Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Article Available in the GYR Online Journal

Julie Cahill Tarr explores the deeper meaning of some unique symbols found on grave markers, in her column Photo Monument.


I’m always intrigued by symbols on grave markers.  There are the typical ones, such as a cross or flowers.  In the instance of a cross, one might assume the deceased had a belief in a higher being.  Flowers on the other hand, may or may not specify anything affiliated with the person.  Different types of flowers hold some sort of meaning, for instance, daisies typically signify a child’s grave.  Flowers could simply be pretty decor.  When I come across unique symbols, I find myself wanting to know more about the person.


Be sure to read the entire article at the Graveyard Rabbits Online Journal.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reminder – GYR Carnival Submissions Due 12/25

I’m posting this reminder a few days earlier than I normally do since the holiday season is upon us.  I already have a few submissions, but would like to see more for our first member-submitted topic.

The topic for the January 2010 edition, is The Final Resting Place.  This theme comes from Colleen McHugh, author of the GYR blog, The R.I.P.PERS.  Colleen wants us to investigate how families determine their final resting place.  She goes on to say:

In today's mobile society, does one choose a place near where they last lived? Or do they return to the place of their roots? Do they rest in a family plot? If so, and if married, whose family plot? How has the determination of the final resting place changed between the time of our ancestors and now?

Colleen poses some excellent questions, which I’m sure will get a lot of varied responses for this carnival edition. 

As always, write a blog post that address this edition’s theme and submit it to the carnival using the submission form.  Submissions for this edition are due by December 25.  Be sure to include a short description of your post in the “remarks” section of the submission form.

New Article Available in the GYR Online Journal

 

This week, Denise Olson shares some strategies for cemetery inventories in her column Tech T.I.P.  Denise also explains how to use Find A Grave’s Excel template to upload batches of records.


I recently rediscovered several cemetery inventories that were part of the papers in my aunt's estate. She and her sister had been involved with their local historical society and had participated in a county-wide project to inventory the county's cemeteries. The inventory documents I have are probably 25-30 years old. They are typewritten on onion skin paper—legal size at that. There's also a hand-drawn cemetery map (also in legal size) included with the inventory. There are only four cemeteries included in this package of documents, probably because each appears to have some family members buried in them. I also have several headstone photos from the cemetery where the most of our family are buried. This can only mean one thing…Find A Grave!


Be sure to read the entire article at the Graveyard Rabbits Online Journal.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Article Available in the GYR Online Journal







“Secure the shadow ere the substance fade.”

by footnoteMaven


"I Think She's Dead Series"

On Shades Of The Departed I wrote a series of articles based on the photograph above, titled "I Think She's Dead." The photograph was analyzed and Victorian postmortem photography was discussed.

Some of the discussion led to questioning how the photographing of the dead was actually accomplished and whether dead bodies were transported to the photographic studio. I have spent a good deal of time researching old photographic magazines looking for articles written by photographers and their experience photographing the dead.

I've found some interesting information and if you're not squeamish read on.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Article Available in the GYR Online Journal

This week, Stephanie Lincecum discusses the death wail in her column, Graveyard Guru.


The death wail is a custom attributed to several different cultures that I have been interested in learning more about. Though I did not find a singular “guru” to help me on this quest for knowledge, I hope you’ll allow me to share with you my findings in this column format.

Wikipedia describes the death wail as “a keening, mourning lament, generally performed in ritual fashion soon after the death of a member of a family or tribe.” Examples of this have been found in numerous societies and date back many centuries.


This is a very interesting article, so be sure to read it in its entirety at the Graveyard Rabbits Online Journal.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2009 GeneaBlog Awards


Last year Tamura Jones of Modern Software Experience created the GeneaBlog Awards.

This year, The Graveyard Rabbit Association is honored to have won the award for Most Successful Genealogy Blog.

This description accompanied the award:
The Graveyard Rabbit is the blog for The Association of Graveyard Rabbits. It was started late in 2008, and now there are more than eighty Graveyard Rabbit blogs already. Visit it for the regular blog posts, the Graveyard Rabbit Online Journal or the long list of Graveyard Rabbit blogs.

The Association of Graveyard Rabbits is a group effort by a dedicated core of members. So on behalf of everyone involved in GYRabbits, thank you Tamura, for this honor!

Editor
Julie Tarr

Creative Director
footnoteMaven

Newsletter
Diane Wright

Facebook
Henk Van Kampen

History Hare
footnoteMaven

Tech T.I.P.
Denise Olson

Graveyard Guru
Stephanie Lincecum

Photo Monument
Julie Tarr

Digging For Answers
Randy Seaver

The Educated Rabbit
Sheri Fenley

Rabbit's Tale
Various



Congratulations To All The GeneaBlog Award Category Winners:

Most Successful Genealogy Blog: The Graveyard Rabbit

Best Genealogy Vendor Blog: Generation Maps' The Chart Chick

Citation Queen: footnoteMaven

Geekiest Genealogy Blog: Me and My Database :: Geek Genealogy

Honourable mention: The Gramps Project Blog

Most Personal YouTube Genealogy Channel: Elyse Doerflinger

Honourable mention: Climb Your Tree by Lucy.

Most Challenging Blog: Forensic Genealogy

Best Looking Magazine: Shades of the Departed Magazine

Call For Submissions – GYR Carnival January 2010 Edition

 

Wow.  It’s hard to believe 2009 is drawing to a close.  With the dawn of a new year, we’re changing things up a bit for the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival.  Instead of our lovely carnival hostess deciding the topics each month, we’re enlisting the help of the GYR members to contribute ideas for upcoming themes.  So if you have an idea for a carnival topic, please email Julie Cahill Tarr.

