offers a look at William McWillie, former Governor of Mississippi. His home, Kirkwood, is his burial place in rural Madison County. One of the markers shown is an excellent example of the "open book" design. Article and photographs by Janice Tracy, Graveyard Rabbit of Madison County.

List of Madison County Cemeteries, Mississippi, is provided by Janice Tracy, Graveyard Rabbit of Madison County. Forty-seven cemeteries are identified.

Lowman Cemetery by Cheryle Hoover Davis of Graveyard Rabbit of the Runnels Iowa Area is an introduction to the Lowman family and to the cemetery which bears their name near Runnels, Iowa.

Mrs. Eliza B.R. Mendenhall and Her Infant Grandson by Stephanie Lincecum of Southern Graves. A wonderful historic grave marker from South Carolina is presented in words and photograph --- the wording of the stone is unique. It begins "This marble marks the spot where repose the remains of . . ."

Non-traditional source reveals citrus pioneer by William Morgan of Central Florida Graveyard Rabbit shows how much information can often be found when looking outside the traditional references of census reports and genealogical books. A publication from the Florida Horticultural Society gave the information needed for an 1899 burial in Orlando.

Pilgrim's of the Night by William Morgan of Central Florida Graveyard Rabbit takes a look at a funeral hymn mentioned in one of his earlier posts. The hymn sung at a "backyard burial" in 1884 Florida was written by Frederick W. Faber. Some of you may recognize Faber also as the author of the words of that standard hymn, Faith of Our Fathers.

South Carolina: Historic cemetery data is a review and a link to three Jewish Cemeteries of Charleton posted by Schelly Talalay Dardashti of the Jewish Graveyard Rabbit. This excellent reference book is just but one available on Google FullView Books.

Graveyard Photos at Flickr by Denise Olson at Graveyard Rabbit of Moultrie Creek. Denise shows how she has set up a St. Augustine Cemeteries series of photographs at Flickr --- and shows, by example, how other Rabbits may wish to present local cemetery photographs using the services of Flickr. Thanks Denise!

Linda's Headstone of the Week --- Week # 9 by Linda of Lancaster Pennsylvania's Graveyard Rabbit is a beautiful site within Woodward Hill Cemetery, PA. Take a look at this lovely grave site.

On This Date, December 17th, by Stephanie Lincecum of Southern Graves is about the life and burial of C. H. Schlichting Kornahrens, born in Germany and buried in South Carolina. Stephanie presents a photograph of a wonderful angel from the grave site.

On This Date, December 18th, by Stephanie Lincecum of Southern Graves, highlights Ora Hudson Bryant late of Bibb County, Georgia.

On This Date, December 20th is a short post and a link to information about the late Minnie A. Hammock of Georgia. Posted by Stephanie Lincecum of Southern Graves.

Playing with your tombstone photographs and Playing with your tombstone photographs # 2 are two posts by Mel at Graveyard Rabbit Kauai. Mel is trying to develop digital photo enhancement techniques to help her visualize some of the writings and symbols on grave markers from Hawaii. She shows in these two posts some of what she is trying. [My only suggestion is to take many many photographs of each stone including a variety of closeups from various angles and various lighting conditions (if possible) using the highest resolution settings on your digital camera. Then, on thecomputer, try using the zoom features to enlarge. If the writing/symbol is still not clear, try changing the setting to "negative" --- sometimes that works wonders!] I do hope some of you will take a look at Mel's problem stones and suggest alternate photo solutions.

Rising Sun Cemetery by Cheryle Hoover Davis of Graveyard Rabbit of the Runnels Iowa Area gives information and location for the cemetery of the community of Rising Sun.

Roses Abound in Texas Cemeteries is presented by Judith Richards Schubert of Graveyard Rabbit of the Covered Bridges. With photographs of historic markers and contempary ones too, Judy shows a variety of rose symbols carved on grave markers and provides a brief history of the rose symbol.

Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery by Dorene of Graveyard Rabbt of Sandusky Bay takes a look at one of the largest cemeteries in her part of Ohio. The huge bandstand (pictured in Dorene's excellent article) in the cemetery is of interest to me.

