Monday, May 18, 2009

Meet: Colleen McHugh, Graveyard Rabbit of R.I.P.P.E.R.S.

The thirty second in a series
featuring a member of
The Graveyard Rabbit Association


R. I. P. P. E. R. S.

My name is Colleen and I am a Graveyard Rabbit.

To be honest, I’m not much into cemetery research. Not because it freaks me out or anything. And certainly not due to a lack of interest. It’s just that there are no cemeteries near me to which I have any connections. I could be part of cemetery look-up groups, but unfortunately, I do not have time, what with my full-time job, caregiving responsibilities for dad, and of course, my obsession with Izzie the small black dog. But I am still working on my own research and my ancestors’ graves are a couple thousand miles away from me, in Northeast Pennsylvania (I live in Tucson, Arizona).

So why, you might ask, am I a Graveyard Rabbit? Because I know the importance of cemeteries to genealogy research. Because a grave marker is responsible for my involvement with genealogy and ultimately, this wonderful group of people known as Geneabloggers.

In the year 2004, my niece Kelley graduated from High School in Nevada. During my stay there with her family, we were looking at the family photos that were given to her in old, raggedy albums. I asked her if I could take those albums back to Tucson with me to get them into new albums before they were forever lost to damage or to lost-photo-land. As I browsed through these photos (many hopelessly glued to that horrid black scrapbook paper), I stumbled across the above photograph. Knowing this could not have been my great-grandfather John J. Doyle, I set off on finding out who he was by plugging his name into Google, researching Chen Kung China during WWII, finding, and having a go at all of it. Many tangents later, I found my way back to the John J. Doyle described on this cross and through some detective work, determined that he was my great-grandfather John J. Doyle’s grandson via his son, William Doyle.

I was hooked.

So while graveyards, markers and cemeteries are interests of mine, they’re just not activities I’m able to partake in. Instead, I chose to start The R.I.P.P.E.R.S., a GY blog aiming to look at the lighter side of an often dismal topic.

So far, the blog has focused on a single column, “The Sunday Spook”. This column regales readers with spooky, comical stories about cemeteries in general, though sometimes there is less of a cemetery slant and more a general genealogy slant. I’ve had a break from this column for a bit, but aim to bring it back on Sunday May 17. I also want readers to know that I am looking for guest contributors to this column. Most of the Spooks are a figment of my own wicked imagination as opposed to legendary folklore. So come on, readers, put your creative hats on, make up a Spooky Cemetery story and email it to me at omchodoy-at-comcast-dot-net! Include a photo if you want, your name as you wish to be credited, and of course, links to your websites to be included on any post you author!

My Blogs:

The Oracle of OMcHodoy - The one that started it all.
Orations of OMcHodoy - The one that took over the Carnivals and Tales.
The R.I.P.P.E.R.S.
The World According to Izzie - My dog’s blog, one of over 1,000 registered dog blogs at Dogs With Blogs

1 comment:

Sheri Fenley said...

I love your R.I.P.P.E.R.S. blog Colleen! I am eagerly awaiting for more!