Our first member-submitted idea, for the January 2010 edition, is The Final Resting Place.  This theme comes from Colleen McHugh, author of the GYR blog, The R.I.P.PERS.  Colleen wants us to investigate how families determine their final resting place.  She goes on to say:

In today's mobile society, does one choose a place near where they last lived? Or do they return to the place of their roots? Do they rest in a family plot? If so, and if married, whose family plot? How has the determination of the final resting place changed between the time of our ancestors and now?

Colleen poses some excellent questions, which I’m sure will get a lot of varied responses for this carnival edition. 

As always, write a blog post that address this edition’s theme and submit it to the carnival using the submission form.  Submissions for this edition are due by December 25.  Be sure to include a short description of your post in the “remarks” section of the submission form.

Upcoming Topics

  • February 2010 – Cemetery Critters
    (idea submitted by Diane Wright)
  • March 2010 – Forgotten Cemeteries
    (idea submitted by Tina Micheal Ruse)
  • April 2010 – Anonymous Graves
    (idea submitted by Henk van Kampen)
  • May 2010 – Cause of Death
    (idea submitted by Matt Hucke)
  • June 2010 – The Interesting, The Odd, The Beautiful
    (idea submitted by Gale Wall)
  • July 2010 – Scavenger Hunt
    (idea submitted by Julie Cahill Tarr)
  • August 2010 – Favorite Season
    (idea submitted by Henk van Kampen)

Graveyard Rabbits Carnival – December 2009 Edition

Welcome to the December 2009 edition of Graveyard Rabbits Carnival.

The theme for this edition is:  In the News.  Bloggers were asked to write a blog post about something they read or heard in the news (recent or past) that pertains to a cemetery.  It could be news of a relocation, vandalism, a famous burial—anything goes.

We have ten submissions covering many aspects of cemetery news.  Some are current events, while others are quite old (one even dates back to the mid-1800s!).  So grab a beverage of choice, sit back, and read some news!


Dorene Paul presents 1852 Ad in Sandusky Newspaper about Oakland Cemetery posted at Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay, saying, "An ad in an 1852 Sandusky newspaper offers residents the opportunity to have their loved ones reburied at Oakland Cemetery, for a reasonable fee."

Midge Frazel presents In the News posted at Granite in My Blood, saying, "Exciting news about cemeteries is hard to find but I found one about a local woman photographing gravestones plus an article about Westerly RI and its quarry where my ancestors toiled."

Rurh Coker Burks presents two posts for this edition.  The first, An Arkansas Saint...To Be posted at Last2cu, about an Arkansas nun who is soon to be a Saint.   Her second post is Carl Johnson posted at Last2cu, she says, "Carl Johnson was a community leader here in our small town of Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. Not only was Carl a leader, he was a mentor and a true friend. Owning the only dry cleaners in town, Carl knew everyone and everything going on and was able to guide this town in the direction that it needed to go at any given time."

Silvia Pettem directs us to an article written for the Denver Post entitle After 55 years, Boulder Jane Doe's story finally coming together, saying, "From Silvia Pettem, the historian mentioned in the article and author of Someone's Daughter: In Search of Justice for Jane Doe."

Denise Olson submitted two entries for this edition.  The first, In the News: Who’s Burying Who? posted at The Graveyard Rabbit of Moultrie Creek, she says, "Trying to place her father's ashes in the local national cemetery turned into quite a drama."  Her second post, Wreaths Across America posted at The Graveyard Rabbit of Moultrie Creek, she says, "Wreaths Across America is an annual event to honor Americans who served our country by placing a Christmas wreath on their graves."

Janet Iles presents Cemeteries in the News - Edgehill Cemetery posted at Graveyard Rabbit of Grey County, Ontario, saying, "Edgehill Cemetery in Bruce County made the news at the end of last year but I am wondering how the recovery is going."

M. Diane Rogers presents My Story's Buried at the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival posted at The Graveyard Rabbit of British Columbia, Canada, saying, "Not all cemeteries are for humans, and not all cemetery land is protected from future sale and development."

Julie Cahill Tarr presents Unearthed Tombstone Dated 1843 posted at Cemeteries of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, saying “An interesting article written in 1926 about the discovering of a tombstone during the excavation of a cellar.”


That concludes this edition. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.  Be sure to join us for the next edition!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Reminder – GYR Carnival Submissions Due 11/25

Just a friendly reminder that submissions for the December 2009 edition of the Graveyard Rabbit Carnival are due on November 25th.

The theme for this edition is:  In the News.  Write a blog post about something you read or heard in the news (recent or past) that pertains to a cemetery.  It could be news of a relocation, vandalism, a famous burial—anything goes.

Submissions are due November 25.  Please submit your article using the blog carnival submission form.  Be sure to include a short description of your post in the “remarks” section of the submission form.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Article Available in the GYR Online Journal

This week, in the Digging For Answers column, Randy Seaver answers the question:  My ancestors aren't in online databases, how can I find where they are buried?


This question was in response to the previous article in this column, The Best Online Databases for Cemeteries.

The research process for finding where persons are buried includes:

  1. Where did they die?
  2. What burial provisions were made?
  3. Are there any records?

Be sure to read the entire answer at the Graveyard Rabbits Online Journal.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The 50th Rabbit - Meet Ruth Coker Burks - A Graveyard Rabbit Who Is On A Mission


The fiftieth in a series
featuring a member of the
Graveyard Rabbit Association




RUTH COKER BURKS


Ruth's Graveyard Rabbit Blog


I learned early in life the true value of a cemetery..and "EVERYTHING" that is buried there. At ten years of age, my grandmother died in an automobile accident. The trauma of the accident dulled compared to the family fight that ensued. My eccentric mother bought 262 grave spaces in the family cemetery. ALL of the remaining spaces so that her mother's brother, Uncle Fred, and his family could not be buried with the rest of the family. My mother then put up her marker that read in part, "Woe be onto you hypocrites, Pharisees and scribes" paraphrased from Matthew 23....to suit her needs..through out the next decade all I heard from both my mother, and the family was about the cemetery and "that marker" I have since donated the cemetery as a final resting place for over forty AIDS patients. I have worked as a Family Service Provider for Funeral homes and cemeteries for over 20 years. My then young daughter, Allison, and I hand dug over 40 graves..(holes ) for the urns of AIDS patients who died after their families abandoned them in their greatest hour of need and had do it yourself funerals for the ashes of those who needed us. Their families wouldn't even take their ashes when they died! So, they are buried in my family cemetery.