Sebastian and Bridget Haffey Burns by Janice Tracy of Graveyard Rabbit of Madison County. [Technical problems prevented me from reading and reviewng this article.]

Taking it to the Grave by Janice Tracy of Graveyard Rabbit of Holmes County is one of the most interesting articles I read this week. You owe it to yourself to read what folks are "taking to the grave" in this amazing look at perhaps a new burial custom. [Memory of this post has "popped" up numerous times since I read it. I recommend you go now and read this account!]

The First in my Famous People Buried in Northern Arizona Series by new member Cheryle Hoover Davis of Graveyard Rabbit of Northern Arizona introduces us to not only her new series but to William Wallace Bass. Cheryle provides a brief look at Mr. Bass and his contributions to the area around Grand Canyon and offers a photograph of his cenotaph/memorial stone in Arizona.

The Halterman Family by Cheryle Hoover Davis of Graveyard Rabbit of the Runnels Iowa Area introduces both Cheryle's Halterman family and the Warren-Powers Cemetery of Iowa.

The McAfee Family Buried at Bethel Cemetery by Janice Tracy, Graveyard Rabbit of Attala County looks at a family burial at Bethel Church Cemetery. Janice also provides information about the meaning and origin of the family name "Taliaferro" in her article.

The Old Tehachapie Cemetery is posted by Linda at Lancaster Pennsylvania's Graveyard Rabbit. Writing about a California cemetery near her former home, Linda shows photographs of the current cemetery and from almost a decade ago --- and the changes are marked. Further she discusses some of the updates at the historic cemetery.

The Porter Family in Oregon Cemetery presents information about two J.M. Porters of Mississippi, and the unclear relationship between them by Janice Tracy, Graveyard Rabbit of Holmes County.

The Last Word -- John D. Davies is the 1895 obit for a Times Herald (Chicago) writer killed in an accident. Presented by FootnoteMaven of Western Washington Graveyard Rabbit, this obituary provides excellent glimpses into the life of Mr. Davies as well as funeral customs circa 1895.

The Postmaster from Prussia by Janice Tracy, Graveyard Rabbit of Holmes County, offers information about Julian Lockenvitz, postmaster Ebenezer, Holmes County, Mississippi, 1890.

The Tanzer Cenotaphs at Greenwood Memorial Park by Randy Seaver of South San Diego County Graveyard Rabbit shows a set of fifteen memorial stones of Carrara marble statuary. Stunningly beautiful is this "Sermon of Love" --- I wished for more pictures of these lovely carved statues.

The Welded Link, and Other Poems by J.F. Simmons, Sardis, Mississippi, 1881: A Review by Terry Thornton, Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill Country. The 1878 yellow fever epidemic in Mississippi was the inspiration for several of the poems by Judge Simmons --- his footnotes to many of his poems are wonderful primary source materials to the epidemic and to life and times and burial customs in circa 1880 Mississippi.

Tolsteeg Cemetery is a photo-tour of a cemetery in Utrecht, Netherlands, by Henk van Kampen, Graveyard Rabbit of Utrechty and Het Gooi.

Tombstone Tuesday -- 12/16/08 by Julie Cahill Tarr of Graveyard Rabbit of Bloomington-Normal is a look at a marker for Henry Glaubitz 1827 - 1910 and Charles Neitz 1825 - 1869.

Tombstone Tuesday -- 12/16/08 is a look at a Robertson Family marker presented by Julie Cahill Tarr of the Chicagoland Graveyard Rabbit.

Tombstone Tuesday --- Annie H. Self by Stephanie Lincecum of Southern Graves looks at the 100+ year old Annie H. Self and her burial stone.

Tombstone Tuesday: Another View of Prairie River Cemetery's Graves by Jessica Oswalt of Rural Michigan Cemeteries Graveyard Rabbit is a photographic record she made to help her locate her relatives' markers within the cemetery.

Update on Part Two of Searching For My Ancestor's Grave by Jessica Oswalt of Rural Michigan Cemeteries Graveyard Rabbit tells us to stay tuned --- will we ever find out if the search she started in Part One ends in success? I do hope so!

