Thursday, March 26, 2009

Meet: "The Graveyard Rabbit of New York Rural Cemeteries"


The nineteenth is a series
featuring a member of
The Graveyard Rabbit Association

For someone who already runs 10 different blogs or websites, you wouldn't think of Thomas MacEntee as a candidate for a Graveyard Rabbit site. But as he says, "I've been able to get so much out of visiting various New York cemeteries that I felt I needed to give something back to the genealogy community." That's why he created The Graveyard Rabbit of New York Rural Cemeteries ("GYR-NYRC").

GYR-NYRC lists various "rural cemeteries" throughout New York state. During the mid-19th century the state was a leader in a movement to move cemeteries from urban settings and churchyards to locations away from the city and filled with landscaped terrain. The motivation for moving the cemeteries came from huge cholera and typhoid epidemics which swept much of the state in the 1830s and 1840s.

In his genealogy research, Thomas has visited many of these "rural cemeteries" which tend to be multi-denominational, some with separate sections for Catholic or Jewish burials. In many small towns, when you say "cemetery" there is only one and most often it is a rural cemetery.

Thomas' ancestors inhabited much of New York state, some as part of the Yankee Migration of the late 1700s (Austin, Crandall) and others having arrived either from Holland in the mid 1600s (Putman), France in the late 1600s (Freer) or Ireland in the early 1800s (McEntee, MacEntee).

So when he isn't traipsing through some bone yard on one of his genealogy research trips, you can find him back home in Chicago working on various genealogy and technology-related enterprises. Thomas manages the
GeneaBloggers website as well as the GeneaBloggers on Facebook group and Facebook Bootcamp for Genea-bloggers which is a great tech how-to resource. In addition to that, he is the National Genealogy and Technology Examiner for, and seems to live on Twitter as of late. Thomas also writes a regular column entitled Genea-MacGyver for Digital Genealogist magazine. Rumor has it that Thomas does not sleep, that he may in fact have Romanian blood and be related to Vlad the Impaler, and only comes out at night.

Contact Thomas MacEntee via Twitter (
@geneabloggers), e-mail (tmacentee@gmail) or by visiting any one of his websites or blogs (see above).

1 comment:

M. Diane Rogers said...

Enjoy reading Thomas's Graveyard Rabbit of New York Rural Cemeteries posts - lots of cemetery history there (and a few Canadian connections).

I too have wondered about Thomas's night time there a twitter group for that or will Thomas set one up?