I made a pilgrimage today….Two and a half hours east of my hometown of Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, to a tiny spot down a narrow, tree lined road in the middle of vast soybean and rice fields. I found the somewhat abandoned Catholic Church that I was looking for. Saint Martha’s and her tiny cemetery around back, the only witnesses of the day were the bees that lived in the church.
My pilgrimage was to plant red roses at the grave of a nun, Mother Agnes Hart, who was born in Kentucky in 1797 and moved to Arkansas in 1838. She served with the Sisters of Loretto and came to the area with three other nuns to start the first Catholic school in Arkansas. Mother Agnes wrote desperate letters home in hope that help was on its way. She and the children were starving and getting sick. Sadly, help didn’t arrive in time and Mother Agnes Hart died of malaria a little over a year later in 1839, surrounded by the other nuns and the children whom she taught and loved. Mother Agnes was first buried in a cemetery along the river, then thirty years later, as the river flooded and tried to change its course, Mother Agnes’ friends and students disinterred her body to move it to higher ground. When they finally reached her body they found that it had miraculously been perfectly preserved and looked as if she had just died that very day! Remember, this is thirty years after her death and embalming was never done. Bodies which have not decomposed are a sign of miraculous intervention, according to the Roman Catholic Church.
Why would I, a stranger, make a pilgrimage to a grave of a woman who died some one hundred and twenty years before my birth? Because I wanted to pay homage to a soon to be Saint. Yes, a Saint in the Holy Catholic Church. This little know nun, in a grave in a tiny cemetery hidden within the vast grain fields of South West Arkansas. A full blown saint, as in the likes of St Francis of Assisi, Saint Andrew and Saint Jude. Yesterday, all of the television stations in the state were abuzz with the news that the Catholic Diocese of Arkansas was petitioning the Vatican to make Mother Agnes Hart a Saint. I just had to find her; I wanted to plant the roses, rub the stone that her students and friends so lovingly erected for her in 1885, offer a prayer for her sainthood and request an intervention for myself. Word has it that there is also a member of the church who was healed of cancer after asking for Mother Agnes to intervene. In order for the Vatican to canonize an individual as a saint, two miracles would need to be confirmed. One already has and I hope that the other will soon.

There was a short clip about Mother Agnes on 2 local TV news shows..I called both stations and the church and no one would tell me where she was..vandalism..so i used google earth and scanned the rice paddies and soybean fields of Jefferson County, AR...all i knew was that she was 10 miles NE of Pine Bluff..took an hour but, I found her!!







Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Article Available in the GYR Online Journal

This week, The Educated Rabbit columnist, Sheri Fenley, takes us on a journey to four educational websites.


This month I traveled to many different websites and blogs that had anything to do with cemeteries, headstones, etc.  There were so many fantastic and informative sites, I found it hard to choose just one to review.  So I didn't.

I am instead, presenting a handful of ones that stood out (in my mind) as being educational and interesting.  Enjoy!


Read the entire article at the Graveyard Rabbit Online Journal.

Monday, November 9, 2009

African American Funeral Programs from the East Central Georgia Regional Library


Fouch, Robert Lloyd, 1905-1992

Services held at Maple Spring Baptist Church
(Dewy Rose, Ga.) on November 7, 1992

Homegoing Services
for
Robert Lloyd Fouch
"Trick"
Saturday, November 7, 1992
2:30 p.m.
Maple Spring Baptist Church
Elbert County, Georgia
Rev. Alvin Scott, Officiating
Maple Spring Church Cemetery
Mack's Funeral Home
Hartwell, Georgia

The Digital Library of Georgia has announce the availability of a new online resource: African American Funeral Programs from the East Central Georgia Regional Library.

The African American Funeral Programs from the East Central Georgia Regional Library online collection consists of over one thousand funeral programs ranging from 1933 to 2008 (with the bulk of the collection beginning in the 1960s) from the Eula M. Ramsey Johnson Memorial Funeral Program Collection. A majority of the programs are from churches in Augusta, Georgia, and the surrounding area, with a few outliers in other states such as New York and Florida.

The programs typically contain a photograph of the deceased, an obituary, a list of surviving relatives, and the order of service. The collection provides extensive genealogical information about the deceased, including birth and death dates, maiden names, names of relatives, past residences, and place of burial. Alongside this genealogical information, the obituaries provide a rich source of local history about African Americans. Many of the people included in this collection were prominent in their communities, and many were involved locally in the struggle for civil rights.

Additional digitization projects are currently underway and will be announced as they become available online at the Digital Library of Georgia. Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is an initiative of GALILEO, the state's virtual library.

The African American Funeral Programs from the East Central Georgia Regional Library is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia in association with the East Central Georgia Regional Library as part of Georgia HomePLACE. The project is supported with federal LSTA funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Source:

Eula M. Ramsey Johnson Memorial Funeral Program Collection. East Central Georgia Regional Library. Presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.


This is the citation required by the library for permission to post.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Meet Marilisa, Author of "Mopsie Rabbit's Cemetery Memoirs"

The forty ninth in a series
featuring a member of
The Graveyard Rabbit Association

MARILISA
Mopsie Rabbit's Cemetery Memoirs

After a one of my grandmother’s famous southern dinners of either chicken and dumplings or hot, delicious fried chicken, mashed potatoes and super-secret recipe biscuits- Jess would quietly disappear to an ambiguous place in his bedroom known only to him, and come back carrying a non assuming, brown cardboard tattered shoe box, most likely once housing some tres chic 1950’s penny loafers.