Using Interment.net to Find Your Ancestors by Elyse of Graveyard Rabbit of Eastern Tennessee offers a link and the suggestion to try Interment.net to locate family information.

NEW BLOG: Warren-Powers Cemetery in Adelphi, Polk, Iowa is the first article at a new blog started by Cheryle Hoover Davis, Graveyard Rabbit of the Runnells Iowa Area. Cheryle, a new GYRabbit, also began the GYRabbit of Northern Arizona this week. WELCOME, Cheryle, to the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.

NEW MEMBER: Welcome to The Mount Timpanogos Graveyard Rabbit! First post by new member JoLyn who welcomes us to Utah and Mount Timpanogos Graveyard Rabbit. [Her banner photo contains three of my favorite things: snow, mountains, and cemeteries! This is gonna be good!] WELCOME, JoLynn, to the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.

What's New At Grave Addiction is a list of what all Beth Santore has added to her site, Grave Addiction. I always check out the new symbols Beth adds to her excellent reference, Gravestone Symbols. This week she added the "tulip" --- check the photograph and the "meaning" of a tulip carved on a grave marker.

Why visit a Jewish cemetery? by Daniel Horowitz of the Jewish Graveyard Rabbit offers a baker's dozen list of reasons why. Indeed!

Wicker Cemetery by Cheryle Hoover Davis of Graveyard Rabbit of the Runnels Iowa Area introduces the Wicker (or Clark Cemetery) in Polk County Iowa.

Witch Bonney by Naufragio Bella at In The Dark of the Moon Graveyard Rabbit is an account of a burial in Lowell Cemetery. A legend of witch surrounds this burial and Naufragio Bella presents the tale in photographs and in narrative.

Wordless Wednesday: Glass. The Graveyard Rabbit of Utrecht and HetGooi, Heck van Kampen, of the Netherlands, shows examples of glass grave markers in his country.

Wreaths Across America by Denise Olson of Graveyard Rabbit of Moultrie Creek discusses the Christmas wreaths on graves of veterans, its history, its importance, and presents photographs from the St. Augustine National Cemetery. Several of you may wish to learn more about this annual program and get your local community involved for 2009.

Wreaths Across America by Sheri Finley of The Educated Graveyard Rabbit offers another look at this annual program to honor veterans. Check out the stunning photograph included in her article showing the Arlington National Cemetery.

NEW MEMBER: Your ancestors' gravesites is the first post by new member Linda Jean Limes Ellis of Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in Ohio. Welcome, Linda Jean, to the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

MEET "The Essex County Graveyard Rabbit"

Kathryn Lake Hogan


the Essex County Graveyard Rabbit, Ontario, Canada


The seventh in a series featuring the members of

The Graveyard Rabbit Association

presented in order of their membership.


I never visited cemeteries as a kid. They gave me the creeps. My family never visited cemeteries. The only person I ever went to the cemetery with was my grandmother when I visited her on summer holidays. We would go in the evening to visit my grandfather's grave, water the flowers, and pull any weeds. That was it.

Then I grew up, got married and had a family. Then I started my family history. Then I got bitten by the family history bug. Next thing I knew I was addicted. And I had to go visit the cemeteries in which my ancestors were laid to rest. Funny thing is I don't find cemeteries creepy anymore. In fact, I rather like them. I find them so nice and quiet. I can easily spend an afternoon in a cemetery and have a really good time.

I was surprised and thrilled when I received an invitation from Terry Thornton to join The Association of Graveyard Rabbits. Since I am a born and raised Essex County resident, it just made sense to me to do The Essex County Graveyard Rabbit. The only family I have buried in Essex County is my mother, her parents and my half uncle. That's it. However, my husband's family has been here since 1851! There are a lot of graves I need to visit.

There is a lot of potential material for the Essex County Graveyard Rabbit as Essex County has over one hundred cemeteries and grave yards. Many of them are quite old. Unfortunately, with it being late fall and winter, visiting cemeteries is now a bit of a challenge. I'm looking forward to spring already, when I will be able to visit these cemeteries. My objective is to document these cemeteries so that others will have access to the information and stories about the graveyards and cemeteries in Essex County.