My grandfather, Jess, was very matter of fact about the whole clandestine viewing. Didn’t every granddaughter look at graphic pictures of dead folks?

The images in that box, I will never forget.

Most were original photographs from the 1880s. One in particular told the sad story of some unscrupulous horse thieves, who had the misfortune of their deeds catching up with them and suffering the swift punishment that was routinely meted out in those days.

In a rather large barn, swung eight men’s lifeless bodies which starkly hung from their sturdily roped nooses, boots on and all- while oblivious horses continued swishing their tails and eating hay- as if nothing out of the ordinary had ever happened.

Another activity Jess enjoyed a great deal was writing down, in his shaky and distinctive penmanship, every known living and dead relative he had ever had. He’d go over the list with me often;

“Now, this- this Foster, Amanda. Amanda Foster. Amanda Foster was my mother.”

Yeah, yeah, Granddaddy. Like I really care about that.

Nonetheless, as the years went by, to my surprise, I in fact, DID start caring about that!

Genealogy. Family history. Who were they? Where’d they come from? I began to become completely and unabashedly enthralled.

“I’m calling because my great grandfather pastored your church in the 1800s. I was wondering if you’d have any of his sermons on file?”

When the First Presbyterian Church of Lewisville, TX called back as quick as the next day, they excitedly asked, “We didn’t find his sermons, but we did find something we think you’ll be very interested in- can you come over and take a look?”



Rev. J. J. Moore and his wife Mary Agnes Donnell


As I read the church minutes all the way back from the late 1800’s to 1924- moderated and signed by my great grandfather; I was hooked. When I stood in front of their graves for the first time- Rev. J.J. Moore and his wife Mary Agnes Donnell Moore, playfully listed as“Aggie” on her wedding certificate and rumored to be the illegitimate daughter of President James Buchannan, no less, I was REALLY hooked!

Furthermore, to discover that my people came to Lewisville, Texas in a covered wagon and were not only listed as one of the first families of Tennessee, but also the original pioneers of the town in which I now live, was nothing less than enchanting.

Interestingly enough, my great uncle, Urban, sister to my maternal grandmother, Maude, (could they name kids back then or what?) was the first person in town to have air-conditioning! Urban owned the downtown pharmacy from 1911 to 1961. That’s a pretty slick business move to spring for this new-fangled AIR CONDITIONING, further compelling his customers to come in on a hot day and enjoy banana splits served from the little soda fountain, complete with white railed ice cream parlor chairs.







Urban's Pharmacy (c) 1911




I also, am a business owner (three companies) and entrepreneur. I can’t help but wonder if this propensity for business started back several generations way before I was born? I believe that Uncle Urban would think so.

Even though my family came to this area over 128 years ago, yet, I have a little bit of them with me even now.




Old Hall Cemetery




For I know the man who owns the local Feed Mill in Historic Old Towne, James Polser., Mr. Polser’s family and my family- have known each other well over one hundred years! Talk about being connected to the past. Also, James and I carry on the tradition of meeting the first Sunday in May at Old Hall Cemetery, for Cemetery Decoration Day, just the same as they did all those long years ago.




Feed Mill in the 1950's


Should you stop by and visit my family’s grave, the Moore’s, feel free to leave a rock. I always do.

A natural progression of events was for me to become a Grave Yard Rabbit- as I apparently have been one for quite some time. I just didn’t know it.

My name is Marilisa. My blog is called, “Mopsie Rabbit’s Cemetery Memoirs” and I’d be glad to have you visit anytime.






"Everyone rides these in Texas!"
















































































Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who Will Be The 50th Rabbit?

To date I have brought 48 Rabbits into the spotlight for all of you to meet. I have the 49th scheduled and ready to go. There isn't anyone in line after that.



Who wants to be the 50th Rabbit ?



Who wants to showcase their Graveyard Rabbit site and have their turn in the spotlight?



Is it you?



If it is you, please email me at:



sherifenley@gmail.com and put "I am the next GYR Star" in the subject box.



Well OK, you don't have to put that in the subject box if you don't want to, but come on people . . . . er, I mean Rabbits - let's have a little enthusiasm out there!



Don't make me have to pull you out of a hat!



New Article Available in the GYR Online Journal

 

For this edition of Photo Monument, columnist Julie Tarr shares her favorite type of marker, the treestone.


With fall finally here, I thought I’d share a few photos of my favorite type of grave markers, treestones.  According to Douglas Keister in his book Stories in Stone, treestones were popular in the late 1800s, particularly in the Midwest.  Oftentimes, the detail is so incredible, it’s hard to tell it’s made of stone.  I think the intricacy of the design and texture is what makes treestones my favorite marker.  I’ve also included a few photos of a treestone variation, where they are included as part of a bench.


Be sure to read the entire article and view some cemetery photos at the Graveyard Rabbit Online Journal.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Meet Grace, Author of The Wandering Graveyard Rabbit



The forty eighth in a series
featuring a member of
The Graveyard Rabbit Association


GRACE


My name is Grace and I am 61 years old. I grew up in northern Minnesota on the shores of Lake Superior. My husband worked for the State of Minnesota and we owned a small used book store for 15 years in the St. Paul area before retiring. After retiring we moved to the San Diego California area for three years. Now we are in the Houston area for about three years and then hope to go to East coast for a few years before returning to Minnesota. We love to travel, visit thrift stores , estate sales and have sold on eBay since 1998.