I am a full time wife and mom; part-time volunteer; part-time student working toward my Professional Certificate in Genealogical Studies; and part-time genealogy speaker. I started blogging about my family history and experiences just this past April. I now have two blogs: LOOKING4ANCESTORS and Essex County Graveyard Rabbit. I hope you will drop by and visit.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

LINKS TO ARTICLES BY THE GRAVEYARD RABBITS: December 6 - December 12, 2008


by Terry Thornton
email: hillcountrymonroecounty@gmail.com

Below are links to all the articles published by members of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits during the seven days, December 6 - December 12. Click any of the 80 titles to be carried to the webpage; click return to be brought back to this links index.

Survey of Washington Chapel Cemetery (You may enjoy seeing how Terry Synder set up a most interesting slide presentation/survey. Check out Terry's slide show.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

MEET "The Central Florida Graveyard Rabbit"

William Morgan


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.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Links To Articles By The Graveyard Rabbits: November 29 - December 5


by Terry Thornton
email: hillcountrymonroecounty@gmail.com

Below are the titles and links to the articles posted by members of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits during the week, November 29 - December 5, 2008. The variety of topics makes this list contain something for all readers --- from the light and funny to the somber and thought-provoking the Rabbits covered a lot of subjects this week. Here is a sampling --- these articles and many more are linked below:
  • Some of you were cross-country from your home locale and visiting graveyards and writing excellent posts about cemeteries from those out-of-state visits including Linda of Lancester Pennsylvania Graveyard Rabbit writing about a 112 year old outlaw/cowboy in California and his cemetery marker and mural.
  • And don't miss the discussion by Celia at Jewish Graveyard Rabbit about the skull and crossbones symbols on early graves in a UK cemetery --- perhaps skull and crossbones are not Jewish pirate symbols after all.
  • Henk posting from the Netherlands (Graveyard Rabbit of Utrecht and Het Gooi) shows photographs of a Bishop's grave from 1317. I was happy to present photographs of the oldest marked European grave in Monroe County Mississippi in an article this week at Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill Country. Henk's Bishop's marker is 507 years older! Those of us in the more recently developed portions of the United States sometimes get smug about the antiquities of our region --- but they pale in comparison to the ages of such from elsewhere.
  • Read the question post, Graveyard or landfill? by Craig the Peripatetic Graveyard Rabbit. Far too many cemeteries have been destroyed in the name of "progress" and Craig's article raises an important issue.
  • And finally, because bottle trees and Mississippi are two of my favorite topics, look at the bottle tree found and photographed by Janice at Holmes County Graveyard Rabbit.
Here are links to all of the articles published by members of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits this week:

Engraving After the Fact [Editor's Note: Sheri raises such an important question. I do hope she will post more of what she learns about adding information to old markers. Perhaps some of you have had experiences along this line and will provide information.]

Gilson Road Cemetery (First post by new member Naufragio Bella at The Dark of the Moon Graveyard Rabbit --- Welcome, Naufragio Bella!)
Last Will of Mr. Farmer -- Lingleville, Texas [Editor's note: This epitaph is so funny you must read it. Thanks, Judy, for both an excellent post about your memories of the local cemetery and of this funny new marker you located Thanksgiving.]
Nice stone for a not-so-nice graveyard [Missed link from last week, 11-28-08 post by Billy Morgan at Central Florida GYRabbit]
Victorian Cemetery Design [Editor's Note: Read about the "reasons" given by the designer of an 1880s cemetery for various elements within a designed garden-like graveyard. Those Victorians were planners --- and didn't leave anything to chance.]

Welcome to Grave Addiction [First post by new GYRabbit Beth Santore to her existing website, Grave Addiction. Welcome, Beth!]
Where is Virginia? [Link to an article posted 11-26-08 by Billy Morgan, Central Florida GYRabbit and missed in last week's roundup]
Willie's second wife [Link to an article posted 11-27-08 by Billy Morgan, Central Florida GYRabbit and missed in last week's roundup]
Yoo-Hoo! Are You In There Daniel? [Editor's Note: This would be amusing except this is the sort of problems family historians run into. Relocated remains and incomplete engravings on headstones to totally confuse!]