My Aunt Alice was in family research for years. She would travel the US with her husband and search for our ancestor's records. When she would stop to visit us in Minnesota she would share what she had found.I have been doing family research for the last 10 years. Part of that research was hunting for the cemeteries of ancestors and then going on day trips to take pictures. I have always loved looking at all the beautiful gravestones whether of my family or others. I would get so excited when I came across an ancestors gravestone somewhere across the country on the Internet. I knew this may be the only way I would ever get to see this grave stone.

One night I came across a graveyardrabbit post and thought what a fun idea. I can spend some time wandering around these old cemeteries, take pictures, post on a blog and also post on www.findagrave.com I know that some of my family think I am a little strange. I get so excited about finding a new cemetery full of beautiful old stones. "So many gravestones so little time."

My hope is that while I do what makes me happy someone, somewhere will find the final resting place of a family member and say " Oh My !" Thank you for the opportunity to tell you a little about myself







Call for Submissions – GYR Carnival December 2009 Edition

The theme for the December 2009 edition of the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival is:  In the News.  Write a blog post about something you read or heard in the news (recent or past) that pertains to a cemetery.  It could be news of a relocation, vandalism, a famous burial—anything goes.

Submissions are due November 25.  Please submit your article using the blog carnival submission form.  Be sure to include a short description of your post in the “remarks” section of the submission form.

Upcoming Topics

  • January 2010 – The Final Resting Place (idea submitted by Colleen McHugh)
  • February 2010 – Cemetery Critters (idea submitted by Diane Wright)
  • March 2010 – Forgotten Cemeteries (idea submitted by Tina Micheal Ruse)
  • April 2010 – Anonymous Graves (idea submitted by Henk van Kampen)
  • May 2010 – Cause of Death (idea submitted by Matt Hucke)
  • June 2010 – The Interesting, The Odd, The Beautiful (idea submitted by Gale Wall)
  • July 2010 – Scavenger Hunt

Graveyard Rabbits Carnival – November 2009 Edition

Welcome to the November 2009 edition of graveyard rabbits carnival. 

November 2nd is “Plan Your Epitaph Day,” an international observance created by Lance Hardie, to coincide with All Saint’s Day (a.k.a. Day of the Dead).  So, the challenge for this edition was to write your own epitaph.  What would you like to see on your gravestone?  How would you like people to remember you?

Six bloggers accepted the challenge and came up with interesting and unique epitaphs.  Be sure to check out each of them and learn a little bit more about the bloggers through their epitaphs.


Cyndi Beane Henry presents My Epitaph posted at Mountain Genealogists, saying, "Here lies The Texicanwife! An epitaph you'll want to share!"

Midge Frazel presents Epitaphs posted at Granite in My Blood, saying, "Is the epitaph on a gravestone more important than the name and the dates? Check out the Tombstone Generator application to create your own."

Kastie presents Graveyard Rabbits Carnival Epitaph Submission posted at Katzie's Blog, saying, "I've always planned on being cremated, but have envisioned being buried beneath a stone angel with beautiful wings spread out behind her as she kneels over my grave bearing a mournful smile and holding a large cross over her shoulder."

Carly Blundell presents My Epitaph posted at Not Another Family History Blog.

Janet Iles presents Carnival of Graveyard Rabbits - Epitaph posted at Graveyard Rabbit of Grey County, Ontario, saying, "The marker at Janet's final resting place does not have room for an epitaph but if it did, she shares what words might be written there."

Angela B Deller presents Graveyard Rabbits Carnival - Plan Your Epitaph Day posted at What Was Their Story, saying, "My epitaph - simple and succinct."


That concludes this edition. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.  Be sure to join us for the next edition!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How Did They Die? Let's Count The Ways!


Caitlin of Vast Public Indifference has counted the ways and she's up to 103. Not only that, but she has the tombstone shots to prove them.

My favorite is:

101 Ways, Part 56: Was Found Lashed to the Mast of His Sunken and Ill-Fated Vessel

CAPT.
THOMAS GREEN HULL
BORN AUG. 17, 1832.
LEFT NEW YORK FOR BALTIMORE
DEC. 21, 1864,
AND ON DEC. 30, 1864, WAS FOUND
LASHED TO THE MAST OF HIS
SUNKEN AND ILL-FATED VESSEL
AGED 32 YEARS, 4 MONTHS
AND 4 DAYS.


If you have a unique "How They Died," post it on your blog and add a link in the comments.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Article Available at the GYR Online Journal

Our Tech T.I.P. columnist, Denise Olson, discusses cemetery photos on the popular photo-sharing site, Flickr.


On October 10, 2009, the 4,000,000,000th (yes, that's billion) photo was posted on Flickr.  I love Flickr for many reasons.  It's a fascinating collection of people and places from all over the world.  The growing Commons section is bringing historical images out of the vaults for us to enjoy.  It's a place where people who share the same interests can meet and share their photos.

It's also my backup/archive for all my photos and scanned images.  That includes all the photos I take in cemeteries.  And, it appears that I'm not the only person posting cemetery photos here.  There are more than 1.2 million cemetery photos on Flickr.


Be sure to read the entire article and view some cemetery photos at the Graveyard Rabbit Online Journal.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Remember When!


Remember when gravestones and monuments were advertised in Life Magazine and came with celebrity endorsements?

Source:

Life Magazine. New York : Time, 1966.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reminder – GYR Carnival Submissions Due 10-25

Just a friendly reminder that submissions for the November 2009 edition of the Graveyard Rabbit Carnival are due on October 25th.

The challenge for this edition of the Graveyard Rabbits carnival is to write your own epitaph.  November 2nd is “Plan Your Epitaph Day,” an international observance created by Lance Hardie, to coincide with All Saint’s Day (a.k.a. Day of the Dead).

So your challenge for the carnival is to write your own epitaph.  What would you like to see on your gravestone?  How would you like people to remember you?  Create your epitaph, post it to your blog, and submit it to the carnival.

Submissions are due October 25.  Please submit your article using the blog carnival submission form.  Be sure to include a short description of your post in the “remarks” section of the submission form.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Funerary Objects: Preserving Death


A very interesting VodCast from the Minnesota Historical Society's Collections Upclose Podcast and Blog. They get into the Halloween spirit with a vodcast on death-related objects in the Society's collection. Curator Matt Anderson provides an overview of changing funeral customs, and then shares a look at a casket, a hearse, tombstones, and more.


There are some wonderful old photos included in this look at funerary. A look only a Graveyard Rabbit could love!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Association's Anniversary

October, the month when the spirits of the dead are abroad revisiting their former haunts marks the birth of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.


October 1, 2008, The Association of Graveyard Rabbits made its first appearance on the internet. One year ago today the first online invitation to join this Association was posted.

The Association Of Graveyard Rabbits – dedicated to the academic promotion of the historical importance of cemeteries, grave markers, and the family history to be learned from a study of burial customs, burying grounds, and tombstones; and the social promotion of the study of cemeteries, the preservation of cemeteries, and the transcription of genealogical/historical information written in cemeteries.

It is most appropriate that the month of All Hallows Eve is the birth month of our Association. October, the month when the spirits of the dead revisit their former haunts and the month when the Association whose haunts are the final homes of those dead came to life.

Our greatest resource is our members and the work they do in their communities and on their blogs. A very special thank you to Julie Tarr, Diane Wright, Sheri Fenley, Henk van Kampen and all the Graveyard Rabbit Online column authors; Denise Olson, Tech T.I.P.; Stephanie Lincecum, Graveyard Guru; Julie Tarr, Photo Monument; Randy Seaver, Digging for Answers; footnoteMaven, The History Hare; Sheri Fenley, The Educated Rabbit; Various Authors of The International Rabbit and A Rabbit's Tale; for their tireless work in furtherance of the Association.

And thank you to the members who never cease to amaze with contributions to their communities and this Association. Well done!

Join us in this celebration as we look forward to the next year in the history of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits. The best is yet to come.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Joshua Inayat of Cemetery Seeker Makes A Connection

In the July GYRabbit Carnival ~ Obituaries, Joshua Inayat (he of the beautiful photography) author of CemeterySeeker.com submitted the following post:

THE OLDEST PIONEER. DEATH OF JAMES TERWILLIGER

WHO CAME TO PORTLAND IN 1845.

Well Joshua, you have made a connection through this post. The GYRabbits received this from Julie Stephenson Kirby:

Love your site! I am the great-great grandaughter of James Terwilliger at Riverview Cemetery, Portland OR. There have been 8 generations of our family here since James arrived in 1845. Oct 3, 2009 was his 200th birthday.

13 generations of my family in America starting in New Amsterdam in 1663...I have loved cemeteries since I was a small child visiting the family cemeteries on "Decoration Day".

I will be joining the Terwilliger's at the plot in Portland when it's time! Loved the cemetery in New Paltz NY, with the terra cotta markers... Hollywood Forever and "Boot Hill" at Virginia City NV are among my favorite places...Will go to Pere-Lachaise and the Cemeteries of New Orleans someday I hope... Thanks for the great site... Julie

So you see Rabbits, you never know when your hard work will make a connection.

New Article Available in the GYR Online Journal

INFANTS AND MOURNING DRESS

The custom of putting mourning garments on small children
is a barbarous one, and should be tabooed.

~ Godey's Magazine 1896 ~

For several years I have looked for cabinet cards and carte-de-visites showing infants in mourning dress. Such photographs have been extremely difficult to find and if found anything but affordable.

Victorians had elaborate sets of rules concerning mourning. Those rules included the dress of infants during the period of mourning. From the beginning of the dictates of mourning etiquette, black was always considered far too severe for infants and children. The mourning for children under twelve years of age was white in summer and gray in winter, with black trimmings, belt, sleeve-ruffles or bonnet-ribbons.



You'll find the rest of this article from the History Hare in
the Graveyard Rabbit Online Journal.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Do you haunt graveyards?

That's the question CNN is asking in iReport. Here's what they're looking for:

"People have long been fascinated with visiting graveyards. Whether it's for the history of those buried there, the architecture or artwork of tombstones, or the tranquility of a final resting place for the famous and not-so-famous, cemeteries hold a special charm for some.

Have you ever taken a graveyard tour or visited a famous person's grave site? Did you visit a cemetery that left you wanting to go back?

Show us pictures or video of the cemetery and talk about your experience."

No one has better stories than a Graveyard Rabbit. Give them your best photo with story and be sure to tell them you're a Graveyard Rabbit.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Article Available at the Graveyard Rabbit Online Journal

This week, Stephanie Lincecum takes us on a journey of military headstones in her column Graveyard Guru.


While conducting some recent analysis of my personal Graveyard Rabbit blog (southern graves.blogspot.com), I found out one of the most popular posts was entitled “Southern Cross of Honor,” about a symbol found on the graves of soldiers who served in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy. This led me to believe a topic of military headstones would be a good one for this edition of the Graveyard Guru.

I spoke with a couple of different people while researching this topic. My main guru was Anne with the Department of Veterans Affairs. She was very helpful and very modest. Her first name was all she asked to be included with this article, and that request will be honored. All information regarding the VA was provided by her and their website - www.cem.va.gov.


Be sure to read the entire article at the Graveyard Rabbit Online Journal.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009



Thank you to everyone for nominating The Association of Graveyard Rabbits as one of the Family Tree Magazine 40 Best Genealogy Blogs and congratulations to the other nominees in the Cemeteries category:

- Blogging a Dead Horse
- Granny's Genealogy
- Graveyard Rabbit of Grey County, Ontario
- Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay
- Granite in My Blood


Voting takes place from Oct. 5 to Nov. 5, and you can vote more than once. The 40 Best Genealogy Blogs will be named in the May 2010 issue of Family Tree Magazine. The nominees have been divided into 10 categories. In each category you are to choose the number of blogs specified in the question (you'll get an error if you choose too many).

You can read more at the Family Tree Magazine Genealogy Insider.

For a list of all nominated blogs, with links to each, view this footnoteMaven article.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Call for Submissions – GYR Carnival November 2009 Edition

The challenge for the November 2009 edition of the Graveyard Rabbits carnival is to write your own epitaph.  November 2nd is “Plan Your Epitaph Day,” an international observance created by Lance Hardie, to coincide with All Saint’s Day (a.k.a. Day of the Dead).

So your challenge for the carnival is to write your own epitaph.  What would you like to see on your gravestone?  How would you like people to remember you?  Create your epitaph, post it to your blog, and submit it to the carnival.

Submissions are due October 25.  Please submit your article using the blog carnival submission form.  Be sure to include a short description of your post in the “remarks” section of the submission form.

Upcoming Topics

  • December 2009 – In the News
  • January 2010 – The Final Resting Place (idea submitted by Colleen McHugh)
  • February 2010 – Cemetery Critters (idea submitted by Diane Wright)
  • March 2010 – Forgotten Cemeteries (idea submitted by Tina Micheal Ruse)
  • April 2010 – Anonymous Graves (idea submitted by Henk van Kampen)
  • May 2010 – Cause of Death (idea submitted by Matt Hucke)
  • June 2010 – The Interesting, The Odd, The Beautiful (idea submitted by Gale Wall)
  • July 2010 – Scavenger Hunt

Graveyard Rabbits Carnival – October 2009 Edition

Welcome to the October 2009 edition of Graveyard Rabbits Carnival.  The theme for this edition is funeral cards.  Seven authors discuss at least one funeral card from their collection.  These cards not only provide genealogical information, but are small family treasures.  One author explains the difference between funeral cards and memorial cards and offers some online resources for finding cards.


Randy Seaver presents Genea-Musings: Devier David Carringer (1889-1890) posted at Genea-Musings.

Brian presents Berger Family Memorial Cards posted at Ancestors At Rest.

Linda Hughes Hiser presents Graveyard Rabbits--Funeral Cards posted at Flipside, saying, "Funeral card of my maternal grandfather....a numbers cruncher."

Thomas MacEntee presents Destination: Austin Family: An Unusual Funeral Card posted at Destination: Austin Family, saying, "Among the many funeral cards in my collection, the one for my 1st cousin twice removed, Matthew McGinnes, is the most unusual: it is a bi-fold card with his photo."

Lorine McGinnis Schulze presents Graveyard Rabbits Carnival: Funeral Cards posted at Olive Tree Genealogy Blog, saying, "Funeral Cards & Memorial Cards are not the same, but they are both wonderful genealogical finds for an ancestor."

Janet Iles presents Funeral cards - another source of information posted at Graveyard Rabbit of Grey County, Ontario, saying, "Funeral cards can provide useful information, but Janet only has a few in her possession. She shares that in small places with only a weekly newspaper, they may be found in local stores."

Earline Bradt presents Carnival of Graveyard Rabbits - Funeral Cards posted at Ancestral Notes, saying, "Isabella Gilboe Taylor's funeral card from 1880."

Julie Tarr presents The Funeral/Memorial Card for Clarence Cahill posted at GenBlog, saying, “Clarence is my first cousin three times removed, who died in 1964.”


That concludes this edition. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.  Be sure to join us for the next edition!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Meet Tess Conrad, "The New Orleans Graveyard Rabbit"

The forty seventh in a series
featuring a member of
The Graveyard Rabbit Association


TESS CONRAD

The New Orleans Graveyard Rabbit



Hello everyone, and thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself: I'm Tess Conrad, New Orleans Graveyard Rabbit. I'm originally from New York, and fell in love with NOLA on my first visit in 1994, finally moving down with my fiancee and daughter in 2002. The time has flown by and I've just sent my kiddo off to her first semester at college, so I've found lots of time to be re-allocated to my other loves- writing, photography, our menagerie (2 parrots, 3 dogs and various wandering cats) & garden- and of course, the Graveyard Rabbits blog! I work for the Preservation Resource Center here in New Orleans, helping to save our amazing architectural history and also have recently begun volunteering for RAOGK and FindAGrave.com, but unlike many Rabbits, my interest has not been so much genealogical as cultural. Like the homes I deal with in my day job, the tombs have their own architectural styles with fantastical detail work and are worthy of their title of "cities of the dead."
St. Louis No. 3 - City of the Dead
From the very beginning I loved them- how could I not? More than any other place in the US, death continues to be a comfortable part of life here, filled with unique rituals and a genuine joy that I've never seen anywhere else. There is an acceptance here of the yin and yang of life- sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down, but you're only here once, so you might as well make the most of it while you can.
Given that philosophy, there's always a reason to have a party in New Orleans, and funerals are no different. To the usual wake and mass we add jazz and second lines- parades to and from the grave site to see your loved ones off with a smile and a good hip-shaking, soul-affirming boogie. From the most affluent citizen to the very poorest, everyone has a different unique tradition, and death truly is a family affair.
For instance it definitely pays to make nice with your annoying Uncle Bill before he dies, because you'll likely be spending eternity with him in a very real way, given that most burials here are in family tombs. Most have just 2 vaults inside, but they're used dozens of times with the remains of the previous occupants moved down into the base to mingle with those of their ancestors.
Crumbling Cuban Society Tombs and wall vaults
For those too poor to afford their own tombs, there are several options, from Society Tombs (death guilds, basically, with a very specific sort of 'clubhouse') or wall vaults (essentially apartments for the dead where you're welcome to stay as long as you like- assuming your family's kept the rent paid up- another reason to make nice with them before you die), or as a last resort there's the New Orleans version of Potter's Field, and even there people carve out and personalize a niche for themselves and their families, returning to that same spot for generations to bury their dead. Plus, of course, there are all the strange things only found here. Voodoo Queens. Pirates. Jazz greats, heroes and revolutionaries, to say nothing of all the tall tales and hauntings courtesy of romantic fancies by the likes of Anne Rice. We have a bumper sticker here: We put the FUN in funeral. My goal to do the same for my Graveyard Rabbit blog, and I hope you stop by and dance along with us!





















New Article Available in the GYR Online Journal

Randy Seaver tackles the following question in his Digging For Answers column:  What are the best online databases for cemeteries?


There are quite a few online databases for cemetery records.  Some records are in large databases for completely surveyed cemeteries, and other databases have only partial compilations.  Many of these records were generated by volunteers working with the cemeteries, or by just "walking the cemetery" and noting the inscriptions.  In many cases, genealogical and historical societies have sponsored projects to collect inscriptions and/or cemetery burial records from cemetery files.  Of course, there are many cemetery inscriptions and burial records that are not online. 


For Randy’s list of online cemetery resources, read the entire article in the Graveyard Rabbits Online Journal.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Reminder – GYR Carnival Submissions Due 9/25

Just a friendly reminder that submissions for the October 2009 edition of the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival are due on September 25th.

The topic for the edition is funeral cards.  Posts could talk about the customs and traditions related to funeral cards or you could share a card from your collection.

Please submit your article using the blog carnival submission form.  Be sure to include a short description of your post in the “remarks” section of the submission form.

Hope to see you there!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Article Available in the GYR Online Journal

Educated Rabbit columnist, Sheri Fenley, shares with us a great story about a restoration project in San Joaquin County, California.


When a fellow member of the San Joaquin County Genealogical Society told me about a man who was restoring a cemetery in San Joaquin County, I jumped to investigate. Not since the Harmony Grove Church Cemetery Restoration Project in Lockeford has there been such an undertaking.

Mr. Bob Anglin has been spending much of his spare time at the Collegeville Cemetery located at the corner of South Jack Tone Road and East Mariposa, about 6 miles east of Stockton.


Be sure to read the entire article in the Graveyard Rabbits Online Journal.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Meet: Teresa Elliott, author of "Rutherford County, Tennessee Cemeteries"

The forty sixth in a series
featuring a member of
The Graveyard Rabbit Association





TERESA ELLIOTT




I grew up in Antioch, TN. I had the advantage of being raised as an only child in a way, because my only brother had cerebral palsy and could not do the things that other brothers and sisters could do, like run and play games. But at the same time, my parents raised my youngest three aunts and uncles and numerous cousins lived with us as I was growing up, so I also had the advantage of being raised in a large household. I grew up on the family farm with aunts, uncles, grandparents as neighbors. It was the best of both worlds. I married my husband in 1985 and we moved to Alabama, where we still live with our three children. My ancestors are all from Rutherford County, TN, so that is where I do my research.

I got interested in genealogy around 1989, when my great aunt asked me to help her find the father of my third great grandfather, George L. Gee. That man remains a mystery to me and her today. But it opened a world of opportunities to me. I became interested in photographing cemeteries soon thereafter, when I visited my first cemetery, the Bennett Cemetery in Rutherford County, TN looking for my ancestor, Stephin Bennett, whose body had been stolen and taken by train to Burlington, VT in a box marked books. Stephin's grave robbing was what got me totally hooked on genealogy. I photographed that cemetery and from then on, when I'd find a new ancestor, Dad and I would find the graveyard and I'd photograph the entire cemetery.

Soon after my second child was born in 1991, I bought a computer and Roots III and began doing my genealogy seriously. When we finally got on the internet at home, my husband suggested that I start a cemetery site and put all the pictures I had taken online. I did, and soon others were sending me their images as well. That original website is still online at

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~rutherfordcemetery/

Though we are no longer adding to that site and are currently moving all the images from that site to our Graveyard Rabbit blog at http://rutherfordcemetery.wordpress.com/

Since starting the blog, I have partnered with Patsy Paterson, who lives in Rutherford County, TN and she takes pictures and I put images online from people who send them to us of individual cemeteries. It's fun to watch the blogs grow and to read what people write to me about the cemeteries.

I love using the blog format, because people can comment on a blog and that comment will stay with that cemetery. Before if someone sent me a comment, only I could read it. Now anyone can see the great genealogical information that is sent to me.

With progress, something has to be lost, and Rutherford County, TN has seen great progress in the 1990s. With it, our old cemeteries have been lost or destroyed. Hopefully we can preserve them online, so that future generations can at least see what they looked like in 2009. It saddens me to be putting up a blog of a WWI soldier and his tombstone is already missing. This is a man who fought for his country less than 100 years ago, and already his memory is gone. His great grandchildren have no record of where he is buried.

What advice would I give my photographers?This is what I tell anyone who asks if they can do a cemetery for us:

· Tennessee has snakes. Wear good protective shoes. Don't forget bug spray.

· Take plenty of water.

· Take a cell phone, but also take a buddy, because many rural areas don't have cell phone service. Also let someone at home know where you are going and when you plan on being back.

· Take snacks, because it's sometimes a long way to the nearest convenience store.

· Take plenty of batteries for your camera.

· Always let the people at the nearest house know what you are doing. They tend to not release the hounds or shoot if they know why you are in the cemetery.

· If you remove something from a headstone (flowers, ceramic figure, toys) put it back where you found it. Do not pick up trash, unless you are doing a cemetery cleanup or you see a trash can on site. (Most states have open container laws, best to leave that beer can where it lays)

· Take a first aid kit.

· Try to take every stone in the cemetery, unless it puts you in danger.

· Have fun.